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Another "Best Years" query....


Sepiatone
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Watching this one (a-GAIN!) the other night, I wondered something silly about the character HORTENSE DERRY  (Gladys George).

I assumed she was probably FRED DERRY's step mother due to him adressing her by her first name, rather than calling her "mom",  And too, since her character was credited as DERRY, and not just the first name and too, regardless of age, a botfriend/girfriend couple living together( unmarried) WAs pretty much unheard of in those times.  But my REAL curiosity is about the NAME.  

HORTENSE.

And, just what DO you call a woman with that name for "short"?  B) 

Sepiatone

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And here Sepia, I thought you were gonna ask where the hell "Boone City" is located?! AND maybe, how come the U.S. Government sent all those warbirds sitting in that aircraft boneyard there??? ;) 

'Cause THAT'S what I always wondered about in this movie.

(...my favorite of all time) 

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15 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Peggy.

"Peggy" was a common nickname given EVERYONE with an impossible shortening of their real name. My grandmother Terkish (Theresa) was known as "Peg". I asked why and that's what she told me.

But ... there's ALREADY someone named Peggy in the movie, so we stick with Hortense.

That was always one of my favorite parts of the movie. Fred's dad is clearly living with someone who's not his mother, and it's not explained. You think the Code would have stepped in and insisted on some expository dialogue about widowing and a second marriage, so that it's all clearly on the moral up-and-up. But there's no explanation. We the viewers are free to interpret as we please. I like how Fred is warm to Hortense but not overly affectionate. A perfect tone.

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5 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

That was always one of my favorite parts of the movie. Fred's dad is clearly living with someone who's not his mother, and it's not explained. You think the Code would have stepped in 

Well the movie clearly illustrates the Derry's are "the wrong side of the tracks" kind of people. Living in a noisy dilapidated shack, reference to heavy drinking is just topped off with a blowsy blonde Hortense replacing "Mom". (I imagine Mom's dead or Fred would have visited her, wouldn't he?)

I'm sure Fred was brought up better (illustrated by his manners) but the scene shows him the downward spiral of choosing the wrong path in life. I think Hortense is just an older version of Fred's wife, Marie (brilliantly played by Virginia Mayo) and I like that Fred is not judgmental. They just show the scene and the AUDIENCE is judgmental.

It's kind of heavy handed, but the movie is just packed with all these morality tales & decisions. I think that's why we like it so much.

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I wondered who Hortense was too. I also wondered...what are Wilma and Peggy doing with themselves? They are out of high school, so are they just sitting around the house waiting for someone to marry them? Was that the custom back in the 1940s? They obviously don't have jobs, although it is mentioned that Peggy worked in a hospital, but I assume that was during the war years, and as a volunteer. Nobody ever mentions just HOW Homer and  Wilma are going to get by in life after they are married. If Wilma doesn't work because of the "no wife of mine is going to work" attitude in those days, and Homer can't work because of his disability, where does that leave them? Living with mom and dad forever? Yes, this film has lots of questions.

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I use a word, emphasized with quotations,   "Zoom"!  ie:

To be "Zoomed" or to "zoom" someone means basically (and said with the hand moving swiftly over the head) that something was said or presented that apparently flew way over the heads of the listener or reader.

In this case, it seemed that my facetious "query" had "Zoomed" over many heads as it seemed some took it seriously.  In some cases, WAY too seriously.  Maybe some DID "get it", but didn't let on...  so....

My name is KENNETH.  "Ken" for "short."  Like "Tom" is "short" for THOMAS, or "Fred" is "short" for "Frederick" and etc., etc., etc.,

So, what would someone call HORtense for "short"?  ;)

Yeah, kinda dumb joke, but I was in one of those moods.  ;)  :unsure:

@DARG;  I always though Boone City was an amalgam, somewhere East of ANYTOWN, U.S.A.  ;)  Why it seemed to have more than it's share of "scrap" U.S. war planes, I couldn't say.  Maybe the AIR CORPS, in support of "one of their own" had them moved there so that former bombardier FRED could find some kind of job.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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2 hours ago, calvinnme said:

They obviously don't have jobs, although it is mentioned that Peggy worked in a hospital, but I assume that was during the war years, and as a volunteer.

