bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Something a little different. To give you the lowdown on The Steel Helmet, Ben Mankiewicz and TCM introduces the movie. A gritty movie with startling starkness, as the film was released only six months after the start of the war.

As the film opens, veteran Sergeant Zack is seen crawling away as the only survivor of his squad (executed by the North Koreans). The hole in his helmet is proof of his luck, though this World War II vet is suffering from PTSD (known then as battle fatigue). Trying to get back to his lines, Zack meets up with a Korean boy he dubs Short Round (the inspiration for the boy of the same name in Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom) and a patrol also trying to get back to American territory.

The film includes scenes of an unarmed North Korean prisoner being shot (which infuriated the U.S. military), and frank discussion of race relations back home (black and Japanese). While the modern civil rights movement wouldn't get its catalyst until Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that Montgomery bus for another four years, the Army was struggling with integration as ordered by President Harry Truman. Neither scene is the focus of the film, but they are startling considering that the war was currently raging and race relations were just not addressed very often by Hollywood.

The Korean War produced its share of flag-waving films, but more often the movies were grim, gritty depictions of war. World War II films were often intended as recruitment films. It was only after the war that war's futility and waste were addressed. Gene Evans is stellar as Sergeant Zack.

This film is considered one of the best war films of all time.

bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Good morning!

Today is the 67th anniversary of the start of the Korean War ("Isn't this where we came in?" "It's even Sunday morning!"). And it was a Sunday that it began, as the film's dialogue attests. .

One Minute To Zero stars Robert Mitchum and Ann Blyth in a film released in 1952, with a year to go in the Korean War. A mix of flag-waving and gritty realism, the movie is most noteworthy for actual combat scenes and a controversial scene involving Korean refugees. Howard Hughes, the owner of the studio (RKO), refused to delete the scene when requested by the U.S. Army.



Cross=posts: http://bradygirl-12.livejournal.com/1265163.html
bradygirl_12: (jfk (sun))
Today is JFK's 100th birthday. A good time to reflect on far we've come...and fallen.

The Kennedy Library is honoring the Centennial all year:



Warner Brothers' film PT 109 was unique in that its tale of a President's wartime heroics was released while the President was occupying the Oval Office. Released in 1963, JFK was still with us and had a say in casting Cliff Robertson as himself. He was wary of some teen idol getting the part! ;) A solid cast (Ty Hardin, James Gregory, and Robert Culp) back up Robertson in an inspiring tale of a man's leadership and refusal to give up in what appeared to be hopeless circumstances.

One telling scene late in the film shows a crewman apologizing for 'blowing his top' while things were looking grim and Lieutenant Kennedy assuring him that he wanted men around him who would speak their minds, which carried over into the White House. His brother Bobby was usually on the same page but spoke his mind when he thought JFK needed to hear it, and other close friends/staffers did the same. Imagine a President welcoming opposing views!



This movie will make your hair stand on end. We came close, very close. JFK had to fight his own generals throughout his Administration but never more than during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They wanted to strike at the missiles in Cuba or just go straight for Moscow. JFK did consider knocking out the missiles in Cuba but knew things would escalate, so did his best to find another way. He stared down into the nuclear abyss and got us out to the other side unscathed.



After this crisis, JFK worked to move toward a detente with Khrushchev, believing that the alternative of continued Cold War confrontations was far too dangerous to continue.

P.S. General Curtis LeMay (USAF) ("Those damned Kennedys!") was satirized in Dr. Strangelove (1964).

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