Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 2, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, 2, 1973 THE LETHIRIDCI HfRALD Book reviews Inducing nostalgia in film fans The Voice Of One -By. DR. FRANK S. MORIEY Editor's note: The follow- ing reviews are tif a sampl- ling of pictorials distributed by George J. McLeod Limit- ed. Each book, priced at is in large format and contains an abundance of pic- tures. "Tarzan of the by Gabe Essoe. Ah, Tarzan who hasn't thrilled as a child, or even an adult, to the sparsely clad ape- man, swinging from vine to vine with the entire jungle at his beck and call. For 50 years film makers have been trying to capture Edgar Rice Bur- roughs' immortal lord of the jungle on the silver screen, and of late the TV screen, but have never quite reached the pinnacle of success the books reached. Burroughs' books sold over 36 million copies, portraying Tar- zan as a self-educated jungle king the movies, for the most part, depict him as a one- syllable grunter, "Ugh, me Tar- zan" sort of thing. Despite this, the movies are still as popu- lar as they ever were and in the early days it was not un- common to see a Tarzan movie listed among the top five mon- ey makers of the year. The book traces Tarzan from the silent movie's first lord, Elmo Lincoln, to TV's Ron Ely, with a few Russian and Chinese Tarzans thrown in. Johnny WeissmuUer, I suppose, is the man most people associ- ate with the celluloid Tarzan. But my favorite, for what its worth, was Lex Barker. The films have run the gam- ut from basic jungle scenes in early films to Fred Flintstone- type gadgetry and on to today's sophisticated extravaganzas. Weissmuller fans will recall his early films when he had competition from Herman Brix, Buster Crabbe and Glenn Mor- ris, but returned to the scene in triumph, going on for 17 years and 12 feature pictures until he "out-grew" the Tarzan role in 1948. He didn't leave the jungle, you'll recall, but don- ned a safari hat and clothes for 20 Jungle Jim flicks. Surprisingly few of filmdom's Tarzan's have passed on to that great jungle in the sky to date, with Lex Barker's recent death being the most noteworthy of the jungle lords' demises. Injuries in this extremely physical series were not all that evident, at least until Ely came on the scene. Up to his time only two Tarzan-associated em- ployees had been killed, one by an elephant and Weissmuller's stand-in in a dive from the Ac- apulco cliffs. And only Gordon Scott and Mike Henry, both past Tarzans, suffered injuries of any mention. But Ely, well he's different he has suf- fered 17 different injuries, rang- ing from sprains to separated shoulders and broken ribs. His co-workers haven't been too lucky either and one was slam- med to the ground and killed by a runaway pachyderm named Modak. The book is slightly dated, but this is of little bearing for Tar- zan fans. If you like Burroughs' immortal jungle lord in his bcoks and-or on the screen, then you'll find this nostalgic through Ms history to your liking. GARRY ALLISON "The Films of Gary Coop- er" by Homer Dickens. Gary Cooper was born in 1901 at Helena, Mont., won three Oscars and saw his films gross over million before his death in 1961. "Coop" was honored by the motion picture industry just prior to his death with a special Oscar for his contribu- tions to the business; and his portrayals of Alvin York in Ser- geant York and of lawman Will Kane in High Noon won him' his two acting Oscars. He was nominated six times for film- dom's highest award. Of his 92 films Cooper was most fond of his role in Ser- geant York in a career that saw him playing everything from Lou Gehrig to Marco Polo. Gary Cooper starred through- a career spanning the his- tory of Hollywood, from the si- lents to the talkies His first major film was The Win- ning of Barbara Worth in 1926, his last was the Naked Edge in 1967. One of the richest chap- ters of film history belongs to Gary Cooper. GARRY ALLISON "The Films Of Marilyn Monroe" by Michael Conway rr.d Mark Ricci. "Tarilyn Monroe an awe- beauty, didn't get a fair d. :-e at life but then she to the beat of a dif- 1'i cnt drum. Born Norma Jean Mortcnspn (or Baker) in 1926 in the vicin- ity of Los Angeles, she knew little of an em-ant father who died early in her young life. Her mother was a lost soul, be- wildered, forsaken and finally insane. Norma Jean was con- sequently shuffled from one orphanage or foster home to another. At age 20, a modelling ca- reer led her to a contract with 20th Century Fox. There her name was changed to Marilyn Monroe. One cameraman was overheard to have remarked "Her natural beauty plus her inferiority