Friday, March 12, 2010

The Art of Survival

GERMAN & JEWISH ARTISTS IN EXILE: Only those who've endured it themselves can know what these and other talented individuals went through. But it's thanks to them that we have classics like "The Maltese Falcon," "Some Like It Hot," "Double Indemnity" and "Casablanca," not to mention the entire genre of film noir.

Fleeing Hitler's rule,
they brought a new look and voice
to film in the states.

Although satire, "To Be Or Not To Be" (1942), starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard, captures effectively the pervading mood and climate of war-torn Europe.  The film was Lombard's last and was released posthumously.

THE SPIRIT OF DEFIANCE: This is, perhaps, the most powerful scene in Warner Brothers' 1942 masterpiece, "Casablanca." To those in the know, what makes it even more stunning is that it's cast largely with performers who escaped the Nazi terror and ultimately death, leaving behind home, family, friends and careers, some having lost all and having to start over with nothing. (Clip copyright © Warner Home Video)

A clip from the PBS documentary, "Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood." At the time of this writing, there was no word of a DVD release.  (Clip copyright © 2010 Educational Broadcasting Corporation.)


  1. It's a great blessing that America opened her arms to these creative individuals who fled from evil and horrendous terror. What an enrichment to our society and to the arts!