Friday, September 9, 2011

The Great (film) Debates vol. 6

Today's film review will be moved to Sunday morning to coincide with 9/11. In the meantime, let's focus on history for our Great (Film) Debates series:

What historical event do you think needs a movie?


Panelist: ScottDS

I don't know if this counts because it's a recent (and on-going) event. There's a non-fiction book on the subject titled Thieves of Baghdad and I will borrow from Amazon's synopsis: "When Baghdad fell, Colonel Matthew Bogdanos was in southern Iraq, tracking down terrorist networks through their financing and weapons smuggling - until he heard about the looting of the Iraq National Museum. Immediately setting out across the desert with an elite group chosen from his multi-agency task force, he risked his career and his life in pursuit of Iraq's most priceless treasures." It's C.S.I. meets Indiana Jones in the Middle East and it's all true!

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

Historical Event: maybe not NEEDS a movie, but I would love to see a film made from Erik Larson's book "Thunderstruck." This film chronicles the politics and obstacles confronted by Guglielmo Marconi in the invention of the wireless, and how it was used to resolve a murder committed by an Englishman named Hawley Crippen. This is a true story and Larson's gift is to turn historical event non-fiction into thrillers.

Panelist: T-Rav

It's probably already got one, but WWII's Battle of Britain. Not only is it as straight-up a good vs. evil fight as you're likely to find in the modern era, but it's a fight in which the good guys were the underdog by every standard, and in which, if they had lost, they would have lost everything--think Helm's Deep with machine guns. And as an air battle, there would be some great action scenes.

Panelist: AndrewPrice

There aren't enough genuine Cold War spy stories, but that's too generic to be fair. So I will go with the American Revolution. We've discussed this before that there is a shocking lack of films about the American Revolution. Indeed, I can't think of a single film that really covered this well, except tangentially. It's time that changed!

Comments? Thoughts? What would you choose and why?

69 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, My Sunday film article will also be at Big Hollywood. It's about Oliver Stone's World Trade Center and 9/11 generally.

Anonymous said...

First post on your blog Andrew. I enjoy your film studies and reviews and look forward to new articles every day. You mention the American Revolution, and how there hasn't really been a good treatment of it yet. What are your thoughts on The Patriot...the Mel Gibson film? His personal idiocy aside, I have always enjoyed most of Mel's films, and many of the dialogue lines have made it into our popular lexicon....."Some men are bigger than others" "One tyrant 3000 miles away can take away my liberty just as quickly as 3000 tyrants one mile away" (Or something like that) Surely The Patriot should be cited as one popular film about the American Revolution?

ScottDS said...

Wow! Great choices, especially Jed's. I'm always a sucker for an historical tech/geek story.

Re: the American Revolution, I think this has come up before... Hollywood's dependency on the foreign market might preclude American history from being a source of film ideas, at least for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, this is where television can shine. HBO, the History Channel... there's definitely room here.

AndrewPrice said...

Welcome Anon! And thanks! I'm glad you enjoy the site!

On The Patriot, I like the story a lot. I think it's well done and I love the messages -- very pro-American and pro-freedom. I like Gibson too -- despite his recent idiocy. I think he's a solid actor. I don't care for the CGI for the battle, but that's a small concern in this particular film because I think the rest of the film is so well done. And I love Jason Isaacs, who does a great job as Tavington, who was modeled on Tarleton, who really was a bit of a monster.

In terms of it being a Revolution film, it definitely is. But what's bothering me is just the general lack of films about the topic. This was the founding of our country and yet there aren't more than a handful of films about the Revolution itself. And those that do exist are often biopics rather than anything grander. I would like to see something with a much stronger sense of the politics and public at large. It would probably need to be a trilogy or a tv series, but I would still like to see it.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I agree, very good choices -- I would happily see them all.

On the Revolution, the issue came up when we were talking about patriotic films. And yeah, I think HBO and History Channel really are where we need to look for these. Fortunately, they seem to be up to the challenge.

LawHawkRFD said...

The resignation and disgrace of Barack Hussein Obama. Oh, wait. That hasn't happened----yet.

Ed said...

Great choices! They would all make good choices. I'd like to see a solid Napoleon biopic.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Aren't you the dreamer! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I actually considered that. I remember a miniseries in the 1980s, but there really hasn't been anything "definite" done about Napoleon, which is strange because he's such a huge historic figure.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world can live as one. Puke!

