Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Twelve OʼClock High (20th Century Fox - 1949)

By Tennessee Jed

Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, this is one of the most highly regarded films to come out of World War II. Nominated for four academy awards in 1950 including best picture, lead and supporting actor, it was selected for preservation in 1998 by the National Film Institute of the Library of Congress for being culturally or historically significant. The production has relatively little in the way of “action” sequences, and what there is consists of actual battle footage from the Air Force and Luftwaffe, creating something of a “newsreel” flavor. Exterior scenes were mainly filmed at Elgin Air Force base in Florida, or Cairns Airfield in Alabama. Ostensibly part of the military genre, Twelve OʼClock High is clearly an unconventional war film. Letʼs take a look at how that helps make for a fascinating movie.

** spoiler alert **

The Plot chronicles some of the activities of the U.S. Armyʼs 8th Air force Battalion that flew bombing raids into occupied France and Germany during 1942. The screenplay was developed from a novel by Sy Bartlett, aide-de-camp to Major General Carl Spatz during the war. Bartlett was heavily involved in the screenplay, providing an insiderʼs view of people and events that adds to the filmʼs credibility. Most major characters represent composites of actual officers from the Battalion.

In the opening sequence, former officer Major/Lt. Colonel Harvey Stovall (Dean Jagger) is in London post-war when he notices a battered old toby jug (philpot) of Robin Hood in an antique shop. He immediately purchases it and carries it on his bicycle to a fictional abandoned airfield at Archbury where he served with the equally fictional 918th Heavy Bomber Group stationed there during the war. This permits him to “flashback” to the events portrayed in the story.

We witness the crash landing of a B-17 “flying fortress” returning from a mission, and find the 918th has suffered high casualties as a result of a strategic command decision to conduct daylight bombing strikes. While this strategy makes it easier to successfully hit targets, it also greatly increases the risk to the bombers from anti-aircraft fire.

Morale is low and performance poor in the 918th, and Group Commander, Colonel Keith Davenport, (Gary Merrill) may be a contributory cause. Although respected and well liked by his subordinates, he has come to over-identify with the men, losing sight of the mission due to his concern for their safety. He complains about his newest orders to his friend, Brigadier General Frank Savage (Gregory Peck,) a staff aide to Battalion Commander, Major General Pat Pritchard (Millard Mitchell.) Pritchard re-assigns Davenport to his staff, replacing him with Savage as new leader of the 918th. He is tasked with “finding out just how much a man can take” in order to obtain “maximum effort” from the men.

Upon arrival, Savage finds his new command in disarray with discipline virtually nonexistent. Setting out to reverse the situation, he focuses first on Air Executive Officer, Lt. Colonel Ben Gately (Hugh Marlowe.) Gately is not only a West Point graduate, but also son of a famous general. Gately is demoted and given “command” of a plane named The Leper Colony, assigned to those who donʼt meet expectations. He is replaced as Air Executive Officer by Major Joe Cobb (John Kellogg.) The other pilots all request transfers, but Savage convinces Stovall, the Group adjutant, to “delay” the paper work, buying him time to win them over. The unit resumes flying missions and the new discipline begins to pay off in improved performance.

After Savage personally leads them successfully on a dangerous mission without suffering any casualties, the men begin to think differently about their commander. Savage is chewed out by his boss because he claims “radio malfunction” as a flimsy excuse for ignoring a recall order during the attack. Savage convinces Pritchard to award a citation to the group. Lt. Jesse Bishop, (Robert Patten) a medal of honor nominee is enlisted to convince the others to cancel their transfer requests. As longer flights continue to become increasingly dangerous, the likable Bishop is killed, followed by Cobb. Savage reinstates Gately as Air Exec., but then slips into his own stress induced disorder as the airmen leave on their next mission.

The Leadership Theme - At itʼs core, this film is actually an examination of leadership style. It has been used by the military and numerous corporations (including the one for which I worked) as a popular case study during seminars on the topic. Most modern academic theories categorize leadership into three broad styles; authoritative, collaborative, or delegating. No single style is always best, and effective leaders must blend different styles based on a variety of factors including the leaderʼs personality, the experience or skill level of the subordinates, and the source from which the leaderʼs power is derived. That source can be formalized organizationally, informal or both.