Peggy still appears to be working in the hospital. She's wearing her nurse headpiece (whatever you call it) in one scene, I think when she drives Fred to his apartment. We don't ever learn anything about Wilma. I think it was probably not unusual at that time for an unmarried woman just a few years into her adulthood to still be living at home.

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3 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I use a word, emphasized with quotations,   "Zoom"!  ie:

To be "Zoomed" or to "zoom" someone means basically (and said with the hand moving swiftly over the head) that something was said or presented that apparently flew way over the heads of the listener or reader.

In this case, it seemed that my facetious "query" had "Zoomed" over many heads as it seemed some took it seriously.  In some cases, WAY too seriously.  Maybe some DID "get it", but didn't let on...  so....

My name is KENNETH.  "Ken" for "short."  Like "Tom" is "short" for THOMAS, or "Fred" is "short" for "Frederick" and etc., etc., etc.,

So, what would someone call HORtense for "short"?  ;)

Yeah, kinda dumb joke, but I was in one of those moods.  ;)  :unsure:

@DARG;  I always though Boone City was an amalgam, somewhere East of ANYTOWN, U.S.A.  ;)  Why it seemed to have more than it's share of "scrap" U.S. war planes, I couldn't say.  Maybe the AIR CORPS, in support of "one of their own" had them moved there so that former bombardier FRED could find some kind of job.  ;) 

Sepiatone

Yep, "Boone City" is of course a stand-in for Anytown, U.S.A. 

I was just kiddin' around there.

However, and as you may also know Sepia, supposedly Boone City was somewhat modeled after the city of Cincinnati, Ohio., and most likely the fictitious name a derivative of Boone County Kentucky which lies just across the Ohio river from Cincinnati and where the city's major airport near Covington, KY (IATA code: CVG) is located.

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5 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Well the movie clearly illustrates the Derry's are "the wrong side of the tracks" kind of people. Living in a noisy dilapidated shack, reference to heavy drinking is just topped off with a blowsy blonde Hortense replacing "Mom". (I imagine Mom's dead or Fred would have visited her, wouldn't he?)

I'm sure Fred was brought up better (illustrated by his manners) but the scene shows him the downward spiral of choosing the wrong path in life. I think Hortense is just an older version of Fred's wife, Marie (brilliantly played by Virginia Mayo) and I like that Fred is not judgmental. They just show the scene and the AUDIENCE is judgmental.

It's kind of heavy handed, but the movie is just packed with all these morality tales & decisions. I think that's why we like it so much.

Hmmm...interesting thought here, Tiki. But sorry, other than Hortense perhaps looking a bit like an older Marie, I've never thought of Hortense being at all similar to the Marie character, and primarily because I would imagine if in her later years Marie would have ended up on those wrong side of the tracks, she wouldn't be nearly as congenial as Gladys George played Hortense.

Nope, I think she would've been an even BIGGER "you-know-what" than she was when she was younger. ;)

(...and re that scene where Fred's father, played by Roman Bohnen, reads his son's Commendation letter, well, that's yet another one of those many scenes in this film that always puts that lump in my throat, and why once again this film is my favorite of all time)

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1940's, 1950's >

Times were different then. Both my parents always worked (they had experienced THE DEPRESSION, and were really afraid of NOT working.)

But there was quite a "Thing" about working women (especially if they themselves were MARRIED!) STEALING a job from a married working MAN.

One lady, just graduated in Chemistry, went to apply for a job as a Chemistry teacher at our local high school.She was SHAMED out of the office---how dare she want to take a job that should go to a Man SUPPORTING his family. So, she went back to the University, got a Master's and PhD, and eventually became the University's first female President. She was Lorene Rogers, at the University of Texas at Austin.

.....................

