The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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rohanaka
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by rohanaka »

moirafinnie wrote:Have you seen Three Came Home (1950) and what did you think of it?
Hi there Ms Finnie... I have NOT seen that one. It was on too late the other night for me to even try to catch it.. but after reading the comments here.. it sounds fascinating. I will make a point of looking for it.

PS: Ms Favell.. ha.. I am EVER hopeful that poor Sandy makes it out.. It is TOO heartwrenching to imagine otherwise. But alas.. I fear your scenario could be JUST as accurate. UGH!! (Oh that Pappy.. ha... how COULD he do such a thing as to leave us hanging like that?) :)
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by rohanaka »

woo hoo.. I just looked.. it is on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7RG110OuDY
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by mrsl »

.
I'm so glad that Three Came Home and So Proudly we Hail have been featured on TCM and here on SSO. I've loved both of these movies for years but whenever I mentioned them, nobody seemed to know what I was talking about because, I guess, they were so little known. I've never necessarily been a feminist, but I sure like the strength and determination of the women in both of these movies. You can add Cry Havoc also for women with fortitude and honor. TCH has always been a Claudette C. favorite of mine, and I think she's remarkable in So Proudly We Hail and give a cheer for Paulette Goddard and her insistence on remaining a feminine woman while washing blood and mud off of her face. Unfortunately, we know today, that Veronica Lake, in her role here, needed as much help as some of the soldiers she tended. Actually, I taped both movies last night and am now on my way to settle down and crochet a few granny squares for the blanket I'm making while I entertain myself with the ladies. I may come back and say some more later tonight.
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Anne


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* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

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JackFavell
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by JackFavell »

It was very devious of Pappy to leave us hanging in mid air at the end of TWE, but I think it's truthful and perhaps resonates more not knowing what happened to her.

I'm so glad you found Three Came Home on Youtube, I missed it the other night as well. Now if I could only find White Cliffs of Dover which was also on.... I'd be a happy girl. I've only seen it once, when I was a young girl, and I was very taken with it. It's far more romantic I think than the other movies we've been talking about. I meant to try and record it and TCH, but the girls were having a sleepover and were watching something else and we no longer have two players.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by JackFavell »

I know this is probably not of interest to anyone but me and maybe one or two others, but I thought I'd mention that on Monday morning, the precode prison film Ladies They Talk About is on at 6 AM ET. I've seen it before, but in looking up the supporting players, I noticed that silent screen serial star Grace Cunard has a small role as prison inmate Marie.

I am so curious to see Cunard. She was the star of Universal's first serial, Lucille Love, Girl of Mystery in 1914. She also wrote and helped create many silent films and serial entries, working with partner/director Francis Ford (John Ford's brother) to expand the scope of silent film. They virtually created the crime drama. She was a star of the first magnitude and one of the many women who helped to create the language of the movies we love. Once sound era began, she was relegated to bit parts in B pictures, once in a while getting a role in a bigger movie, so if you want to get a glimpse of her, this is perhaps the only chance you might get.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by rohanaka »

Oh me, oh my.. I am a blubbery mess. I had some "off" time this afternoon.. and was so excited to have found Three Came Home on youtube that I went ahead and watched it. Thank you so much, Moira for recommending it. And I agree w/ (I think it was) Jackie. I believe this is one of Colbert's finest. But there were several truly good performances to be sure. (I loved the friend.. Betty. Really.. all of the women did a very fine job)

And the moments of parting.. between the husbands and wives. (there were more than one.. and each time it was harder and more tragic to watch. Just to think that this could be THE last time they would see each other. The last time to hear one another's voices. To know that all they had as a family.. was now only something they could carry in their hearts as they were forced to go their seperate ways... HOW emotional. I am almost beside myself, in fact.
moirafinnie wrote:I was particularly impressed by Colbert's scenes with Sessue Hayakawa in that film.
For me.. Hayakawa's story was almost more poingnant than HER'S. At least there at the end.. the way he spoke of his family. And then the moment after he brings those children to his home, as he sits and watches them eating. Oh for pity's sake. Did I mention "how emotional"?

