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HOLLYWOOD POLITICAL LEANINGS IN 1940 - TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE


AndyM108
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Recently I was browsing through an old political magazine, and I discovered a long list of Hollywood endorsements in the 1940 presidential election between Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) and Wendell Willkie ®. Below is the combined list of the Hollywood figures who were asked for their preferences.

 

Okay, now try to separate the FDR supporters from the Willkie backers. Show your guesses by highlighting *the Dems in blue* and *the Republicans in red* . I have to admit that there are some of these I never could have guessed myself.

 

Eddie "Rochester" Anderson

Eve Arden

Edward Arnold

Fred Astaire

George Bancroft

 

Lionel Barrymore

Richard Barthelmess

Wallace Beery

Robert Benchley

Charles Bickford

 

Joan Blondell

Humphrey Bogart

Mrs. Humphrey Bogart

Billie Burke

James Cagney

 

Frank Capra

Charles Coburn

Gary Cooper

Broderick Crawford

Donald Crisp

 

Bing Crosby

George Cukor

Michael Curtiz

Andy Devine

Melvyn Douglas

 

Cecil B. DeMille

Walt Disney

Irene Dunne

Nelson Eddy

Stu Erwin

 

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

W. C. Fields

Henry Fonda

John Ford

John Garfield

 

Ira Gershwin

Betty Grable

Corinne Griffith

Margaret Hamilton

Katharine Hepburn

 

Miriam Hopkins

Hedda Hopper

Edward Everett Horton

Walter Huston

Allan Jones

 

Garson Kanin

Jerome Kern

Guy Kibbee

Dorothy Lamour

Priscilla Lane

 

Rosemary Lane

Harold Lloyd

Anita Loos

Fred MacMurray

Zeppo Marx

 

Leo McCarey

Joel McCrea

Hattie McDaniel

Thomas Mitchell

Adolphe Menjou

 

Una Merkel

Ray Milland

Robert Montgomery

Dennis Morgan

George Murphy

 

Pat O'Brien

Edna May Oliver

Franklin Pangborn

Dorothy Parker

Mary Pickford

 

Dick Powell

William Powell

George Raft

Claude Rains

Edward G. Robinson

 

Rosalind Russell

Dore Schary

Budd Schulberg

Randolph Scott

Ann Sheridan

 

Ann Sothern

Preston Sturges

Mrs. Spencer Tracy

Lee Tracy

King Vidor

 

Jack L. Warner, Jr.

Billy Wilder

William Wyler

Jane Wyman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Only some of these I know; most I guessed.

You click on the *Rich Text* tab at the top of this box. Then you can highlight and copy to the in this text box, then highlight and pick a color in the menu tab (marked by the A on the menu bar; the color options drop down from there.

 

Don't correct all of them, however. Tell me just a few I guessed or knew correctly, and let the others be uncovered later..

 

 

Eddie "Rochester" Anderson

Eve Arden

Edward Arnold

Fred Astaire

George Bancroft

 

 

Lionel Barrymore

Richard Barthelmess

Wallace Beery

Robert Benchley

Charles Bickford

 

 

Joan Blondell

Humphrey Bogart

Mrs. Humphrey Bogart

Billie Burke

James Cagney

 

 

Frank Capra

Charles Coburn

Gary Cooper

Broderick Crawford

Donald Crisp

 

 

Bing Crosby

George Cukor

Michael Curtiz

Andy Devine

Melvyn Douglas

 

 

Cecil B. DeMille

Walt Disney

Irene Dunne

Nelson Eddy

Stu Erwin

 

 

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

W. C. Fields

Henry Fonda

John Ford

John Garfield

 

 

Ira Gershwin

Betty Grable

Corinne Griffith

Margaret Hamilton

Katharine Hepburn

 

 

Miriam Hopkins

Hedda Hopper

Edward Everett Horton

Walter Huston

Allan Jones

 

 

Garson Kanin

Jerome Kern

Guy Kibbee

Dorothy Lamour

Priscilla Lane

 

 

Rosemary Lane

Harold Lloyd

Anita Loos

Fred MacMurray

Zeppo Marx

 

 

Leo McCarey

Joel McCrea

Hattie McDaniel

Thomas Mitchell

Adolphe Menjou

Una Merkel

Ray Milland

Robert Montgomery

Dennis Morgan

George Murphy

 

 

Pat O'Brien

Edna May Oliver

Franklin Pangborn

Dorothy Parker

Mary Pickford

 

 

Dick Powell

William Powell

George Raft

Claude Rains

Edward G. Robinson

 

 

Rosalind Russell

Dore Schary

Budd Schulberg

Randolph Scott

Ann Sheridan

Ann Sothern

Preston Sturges

Mrs. Spencer Tracy

Lee Tracy

King Vidor

 

 

Jack L. Warner, Jr.