One of the realistic features of BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is when we see the relative "status" of the 3 servicemen during the war, and their SOCIAL status when they return to their hometowns. It is reversed. The Banker (Frederic March) is just an army grunt, the middle-class man (Harold Russell) is an ordinary sailor, but the ARISTOCRAT of the 3, the airman, is from the "wrong side" of the tracks.

This is an unsettling reversal of (perhaps) our expectations, but very true to life at the time.

Things would change with the "G. I. Bill of Rights", when servicemen of all classes could attend college, bringing upward mobility home in the USA.

This film is just before that happens. Dana Andrews will be marrying "UP". Perhaps, in his future, encouraged by his new wife Teresa Wright, he will attend a University and keep on going up in class.

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2 hours ago, papyrusbeetle said:

1940's, 1950's >

Times were different then. Both my parents always worked (they had experienced THE DEPRESSION, and were really afraid of NOT working.)

But there was quite a "Thing" about working women (especially if they themselves were MARRIED!) STEALING a job from a married working MAN.

One lady, just graduated in Chemistry, went to apply for a job as a Chemistry teacher at our local high school.She was SHAMED out of the office---how dare she want to take a job that should go to a Man SUPPORTING his family. So, she went back to the University, got a Master's and PhD, and eventually became the University's first female President. She was Lorene Rogers, at the University of Texas at Austin. 

.....................

One of the realistic features of BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is when we see the relative "status" of the 3 servicemen during the war, and their SOCIAL status when they return to their hometowns. It is reversed. The Banker (Frederic March) is just an army grunt, the middle-class man (Harold Russell) is an ordinary sailor, but the ARISTOCRAT of the 3, the airman, is from the "wrong side" of the tracks.

This is an unsettling reversal of (perhaps) our expectations, but very true to life at the time.

Things would change with the "G. I. Bill of Rights", when servicemen of all classes could attend college, bringing upward mobility home in the USA. 

This film is just before that happens. Dana Andrews will be marrying "UP". Perhaps, in his future, encouraged by his new wife Teresa Wright, he will attend a University and keep on going up in class.

Just exactly what did they expect unmarried women to do? Starve? I do know that my mom stopped working after she married in 1956 because my dad actually said that "no wife of his was going to work".  I guess the maiden aunt character in the Andy Hardy series is what generally happened to women that never married - they just had to hope that some member of the family was charitable enough to house them their entire life.

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7 hours ago, papyrusbeetle said:

...One of the realistic features of BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is when we see the relative "status" of the 3 servicemen during the war, and their SOCIAL status when they return to their hometowns. It is reversed. The Banker (Frederic March) is just an army grunt, the middle-class man (Harold Russell) is an ordinary sailor, but the ARISTOCRAT of the 3, the airman, is from the "wrong side" of the tracks.

This is an unsettling reversal of (perhaps) our expectations, but very true to life at the time.

pb, this part of your previous posting reminds me of one of my favorite lines in TBYOOL.

As our three servicemen are being dropped off at their respective stops, and after Homer is first dropped off at his parents' home, and as their taxi pulls up in front of Al's swanky apartment building, Fred is quite impressed with Al's digs and asks Al how he can afford such a lavish home and if he's a retired bootlegger. Al then quickly replies..."Nothing so respectable. I'm a banker."

(...I always chuckle at that one)

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1 hour ago, slaytonf said:

Prophylactic modesty.

Hmmm...don't think I've ever heard this phrase before, slayton. Did you just coin this one?

I suppose it would be along the lines of "self-effacing humor", right?!

(...btw and FWIW...ever since the first time I watched Dr. Strangelove years ago, I can not think of the word "Prophylactic" without hearing Slim Pickens' twangy voice saying that word while reading off the checklist of contents contained within that B-52 crew's survival kits) ;)

 

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23 hours ago, calvinnme said:

I also wondered...what are Wilma and Peggy doing with themselves? They are out of high school, so are they just sitting around the house waiting for someone to marry them? Was that the custom back in the 1940s? They obviously don't have jobs, although it is mentioned that Peggy worked in a hospital, but I assume that was during the war years, and as a volunteer. Nobody ever mentions just HOW Homer and  Wilma are going to get by in life after they are married. If Wilma doesn't work because of the "no wife of mine is going to work" attitude in those days, and Homer can't work because of his disability, where does that leave them? Living with mom and dad forever? Yes, this film has lots of questions.