T-Rav said...

Scott, my hope is that with the controversy over Iraq finally starting to die down, we can start to see more movies actually dealing with events on the ground and some of the war stories that unfolded behind the scenes. This would be a good one.

Jed, the way you describe it reminds me of the recent Sherlock Holmes movie a little--Victorian 19th century culture meets modern technology. I was thinking flashy stuff, but this has its appeal as well.

Andrew, I don't remember its name, but there was a good movie in the '90s about Washington's Crossing and the Battle of Trenton, starring Jeff Daniels as our Hero-in-Chief. He was quite good in that role, too, if I remember correctly.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, And you're a Beatles fan to boot! LOL!

T-Rav said...

Andrew and Scott, I'm going to say HBO more than History Channel. I saw part of the John Adams miniseries over the summer (Fourth of July programming and all that), and it just blew me away. If anyone does a movie or miniseries on the Revolution itself, it should be them.

On The Patriot, I'm a bit conflicted. The history expert in me wants to nitpick a lot--the overall military situation wasn't quite accurate, the battles being fought weren't accurate at all--but on the other hand, I realize you have to take liberties to make a compelling movie. And that aside, there's no denying it is a very good movie that wears American patriotism on its sleeve. I do like it, though with reservations. And from Gibson to Heath Ledger to Tom Wilkinson and Jason Issacs especially (honorable mention to Adam Baldwin), it's got a stellar cast.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav & Scott, On Iraq, I have to recommend Generation Kill which was on Showtime or HBO several years ago. It's unfortunately named or I think it would have gotten better press. It does have a few anti-American moments (particularly near the end) but overall I thought it was really good. It's about a Marine recon unit making their way to Baghdad and it's really well done.

On your other point, T-Rav, I hope so too -- although I have to wonder if Hollywood hasn't poisoned the well so much that the public will no longer trust them on anything Iraq-war related?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I thought the Adams series was great and it was exactly the kind of thing I'd like to see more of -- only with a slightly broader focus aimed at the revolution.

I recall a George Washington miniseries in the early 1980s, but I don't recall it being all that great. But I don't recall the one you're talking about.

CrispyRice said...

Interesting topic and choices everyone!

Having slept through most of my history classes, but finding myself more interested now that I'm older... (What's that? Education is wasted on the young? Yeah...)

I'd like to see recommendations on pretty much anything. My trouble is that most "history" movies tend to be either war movies. (Ummm, girl here. Hello?? Not interested in war movies.) Or they are sappy melodramas with little actual historical information like "North and South" or something.

I could use movies and programs that teach something in an interesting fashion, but I have no idea even where to look.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That's a good point, that too often these things are either war films or melodramas. I honestly don't know where to find good history movies that don't fall into that category, except maybe biopics or documentaries?

For example, I would love to see the history of the Russian Revolution done on film. I've seen documentaries and I've seen Doctor Zhivago, but there really is nothing that is more factual but also filmy.

Maybe this is an area for some enterprising screenwriters to look?

On that point and as kind of an aside, I have to say that I am disappointed in Shogun. I was rather hoping for something a little more Japanese-history oriented and it turned out to be just another romance/melodrama. Grr.

Great point too about education being wasted on the young. I often think that I would have gotten so much more out of college now than I got at the time.

Tennessee Jed said...

my take on Gibson is I like his films, and I liked The Patriot. Very loosely based on Francis Marion, a guerilla fighter from South Carolina. (Trivia Question: who played Francis Marion in the Disney version. O.K. you giver up. Answer: Leslie Neilson. What? Sure ly you jest? Don't call me Shirly.)

For whatever reason though, Mel tends to like to REALLY, REALLY, do VIOLENCE. The whole British atrocity thing was way, way over the top. But, apart from these small things, I will not be the one to break the peace we have made here today. (Stop it Jed, you idiot, that is Godfather, a different film. Sorry.)

Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav. It was done in 1969. I have (whould could have guessed, the DVD. Michael Caine, Trevor Howard. All the Brits you might expect from a war film of that time period.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, He is heavily into violence, that's for sure. And what are you doing supporting the British? Are you anti-American! (just kidding)

I think it's amazing how Leslie Neilson has had two careers. It's amazing that the same man who starred in the Nake Gun films also starred as the very, very serious captain in Forbidden Planet.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, the Washington film wasn't a bio or anything, it was just a straight-up war battle. I haven't seen the one you mentioned, so I can't comment. I wish I could remember the title, but...