Thank you again for recommending this very fine film. (and yes.. I agree.. it DOES make a good companion film to SPWH)

PS, Jackie.. I had to give up on TWCOD the other night too.. way too late for me, after a long work week, alas. I am afraid my weary little eyes gave out on me, ha. And this is one that I have never gotten to see it, though several have recommended it to me.. so will keep trying to watch for it.. maybe next time TCM has it, will be earlier in the eveing. (I hope). Because, alas.. too bad for me... the old gray "night owl" she aint what she used to be. HA.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by JackFavell »

I hear you my friend! Same here. I used to be able to stay up all night to see a film, now I can barely make it past 9 or 9:30! Glad you liked TCH, but sorry you are a soppy mess now... I guess I should have warned to bring an entire box of kleenex!
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

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Ro, I am so glad that you had a chance to see Three Came Home. I am also unable to watch movies as late as I'd like sometimes, but thankfully we have a DVR for help (of course, some months it goes "TILT" from being overfilled). Here's what I wrote in 2007* about this film when I first encountered it, if you are interested:
Imagine my surprise late one night when I stumbled across a Jean Negulesco film featuring Claudette Colbert in Three Came Home (1950) on AMC. Knowing that a serious back injury during the filming prevented the actress from appearing in the lead of All About Eve, I decided to stay with the film, half-expecting another rousingly good, though broad and moving rendition of wartime propaganda as in Miss Colbert's earlier film, So Proudly We Hail! (1943).

Instead, the memoir of Agnes Keith, an American married to a British colonial official in Borneo in 1940, told of the war through the eyes of an intelligent woman who respected Asian culture. Her imprisonment along with her young son and their separation from her husband for several years was not without deprivation or brutality, but the filmmakers showed remarkable restraint in their nuanced characterizations of her Japanese captors. This subtlety was enhanced by the choice of a fine actor, Sessue Hayakawa, for the central role of a Japanese colonel who forms a tenuous bond with Colbert based on her authorship of a book about Asian culture that he read before the war.

Hayakawa shines in two scenes toward the end of the film. In the first, he tells Colbert about the tragic effect of the war on his family and in the second he hosts some starving children from the prison camp at a lunch at his home. I think that given the remarkably brutal record of wartime treatment of allied prisoners and the closeness of the end of the war to the production of this movie, it is noteworthy that there is such a concerted effort to depict the Japanese in their full, flawed humanity.

Colbert's performance is excellent, and it's easy to see how she sustained her injuries, since there are several scenes in which the tiny actress is subjected to rough treatment. Her tender rapport with the small boy who plays her son, (Mark Keuning) and with Patric Knowles as her husband are an exceptionally good counterpoint to the harshness of the pow years. In addition to Hayakawa's quasi-protective relationship, there are depictions of wanton acts of brutality and several moments of kindness from individual Japanese soldiers, as well as a near rape that is more realistic in its violence than Hollywood usually was able to depict at that time. Interestingly, the talented director, Jean Negulesco, who began life as a fine artist, was hired for one of his first American movie jobs in the '30s to assist in story boarding of a rape scene in the notorious pre-code The Story of Temple Drake(1933). His successful production design literally began his path to a Hollywood career.

I also like the scene when Agnes Keith (Colbert) is about to leave her leafy colonial home for a prison camp, and gathering her things, glances at her beloved home one last time. We are reminded of her comfortable sanctuary again much later in the film when Hayakawa presents her with a copy of her book about North Borneo, Land Below The Wind, and asks her to dedicate it to him. Surprised to find that the colonel has found a copy in the middle of a war, she wonders aloud where he got it. He matter of factly says, "Why your house, of course." Colbert lets the comment pass, but there is a detectable flinch in her expression as she realizes that her safe home is nothing but a memory by now. In our own time of war and rumors of war, perhaps the film is valuable to assist us in recalling the stubborn ability of our predecessors to hang on to their humanity.

My only quibble with this good Hollywood product would be the fact that Colbert, though a prisoner of war for five years, never loses her trademark hairstyle, while those around her are depicted in various stages of understandable dishevelment.
*(At the time, the TCM Message Board only allowed me to login as Songbird2 for some cockamamie software reason):
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

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That was a great review, Moira! You hit on just how powerful the movie is, and how subtle.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by rohanaka »

