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Gary D.
10-07-2009, 10:26 AM
My favorite World War II film is The Desert Fox, starring James Mason as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. When it came out, 1951, the war had only been over a few years and many critics wondered, why make a hero of an enemy, dead or not?

The film was well done, one of Mason’s best, in my opinion. Perhaps people on this forum more knowledgeable than I can point out inaccuracies in it—I’m not that much on the nuts-and-bolts of military history.

Luther Adler, the great Jewish actor, should have received an Academy Award for his portrayal of Hitler. It wasn’t so much that Adler looked like the dictator in his last years, but he caught the essence of the Führer. I think Adler also portrayed Hitler elsewhere. I know he did him in a Twilight Zone episode.

Another Mason film I liked, made about the same time, was Five Fingers, about Operation Cicero, where the British ambassador to Ankara’s valet rifled through the ambassador’s safe, extracting various top-secret documents, which he sold to the Abwehr (who paid him in counterfeit British pounds). Towards the end, Berlin had in its possession details of Overload—they refused to believe it, however.

The British, in the early days of the war, couldn’t match the Germans, but more than made up for it in their crack espionage system. They turned most of the Nazi spies in the UK--either that, or face the firing squad. And, of course, there was Ultra, which revealed everything Hitler was saying over his Enigma machines.

As an aside to The Desert Fox, I had been looking for this film for many years. One day, walking my dog, I was sorting through a box of tapes at a yard sale—and thought I had The Desert Fox! It was labeled The Desert Fox, but when I put it in my machine, it turned out to be hard-core pornography—no James Mason anywhere! I have to admit, I fast-forwarded through it, but it was sheer pornography, nothing redeeming. The next day I went back and said I wasn’t going to ask for my money back, but he should remove that box (which he claimed was his late father’s), because if a minor got ahold of any of those tapes, the guy was going to be in deep trouble—if only from an irate parent.

herman2
10-07-2009, 01:17 PM
I loved the Desert Fox. I think any movie with Rommel is great because its in Africa and is more exotic. My favourite is Das Boot. I cried at the end because these men went through so much to survive all odds at sea, only to die from a frigin air attack on the harbour when they completed their mission. No doubt a sad movie, although fictional....

Gary D.
10-07-2009, 01:30 PM
I loved the Desert Fox. I think any movie with Rommel is great because its in Africa and is more exotic. My favourite is Das Boot. I cried at the end because these men went through so much to survive all odds at sea, only to die from a frigin air attack on the harbour when they completed their mission. No doubt a sad movie, although fictional....

I saw Das Boot when it was first released. I don't remember that much about it--the English subtitles didn't bother me. I recall feeling very claustrophobic watching this movie. I'm sure claustrophobia released a lot of potential men from being in the undersea service of any nation. You can imagine the smell! But I guess they got used to it. Anyway, as I recall, it was probably pretty accurate.

I also liked Sink the Bismark, but, even with Kenneth More in it, I am not sure about the complete accuracy--the overall accuracy, maybe. Admiral Lutjens was protrayed as a devout Nazi--at that time members of the Reich services, at least to my knowledge, weren't allowed to have a party affiliation. I think this came about after the 1944 attempt on Hitler's life at Rastenberg. I may be wrong. Anyway, I question if Lutjens was as fanatical as the movie made him out to be. It was a stirring film, however.

Non_Sequitor
10-07-2009, 02:15 PM
I second Herman2's opinion of Das Boot. Wolfgang Peterson was on a roll with that one. I have a copy of the ultra-extended director's cut that I've just about wore out. I think Wolgang Peterson did a film named "Stalingrad" that was very good as well. There are a few newer films such as "A Midnight Clear" and "When Trumpets Fade" that I like very much as well. Of course, there's always "Saving Private Ryan"- also a favorite of mine. Mainly because of the sound and savage effects of the film as much as the story line.

Nickdfresh
10-07-2009, 03:35 PM
Moving to appropriate forum...

Gary D.
10-07-2009, 05:03 PM
* * *Of course, there's always "Saving Private Ryan"- also a favorite of mine. Mainly because of the sound and savage effects of the film as much as the story line.

When this movie was released, one of my younger co-workers said it was 'too violent.' So, the Normandy Invasion wasn't violent??? I'm glad they more or less told it like it was--the more horror and gore the better, lest we forget what was involved.

There's a lot I don't like about present-day movies, but they're generally more factual (at least those set during the war) than those released during the war. The studios sought to demonize our enemies, so the audience would forget it was our young men killing their young men, regardless of color.

I loved Vicki Baum's Hotel Berlin '43. The (propaganda) film came out during the war, so when I had a chance to view it on television, I looked forward to it. What a letdown. They took a beautiful love story, a renown German actress hiding, befriending, and finally falling in love with a young anti-Nazi student, and grossly twisted the plot. At the end, the actress sought to betray her lover to the Gestapo to save her own skin; he, in turn, took her down to the cellar and shot her. I wonder how Baum felt about Hollywood ruining her book?

VonWeyer
10-08-2009, 01:39 AM
I second Herman2's opinion of Das Boot. Wolfgang Peterson was on a roll with that one. I have a copy of the ultra-extended director's cut that I've just about wore out. I think Wolgang Peterson did a film named "Stalingrad" that was very good as well.

Agreed...two very good movies that certainly "open one's eye's".

Rising Sun*
10-08-2009, 08:25 AM
Probably not known to modern audiences, but a great and different film about WWII, and a much awarded film in its own right, was The Best Years of Our Lives: http://www.filmsite.org/besty.html

Rising Sun*
10-08-2009, 08:31 AM
Two others are Ice Cold in Alex and The Hill.

flamethrowerguy
10-08-2009, 08:32 AM
I think Wolgang Peterson did a film named "Stalingrad" that was very good as well.

"Stalingrad" was directed by Joseph Vilsmaier, Petersen was not involved. Actually Petersen had already moved to Hollywood by the time "Stalingrad" was filmed.

VonWeyer
10-08-2009, 08:43 AM
"Stalingrad" was directed by Joseph Vilsmaier, Petersen was not involved.

You are correct...thanx for pointing that out.:D

Gary D.
10-08-2009, 09:57 AM
Another movie I particularly like is Night of the Generals. It's been a while since I read the book, but I viewed the tape again recently. It's as though the author had Peter O'Toole in mind when he was writing his book--well translated from the German, by the way.

Excellent supporting cast in this 1966 film. Omar Sharif, one of my favorites, was very believable playing the German policeman trying to zero in on the German general who killed the prostitute in Warsaw. I recommend both the book and the movie. It's one of the few movies you can see and enjoy it after having loved the book.

Anglo-Saxon-Viking
10-24-2009, 07:28 PM
Wolfgang Petersen directed Das Boot. Pronounced "Dahs Boat". It is a 1980 or '81 film
that shows the horrors of submarine warfare from the German point of view. Well directed and the acting by German actors is worth commending. I also have "Stalingrad"
one of the most brutal depictions of warfare on the Eastern Front for German forces. It
has a horrible climax. Really worth a look. It can be found on eBay, Amazon and almost all online movie stores. It has English subtitles as does Das Boot.

Rising Sun*
10-25-2009, 06:15 AM
The Enemy Below is quite a good film about submarine versus anti-sub surface ship.

Morning Departure, while about a post-war sub striking a WWII mine and the consequences, is probably still good viewing although it's been twenty or thirty years since last I saw it.

Anglo-Saxon-Viking
10-25-2009, 10:58 AM
Hi Rising Sun. Yes, I have "The Enemy Below"; a very well directed movie by **** Powell whom I believe was a WWII vet himself. Somehow the other movie has escaped me. Also I have a book from the '80's "World War II SuperFacts". To my amazement I learned that Lee Marvin was an ex-Marine and he assaulted 21 beaches in the Pacific Theater and was wounded 7 times! At Saipan only he and 5 others survived out of his company of 247 marines. He spent a year in the hospital recovering from his wounds and studied acting on the GI Bill. He drew a full disability pension from the military until his death. A great American.

"No Freddie. They don't love me. They'll do it because their d _ _ _ _ d good soldiers."
Gen. Patton when a British officer said he wasn't aware that Patton's troops loved him enough to pull out of a major battle and march to
Bastogne, Belgium in relief of the 82nd and 101st Airborne troops.

jackjm
10-26-2009, 09:28 PM
i saw a movie when i was little, early 60's. the only thing i remember from the plot was that a woman scorned by german slob got her listed as a prostitute and she was rescued by a black military policeman who the german called a shine, derogatory word for a black person. later on in the movie she wanted to marry an american soldier. when she went for the papers the same MP saw on her record that she was a prostitute. knowing that she really wasn't a prostitute he made her wait a really long time until everyone pretty much left the office. she was frantic because she knew what the records said. after everyone left he altered the records and gave her the paperwork for the marriage. looking at it and expecting it to say she was a prostitute she was overwhelmed when she saw that it didn't say that. anyone have an idea of the name of the movie, i've tried searching black actors and other words to no avail.

steben
10-27-2009, 06:17 AM
I like "Enemy at the Gates" with jude law. Nice scenes and images.
Shindlers' List and The Pianist are in fact WWII movies as well that really moved me.
Der Untergang was simply astonishing.
Europa! Europa! was the strangest movie, with a jew serving in all armies possible.