I haven't seen "Generation Kill," either, though I have seen "Black Hawk Down" and loved it. Quietly pro-American and pro-military, and it had a great cast as well (also including Jason Isaacs). Probably as close as I can come to GK.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - Fantastic choice. It must be made into a film.

Andrew - American Revolution is shockingly underepresented AT BEST. I did like "The Crossing" since I lived in Washington Crossing, Pa. briefly. I have minutemen ancestors so I would love to see "The Shot Heard Round the World" at a level above Disney's Johnny Tremaine (damn, at least Uncle Walt covered these things, damn it.)

T-Rav said...

History is about war, Crispy. Get over it. :-)

There are plenty of good historical topics that don't involve battles or wars, it's just that movies often do well when there's some sort of physical action involved, and war movies are the best at delivering that. Sad but true.

I saw the whole "North and South" trilogy on TV about ten years ago, because I thought it was going to be about the Civil War and not--well--a 19th century soap opera. Oops. It was a well-done soap opera, I'll give it that. But the second and especially third parts really fell off from the original.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's how I feel. For being the seminal moment that formed our country, there is just so little about it. Compare that to WWII, which seems to have a film for almost every phase of it. I just don't understand why there isn't more?

T-Rav said...

Jed, have you been drinking today? :-) The President's speech was nearly 24 hours ago, for crying out loud!

As far as the whole atrocity thing, it may or may not have been overdone. On the one hand, Cornwallis and most of the British leadership in the South were pretty humane and fair-minded, besides which they believed such tactics were counterproductive and therefore tended to frown on them. The same cannot be said, though, for a lot of the Tories; one of the forgotten stories of the Revolution is that South Carolina experienced a savage civil war during British occupation, with a lot of rival families using the war as an excuse to settle old scores. (Some of the Patriots, in all fairness, were no better.)

Since we're talking about Washington's Crossing, I would recommend David Hackett Fischer's book of the same name, covering the war in New York and New Jersey and the Trenton-Princeton battles in particular. It has a good account of the atrocities British and Hessian troops committed in the area, and it's much more lurid than most people know. Pillage and rape, especially gang-rape, were widespread--suffice to say that within a few weeks of New Jersey coming under occupation, Quakers were shooting at these guys.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Generation Kill has a very different vibe than Black Hawk Down. In BHD, you had a pretty heroic mission to save some guys who had been shot down. By comparison, GK covers the whole Iraqi campaign, so it's got long stretches where nothing combat related happens. So it's more about how these guys fill their time.

And when things do happen, this is shot from the "grunt" level, so there is a lot of complaining about their officers, which a lot of critics said was disrespectful.

All in all, it's really well done though and some of the characters are a hoot -- one guy in particular keeps coming up with hilarious theories about defeating the bad guys by opening McDonalds in their countries and they worry about rumors that J-Lo has been killed. And then the combat scenes are probably more realistic than anything you normally get on films for the type of combat they experienced -- mainly snipers.

I recommend it, but it's definitely not the straight up heroism of BHD. And there is some anti-Americanism in it, but not enough to really bother me.

Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav: yes, yes I have. Didn't see the earliest comments on Jeff Daniels and "The Crossing." Back to Tarleton, a non-link for those interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banastre_Tarleton

ScottDS said...

Didn't Barry Bostwick play George Washington in some 80s TV movies?

I just purchased John Adams on Blu-Ray. I saw it when it originally aired but when HBO aired it again over the 4th of July, I was reminded just how good it was. The filmmakers should reconvene every year to do a new miniseries: one on each Founding Father.

I recently found out that William Shatner once played John Adams in a 1970s TV documentary narrated by John Wayne! Lorne Greene played George Washington.

BevfromNYC said...

I would love to see other movies based on David McCullough's histories.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many of you here saw the "documentary" Restrapo? Done by Sebastian Junger I believe and his cameraman was actually killed a little later during an attack. Very realistic. I watched it with my one son who is a Marine, and he said "yeah, that's about what happens" So coming from someone who served in theater, Restrapo seems to be the most "realistic" of the OIF and OEF war films out there today. Oh yeah...now I remember another classic line from The Patriot....remember how this pissed off the liberals when it was screened?......"Aim small, miss small"

Koshcat said...

On the Revolutionary War theme, I think a movie about Benedict Arnold could be fascinating. To go from an American Hero to the Greatest American Traitor. It wouldn't have a happy ending either.

