Old 04-09-2009, 08:04 PM #17
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Default Re: Great war movies?

My absolutely favorite war movies are the films where the plot just happens to be set in war. The original MASH (Gould, Sutherland, Skerritt) is an example of this. One of my all time favorites is The Dirty Dozen with Lee Marvin. Sure the last half is about executing the skills learned in the first half, but it's really about the misfits (even the Marvin character). Another is Kelly's Heros about a bank heist that happened to occur behind enemy lines.

There are also those movies that center on a particular conflict. I like to call these the horrors of war type movies. To me, the special effects of modern war movies should make an individual think at least twice about becoming a soldier. I am, by no means, anti-military, anti-war, as I was a soldier back in the day but I think people just need to understand what they are getting themselves into and the kinds of things they will see. The modern movies do fair justice to this idea. It's not really a substitute for the sights, sounds, and in particular the smells of combat but should give an individual a moment of pause. Saving Private Ryan was excellent for demonstrating how well bullets and bombs destroy human flesh and at a deeper level how insane some orders/missions can be for a field grunt and yet, still they do it. These movies at least show that getting shot in the shoulder, for example, is not something you generally get up from and dust yourself off. Even a bullet that doesn't kill you will take the fight right out of you. Another good horrors of war movie is Johnny Got His Gun (the book is even better). That is a true horror.

I do enjoy the classic war movies where there is minimal blood such as Patton. I was never a big John Wayne fan but he did a few good war movies if you can overlook some of his acting. I particularly like the Green Berets because they really did a great job demonstrating what the Green Beanies really do. They don't just run around and kill everything they see. They are really ambassadors in a foreign country. They train, equip, provide medical care (dental, medical, veterinary), educate, develop clean water sources, proper sanitation, advise foreign allied leaders. Of course they also have the kill everything mission if required but that is not their primary mission.

Finally, I like early American history films such as the Patriot, Last of the Mohicans, etc.


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