For obvious reasons, the military is based upon a strict, formalized, authoritative chain of command. General Savage stresses this authoritative style in order to restore discipline, but it is worth noting he wins respect and support from his people through leading by example, a more informal source of “personal” power. Collaborative is a style best utilized when the need for “buy-in” is paramount between parties where no direct subordinate relationship exists (such as between the President and Congress.) The delegating style is often seen where a leader enjoys an advantage of trusted, experienced subordinates.

Another theme expressed is the debilitating impact of extreme combat stress on individuals. Stress can take both a physical and emotional toll, ultimately changing or limiting the effectiveness of even the strongest leaders. In the book The Killer Angels, General Lee tells General Longstreet of the great trap of military commanders. Paraphrasing, he states {to be a good soldier, you must love your men, but to be a good officer, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love. No other profession requires it. That is why there are many good soldiers, but so few good officers.} Many individuals who served in the 8th battalion have commented on the authenticity of this film, claiming most of the scenes and events occurred at one time or another, although not all within a single battle group.

Conclusions - For those interested in World War II, or merely the nature of leadership, this movie is highly recommended, perhaps even a “must see.” At times, the pace is a bit slow, but itʼs lessons are applicable well beyond the military, and create an opportunity for viewers to consider any leader in a somewhat different light.

As an aside, Twelve OʼClock High is an actual term used by military aviators who are communicating the position of enemy aircraft during an engagement. The position is described as the face of a clock with twelve oʼclock being directly in front, while six oʼclock would be directly behind. The “high” would indicate the enemy is at higher altitude. The film was converted to a popular television series which ran for four seasons between 1964 and 1967 and utilized the same characters.

61 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

The movie poster reminds me of your earlier post on the subject, Andrew. "A story of 12 men as their women never knew them" That is the most mis-leading tag line ever l.o.l.!

ScottDS said...

Good call on the tagline!

I've never seen the film but, like so many others, it's on the to-watch list.

I will have to recommend it to a friend of mine, though, whose 12-year old son is going through a WW2 phase (God bless 'em!). My friend called me up one day and said, "Scott, my son just watched Tora! Tora! Tora! in one sitting."

Interesting thoughts on leadership. I know I've seen the "willing to order your officers to the death" idea played out in other movies and TV shows as well.

Tennessee Jed said...

well since he watched Tora, Tora, Tora is one sitting, far be it from me to judge his reaction to this one. However, as I indicate in my review, this is truly NOT a normal war film, and I must warn it can be slow moving at times because it is essentially a "dialogue" movie with little action. I can't think of too many his age who would be able to manage this one.

I heard there is a masterful Blue-Ray restoration of Tora being released soon (or maybe already released?) Anyway, in my opinion that is a great film and a masterful look at Pearl Harbor; clearly one of the best WW2 pic.'s ever.

ScottDS said...

No problem. I'm sure this is a film he'll be able to appreciate a little later. For now, he's going through more of the action-oriented WW2 films. (I let my friend borrow my DVD of The Great Escape - his son liked that one, too.)

Tora was released on Blu-Ray last December. This review at Blu-Ray.com gives the picture quality 5 stars!

I've heard Patton is getting a new Blu-Ray transfer one day, since the current one had too much digital noise reduction applied to it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Thanks for the excellent review of an excellent film. Good point out that tag line. Do the wives ever even show up?

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - You can always have him try it. Who knows? BTW, thanks for the link to Casey Broadwater's review. I do love careful frame-by-frame restorations coulpled with DTS HD lossless audio technology. Broadwater has mixed feelings about that film saying it lacks an emotional core and favors authenticity over compelling storyline thereby appealing mainly to war buffs and naval battle nerds. (I have actually never had anybody describe me that way, but perhaps it is true.)

I guess I felt the attack on Pearl Harbor and the politics of the event are pretty f***ing compelling on their own merit. Anyway, "Casey" lost me at "naval battle nerds" so I will give his opinions in the future a well earned lack of interest (at least from me.)

Tennessee Jed said...

Thanks, Andrew - there are no women in this movie. I don't believe it had anything to do with "dissing" women, it was just accurate. None were there, and Bartlett chose to make the film authentic, rather than slick it up for Hollywood sensibilities. I just think the little poster copy writer is a great example of your earlier point. :)

ScottDS said...

