St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on September 28, 1953 · Page 38
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 38

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Monday, September 28, 1953
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Page 38
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-I 2D ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 195J THE EVERYDAY MAGAZINE What Johnnie Ray Is Really Like Here's One-Word Description of the Likeable Singer: 'Sincere' The New Films By Myles Standish OFF THE RECORD By Ed Reed Army Life, a la James Jones I DID not read James Jones's best-selling novel, "FROM HERE TO ETERNITY," but my Impression from what I hear of It was that It was notable chiefly for its singular bitterness, the crude power or some of Its scenes, and Its author's attempt to register a new high ln the use of four-letter words In a novel. In the movie version at LOEWS STATE, the first of these qualities has been diluted considerably; under Fred Zinnemann's direction the second has been retained to some extent, and, of course, the third has necessarily been deleted. The book, about Army life at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in 1941, probably shocked some literary club members by such revelations as that our Regular Army, among others, produced in its personnel some bull-decked brutes whose most subtle methods of persuasion included bellowing, a punch in the jaw, or a kick in the shins; that soldiers sometimes associated with prostitutes and that a good deal of barracks language consisted of obscenities; that some officers were not models of morality and integrity; and by the graphic account of the love affairs of Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt with a prostitute (here made into a "club hostess") and of First Sgt. Milton Warden with his Captain's wife. Possibly because of this reputation, plus some critical acclaim in the East, the film has been setting box-office records, with the customers, I am sure, expecting stark realism and flaming sex. I wasn't able to detect these qualities In as much force as has often been brought to the screen. The film further suffers from murky motivation of some of its characters and lack of dramatic power in its final scenes. But it does have many vivid episodes and some sharp characterizations, notably those by Burt Lancaster ' as First Sgt. Warden, Donna Reed as the "club hostess," Deborah Kerr as Karen Holmes, the Captain's wife, Frank Sinatra as Angelo and Ernest Borgnine as the brutal Sgt. Fatso Judson. Some of the more striking episodes are the shoddy scenes in the "club," the cynically sure approach of Sgt. Warden to Mrs. Holmes in the kitchen of her home, the knife fight between Prewitt and Fatso in an alley, some impassioned quarreling on a lonely beach between Mrs. Holmes and Sgt. Warden, a humorously drunken episode and Prewitt's playing of taps for his dead buddy, Angelo. I FOUND a number of puzzling or unconvincing holes in the dramatic structure. Montgomery Cliffs playing of Prewitt, the instinctive rebel who bucked the Army system, left me confused. A stubborn, feisty, non-conformist fellow is played as a dreamy idealist. He accepts the brutalities of 'The Treatment," for his refusal to box on the company team, with a serenity worthy of Plato. He rebels against the system, yet proudly chooses to be a 30-year man, when any professional soldier wpuld know that the ideal place for the determined individualist is hardly in Army ranks. He comes to his end on the night after Pearl Harbor, when he is shot down by sentries when he refuses to obey their challenge as he is trying to make his way back to his company after being AWOL. This is explained by Sgt. Warden very glibly by saying that Prewitt always was a hard-headed guy, but 1 think scarcely that hard-headed. Sounds more like merely a device to try to draw pity for Prewitt. It is evident that Prewitt, an orphan, sought security in Army life, and it has been suggested that he took some neurotic satisfaction in being punished, but I am sure I don't know what for. THERE are some consistencies in the presentation of Sgt. Warden also. He is described as a "fair guy," yet he looks on the brutal persecution of Prewitt with cynical amusement. He is attracted to the Captain's wife by what he thinks is her roving eye, yet he is sr$ shocked as a schoolboy by barracks gossip about her previous escapades. Capt. Holmes, portrayed as a sadist in the book, is too much a negative character as played here by Philip Ober. There is no satisfactory explanation of why Mrs. Holmes should have continued to remain married to the Captain after her hatred of him became so intense, and it is not reasonably explained why she cannot marry the Sergeant after she does get the divorce. It is evidently due to her inbred officer class distinctions. The buttering-up of the Army, doubtless so as to obtain permission to use Schofield Barracks and soldiers in the scenes, by having Capt. Holmes forced to retire and showing his replacement as a competent, vigorous, and fair officer (incidents not in the book) is entirely too obviously done. Above all, there is in Daniel Taradash's screen play no connected central idea. Is there