complex give her a look of mystery." Poor soul, for the rest of her life she was to fight and finally succumb to her inescapable dis- belief in herself. Marilyn had bit parts at first, then some major roles in later years in a total of 29 films. She co-starred with Jane Rus- sell, another vital "bomb-shell" in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and with Betty Grable in How To Marry A Millionaire, among others. Marilyn Monroe's last com- plete film was "The Misfits" in which she co-starred with Clark Gable and Cliff Robert- son. Oddly enough, this was also' Clark Gables's last film. He died soon after its comple- tion. Shortly after completing the film, tired and distraught, Mar- ilyn entered a New York clinic for rest and psychiatric ther- apy. Fourteen months later, she began working again, this time on a film entitled Something's Got To Give. Four short months later, Marilyn Monroe, the Am- erican sex symbol, the golden- haired enchantress of Holly- wood was dead from an appar- ent overdose of barbiturates on August 5, 1962. Actual cause of death perhaps was "too much success and too little happiness" a high price to pay for a questionable gain. A good biography of a great star whose flame was quench- ed too soon. ANNE SZALAVARY "The Films of Laurel and by William K. Ever- SOD. Stan and Olh'e are two of the funniest men to ever brighten a night at the movies. Unfor- tunately both of these great comics are now gone, but their films are still endearing them to new fans all the time thanks to rereleases and TV. Stan Laurel was born in 1895 and died in 1965, his longtime partner Oliver Hardy first saw light of day in 1892 and prede- ceased Stan by eight years. Their comedy was unique, with neither taking the role of the "straight both sup- plying side splitting comedy an- tics over a career that teamed them first in the middle 1920s and saw them make their final movie in 1952. Laurel, the skin- ny one, wrote many of their earlier routines and the duo often overruled the director on the set, supplying ad lib ma- terial. This book 'explores the rea- sons behind their success but no matter what those reasons are the fact remains these two were just plain funny. From the silent pictures through to the talkies, Stan and Ollie played their way into the hearts of millions. The pair saw their 1932 three reeler win an Academy Award as the best short subject of that year. Like Hollywood seems to do, they chose to honor these two greats too late in the day, after Oliver Hardy had passed away. Laurel received an honorary Oscar, but all realize the award was meant for two people. Some big name stars got their starts playing against the mad- cap duo. The renowned Jean Harlow appeared in numerous of their early films and Robert Mitchum showed up as a tough guy early in his career opposite Stan and Ollie. They made some classic com- edy movies and among my favorites were Big Business and Dirty Work. Thank good- ness for TV and a chance for us late comers to view these two superb craftsmen. The Films of Laurel and Hardy is a fine tribute to two film immortals. GARRY ALLISON "The Films of Spencer Tracy" by Donald Deschner. Spencer Tracy was born in Milwaukee in 1900 and died just 30 days after the completion of his last picture, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. A superb actor, Tracy was nominated nine times for an Academy Award and won the coveted Oscar twice for his roles in Boys Town and Cap- tains Courageous. Tracy was often temper-mental but his brash behavior didn't affect his popularity at the box office. He shunned public life, settling for the privacy that withdrawal from the public scene can bring. One of Hollywood's most cherished rumors concerns Tracy and his oft' time co-star Katherine Hepburn. Hepburn shared the screen with Tracy during some of his finest hours, including his last film. It would be interesting to read a deeper insight into this great actor's life but this pic- torial review of his films would probably be as intimate as Tracy would want. GARRY ALLISON "The Films of John Wayne" by Mario Ricci, Bor- is Zmjewsky and Steve Zm- jewsky. Marion Morrison was born in Iowa in 1908 rather an un- assuming name for a man des- tined to become one of Holly- wood's all-time tough guys, John Wayne. Stereotyped as a cowboy, the "Duke" has played other roles, ranging from a soldier, pilot and boxer to a hockey player yes, that's right, a hockey play- er in Idol Of The Crowds in 1937. He has starred in over 145 major motion pictures and is still going strong. His roles have often been less than great but his durabil- ity as a major star is astound- ing. From his first role