Film

A Salute to Some Great War Movies

Last week marked not only Veteran’s Day but also the 235th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps. In light of that, let’s take a look at some great “war movies”, some of which you might have never heard of before.

 

The Great Escape: based on real events, it features an all-star cast as officers who inventively bust out of a German POW camp for officers. The real message of the movie is about friendship, however, as the various men involved risk life and limb to help one another. Though the movie has many light-hearted moments, it is also quite a tear-jerker.

 

The Longest Day: A huge, impressive production in which various characters (many played by Hollywood heavyweights like John Wayne and Sean Connery) re-enact the events of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy.

 

We Were Soldiers: The battle scenes are typical, but what really sets this movie apart is its sideplots. Part of the movie is devoted to a journalist who fights to stay alive when left behind on assignment. Meanwhile, in a plot device later used in TV series like Army Wives and The Unit, the men’s wives band together to deal with grief and everyday struggles.

 

Stalag 17: The '60s TV series Hogan’s Heroes was partly inspired by this Oscar-winning POW flick, which often takes a then-unconventional comedic tone. Look out for outstanding acting performances.

type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="460" height="275">

 

Valiant: Can you name a kid-friendly World War II movie? Valiant is the computer-animated tale of an eager young pigeon who trains with the “Royal Homing Pigeon Service” in order to relay messages to the Allies. Partly inspired by real-life events, the film boasts an all-star voice cast. Bonus points go to Charles De Girl, a French Resistance mouse leader worthy of her own movie.

Feel free to mention your own favorite military and war-themed movies in the comment section below.

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less
10

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image