Olivia

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  1. 1) Props and set dressing: As the butler walks GMC up the stairs he talks about being a fan for many years, back when he was valet to Mr. Teddy--the previous President Roosevelt and FDR's cousin. As they reach the top of the stairs, they pass a portrait of George Washington. In the Oval Office the Navy touches (ship models, a ship's clock, and several paintings) reinforce FDR's experience as TR's Secretary of the Navy and his foundation of knowledge for recovering the US's strength after the losses at Pearl Harbor. 2) Keeping up Morale--Quotes: GMC: Pretty cocky kid...always carrying a flag in a parade FDR: I hope you haven't outgown the habit. GMC: Not a chance. Direct references of patriotism and foreshadowing the next scene (parade on his birth day) and the framing device for the conclusion after the flashbacks. 3) Speaking of GMC's birth era, calling it ' the beginning of the Horatio Alger Era', makes reference to the 'Rags to Riches' pulp novels where poor boy makes good, in contrast to the (two) Roosevelts who were rich but had the common touch (Fireside Chats and a homely not glamorous First Lady). And the Naval details send the subliminal message that 'we are all in the same boat.' As a nation must be, if it is to united during a war.
  2. Yes we do; saw him in person May 1981 when he, in a wheelchair, was at the USMA graduation of my brother.
  3. Three small things: The lushness of the flowers, the costume and the curls on the star all are beyond the dreary reality for many in the audience. The quip of the rich man in reply to the working man re the money is lighthearted. Pre-code the "play with me" sequence would have been less innocent, more seductive in tone; and Anna Held's costume would have been much briefer.

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