Starting on Christmas Eve—24 December 1914—many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across No Man’s Land; some Allied soldiers would swear they even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.
At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines, cautiously calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their own trenches and shook hands. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings, sang carols and their own native songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of football. In a more somber manner, some soldiers used the short-lived ceasefire: to retrieve the bodies of their fallen comrades who had been left between the lines.
The Christmas Truce of 1914, as it would be known, came only five months after the outbreak of the Great War in Europe. It would become one of the last examples of an outdated notion of war chivalry, something that would die quickly to the modern warfare that was emerging. It was an event that was never repeated—future attempts to recreate the holiday ceasefire were quashed by officers’ threat of being put up against the wall—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutality of war, a soldier’s essential humanity could endure.
I have been called the greatest dancer in the world. That is unbelievably complimentary and undeniably erroneous. It rocks me when someone says it. What I have done is stand the test of time in my field: musical comedy & movie dancing. - Fred Astaire
"I’ve seen horrors… horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that… but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror… Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies!"
Things that really needed to happen: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a Film Noir
Dancing in the Dark
Guy Holden (Fred Astaire) is a private eye with an eye for trouble. After big time gambler, and Guy’s old friend, Lucky Garnett is found dead in the street, police declare his death an accident. Yet when the mysterious and icy dancer, Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) points the blame at gangster Milton Hayes (Humphrey Bogart), Guy gets pulled into the case. When his friend, and fellow private eye, Ezra Miller (Oscar Levant) suggests that Dale might not be all that she seems, Guy is already in too deep. Who can he trust? Has Guy hit the case of his life or has his luck just run out?