in 1928 to his latest movie, none has the brilliance he displayed in True Grit as worn out, fat, boozing Rooster Cogburn. He received his only Oscar for that role. He only received one other nomination. With his best days behind him John Wayne's fans (and there are plenty of them, as his films have grossed over will enjoy this took at their beloved hero. GARRY ALLISON Films of Marlene Die- trich" by Homer Dickens. Msriene Dietrich is a living legend, a combination of beauty brains and mysticism. A talent- ed professional actress, Mar- lene exudes the being of wom- an, a great co-ordination of body and mind. A violin student at Berlin's foremost academy of music, Marlene yearned for a future as concert artist. However, physical disability forced her to give up the violin and she soon became interested in act- ing, much to the chagrin of her mother. She went on to play satisfy- ing roles in numerous German movies, forging ahead as a fine young actress. During 1924, she married Rudolf Sieber and when their daughter Maria was born, they made a happy fam- ily unit for a time. Then, encouraged by her hus- band, Marlene returned to her film career. After her most suc- cessful effort in Der Blaue En- gel (The Blue Angel) Mar- lene was prompted to come to America to try her luck. Here, under the skilled guidance of Von Sternberg, her mentor who had accompanied her from Germany, a complete transfor- mation took place at the shoot- ing of her first American film Morocco with Gary Cooper and Adolphe Menjou; she emerged from the plump young Fraulein roles she had portrayed in her German films, into a svelte creature with pencilled eye- brows. Marlene disliked the publicity and furor that went with being a star. As a consequence, she was labelled 'mysteri- and 'strange.' This possi- bly added much to her attrac- tion and future popularity. Her passion for male attire began to influence the fashion scene women everywhere be- gan to imitate her mode of drass. When she returned to her na- tive Germany for the second time, both her husband and daughter accompanied her back to the U.S. Marlene became an American citizen on June 3, 1939. In 1943, she signed up with the USO (United Services Or- ganization) to entertain the sol- diers. For three long years she endured bitter conditions to per- form for the men in numerous countries. Marlene Dietrich had to her credit a total of 37 films in Am- erica including Around The World In 80 Days, Witness For The Prosecution, and Judgment At Nuremberg. A thoroughly enjoyable book to keen and treasure. ANNE SZALAVARY AGT yellow jacket in nest Photo by Ri.ck Ervin Tree identification guide "The Tree Identiflca t i o n Book" by George W. D. Sy- moods, photographs by Steph- en V. Chelminski (William Morrow and Company, Inc.. 127 pages, distributed by George J. McLeod, Lim- This invaluable book offering a new method for the practical identification and recognition of trees is a photographic field trip designed for easy reference, teaching and pleasure. Packed with over 1500 illustrations, the companion to The Shrub Iden- tification Book is divided into two main parts: the first, Pic- torial Keys, is designed for genus identification, and the second, the Master Pages, for species identification. The Pictorial Keys groups such things as leaves, flowers, fruit, twigs and bark in separ- ate sections, each forming a key. Within each key things that look alike are placed together making it easy to find any given detail, similarities and differences quickly. The Pictorial Keys are ar- ranged in the order of their most efficient use. Master Page numbers bring together all the details of any given tree, in- cluding a picture of the whole tree and whenever a particular genus, such as oak, includes two or more species, these are shown together and a final iden- tification is made by contrast- ing their different details. This tremendous identifica- tion book creates a "feel" for trees, and with the various helps provided will enable the reader to identify them, even at a distance. I would heartily recommend this choice book to everyone planning a holiday in the great out-of-doors this summer, to all Guides, Scouts, Brownies, Cubs, Pioneer Girls and Boy's Bri- gade members; all classroom teachers, all retired people with free time to compare leaves and bark while out enjoying na- ture and eveiy family anxious to create within their children an interest and appreciation of the wonder of trees. CHRIS STEWART The ancestry of man "From Ape To Adam" by Herbert Wendt, (Oxford Uni- versity Press, S13.75, 287 Herbert Weralt summarizes centuries of discoveries, each of which stirred new specula- tion about