I remember watching "The Longest Day" as a child and it was like a dark fairy tale. Proto-Lord of the rings - like. ;)

Rising Sun*
10-27-2009, 07:48 AM
Hi Rising Sun. Yes, I have "The Enemy Below"; a very well directed movie by **** Powell whom I believe was a WWII vet himself. Somehow the other movie has escaped me.

Morning Departure was titled 'Operation Disaster' in the US.



That good old English tradition of the stiff upper-lip comes through with dignity and conviction in a taut British submarine film, "Operation Disaster," which arrived at the Criterion on Saturday. And with John Mills heading the muster of men of the Royal Navy who face death at a depth of fifteen fathoms in a sunken undersea boat, you may be sure that a model of courage is heroically set in this film and that man in his helplessness and pathos is effectingly demonstrated here.

To be sure, there is nothing original about the situation contrived. Dramas set in sunken undersea boats have been staged and screened for years. And Kenneth Woollard, who wrote the London stage play, "Morning Departure," on which the film is based, apparently worked on the assumption that there was no new change that he could ring.

Thus you can presuppose what happens. A British submarine puts out to sea on a routine peacetime operation off the British coast. Shortly after submerging, she contacts an old floating mine—one of those electrically activated devils—and her bow and stern compartments are blasted wide. With twelve men alive amid-ship, in watertight compartments, she sinks. And then begins the drama, of waiting for rescue and of testing the men.

On the bare bones of this old setup, however, a tense and tingling drama has been draped, thanks to a trimly written screen play, good direction and good performances all around. The sheer melodrama of anxiety, of releasing eight men from the hull by means of rescue devices after drawing lots to see which men should go, of frantic operations on the surface to raise the sunken ship, with four men remaining in her—all these are absorbingly displayed. Except for some minor suspicions that some technical wool is pulled over our eyes, we would say that this has the appearance and the ring of a documentary film.

And so are the human emotions inspired by such crisis revealed in a sure and authoritative fashion by members of the cast. Mr. Mills is quiet and resolute as the commander (remember him as a cocky rating in Noel Coward's "In Which We Serve"?); Richard Attenborough is tense as a young sailor who goes mad with claustrophobia and then quiets down. Nigel Patrick makes a fine subordinate officer with a cynical attitude toward life and James Hayter, Andrew Crawford and Michael Brennan are superior in other roles.

It would not be fair to tell you how this drama ends, but it does so with gratifying candor and that stiff upper-lip in firm control. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=990DE2DB1339E13BBC4D52DFB766838A649EDE

Nickdfresh
10-27-2009, 12:09 PM
...

"No Freddie. They don't love me. They'll do it because their d _ _ _ _ d good soldiers."
Gen. Patton when a British officer said he wasn't aware that Patton's troops loved him enough to pull out of a major battle and march to
Bastogne, Belgium in relief of the 82nd and 101st Airborne troops.

That's the truth about Lee Marvin although I find it hard to believe he was one of only five survivors out of almost 250 marines...

And not all of Patton's troops "loved him." Many thought he was an obsessive compulsive vain-glorious horse's-*** that like many 'superstar' generals, was as worried about his public perception as he was about winning. They also resented several of his bizarre pronouncements such as forcing them to wear ties and other useless garrison uniform items into combat during the North African Campaign. And I think the sarcastic rejoinder to his nickname of "Ole' Blood and Guts" was "His Guts, Our Blood" by many of his soldiers...

kuuk
10-27-2009, 01:10 PM
JackJM

I believe the movie you are asking about is called "Frauelein"
I don't remember much about it, other than it came out in the late fifties or so. The black actor died not too long after the movie came out, but his name escapes me. The only actor in the movie I do remember is Theodore Bikel, who played a Russian Officer and sang one of his famous Russian songs.

I read the book, called Erika, many years ago, and it was much more interesting than the movie.

rudeerude
10-27-2009, 08:20 PM
How about "Battleground" with James Whitmore.I just love the ending when James Whitmore-Kinnie's squad is getting relieved all beat from battle,and they see the fresh green troops coming they straighten up march and start singing.Also James Whitmore was a Marine in the Pacific driving a Amphibious tracked vehicle.
3721

3722

downwithpeace
10-28-2009, 12:19 PM
Shindlers' List, The Pianist, Ice Cold in Alex (Can't beat a cold beer), Cross of iron and Tora Tora Tora were all good, could also add the block busters we all know about bar the newer Perl harbor movie.

There is a Finnish movie, Assault i think is the english name. Not a bad made for tv movie.
Didn't see it all but i enjoyed what i saw of How far my feet will carry me.

Local video store is having a clearout sale so might see what i can get, Das Boot is on the list.

Nickdfresh
10-28-2009, 01:07 PM
How about "Battleground" with James Whitmore.I just love the ending when James Whitmore-Kinnie's squad is getting relieved all beat from battle,and they see the fresh green troops coming they straighten up march and start singing.Also James Whitmore was a Marine in the Pacific driving a Amphibious tracked vehicle.
3721

3722

One of my favorites. I think it would be a great candidate for a remake...

Librarian
10-29-2009, 09:07 AM
Agreed – an excellent film, much the best war film up to that time. By my personal opinion, of all films dealing with the foot soldiers it has still been surpassed only by Lewis Milestone’s "All Quiet on the Western Front". However, "Battleground" is without any doubt one of the artistic landmarks of the 50’s.

And how about "The Eagle Has Landed", directed by John Sturgess, honorable ladies and gentlemen? An unpretentious, exciting WW2 thriller with some touching moments and a truly great cast, as well as with a superb leading role of Mr. Michael Caine.

Available preview is located here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbYO_y6wnQQ

I hope that you will enjoy the Old School of war movies. :)

VonWeyer
10-29-2009, 09:15 AM
Agreed – an excellent film, much the best war film up to that time. By my personal opinion, of all films dealing with the foot soldiers it has still been surpassed only by Lewis Milestone’s "All Quiet on the Western Front".

Agreed...although not a WW2 film "All Quiet On The Western Front" is definately one of my favourites.

Gary D.
10-31-2009, 10:24 AM
Usually when I hear the word ‘propaganda,’ Josef Goebbels springs to mind—he had it down to a science and I don’t doubt that many current-day politicians study his speeches.

But he wasn’t the only practitioner of the art. I picked up a seven-tape set of Why We Fight, put out by the U.S. War Department (1943), mainly for American servicemen’s viewing. Very well done. I can’t verify it, but it sounds like the distinguished actor Walter Huston’s voice doing the narrating.

There’s a lot of footage I hadn’t seen before and am enjoying viewing it. I consider the tapes a bargain for $4.00 at the church rummage sale. With benefit of hindsight, I can sort through a lot of the manipulations. I try to get into the mind of wartime America.

Since Stalin was an ‘ally’ at the time, Why We Fight glosses over the Hitler-Stalin pact and the Soviet takeover of half of Poland.

Nickdfresh
10-31-2009, 10:31 AM
The series is propaganda, but there are certain aspects of stark reality presented. I don't know which one it is, but one of the interesting things I've heard is that the series features images of bodies of US GIs being sewn up into burial shrouds as a means of showing the unpleasant realities of sacrifice and loss. Something rather interesting as the Bush Administration continued to ban any photos of US caskets returning from the Iraq and Afghan warzones. The blatant contrast is that Americans were once asked to give up intangibles in the name of war and "freedom" whereas more recently, politicians have sought to detach day-to-day American life from their soldiers being killed abroad...

Gary D.
10-31-2009, 01:16 PM
If an 18-year-old's asked to give up his liberty and possibly his life, it's incumbent on the government to let him know why he's being asked to do it. I think Why We Fight makes a good case. Without getting into a discussion/disagreement concerning later administrations, LBJ never made a convincing argument, so far as I was concerned, why we gave up so much--futiley--in Vietnam. The present administration's not doing any better. I'm surprised our troops' morale isn't way down.

Nickdfresh
10-31-2009, 01:51 PM
The troops, some of them at least, are fighting where the 9/11 attacks took place. And the current president inherited a listless, rudderless War he didn't start, and is playing the Nixon to Bush's LBJ....

Librarian
11-01-2009, 07:03 PM
Excuse me for my interference, my dear Mr. Gary D, but that highly interesting sentence of yours about propaganda actually inspired me for this tiny post. More precisely, this one:


Since Stalin was an 'ally' at the time, Why We Fight glosses over the Hitler-Stalin pact and the Soviet takeover of half of Poland.

You see, during the war American film industry – as every other film industry on this planet – constantly worked under certain instructions issued from the Bureau of Motion Pictures in the Office of War Information.

For example, chiefs of studios were directly instructed that "At every opportunity, naturally and inconspicuously, show people making small sacrifices for victory – making them voluntarily, cheerfully and because of the people’s own sense of responsibility, not because of any laws. For example, show people bringing their own sugar when invited to dinner, carrying their own parcels when shopping, traveling on planes or trains with light luggage, uncomplainingly giving up seats for servicemen or others traveling on war priorities show persons accepting dimout restrictions, tire and gas rationing cheerfully, show well-dressed persons, obviously car owners, riding in crowded buses and streetcars."

It is completely understandable, because the war effort actually required propagation of a certain worldview, telling that as war raged some minor, basically completely irrelevant problems of ordinary people "don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world" (Humphrey Bogart’s famous line in legendary Casablanca). That wide-ranging general message was perfectly blameless.