moirafinnie wrote:Here's what I wrote in 2007* about this film when I first encountered it, if you are interested:
Thank you, Ms Finnie, for sharing that post! I enjoyed reading your thoughts and I completely agree about how Colbert really carried this role and made it so believable (all issues of her hair, not withstanding, ha) That attack scene you mentioned (perhaps the very one where she was injured, as you mentioned) was horrifying and quite intense. And it was a very "modern" for a scene depicting that sort of attack in a movie made so long ago (at least for most films dealing with that subject back then) Generally, those sorts of scenes in movies from that era did not often show the women being tossed and battered around so much.. usually a slap.. or a push.. but that was a literal knock down dragout (as my old grandma would say) Very graphic and riveting scene. And even the later scene.. where she is interrogated (in their attempt to get her to change her story) was, I thought, very graphic too.. even though the kick she sustained did seem a bit "light footed'. The fact that they even SHOWED her getting kicked was to me.. very brutal for a scene involving a woman in a movie from that time. Wowsa.
This subtlety was enhanced by the choice of a fine actor, Sessue Hayakawa, for the central role of a Japanese colonel who forms a tenuous bond with Colbert based on her authorship of a Hayakawa shines in two scenes toward the end of the film. In the first, he tells Colbert about the tragic effect of the war on his family and in the second he hosts some starving children from the prison camp at a lunch at his home. I think that given the remarkably brutal record of wartime treatment of allied prisoners and the closeness of the end of the war to the production of this movie, it is noteworthy that there is such a concerted effort to depict the Japanese in their full, flawed humanity
I loved Hayakawa's performance. He was so very intriguing.. quite human.. and yet STILL very sinister, all at the same time. It really was a well-played character for him. You can even (almost) get a sense of the "man who would be Col. Saito" (ha) in Col Suga because even though he is not so "hard nosed as Saito was in Bridge on the River Kwai.. he still had a brutal and harsher side. Oh sure.. not on the surface.. he just hid it very well. In fact.. in some ways, that makes him seem (to me, anyway) almost worse. In reality.. for most of the film, at least to me.. he comes off arrogant, prideful, and quite cruel.

And I say that because of his overall lack of concern for the suffering he is causing to his prisoners.. not a camp full of soldiers, used to hardened battle and fighting for their survivial, but instead.. a bunch of innocent women and children. It is displayed in his purposeful and wilfull "ignorance" of their plight. He had NO taste for the evils that were being perpetrated at his hand.. and yet he was in charge of carrying them out. So he rises above all the horrors they endure.. and the suffering by refusing to acknowledge it. I am not even sure if he is doing it for himself (to ignore what his REAL job description is) or if he is doing it to add to their suffering.. by forcing them ignore their own plight by "pretending" to not be in agony while they are suffering. Either way, it is quite sinister.. him with his politeness and his "oh so kind" manners and speech. It is almost like he dares them to acknowledge they are suffering... knowing full well the penalty they will pay if they complain. Instead of looking them "in the eye" and seeing what he has brought about. He makes his required visits, dusts off his hands... and drives away, leaving others to do the dirty work to keep the women in line.

The fact that Suga knew who Agnes was, and appreciated her writing, was the only thing that kept her from being treated as badly as everyone else (when he was around at least) And it was obvious that when he wasn't around she WAS treated as badly. But when he was there.. he liked to use her to "imagine away" the obvious by "holding court" with a "semi-celebrity". It was even a matter of pride for him that HE knew who she was (and appreciated it) even if the lower minded prison guards and soldiers did not. He was above all the "dirty work" of handling and dealing with the prisioners. He was so above them in fact, his workers made sure to tell Agnes to "put on a dress" when she went to see him. She couldn't POSSIBLY look like she was suffering.. that would put him in mind of how badly they were all being treated.

And the fact that she dared admit that she'd been attacked put him in an awkward position. By her bringing "reality" into their relationship.. he was forced to deal with it.. and yet he STILL ended up turning it over to his henchman to "deal" with it.. at least in terms of making it go away. I am sure he knew how she would be treated the minute he walked out that door... and yet, he walked out the door. In fact, the one I REALLY felt bad for (aside from Agnes) was that officer that kept having to turn his back and look out the window. At least HE seemed genuinely sorry that she was being beat up. You could see the distaste for her mistreatment on his face.. But Suga.. he did not even have it in him to SHOW his face while the punishment was being doled out. I say again.. arrogant.. and prideful.. and cruel. No matter HOW polite he seemed.

And yet.. despite all that, despite all the negative "press" I have given him here, ha.. you also see Col Suga's humanity. He IS a real person under all that kind polite demeanor after all.. and the war has taken its toll on HIM too. You see it in the way he handles the loss of his family. And when you do finally see him with is "polite guard" down... it is utterly HEARTBREAKING.

Because no matter what his position in the Japanese military might have been.. no matter WHAT sort of job he may have had and what sort of orders he gave for others to carry out, he was also a husband,and also a father, who must have surely loved HIS family, the same way the British prisoners loved theirs. Death of a loved one can often be the great "equalizer" of human emotions.. even in war time. And you can't help but feel heartbroken on his behalf as you see him in anguish while he watches those children eating at his table. It was a very moving moment, to be sure. A very fine performance from Hayakawa, indeed.