the ancestry of man. The history is concise but uses various controversies over the discoveries to illustrate their importance in connecting the links of the evolutionary scale. Theories on the so-called missing link, tying man to the apes on the scale, are cither shattered or supported, and in simple terms. The generally supported theories now say, at the latest five million years ago, the transition be- tween animal and man had been made." The book is well illustrated, showing mock-ups of some of the skulls found throughout the worid to compare man's stages of development, man's art through the ages and tools used at different times. It's worthwhile reading even for creationists or theistic evolutionists. RICHARD BURKE The recovery of the West If Westeni civilization is to recover its soul, it must recover its faith and that faith can only be found in the church. As Paul told Timothy, the church is UK pillar and ground of the truth. It is quite true that church attendance may be utterly meaningless and trivial. It may be a pious formality "They do it every Sunday, They'll be all right on Monday; It's just a little habit they've acquired." But without church attendance there is little if any ex- posure to a living, dynamic creed. A vital faith becomes an impossibility. There is a danger, of course, that in church you will be a mere spectator, lis- tening to a choir sing, listening to a preacher preach and pray, without involve- ment on your part. A great teacher told her pupils to "sit with energy." Not every- one does that in church. One reason is the lack of expectation. It is said that you should run to church and walk home. Come with expectation and return with medita- tion. You go to church that you may come alive. "Worship" and are re- lated. You should find the things that are worth-while, get values sorted out, make spiritual discoveries. Worship should pro- vide you with a sense of peace and secur- ity, but it should just as certainly be a chal- lenge to character and an invitation to ac- tion. Therefore worship must be related to life. If a sermon begins with the Bible, it must find its way to the streets and the homes. It must rebuke the evil and inspire the good in life. Sermons must be rele- vant. Always distrust these pious fellows who tell you to "stick to religion." It Is also quite true that preachers may be tempted to make hasty, superficial state- ments on every passing newspaper head- line and tack into every passing wind of popular interest. If the church, for example, had been doing its job properly, such a catastrophe as President Nixon would be an impossi- bility. Here is a man who has done every- thing humanly possible to accelerate arms race and create a vast industrial-mil- itary complex in the United States. plunged the country into an arms race with Russia, the objective of which was not to keep up with Russia as to keep ahead of Russia. He has turned the nation into a police state according to evidence produced before Senator Ervin's committee and it was estimated that 25 million citizens are "booked" in army files. He has mulcted the poor and protected the rich. He has en- couraged dictators and discouraged democ- racies. One notorious example is the friendship with the Greek dictatorship and the harsh treatment of India. The national debt has skyrocketed. One could go on in- definitely to explore the downright wicked- ness of Nixon's politics and policies. It is not possible for the church to command respect and be silent while such evil rages. Throughout history the church has saved civilization from despair and revived the moral values which are the most precious treasure of the race. It may be that the church can again bring mankind through the dark ages into light and beauty. There is no other hope. SATURDAY TALK -By NORMAN SMITH Youth today-a word in their favor The subject of this piece is youth, almost a dirty word with some people. Having had the privilege and fun of living with about 220 boys for 10 days recently at my old school in the country near Lakefield, On- tario, I think they're great stuff and I envy them. When I went there in 1918 there were only 43 boys; we played hard, did the farm chores and occasionally got book marks as high as 60. There wasn't a car in the place but plenty of cows, horses and chickens. Today they play hard and at a greater variety of sports; in class 60 is regarded as low, the classrooms, laboratories and libraries have modern equipment and masters with specialist knowledge. The one thing the two schools of 1918 and 1973 have in common is boys. Boys were boys, are boys and will be boys. That means they are not all the same