Saturday, February 7, 2009

brave men, rather men trying to be brave

You’ll find me revisiting the old war movies I used to watch as a kid. It didn’t matter if I had seen them before - I’d watch them every time they’d air. MEN IN WAR (1957) is among the best. The story takes place in Korea - with an isolated platoon making a harrowing journey toward an even greater confrontation with the enemy. The movie is more about the psychological pressures of war on a man, and between men, amid horrific circumstances. MEN IN WAR is about the relationships and conflicts between the men rather than the enemy surrounding them. This of course is not why I enjoyed the movie as a kid. I watched it because it was a war movie.

Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray starred in MEN IN WAR. Both men gave a moving performance. Vic Morrow of COMBAT! played a young soldier in this movie. MEN IN WAR always reminded me of the television show COMBAT!, not because of Morrow’s presence, but because it was about a platoon behind enemy lines - the relationships between soldiers. Then again, there were a lot of movies made about a platoon behind enemy lines. MEN IN WAR is among the best of them. It has more depth than most war movies, it got under the skin and in the skull of a soldier. The film offered more than a movie about war - in was about men in war.
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