The Battle of New Orleans The Hollywood Way

Monday, May 9, 2011 \AM\.\Mon\.

American history tends to be ignored by Hollywood and therefore it is unusual for a battle to receive treatment in a Hollywood feature film.  It is doubly unusual for a battle to be treated in two Hollywood feature films, but that is the case for the battle of New Orleans.  The 1938 film was directed by the legendary Cecil B. Demille and had Frederic March, an actor largely forgotten today but a major star in his time, as Jean Lafitte.  Two future stars have bit parts in the film:  Anthony Quinn and Walter Brennan.  Hugh Sothern who portrayed Andrew Jackson would also portray Jackson in 1939 in the film Old Hickory. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andrew Jackson: Hero, Heel or Both?

Thursday, May 5, 2011 \AM\.\Thu\.

Andrew Jackson has always been controversial.  He is the only man in American history to spawn two political movements:  the Democrat Party which he founded, and the Whig Party, and after it the Republican Party, founded in opposition to Jackson and his policies.  In his lifetime he was celebrated as the brilliant general who won the battle of New Orleans, and condemned as a frontier duelist and near murderer;  he lived one of the great love stories of American history, and was condemned as an adulterer;  condemned as a pitiless persecutor of Indians, he is the only American president to adopt an Indian child;  a champion of freedom for the common man, he was a slaver-holder who never said a word against the Peculiar Institution.  Jackson and his legacy will be debated as long as there is a United States of America. Read the rest of this entry »