It is certainly not easy for one, however, to perceive that audiences in those times were absolutely not accustomed to films which actually manipulated their feelings and worked on their political emotions on a completely fashionable, throw-away category of the political identity. Certain examples of Hollywood wartime production were absolutely brilliant in exemplifying this. Take for example this magnificent couple of currently almost completely forgotten, or even quietly covered up Hollywood war films:

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/MissiontoMoscow.jpg

Mission to Moscow (Michael Curtiz), 1943

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/SongofRussia.jpg

Song Of Russia, (Gregory Ratoff), 1944

Reportedly, even Uncle Joe was totally shocked when he observed that legendary scene when the US ambassador's wife visited Mrs. Molotov's private perfume factory in besieged Moscow! :shock:

The cutting, the dovetailing of sequences, but above all the ideas implanted in those films, all of these things and more have had tremendous, but actually officially desired political impact on a film audience which had no inkling of the power of the film for suggesting completely unfounded reflections. It was, and in to certain extent still is kind of a political dynamite.

One can only imagine the effect those unswervingly propagandistic films (previously mentioned couple, as well as numerous others, like Richard Wallace’s Bombardier, Edward Buzzell’s Keep your powder dry, Nick Grinde’s Hitler, Dead or Alive, etc.) have had in those times.

Fortunately, epoch of completely free milking of the audience’s emotions is far away from us now. :)

Gary D.
11-02-2009, 10:20 AM
Librarian - Thanks for bringing up Mission to Moscow. During the Joseph McCarthy era, this film came back to haunt Hollywood. I've never seen this film, and Walter Huston was one of my favorite actors (he was great in Abraham Lincoln (1930), an early 'talkie,' which is hard to understand because of the quality of the sound on the tape I have). As much as I detest Stalin, the fact is that if Russia had caved under to the Nazis, Hitler could have thrown all his forces against the West, along with the vast resources of a conquered Russia.

I usually mangle quotations, either from Shakespeare or the Bible, but I think the great Winston Churchill said something to the effect, that if Hitler invaded Hell, he, Churchill, would rise in Parliament to say something good about the Devil. One of my favorite quotations, whoever said it, is 'He who sups with the Devil should use a long spoon.'

Librarian
11-02-2009, 10:05 PM
Oh, I’m glad if you liked those motion pictures, my dear Mr. Gary D! You know, it's depressing how many important old films have already been marginalized in memory (if not completely forgotten!) nowadays.

And yes, I always held Walter Houston in very high esteem as well, although for me his best performance ever was in that absolutely phenomenal film about sometimes hidden, but constantly present voracious nature of man and the built-in human lust for greed - The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Brilliant film, indeed! :)

I don’t suppose that my next offer was ever considered as a praiseworthy achievement in this category, but it surely is one of the best within the small group of WW 2 thrillers. Billy Wilder’s Five Graves to Cairo (1943), however, offered a very fine and multifaceted dramatic performance of "the man you love to hate" to the majority of moviegoers – Erich von Stroheim.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/FiveGravestoCairo.jpg

"Five Graves to Cairo", Billy Wilder (1943)

Although never a great actor, he was often a very good one, especially in this film as a luxuriously malevolent German villain – field Marschal Erwin Rommel! By my personal opinion, the insidious and highly potent persuasiveness of film which accentuated a war-mood in those days surely deserves more of our attention.

In the meantime, as always - all the best! :)

Gary D.
11-03-2009, 10:31 AM
* * * And yes, I always held Walter Houston in very high esteem as well, although for me his best performance ever was in that absolutely phenomenal film about sometimes hidden, but constantly present voracious nature of man and the built-in human lust for greed - The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Brilliant film, indeed! :)

I don’t suppose that my next offer was ever considered as a praiseworthy achievement in this category, but it surely is one of the best within the small group of WW 2 thrillers. Billy Wilder’s Five Graves to Cairo (1943), however, offered a very fine and multifaceted dramatic performance of "the man you love to hate" to the majority of moviegoers – Erich von Stroheim.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/FiveGravestoCairo.jpg

"Five Graves to Cairo", Billy Wilder (1943)

Although never a great actor, he was often a very good one, especially in this film as a luxuriously malevolent German villain – field Marschal Erwin Rommel! By my personal opinion, the insidious and highly potent persuasiveness of film which accentuated a war-mood in those days surely deserves more of our attention.

:)

Von Stroheim was both a great actor and a great director. As far as his directing went, however, he was so profligate that he could bankrupt a studio (a trait which he shared with Orson Welles). He was excellent in Sunset Boulevard playing Gloria Swanson's butler and ex-husband.

I am sure I've seen Five Graves to Cairo, which came out about the same time as Sahara--a tape which I just picked up and am looking forward to seeing. Stars Humphrey Bogart and great character actors Dan Duryea and Bruce Cabot. I usually confuse it with The Iron Lady, however, about a group of Americans (later on, long after the war) who come upon a buried Panzer tank in the Sahara and manage to get it running.

I am not sure what von Stroheim's politics were--he came to Hollywood long before Hitler took power. Other great actors did a fine job of portraying Nazis--particularly Conrad Veidt, who had it written into his contract that he would play a Nazi, but never in a good light. Therefore, we have his excellent role in Casablanca. Surprisingly, many of them were Jewish, although I don't know why this is surprising. Luther Adler's Hitler in The Desert Fox was amazing. He caught the German leader to a tee in Hitler's last years, when the effects of Dr. Morel's injections of bull's texticles and other lethal connoctions were driving him over the edge.

Gary

herman2
11-03-2009, 11:49 AM
This guy looks so much like Bruce Willis in his younger days!

Gary D.
11-03-2009, 01:55 PM
Five Graves to Cai[/I]ro (1943), however, offered a very fine and multifaceted dramatic performance of "the man you love to hate" to the majority of moviegoers – Erich von Stroheim.

Although never a great actor, he was often a very good one, especially in this film as a luxuriously malevolent German villain – field Marschal Erwin Rommel! * * * :)

How did von Stroheim depict Rommel in this movie? Probably the complete opposite of the near-hero of James Mason's 1951 The Desert Fox. Rommel wasn't political and The Desert Fox has Lucie Rommel (played by Jessica Tandy) as an 'innocent.' I've read that she was a fervent Nazi. Is this true?

Librarian
11-03-2009, 10:18 PM
Well, from the very beginning, the Austrian émigré turned actor proved to be a difficult customer to handle. Even as an actor he was an egotist with an unusually individual talent. Often he was right, but he alienated a great meny people in proving it. Stroheim was not a man of patience or biding his time, nor was he a man of compromise. His insistence on the ultimate in realism was legendary. When he, for example, wanted scenes of home life in a San Francisco apartment, he moved his cameras and crew into a San Francisco apartment! Even the murder scene in his cause-célébre among film, "Greed", was staged in a building where a similar murder had taken place! And the climactic sequences in Death Valley were literally sweated out – slowly and painfully under a blazing sun, with no shade or comfort. Most of the crew were taken quite ill at one time or another – poor Jean Hersholt spent months recuperating in a hospital from a particularly unpleasant eruption of blisters that grew under the skin. Stroheim drove everybody mercilessly, and whether it was from loyalty, admiration or sheer hatred and a determination to show him that they could not be licked, he drew performances from his players and work from his camera operators that they never equaled under any other director. The actors played as though hypnotized into believing that they were really the characters they were portraying. :cool:

Of course, MGM executives were not happy with the film, which didn’t fit in with their policy at that time, and through the years tended to exaggerate the figures involved in its cost. But that film remains not only a movie milestone, but Stroheim’s own lasting monument. It has to be mentioned that he had also a pretty weird and in the same time wonderful fascination for the old Austro-Hungarian empire, with elegance, luxury and royal society, but real life in 30s, and early 40s, alas, wasn’t all champagne bubbles…

On the other hand, concerning other great actors which were portraying Germans during the war, perhaps the last truly original villain hero was nowadays sorrowfully and almost completely forgotten Helmut Dantine.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/HelmutDantine.jpg

Helmut Dantine, "Edge of Darkness" (1943)

As captain König in Lewis Milestone’s "Edge of Darkness" he was the foremost proponent of a gallant, to a certain extent sportsmanlike negative hero, to whome that gallantry did little good. Incredibly suggestive with his deep-set eyes and fine, well-modulated voice, he somehow always stood aside, like concealing his own, true feelings for. His directors usually exploited his face by giving him rather more close-ups than usually. :)

Another forgotten villain of a more rough-and–tumble nature, was Raymond Hart Massey, one of several sons of the owner of Toronto's Massey-Harris farm equipment and tractor company, who played a neat and egotistic Nazi officer in 1943's "Desperate Journey" directed by Raoul Walsh.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/RaymondMassey.jpg

Raymond Hart Massey, "Desperate Journey" (1942)

Free of temperament, kind, always ready to take advice, he managed to get himself well established as an actor in United States, where he represented almost a role model of a quiet, but dependable fellow. However, for the most part director Raoul Walsh in this film was more concerned with putting on the biggest and most exciting show possible, with an all-successful traditional hectic clearing up - a good punch right-into-the-kisser! After all, a sturdy inner lining of parody was often surprisingly perceptive in those times...


How did von Stroheim depict Rommel in this movie? Probably the complete opposite of the near-hero of James Mason's 1951 The Desert Fox.