Another general topic poorly covered is the true story of the Soviets and how brutal they were. We often get a softening of what they did or they are seen as so evil it come across as comical. Even just following a family in the Ukraine or Estonia over a couple of generations could be fascinating. Through in a few bonnets for the ladies, a couple of action scenes (and perhaps a topless scene or two) for the guys, keep the CGI down and...who knows?

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - Barry Bostwick did play George in a mini-series in the early 80's. Patti Duke Aston played Martha. It was based on Joseph Flaxner's classic "Washington, the Indespensible Man." It was well done for the time

Tennessee Jed said...

Koshkat: Agreed, the whole Benedict Arnold thing is an amazing story. I have been to Saratoga. Had an ancestor killed there. It was the battle that made Arnold's career (militarily speaking, of course.) As for Arnold, jealousy can bring you down for sure.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think our stock market starting drinking today too. Ug.

Here's your Tarleton link: LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, As Jed says, yep... Barry Bostwick of Rocky Horror fame! LOL!

I can't imagine Shatner playing Adams. I love Shatner, but he's Shatner... he can't be anybody else.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I think that's a great idea. Like Scott says, I would love to see them go through the founding fathers and do series for many of them -- and a few other famous people. That would be a heck of a series!

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, I have not seen Restrapo, but I have seen a lot of the other documentaries about Afghanistan and Iraq. I have to say that the documentaries really are much more gripping to me at this point because it's just fascinating to watch these guys doing this for real and seeing what they put up with over there. And I have to say, it makes me proud as heck of our country to see these guys.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I would LOVE to see the Soviets exposed. Even now, Hollywood continues to downplay what happened in Russia and that story needs to be told. For one thing, it's just an incredible story. For another, it's one of those things everyone should know. For another, it needs to be told to end this idea that somehow the Soviets weren't as bad as the Nazis.


Koshcat and Jed, I think a Benedict Arnold story would be fascinating.

T-Rav said...

Andrew and Koshcat, I think it would be interesting to see a biopic of Whitaker Chambers. He's best known for the Alger Hiss case, but in fact he was an extraordinary individual and a towering intellectual, who made a heck of a journey from godless Communism to a reconciliation with Christianity and the Western tradition. Which is to say, there probably won't be any such film made any time soon.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - excuse me? Shat is Shat, but he is also, very much James Tiberius effen Kirk as well. We had a good climb up Mt. Leconte BTW which probably prompted the celebratory early toasting.

Scott - I got the DVD version of Adams early on before Blu-ray. It is a great transfer, as you might expect.

Anon haven't seen Restrapo, but am a fan of Sebastian's. Sounds like a really good one.

Kosh & Andrew (or anybody) - who would you cast as Arnold? Answers can be for guys in their younger days, but bonus points for a great pick you could actually start filming with tomorrow. Right off the top of my head, I want an age appropriate Tommy Lee Jones as Benedict.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, He is absolutely Kirk, but Kirk = Shatner and vice versa in my book. Even when he's in the Twilight Zone (episodes I love), Shat = Kirk.

Casting Benedict Arnold. How about Andy Garcia?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Whitaker Chambers? Isn't he that basketball guy? Oh wait, that's Wilt Chamberlain. ;-)

But yeah, if he turned against Communism, then there is no room in Hollywood's heart for this particular traitor.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andy Garcia would be a good choice. Aiden Quinn actually played Arnold in a pretty good mini-series about him 8 or 10 years ago.

Koshcat said...

I don't know much about Chambers but sounds interesting.

I'm not sure who should play him but I would prefer someone not famous. It distracts me from the story. "hey look, it's Agent K. Wonder were J is?". It just goes downhill from there. Maybe someone doing broadway or an English actor little known to us might work.

T-Rav said...

Thinking about it, it seems to me that what makes The Patriot so compelling is how Colonel Martin (Gibson) develops over time. He starts out as a pacifist--he doesn't particularly care for the British, but he fears the consequences of war too much to get involved. Then he reluctantly becomes the militia leader, largely as a means of keeping his family safe from the British. Then by the end, even though his son has been killed and thus the reason he was fighting is gone, he stays and helps win the war anyway. He comes to believe in the cause and that there's something larger than himself or any one person. It's a moving character arc, infused as it is with patriotism.