Jed -

Your welcome.

There are countless Blu-Ray review sites but, while I always value their input, I rarely read them for their opinions on the film itself, only the A/V quality and extras. :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

Oh and Scott, btw - like a lot of things, leadership has been the subject of intense study by academia. The course I took was taught by a big time Harvard Business School consultant who taught us negotiations and leadership. They were two of the best courses I ever had. Make no mistake, leadership and stress are what this film is about. I think it fascinating it uses very real events. The acting is really high level.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - I am fascinated by the technical aspects of film to digital transfer, which, as I recall is known as telecine. As I replace some of my favorite classics with Blu-Ray, I am getting the chance to compare earlier DVD versions with the Blu-Ray. My copy of the Godfather Coppola restoration box set arrived today. Picked it up as a 1 day super deal from Amazon. I think I have them on VSH, DVD and now this so it will be fun to get down to the details :)

ScottDS said...

You're in for a treat with The Godfather Blu-Ray set! Be sure to watch the featurette on the restoration of the films.

I was just talking to a friend who studied leadership at business school. It sounded fascinating, though I never made it that far in my own education. Given the responsibilities of the film director, perhaps they should be teaching some of these skills at film schools.

Oh, and if you're interested in film transfers you might appreciate this column on the Home Theater Forum by restoration guru Robert Harris who's worked on restorations of everything from Vertigo to, you guessed it, The Godfather.

Tennessee Jed said...

yeah, I would think leadership would apply to any situation where an individual is attempting to get a group of people to do something. Like many things, it can be for good or bad purposes. I am most enamoured with collaboration; e.g. leaders who accomplish joint goals through people over whom he or she has no direct control. In other words, leaders who are able to sell their vision.

DUQ said...

Jed, Excellent discussion. This is one of my favorite war films. It's got tremendous amounts of drama in it and it's truly gripping. Peck is also extremely good in this.

Tennessee Jed said...

DUQ - thanks for the kind words. I agree, GP was excellent. He was nominated for best actor for this role, but lost to Broderick Crawford in "All the King's Men." Actually, "12 O'Clock High" also lost out to "King's Men" for best picture. Ad as I mentioned, even though this is technically a "war" film, it is truly different than any others I can think of.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - thanks for your link on transfers - look forward to reading the article. I am also really looking forward to see how the Godfather dark scenes are done. Other than lots of movement by people wearing thin pin-striped shirts, low light is the biggest challenge IMO

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I enjoy this movie very much. It has all the elements to make for a strong psychological drama. You've got the need to win people over, the handling of the stress when things go wrong, the agony of people dying based on the decisions you make, etc. And Peck is really great in this role, it suits him perfectly because he's got that brooding sense which is needed to believe that he would force this decision through despite opposition. I'm not sure someone like Jimmy Stewart would have done so well in this role.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - Peck, at least to me, has always flown slightly quieter in the leading man western or military roles than some of the more flamboyant types such as John Wayne. Although he did a credible barrister in the Paradine Case, this was his breakout role for stardom, followed by Horatio Horblower, and The Big Country (one of the greatest westerns ever made.) I agree, Jimmy Stewart from Indiana, Pa. was good in westerns, but was much "folksier" Peck does brooding as well, if not better, than anybody. Captain Ahab. I mean wow! If I think about Cape Fear, and Big Country, in those films he did "seeming wimp" with inner strength. Anyway, he was the right guy for the role. Hated to seem succumb at the end.

Tennessee Jed said...

The other thing about your comment, Andrew . . . . a lot of people see "12 o'clocj high" and think the t.v. show. Pity, because they were two completely different concepts. And while Dean Jagger was good and won the oscar, I actually thought Peck was better. Of course that is a meaningless comparison, but a thought nonetheless.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree. For my money, Peck is the most "intense" actor of the era. He's the guy with the inner rage that is ready to explode in the final confrontation. By comparison, a guy like Stewart or Wayne were much more upfront about their emotions and they were quick to anger and quick to settle back down. That wasn't Peck. He would go through the whole movie just building and building until it was time for an explosion.