Well… I think that you are on the right track, my dear Mr. Gary D. But I really don’t want to spoil anything regarding the story of the film. The best parts are some excellent close-ups, with that ruthless and bombastic attitude vigorously emphasized.

BTW: Those legendary male hormones, which were actually applied only once by that truly badly informed Dr Morell to combat Hitler’s fatigue via those Orchikrin pills, actually were completely out of harm's way, my dear Mr. Gary D. Much more damage actually was induced by those even today highly popular herbal-based remedies, widely used as alternative treatments for a number of ailments. You see, recent biochemical studies actually revealed the fact that intensive intake of a highly intriguing class of biochemicals, generally know as phytohormones, by means of multiple herbal constituents like that seemingly absolutely harmless Euflat is inversely associated with the risk of numerous and dangerous cardiovascular diseases.

It is also very interesting, and in the very same time highly disturbing that numerous scientist have completely neglected the fact that estrogenic, androgenic and progestogenic activities of the known phytoestrogens, and structurally related herbal flavonoids like genistein, kumestrol, formononetin, ligustilide or, God forbid, 8-prenylnaringenin are capable to effect so called endothelial barrier dysfunction and to inhibite leukocyte-endothelium interaction, thereby modulating vascular inflammation, a major event in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis as well as numerous highly interesting occurrences in human body.

As far as I remember, that benign Euflat – used to combat those digestive disturbances and meteorism, contained certain ammounts of a highly intriguing herb called Radix angelica…also known as Angelica Sinensis. You see, my dear Mr. Gary D., I am eager to learn what were the exact amounts of 3-Butylidene-4,5-dihydro-1(3H)-isobenzofuranone in that… natural… bio-enhancer of no matter what. :rolleyes:

And why? Well, once upon a time even those good old-timers in the North Central Plains knew that grazing on alfalfa is capable to cause reduced fertility in sheep…

In the meantime, as always - all the best! ;)

Gary D.
11-04-2009, 09:41 AM
Librarian --

I liked Helmut Dantine, even though he never made it that big. But everyone doesn’t have to be a ‘big’ star. Even the great Walter Huston was generally considered a competent character actor. Raymond Massey, for that matter. All were very good in their parts. I remember Dantine’s young German pilot’s character taking refuge in Greer Garson’s kitchen in Mrs. Minniver.

Raymond Massey was so versatile that I never categorize him. He was good as Abraham Lincoln (possibly as good as Walter Huston); the scheming illegitimate pretender to the throne in Prisoner of Zenda, John Brown (I think in an Erroll Flynn movie—can’t recall the name); and as James Dean’s puritanical father in East of Eden. Speaking of which, Massey detested Dean and didn’t approve of his approach to acting. Massey’s rage was real when Dean leaned over and whispered an obscenity into the distinguished older actor’s ear. If I could read lips, perhaps I’d know what Dean said.

You’re very knowledgeable about the cinéma as well as history and medicine. I can pretend some knowledge of the first two, but am pretty much ignorant as to the third. I picked up most of what I know of Dr. Morrell, the Führer’s quack doctor, from the excellent The Secretary Martin Bormann: The Man Who Manipulated Hitler. I often use this well-thumbed book as a ‘bible’ when I write of the Third Reich era. Morrell’s concoctions might have ‘cured’ Hitler of his first complaint, but I wonder how much they led to his mental deterioration, which led to all the blunders he made later on in the war.

As you doubtless know, Bormann was thought for years to be living it up in South America. Then two skeletons were unearthed in late post-war Berlin, one of which undoubtedly was Martin Bormann’s. A photograph of the skull, juxtaposed against a profile of Bormann in life matched up perfectly.

I look forward to seeing Five Graves to Cairo—it will undoubtedly turn up in one of my thrift-store ventures, where I purchased Sahara, which, by the way, is an excellent movie. I wonder where it was filmed? Certainly not in North Africa in 1943. Perhaps in that area of California and Arizona (I live in Arizona, by the way), where so many ‘Saharan’ flicks were made, such as The Garden of Allah with Charles Boyer and Marlene Dietrich.

Thanks for your continued input. I would still like to have your thoughts on Lucie Rommel—fervent Nazi or just loyal wife?

Gary

Librarian
11-04-2009, 08:43 PM
Thank you for your truly kind words, my dear Mr. Gary D. You know, I have always adored those old movies, and as a kid, I watched them with my parents every week, so I completely do share your views about those great films and those glittering personalities of filmdom’s heroic epoch. :)

Honestly, I don’t know what those leading personalities of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s had, but I think that quite a lot "stars" of later decades yearned they had it. I prefer to call it darned good showmanship. In those times the public loved their stars, and the stars reacted accordingly. Today we still have movie idols, of course, but that dedication, warmth and love emanating from both the audience and the stars has gone. Fame is more transient thing now, the accolades are louder, and more hysterical, but they are less sincerely felt, and they burn out quickly - as soon as another idol comes along. In those days if a star was going to give a performance it would be a performance all the way! And when you were watching them, you knew damned well who they were – in capital letters. No poking around in the mind, no turning over of a half dozen names before remembering who they were:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxPgplMujzQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YMPNNWnU7g

Yes, they were able to do anything and to do it with such a perfection and appearance of ease and grace attained through dedication and hard work, that even today they are symbolizing a glamorous age of the movies now departed – an age that will never be forgotten. :)

And although I do know that James Dean sometimes almost childishly enjoyed being naughty, I think that he newer behaved so badly as one of my personal heroes, Mr. James Cagney, who while being suddenly inspired, snatched up a half-grapefruit, and screwed it into the face of poor Mae Clarke in that well-known masterpiece of the silver screen - "The Public Enemy". An excellent reminder that you newer know what a man can imagine at a dinner table.

Your homeland, Arizona, is very close to my heart as well, because certain members of my truly wide-dispersed family actually lived in the vicinity of Scottsdale. And in many a western movie, the Hollywood cavalry has raced down the slope and splashed picturesquely through the Red Rock Crossing in Oak Creek Canyon. Hollywood sheiks and their dark-eyed temptresses have enacted many a romantic scene amid the shifting sand dunes west of Yuma. Arizona, with its red and caramel cliffs, its lofty mountains, purling streams, and forests of Ponderosa pine was, and I hope that still is every bit as beautiful in reality as it was on the screen. :)

You are asking me about Lucy Rommel… well, I think that she was just a loyal wife. She had dignity, poise and some sort of regal features, being the patrician lady and virtuous women threatened by sundry fates worse than death. :(

Finally, allow me just a very brief elucidation of that tiny "hormonal" quandary. You see, man is a unique animal in that he searches for order in the world he lives in. Looking through the chaos of seemingly unrelated events, he tries to perceive their inherent patterns of order. There are many ways in which man attempts to understand the organization of the universe, the world and himself, and science is factual knowledge gained systematically and logically. It is said that there is a scientific method, a strict procedure followed by men as they pursue knowledge. Scientific truths are result of independent substantiation of things perceived – they are results of testability, a confirmation by direct and unquestionably existing evidence.

And the only direct evidence we have in this issue, my dear Mr. Gary D. is located here:

http://digital.library.duq.edu/cdm-musmanno/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/musmanno-interviews&CISOPTR=4&CISOBOX=1&REC=1

Everything else is only a depiction of new conclusions from a set of assumptions. :)

Today, my dear Mr. Gary D, we know that an organism’s behavior is the result of the behavior of its cells. Cells are made of molecules, and the function of the cells is ultimately the result of the behavior of those molecules. Human history therefore is but a product of molecular influences on a macro-system called human being. Therefore, I really do hope that some day someone sufficiently dedicated will be able to note down a definite, absolutely undeniable and completely testable historical treatise "Operation Barbarossa as a neurosecretory induced distraction of the Nash equilibrium: terminal macro-social effects of colchicine suppression to (PGF2 alpha)-induced synthesis of oxytocin in Hitler’s paraventricular nucleus".

After all - biology interacts with history in many complex ways that make us who we are. ;)

In the meantime, as always – al the best!

Gary D.
11-05-2009, 09:24 AM
* * *

Honestly, I don’t know what those leading personalities of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s had, but I think that quite a lot "stars" of later decades yearned they had it. I prefer to call it darned good showmanship. In those times the public loved their stars, and the stars reacted accordingly. Today we still have movie idols, of course, but that dedication, warmth and love emanating from both the audience and the stars has gone. Fame is more transient thing now, the accolades are louder, and more hysterical, but they are less sincerely felt, and they burn out quickly - as soon as another idol comes along. In those days if a star was going to give a performance it would be a performance all the way! And when you were watching them, you knew damned well who they were – in capital letters.

* * *

Your homeland, Arizona, is very close to my heart as well, because certain members of my truly wide-dispersed family actually lived in the vicinity of Scottsdale. And in many a western movie, the Hollywood cavalry has raced down the slope and splashed picturesquely through the Red Rock Crossing in Oak Creek Canyon. Hollywood sheiks and their dark-eyed temptresses have enacted many a romantic scene amid the shifting sand dunes west of Yuma. Arizona, with its red and caramel cliffs, its lofty mountains, purling streams, and forests of Ponderosa pine was, and I hope that still is every bit as beautiful in reality as it was on the screen. :)



I guess we're a bit off the track, but, insofar as 'modern actors' go, I have little interest in most of them. When I check out at the grocery store, I sometimes peruse the magazines while waiting for the next customer to move on. 'So and So is having a baby!' As if I knew who 'So and So' was.

