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Posted: 4/23/2003 1:59:33 PM EDT
Lots of movie discussion as of late. And the one thing you can count on is some guy saying "Yeah but that movie (insert any title here) is ANTI WAR." And I got to thinking about it. Is there such a thing as a Pro War war movie? Is that even possible? I don't think any accurate depiction of war could be anything other than anti war. Just as I don't think anyone who ever fought one could be anything other than anti war. Bottom line nobody fresh out of combat is going "Damn that was fun, when can we do it again?" And by "anti war" I don't mean hippy style "our country sucks" anti war. Just that nobody, especially those who have to do the fighting, think of it as a positive experience. At best they think of it as something that "had" to be done, usually at great cost, but that they wish could have been avoided.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 2:03:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2003 2:08:17 PM EDT by KBaker]
Someone once said something along the lines of "No one who is completely sane would willingly go to war." Good point. Being "pro-war" is like being "pro-car crashes." It's an indefensible position. War should be a [i]last[/i] and reluctant option, entered into because there is no other choice. Ask anybody who's ever been on the sharp end in actual combat. It's not something that someone who is sane would ever [b]want[/b] to do. Edited to add: I can't remember what movie it was, but there was one in which Peter Falk played a Sargent who had been wounded multiple times, but he kept coming back to the front. Someone asked him why, because with his wounds he could have easily gone home. His response in the film was that he was hooked on the rush of combat. That being shot at, fighting for his life and winning, was such a rush that he [i]needed[/i] it - like a drug. His character, of course, was killed shortly thereafter. I think it was supposed to be an exposition on why humans fight wars, historically. I think it's BS if that was the case, but I certainly think some people have that addiction. Patton certainly seemed to, though in a more removed way.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 2:07:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2003 2:07:29 PM EDT by raven]
Definitely some pro-war movies. "The Rough Riders" by John Milius is one. A pro-war movie about a pro-war man, TR. I was reading an article about the soldiers in Iraq, and how their favorite movies are Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, etc. The reporter pointed out how those were anti-war movies, but the soldier said how they all grew up loving those movies, wanting to be in those combat situations. I'm telling you, war is a natural human condition. Much more than peace is.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 2:45:20 PM EDT
Sure – just about any war movie made here in the States during WWII was fundamentally pro-war. Accuracy is a very different issue – very few movies dealing with anything are especially accurate. Movies are constructs, not documentaries. They are works of art. They have a beginning, middle and end. They have good guys and bad guys, dramatic high points, maybe comic relief, and all that. And they have to make money! Accuracy is not especially important. Even an essentially biographical movie like “Patton” will contain many inaccuracies and omissions. Further, can you imagine real soldiers stomping through the rice paddies of RSV with a music track blaring in the background? Whether a movie is anti or pro war is almost entirely dependant on the intent of the makers of that movie. John Wayne’s “The Green Berets” - god awful movie that it is - is a good (or maybe bad) example. In brief, then, my view is that a war movie can be, and sometimes is, pro-war.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 2:52:50 PM EDT
I think directors like to SAY every war movie is anti-war, but the fact is, while you may depict the horrors of war accurately you also have to deal with why the soldiers are fighting. If the fight is justified, the movie isn't anti-THIS PARTICULAR war, just against the idea of war in general.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 2:59:35 PM EDT
Movies about war are pro-war in the most general sense, that without the action, they would not be made and they satisfy the average citizen's interest in something vital but distant. "Johny Got His Gun" might be considered an anti-war movie.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 3:20:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By nightstalker: Movies about war are pro-war in the most general sense, that without the action, they would not be made and they satisfy the average citizen's interest in something vital but distant. "Johny Got His Gun" might be considered an anti-war movie.
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What about "All Quiet On The Western Front"?
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:06:34 PM EDT
how bout schindlers list? yeah i know he left out the part about arming the jews and training them to fight the nazis, but it was a good movie.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:15:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2003 9:16:57 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
What's so "anti-war" about SPR?? If anything, that's one of the most "pro-war" movies ever made. It justifies the sacrifices made in war as a means to defend future generations and poses the question of whether WE are worthy of the sacrifices made for us in that war. Well, that's ONE movie at least. I'm sure I can come up with more.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:20:09 PM EDT
A good war movie will show how horrible it is, and how awefully necessary it is. Just my opinion.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:25:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: What's so "anti-war" about SPR?? If anything, that's one of the most "pro-war" movies ever made. It justifies the sacrifices made in war as a means to defend future generations and poses the question of whether WE are worthy of the sacrifices made for us in that war. Well, that's ONE movie at least. I'm sure I can come up with more.
