Thursday, April 3, 2014
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Here is a copy of a recent e-mail I received from Norm about his Dad Ned Scott, the photographer for the G.I. Joe movie:
Please check out Norm's work by clicking on the following link: http://thenedscottarchive.com/hollywood/films/story-of-g-i-joe.html
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Henderson (William Self) handles the dog as the convoy comes under attack in North Africa, leaving Walker (Robert Mitchum) and Pyle (Burgess Meredith) to survey the damage in The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Story of G.I. Joe, The (Movie Clip) Lousy Kraut Swine!
Capt. Walker (Robert Mitchum) and Sgt. Warnicki (Freddie Steele) in William A. Wellman's landmark shootout sequence in a bombed-out Sicilian church, from The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Correspondent Pyle (Burgess Meredith) is in the command bunker as Walker (Robert Mitchum) then Warnicki (Freddie Steele) return, and the company realizes a North African battle is lost in The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Italy, 1944, Pyle (Burgess Meredith, as the famous war correspondent, Ernie Pyle) notes the absence of Murphy and sees Mew (Bill Murphy) scratch the name off his insurance beneficiary form, as a patrol returns on a dark night, The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Correspondent Pyle (Burgess Meredith) steps out of the column, hears from some soldiers, and begins one of his famous narrations from William A. Wellman's The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Monday, December 31, 2012
Note: There is a man standing in the back center of this photo that I believe is my Dad "Pappy" Nowlen. Dad was always camera shy because there are other photos where you can tell he was trying to hide his face as you can only see half his face. He tends to stand behind someone else and example of this is the picture of the cast and crew standing in the chow line.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Lord Heard My Prayer For My Dad
by Chet Nowlen
A friend told me recently she was concerned for elderly father. She said that her Dad was a good and kind man and had gone to church all of her life but he was not saved. I asked how she knew he wasn’t saved. She said that she’s asked him to accept Christ as his savior but he always says that he’s not ready. She says she has begged him and begged him but he always says he is not ready.
She asked me, “What should I do?” I told her that we can nag and beg our loved ones all day long but they cannot have a change of heart unless they allow the Holy Spirit to help them change. I advised her to stop nagging and begging and start praying and believing that God will deal with his heart. The Holy Spirit is the one that convicts us of our sin and our need to forgiveness of those sins. I told her to give her father to God and let Him take that burden for it is His will that all be saved.
I then told her about my Dad’s Miracle story; My Dad was a rough and tough John Wayne type individual. In his younger days he could out fight, out cuss, and out drink everyone around. He was an expert horseman and could have easily been a big success in western movies because he could do the trick riding like Roy Rogers, Kirk Douglas and many others in the old westerns..
In 1945 my Dad landed the part as an extra, with speaking lines, in a movie with Robert Mitchum and Burgess Merideth titled, “Ernie Pyle, The GI Joe Story”. This was a movie based on the life of war correspondent Ernie Pyle played by Burgess Merideth. My Dad and Robert Mitchum became close friends and big drinking buddies during the filming of the movie. My Dad was given the opportunity to say on in Hollywood, but Dad turned it down because he thought Hollywood was too phony.
My Dad hated Christians because of what some mean spirited Christian woman said to him so he rejected my witnessing to him. I asked a visiting evangelist if he would be willing to go to my Dad’s house and talk with him about his salvation and the evangelist agreed. I called my Dad and asked if it would be okay for me to bring him by to talk. Dad said it would be okay. When we arrived at my parents home Dad was not there. We decided to wait for a while and finally Dad came home. He was so drunk he could hardly stand up. The evangelist became outraged and said some ugly things to me for wasting his time to talk to a drunk. Needless to say I lost all respect for this evangelist that I once thought was such a godly man.
Apparently my Dad did not have the courage to face the evangelist so he hid in the bottle. I did not bring anyone else to preach to Dad nor did I hound him with Christianity. Instead I just continued to pray for him.