There are famous people, on either side of the Atlantic, who still have integrity, although I'm hard put to name any in Hollywood--certainly not the likes of the great Irene Dunne or Jimmy Stewart. Do you know that when he went into the service and piloted a plane on missions, he never lost a man? And he was completely loyal to his men--to his wife--and to his stepsons. Frankly, he's what I look for in an American president--and we'll never see his likes again.

My former employer was, in the 1940s, the attorney representing most of the film industry in Arizona. One day I brought up that one of my favorite movies was Lust for Gold (1949), and Mr. Cox kept me interested for thirty minutes telling me about his experiences when they made most of the movie in the Valley of the Sun. The producer had called him early one morning asking him to drive over to Apache Junction to remove a modern sign (the movie was supposedly about Jacob Walz, and the never-located (if ever existed) Lost Dutchman Mine, in the 1870s or '80s.

I'm going to check out Lucie (or Lucy?) Rommel to see what her real politics were. As you know, anything on the Internet has to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. I've run up against sites that deify Hitler, actually terming him 'St. Adolf.' I guess there are also 'Flat Earth' sites as well.

Nice to hear your input.

Gary

Librarian
11-05-2009, 07:57 PM
Oh, I completely do agree with you, my dear Mr. Gary D. Indeed, not all inventions positively change our lives - some of them are making us scratch our heads as well! For example, our modern electronic miracles, like our dearly beloved Internet, are more than capable to effortlessly disseminate half-truths, lies, and sheer stupidity with the same ease as they do the same for true values. Look no further – here is a beautiful illustration for the previously mentioned claim:

http://www.ourhollowearth.com/

What can I say? Perhaps only that good old Schiller already emphasized in his tragedy "The Maid of Orleans", written in 1801 in Leipzig, the fact that "… Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain." :roll:

Fortunately, the laws of evidence provide that deliberately avoiding knowledge does not rank as pure ignorance, but rather as willful blindness. Theoretically, that is completely sufficient for the preservation of the integrity of science.

And yes – I was told about those excellent results of major James Stuart by The New York Times, which appeared in print on March 1, 1944. :)

On the other hand, history of the US Presidency clearly indicates that dynamic and positive leadership always arouses somehow spontaneously in the time of need. No one could have guessed in the black days before March 4, 1933, for example, that Franklin D. Roosevelt would set his mark on the age as have few Chief Executives. Furthermore, once upon a time even Alice Roosevelt Longworth remarked that Calvin Coolidge had been weaned on a dill pickle, although he had a clear-cut conservative philosophy based upon his Vermont boyhood-exhortations to thrift, hard work and respect for learning and virtue. Therefore don’t worry, my dear Mr. Gary D. – comforting moral leadership will be awakened somehow. ;)

And now – back to our main theme in this thread.

Although every society has certain stereotypes concerning members of other societies, ethnic or racial groups and categories, the dominating Hollywood typecast during the WW 2 actually openly demonized Japanese soldiers as strange, vicious and sinister men of mystery, as bunch of half–sadists taking obvious enjoyment in seeing the white hero chained or tortured. Unlike Germans, who possessed certain levels of moral integrity in those wartime film incarnations, Japanese soldiers were almost constantly portrayed as entirely different people, without any trace of inclination toward understanding capable to transcend opposing cultures, religions and states.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/ThePurpleHeart-1944.jpg

Richard Loo, The Purple Heart (1944)

Mr. Richard Loo was one of the most successful Chinese American actors of the wartime Hollywood era, who constantly played high-ranking Japanese officers or spies educated in the United States, consequently capable to spoke fluent English.

Numerous questions, such as what were the business concerns, or perhaps official constraints that contributed to the aforementioned practice of unswervingly negative representation of Japanese soldiers in wartime Hollywood films, have not been fully explored.

In the meantime, as always – all the best! :)

Gary D.
11-06-2009, 08:44 AM
Librarian --

I was taken to task for some of my thoughts on Imperial Japan, particularly in comparing the atrocities committed by the Japanese military in China and during the Bataan Death March. I didn't research who was responsible for the horrors committed against American and Filipinos--I shall, and I'm hoping the instigator was executed after the war.

I was fortunate enough to pick up The Reader's Digest Illustrated Story of World War II--and the death march was written up by one of the survivors. It's hard reading--very hard reading.

I know the Japanese looked with contempt on soldiers who lay down their arms and surrendered. Even the Germans accepted honorable surrender, and surrendered. Probably, the regular Wehrmacht, contrasted to the Japanese military, treated troops of co-signers of the Geneva Conventions, more humanely. Offhand, I don't know if Japan signed the Geneva Conventions--I know the Soviets didn't--which is not to excuse how the SS treated captured Soviet soldiers.

I guess I should end up saying something about movies, which is what the thread is all about: I did see Purple Heart, but it's been a while. Did you see The Fighting Sullivans? Weren't there four brothers who went down with their ship? Even now, when I see it--I have a copy--it's hard to control my tears. At the time, the U.S. Government didn't want to release the film because of the heart-wrenching poignancy of this wartime film. I think they had a ruling, after the Sullivans' deaths, that this could never happen again--nor could they force all the sons of a family to be drafted.

Gary D.
11-06-2009, 09:15 AM
* * *

Although every society has certain stereotypes concerning members of other societies, ethnic or racial groups and categories, the dominating Hollywood typecast during the WW 2 actually openly demonized Japanese soldiers as strange, vicious and sinister men of mystery, as bunch of half–sadists taking obvious enjoyment in seeing the white hero chained or tortured. Unlike Germans, who possessed certain levels of moral integrity in those wartime film incarnations, Japanese soldiers were almost constantly portrayed as entirely different people, without any trace of inclination toward understanding capable to transcend opposing cultures, religions and states.

* * *

Richard Loo, The Purple Heart (1944)

Mr. Richard Loo was one of the most successful Chinese American actors of the wartime Hollywood era, who constantly played high-ranking Japanese officers or spies educated in the United States, consequently capable to spoke fluent English.

Numerous questions, such as what were the business concerns, or perhaps official constraints that contributed to the aforementioned practice of unswervingly negative representation of Japanese soldiers in wartime Hollywood films, have not been fully explored.

* * *



I suppose, when we're fighting a war, particularly World War II, we have to demonize our enemies, as we particularly did the Japanese. I'm not sure when the first 'positive' depiction of a Japanese officer or statesman was made--perhaps Bridge to the Sun, which I remember seeing in 1961, with James Shigeta as the young Japanese diplomat Hidenari Terasaki, and Carroll Baker as his American wife, Gwen Terasaki. Although I’ve read later that perhaps ‘Terry’ wasn’t quite as innocent as his widow made out.

I admire the Japanese people—Japan rose from a feudal society within less than a hundred years to a major world power—which she is now, at least economically speaking. They accepted Western technology, utilized it, and kept their traditional values. Most Japanese today grew up long after the war, so I don’t blame them.

During the height of the Cold War, we discussed world affairs in social studies, but I don’t remember anything particularly bad being taught about Russia—except the Soviet system contrasted with the free-enterprise one.

A couple of years ago, I exchanged emails with a fellow member of my fiction-writing group. Gennady lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was a former Soviet officer. He wrote that all through school, and into the military, he was indoctrinated with anti-American teachings—apparently, it didn’t take. We did disagree on the reasons why President Bush went into Iraq, but Americans have done that. I have always liked Russia--old Imperial Russia, however, not the USSR--and was always pro-Russian people, and I was never called down for it.

As my mother once told me, even an enemy soldier is someone’s son.

Librarian
11-07-2009, 11:19 AM
I shall be very indebted to you for your kind excusing my inability of prompt responding to your previous answers, my dear Mr. Gary D. I hope that you will take into consideration the highly unpleasant circumstances - subsequent receipt of an official information that my personal account with Photobucket was allotted with 10 GB of monthly bandwidth, and that official records show that I have less than 2 GB of bandwidth left to my account.:shock:

Great pressure of work connected with reallocation of photographic material prevented me from dispatching answers in time. Every precaution will be taken to avoid a repetition of a similar event.

Words are never enough, my dear Mr. Gary D. The eye sees. The mind knows. The heart feels. But the words do not exist to make us see, or know, or feel what reality is, what actually happens. The words, alas, are never right about the precise meaning of humanism.

It is a pleasant-sounding word, and it brings with it a graceful touch of fresh air from the Renaissance. That word is a kind of ideal attribute to man – lithe of mind, unprejudiced, unfettered by ancient rigmaroles, skilled in his control of the whole province of man. But has there ever been such a being? From time to time someone emerges out of the gray who looks, in favorable light, like the hero we all might wish to be. Sir Philip Sydney on the field of Zuthpen, Shelley lamenting Keats, Senator William Pitt Fessenden in a eulogy delivered upon the death of senator Foot of Vermont, Lieutenant Arthur Rhys-Davids sincerely regretting death of Werner Foss, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin unfolding the phenomenon of man…

Yet again, those sadly forgotten instances of humanity are the only seeds of true nobility and greatness capable to heal a soul of an individual or the wounded spirit of a society, cultivating those perilous deserts of unawareness and neglecting where stereotypes are ruling, destroying nature’s unique experiment to make rational intelligence prove itself sounder than the reflex. Knowledge and understanding, my dear Mr. Gary D, is our destiny, it is a responsibility for what we are, primarily of what we are as ethical creatures.

