Friday, August 27, 2021

Who was the Bigger Hero: black supremacist Murderer, Michael Leroy Byrd, or Tarawa’s Eddie Albert?

Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert, and Audrey Hepburn, in the heartbreaking final scene of Roman Holiday (1953). The William Wyler classic won Oscars for Hepburn (Best Actress) and Dalton Trumbo (Best Screenplay), and got Albert the first of two Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Oddly enough, Albert didn’t care for Holiday or the picture that got him his other Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, The Heartbreak Kid (1972).

[Re: “Jimmy Stewart and the WW2 Mission that Almost Broke Him.”]

By Anonymous
Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 2:17:00 A.M. EDT

No other generation comes close, at least not yet.

Another true war hero was Eddie Albert (1906-2005) of Green Acres fame.

He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for his actions during the invasion of Tarawa in November, 1943. He piloted a troop landing craft, and after dropping some Marines off near shore, saw that they were still in the water and pinned down by concealed Japanese defenders.

He went back and positioned his craft in the surf between the two, in order to shield our troops, and proceeded to rescue 47 Marines who were stranded offshore while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire, during multiple trips. He also supervised the rescue of another 30 Marines from the landing zone, in the course of the battle.

N.S.: You could argue that Albert deserved the Medal of Honor. Then again, so many of our boys committed so many acts of extraordinary heroism, that we couldn’t possibly do justice to them. It might devalue the MOH. Most got no medals for their deeds, while others received modest decorations.

Of course, nowadays, the medal officials are handing out the Medal of Honor like gum drops to the descendants of any black soldier from WWI or II who managed to correctly tie his shoelaces. And thus is the MOH devalued, anyway, just like everything of value is ruined under Jim Snow.

Above, Eddie Albert, left, unknown, middle, and Eva Gabor, right, in Green Acres

This “fish-out-of-water” CBS comedy about a Manhattan lawyer who becomes a farmer, was a big hit for six years (1965-1971). With The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971) and Petticoat Junction (1963-1970), it was one of a stable of three silly comedies set in the country, all produced by Paul Henning.

However, when CBS got sophisticated demographic audience breakdowns from the Nielson Corporation, it decided it didn’t want the people who watched these shows. They were too old, too poor, and too rural. The network wanted younger, wealthier, more urban viewers. Thus, it committed “the rural purge,” canceling all of the Henning shows, ratings be damned.

Eddie Albert was crazy busy during his long career. I counted 761 total credits. (I count every appearance on every show. By contrast, counts Albert’s 170 performances on Green Acres as one credit.)

Three of my favorite Albert performances were as a double-dealing, cowardly officer in Robert Aldrich’s war picture, Attack (1956); as a charming but murderous gangster in Don Siegel’s The Gun-Runners (1958); and, above all, as the guest star on an episode of thirtysomething (1989), playing the father of one of the co-stars (Elliott Weston/Timothy Busfield).

The father, Charlie Weston, had walked out on his family when Elliott was a young boy, and the latter had always longed for a loving relationship with him. However, when the father comes for a visit while he’s in Philadelphia on business, Elliott learns that his old man was so selfish and vicious that he hadn’t missed out on anything.


Anonymous said...

Nisei in particular lobbied for the MoH and got awarded same. Lobbying for the medal [D. Mac Arthur as did Lewis Puller did it too] hardly a practice I approve of. Everything becomes political it seems.

David In TN said...

Speaking of Eddie Albert, TCM is showing Robert Aldrich's Attack (1956) Saturday, August 28, at 11:30 am ET as part of Lee Marvin Summer With the Stars. Others are Point Blank, (1967) at 8 pm ET, The Professionals, (1967) at 9 pm ET.

Anonymous said...

Eddie Albert. Jimmy Stewart. Gene Autry, Jackie Coogan, Clark Gable. All did yeoman service and never expected a single thing in return.