I got to thinking about this as I was reading some of the stories on NRO about 9/11. Can't wait for the article Sunday morning.

AndrewPrice said...

Oh sure, T-Rav... raise everyone's expectations! LOL!

I agree with you about The Patriot. I think what makes it work is that his character grows so well and it mirrors the typical American view of the world -- I just want to live my life in peace and not worry about everything else... but if threatened, I will fight, and if I have to fight, I will win.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, That happens to me a lot as well, where I prefer unknown actors to famous actors because famous actors often are too big for the role and I end up seeing them as the actor rather than the character.

ScottDS said...

I have a couple more ideas:

-"The Singing Revolution" - the efforts by which Estonians freed themselves of Soviet occupation through the power of music. A documentary was made about the film a few years ago.

-I'd love to see a miniseries based on the book Spycraft, which tells the story of the CIA's tech guys from the agency's founding up to today's conflicts. I read this book a few years ago and it's fascinating, though one wonders how much material is really true. ;-) The chapter on the efforts to kill Castro read like black comedy. Of course, there are failures as well as successes and any good miniseries would have to look at both.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Oh Holy Cannoli... where to begin?

Just with Muslims and the West...

The Battle of Tours 732 Charles Martel (The Hammer) defeats the Muslims armies limiting their advance to Spain.

The Battle of Lepanto -- Christian navy wipes out Ottoman navy in epic budget-busting blockbuster.

The first 9-11... 911/1683 -- the Ottomans are turned back by the Poles in the Battle of Vienna -- the high water mark for Muslim advancement into Europe.

The Barbary Wars... Stephen Decatur's bad-ass move into Tripoli Harbor to destroy the Philadelphia. Navy SEALS with cutlasses...

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Part 2... American history:

1. The Whiskey Rebellion... could be a good George Washington pic... fictionalize some elements to build up intrigue and a few good speeches abut American values.

2. Lewis and Clark... a good epic Dances With Wolves-esque (not so PC of course) treatment of this most epic of achievements.

3. The Haymarket Bombing

4. Lizzie Borden murders

5. Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts natch. I look forward to Peter Berg's "Lone Survivor" movie.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

And lastly... (not that I've thought about this much! :-) )

World History:

1. the Apostle Paul's life (heck any of the well known apostles after the death and resurrection of Christ)

2. Mel Gibson's Maccabee movie will rock. He is the PERFECT movie subject.

3. Six Day War

4. a good Viking epic.... the trek to Greenland... not the berserker crap they put out but an epic treatment of real Vikings... lots of messages about rule of law, property, etc. would be present and the move from paganism to Christianity...

5. I would love to see a biopic of Caravaggio... that man was fascinating.

kristina said...

hi, longtime reader of your great blog, 1st time commenter. I give a big loud n hearty +1 to the general topic of the real horrors of Communism/Soviets being criminally underdone by Hollywood. It's a huge yawning gap in people's knowledge, which also helps modern "thinkers" smear classic Hollywood conservatives as nutty paranoid fascists. Just my 2 cents. Always great stuff on your blog, thanks.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The CIA thing would be an interesting topic. On Castro, I've always heard they tried to get him an exploding cigar and tried to make his beard fall out.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Nice list! I can see this topic interests you! :-)

On your list, I actually thought about the gates of Vienna and the Barbary Wars. Those would be really fascinating and very timely!

On Lewis and Clark, I recall a book coming out about them maybe a decade ago that EVERYONE seemed to be reading. So there is definitely a lot of interest in the topic. And in many ways, they are the guys most responsible for turning the United States into a continent.

The rest are excellent choices too!

P.S. You mean vikings didn't just kill everyone while singing opera? ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

kristina, Welcome! And thanks I'm glad you like it! :-)

I agree completely about Soviet history. Hollywood has ignored it for political reasons. If people really understood what happened in the Soviet Union, then the Soviets would join the Nazis in public infamy. Instead, you get college kids wearing Soviet symbols because they think it's hip.

I had a professor in college who escaped the Soviet Union and he went through what he experienced and what the Soviets did in Eastern Europe when they took over, and a lot of the liberal kids were shocked. They'd never heard any of that and they actually thought he was lying because they were being told by other professors that the Soviets were good people who were concerned about equality and justice. Yeah... and murdering those who didn't conform.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

The Gulag Archipelago needs a Schindler's List treatment to be sure....