Since even things written down have an extraordinary propensity for going wrong in the writing, we ought to be permitted to show the pictures – not just the words, but also the real things. And we ought to have the moral fiber to look at those things.

Then, and then only, treating everybody and everything without any prejudice or discrimination, we will be able to appreciate universal strength of the human spirit that a passionate commitment to the Noble Cause by George Tomas, Francis Henry, Joseph Eugen, Medison Abel, and Albert Leo who were prepared to walk the road of duty – and they did – when it came to the price of their splendid commitment.

http://www.myalbum.com/GroteFoto-WRAQWVCS.jpg

Condolences of the President F. D. Roosevelt sent to Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan (official draft)

Then, knowing that even a solitary candle of chivalry, even in the midst of otherwise cruel hostility possesses enduring capacity to absorb evil, to transform human existence from a dungeon of shame to a heaven of human dignity, we will be able to work through our fears.

http://www.myalbum.com/GroteFoto-K7SSNZ3O.jpg

Example of a chivalrous surrender of Japanese soldiers

Those, as well as numerous other examples of humanism, able to prove that perfect courtesy can be shown even to those who may look upon someone as to their archenemy, completed in a special thread called Examples of Humanity, will substantiate the old-fashioned claim that human problems can be solved in humane ways, and that the glades of grass growing on graves are symbols of regeneration – the final act of reconciliation between death and life.

And now back to the films.

Yes, my dear Mr. Gary D, I watched "The Fighting Sullivans", and that film really is an example for nowadays outdated and quaint, heartbreaking and honest artistic reflections. However, I think that Hollywood never filmed a story about another, for me much more heartrending occurrence – that sadly forgotten scene when colonel Frences I. Fenton kneeled by the body of his own son, also a member of the 1st Marine Division, a 19-year old scout-sniper who was killed in action on Okinawa, May 7, 1945.

I, too, sometimes do look at that photo and weep. Spontaneously. For once we lose our compassion, we lose our souls.

In characterizing all Hollywood films from the 40s, the greatest war film of the 40s was perhaps the "Guadalcanal Diary" (1943), directed by Lewis Seiler.

http://www.myalbum.com/GroteFoto-FJKTSHEB.jpg

Anthony Queen, Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

This was perhaps the only film entitled to take its own place as an individual work of art, being capable to encompass overall historical grandeur and personal vignettes, such as those incredibly convincing shots of close-combat battle, with absolutely brilliant play of Mr. Anthony Queen as Private Jesus "Soose" Alvarez.

Well, that’s all for today. In the meantime, as always – all the best! :)

Gary D.
11-07-2009, 01:00 PM
* * *

Condolences of the President F. D. Roosevelt sent to Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan (official draft)

Then, knowing that even a solitary candle of chivalry, even in the midst of otherwise cruel hostility possesses enduring capacity to absorb evil, to transform human existence from a dungeon of shame to a heaven of human dignity, we will be able to work through our fears.

* * *


I copied Mr. Roosevelt's letter to the parents of the Sullivan boys. It's obviously heart-felt and not boil-plate. It's trite to say, but there are times when words, indeed, fail even the most eloquent statesman.

I know FDR wrote a letter to a 'future President,' requesting that the Sullivans' grandson be admitted to West Point. President Eisenhower was more than willing to accede to this request, but young Sullivan wanted to make it on his own--he did. I think, to this day, there is a The Sullivans ship in the U.S. Navy.

Nickdfresh
11-07-2009, 04:36 PM
I copied Mr. Roosevelt's letter to the parents of the Sullivan boys. It's obviously heart-felt and not boil-plate. It's trite to say, but there are times when words, indeed, fail even the most eloquent statesman.

I know FDR wrote a letter to a 'future President,' requesting that the Sullivans' grandson be admitted to West Point. President Eisenhower was more than willing to accede to this request, but young Sullivan wanted to make it on his own--he did. I think, to this day, there is a The Sullivans ship in the U.S. Navy.

I'm not sure if there is still one on active duty. But there was indeed a retired USS Sullivans that is now moored at the Buffalo, NY Naval Park. Been on it many times, and the ship is rumored to be haunted. :shock:

http://2randys.tripod.com/Sullivans.jpg

http://2randys.tripod.com/USS_Sullivans_8.jpg

Gary D.
11-08-2009, 09:37 AM
I'm not sure if there is still one on active duty. But there was indeed a retired USS Sullivans that is now moored at the Buffalo, NY Naval Park. Been on it many times, and the ship is rumored to be haunted. :shock:

http://2randys.tripod.com/Sullivans.jpg

http://2randys.tripod.com/USS_Sullivans_8.jpg

I have to check this out, but it seems I recall, a few years ago, seeing a new ship christened, when the first The Sullivans was replaced. Wouldn't swear to it, however.

downwithpeace
11-08-2009, 10:42 AM
There was a USS The Sullivans off of Cork in 2006.
Even equipped with a shamrock,
http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/photos/090213-N-4774B-028.jpg

Gary D.
11-12-2009, 08:54 AM
I have a copy of The Fighting Sullivans but haven't viewed it in years. Even after sixty-five years, or so, it's still an emotionally touching movie. I can imagine how it affected wartime audiences.

I wanted to see what the five Sullivan brothers looked like, and I did manage to find a few pictures of them. As in most Hollywood films, they 'changed' it somewhat. According to the film, four brothers went into the ship to rescue another one. I suppose this was thought to be more dramatic. According to what I learned on the Internet, four brothers went down with the Juneau and George, the eldest, was in the sea for hours, until he finally died, from exhaustion and possibly from sharks. Their sister joined the service and she and her mother made many wartime bond rallies.

It's difficult to think in terms of millions of deaths. Someone replied, when asked about how to count a million deaths, replied: One, one, one, . . .' It might have been Stalin, but I'm never quite sure of my quotations.

Anyway, I have decided to personify the Pacific conflict, from the U.S. side, with the Sullivans. We lost five brothers during the Civil War, but, hopefully, the Sullivans were the last.

When I think of the Korean Conflict, or war, I always think of a friend of my brother. Jim never came back. My mother said he came by the house just before he left for training. To this day, I still remember him--very polite and soft spoken. Most teenage boys, at the best, ignore their friends' small siblings, but I recall him as always being friendly and nice to me.

Librarian
11-13-2009, 04:02 PM
After many a days I was finally able to find a snapshot connected with the touching scenes between heroes of the film directed by Mr. Llloyd Bacon:

http://www.myalbum.com/GroteFoto-CFPZYDA3.jpg

The Fighting Sullivans – 1944

However, surprisingly little is known even today about the trial and everlasting merits of Borgstrom family of Thatcher (Utah). Hollywood producers until now were not interested in life and deeds of four of the five sons of Alben and Gunda Borgstrom, who died within a six-month period during 1944. Leroy Elmer, Clyde Eugene, Rolon Day and Rulon Jay have been called upon to make such a tremendous sacrifice for the cause of freedom and liberty, that a sincere and suitably undeviating account, a work in the high-tradition of a Hollywood war epic, achieved with power and grace of style, surely deserves a small amount of receptiveness by Hollywood producers even in our hard times.

Who knows – if those highly important people are to rediscover the inheritance so long taken for granted, perhaps even the Fomenko family from the village Berezshki, Usolyskie district (Бережки, Усольский район) finally will be respectfully mentioned and courteously remembered. After all, seven of the nine sons they sent off to battle died during the war.

And I think that the first "positive" depiction of a Japanese officer actually was presented by a legend of the silent screen, a Shakesperean actor educated for a naval officer who consistently delievered performances that could make most of the newer stars look to their laurels – by Mr. Sessue Hayakawa.

His absolutely brilliant role of Colonel Saito in "The Bridge On the River Kwai" (directed by David Lean) brought a touch of humanity to the tiring representation of the Japanese soldiers as absolutely soulless monsters. Those scenes where colonel Saito breaks down into tears, or that wonderful dinner scene between Sir Allec Guinness and Hayakawa, presented a truly three dimensional, understanding character and not a pre-casted panel-type of a cartoonish villain.

And that, after all, is how some of us remember the 40s – or like to think we do…

In the meantime, as always – all the best! :)

Gary D.
11-13-2009, 08:39 PM
Sessue Hayakawa[/I].

His absolutely brilliant role of Colonel Saito in "The Bridge On the River Kwai" (directed by David Lean) brought a touch of humanity to the tiring representation of the Japanese soldiers as absolutely soulless monsters. Those scenes where colonel Saito breaks down into tears, or that wonderful dinner scene between Sir Allec Guinness and Hayakawa, presented a truly three dimensional, understanding character and not a pre-casted panel-type of a cartoonish villain.

And that, after all, is how some of us remember the 40s – or like to think we do…

In the meantime, as always – all the best! :)

Sessue Hayakawa was indeed a prominent star who achieved his initial success in silent-film-era Hollywood. There was, of course, the depiction of the 'yellow menace' when he was active in the 1920's, but it was probably as much anti-Chinese as anti-Japanese.

In any event, I always admired him. I recall him in the Claudette Colbert film Three Came Back (or was it Home?) made after the war. Without going into IMDb, which I don't do when responding in a forum, because I like to come to the table with what I know at the time, I think she was the wife of a British planter and she, her husband, and their small son were interned by the Japanese during the war. After they learned that the Americans had dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, she missed her son, and rushed to Hayakawa's character's house, thinking he was killing her son along with the camp's other children, in retaliation for the bomb. He replied, something to the effect, 'Do you really think I would harm the children?'