And if you think about it, that's really pretty incredible since it must be hard to keep track of how angry you are from scene to scene because films are never shot in order.

I also think Peck was the most "professional" in a sense. Wayne and Stewart had a larger than life aspect to them or even a childish-joy about them. If you met them in real life, they really would be cowboys or something similar. Grant was the playboy. But Peck was the guy who ran the company. He was the guy you met every single day in the real world.

Tennessee Jed said...

You mentioned recently you never seen the Big Country. You need to remedy (if you already have, please disregard :)) Peck and Heston, and Chuck Connors (with a bif shoutout to Burl Ives.) They needed every bit of that 70mm cinemascope!!

Doc Whoa said...

Jed, Thanks for the review! I have to admit that I always thought this was a Western when I saw the title because I kept thinkg "High Noon." But then I saw it and you're right, this is a fanstastic film.

Doc Whoa said...

I also agree with what has been said above about Peck. I can't quite explain it, but he was always "a different actor" to me than the rest. He wasn't glib or trying to win you over with his smile. He was gruff and cool, but not with false bravado either. He's one of my favorites.

Tennessee Jed said...

Thanks, Doc! Ha:)Cooper and Kelly in that one. Agree with you about Peck. Not exactly strong, silent like Coop, but . . . maybe the word I'm searching for is "dignified."

I have to take Miss Maggie, my Norfolk, for her afternoon walk around the peninsula. Be back after a bit.

Kelly said...

Jed, Please don't hit me, but I haven't seen this one. Thanks though, you've piqued my interest.

Joel Farnham said...

I have seen this movie over three times. This is one of those movies that improves with age. What I really like is the corporal who removed and replaced his chevrons at least three times.

Tennessee Jed said...

Kelly - I don't hit. It is a 63 year old film, and probably has been under most people's radar for a long, long time. Still, if I have caused you to consider viewing it, then I'm happy. I think it is a film where you may not enjoy it as much WHILE you are watching it, but afterwards provkes you to think about it. And that's not so bad is it? :)

Tennessee Jed said...

Joel - that was the company clerk I think. Yes; a very funny bit (don't know if funny was the correct word.) I agree, it is a film that lends itself well to post multiple viewings and analysis.

Doc Whoa said...

Jed, Any idea what kind of management case studies this film was used for or why? Was it the leadership by doing issue?

Tennessee Jed said...

Doc - I suppose it has been used in a variety of ways. I tried to outline in my review what I remember about it, but it's been 30 years since I took the course. That was the first time I'd ever seen the film. Basically, corporations and other institutions try to teach their managers and future leaders about the nature of leadership. The notion is to try and give the student a better understanding of what makes a good leader, how to adapt your style to the situation etc.

In my case, it was 1985 and I had been promoted to a field job with 32 professionals reporting to me through 5 supervisors. While not real war or life or death, the goals were hard, we needed help from people we didn't control and the stress level was extreme. The course was an intense week long seminar, all day and evenings. One morning, we viewed this film and talked about what we saw, e.g. authoritative formalized leadership kick-ass style. We saw that give them discipline. Then we say Peck's character lead by example, and take "heat" from "upstairs" for his men. Finally we saw him suceed only to start to care about his men too much just like his predecessor. While it is possible to lead by example, often the skill set required to formally lead is different from the skill set required to excel at the job itself.

T-Rav said...

This sounds like a great movie, Jed. I admit, I've only vaguely heard of this one, but with that kind of cast, it has to be a good one, right? I mean, I would probably watch anything with Gregory Peck in it.

Tennessee Jed said...

Rav - this one would have been, as they say, way before your time.l.o.l. While you and most of the others here have a much higher than average interest in older films, the adage "so many good films, so little time" applies. Yes, I think you would like this, subject to some of the caveats I've tried to include.

For a variety of reason in recent times, many of which have been discussed at this site, I've become more interested in seeing older films and appreciate what they do even without more modern technology. Rare is the "must see" movie coming out today.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It's hard to think of this movie as 63 years old. Yikes. Time does fly.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I was less than a year old when this film was made, so yeah, I couldn't agree more with your comment :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, From my perspective, we seem to have crossed over some strange dateline. In the past, most things seemed 10 or 20 years ago. Suddenly they are 30-40 years ago and that's hard to compute. Vietnam, for example, always struck me (growing up) as "about 20 years ago." So if you asked me when Vietnam was, my first answer would be "about 20 years ago." It takes a minute for me to compute that it was actually 40+ years ago. Arg.