Billy Wilder

William Wyler

Jane Wyman

 

Edited by: casablancalover on Feb 5, 2012 8:33 PM

 

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Not too bad, casablancalover. You got 43 right, 30 wrong, and 16 that you entered in either black or purple, which I didn't count. Your most blatant misses were Robert Montgomery (a long-time and fairly prominent Hollywood Republican), Dore Schary and Budd Schulberg (both vocal liberals), and Jack Warner, who actually was a Republican but stuck close to Roosevelt for business reasons.

 

OTOH at least you didn't repeat the mistakes of the first person I gave this quiz to, who identified Leo McCarey (of My Son John fame), Adolphe Menjou (John Birch Society) and George Murphy (Ronald Reagan's later political mentor) as Democrats---ouch!

 

In case it was merely my browser or my eyesight that made me view those 16 as black or purple, here they are again if you want to complete your "ballot":

 

George Bancroft

Joan Blondell

Donald Crisp

Cecil B. DeMille

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

 

W. C. Fields

Ira Gershwin

Betty Grable

Corinne Griffith

Margaret Hamilton

 

Miriam Hopkins

Zeppo Marx

Thomas Mitchell

Una Merkel

Edna May Oliver

 

Rosalind Russell

 

One hint: Of these 16, there were 6 Roosevelt supporters and 10 Willkie backers.

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>AndyM108 wrote: One hint: Of these 16, there were 6 Roosevelt supporters and 10 Willkie backers.

It's amazing FDR won at that rate. But then, it is Hollywood. What was the breakdown in numbers?

 

I knew Warner had to be Republican, but a pragmatist. Who's to say how he voted once he reached the voting booth.

 

Let's let someone else figure it out. I am grateful I got as many as I did. Shows my guesswork.

 

h5. Yeah, it's halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.

 

 

 

 

.

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Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy were both staunch FDR supporters, while Barbara Stanwyck was known for her Republican leanings. Of course, the parties were substantially different in composition in 1940 compared to today, as the South was solidly Democratic (it was the Dems that had the uneasy task of blending the segregationist southern bloc with its ethnic northern urban core), while the GOP was the business/Wall Street party, without the cultural conservatism that marks today's Republicans.

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When Barry died, he was at the extreme left wing of the Republican Party, and it wasn't Barry who had moved, but the Party. Many of Barry's positions are to the left of some of today's Democrats.

 

From wikipedia:

 

>By the 1980s, with Ronald Reagan as president and the growing involvement of the religious right in conservative politics, Goldwater's libertarian views on personal issues were revealed; he believed that they were an integral part of true conservatism. Goldwater viewed abortion as a matter of personal choice, not intended for government intervention.

>

>As a passionate defender of personal liberty, he saw the religious right's views as an encroachment on personal privacy and individual liberties.[50] In his 1980 Senate reelection campaign, Goldwater won support from religious conservatives but in his final term voted consistently to uphold legalized abortion and, in 1981, gave a speech on how he was angry about the bullying of American politicians by religious organizations, and would "fight them every step of the way"

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Ya wanna talk to me about Goldwater's defense of the South and its right of association in 1964?

 

He only won Southern states and LBJ won the rest.

 

I own and have read a Conscience of a Conservative by Mr. Goldwater and I am familiar with his views and his later life.

 

I don't use wiki as a reference.

 

Have a great evening.

 

Jake in the Heartland

 

 

 

 

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My experience with actors and drama school types is that they are willing, for the sake of their art and ambition, to forego what conservative minded people value very highly- financial and employment security. Many accept unemployment and under employment at marginal jobs while they are hoping for that big break. Their politics usually reflects a sympathy with the underdogs and the working class. By temperament they can also be bohemian and non-conformist. Many relish being social misfits and outcasts, considering that a badge of artistic integrity and honor. Voting Republican doesn't seem to come naturally for these folks unless they become more middle aged and very successful. Even after becoming multi-millionaires, many show business people retain their liberal leanings.

 

As this subject pertains to Hollywood 1940, the Depression radicalised a lot of the artists and intelligentsia in the 30's. Petitions and joining political groups was very common. Many college students and people in the arts signed things and joined groups, whose "provenance" was later questioned by people like Joe McCarthy.