justification or thought behind Prewitfs rebellion- against the system? Or is a system to subjugate men into a common mold justified philosophically for obvious military reasons? Or is this merely an isolated incident of persecution and selfish cruelty on the part of one officer? The screen play avoids all this cautiously, and thereby loses in power, in contrast to the savagery of the book. A Second Tongue By Angelo Patri FATHERS and mothers who speak a foreign language besides English lose an excellent opportunity for helping their children when they neglect to teach them the extra language. The ability to converse in a second tongue is a social and professional asset, one which may be an aid to success In any field. It is often of great help to be able to converse in a foreigner's native tongue. You get the nuances and idiomatic expressions, which clarify the conversation, especially when the newcomer to this country has only a limited vocabulary of English. Moreover, it may be heart-warming to the Mrangcr to find somebody who can speak his native tongue fluently. ' THOUGH FOREIGN-LANGUAGE books have for the most part been translated into English, it is often enlightening to read these works in the original. Now and again there may be books that are not available in English and a foreign language may serve the student well. v It is indeed regrettable when children voice shame for their parents' natife tongue and refuse to learn it. They are probably too young to realize that the language is as rich as our own and that the ancestors of their father and mother tame from a country with an ancient culture. The idea of these youngsters scorning a language because they have had the privilege of being educated in the United States is very foolish. Americans are either descendants of people of a foreign land or they are natives of some other country. A great strength of this country is that its people have had the opportunity of Inheriting something of the culture and, possibly, talents of other countries. To shun such evidences of this inheritance is an indication of ignorance and stupidity. OUR SCHOOLS TRY to teach some foreign languages, usually with scant success. The best way to learn a foreign tongue is to live among those who speak it. While it behooves immigrants to learn English when they come here, ihey should speak their native tongue part of the time at liome. so that their children can master it while they are icreiung their schooling in English. The airplane has caused world distances to shrink. Knmvlpdpe of another language, or languages, is most iful. Home may be the place to acquire that knowledge Virh may be supplemented in school. By Clarissa Start . I'M NOT impressed with I Johnnie Ray," the tall, young man said seriously. "I'm always surprised when anyone else is." The tall, thin young man, who happened to be Johnnie Ray, seemed sincere about it. In fact, "sincere" is the word that comes to mind most often when you try to tell people what Johnnie's like. "What's he really like?" people always ask the interviewer about celebrity. "Yeah, sure, I read your story but what's he really like?" We hope this manages to convey some idea of what Johnnie Raythe Chase Club's opening attraction of the season is "really" like. In the first place, Johnnie, who washed into fame and fortune on a flood of tears stimulated by the record, "Cry," J 8 months ago (in case you've been living in a cave and didn't know), is really likeable. He's the kind of person who catches your name on an Introduction and uses it. He Is full of disarming remarks, such as: "I think humility is the most( Important asset anyone can have. That, and faith in your fellow man." "Maybe It sounds corny, but this is a wonderful country. Where else could a kid my age get so far in his chosen profession?" Johnnie's age is 26, but he usually refers to himself as a "kid" and seems younger. Gan gling and boyish in appearance, he has a voice a little reminiscent of Jerry Lewis's falsetto. No matter how they may have reacted to his records, people like Johnnie and Johnnie likes people. "All kinds of people," he assures you. "I hate to get up in the morning and I hate going to bed and I can't stand being alone. If you give me a chance I'll chatter for hours." LIKING people, he likes to oblige. At the airport when he arrived in St. Louis, a service man came up and asked if he was really Johnnie Ray. Learning that he was, he glumly confessed that he'd just lost five bucks on a bet. "Gee," Johnnie said, genuinely regretful. "I guess I could be Eddie Fisher." Fond as he is of the entire human race, Johnnie prefers the average guy. "I was born on a farm and brought up in a small town," he explains, "and I feel most comfortable around common people or whatever you want to call them. My closest friends are baseball players and fellows in service, not people in show business. And I never felt much at home around that Hollywood crowd." Johnnie's rural birthplace was near Dallas. Ore. His mother, father, and sister still live in fi I &A-J8tek. 1 ' , JOHNNIE RAY , . . "MAYBE IT SOUNDS CORNY." Oregon, on a farm which he purchased for them, an act which he calls "one of the biggest satisfactions I've had out of this whole business.'' Johnnie (who likes his name spelled that way because, "that's how I learned to write it,") was 3 when he picked out "Rock of Ages" on the piano. By 5 he could play anything by ear. His father, a part-time fiddler at local dances, worked as a mill-hand, and the family moved from Dallas to Portland and then Roseburg. Ore. Then when Johnnie was 12, something happened that changed his life. In a blanket tossing roughhouse among a group of Boy Scouts, he was injured with a resultant loss of hearing in one ear. He is now completely unself-conscious about the hearing aid he wears, kids about it ("It TJicks up static when I get around neon signs I can toll my billing by the noise"i, and demonstrates it. But as a boy. he was shy and sensitive and determined to "be somebody." "The dream I dreamed was of being an actor." he says. "I used to put on plays in the backyard, act all the parts and makeup the plot as 1 went along. I had a burning ambition to get into show business. All I 6ould do was play piano and sing so I started that way." After minor success in Portland, interspersed with jobs as a welder, bus boy, and soda jerk, he descended on Hollvwood. "That was in 1949 and I starved," he says. "I earned $550 for a whole year, working in joints and for tips on Main street in L.A. I had it real tough. "Finally I started home, hitchhiking. One night I slept in a ditch. In the morning I stole some lemons from a lemon grove for my breakfast. Then I broke down and "wired mom for money. That was more or less the story of my career until 1951." Just prior to his big break. Johnnie came to the attention of an agent who booked him into a cocktail lounge in Ashtabula, O. The owner fired him because he sang too loud. He went on to Akron and the manager there didn't like him either. Finally, he ended up in a place in Detroit where the owner told him the audience made a lot of noise and the louder he sang the better. ONE: night a record company representative wandered in to hear another performer and heard Johnnie whipping the rrowd to a frenzy with such numbers as. "Whisky and Gin," and, "Tell the Lady I Said Goodbye." He asked if he'd be interested in making a record. Johnnie all but fell on his neck. The number rtiey chose to record was an unknown song by an unknown songwriter. Churchill Kohlman, a Negro night watchman at a Pittsburgh (Pa.) dry cleaning plant had written a ballad called. "Cry." Johnnie sobbed out its opening line, "When your sa-weet-heart sends a letter of goodby-y-y-ye," and was so upset he added a few more sobs. Record company officials considered taking the sobs out, 1 hen reconsidered and left them in. In four months, "Cry," and its flipover side, "The Little Let's Explore Your Mind By Dr. Albert E. Wiggam How It Started By Jean Newton 'Advertise' To Warn! Ills DOSS MENTAL PRAC TICE IMPROVE VOUli SKILL AT PIAVIHG A 6AME VESONOO 2.00 THE SAME QUALITIES LOVfk-IBUJfc TO MAR. RIBD HAPPINESS in ALL PACES ' VS D KOO Answer to Question 1. 1. Apparently yes. A comparison was made between the happiness of hundreds of Southern Negro couples and white middle-class couples living in and around Chicago. The things that made both groups happy or unhappy were the same agreement or disagreement on religion, handling of family finances, demonstrations of affection, caring for the children, dealing with in-laws, etc. Answer to question 2. 2. Yes. Psychologist S. F. Harby had 250 young men watch a motion picture of basketball. mm Iace DRUG ADDICTS or 1-i9 VESD MOO It Improved their game decidedly. Dr. Harby states that results indicate mental and physical practice combined are "probably more effective than either mental or physical practice alone." Other experiments show that mental practice at throwing darts helped to score more bull's eyes. Answer to Question 3. 3. Apparently. Psychologists who gave intelligence tests to 371 male drug addicts found that their IQs ranged from defective to very superior, about ADVERTISE" once meant to warn! Indeed, to this r4o.. K 1.- U . . I same word, "avertir," for both "to give notice" and "to warn"; and their noun, "avertissement," is both a notice and a warning. The English "advertise" is the same word as the French, with the restoration of the "d" from the Latin "advertere." From this came "advert." to turn to, and the branching into "turning the attention to" that we express by "to warn"! Thus we find "advertisement," as an admonishing or warning, recorded by Caxton in 1490. A little over a half century later, Bishop Latimer used it in one of his sermons, as follows: "St. Paul advertised all women to give a good example of sadness, soberness, and godliness." How the inherent sense of giving notice persisted, to survive finally in the modern use of "advertise," is suggested in the following excerpt from correspondence of American Revolutionary times, in a publication dating 1778. "I have to advertise the inhabitants," the writer says, "to come and receive their moneys." The line of demarcation is not absolute there, between "notify" and "warn!" - , j like other people in general. There was virtually no difference in the average IQs of both addicts and non-addicts. They'll Do It Every Time By jimmy Hatio 0U6Uy6WANU KNOCK OFF ND GO TO THE 64ME wrru AiEpr GOT two HOT- rA4EX