LAURA AND ROBIN GO TO WAR
TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH - APOCALYPSE NOW
SGT. YORK - GLORY - RED BADGE OF COURAGE
DAS BOOT - THEY WERE EXPENDABLE
GALLIPOLLI - PORK CHOP HILL - BREAKER MORANT
I'm Laura Clifford and we want to welcome you to this special edition of Reeling: Robin and Laura Go To War! We also want to remind you that all of these movies are available to rent or but from this site from reel.com by clicking on the movies title on our Video page.
And I'm Robin Clifford. I've always been a war film buff, so we decided to select some of the finest examples of war films available on video.
Each of the films is a unique and powerful work on the subject of war. They all have somethign in common - they show the horror and brutality of war, as well as the heroism and bravery it produces.
TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH
This terrific film stars Gregory Peck in one of his best performances.
Peck plays an Air Corps general sent to reverse the decline of a failing bomber group. But, he ends up succumbing to the same fate as his predecessor - he gets close to his men and suffers the strain of sending them to their possible deaths.
This film also has some of the most remarkable combat footage available.
Technically not a film about war, Vietnam is the backdrop for Martin Sheen who must travel up the Mekong River into Cambodia to exterminate the mad Col. Kurtz played by Marlon Brando. His journey makes up most of the film, with several strange encounters along the way, such as that last one when he meets Duvall's character during a stop at an American helicopter base. This is a truly great movie and if you haven't seen it, or seen it in years, I heartily recommend it for a video rental.
Director Howard Hawks brought the story of the life of pacifist and war hero, Alvin Yoirk, to the screen with a forceful integrity.
Gary Cooper won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the simple, God-fearing country boy who performs an incredible act of bravery, saving his comrades and capturing 132 enemy soldiers single-handedly. This is a great film.
Truthfully, I had no desire to see this movie when it was released to theaters, saw it anyway, of course, and LOVED it. This movie tells the story of Col. Robert Gould Shaw of Boston and how he led the first black regiment into battle during the Civil War. This is extremely well acted all around and beautifully photographed. It's a very moving and human film and a surprising directorial debut by Edward Zwick, one of the men who brought us TV's Thirtysomething.
RED BADGE OF COURAGE
Red Badge of Courage is a great film by the great director John Huston. Starring Audie Murphy, it examines the fine line between cowardise and bravery.
Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII, plays the young man who struggles with his fear of cowardise in battle. Red Badge of Courage tells the story of the young man fighting and, ultimately, conquering his fear.
This movie was shot in a real German U boat, circa 1941, and you really start feeling claustrophobic watching this rousing and suspenseful film. This is a true story told through the eyes of photo-journalist Lt. Werner. Starring is Jurgen Prochnow as the captain who gives a terrific performance. If you rent this movie, just remember that only 1 in 10 German submariners ever returned home from WWII..
THEY WERE EXPENDABLE
They Were Expendable, is the superb WWII action drama by Director John Ford. This film stars John Wayne, Robert Montgomery and Donna Reed.
It very effectively depicts the pain, loneliness and sacrifice of war, plus it captures the mystique of heroism for all who served.
Gallipolli is about two Australian runners who join the British campaign during WWI to get the Turks out of the Dardanelles. This film was directed by Peter Weir before he began directing such films as Witness and Green Card in Hollywood, and it's one of his best. This movie is equally about running as it is about war, as the battle at Gallipolli only commands about the last quarter to third of the film. However, this is one of the best films in illustrating the futility of war.
PORK CHOP HILL
This film tells much in a short time about the realities and sacrifices of the Korean "police action" during the early 50's. Gregory Peck gives another great performance as the commanding officer of a company of men ordered to take an inconsequential piece of land on the eve of the cease fire.
And here's a sentimental favorite, the first movie Robin and I saw together, Breaker Morant.
Breaker Morant is a true story about Harry Morant and Englishman in Australia famed as a breaker of horses. This is about the Boer War in South Africa, which, practically, had to be fought differently due to guerilla-type activity. Harry and two of his comrades are put on trial as example by their commanding officers who believe in a more gentlemanly code of war. This was an early directing job by Bruce Beresford, who more recently gave us Driving Miss Daisy.
We hope you try our recommendations and let us know what you think of them and the show by emailing either myself or Robin. And remember, all of these movies are available to rent or but from this site from reel.com by clicking on the movies title on our Video page.
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