Announcing The Joe Pasternak Blogathon!

Blogathons are hosted in honor of specific themes, famous actors, and notable directors, but I have never heard of a blogathon dedicated to a producer. However, producers were very important members of Golden Era Hollywood, particularly while the studio system thrived. Each producer had his own style, which greatly effected the films he made. While directors are now regarded as the most important visionaries behind films, producers were once the driving force behind productions. Thus, we are hosting a blogathon in honor of one of our favorite producers, Joe Pasternak.

During the years when the Production Code Administration (PCA) guided Hollywood’s morals, producers were often the ones to interact with self-regulators about breening changes. Thus, producers’ feelings about decency in films were reflected in the final products.

Joseph Pasternak was a producer whose vast career spanned thirty years, during which he flourished at Universal Pictures and MGM. He most famously produced lighthearted musicals featuring young soprano stars like Deanna Durbin, Kathryn Grayson, Jane Powell, and Gloria Jean, all of whom he made film stars. Like Louis B. Mayer, MGM’s powerful mogul, he believed that films should be uplifting and beautiful, which fit very nicely with the Code. His personal quotes like “No one ever gets sick in my scripts,” and “Never make an audience think. It always worked for me,” reveal his uncomplicated view toward movie-making. When he retired, he announced, “I am proud that I have produced 105 pictures and not one of them is adults only.” This record proves that he was not only a friend of the filmgoing public but of self-regulators. In fact, he was not only a comrade in ethics but a personal friend of Joseph I. Breen, serving as a pallbearer at the latter’s funeral. That is why, here at PEPS, Joe Pasternak is a producer we want to honor.

It’s hard for films to be musicals without being stagey, lighthearted without being silly, youthful without being juvenile, and fun without being goofy. Joe Pasternak’s productions strike that perfect balance. The music is usually in context, meaning that all the songs make sense in the plot rather than being random bursts of song. Musical selections are a charming mix of operatic arias, classical music with English lyrics, popular songs, and even folk music. Mr. Pasternak was such a connoisseur of classical music that he made films with real opera singers like Lauritz Melchior and Lotte Lehman and featured great classical musicians like pianist/conductor Jose Iturbi and conductor Leopold Stolkowski. He also featured great popular musicians like Tommy Dorsey, Xavier Cugat, and the Pied Pipers. In addition, he made award-winning swimmer Esther Williams into a film star.

We are hosting this blogathon on September 18-20, around September 19, which would have been Mr. Pasternak’s 119th birthday. The blogathon’s rules are simple. You can write about any topic relating to Joe Pasternak and his career. You can review one of his films, write about multiple movies which he produced, review one of the two books he wrote, “Easy the Hard Way,” his 1956 memoirs, and “Cooking with Paprika and Love,” a Hungarian cookbook full of personal stories, or write a tribute to his life.

If you want to join, please leave a comment and tell us your topic of choice! In the meantime, you can use the below posters to spread the word about this blogathon on your blog or on social media. When you post your article(s), be sure to include a link to this post and use a banner. If you don’t have a blog, we can publish the article for you here at PEPS. We look forward to seeing you here in September!

The Roster So Far

  1. Tiffany Brannan of PEPS – To Be Announced
  2. Rebekah Brannan of PEPS – To Be Announced
  3. Kristen W. of KN Winiarski WritesSummer Stock (1950)
  4. Carissa (Regency Woman) of Musings of an IntrovertHer Highness and the Bellboy (1945)
  5. Scott Brogan of The Judy RoomPresenting Lily Mars (1943) and In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
  6. Jess of Box Office PoisonsThe Opposite Sex (1956)
  7. J. R. Jordan of WiseCastle WayThis Could Be the Night (1957)
  8. Ruth of Silver ScreeningsThe Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963)
  9. Erica D. of Poppity Talks Classic FilmThat Certain Age (1938)

Join the Joe Pasternak Blogathon today!

Have an Enlightening #AMonthWithoutTheCode2020.


august-is

 Click here to join our month-long abstinence from American Breen Era (1934-1954) movies to create greater appreciation for the Code, #AMonthWithoutTheCode2020!

Follow us to bring back the Code and save the arts in America!

We are lifting our voices in classical song to help the sun rise on a new day of pure  entertainment!

Only the Code can make the sun rise on a new day of pure entertainment!

19 thoughts on “Announcing The Joe Pasternak Blogathon!

  1. Hi!
    Thanks for the invite. I am pretty busy this week, but if all goes smoothly I’ll try and pull together a review for The Kissing Bandit (1948). I haven’t seen it for years and was thinking of it recently, so this would be perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, I’m happy to join your blogathon. Thanks for the invite. Put me down for “Her Highness and the Bellboy” from 1945. I’ve never seen it before but tracked down a copy online this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sally,

      Thank you so much for your interest in this blogathon! Your idea for a post sounds great. I looked, and unfortunately I couldn’t find anything online. However, you can buy a used copy of the book from Amazon for only $6.78. I would love to have a copy of this myself, since it sounds fascinating! If you decide to buy the book and write this article, let me know! If not, I’d love to have you participate with just a film review.

      Yours Hopefully,

      Tiffany Brannan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such an interesting idea for a Blogathon! I won’t be able to join because I have some previous commitments and I’m going to be taking a break, but I will try to find time to read some of the articles. I also like the design of your posters for it!

    MovieCritic | Movies Meet Their Match

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be able to join, but I’m glad you like our posters!

      By the way, thank you so much for your wonderful contributions to #CleanMovieMonth2020 and #AMonthWithoutTheCode2020. Your articles were so thoughtful, and your Code classification was very accurate! I wrote a comment on your July article over a month ago, but it got deleted before I could send it, and I never re-wrote it. Anyway, I really appreciated your thoughtful insight!

      Yours Hopefully,

      Tiffany Brannan

      Liked by 1 person

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