Drama · War

Why John Wayne has to do Everything Around Here

There’s a delicious meta moment in the 1951 drama, Operation Pacific, a film that mostly takes place on a submarine during WWII. In the film, the submarine crew is watching a Cary Grant movie that is also set in a submarine. One of the crew members quips, “It’s amazing what Hollywood can do with submarines.” It’s amazing… Continue reading Why John Wayne has to do Everything Around Here

Comedy · War

Peter Sellers presents: The Cold War

In the early 1960s, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was wrestling with a screenplay about an accidental nuclear strike. He was resisting the urge to turn it into a comedy. His screenplay was an adaptation of the 1958 novel Red Alert by Peter George, a grim story about a mentally-unstable general who orders a nuclear strike on Russia. “I… Continue reading Peter Sellers presents: The Cold War

Drama · War

To Sink a Battleship

They say it was the longest military campaign of World War II. The Battle of the Atlantic was a struggle to control shipping routes from Great Britain and North America to continental Europe. As you can imagine, protecting the transport of equipment and soldiers across the ocean was critical to the Allied war effort. The Germans… Continue reading To Sink a Battleship

Drama · War

Starring Joan Crawford, as France

You know those unpleasant times in life, such medical issues, the loss of a loved one, or a parade of rotten luck? Of course you do, and we’re guessing you went on with life anyway, determined to not let circumstances Break You. But when a minor setback occurs, such as misplacing keys or spilling a… Continue reading Starring Joan Crawford, as France

Drama · War

A Farewell to Arms and Quality Health Care

Sometimes movies are unfairly unsympathetic to people In Charge. If you’ve ever been In Charge of something, you know what we mean. You’re working on a big project with an impossible deadline, when a crucial team member announces they’ve Met Someone and are moving away. It really takes the air out of your tires. So when we watched the… Continue reading A Farewell to Arms and Quality Health Care

Drama · War

49th Parallel: Britain’s Love Letter to Canada

Perhaps we (as in, yours truly) read too much into the WWII-era drama 49th Parallel. This 1941 film serves propaganda straight up, courtesy of the British Ministry of Information. It was meant to sell a reluctant American public on joining the war in Europe. Like any good sales pitch, the film uses fear to close the sale. The plot… Continue reading 49th Parallel: Britain’s Love Letter to Canada

Drama · War

Fred MacMurray: Villain in Remission

*This post is one great big spoiler. There’s a neat villain bait-and-switch in the 1954 drama The Caine Mutiny. This film, based on the novel by Herman Wouk, is about a crew on an aging minesweeper during WWII. The script cleverly muddies the waters (ha ha) as it resets the parameters of villainy. When the tired, caustic captain… Continue reading Fred MacMurray: Villain in Remission

Adventure · War

Gregory Peck vs. David Niven & The German Army

This post is part of the Dueling Divas Blogathon. *SPOILER ALERT* We never tire of the WWII adventure The Guns of Navarone (1961), a grand spectacle of a film based on the Alistair MacLean novel that was gleaned from actual events in the Aegean Sea in 1943. The film is about a British-led team sent to the (fictional)… Continue reading Gregory Peck vs. David Niven & The German Army

Comedy · War

Winston Churchill vs. Colonel Blimp

When we (as in, yours truly) were young, we felt we were smarter than older generations because we could identify the celebrities du jour. We thought this somehow made us smarter, which is rather embarrassing to admit. Now that we’re a bit older, we realize we don’t know as much as the generation before or after us, which is also… Continue reading Winston Churchill vs. Colonel Blimp

Drama · War

Lady Smugglers in War-Time

Edna May Oliver is our new hero. We realized this when we screened Nurse Edith Cavell, a drama based on the true story of a courageous British nurse who helped over 200 Allied POWs flee Belgium during World War I. This unusual war movie is about four not-so-ordinary women whose friendship propel them to defend their country… Continue reading Lady Smugglers in War-Time