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>VP19 wrote: Of course, the parties were substantially different in composition in 1940 compared to today, as the South was solidly Democratic (it was the Dems that had the uneasy task of blending the segregationist southern bloc with its ethnic northern urban core), while the GOP was the business/Wall Street party, without the cultural conservatism that marks today's Republicans.

 

Good thumbnail sketch.

 

The Democratic Party in 1940 is the reason Will Rogers got such a good laugh with his comment that he doesn't belong to any organized party-- He's a Democrat..

 

I always wondered what party Katie Holstrom carried the flag for in The Farmer's Daughter. But because it's about a campaign for office, you can't tell.. ;)

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The list I was working from showed 48 for Willkie and 42 for Roosevelt. When I combined the list and made it alphabetical, one of them got omitted, but since both of the original columns were scrambled in my Word program, it was hard to find the missing name. Perhaps you can spot it.

 

As to why the list broke down the way it did, what people tend to forget sometimes was the political influence that Louis B. Mayer had over his stable of actors. Look at the list with the correct answers provided, and I'm pretty sure you'll find a strong correlation between Republicans and MGM. And it should also be noted that this is only a list of public endorsements, not a comprehensive list of all actors. Take it for what it is, an interesting but hardly definitive overview of the Hollywood of 72 years ago.

 

 

EDIT: The columns below got scrambled, but the *FIRST* column, from O'Brien to Huston, represents the Roosevelt backers, and the second and third columns, from Arden to Scott and Sheridan to Vidor, represent the Willkie backers. Needless to say, my formatting skills are nonexistent.

 

h2. {color:blue}FOR ROOSEVELT {color:red}FOR WILLKIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Pat O’Brien Eve Arden Ann Sheridan*

 

 

*Walter Huston Edward Arnold Ann Sothern*

 

 

*Robert Benchley Fred Astaire Preston Sturges*

 

 

*Priscilla Lane Lionel Barrymore Mrs. Spencer Tracy*

 

 

*Jane Wyman Richard Barthelmess Lee Tracy*

 

 

*Frank Capra Wallace Beery King Vidor*

 

 

*Katherine Hepburn Joan Blondell*

 

 

*Henry Fonda Mrs. Humphrey Bogart*

 

 

*Betty Grable Charles Coburn*

 

 

*George Cukor Gary Cooper*

 

 

*John Ford Broderick Crawford*

 

 

*Rosemary Lane Donald Crisp*

 

 

*Andy Devine Bing Crosby*

 

 

*Thomas Mitchell Cecil B. DeMille*

 

 

*Charles Bickford Walt Disney*

 

 

*Humphrey Bogart Irene Dunne*

 

 

*Melvyn Douglas Nelson Eddy*

 

 

*Garson Kanin W.C. Fields*

 

 

*Bud Schulberg Corinne Griffith*

 

 

*Jerome Kern Margaret Hamilton*

 

 

*James Cagney Hedda Hopper*

 

 

*Stu Erwin Edward Everett Horton*

 

 

*Rosalind Russell Allan Jones*

 

 

*George Bancroft Guy Kibbee*

 

 

*Claude Rains Harold Lloyd*

 

 

*Eddie “Rochester” Anderson Fred MacMurray*

 

 

*John Garfield Leo McCarey*

 

 

*George Raft Joel McCrea*

 

 

*Michael Curtiz Hattie McDaniel*

 

 

*Dorothy Parker Zeppo Marx*

 

 

*Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Adophe Menjou*

 

 

*Dorothy Lamour Una Merkel*

 

 

*Edward G. Robinson Ray Milland*

 

 

*Miriam Hopkins Robert Montgomery*

 

 

*William Wyler Dennis Morgan*

 

 

*Billie Burke George Murphy*

 

 

*Ira Gershwin Edna May Oliver*

 

 

*Anita Loos Franklin Pangborn*

 

 

*Dore Schary Mary Pickford*

 

 

*Jack L. Warner, Jr. Dick Powell*

 

 

*Billy Wilder William Powell*

 

 

*John Huston Randolph Scott*

 

Edited by: AndyM108 on Feb 7, 2012 9:40 AM

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It seems funny to me, that since a majority of Hollywood actors (according to what is witnessed here) lean to the right, that the Screen Actors Guild, essentially a labor union, somehow took hold.