Ditto on all the rock stars I knew as a teenager who are now in their 60s. When did that happen?

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - let me ask you one of your own questions. Anybody else is welcome to throw in their two cents although probably tougher to do if you haven't seen it. If you got "green lighted" to cast and direct a re-make in 2012, who would you choose to play Savage and/or Stovall?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, The best replacement for a guy like Peck would be either George Clooney, Liam Neeson, or Colin Farrel.

For Stovall, I would go with Neal McDonough. LINK

You?

Tennessee Jed said...

I like McDonnough. Off the top of my heaf Ioan Gruffudd or Christian Bale as Savage and Jude Law or Joaquin Phoenix as Stovall.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, if it helps, I have the same problem with Vietnam, even though I wasn't born until much later. I don't know why; it just seems like something very recent, and it still surprises me to think that the Vietnam vets are no longer middle-aged but actually senior citizens. Yikes.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, All excellent actors. Bale is quite good and I like Phoenix a lot. I also like Adrien Brody, though he would be better for Stovall than Savage.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It is very strange because many of them were the fathers of my friends and they were young to middle-aged when I knew them.

Outlaw13 said...

One of my favorite movies. A great study in leadership. A lot of people who are put into positions of responsibility forget that you aren't put there to be liked, you are put there to get a job done. The saying; "Command is a lonely position" is true when done correctly.

Another good Peck role is "Pork Chop Hill" based on a true story from Korea...awesome film with a lot of faces everyone will recognize.

It is ironic that in talking about what a good bomber commander Peck made rather than Jimmy Stewart considering that Jimmy Stewart actually flew bombers during the war and eventually made general rank in the USAF reserve.

By the way, 12 O' Clock is just a term that indicates position relative to the aircraft, not necessarily an enemy it could be anything...it's a tool for being precise in your description. Also it's the 8th Air Force not the 8th Battalion a battalion sized unit is commanded by a Lieutenant Col and has 400-800 men assigned.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I liked the movie a lot, and have seen it several times over the year. I always found my fellow Cal alum Gregory Peck too wooden for my tastes, but in this movie that worked perfectly. I also remember liking the TV series, but that was a loooong time ago.

Tennessee Jed said...

I kind of like Gruffudd because although he is several years older than Peck was when he played Savage, he still would be age credible. Plus, the notion of having the same two actors both play Hornblower . . . well just a nice thought.

Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav. Pretty much the Vietnam guys are my age now. Oh wait, shit, that means I'm a senior :)

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Think how I feel. I was in the middle of the whole Vietnam war/antiwar mess. I'd rather watch movies about wars before or after Vietnam, but not about that one. Imagine being pro-military, extremely patriotic (that has never changed) and yet hating that war enough to be involved with America-hating leftists.

Tennessee Jed said...

Outlaw - excellent comments. Porkchop Hill was another excellent film, and I always though Korea was never given as much film recognition as it deserved. Also you are dead on correct, in terms of the 8th Airforce bomber command. The "groups" designated light, heavy or medium depending on aircraft size were more like a regiment in size. Don't know why I typed that in other than to say the whole Army Air Force command structure in WWII seemed rather cumbersome. Never had any real study of this part of it until this film. Likewise, your comment is true regarding the term 12 o'clock high

Tennessee Jed said...

Interesting take, Hawk. I can understand your viewing Peck as a bit"wooden" because he did tend to be kind of stoic. Let's say the opposite of, say, William Shatner! :)

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk, I think Vietnam was a classic example of our domino strategy with communism. At the time, it was them (dictatorship/communism) against us (democratic republic/capitalism.) Both sides were afraid the other would get too many of the dominos. As such, we tended to tolerate and financially support thug dictators (like Saddam Hussein) as long as they resisted the Communists. Secondly, to use today's cliche, we were not "in it to win it" so our vets got no support and the strategy was not to win, but rather not to lose. The veterans were treated like shit when they returned. It's why today's left tries to pretend they actually give a rat's ass about the troops.