God heard my prayers and did a miraculous thing for my Dad. One Sunday afternoon my Mom called me to tell me what happened that morning. She said that Dad woke her and told her she has to pray for him right now. Mom was shocked and didn’t know what to do. Dad told her he has to be saved and wanted her to lead him in prayer. Mom did as he asked, but she was still in shock. Dad then asked what time church started so she asked why you want to know. He said, “Because I’ve got to go.” She could not believe her ears because my Dad never wanted to be around those hypocrites before. They went to church and when the preacher gave the alter call Dad was the first one down front.
This really gave my faith a boost, but this was only the first part of the miracle. A few weeks later my Dad suffered a seizure that affected he brain. Dad was no longer able to handle his own affairs and eventually had to be confined to a VA nursing home, where he lived for the next 20 years, Dad passed away at age 83. The second part of the miracle was God called Dad just before the sickness hit him. I praise God for hearing my prayers and answering them just at the right time. Isn't that’s just like the Lord to do that for us. I know when I cross over into eternity my Dad will be waiting there for me with Jesus. Amen
Note: Perhaps I should have titled the article "The Lord Heard My Prayer For My Dad and Answered My Prayer"
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Here lately I've been thinking about my Dad quiet frequently. I really miss my Dad and wish he were here for me to talk to. I am ashambed to admit that in my younger years I didn't take the time to talk to him and learn from him. Dad worked most of the time and when he wasn't working he spent most of his time drinking which made it hard to talk to, but I wish I had made some effort to get to know him better.
To me my Dad was a man preceived as a rough and tough worldly man that could out fight, out drink, and out cuss any one, but he was really a very sensitive and all round good guy. I think the world he lived in was made up of worldly men that demand a certain behaviour or you were considered weak. I think my Dad hid in the bottle to keep from being exposed that he was really a kind and gentle man.
If my Dad were alive today he would be 102. He passed away at age 83.
Happy Father's Day Dad!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
If my Dad were alive today he would be 101-years this Christmas eve. During the filming of the movie my Dad became friends with Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler and you will see several photos of both of them together in the movie photo's below. Even though Cadet Nurse Tyler's part was cut from the movie she will always be a fond memory when I think of the movie because of the photos with my Dad.
Please join me in wishing ex-Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler "Happy Birthday" by writing a comment to this post. She will be 85-years young this Christmas and, as you can see from her pictures, she has the same beautiful smile now as she was back in 1945.
Below you will find some e-mail correspondence that I've had recently with ex-Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler and her family. I hope you will enjoy her photos and will send comments on any of our posts.
I was showing your blog to my husband's sister's family -- and the surprise of reading your happy birthday wishes to my mom brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much. I hope that you and your family have a 2010 New Year full of wonder and joy.
Thanks so much for the birthday greetings!
Thanks so much for sending me the photos from the movie set. Wendy was here for Thanksgiving and brought them to me -- they brought back memories. I was never in the movie, so guess I wasn't cut out to be a movie star OR a nurse (I fainted in surgery and even injecting patients) but I did become an art teacher. Your dad was really a cute guy! His birthday was just one day before mine, and I think my trip there was shortly after Christmas so I had just turned 21 and he was 37 or 38(?). I found Angelo on the internet (look him up, it's amazing!).
Thanks again for the photos - I made copies of them for my four "kids."
My best wishes,
ex-Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler
Dear ex-Cadet Nurse, Beulah Tyler,
Thank you for your reply. I am so delighted you enjoyed the copies of your photos. I have looked at your smile all of my life and I have always thought to myself, "That's the most beautiful smile I have ever seen." Your beautiful smile is still there in your most recent photos as well.
A year or two ago I received an e-mail from the wife of Angelo's grandson and I sent her the photos that Angelo was in also. This was a birthday gift for her husband. I never heard from her again. I lost her e-mail address somewhere along the way.
My dad was 39 when I was born in 1948. He lived to be 83 and if he were still alive today he would be 101 this Christmas. He was older than all the other soldiers so that how the nickname "Pappy" came into being. My mom and I called him "Pappy" as well.
I would like to add your note to me on my BLOG for the movie. Do I have your permission to post it?
Of course you may, and I am honored.
I think you have inherited your dad Pappy's winning ways!
ex-Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler
Hi Chet –
I wanted to thank you for the pictures of Beaulah Tyler on your blog. She is my grandmother, and she was beautiful then and is beautiful now J I had never seen those pictures before, so it was really nice to see more of her young life in pictures.