All in all, though, I think James Shigeta presented the most positive view of the Japanese. First in Bridge to the Sun (1961) and as Admiral Nagumo in Midway--a truly remarkable film which I've seen a few times. I say 'positive' for Nagumo, even though he was bent on the destruction of the American fleet. Shigeta's Nagumo expressed an admiration for the torpedo-bomber pilots who appeared to be throwing away their lives in a fruitless attempt to stop his navy. I don't know what Nagumo actually felt. I think even the pilot who headed the mission to bomb Pearl Harbor afterwards became a devout Christian and preacher. His life story would make interesting reading.

Kindest regards,

Gary

Gary D.
11-13-2009, 09:04 PM
Since writing about Admiral Chuichi Nagumo in the ‘favorite films’ section, I checked out some photographs of the real man. Nagumo was certainly no where near as handsome as James Shigeta; but, then, the real-life Americans who took part in the Battle of Miday didn't stack up against the likes of Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, and, of course, Charlton Heston. We must keep our heroes photogenic.

Librarian
11-14-2009, 05:24 PM
I’m glad that we do share those positive views concerning the performing capacity of Mr. Hayakawa. For me his biggest role was in "The Typhoon", in which his wife also appeared. The title was a symbolical one only – the film was a strong political melodrama of a man who deliberately sacrifices his life, confessing to a murder that was actually commited by a diplomat. The murder was a crime of passion, and it was deemed more important that the diplomat complete his mission than that he pay for his crime with his life. Hence, the false confession by a patriot willing to sacrifice life, and more important – honor – for the sake of his country.

In a strong role like that Mr. Hayakawa was exceptionally fine, and brought a distinctly different type of hero to silver screens.

In the very same time I completely do share your views about that truly brilliant war film directed by Mr. Jack Smight. Nevertheless, I have another giant spectacle with tremendous battle scenes on my personal list of all-time favorites: "Tora! Tora! Tora!" from 1970. True, it seems a trifle unemotional, but there are some of the most accurately reconstructed combat scenes ever put on film - big, terrifying and superbly staged! I think that I have somewhere one less important, but to a certain extent unknown color snapshot connected with this film. I shall try to find it. You know, in those times even the villains were somehow photogenic as well! :o

In the meantime, as always – al the best! :)

Gary D.
11-14-2009, 08:28 PM
I have to do some reading on Sessue Hayakawa, particularly the film you mentioned. On the whole, I like silent films. I've seen Ramon Navaro's Ben Hur and, believe it or not, prefer it to Charleton Heston's. Too bad, however, that Stephen Boyd, as Messala, couldn't have been born early enough to take Francis X. Bushman's part. Bushman, to me, really hammed up this role. I don't see what women saw in him. This, is not, of course, World War II-related.

I have just finished an episode of History Detectives, where American airmen crash-landed in Borneo in 1944. The tribesmen so hated the Japanese that they rescued and protected the downed men.

The Japanese could have had allies of many people across Southeast Asia, as could the Germans have had in the Ukraine--and we know what happened there. The Japanese rampaged across Borneo, killing and taking whatever they wanted. Consequently, many of the Japanese heads were smoked and hanging in the longhouses.

crusader1096
12-04-2009, 06:26 PM
Great World War 2 movies for me are:
-Saint & Soldier
- Come and See
- Talvisota
- Stalingrad( I'm talking about the german film, not Enemy At the Gates)
- Die Brücke (1969 or 2008 version)

Munchausen
12-10-2009, 08:49 AM
I could watch Patton all day, everyday and never tire of it. I love the epics like A Bridge Too Far, The Longest Day, Battle of the Bulge and Saving Private Ryan. Smaller scale stuff like Hell is for Heroes and Cross of Iron hold my attention too.

Gary D.
12-10-2009, 10:30 AM
I could watch Patton all day, everyday and never tire of it. I love the epics like A Bridge Too Far, The Longest Day, Battle of the Bulge and Saving Private Ryan. Smaller scale stuff like Hell is for Heroes and Cross of Iron hold my attention too.

I know this actually happened--maybe it was a military necessity--General Patton, in real life, ordered a recalcitrant mule shoved over a bridge. During the filming of Patton this happened, not once, but twice--two different mules met their deaths. I am not sure this part ever made it to the American screen, considering our strong animal-rights groups. I do warn people about this. Where was Patton made? Not in the U.S.

I knew Jacquelyn Smith's cousin (Charley's Angels), and Kay was charged with ensuring that no animals were harmed during one of Smith's movies made in Arizona. Her charges: hundreds of tarantulas!! Not my favorite pets. Anyway, you can be sure that, unlike Patton, not even a creepy, crawly thing was hurt.

Munchausen
12-14-2009, 10:44 AM
Hmmm...If that was the movie Tarantula! starring William Shatner, then I have to wonder. There was a scene where the arachnids were swarming this cabin and Capt. Kirk was doing this horrid soft-shoe routine and grinding the l'il buggers into the hardwood floor. If they were fake then I was totally taken in. Same thing goes for the Madagascar hissing cockroaches in Damnation Alley. I'm sure a lot of them died in the cause of art. I understand that they're able to be more careful as of late in movies like Eight Legged Freaks and Arachnophobia. This is reminding me of that woman that died on the set of Dr. Zhivago. Something to do with a train. Now I'm gonna check snopes to see if they got something on it.
Here's snopes's call on Patton. (http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/pattonmules.asp)
and the Zhivago one if you're interested. (http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/zhivago.asp)

Gary D.
12-14-2009, 09:08 PM
Hmmm...If that was the movie Tarantula! starring William Shatner, then I have to wonder. There was a scene where the arachnids were swarming this cabin and Capt. Kirk was doing this horrid soft-shoe routine and grinding the l'il buggers into the hardwood floor. If they were fake then I was totally taken in. Same thing goes for the Madagascar hissing cockroaches in Damnation Alley. I'm sure a lot of them died in the cause of art. I understand that they're able to be more careful as of late in movies like Eight Legged Freaks and Arachnophobia. This is reminding me of that woman that died on the set of Dr. Zhivago. Something to do with a train. Now I'm gonna check snopes to see if they got something on it.
Here's snopes's call on Patton. (http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/pattonmules.asp)
and the Zhivago one if you're interested. (http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/zhivago.asp)

I'd have to look it up on IMDb, but William Shatner wasn't in it. The movie, by the way, except for Jacquelyn Smith's beauty, was totally forgettable.

Rich46yo
12-21-2009, 08:49 AM
In the last week I viewed, again for the 100'th time, The BOB, Stalingrad, Das Boot, and Yamato. All are great movie but The BOB is simply incredable due to the special effects and the presence of so many actual airplanes. Spits, Hurris, made in Spain 109s and 111s, you'll never see so many actual planes in the air like that again. This is a great flight movie.

The other three? I think its important to view WW-2 movies NOT made in or by Americans. You wont feel cheated buying the DVD of any of these.

Librarian
12-24-2009, 09:33 AM
On this blessed day, honorable ladies and gentlemen, I’m offering to you perhaps the most appropriate and consecrated Great Hollywood epoch war-scene ever presented on a silver screen… Christmas Eve, somewhere in the European Theater of Operations in late 1944… What a sequence!

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/BingCrosby-WarChristmas.jpg

White Christmas – Michael Curtiz, 1954

Beautiful episode, fulfilled with deep and sincere human emotions. Honestly, I don’t think that we still have today artistic performers with such a high sound quality of human voice, which represented everything he truly needed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRYPWlyU_Zk&feature=related

What the coming year may hold none of us can foresee. It is my earnest wish that for you it may bring forth a generous harvest of happiness, blessing and good fortune, honorable ladies and gentlemen. Good cheer and plenty, the love of your dear ones, the affection of your true friends – may all these contribute to a merry Christmas! :)

Tiger205
03-26-2010, 04:18 AM
MY Favorite World War II Movies:

BEST FILMS
Das Boot (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082096/)
Tali-Ihantala 1944 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0378848/)
Stalingrad (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108211/)
Der Untergang (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/)
Баллада о солдате - (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052600/)
Летят журавли - (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050634/)
Letters from Iwo Jima (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0498380/)
Otoko-tachi no Yamato (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451845/)
and a very funny Hungarian
A tizedes meg a többiek (The Corporal and Others) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059812/)

FUNNIEST (and most quoted by me):
Kelly's Heroes (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065938/)

MOST HATED:
Pearl Harbor (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0213149/)

Regards:
TGR

ps: DO YOU AGREE WITH ME?

Valkyrie
06-01-2010, 06:21 PM
This is tough,but my favourite WW2 movies have got to be The Great Escape,Ice Cold in Alex,The Eagle has Landed,Where Eagles Dare.Classic action,great stories.

ezduzit
06-16-2010, 07:19 PM
i saw a movie when i was little, early 60's. the only thing i remember from the plot was that a woman scorned by german slob got her listed as a prostitute and she was rescued by a black military policeman who the german called a shine, derogatory word for a black person. later on in the movie she wanted to marry an american soldier. when she went for the papers the same MP saw on her record that she was a prostitute. knowing that she really wasn't a prostitute he made her wait a really long time until everyone pretty much left the office. she was frantic because she knew what the records said. after everyone left he altered the records and gave her the paperwork for the marriage. looking at it and expecting it to say she was a prostitute she was overwhelmed when she saw that it didn't say that. anyone have an idea of the name of the movie, i've tried searching black actors and other words to no avail.

try the movie fraulein with james edwards playing the black actor. this was before sidney poitier even became popular.

