World War II-era movies to be shown
on Red Oak Victory throughout summer
By Ginny McPartland
The Sixth Annual World War II Home Front Film Festival gets under way this Thursday, June 12, on the SS Red Oak Victory, which is berthed at the former Kaiser Shipyard No. 3 in Richmond, California.
The 1938 Academy Award-winning film doesn’t have an obvious connection to World War II, but there is one, and it’s not that Errol Flynn was rumored to be a Nazi sympathizer.
National Park Ranger Craig Reardon, host for the festival, will let you in on the largely unknown connection in his introduction to the film.
The SS Red Oak Victory, one of the 747 ships built at the Kaiser Richmond shipyards during World War II, has been restored and made available for tours and special events.
A series of six classic films will be shown in one of the ship’s holds two Thursdays a month in June, July and August.
Boarding the SS Red Oak via the gang plank begins at 6:30 p.m.; the film begins at 7 p.m.
Filling out the screening schedule are:
- June 26: “Buck Privates” (1941), a silly comedy starring Bud Abbot and Lou Costello with music by the Andrew Sisters. This is the film that made Abbot and Costello bonafide movie stars.
- July 10: “Casablanca” (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In the Home Front film festival tradition, come dressed as your favorite character from the movie.
- July 24: “Across the Pacific” (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor. Bogart plays a character who makes you wonder if he is a traitor or a hero.
- Aug. 7: “A Guy Named Joe” (1943), starring Spencer Tracy as a reckless bomber pilot stationed in England. Van Johnson plays a novice pilot who needs Joe’s help.
- Aug. 21: “Harvey” (1944/1950), a film based on the 1944 Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by Mary Chase to cheer up a neighbor who lost her son in the Pacific Theater in World War II.
The historic ship is located at 1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 6A, Richmond. For directions, call 510-237-2922 or visit the Red Oak Victory Web site. Filmgoers will be asked for a donation to board the ship.
The ship is not ADA accessible; visitors must be able to climb the gangplank (40 feet of steps with railing) and negotiate steep steps down to the hold.