Author Archives: JAQ

The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer is a landmark of cinematic history, as the first feature-length film with synchronized dialog.  Directed by Alan Crosland, it’s the story of a Jewish musician (played by Al Jolson) who defies his father’s wishes for him to … Continue reading

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Popeye

The comic strip known today as Popeye began in 1919 under the name Thimble Theatre. The character of Popeye wasn’t a member of the original cast, which included Olive Oyl, her brother Castor Oyl, and Olive’s boyfriend Ham Gravy; all … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s, Comics | Leave a comment

“The Big Rock Candy Mountain”

“The Big Rock Candy Mountain” might not actually be under copyright; it’s complicated. It was recorded and published in 1928 by Harry “Haywire Mac” McClintock, but a prior copyright by another party was filed in 1906. McClintock managed to find … Continue reading

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The Crucible

The Crucible (1953) is the second-best-known play by Arthur Miller (after Death of a Salesman), and arguably his most important.  Telling a tale from some 350 years earlier (now over four centuries ago), it dramatizes the infamous witch trials of … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, Plays | Leave a comment

The Love of the Last Tycoon

The Love of the Last Tycoon: A Western is the last novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, left unfinished at the time of his death in 1940. His friend Edmund Wilson compiled the completed material, and published it the next year … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, Prose | Leave a comment

Walt Disney’s Peter Pan

The original story of Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, Captain Hook, and Tinker Bell is in the public domain in most of the world, having been published by creator J. M. Barrie in novel form in 1911. Although the basic story … Continue reading

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“The Shower”

“The Shower” is one of many groundbreaking paintings and illustrations by Paul Cadmus. It depicts three figures at a beach: one nude male using a semi-open shower, a nude male seated facing away from the shower, and a woman wearing … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, Fine Art | Leave a comment

Rebel Without A Cause

Rebel Without A Cause is a landmark of American culture, identified by the Library of Congress as culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant. It features James Dean in his next-to-last role, with Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo, and a supporting cast … Continue reading

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