Goodness me.. listen to me blab on and on..ha. I apologize for being a bit long winded. But before I quit, I wanted to mention too, that in some ways this film reminded me (at least in a small way) of a more "modern" film that I like very much, Empire of the Sun. That has been a long-time favorite movie for me, and even though these two stories and their emphasis are completely different (in that TCH centers around a woman and her fight to keep herself and her son alive, while the other story is more about a young boy, forced to grow up in a similar camp.. and endure the deepest depths of human tragedy as he grows up learning that "people will do anything for a potato") I could still see many similarities in the two stories as well. (there are even a few scenes In EOTS that I found VERY similar in TCH.. in terms of how they are constructed and what they depict. I almost wonder if Steven Spielberg had this story in mind when he filmed them)

At any rate, I just want to say thanks again, for pointing this film out to me. I am sure I will be thinking of it and mulling it over in my mind for quite some time. The emotions of this story really got ahold of me (as far as what it must have been like to be seperated from your family.. not knowing what is happening.. and whether any of you will live or die) Very gripping and though-provoking. It truly was a very good story and I am glad to have caught it.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by moira finnie »

What a beautifully written analysis of the Sessue Hayakawa character, Rohanaka. I do think it is almost worse that he refuses to acknowledge the full extent of his responsibility for the suffering of others. Yet, perhaps part of that was that the Colonel felt a certain shame in being the commandant of a campful of women and children. I felt that he saw his relationship with Agnes (Claudette Colbert) as a link to a higher self and civilized life he longs to return to someday.

Thanks so much for writing at length about your reactions. Please don't hesitate to post such interesting ideas, no matter the length of the post.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by rohanaka »

Thanks for your kind words, Miss Moira. I appreciate the feedback on all my meandering thoughts, ha.
moirafinnie wrote:perhaps part of that was that the Colonel felt a certain shame in being the commandant of a campful of women and children. I felt that he saw his relationship with Agnes (Claudette Colbert) as a link to a higher self and civilized life he longs to return to someday.
I am very sure you are right about that. I imagine he was used to a much kinder, gentler way of living and had no taste whatsover for being a "prison warden" (especially for women and children) It could be that I am making him sound more "evil" than he might have been (at least in terms of his intent) In fact.. ha.. after re-reading my post from last night I almost cetain that is true. I feel bad for coming down so hard on him. It may well be he was a sinister sort of guy, but maybe not as much as I am making him sound. I think it might not be SO much that he wanted the prisoners to suffer, but rather that he took no responsibility for it.

I think a lot of it also comes from the whole issue of the mindset many Japanese might have held in those sorts of positions.. because for all its beauty, and art, and higher ways of thinking, Japan does historically have a dark side to its culture too... at least in terms of warfare.. and how certain classes of people were treated. (though I am by no means any sort of expert on the topic) But still, in many ways, it was all about "appearances" too. To acknowledge someone's lack of kindness was an insult.. so to be accused of being less than kind, would be unthinkable. So prisoners were second class citizens who were just supposed to "take it" meanwhile.. those in charge looked beyond the suffering and "pretended" to bring "joy" to those they imprisoned by giving them a "purpose" in life. (ha.. to suffer) Or maybe better said, to SERVE in their suffeing. (To quote Col Saito from BOTWK, "Be happy in your work". ) It is a very sinister philosophy.

And so, at least speaking for Suga (and the way I imagine his mind must have worked) if he acknowledged the fact that he was the cause of someone else's sufferings.. he'd be beholden to them (or at the very least responisble for their pain). And of course Suga could not acknowledge such a thing. I really don't think he EVER had it in him to do so.. until very late in the story when his own life was falling apart, and he saw those poor little hungry babies under that porch licking the remnants out of that can. THEN it hit him.. yes, they really WERE starving and he had had something to do with it.

I liked the scene earlier on in the story, when he meets Agnes's son and asks him how he is.. and the boy honestly answers, "I'm hungry". And he is actually suprised at the thought. (meanwhile, she is terrified because she knows that to make such a statement COULD imply that they were not being treated well.. and to say that would mean their "hosts" were not doing a good enough job caring for them.. And to say they were not being treated well would be a poor reflection on Suga (and those who served him) And for a moment there, Suga seemed almost.. maybe.. not quite, but NEARLY embarrassed.

