Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sepia Saturday: Entertainment

The theme photo for Sepia Saturday is of a chess game in progress but I can't match that. I don't know why we don't have any photos of game-playing because we spent a lot of time over school holidays playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Squatter and card games. Maybe our parents were so pleased to see us 'occupied' they were themselves occupied elsewhere.

But I do have several from the next generation. Here's our son Glenn with his friend David setting up patterns in a game called Domino express.

Glenn and David's Domino Express setup
And on one of our numerous family holidays beside Lake Charm near Kerang someone must have dug out an old cribbage board. This one is a triangle so three people must have been able to play. I wonder who knew the rules?

A cribbage game at the lake.
So, back to the theme photo. The chess player is a musician so in a very obscure link to that I'm including this photo of my mother-in-law, Shirley, holding my husband as a baby late in 1948. 

Shirley Phelan with son Philip, 1948.
Now, look at the background. There's a poster advertising a film night on 16 December. The family lived in the small town of Mitiamo and there wasn't a theatre so they must have used a church hall. 

The two films are The Dark Tower, a British thriller starring Herbert Lom, Anne Crawford, David Farrar and Ben Lyon. It's about a hypnotist who worked in a circus and held a trapeze artist in his spell. The other film is The Time, the Place and the Girl, an American musical starring Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson. Judging by this review in the New York Times at the time it was forgettable so I wonder if the citizens of Mitiamo enjoyed their night at the pictures (as we used to call it).


The Time the Place and the Girl (1946)


Published: December 27, 1946, New York Times
That same old backstage story which the movies have been using for years about the romantic but impoverished young fellow trying to put on a musical show has been dusted off by the Warners, given an Arthur Schwartz-Leo Robin score, dressed up in Technicolor and called "The Time, the Place and the Girl." But even with those expensive trimmings this new picture, which came to the Strand yesterday, is but middling entertainment for the kids who stomp to swing.
Again it's the fault of the story, a hackneyed and mirthless affair in which a handful of farceurs and musicians clattered about for an hour and two-thirds. There are noisy and gawking Jack Carson, Dennis Morgan and Janis Paige representing that element of show people who have a lot of brass but no coin. There are Martha Vickers and S. Z. Sakall playing a concert artiste and her nice grandpa who get mixed up with these bunco-steerers. And there are others who drift in now and then.
Some of Mr. Carson's humors, while not particularly inspired, have a certain low-brow vigor in them. And a couple of the songs—notably "Oh, But I Do" and "A Gal in Calico"—are pleasant and passing well done. Miss Vickers, though not a Judy Garland, behaves in a lady-like way, and Mr. Sakall still manages to draw laughs by simply shaking his jowls and rolling his eyes. But the combined and elaborate efforts of everybody, including LeRoy Prinz, who arranged the fancy stuff, have resulted in one of those pictures that you forget even while you're watching it.
The stage show at the Strand includes Vaughn Monroe and his orchestra, Ziggy Talent, Frank Fontaine, Betty Norton, the Moonmaids and Johnny Mack.

I suggest you entertain yourself by visiting Sepia Saturday to see what others have made of the theme photo.


  1. I like that last photos with the posters.

  2. I love that Shirley is proudly showing off her baby son and now, more than 65 years later, we are more interested in the poster behind her! That is some bad review!

  3. I was born in the same year as your husband. That doesn't really matter at all, but we also called the cinema the pictures. Alternatively, if it was a particularly down market cinema, we would say we were going to the ‘flea pit’ to watch a flick. Oh the glamour!

  4. I'll bet the boys had a lot of fun setting up those dominos. That became quite a thing for a while. The cribbage game photo is so colorful, but it's the B&W photo of your mother-in-law with your husband as a baby & in particular, your explanation of the movie posters behind her that caught my attention for you see, I knew Dennis Morgan. He used to sing in the same church choir I did. He had a wonderful full-bodied tenor voice. I'm surprised the movie critic didn't mention his singing in the movie because I'm sure he must have sung a song or two in it.

    1. Goodness. Who would have thought?
      It's a small world.

  5. I love watching dominoes fall, especially when there's some special trick happening along the way or at the end.

  6. Looks like you have about as many games photos as I do 😀 Perhaps your mother-in- law was standing in front of those posters for some particular but obscure reason, but never mind, it is a very nice picture of her and her baby son.

  7. Never heard of either film, but now that reviewer wrote "Miss Vickers, though not a Judy Garland, behaves in a lady-like way," I have to see it!


I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.



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