I got a kick out of reading your blog http://storyofgijoe.blogspot.com/search?q=Tyler . The young woman in the picture who is the "Cadet Nurse Poster Girl" and is smiling at your dad is my mom! She's still gorgeous at age 84 - you can see current pictures of her at http://www.flickr.com/photos/9948202@N07/sets/72157621825847249/detail/
My mom had told me that she was flown out to Hollywood to be in a movie but that her scenes were cut. I'm not sure she is aware of the pictures you have of her on the set. Where did you get them? Where did the text for the captions come from? Could I have your permission to post them on my flickr site as long as I credit your blog as the source?
I'm so glad you posted the pictures - isn't the internet amazing? I'll print them and give them to her along with the DVD as a present! I found it for sale at Amazon for about $40.00 -- do you sell copies of the DVD or do you know of a reputable seller?
I am so excited that you found my BLOG. My Dad gave me the stills many years ago and I think I have a copy of your mom's pictures that I had laminated, if you would like I will be glad to mail them to you.
You are the second person to respond to the BLOG that had someone in the movie. I mailed the laminated pictures to a lady that wanted them as a birthday gift for her husband. who is the son of Pvt. Angelo Arena. Angelo is also in the picture with your mom sitting on the ground.
You are right! Your mom is gorgeous at 84. She has such a beautiful smile. Its no wonder the guys surrounded her.
You do have my permission to post her pictures to your flickr - Do I have your permission to post her pictures, poster and bio on the my GI Joe blog?
The text for the caption are from the info typed on the back of each picture.
I have the DVD but I wish I some to sell - I had no idea they were selling for $40. I will see if I can find a reseller and let you know if I can find them at a more affordable price.
If my Dad were still alive he would be 101 December 24th of this year. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for responding with such enthusiasm! Your compliment made her day! And guess what, my mom's birthday is December 25th! So she and your dad had birthdays only one day apart (although born in different years). She also told me a story about how they used to give celebrity's birthdays to kids who were born on December 25th -- and they were in the process of giving Ernie Pyle's birthday to her (another publicity opportunity, I'm sure) but he died first. She said that if she had gotten it, she would have celebrated it on that day every year, too! I just looked up his birthday on the internet, and it has already passed this year, August 3rd. Too bad, just missed it!
It took a while to get back to you because I wanted to get permission from my mom to post her pictures. She gave suggestions for me to edit the description for accuracy (she didn't remember the origin of the title of the poster "BE A" as being from her name and asked me to take it out -- I know I didn't make this up, but still I want to be respectful for what she wants "out there" on the net!). Now that it is edited she doesn't mind me giving you permission to post her pictures and description on your blog. Although your blog is so beautiful with the sepia toned pictures that I can't imagine adding any with full color. See how I added yours to my flickr page -- is how I did it okay with you? http://www.flickr.com/photos/9948202@N07/sets/72157621981649258/
I also found out that she already has a copy of "The Story of G.I. Joe" (VHS version) so I'm glad I asked her. Yes, she would be very interested in receiving laminated copies of the publicity photos if you don't mind mailing them to me (I would be glad to pay for them or you could send them.
Thank you again!
I did not mail the first picture as I told you in a previous e-mail. Instead I stopped by Office Depot and had them copy and laminate the picture of your Mom sitting on the ground. The only drawback is one picture is more black and white and the other is has the natural aged color of the black and white. I trust you both will enjoy the pictures. If you want copies of any of the other pictures all you have to do is click on the picture and it will enlarge to full size and then you can print it out on your printer - does a better job on a laser printer.
I will edit my blog but I will post your Mom's pictures - I will only show the link to your flickr page.
Please let me know when you get the pictures and if you both like them.
Thank you so much for all you are doing for my mom. I know she will love the pictures! And thank you for your interest in putting my flickr link on your blog. If you are curious about what I look like, here's my picture (I'm in the middle) with my two sisters. http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/e6ygPv6Nv7KivqtCIVWN0g?feat=directlink
I received your laminated pictures this weekend - thank you so much for sending them! You are so kind and generous to extend yourself for my mom. I'm going to copy them (especially for the "original" of the publicity captions) for myself and my siblings and then send them on to my mom (we're in the middle of a family health emergency right now, so I will when things settle down).
