Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Inspiration from film and Bing

Every time this writer heads to the country to visit her grandparents, I always end up staying up late and watching old movies with my grandpa. (Though he falls asleep before the endings.) 
One of his favorite TV channels is Turner Classic Movies (TCM). I enjoy it too. The movies we usually watch are from my favorite time period - the 1940s. 
 That time period of the Greatest Generation has always intrigued me. World War II, of course, took up nearly half the decade. Within this time period, a nation pulled together to help win a war and end atrocities worldwide--an unforgettable era.
Besides war, the decade was filled with handsome fashion trends of tilted fedoras on men and women, tailored suits, glamorous evening gowns, and tuxedos. Correspondence was through intimate lengthy hand-written letters on stationary. Families gathered around the radio to listen to news, fiction stories, and the newest tunes of the time. 
 Cinema was king with many classic films released during this decade, such as: 
“Casablanca” (1942) - Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) - Jimmy Stewart
“Citizen Kane” (1941) – Orson Welles
“Notorious” (1946) – Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman
"Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944) – Judy Garland
“Red River” (1948) – John Wayne
"Holiday Inn” (1942) – Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire
“Road to Morocco” (1942) – Bob Hope and Bing Crosby
“The Big Sleep” (1946) – Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
“Anchors Aweigh” (1945) – Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire
“His Girl Friday” (1940) – Cary Grant
“National Velvet” (1944) – Elizabeth Taylor
My grandpa and I have watched several movies including the award-winning WWII drama, “Mrs. Miniver,” starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon and Teresa Wright. During this visit, we watched “Any Number Can Play” with Clark Gable and Alexis Smith.
We also talked about 1940s music and named artists back and forth such as Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Glen Miller and the Andrews Sisters. We even sang a bit of a few tunes. 
Bing Crosby
My favorite singer of all time is Bing Crosby. He has been my favorite for a while. I love to hear this famous crooner, with his deep and smooth voice, sing anything. His well-known songs are “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Swinging on a Star,” “Sunday, Monday or Always” and “Long Ago & Far Away.”
According to the 1940s Billboard charts, Crosby had the highest number of hits at the top of the Billboard number-one singles chart during the 1940s with nine songs. In addition, he remained the longest at the top of the Billboard number-one singles chart during the 1940s at 55 weeks.
Other hits of the 1940s were: Glen Miller’s “(I Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo,” Jimmy Dorsey’s “Besame Mucho,” Crosby’s “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Some Enchanted Evening” by Perry Como, “I’ll Walk Alone” by Dinah Shore and “I’m Making Believe” by The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald, among many others.
I think everyone has a time period that intrigues him or her - whether they watch movies during or about the era, listen to its music or talk to those who lived it. My 1940s fascination extended to travel to Germany and inspiration to write my first novel, which is set in Nazi Germany. (Read more about it here.) It’s kind of neat to catch a glimpse of another time.
What is your favorite time period? Have you traveled somewhere involving its history? For writers, how has this favorite inspired your writing? 

Tune in next Friday to hear a travel story from WWII author Sarah Sundin! :)
I thought this was an interesting WWII poster


  1. Great post! My dad falls asleep while watching movies. When my mom wakes him up to go to bed he always says, "That movie didn't show me much!"

    I love visiting places where my writing takes place--especially England. Somehow being there makes writing the stories more personal. Getting the feel of a place first hand helps my creativity. Not to mention that I love to travel and think some of my ancestors must have had gypsy blood!

    1. Hi Carole!

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting. :) You know I love England too and you're right that being in the book's setting does seem to make the stories more personal.

      Have a nice day!

  2. What a fun post! No big surprise that we love the same movies and songs - for the same reasons :)Can't wait to visit with your readers next week!

    1. Hi Sarah!

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting! :) I did think of you and your lovely books when I was writing this post. We really need to plan a trip to the WWII Museum in New Orleans. Just say when.

      I look forward to next week too! Have a great day!


  3. What a delightful post, Morgan--giving us a peek both into your love for the '40s and your special relationship with your grandpa. I've come to appreciate the '40s a lot more in the past few years, partly through increased interest in my grandparents' WWII experiences--and partly through Sarah Sundin's stories. :) See the impact a writer can have? I do hope I get the chance to buy and read your book someday, Morgan! As for my favorite time period--I always loved the 19th century, but I've ended up writing about the early 20th, which still retains a lot of the things I love from the 19th. :)

    1. Hi Kiersti!

      Thanks so much! Yep, gotta love Sarah's stories. So good! :) I'd love for you to buy & read my book someday if I can buy & read yours too! And definitely get it signed.

      I love history so much that all time periods seem to hold some fascination for me. I enjoy the 19th century too. My next book though will be set in early 1910s.

      Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Papa is so sweet and cute! My favorite is the 80's haha but that's because I was born the. :)

    1. I agree! :) Yep, the 80s were good years to be born in. I love the music of the 90s though. The 90s were some good years...bad clothes but good years. lol