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, It really should. Plus Stalin starving the Ukraine and the purges that seemed to happen every 5-10 years and all the killings they did in Eastern Europe. Really the take over of Eastern Europe alone deserves a lengthy documentary or film.

ScottDS said...

I've spent the last hour looking for this Reason article on the subject of cinematic depictions of Communism (and the lack thereof). Some of it goes over my head but it's fascinating stuff.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You need a hobby! Just kidding. Thanks for the link.

FYI, your link starts at page 2. Here's the start at page 1: LINK


I think the article is right by the way, that this has to do with Hollywood's own flirtation with communism. If Hollywood hadn't been so sympathetic to communism and it's later offshoots (e.g. unions, progressives, etc.) then it wouldn't be afraid of this topic. As it is, to attack communism would mean attacking a lot of industry heroes and would incur the wrath of people who remain very important in the biz.

ScottDS said...

(The post that's up now should link to page 1; I deleted the post that linked to page 2.)

As for the article, I don't really have a dog in this fight, at least not now, but I hope the next generation of filmmakers is less politically... I'll just say rigid.

And I have a couple hobbies: one of them is looking up interesting info online. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Hopefully, but I doubt it.

On your hobbies, let me quote John Goodman in Speed Racer: "you need to get out more. . . get some sun. . . you're so pale." ;-)

Mike Kriskey said...

I'd like to see a movie about Julius Caesar's rise to power.

AndrewPrice said...

et tu Mike?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. At least I didn't say, "vini vidi filmi."

Outlaw13 said...

I think you could read the citation for any Medal of Honor award and have the basis of the great movie. In an age where some steroid abusing feak is called a hero to some, it would be good for people to be reminded who the "real" heroes are.

I hated the "Generation Kill" book because the Rolling Stone reporter took every bull-s#it" barracks tale and gripe and complaint he heard and published them. DO people on the line gripe and complain, of course they do. There is in fact an old Army saying that, "It's a Soldier's right to bitch" but just because it is it doesn't mean it's justified or based on truth. That's what bothered me the most about it and from what I understand the series followed that pretty closely.

Additionally I can tell you from personal experience that war is 90% boring and the rest is sheer terror.

I would like to see something done on the battle of Baghdad during the surge of 2007...but since the Marines weren't there you'll never hear about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, That's a great point about the Metal of Honor recipients. Those are some amazing stories of bravery, honor and sacrifice.

The complaining didn't bother me much in Generation Kill precisely because I know that soldiers do gripe, and I never got the impression we were supposed to take that as an indictment of anyone (except maybe three specific officers). I just took it as how these guys live. The only parts that bothered me was the Monday Morning Quarterbacking toward the end of the series -- it had a very "bad Americans" feel to it.

On the Marines v. the Army thing, I'm not sure Hollywood recognizes that we have an Army. They get that we have a Navy and they love the Marines, but they really don't get the rest.

Kit said...

Constitutional Convention, Six Day War, Warsaw Uprising (and Stalin's stab in the back), a mini-series on the Protestant Reformation, Bay of Pigs (needs, needs, NEEDS to be told), the so-called "War of the Bandits" (as Che called them, a.k.a. the anti-Castro rebels insurgency), the Grant-Lee era of the Virginia theatre of the American Civil War, and many, many more.

Also,
Pheonix City, AL 1954. In the late 40s and early 50s organized crime RAN Pheonix City. This culminated in the assassination of the anti-machine State of Alabama Attorney General-elect and the ensuing decision by the governor of Alabama to place the city under Martial law and eventually under Martial Rule, where the Alabama Army National Guard literally came in, and had the Russel Co. Sheriff's office and the Pheonix City police hand in their badges and guns and replaced them with
National Guardsmen.

Also, any accurate telling would be very pro-Christian as the leading force for reform was the Russel County Betterment Association, founded by a devout Southern Baptist.

Fascinating story.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The Bay of Pigs absolutely deserves a story... but it makes a liberal icon look really bad, so don't hold your breath.

Kit said...

True, Andrew.

But if I had to choose which of my selections to film (If I was a filmmaker) I would go with the Pheonix City one.

Simply because few people know about it, it happened not far from where I live, and it is really fascinating. Read Margaret Anne Barnes "Tragedy and Triumph of Pheonix City".

Also, the French Revolution would make a good mini-series.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, In truth, I'm not familiar with that. :(

I agree about the French Revolution. Talks about a fascinating dramatic event with a lot of interesting facets!

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