Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gene Marshall: The Spirit of Truth

Personally, I think this has to be one of the oddest AND most daring costumes that the Ashton Drake ever presented for Gene. I would venture to say that this circa 1943 creation has limited appeal and yet, I also applaud AD for producing it in the first place...and with cool accessories: the shield, the sword, the boots! Reminiscent of Joan of Arc, Gene looks like she’s ready to kick some $%& in this costume, designed by Ashton-Drake’s Young Designers of American Competition winner Eryn Machnica.

During World War II, many famous stars and directors volunteered their services to the war effort. Using the weapons they handled best—cameras and boundless talent—reel after reel of patriotic short subjects rolled out of Hollywood to inspire the public.

Gene was already one of the most active stars, donating what spare time she had to bond drives, cross-country train and bus tours—and eventually a successful sting with the USO. But one of her finest thespian contributions was her portrayal of “The Spirit of Truth” in a trailer for war bonds. Created to be played along with Monolithic Studios’ features, it starred many of the studio’s contract players, all instantly recognizable to the movie going public and sure to start viewers digging into pockets and purses to Buy Bonds right away.

In “The Spirit of Truth,” a group of kids (played by Monolithic’s “bad boys,” the Bratzanjammer Boys) stop their play in the park to get into a heated discussion about The War. One of the kids makes a questionable statement—and suddenly, the statue of The Spirit of Truth that they’re arguing under comes to life to set the kids straight.

Gene was even more dynamic than usual, bringing many a tear to the eyes of not only the audience, bu of her fellow players during the filming.

And that’s the truth.

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