Maureen O’Hara and the National Film Registry

Dance, Girl, Dance (1940), directed by Dorothy Arzner, pretty much the ONLY woman director in the studio era of American film.

Until a couple of days before Christmas 2012, I had never seen the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street. It features Maureen O’Hara as Doris Walker, who hires a new store Santa at Macy’s, then becomes concerned that he calls himself Kris Kringle and claims to be the actual Santa Claus.

The next night, while assisting Saint Nick, I stumbled upon the Independent Lens rebroadcast of These Amazing Shadows. I agree that “it’s a delightful, engaging documentary about America’s most beloved films and their preservation by the Library of Congress.” It starts with media mogul Ted Turner touting the colorization of movies, and the testimony before Congress by Woody Allen and others desiring that cinema receive better treatment.

Most of the program was about the movies in the National Film Registry. One is Miracle on 34th Street. Another is Dance, Girl, Dance (1940), directed by Dorothy Arzner, pretty much the ONLY woman director in the studio era of American film. The film costars Maureen O’Hara, who gives a great speech about men’s expectations of women entertainers.

Back in the fall of 2012, I saw the Parent Trap (1961), ALSO with Maureen O’Hara, though not on the Register. I’d never seen her in anything prior that point.

Incidentally, here’s a list of Some Films Not Yet Named to the National Film Registry.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “Maureen O’Hara and the National Film Registry”

  1. Some good movies of hers that I think there’s a good chance you’d like include:

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), The Quiet Man, and she had a small but hilarious part in “Only the Lonely”.

  2. The showing of Miracle that we caught this year was colorized; it was a little bit jarring. Sometimes I think that I don’t have anything against it in principle, but then I see a colorized film that’s B&W in my memory, and I don’t particularly care for it.

    And, incidentally, Parent Trap would probably make my list of top 25 all time favorite movies.

  3. Roger, the only way to see Miracle is in black and white. I’ve always despised the colorization of classics – and if one comes on TV in color, I adjust the tuner so it goes back to B&W. Snob, I know.

    Incidentally, joining Dorothy Arzner in that category is Ida Lupino, who was married for years to Howard Duff and made her way to director’s status. Almost unheard of.

    Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man… for me, that’s her best role. She’s all Irish brass, sass, and class. I simply love her movies.

    The archiving of old films is such a worthy endeavor. I’m a fan of the 30s, 40s, and also back to the silent era… Thanks, Roger! Amy

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