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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Movies for the 4th of July

There's a post at NCR - Should a Catholic pick a favorite war film?. If you're a pacifist like me, you may still have watched many war movies, if only to remind yourself of how horrible war is. I found particularly creepy the Knights of Columbus used a war movie to advance their political agenda - see my post For Greater Glory. But anyway, here below are some of the movies I've seen about war (in sort of alphabetical order). A few are old - I blame my college boyfriend who had an interest in war movies and even made me watch some that were silent! ;) I think they're all "good" films, but I found them all so disturbing that I doubt I'll ever want to see any of them again ....

- Alexander Nevsky ...
Alexander Nevsky (Александр Невский) is a 1938 historical drama film directed by Sergei Eisenstein ...... The film depicts the 13th century conflict between the Teutonic Knights and the Russian people of Novgorod. It follows the knights as they invade Pskov and massacre its population. Alexander Nevsky then rallies the people of Novgorod and at a battle on the surface of the frozen Lake Chudskoe, the outnumbered Novgorodians defeat the Germanic invaders. Alexander Nevsky was made during the Stalinist era, when the Soviet Union was at odds with Nazi Germany. Stalin directly requested that Eisenstein make a film that would warn the Soviet people of German aggression.

- Black Hawk Down (I posted about this too - Somalia at the movies ) ...
Black Hawk Down is a 2001 British-American war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1997 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer, which chronicled the events of the Battle of Mogadishu, a raid integral to the United States' effort to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The film features a large ensemble cast, including Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner and Sam Shepard.

- Breaker Morant ...
Breaker Morant is a 1980 Australian feature film, directed by Bruce Beresford and starring British actor Edward Woodward as Harry "Breaker" Morant. The all-Australian supporting cast features Bryan Brown as Lieutenant Handcock, Lewis FitzGerald as Witton, and Jack Thompson as Major Thomas ...... Breaker Morant concerns the murder trial of three Australian soldiers, officers of the elite Bushveldt Carbineers in South Africa. Harry "Breaker" Morant, Peter Handcock and George Witton are accused of the murder of one Boer prisoner, the subsequent murders of six more, and Morant and Handcock are accused of the sniper-style death of a German missionary, the Rev. Hesse. Their defense counsel, Major Thomas, has had only one day to prepare their defense.

- A Bridge Too Far ...
A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 film based on the 1974 book of the same name. The film tells the story of Operation Market Garden, a failed Allied attempt to break through German lines at Arnhem in the occupied Netherlands during World War II. It was directed by Richard Attenborough and featured an ensemble cast of many film stars. The name for the film comes from a comment made by British Lt Gen Frederick Browning, deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, who told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery before the operation, "I think we may be going a bridge too far." ..... [starring] Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Elliott Gould, Edward Fox, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Kemp, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Liv Ullmann, Maximilian Schell, Hardy Krüger and Ryan O'Neal.

- Casualties of War ...
Casualties of War is a 1989 war drama about the Vietnam War, starring Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn. It was directed by Brian De Palma, with a screenplay by David Rabe based on actual events that took place in 1966. The theme of Casualties of War is how normal moral behavior is discarded during war times and shows it in the extreme when soldiers become savages who can dehumanize innocent by-standers, and also about personal responsibility for maintaining that morality in extreme conditions.

- Das Boot ...
Das Boot (IPA pronunciation: /das boːt/, German for The Boat) is a 1981 feature film directed by Wolfgang Petersen ..... The movie is the story of a single mission of one World War II U-boat, U-96, and its crew. It depicts both the excitement of battle and the tedium of the fruitless hunt, and shows the men serving aboard U-boats as ordinary individuals with a desire to do their best for their comrades and their country. The story is based on an amalgamation of the exploits of the real U-96, a Type VIIC-class U-boat commanded by Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, one of Germany's top U-boat "tonnage aces" during the war.

- Enemy at the Gates (I posted about this too - How to remain a pacifist ) ...
Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 war film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, starring Joseph Fiennes, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Bob Hoskins and Ed Harris set during the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II .... The film's title is taken from William Craig's 1973 nonfiction book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, which describes the events surrounding the Battle of Stalingrad from 1942–1943. It is based on a duel mentioned in the book that developed between the legendary Soviet sniper Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev and his German counterpart, Major Erwin König, as they stalk each other during the battle.

- Helen of Troy (I posted about this too - Stellan Skarsgård is Theseus :)) ...
Helen of Troy is a 2003 television miniseries based upon Homer's story of the Trojan War, as recounted in the epic poem, Iliad. This TV miniseries also shares the name with a 1956 movie starring Stanley Baker. It stars Sienna Guillory as Helen, Matthew Marsden as Paris, Rufus Sewell as Agamemnon, James Callis as Menelaus, John Rhys-Davies as Priam, Maryam d'Abo as Hecuba, and Stellan Skarsgård as Theseus. The series was entirely shot on location in the islands of Malta.

- The Last of the Mohicans ...
The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 during the French and Indian War and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same name and George B. Seitz's 1936 film adaptation, owing more to the latter than the novel. The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, and Jodhi May, with Russell Means, Wes Studi, Eric Schweig, and Steven Waddington in supporting roles.

- The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc ...
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is a 1999 historical drama film directed by Luc Besson ..... the story of St. Joan of Arc, the famous French war heroine of the 15th century and religious martyr, played by Ukrainian-born Milla Jovovich. The story begins with young Joan witnessing the atrocities of the English against her family, following her through her visions, to her leadership in battle, through doubt (with Dustin Hoffman playing a character who we are never sure is God, Satan or Joan's own conscience and who is visible to only Joan), and finally to her trial and execution ...


3 Comments:

Anonymous Henry said...

Hmm... I have seen some of these.

Black Hawk Down - I wasn't impressed.

Breaker Morant - great film!

Enemy at the Gates - I liked it.

The Last of the Mohicans - ditto.

The Messenger - I have not seen it but *The Passion of Joan of Arc* is excellent!

12:46 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Henry,

Black Hawk Down was pretty depressing as I recall - only saw it once. Great cast, though.

You might like The Messenger - it dwells on her visions and towards the end on questioning if she understood them correctly, given all the awfulness of the battles. When I see that actress, I'm always reminded of The Fifth Element :)

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

The Fifth Element - wow, I remember that one well. I'll see "The Messenger" - thanks.

7:10 PM  

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