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Not your Grandfather’s Hollywood
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, October 27, 2007

As a follow up to the post I did yesterday on recent Hollywood anti-war movies, I direct your attention to a post by Michael Wade of A Second Hand Conjecture and a list of movies he has complied which make an interesting comparison between now and then (WWII era) in Hollywood.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

A successful anti-war movie needs some realistic battle scenes and a sizable body-count. ’Apocalypse Now’ is an obvious example, and even Dr Strangelove (or how I learned to love the bom)’ had some conventional fighting in it, as well as detonating nukes. A little bit of blood sugar helps the medicine go down...

PS: And of course an anti-war movie has to be good enough to stand on its own, even if you remove the preachy message, but this new kind of anti-war movie is just preachy crap, and remains crap even if you ignore the preachy part.

Written By: Ralf Goergens
Ya know, every time I see that composite satellite photo of the earth lights from the ground, and the corresponding utter darkness over North Korea, the opening theme music from MASH runs through my mind.
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
I think we can agree on "anti-war" movies, to a point...but what is an anti-war movie? One of my favourite freviews of a movie says, "Any really good war movie will always have elements that can be taken as both ANTI- and Pro..." Is A Bridge Too Far an anti-war film. It’s producer wanted it to be and yet it is a stirring story of sacrifice, the difference being that there are SOME sympathetic German characters. The Longest Day is more Pro- I guess, but is Saving Private Ryan pro or anti-or Blackhawk Down?

Which leads back to the nice review line, a film that conveys anything LIKE the "truth" of combat is going to generate powerful emotions, awe, fear, disgust, AND love...the scene where the German NCO (A Bridge Too Far) is trying to save his Platoon Leader from a burning armoured car, always brings tears to my eyes, "No greater love hath a man..." and the odd emotion of praying that the British will miss, even though the Germans are the enemy...thinking that if he DOES rescue this man, we’ll just have to kill him tomorrow....Is that scene pro-war or anti-war?

I’m always moved by Blackhawk Down by the Somalis, they took a TREMENDOUS pounding, but did not break, yes they were the bad guys and yes they were "evil"-in that their clan and clan leaders had created a system that helped kill 500,000 civilains via starvation- but, they stood up to a tremendous amount of firepower and did not flinch, and I doubt all of them were on Qat. They were evil men, but MEN nonetheless and I use that in its sexist, but glowing term, "men." Men doing what they thought needed doing, inspite of the odds. Much akin to the Rangers and Delta and therefore worthy of a degree of respect, not support, not moral equivalence, just respect. Again, is Blackhawk Down an anti-war film? It stirs, in me, profound grief and awe...war touches on those prodound emotions, a good film evokes them. A good film, about war, will provioke awe and disgust, I am awed at the bravery of the men of 617 Squadron, as portrayed by The Dam Busters. The ending didn’t stint at the cost of the mission, I cry looking at all those EMPTY tables, as the surviving flight crew eat breakfast, seemingly unconcerned that about 30% of their squadron-mates didn’t make the meal. IS that a pro-war or anti-war scene, because the bombing, as the film shows, was only partially successful, even in it’s own terms.

Bottom-Line: Yes, Redacted is antiwar, The Price of Glory is anti-war, but most films that have done well, are not so clear in their message that war is good OR evil, simply that it is dangerous, wonderful, and deadly. One walks away with the feeling that one WISHES that there was a "moral equivalent" to war-yes, that’s a loaded Leftist phrase PRESUPPOSING War’s immorality, but that’s a complaint for another thread-as the bravery and sacrifice shown, by any good film, is something stirring.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Of course, there was this 1951 film that was considered "anit-war".
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Personally, I found The Cruel Sea to be very stirring the way an "anit-war" film should be.

On the other hand, I found Apocalypse Now to be so crebral that it came off as a cartoon. It tooks me 5 or 6 viewings to "get it", while I don’t think most viewers ever did or will.
(By the way, the Robert Duvall helicopter village attack sequence is awesome on a home theater; I put it just behind Tom Cruise’s War of the World)
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Personally, I found The Cruel Sea to be very stirring the way an "anit-war" film should be.
I see you’re talking about the film, the book wasn’t. It just seemed a factual account of the War at sea 1939-45. In the end after the loss of Compass Rose and all that suffering I think they sank 2-3 U-Boats. It made the war out to be what it was, tough, slogging, awful, and victorious. It wasn’t they were "heroes" like Humphrey Bogart in Action in the North Atlantic but like much talked about "unsung" or "every day" heroes we talk about.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
very stirring the way an "anit-war" film should be
Actually, "stirring" isn’t right. Rather it was very "personal".
You could imagine yourself being one (or more) of the characters in the movie. (Hollywood take note)

Unlike "Rendition", who ever expects to be wisked off to a foreign prison.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
"Johnny Got His Gun". A stirring and personal anti-war movie/book.

Personally I think that the anti-war crowd is generally self-indulgent and pretentious. It has been pretty well established over the years that war is a bloody, unpleasant mess. It is a bit offensive that some think they need to point that out to the rest of us semiliterate boobs, but I guess it makes them fell good about themselves. It wouldn’t be so bad but they usually let their penchant of wallowing in sentimentality and self-righteousness get in the way of making a good movie.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

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