T-Rav said...

Sorry, Jed. ;-)

Tennessee Jed said...

BTW - if you get MGMHD channel and have a DVR, "Pork Chop Hill" is on at 10:00 p.m.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Even as a radical, I still believed "better our dictator than their dictator." My objection was to committing, half-assed and technocratically, to a war in a nation that could easily fall without knocking over the other dominoes. I didn't like its political nature, and I didn't like the lack of political commitment to total victory. Wars should only be fought to protect American security interests, and then only if we fully intend to win. Stalemates are a waste of American lives, and anything less than a requirement of unconditional surrender results in ultimate fiascos like Vietnam, Iraq and now, shortly, Afghanistan. We knew all that in WW II, and the movies relfected it. It helps to explain why today's war movies are always convoluted, with a lot of moral equivalence between the Americans and the enemy, and no commitment on the part of the politicians and the political generals to attain total victory. In fact, more often than not, American soldiers are portrayed as the bad guys or sweet innocents betrayed by an imperialistic fascist American government.

Love the comparison. Gregory Peck v. William Shatner. LOL

Tennessee Jed said...

agreed, Hawk. The lack of commitment to win was and is appalling, especially if you are a soldier. And yeah, I definitely understood our willingness to get in bed with less than savory governments, especially given the tenor of the times. Thought you would get a chuckle with the "Shat" comparison :)

Outlaw13 said...

Having served three tours in Iraq, all I can say is we were winning when I left. The current administration in its haste to get out has f'd up what might have worked out for the good. One can't expect a society to go from a dictatorship of over 40 years to a functioning republic overnight. If it is falling apart today because we pulled out, I would say that's to be expected, they still needed help anyone who thought otherwise was kidding themselves.

So I kind of resent the implication that MY war was a fiasco, it may have not been prosecuted at a pace that you wanted, but you could have always pitched in and helped.

Critch said...

I used to play on the Memphis Belle when I was a kid growing up in Memphis. In the 60s she was parked at the armory on Airways Blvd. Even as a kid I realized that a B-17 is not a really large airplane. I also knew from watching "12 O'Clock High", movie and TV show, that some of the interior B-17 scenes had to have been sets. The waist gunners could hardly stand up. I knew a lot of vets who flew on them and Liberators in WWII and I loved to hear their stories. I loved the way they interspersed footage with filmed scenes.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, I don't think Iraq was a fiasco either. I think politically it was a mess, but militarily it was a pretty stunning success. And I think you're 100% right that you can't expect a country with no democratic tradition, with three rival ethnic groups, and with two religious factions who view each other as heretics, to go from dictatorship to unicorns and sunshine democracy over night. Especially with an outside terrorist group trying to stir things up and neighbors who would like to see the country broken apart.

I would say that all in all, they're doing pretty well right now given all those factors and I think that in a generation or so, they will be a lot like Turkey -- not perfect, but stable, democratic and mostly free. And in the long run, they will probably be one of the stronger democracies in the Middle East.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, Welcome! That would have been need to see in person. The closest I've come to the inside of a bomber was the Smithsonian, which was pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

My next door neighbor, who died about 10 years ago was on the Ploesti Raid. My brother in law was a waist gunner on 17s.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, The Ploesti Raid is a fascinating story.

Tennessee Jed said...

Looks like I missed a few "late" comments. Outlaw 13, sorry if you feel I somehow implied that "your" war is a fiasco. I am extremely grateful for your service, and am essentially agreeing that if things don't work out as hoped because we pulled out to soon, it's on the politicians, not the soldiers.

Not sure where you're headed with your " you could have pitched in and helped comment", but since you really have no idea what I may or may not have done, I'm just going to ignore it. I do not know for certain how Iraq will work out. What I do believe is that in both Vietnam and Iraq, non-military politics had a lot to do with how the war was prosecuted. I believe it is a shame to ask American soldiers to put their life on the line and not fully support the mission. That is all I have to say.

Tennessee Jed said...

Critch - thanks for commenting. I agree, I think the newsreel footage was actually quite effective, particularly given the film was mainly a "dialogue" rather than an "action" movie.

Tennessee Jed said...

Anon - thanks for commenting! I'm sure he had great stories to tell. :)

Post a Comment