I really like your link caption, "84 years young." Before I send her the link to your blog, you'll want to put the "h" on "Beulah." And it would be "poster" instead of "posters" since there was only one (albeit one with two images of her). The artist for the poster was quite famous and when I have the time I'll add a link to information about him.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
This BLOG is dedicated to the memory of my father, Chester Nowlen, Sr. My Dad had the opportunity to play as extra in the movie Ernie Pyle's "Story of G.I. Joe". My Dad was one of the many army G.I.'s that were hired as extras to make the movie, but he was one of the few that was seen through out the movie and had various speaking parts.
They had planned to show Dad wounded during the movie, as you can see from one of the pictures below, but that part was cut out.
The movie was unavailable for many years, but is now available on VHS and DVD. I hope you will get a chance to watch the movie and look for the scenes my Dad is in.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
- The Story of G.I. Joe was based on the columns of Scripps-Howard war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Though already past 40, Pyle insists upon marching along with an Army infantry unit during the Italian campaign. He befriends several of the soldiers, including commanding officer Robert Mitchum (his breakthrough role), family man Freddie Steele and would-be romeo Wally Cassell. The "plot" of the film is moved forward by the progression of the war itself; basically, however, G.I. Joe is an anecdotal collection of comic, dramatic and tragic vignettes. Some of the more memorable moments include Freddie Steele's ongoing efforts to listen to a recording of his infant son's voice; Mitchum's casual reactions to his many field promotions; and a wedding ceremony which is "punctuated" by an air raid. Many infantry veterans consider The Story of GI Joe to be the single most realistic Hollywood war film of the 1940s, eschewing big stars, phony heroics and overblown battle sequences in favor of the everyday trials and tribulations of the humble foot soldier. Ironically, Ernie Pyle, who acted as technical adviser (when he wasn't busy on the front), was killed by an enemy sniper shortly before the release of this film. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide War correspondent Ernie Pyle joins Company C, 18th Infantry as this American army unit fights its way across North Africa in World War II. He comes to know the soldiers and finds much human interest material for his readers back in the States. Later, he catches up with the unit in Italy and accompanies it through the battles of San Vittorio and Cassino. He learns from its commanding officer, Lt. (later Capt.) Bill Walker of the loneliness of command, and from the individual G.I.'s of the human capacity to survive drudgery, discomfort, and the terror of combat. Written by Jim Beavers: http://www.imdb.com/SearchPlotWriters?Jim%20Beaver%20%7Bjumblejim@prodigy.net%7D
- The Story of G.I. Joe is based on the real life experiences of a war correspondent named Ernie Pyle. Pyle was in his 40s when he volunteered to ship overseas to cover the Allied invasion of Europe. What made him different, was that while other reporters covered the aviators and the officers, Pyle told the story of the common soldier - the Army G.I.. To accomplish this, Pyle slogged through the mud beside them, crouched in foxholes with them and ducked the same bullets as they did. As a result, they respected him immensely. He told their story vividly, often in their own words, so their loved ones back home would know of the life they led. And back home, people were reading in droves. Pyle's reports made him an unsung hero in the States, and he became one of the most respected correspondents of the war.
His popularity grew to the point that Hollywood decided to make a movie about him, while the war was still far from over. Pyle insisted that the film tell not his story, but that of the men he reported on. A soldier and actor named Burgess Meredith was sprung from the Army to play Pyle (at the order of no less than Army Chief of Staff George Marshall himself). And a young Robert Mitchum was tasked to play the role of a platoon Captain who leads his men across the European front.
