Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day - Memorial Day Movies


Memorial Day - Memorial Day Movies

Originally, it was "Decoration Day." Confederate ladies decorated the graves of their fallen soldiers. This spread to the Union, and became Memorial Day, May 31. Now it's the last Monday in May. 

It's Summer today, until Summer ends on Labor Day.

Memorial Day is to honor all Americans who have died in all wars, remembering men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

People visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers place American flags on graves in national cemeteries.

There have literally been hundreds of wars since 1945, the end of WWII, and I've quite given up on this being a peaceful planet, and ours being a peaceful species, that can get along with itself. After a certain point, I just had to quit hoping for any change in Humanity, and accept what IS.

(A good thing, too, that nobody ever asked for my opinion).

War will always be with us, whether you're pro- or anti-, and War is a favorite topic of filmmakers everywhere.

Memorial Day is a big holiday. Post Office and Banks are closed. Play the DVDs, open your eyes and heart, and solemnly reflect on Man's Inhumanity To Man.

Here's what I'll start watching today.
A great international favorite, from Universal Pictures. Beautifully shot and acted. It was the Best Picture Oscar-winner in 1930. "All Quiet on the Western Front."








Just so we don't get stuck in the Twentieth Century. Spartacus? War movie? Stanley Kubrick? Yes!



 
There were lots of war movies made during the Vietnam era.
"Full Metal Jacket." Best Vietnam War movie? Yes.



Also-Great Vietnam War Movie. Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." 





Robert Altman's blood-soaked comedy, M*A*S*H. Set during the Korean war, but it's really about Vietnam.




Mike Nichols's Great, but too-cute-for-its-own-box office "Catch-22." About WWII, but really about Vietnam. (Recognize some Great Actors, as youngsters?)




Stanley Kubrick's end-of-the-world Nightmare Comedy about Nuclear War.
(Which we don't discuss any more, but it's more likely now than ever). "Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb."



Great Cast (Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine, Mark Hamill), in
Samuel Fuller's masterpiece, "The Big Red One."





America is a land of contradictions. We believe passionately in Freedom and Rights, but historically, America has infringed some American citizens' Liberty.


This is the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most-decorated US outfit of WWII. Composed of Nisei (2nd generation Japanese-Americans), they fought valiantly, despite losing their Rights and Property and Personal Liberty. Their story is inspiring, in "Go For Broke"



Last, but certainly not least, here's Audie Murphy, the most-decorated boy soldier of WWII, who came home to a celebrated movie career.

Audie was 5'5" tall, weighed 110 pounds, crazy brave enough to wipe out German tanks and machine guns and soldiers, while he had Malaria.

Audie won 33 medals, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. The movie story of Audie's life was Universal's highest-grossing film for 20 years, until it was topped by "Jaws."

Audie Leon Murphy. Somebody must have told him his middle name means "Lion," because he was brave as one.

I'm a big fan of Audie, starting with his heroic story, playing himself on the big screen, in "To Hell And Back."




Happy Memorial Day! May America and Americans live up to her proud heritage, and consciously take the high moral road.
God Bless America!


5 comments:

  1. Kudos again, the Mighty Sam.

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  2. Have watched TO HELL AND BACK almost one hundred times. I have seen most of these, thanks my friend.

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  3. I've seen most of these, total agreement. TO HELL AND BACK in particular. Not sure why, but the added reality of an actual war hero in his own biopic always intrigued me. Thank you my friend.

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