At least that is how it all seemed to me. Maybe.. perhaps.. then again.. ha.. I could just be way off base in how I am imagining all this. Its been known to happen. :lol: I just love to try and dig into these sorts of characters.. to figure out what makes them tick, but really I have NO evidence whatever that this was what was really going on in the story. So it is possible, others might have a completely different point of view. Alas.. I confess I could be way off base as I know I am only a "this is what I saw, this is how I think about it" kinda gal. :)
moirafinnie wrote:no matter the length of the post.
Thank you for saying THAT too. :) I confess, it is fun to chat and gab about these sorts of things. I really enjoy getting in depth on the character and story lines with others who like to "dig deeper" into a story. But I fear I do tend to "ramble", even in a non-"Ramble" thread. ha. (boy DO I) :lol: Oh that poor Miss Goddess most likely had NO idea what sort of monster she was unleashing when she started her "Rambles"thread over at TCM (lo those many years ago) That "free exhange of ideas" sort of thread is perfect for someone like me to ramble on and on, ha. But I fear that I do tend to babble in my ramblings. I just appreciate eveyone's patience with me as I work out all my meandering thoughts "out loud" in the open air, ha. :)
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by moira finnie »

Ramble away, Ro!!

______________________________________-

Image

If others are interested tonight we have one of those unique opportunities to discover someone new in cinema on TCM, when the network features the films of Pierre Étaix, a comedic writer, producer, director and actor whose films have finally become available for broadcast. Below is the lineup and you can see a profile of the auteur here on the TCM site.

If anyone else is familiar with Étaix's films, are there any below that you would recommend?:

(All times shown are ET)

8:00 PM
YO YO (1965)
The son of a ruined millionaire and a horsewoman becomes a clown and restores their fortune.
Dir: Pierre Etaix Cast: Pierre Etaix , Philippe Dionnet , Luce Klein .
BW-98 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

9:45 PM
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (1962)
A young woman waits and waits for her delayed husband to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Dir: Jean-Claude Carriere Cast: Pierre Etaix , Lucien Fregis , Laurence Lignigres .
BW-14 mins, TV-G,

10:00 PM
LE GRAND AMOUR (1969)
A marriage is on the rocks when a married industrialist falls in love with a lovely secretary.
C-87 mins, TV-PG,

11:45 PM
RUPTURE (1961)
A man receives a breakup letter from his sweetheart. The pained lover decides to reply, yet his writing utensils conspire to thwart him.
Dir: Jean-Claude Carriere Cast: Anne-Marie Royer , Pierre Etaix , Anny Nelsen .
BW-12 mins, TV-PG,

12:00 AM
AS LONG AS YOU'VE GOT YOUR HEALTH (1966)
Life is tough in the modern era in four comedic sketches by Pierre Étaix.
Dir: Pierre Etaix Cast: Pierre Etaix , Denise Péronne ,
C-68 mins, TV-PG,


1:30 AM
SUITOR, THE (1963)
Obsessed by his scientific research, a kindhearted young Parisian from a good family gives up studying the stars at the insistence of his parents and sets out to find a wife.
Dir: Pierre Etaix Cast: Pierre Etaix , Laurence Lignères , Claude Massot .
BW-84 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by movieman1957 »

babble in my ramblings.

Not that I would classify them as such but it sounds funny just saying it. BTW, I enjoyed reading yours and Moira's comments on the film.
Chris

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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by kingrat »

Thank you, Moira and Rohanaka, for your wonderful discussions of Three Came Home. Moira was one of the posters who recommended this fine film, and TCM has shown it with some regularity. I've also enjoyed the comments about So Proudly We Hail, which is superb propaganda as well as a good film. By the way, Moira, I noted how Claudette got all the light in that foxhole shot, too. "And also featuring George Reeves as the Shadow . . . ."

Both leading ladies are definitely older than their boytoys, Claudette 11 years older than George Reeves according to Wiki. Paulette apparently took as much as 10 years off her age, but she's older than "the big yap" Sonny Tufts, who is right for the part even if he is not an especially good actor. I believe that what Cher didn't immediately respond to in Colbert was the ladylike quality she brings to most of her roles, which was something admired and valued by an older generation.

Paulette Goddard's sexiness, even when she's playing a minx, is like the natural overflow of energy and vitality. She's one of my favorites, though I haven't seen many of her films. By the mid-50s she was only in obscure movies. What happened to her career? Perhaps TCM's deal with Paramount/Universal will send more of her 1940s Paramount films our way.

I had no idea Veronica Lake had the dramatic force she shows in SPWH. She's good in Sullivan's Travels and The Glass Key, but here she is powerful in sort of a Jessica Lange role.

Hearing the nurses in SPWH talk about "the Japs" reminded me of my high school American history teacher, who had never married after her fiancee was killed in the Pacific during WWII. Although she was as ladylike as Claudette, she always referred to "the Japs." By 1950 Three Came Home can offer a more complex presentation of the enemy.
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