Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Movies

There are so many great war movies to watch and I know that I am going to kick myself later for missing some but here is my list anyhow.
This 2001 movie is one of my favorites. Affleck and Hartnett are childhood friends that are stationed in Pearl Harbor before the attack. Affleck meets a pretty nurse (Beckinsale) and falls in love. Affleck joins Brittain overseas and is believed to be dead. His girl and friend find comfort with each other and when Affleck returns alive complications arise. There are some glimpses of the Japanese strategizing their attack on Pearl Harbor and US & FDR's reaction. This movie is kinda long (3 hours) and the plot of these two guys fighting over a girl might be a little bit of a stretch but the attack is so breath stopping that you are left feeling ... heartbroken.

This 1963 movie is based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist type prisoners of war played by too many great actors to name) are all put in an 'escape proof' camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the film is played for comedy as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel.  The second half is adventurous as they use boats and trains and planes to get out of occupied Europe. A bit of trivia: Wally Floody-the real-life "Tunnel King"-was transferred to another camp just before the escape and he served as a consultant to the filmmakers.

If dramatic war movies are taking a toll on your psyche then there are two "war comedies" that I absolutely adore (please don't judge me roughly for adding them).

Yup! I went there :D This 1949 movie has the super adorable Cary Grant. Grant plays a French officer assigned to work with American officer (Sheidan). Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, he tries to return to America with the other female war brides. This movie actually got both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe nominations. I love LOVE crazy comedies like this (Operation Petticoat, Mister Roberts) they show such an innocence that changed during the 70's which brings me to my next pick.
Most of everyone knows the premise of MASH but for those of you visiting the Dragonfly from overseas I will bring you up to speed. MASH stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital - this 1970 movie follows the surgical officers of the 4077 during the Korean War and seems to be a series of short stories placed together: a football game with another unit, two doctors take a trip to Tokyo to operate of a congressman's son, officers golfing with eachother, romancing nurses and TONS of practical jokes especially among the officers. This crazy movie won 13 awards! The tv show (of the same name) ran for 11 seasons (1972-1983) won an outstanding 42 awards and the final episode "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" aired on February 28, 1983, and was 2½ hours long. The episode got a Nielsen rating of 60.2 and 77 share, translating into nearly 106 million Americans watching that night, which established it as the most-watched episode in US tv history, a record that stood for nearly 27 years.

Other movies you must watch: Good Morning Vietnam, Stripes, North and South, Glory, The Green Berets,The Tuskegee Airmen, Halls of Montezuma, Stalag 17, Black Hawk Down, The Dirty Dozen, Sergeant York, and Saving Private Ryan.

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