WENT OMCE wi-ru vrv i ' SUPPLIES THE yA P4SSES.AVD IS SUPPOSED TO DMslERAMDCAS fvrru umvs i f k GUEST IS SUPPOSED KCLl. MOTHER A SEAT.' HE'D BARK HIS COAT CH THE 0-rHERONE" 5 it n 911 Uiq hearted euy with THE -ANNIE OAKLES TtiAHt AMD A TIP OP THE HAtLO HAT TO ; BaooKiyw N.y. White Cloud That Cried," sold a million copies. Johnnie was hailed as a Singing Mossadegh, as Public Weeper Number One; his salary jumped from $90 to $7500 a week. A great deal has been written on the reason for Johnnie's popularity. Some have attributed it to his evangelistic fervor which comes out in such numbers as, "I'm Gonna Walk and Talk With the Lord"); others have termed him a symbol of the frustrations of postwar youth. Johnnie himself says he's listened to "psychiatrists, critics, and the man on the street" try to explain him and none agrees. He says hopefully that he feels the public now regards him as "a performer instead of a crybaby," that he has acquired versatility. "That's important," he says earnestly, "and so is sincerity. A performer should not only show what he feels but mean it. If you're not sincere, the public will know. And it's like Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people some of the time." FAME has not brought complete happiness to Johnnie. He was married briefly, to Marilyn Morrison, movie starlet, blamed Hollywood for the break-up of their marriage, but Is going back to give the town another try'. "I have a contrac with Twentieth Century-Fox," he explains. "I like the studio very much, like Darryl Zanuck, and especially his daughter, Susan." Aside from doing things for his family, Johnnie doesn't go in for high living for himself. No teetotaller, he drinks only beer, usually wears simple sport clothes, doesn't get any pleasure out of food. .When reminded that his publicity releases say that he eats five meals a day to keep up his 150 pounds because of the vast energy expended in each performance, he makes a face. "That publicity stuff," he says. "I never read it. It makes you sound like the executive vice president of duPont." Aside from his career as a performer, Johnnie has two sidelines. One is the Johnny Ray Foundation, an organization devoted to furnishing hearing aids for underprivileged children and contributing to schools for the deaf. The other is Johnnie Ray Enterprises which manufactures such things as teardrop suits and cryker-chiefs. Johnnie says he has "no head for business," leaves all things financial to his manager, Bernie Lang. Bernie among the people whom Johnnie refers to as "a few of the legion who had faith in me." "We met when I was in Detroit," he says. "Bernie was starving to death at the time, too. If you think I got a success story, you ought to hear Bernie's." ftfEDlCAL -. . ILV6 '' "OUR SURVEY SHOWS THAT 99 PER CENT OF THE DOCTORS IN THIS 1UILDINS CONSIDER YOU TO IE NON-IRRITATING TO THE EYES." Designing Woman- New Matching Lamps By Elizabeth Hillyer SOME of the most eye-catching of the new lamps come in two versions of the same design a floor lamp and a table lamp. The long and the short of it smooths an easy way of choosing lamps that look well together, and the matching idea is an especially good one now that floor lamps are again coming into their own. The Gerald Thurston designed pair in the sketch show the new brass-with-white fashion. They have brass tripod bases and brass rings. Rubber tips prevent the marring of table tops. The new very narrow shade, the perforated metal shield at the top and the cone below are white. Good looks and good light go together in these lamps. Glare is eliminated in a new way, by means of a novel translucent "cocoon," a plastic material used to "mothball" ships, which is sprayed inside the white metal parts. MRS. A.N. "My living room takes a 12x15 rug which is rose beige. One wall is painted to match the rug and the three others have paper which has a matching background. The windows have Venetian blinds and one is a picture window. What kind and color should draperies and slipcovers be?" The room, has already taken the most important steps toward today's new favorite type of color scheme, with a one-color look to walls and floor. The draperies might also match to carry the idea farther, or they might be white or cream to gg Megs match the blinds. Choose a medium or deep color from the wall paper for the slipcovers and spice the scheme with another brighter color, probably also from the wallpaper, for sofa pillows and accessories. Favorite draperies are now often heavy semi-sheer casement cloth, unlined, and there are many types of new slipcover fabrics to choose from, any one of which would look well, Old-Time Touch For a housewarming or hostess preseU with a homey old-time touch, tie several graduated wooden spoons together with a big bright bow. HAIR REMOVED PERM ANENTLY NEW H53 SCIENTIFIC METHODS SUITE 701, Continental Bld(f. Grand and Ollv LU, 0098 DRAPES SUP COVERS FOR SOFA AND CHAIR Material and CQ50 Labor Complete? COHEN'S MADE V i 1 mm With purchase of material rlrH at and up. Choost from one of ST. LOUIS' LARGEST SELECTIONS OF DRAPERY AND SLIPCOVER FABRICS FLORALS, MODERNS, PROVINCIALS, METALLICS A ANTIQUE SATINS CORNICES MADE TO ORDER 1628 SO. 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