Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth serving meals to the servicemen
I have been watching the excellent Netflix series on the 5 Hollywood directors who went to war – a post could be written on how the war changed their outlook on moviemaking – Maybe I’ll write a post on how George Stevens was affected by the war when he made the western classic Shane.
Anyway, they mentioned the Hollywood Canteen.
Imagine that you are an Army or Marine Private ready to go overseas and dancing with Marlene Dietrich or Rita Hayworth. Or getting a meal served by Frank Sinatra. Any U.S. or allied Serviceman in uniform had free admission.
Here’s a YouTube video with Frank Sinatra singing there in August 1945.
Bob Hope said something I always remembered while entertaining Marines on a Pacific Island prior to a battle. He looked at that sea of young men, laughing and smiling and he knew that for some of them this would be the last good memory they had on earth.
I would imagine that for some the Hollywood Canteen was their last good memory.
It wasn’t that long ago….