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Kinda my original point. I have even heard SPR characterized as a anti war movie. IE showing how horrible war is. And "if" SPR can be characterized as "anti war" then any war film with any basis in reality whatsoever can be deemed as such.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:26:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2003 9:26:56 PM EDT by Sumo2000]
Plenty of movies are pro war from the standpoint that they consider that particular war just, but I think that any movie that was pro war in the sense of making a war seem good or "rockin" are being irresponsible. War is a horrible thing, necessary at times, but still horrible. Many of these movies I see mentioned (not all) are seen as anti war. Some are, but most of them that I've seen don't villainize the soldiers or anything, they just show war itself as bad. I haven't seen any proof that that is a mistaken impression either. I gotta agree with SA on this one.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:37:12 PM EDT
I remember when SPR came out, and my least favorite writer in the local paper, who did entertainment, said "After seeing Saving Private Ryan, I am convinced that nothing is worth the horrors of war and it is never justified" which is to say, he didn't understand the point of the movie at all.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:37:48 PM EDT
I don't see that position as 'Anti-War', SA... War is a 'neccicary evil' at best... The 'good' movies portray it realistically: 'We have to do this. It's not fun, but it's our job, the country is counting on us, and it needs to be done. So let's go get it done'...
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:57:53 PM EDT
"To Hell and Back" isn't an anti-war in the modern sense (meaning how the left thinks all wars except those started by clinton or a liberal are bad). It does show the bad things about war, but doesn't dwell on them or cram it down your throat like modern movies. Plus it's a true story starring the guy who actually lived it.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 10:40:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bastiat: "To Hell and Back" isn't an anti-war in the modern sense (meaning how the left thinks all wars except those started by clinton or a liberal are bad). It does show the bad things about war, but doesn't dwell on them or cram it down your throat like modern movies. Plus it's a true story starring the guy who actually lived it.
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I had privilege and honor of meeting Audie Murphy ~1965-66. He was much taller than I had expected (some say it was his boots AND the insert lifts he wore) - God rest his soul. He had a meek and gentle smile with a twinkle in his eye and a tranquil almost ZEN like presence. I thought and still think I had the pleasure of meeting, shaking hands with one of America's Most Heroic Figures of all time. Oh, and I like his movie too.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 11:03:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack: A good war movie will show how horrible it is, and how awefully necessary it is. Just my opinion.
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Well I think what is writen above is perhaps the best way to explain it. Regardless of the directors' or the writers views, or reasons . They are all anti-war and pro-war at the same time why? well see the above and there you have it.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 11:24:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2003 3:44:53 AM EDT by Lion_Dog]
Originally Posted By KBaker: ...some good stuff, ' Edited to add: I can't remember what movie it was, but there was one in which Peter Falk played a Sargent who had been wounded multiple times, but he kept coming back to the front. Someone asked him why, because with his wounds he could have easily gone home. His response in the film was that he was hooked on the rush of combat. That being shot at, fighting for his life and winning, was such a rush that he [i]needed[/i] it - like a drug. His character, of course, was killed shortly thereafter. I think it was supposed to be an exposition on why humans fight wars, historically. I think it's BS if that was the case, but I certainly think some people have that addiction. Patton certainly seemed to, though in a more removed way.
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Was that the "Castle Keep" movie, Falk was a baker (EDITED & RESEARCHED: specifically Sfc. Rossie BAKER, who moved in with the town's baker's wife). If so, then his *half-baked* reference to "kneading" (homophone) to "needing" it is the baker's terminology for massaging the bread, the "Staff of Life". Some how for as Heroic a movie CK is it does clearly illustrate the ugliness of war -(Burt Lancaster manning the 50), is one of my favorites.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 11:48:06 AM EDT
The setting of most movies is usually secondary to the story line or the message it conveys. Since man began telling stories for entertainment they have remained fundamentally the same, either a comedy or tragedy. They usually present a moral message. A war is simply a back drop for the story. A vehicle to get the message across. Example; As I see it SPR was not about "Saving Private Ryan" or the war either pro or con. It was about the Capt. Miller character. The message was about how a man saw his duty and dedicated himself to performing his duty regardless of what he thought about the "mission". The moral lesson is "do the right thing" regardless of the difficulty. Doing the right thing is a common theme. SPR was on a fundamental level a tragedy. The tragedy was the death of a noble man, Capt Miller. So it was not so much pro war as it was pro warrior. But the fact that Capt Miller was a warrior is secondary to the message. It could have any setting. The character could have any vocation.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 3:37:31 PM EDT
All war movies, even the anti-war ones, are really "pro-war," whether they realize it or not. I just finished reading Grossman's "On Killing." Violent movies like that make an excellent desensitization tool and can be part of the overall process that gets humans to pull the trigger on each other. Throw in some operant conditioing, and you get the difference between the 15-20% firing rates in the WWII US Infantryman, and the 95% rate of our troops in Vietnam.
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