 

The point (if any) of this all is moot. We know who got re-elected, and anyway, it was over 70 years ago! As pointed out earlier, it was the parties that shifted. Heck, they're STILL shifting. Last election, no, the one before THAT, Michigan's long time former Governor, William Miliken, a republican who was respected even by many Democrats in this state, was slammed by other republicans for his publically stating his displeasure at the direction his party has taken in recent years.

 

People, regardless of being Hollywood stars, or just regular folks, choose their political affiliations for some of the silliest reasons, and pledge support of candidates based on said candidate's stand on any issue or non-issue the candidate can't do anything about once elected. His administrative skills (or lack of them) notwithstanding. These days it amounts to only looking good in a suit on television, and God help you if you fall victim to the same human foibles those voting for you have, or you'll never get into office!

Sepiatone

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Couldn't you just copy and set your original list in *Rich Text*, then color the names? That's what I did.

 

Or you could *Bold *text one, Italic the other.

 

I would've done that, except that with my Word program (which I copied here), I would've had to do this one name at a time. I can't just highlight a single column and bold it in toto . It's a quirk of Word that I've never been able to negate.

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It seems funny to me, that since a majority of Hollywood actors (according to what is witnessed here) lean to the right, that the Screen Actors Guild, essentially a labor union, somehow took hold.

 

It makes sense if you realize that in the early days the SAG was essentially a makeshift coalition between conservative actors (like Robert Montgomery) who looked upon it as a craft union, and liberal actors (like John Garfield) who wanted to broaden its scope into areas beyond Hollywood. It was only when these outside issues began to intrude that the SAG split in half along more traditional political lines.

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ThelmaTodd, your post was on the money. I would add family stability to your list of conservative values that Hollywood eschews.

 

Someone once told me that most actors have little education, as show business is a young person's game, and once they achieve some success, they come into contact with the business people that often have advanced, Ivy League degrees. Mindful of their lack of education, and embarassed by their middle class backgrounds, they adopt the far-out liberal leanings of their "bettors" to fit in.

 

When they achieve success and the riches roll in, they must show compassion for the "little people", in order to show that, despite their extravagent lifestyles, they have not lost touch with their fans. Isn't Jennifer Lopez merely "jenny from the block" only with a few more $$$?

 

 

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> I knew Warner had to be Republican, but a pragmatist. Who's to say how he voted once he reached the voting booth.

Jack L. Warner was, in fact, a Democrat, but he never let politics get in the way Warner Bros. profits. When the Waldorf Conference -- a summit of all the studio moguls and top independent producers held in December, 1947 -- came to the conclusion that their continuing to employ personnel who carried even the slightest taint of Communist sympathy or associations would be deleterious to business, Jack Warner jumped on the bandwagon and became a vociferous supporter of blacklisting (as did the even-more-liberal Dore Schary of MGM). Only Samuel Goldwyn, to his great credit, expressed reservations as to the morality of refusing to hire based on unsubstantiated assertions, and blacklisting in general.

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Andy,

 

I am a little curious, but I'm not going to read this thread because I don't want to know their political affiliations. I discovered years ago that the more I read about classic actors' personal lives, the more that information interferes with my enjoyment of their films and the characters they play.

 

I first began to notice this problem after seeing the film "Mommie Dearest" in 1981.

 

I prefer to have my own fond memories of my favorite actors without knowing anything about their personal lives.

 

For example, if I ever found out that George Sanders was NOT a cad in real life, and was actually a very nice man, that would ruin all his movies for me. :)

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This is a fun thread, but it might be worth noting that Willkie vs. Roosevelt isn't necessarily the most telling political gauge. Willkie was arguably the most liberal Republican ever nominated for president. He was a Democrat until 1939; switched because he was a utility lawyer and executive who didn't like the competition posed by Roosevelt's TVA. After the election, he served as an ambassador-at-large for Roosevelt.

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Somewhere in a box in my garage, I have a copy of Willkie's book "One World". This book and concept are sometimes referred to in late-1940s movies. It is an idealist view that all countries of the world should "get along" and not go to war.

 

Well, doh...

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

>

> I prefer to have my own fond memories of my favorite actors without knowing anything about their personal lives.

>

> For example, if I ever found out that George Sanders was NOT a cad in real life, and was actually a very nice man, that would ruin all his movies for me. :)

Well, in THAT case, I don't want ANYBODY to tell Fred here that Robert Ryan was nothin' like all the ***holes he played in movies...OKAY?!!! ;)

 

:^0

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