The world of documentary filmmaking has changed since the debut of this 26-part television series. I mention this upfront because of how history is now presented through recreation, actors, animation, point-of-view, CGI and other film techniques can, and does, change the viewer’s perception of historical events and the emotional connection to the story as depicted. … More The World at War (1973)
Cary Grant, Tony Curtis and Blake Edwards in a comedy about a pink submarine. It’s silly, with a hint of sex, and darn enjoyable. In the 1950s, it was challenging to mix adult fare with family entertainment and make it work. Operation Petticoat accomplishes it. Today, it seems rather tame, but at the time, mixing … More Operation Petticoat (1959)
Film Director Samuel Fuller often worked on the margins of Hollywood. His films were gritty and often violent, and intentionally avoided the big studio polish. Even when he worked at the studios, his films were not the A-list productions, yet he was able to work actors like Robert Stack, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Barry, Rod Steiger, … More Samuel Fuller: The Big Red One
Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy led an incredible life. Decorated combat soldier and movie star. His gallantry and heroism during World War II made him the most decorated soldier of the war and later resulted in a film where he played himself. Murphy was just a kid, from a hard scrabble background, when he … More Audie Murphy
Two Jeeps jumping over the sand dunes on their way to attack the Germans. Two men standing in the Jeeps getting ready to fire the mounted machine guns. Dominic Frontiere’s dramatic military music playing in the background. Okay, another World War II television show from my childhood. The Rat Patrol ran for two seasons, … More The Rat Patrol (1966-1968)
Black Sheep Squadron had a great pedigree – a hot producer, major star, exciting historical premise and great young cast. The series still struggled for two seasons to find an audience before disappearing into television history. Very loosely based on the story of squadron leader Greg “Pappy” Boyington, Black Sheep Squadron starred Robert Conrad, a … More Black Sheep Squadron
You learn a lot about living from stories where lives are on the line. Combat! was a weekly television series about a platoon in World War II. Not exactly kid viewing, but I watched the show every week. Yes, it was a show about war and there was killing, but it focused on the characters … More Combat!
Catch-22 is one of the most iconic American books and catch-phrases in our language. I first read the book in 8th grade, it wasn’t my first choice, but Mrs. Wilbur challenged me to read a meaty novel, and this one was at home. So, Catch-22 it was. A massive book with non-linear structure and dream-like … More Catch-22: Observations
A most unusual film. In a film that requires a somewhat innocent, but injured performance, believable, yet walks a thin line between fantasy and reality, you get Steve Carell. It used to be that you would cast Robin Williams in these roles (think The Fisher King). Carell plays Mark Hogancamp, an artist who is savagely … More Welcome to Marwen, Steve Carell (review)
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