Procyon
06-25-2010, 12:51 AM
I think this list pretty much sums it up:
Amazon WW2 Movies (http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUT F8%26redirect%3Dtrue%26ref_%3Dsr%5Fnr%5Fp%5F72%5F0 %26bbn%3D909812%26qid%3D1277444902%26rnid%3D124900 3011%26rh%3Dn%253A130%252Cn%253A%2521404276%252Cn% 253A586156%252Cn%253A909812%252Cp%5F72%253A1249005 011&tag=lazerguy-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957)
https://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=lazerguy-20&l=ur2&o=1

The just apply the filters to narrow down your search.

gisella
08-25-2010, 07:17 PM
I love anything with John Wayne in it , or Anthony Quinn!

The Commander
08-26-2010, 01:00 AM
Some of my favorite WWII movies are:
The Desert Fox, The Longest Day, A Bridge to Far, Patton, PT109, Midway.... the list could go on. Oh, anyone remember the TV series' "combat" and "the desert rats"? Classic TV!

reet
10-04-2010, 01:40 AM
My favorite World War II movies are:
The Desert Fox
The Longest Day

Finnishbastard
10-08-2010, 04:56 AM
There is a Finnish movie, Assault i think is the english name. Not a bad made for tv movie.
Didn't see it all but i enjoyed what i saw of How far my feet will carry me.


I think you meant "Ambush" (Rukajärven tie (1999))

downwithpeace
10-09-2010, 07:02 AM
Yup, that's the one.

Iron Yeoman
10-09-2010, 05:04 PM
Is that the one where the Finnish officer's missus is a nurse and she gets killed?

My favourites in no particular order;
Bridge too far
Der Untergang
The way ahead (ok it's a propaganda film but it's still good)
Battle for the river plate (mostly because my great uncle was on HMS Exeter during the battle)
Longest day
Saving Private Ryan
Das Boot
39th Battalion (If you haven't see it, do it's brilliant)
Letters from Iwo Jima

imi
04-30-2011, 04:35 AM
My favourite is the Night of the Generals (beautiful colors and excellent uniforms) and Der Untergang

jamestallakson
05-06-2011, 03:20 PM
my favorite is probably the sands of iwo jima, even hough he wasn't a real Marine, he should have been because he did a darn good job portrying one, sucks he dies though.

jamestallakson
05-06-2011, 03:23 PM
Some of my favorite WWII movies are:
The Desert Fox, The Longest Day, A Bridge to Far, Patton, PT109, Midway.... the list could go on. Oh, anyone remember the TV series' "combat" and "the desert rats"? Classic TV!

comabat was an amazing show, i used to get it from the library all the time but ive seen its on netflix now so no more hassel, i miss hogans heroes too, darn good show, however unrealistic it may be.

namvet
06-04-2011, 08:25 PM
I finally found, and ordered the gallant hours on DVD today from Turner classic movies



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2wye37sZiQ

Der Toten Kaiser
07-09-2011, 03:57 PM
Well, I think I'm the only one who don't like Saving Private Ryan... No offense, but too much "Americanism", some good movies are Letters from Iwo Jima, Enemy at the Gates, The Thin Red Line, Das Boot, A Bridge Too Far, Der Untergag (one of my top rated), and someone remember of Tora!Tora!Tora!? If Series are in too: Desert Rats, Band of Brothers & The Pacific!

doc4aday
07-09-2011, 06:28 PM
My favorite WWII movie has to be the "Longest Day". This movie was loaded with well known actors. The "Duke", John Wayne is my all-time favorite actor. One of the best B&W war movies ever made. I make a point to watch this movie at least 2-3 times on or before June 6. There are many great WWII movies out there, The Longest Day is at the top of my list, and will be so for a long while.

Doc!

Argyle
12-19-2011, 06:52 PM
Personally - I love "the Train" with Burt Lancaster, its a real gem from the 60s (but shot in BW for a vintage look). Also Das Boot and Downfall. I'm more picky than most about my war films lol

Truce
12-19-2011, 09:39 PM
Seen a lot of The Train lately, as it has been on tv multiple times, its interesting.
I really enjoyed Defiance and Enemy at the gates (though not always accurate).:rolleyes:
Charlotte Gray is also a good one and can’t forget the old favorites like Enemy below and The longest day.
But my all time favorite would have to be Band of brothers especially Part 6 (Bastogne).
Not a fan of Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbor.
Looking forward to the ww2 thriller Starring Cillian murphy, hopefully to be released 2012...:D

muscogeemike
12-20-2011, 08:41 AM
My favorite WWII movie has to be the "Longest Day". This movie was loaded with well known actors. The "Duke", John Wayne is my all-time favorite actor. One of the best B&W war movies ever made. I make a point to watch this movie at least 2-3 times on or before June 6. There are many great WWII movies out there, The Longest Day is at the top of my list, and will be so for a long while.

Doc!
I saw this movie at its premier in the Graumans Chinese Theater in Hollywood as part of a middle school outing.

Iron Yeoman
12-20-2011, 08:51 AM
I don't know if I've already posted this before but 'The Way Ahead' has to be a firm favourite with me. It has David Niven starring and it's about a TA platoon going through training to going to fight in the Desert. Good stirring patriotic stuff, an unashamed propaganda film (released in 1944) but still worth a watch.

downwithpeace
12-20-2011, 02:26 PM
I don't know if I've already posted this before but 'The Way Ahead' has to be a firm favourite with me. It has David Niven starring and it's about a TA platoon going through training to going to fight in the Desert. Good stirring patriotic stuff, an unashamed propaganda film (released in 1944) but still worth a watch.

Towards the end of that film are they in a North African village holding off a German advance with a Vickers (Or some machine gun) and a Field Gun until they're either destroyed or out of ammo then charge over some dirt hill to attack the Germans?

Iron Yeoman
12-20-2011, 03:38 PM
Towards the end of that film are they in a North African village holding off a German advance with a Vickers (Or some machine gun) and a Field Gun until they're either destroyed or out of ammo then charge over some dirt hill to attack the Germans?

That's the badger! I love the bit at the end when they fix bayonets and march off into the sunset. When I was in the UOTC we recreated that scene on our final exercise before leaving the unit, we thought we were the coolest blokes alive. I imagine everyone else thought otherwise :D

downwithpeace
12-20-2011, 04:32 PM
That's the badger! I love the bit at the end when they fix bayonets and march off into the sunset. When I was in the UOTC we recreated that scene on our final exercise before leaving the unit, we thought we were the coolest blokes alive. I imagine everyone else thought otherwise :D

It was a long time ago that I saw that film, probably on Film 4 but I think one bit was a group of men sitting around possibly on a train and an older man was a manager of some sort of shop and another man use to be his clerk, the story played on that and how all recruits were equal, as you said unashamed propaganda but a good one none the less. (Hopefully I'm not mixing films ;) )

While typing this I remembered the movie Very Important Person, seen it a few times and always enjoyed it.

muscogeemike
12-20-2011, 05:04 PM
Good to remember that David Nivin was the "real deal" - a Royal Marine Officer.

noncombatant
02-04-2012, 10:33 AM
for me its 'tin drum' and 'come and see' not so much for visual effects but for the overall message that both films convey.

muscogeemike
02-04-2012, 10:59 AM
for me its 'tin drum' and 'come and see' not so much for visual effects but for the overall message that both films convey.
I had never heard of these movies - we in the US do not get exposed to so many European films. I "googled" them and will make an effort to see them.
Just saw a Chinese film-City of Life and Death- about the battle and "rape" of Nanking - I think they actually made an effort to be objective about the Japanese. Good graphics.

Rising Sun*
02-05-2012, 06:07 AM
I had never heard of these movies - we in the US do not get exposed to so many European films. I "googled" them and will make an effort to see them.


"Come and See" is a magnificent war, and yet anti-war, film unlike anything to come out of Hollywood, as well as depicting aspects of war time Soviet life and the Eastern front. The only thing that comes near it from Hollywood for impact is "Saving Private Ryan" but the subject matter and approaches can't be compared. It's also a stunning piece of film making by any standards. It's one of the few videos I've bought and kept. Make sure you get a copy with English subtitles. Here's a taste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Ro0SZf438&feature=fvst

I haven't seen "Tin Drum" but I'm guessing it's based on Gunter Grass's novel "The Tin Drum", which was very popular in the sixties and seventies here in certain intellectual circles. Apparently I wasn't sufficiently intellectual because it had the same dulling effect on me as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and other intricately turgid fantasies (e.g. Watership Down) popular at the time, not to mention trying to wade through Patrick White's dense novels which were also popular in the same circles. Here's a summary of Grass's novel http://www.enotes.com/tin-drum-criticism/tin-drum-grass-gunter . The film couldn't be worse than the book.

gumalangi
02-05-2012, 11:45 PM
nobody mentioned yet 10 force from navarone and great escape :)
I quite like both of them,.

but my favorite are eagle has landed and tora tora for the classic, das Boot and cross of irons for the 80s and oto no - something about Yamato and the downfall for the modern day :)