The story of this film is surprisingly simple. Pyle (Meredith) simply accompanies the men of Company C into action against the Nazis, from the deserts of North Africa to the hills of Italy. And along the way, we get to know and like these men, feeling some of the emotions of their comrades, as some survive the fighting and others do not. Meredith is perfect as Pyle, a quiet but likable man, there by choice rather than by assignment. And Mitchum is outstanding as the kind-hearted, but war-weary, Captain Walker. Pyle himself was killed in the Pacific, before the film was completed, while doing what he did best. This film, along with his own newspaper columns, serves as an impressive legacy to not just Pyle, but to the soldiers he stood by through thick and thin. Think of this film as the original Saving Private Ryan, with less impressive special effects perhaps, but no less moving and powerful. It's a simple story, but then war itself is pretty simple - face death because you must, and do what you have to to survive. On DVD, Image has preserved the B&W, full frame picture nicely. This isn't reference quality video and the print does, at times, show its age. But it looks as good as it needs to. The audio fares a little less well, taking on a rather muffled quality occasionally that makes dialogue hard to discern. But most of the time, the mono track also suffices just fine. As far as extras, this isn't a loaded disc. But the quality of what you get more than makes up for that. To start with, there's a very good biographical liner notes piece on Pyle on the inside of the Snapper case. There's also an all too brief (less than 2 minutes) clip of newsreel footage of the real Pyle interviewing G.I.s in Italy during the war. But the real treat is a stills gallery featuring about a dozen of Pyle's actual newspaper columns. These detail his experiences in the Pacific theater, and chronicle the invasion of Okinawa, Pyle's encounter with Japanese prisoners of war and the story of a group of Navaho code-talkers. The last few columns were published after his death (he had written them ahead of time). The final story, written by a fellow correspondent, tells of Pyle's death by sniper fire, and of the Major who stood with him and retrieved his body. It's a powerful experience to watch this film, and then to read not only Pyle's last words, but the words of his comrades as well. When Image Entertainment asked if I'd be interested in reviewing this new DVD, I said, "Sure - why not?" Little did I realize that I was about to discover a true gem - easily one of the best films ever produced about the foot soldier's experience of World War II. Thanks to Image for that, and for releasing this film on DVD. Absolutely don't miss it. Bill Hunt firstname.lastname@example.org
My Dad, "Pappy" Chester Nowlen, Sr., was one of the Army Soldiers that were hired as extras to made this movie. Pappy Nowlen became close friends and drinking buddies with Robert Mitchum while making this film.
Robert Mitchum is seated in the front and is forth from the left - Burgess Merideth is standing and is fifth from the arrow on the right.
That's my Dad way in the back where the arrow is pointing.
Robert remembered my Dad well enough for him call him on the telephone in the mid-1970's as he was passing through Lake Village, Arkansas. Robert had finished making a movie in Mississippi and was traveling with the cast on a bus and stopped at a roadside diner for burgers. Robert called my Dad from the diner and asked him to come have lunch with him.
I think my Dad could have had a career in Hollywood because he was the rough and tough, John Wayne type. He could trick ride on a horse like Roy Rogers and he could out drink, out cuss, and out fight just about anyone that came his way.
He was not impressed with Hollywood because he felt everything and everyone there were fakes.
My Dad's wounded scene is actually cut from the movie.
STRANGE GIFT. . . .Cpl. Chester Nowlen looks with humor at the polka-dot necktie he received at the battle front for a Christmas gift from the folks back home. The Corporal's grinning companion in this scene from Ernie Pyle's "Story of G.I. Joe", Lester Cowan production, is Sgt. Fred Sprague.
In the scene of this movie my Dad holds up the tie and says in a high pitched voice, "Ain't she pretty." Whenever Dad spoke with this high pitched voice he was usually pretty intoxicated.
The cast takes time out for lunch. Pappy Nowlen has to be different in every shot. He's the only one wearing his helmet and notice he's trying to hide from the camera.
When you see the movie you will notice him trying to hide from the camera in the early schene where all the men are riding in trucks.
Note: Click here to see current pictures of Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler and her Cadet Nurse Poster.
GI's select Axis Sally. Pretty Shelly Mitchell, former vocalist with Cugat, in the girl who is heard but not seen in Ernie Plye's "Story of G.I. Joe." Shelly, 21, was chosen by Producter Lester Cowan and some real GI's to play Axis Sally, Nazi radio propagandist, because of her seductive, bedroom voice. Shelly, born in Richmond, VA., was chosen only after Cowan and the GI's listened to several hundred voices. The GI's who helped picked Shelly are, left to right, Cpl. Chester Nowlen, Pvt. Charles Rozell and Pvt. Fred Ross.