Monday, February 7, 2011

Life this Week: February 7, 1938

Come-uppance Cake*
Today, I'm exploring the February 7, 1938, issue of Life magazine, which is available on Google Books.  Here's a little of what interested me:

"It's always summertime someplace in America..."  Don't you wish you could escape all this snow?  If there were still Pullman single-occupancy coaches, like in this ad, you could skip the TSA pat downs on your way to the links this February.

In 1934, the Hays Code restricted "immoral activity" in film and made passionate, lingering kisses at thing of the past.  "...These Movies are now Museum Pieces" gives a glimpse of the Museum of Modern Art's collection of movie kisses from their greater movie stills archive.  If you're interested in watching the films, The Private Life of Henry VIII, The Kiss and The General are available on Internet Archive and all but Reunion in Vienna and Forbidden Hours are available on DVD.  However, Reunion in Vienna will air March 16th at 3:15 a.m. CST on Turner Classic Movies.  I'll be setting my VCR!

"Europe's Little Nations Flirt with Germany and Italy" outlines the division of Europe into two camps: pro-democracy and pro-Fascism.  Countries like Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia and Rumania had to decide where their loyalties lay.  There's also a photo from the Oslo Conference from January 18, 1938, which was a gathering of countries that intended to stay neutral during "the next Great War."

"Movie of the Week: The Goldwyn Follies"  Yes, it's available on DVD.  Yes, I've watched it.  It has to be one of the most God-awful, hokey, schmaltzy, ridiculous movies ever made.  I thought if it had Adolphe Menjou in it, it couldn't be too bad.  I was wrong.  Yes, Zorina is a talented ballerina and the Romeo and Juliet pas de deux (choreographed by George Balanchine) is a high point in the film.  However, The Goldwyn Follies is not "an A--no. 1 picture" as Life asserts.  It's comedy is not "really funny."  The most amusing character is Charlie McCarthy (yeah, the ventriloquist's dummy) and he's not even in top form.  Looks like Mr. Goldwyn shouldn't have scrapped Dorothy Parker's script.  The chief attraction of the film is the costuming (by Omar Kiam) and make-up (by Max Factor)--in technicolor.

This article has four pages of gorgeous 1930s shoes.  Need I say more?

"Great Primitive Paintings in America" is a nice introduction to medieval art.

This is a rather silly Life Savers ad, but the clothing is great (and in color!).

"Jersey City's Mayor Hague: Last of the Bosses, not First of the Dictators" profiles Hague's fight with organized labor.  Hague is "a born leader since his boyhood days in Jersey's toughest slums, he is still loud, profane and ungrammatical, but he dresses with conservative elegance."  Frank Hagues sounds like he was a fascinating mix of street and nouveau riche who lived in grandeur while the people of his city suffered.

Check out some of George VI's hunting trophies in "The Camera Overseas."

*So, there's this great Baker's Chocolate ad in which "Paula Gives Mother-in-Law Her Come-Uppance!" I had to bake the cake (I obviously can't resist old recipes).  I made the recipe as written, but I've changed a few things in the recipe I'm posting.  First of all, the filling was way too runny and would not set up.  So, I substituted a filling recipe in the write-up that has worked for me in the past.  Secondly, the chocolate frosting mixture was way too stiff to fold egg whites into, so I just beat in the egg whites.  It tastes really yummy but there's definitely not enough of it to cover the sides of the cake.  Thirdly, (and this is totally my fault) the cake was a bit dry.  I should have taken it out of the oven sooner.  Don't let me scare you away from baking this cake, though.  It's pretty awesome (even a bit dry with runny filling, which I hope my recipe will correct).
Come Uppance Cake


  1. YES YES YES.....there are days I wish I lived in Key West Florida, only because it is always warm there and they celebrate the sun set every single night.
    Ahhhhhhh thinking of basking in the sun on the sand.
    Amy (in snow covered Iowa)

  2. The cake is mmmmmmmmm, what should I do to have a slice of it right now?

    and all these 30s shoes, simply awesome. hopefully I'll be able to find some that look like these.

    thank you for this post :)

  3. Those shoes, well some of them, look so contemporary.

    I have a booklet from the same time period that was put out by a competitor to Crisco. There is a comic strip like passage about a young bride who wows her husband with her pie crust.


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