Year 1938

Notable Movie Debuts, 1938

Vincent Price in Service de Luxe, a comedy that starred Constance Bennett and Charles Ruggles.

Aside from his many outstanding acting performances, Vincent Price was an art collector and consultant with a degree in art history. He was also a gourmet chef.

Maureen O’Hara in Kicking the Moon Around, a British musical-comedy. She played a secretary, speaking one line.

Because of her rich red hair, bright green eyes and peaches and cream complexion, Maureen O’Hara became known as the “Queen of Technicolor”. Even the creators of the process claimed that she was its best advertisement.

Highest Grossing Movies, 1938

#3 Test Pilot 

With an all-star cast: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy, a contemporary theme: developments in aviation, and an ace director in Victor Fleming, Test Pilot was nailed on to become a box office success.

Apparently, Gable and Tracy did not get on (given their different personalities, I don’t find that surprising). At the end of one take when Gable was cradling Tracy’s head in his hands, Gable said, “Die, goddamn it, Spence! I wish to Christ you would!”

#2 Alexander’s Ragtime Band

Alexander’s Ragtime Band starred Alice Faye. In 1945, Alice Faye effectively quit motion pictures when she saw a screening of Fallen Angel, a movie initially designed to showcase her talents. In the final cut, producer Darryl Zanuck reduced her role to twelve scenes so that he could highlight his new protégé, Linda Darnell. 

Alice Faye wrote a scathing note to Zanuck, gave her dressing room keys to a studio guard, and drove home, vowing never to return to Fox Studios.

#1 Boys Town

A biographical drama based on Father Edward J. Flanagan’s work with a group of underprivileged boys in Nebraska, Boys Town achieved great critical acclaim and commercial success in the late 1930s.

A 1941 sequel, Men of Boys Town, took a darker view of the issue of homeless and troubled youth, exposing the conditions in a reform school.

1920s – 1960s