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Thanks to TCM we finally got a Tribute to who I thought was a great actress, Fay Bainter. Today December 6, was her birthday and TCM showed a string of her films, some of which I had never seen.

 

TCM is a wonderful thing, let's all be sure they know how much we appreciate them and how much happiness they bring to so many people every day.

 

Thank You TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES

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Hopefully there is someone older than me on these boards that can answer this question. While watching all the Fay Bainter movies today, which I thoroughly enjoyed, the one with Jackie Cooper and Claude Rains, who invented the refrigerator supposedly in 1919. If that was so, why were ice boxes still used well into the 1940's? Did it take 20 years for them to become affordable for the average person?

 

Anne

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MrsL,

Here's a link to a detailed breakdown of how the ice box evolved into the fridge that we take for granted today. In reviewing the article, I was intrigued to see that a French monk, of all people, was involved in creating the first modern proto-type of the refrigerator just prior to WWI. Btw, there are oodles of articles that you can "google" about this topic, if you're really interested. I'm not old enough to remember any "ice boxes", though I grew up with two parents who invariably called the fridge an "ice box"!

This breezy article seemed to be the most informative:

http://www.housenotsobeautiful.com/Articles/icebox.html

 

I loved White Banners for some of the following reasons from the first time that I caught it on TCM about a year and a half ago. Thank you, TCM for unearthing this lovely little chestnut:

1.) The pay-it-forward storyline by the much-maligned Lloyd Douglas, who is perhaps better remembered for that other, better known uplifting tale that became a movie a few times, "Magnificent Obsession". The "power of positive thinking" stuff can still captivate, when presented so skillfully under the somewhat restrained storytelling and good direction of an unfortunately rather obscure studio era director, Edmund Goulding. Of course, the brothers Warner were also probably most concerned with the real social issues of the '30s and '40s in most of their pictures, and they do justice to this "little" chick flick's depiction of striving to make the world a better place, one ice cube at a time.

 

2.) Warner Brothers fashioned an endearing blend of elements and themes, giving both Fay Bainter and Claude Rains a chance to strut their considerable talent within the spotlight. Miss Bainter and Mr. Rains also prevent the tale from ever falling and sinking into rank sentimentality, though they do dip their toes into that sweet pond. I thought that Bainter's reactions in the scenes featuring Rains and Jackie Cooper were particularly moving. What a joy to see a relaxed and warm Claude Rains as a fairly regular nice guy--a part that seemed to reflect much of his daughter Jessica's private impressions of him in her biographical sketch featured in John Soister's "Claude Rains: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference to His Work".

 

3.) The straightforward charm of Jackie Cooper and the captivating breathlessness of Bonita Granville, (whose motor always seemed to idle on "high" in any of her movies!), added to the Currier & Ives atmosphere. Both youngsters are really good here. I was especially won over by the scene in school in which Cooper and his schoolboy pals hide behind a desk during their chemistry lecture goofing around. Ah, it reminded me of the halcyon days when I'd hide behind a bunsen burner from Sister Mary Joachim playing catch with a small droplet of mercury with my lab partner...;)

 

Btw, I discovered that you can read the actual Cosmopolitan magazine story of "White Banners" online---gadzooks, in the original the Claude Rains character seems to have been a college prof in the original. Do you think that he was demoted to High School hack due to the youth of Cooper, who probably wouldn't have been believable as a college joe just then...? Here's a link, if you'd like to read it:

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608861h.html

 

Message was edited by:

moirafinnie6, who needs to use her spellcheck more often

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Anne:

Moira's article and reply were very interesting and informative. I don't know if this will answer your question, but I'll tell you what went on in my family, even though I wasn't born when it happened.

 

Grandpa bought a new ice box for Grandma in 1935. They were not cheap for the average family. My parents were married in 1936 and bought a GE refrigerator, on time, probably one of the first without that silly gizmo on top. BTW we sold the family house in '95. It had been repainted and standing there in it's corner of the finished basement and was used up until that time as an extra fridge for family get togethers, etc. It never saw a repairman!!!

 

Anyway, Grandma went nuts at Mom's new refrigerator and had to have one. Grandpa said NO !! He had just spent a good deal on the new ice box. Grandma loved getting rid of the iceman and the worries about water spilling on the floor, etc.

She asked my Dad to take her to the dealer (Rex Cole) Brooklyn, NY to buy one. She had no credit, so she asked Dad to sign for her and he did.

 

She got her fridge and the Cold Shoulder from Grandpa for six months over that one.

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You are so right! There are so many films out there I have never seen and can always count on TCM to show them. My kids think that mom only watches movies in black and white and are even becoming convinced they are the best!

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Hah! Dad's still got a GE refrigerator that he and Mom bought in around 1942. Today it stands in his garage, but it was my first fridge when I got married and our apartment didn't have one, then it went to our house in the basement as a second fridge for cokes, then my brother got it for his second when I moved to Vegas. It still runs QUIETLY and has also never met a repairman. I won't get started, but it was nice when they made things to last instead of today's 'throwaway' mindset, to make people go out and replace after 7 to 10 years.

 

Anne

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Anne:

 

Ain't it the truth. You know, you are so right about the old refrigerators being "quiet". The one I told you about was also very quiet. And, like your family's old fridge, never saw a repairman. Nothing is built that way today, as you said. Isn't it true about the movies today vs. the classics????

 

Pat

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Hi, miri:

 

Thanks for the reply, it is so true. I have friends that think my TV only shows black & white for all the TCM that is watched on it. Why, I really don't know what I would do if it weren't for TCM. So much of today's TV is so shallow, I wind up watching TCM most of the time. And, it's so true, given half a chance you'll always end up seeing a great film that you haven't seen before.

 

I don't know about you, but every time I see a film for the God knows how many times, I always find a nuance, something I hadn't noticed before or a line I've missed in the past, etc. That always makes seeing them again well worth the time.

 

Thank Heaven forTCM.......

 

Pat

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Thanks for sharing that portrait! Can't recognize her, except by the eyes. Nice to see what she looked like as a young lady, as I've never seen her in anything but "matronly" roles on the screen. I'm glad TCM recently ran a tribute to Fay, giving us a chance to see some great, rare films...'cause there's an actress who's not a "big enough name" to get her own DVD boxset, unfortunately.

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