I never considered that before....

I guess my assumption for Homer at least, is he'd find some kind of a job-I'm sure there are enough decent jobs for a handicapped veteran. Remember this was a time when people & honor were first, above profit. Homer doesn't seem like the kind of guy content to sit around on gov't disability, he was ashamed of not being able to hold his own glass or open the door. And Wilma's job of course is to work for him & the household.

I doubt they'd stay at Homer's parents house. After the War was the first big push for everyone to have a single family suburban home. 

Many "girls" went on to college or menial jobs while "waiting to be married", and often started taking care of the household as teens in preparation. I was actually surprised by Peggy driving herself around independently. My Mother -who was Peggy's age- expected a male to drive her around. It wasn't until after she was married a few years did she start driving herself & me, to the Country Club.

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:rolleyes:

And yet, despite my efforts on the 17th to clarify what this thread WAS really about( a silly joke about the name HOR-tense) y'all's still debating irrelevant  aspects of the movie THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES.  :huh:

And yep, it did depend on the age and disposition of the woman as to what she was doing and how she was living during the war.  My Grandmother learned welding while working at the CADILLAC main plant in Detroit, as she was a single mother at the time and "retooled" auto plants were hiring a LOT of women and the pay was better than waiting tables( her job before the war).  And my Mother, still in high school when the war began worked odd after school jobs.  By the time the war ended, she was married and by '46 was expecting my brother to come along( which he finally did in Sept. '47).

And it didn't MATTER what Peggy and Wilma were doing with their lives back then.  Remember.... it was a MOVIE, not a documentary.  ;)

Sepiatone

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

And yet, despite my efforts on the 17th to clarify what this thread WAS really about( a silly joke about the name HOR-tense) y'all's still debating irrelevant  aspects of the movie THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES.

You say that like there's something wrong with it.

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 12:22 AM, sewhite2000 said:

But ... there's ALREADY someone named Peggy in the movie, so we stick with Hortense.

That was always one of my favorite parts of the movie. Fred's dad is clearly living with someone who's not his mother, and it's not explained. You think the Code would have stepped in and insisted on some expository dialogue about widowing and a second marriage, so that it's all clearly on the moral up-and-up. But there's no explanation. We the viewers are free to interpret as we please. I like how Fred is warm to Hortense but not overly affectionate. A perfect tone.

& within the last 20 hours & mum's other site, please Locate them   She still got *Rooney & a 3o will lose

 

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 12:22 AM, sewhite2000 said:

But ... there's ALREADY someone named Peggy in the movie, so we stick with Hortense.

That was always one of my favorite parts of the movie. Fred's dad is clearly living with someone who's not his mother, and it's not explained. You think the Code would have stepped in and insisted on some expository dialogue about widowing and a second marriage, so that it's all clearly on the moral up-and-up. But there's no explanation. We the viewers are free to interpret as we please. I like how Fred is warm to Hortense but not overly affectionate. A perfect tone. (NOTICE: phasr, a very long  zebnioth for OAT ^ .
A lotre yhr & WHERE HN9MIUNEE WORS LIVED THAN b & 

 

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 11:21 AM, Dargo said:

Yep, "Boone City" is of course a stand-in for Anytown, U.S.A. 

I was just kiddin' around there.

However, and as you may also know Sepia, supposedly Boone City was somewhat modeled after the city of Cincinnati, Ohio., and most likely the fictitious name a derivative of Boone County Kentucky which lies just across the Ohio river from Cincinnati and where the city's major airport near Covington, KY (IATA code: CVG) is located.

 

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