The D-Day invasion of 1944 provides a backdrop for the Allied Artists actioner Screaming Eagles. Tom Tryon plays Private Mason, an ill-tempered member of the 101st Airborne Infantry division. Mason makes plenty of enemies with his negative attitude until good-guy lieutenant Pauling (Jan Merlin) straightens him out. The 101st’ s main objective (once all personal travails are swept away, that is) is to capture and hold a vital bridge in Normandy. Jacqueline Beer, later one of the costars of TV’s 77 Sunset Strip, provides the feminine interest as an attractive resistance fighter (were there ever any unattractive resistance fighters?) Featured in the cast are TV favorites Martin Milner and Alvy Moore and second-generation thespian Edward G. Robinson Jr.
They Died with Their Boots On (1941) Raoul Walsh, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy, Drama, Romance, War, Western
This is the story of General Custer from the time he enters West Point military academy, through the American Civil War, and finally to his death at Little Big Horn. The battle against Chief Crazy Horse is portrayed as a crooked deal between politicians and a corporation which wants the land Custer gave to the Indians.
During WWII, the United States set up army bases in Great Britain as part of the war effort. Against their proper sensibilities, many of the Brits don’t much like the brash Yanks, especially when it comes to the G.I.s making advances on the lonely British girls, some whose boyfriends are also away for the war. One Yank/Brit relationship that develops is between married John, an Army Captain, and the aristocratic Helen, whose naval husband is away at war. Helen does whatever she needs to support the war effort. Helen loves her husband, but Helen and John are looking for some comfort during the difficult times. Another relationship develops between one of John’s charges, Matt, a talented mess hall cook, and Jean. Jean is apprehensive at first about even seeing Matt, who is persistent in his pursuit of her. Jean is in a committed relationship with the kind Ken, her childhood sweetheart who is also away at war. But Jean is attracted to the respect with which Matt treats her.
During the Civil War, in 1863,Confederate prisoners of war agree to join forces with the Union Army in the common fight against Indians.In return,the Confederate POWs are promised their freedom by President Lincoln during his Special Proclamation.A company of Confederate Georgia cavalry POWs,under the command of Confederate Colonel Clay Tucker, joins the Union on the sole condition they wouldn’t have to fight against the Confederacy.The company is sent to the isolated and undermanned Fort Thorn, New Mexico, on the Western frontier. The fort is commanded by Union major Henry Kenniston who is limping from an old war wound and who hates Confederates.The old animosities between Unionists and Confederates quickly resurface during their fragile alliance against the Indians.
The Star of Africa / Der Stern von Afrika (1957) Alfred Weidenmann, Joachim Hansen, Marianne Koch, Hansjörg Felmy, Drama, War
When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 the Allied POWs, mostly British but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. This was a POW detention center like no other. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to escape to. Included among the prisoners is the American Cpl. King, a wheeler dealer who has managed to established a pretty good life for himself in the camp. While most of the prisoners are near starvation and have uniforms that are in tatters, King eats well and and has crisp clean clothes to wear every day. His nemesis is Lt. Robin Grey, the camp Provost who attempts to keep good order and discipline. He knows that King is breaking camp rules by bartering with the Japanese but can’t quite get the evidence he needs to stop him. King soon forms a friendship with Lt. Peter Marlowe an upper class British officer who is fascinated with King’s élan and no rules approach to life.
Triumph des Willens / Triumph of the Will (1935) Leni Riefenstahl, Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Max Amann, Documentary, History, War
Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) is a filmed record of the 1934 Nazi Party Convention, in Nuremberg. No, it is more than just a record: it is an exultation of Adolf Hitler, who from the moment his plane descends from Valhalla-like clouds is visually characterized as a God on Earth. The “Jewish question” is disposed of with a few fleeting closeups; filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl prefers to concentrate on cheering crowds, precision marching, military bands, and Hitler’s climactic speech, all orchestrated, choreographed and illuminated on a scale that makes Griffith and DeMille look like poverty-row directors. It has been alleged that the climactic rally, “spontaneous” Sieg-Heils and all, was pre-planned according to Riefenstahl’s specifications, the better to take full advantage of its cinematic potential. Allegedly, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels resented the presence and intrusion of a woman director, but finally had to admit that her images, achieved through the use of 30 cameras and 120 assistants, were worth a thousand speeches. Possibly the most powerful propaganda film ever made, Triumph of the Will is also, in retrospect, one of the most horrifying.
When 3 soldiers discover a man inside a home they are bombing, they easily kill him. But, when a 2nd witness is discovered, she proves a bigger challenge, setting in motion a riveting game of cat & mouse.