at a given time, nor do they look at the world just as we did. How could they the world isn't the same. When invited back to talk informally to and with the boys I went to my first class with more "ear than I've known talking to the Canadian Club. After 10 days some fear was still there, for today's boys don't wear their thoughts so you can read them quickly, nor are they instant accepters. Seeing what we've done with the world, can you blame them? But my fear, or lack of assurance, often proved unfounded. The who had seemed least interested often came up with the sharpest questions. I became uneasy not that they wouldn't ask questions but that they'd ask questions I couldn't an- swer! I don't mean to grovel and let my 1918 gang down, but sure as shooting these boys of today know more than we did. They read the daily newspaper which we almost never did, tliey watch good television, they even read books! The top two forms got leave to watch the Watergate enquiry and their jokes or comments were sharp and informed. I was asked to talk of Lester Pearson. They had read his book and other material and I had to be wary lest I orated myself into misstatement. The school's chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, arts and music classes were undreamed of in our brave days. Especially is this true in the fine arts the gentle interests of reading, music, pot- tery, painting, chess, nature study are pur- sued with an avidity unknown in the days when school prowess meant beating an- other school in hockey or a guy's stature was related to how far he could throw. I suppose in self defence I'll argue that tough today's boys know more than we did perhaps their judgment or spirit is not bet- ter than ours was. Our two or three mas- ters weren't specialists but they were fine men who endowed us with a sense of curi- osity, mischief, and joy in living and, yes, a belief in God that made a boy feel that he wasn't the whole cheese. Yet the Chapel of today is no less a chapel because it is a different chapel. Boys take mere active roles in leading the ceremony. The singing is better though not louder. The attitude is more questioning, but not disrespectful. The sanctity of the place is set throbbing, for instance, by the air-borne singing of Joseph's technicolor dreamcoat. Yet I suspect the headmaster, the late Rev. A. W. Mackenzie, who made religion for us a very personal thing, would, contrary to some opinion, not turn in his grave at the swinging in the chapel but rejoice that the place was alive with the mood, music and the talk of the times. One more won! on One of the boys told me he didn't think any or many of the students were "unbelievers" but that some or many felt "I don't need though they admired and embraced many of its principles. The main difference between that attitude and ours is that it is franker. They, like us, will probably come in due course to find that to be alone is to be lonely provided we don't try to force them into it. Though these observations have been about Lakefield the general picture of youth today (underneath its hair and shaggy jeans) is, I think, much the same everywhere. The young people I've got to know fairly well have generally turned out to be a good crew, no matter where they go to school. When I read of the amount of damage done to Ottawa's public schools and collegiates I don't wonder so much about youth as about teachers and par- ents. Youth is not a dirty word but teach- ers, parents and the law have let them believe that disicpline is. When you consider the different world facing today's youth compared to that of my boyhood, you can't blame them if they're skeptical about the systems and theories we are asking them to follow. Our gang at Lakefield used to sail and paddle on the lake now the thing to do is take a kayak and shoot down the dangerous white water below the Lakefield dam. More power to tbsm, it's great training for the course we've laid ahead for them. And let's cheer them, for they're the only youth we've got, and there's a devil of a lot of history and future riding on them. No Freudian slip By Dong Walker Filled with the spirit, Elspeth shook hands with our minister after the service on Easter Suoday and earnestly wished him a "Merry Christmas." Blake was a bit startled by this. There may have been some people at church who he might sot realistically expect to see again until Christmas but he has become accustomed to having us in the pews every Sunday. The boys briefly entertained the hope that this greeting presaged a new pattern for Sunday mornings but their cynicism pre- vailed: "It's just another sign that Mother is growing they decided.