Wednesday, January 29, 2014

British vs. American War Movies

Since I enjoy WWII movies, I appreciated John Howard's Reid's insight into films made about the war:

No greater contrast can be found than that between the war-time propaganda movies made by England and America.  The Hollywood product is full of false heroics and exaggeratedly racist bravado (“One of us is worth ten of them”), glamorized action and an enormous amount of dame chasing on leave.  The British movies are soberly realistic to a fault...; little attempt is made to glamorize war and give it a glossy sheen of high adventure (although there is plenty of tension, war is usually shown in all its horror and futility and mindless waste); whilst Germans are invariably presented as lacking the quick wits of the English, they are still a force to be taken extremely seriously; and leaves are usually spent quietly with family in environs far removed from high-stepping night clubs.

(from p. 248 in Reid’s 140 All-Time Must-See Movies for Film Lovers
)

Over time (because of all the books I've read about it) I've learned to prefer the more "truthful" portrayals of the war over the morale boosters, but I enjoy them both.

1 comment:

Laure Covert said...

I just posted on To End All Wars by Ernest Gordon which has a movie made from his story. I haven't seen the movie yet. One review rated it very high in violence - but then Japanese POW camps were awful!