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In 1950, life as usual in a middle-American town. Cold War paranoia is beginning; the young men's biggest concern is the draft board and deferments from the peacetime army. Then the Korean War begins, and the Greer family starts to worry: kid brother Jack, courting the lovely daughter of the draft board chairman, is next on the list. A character study examining American attitudes of that era. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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[Arriving home with her husband after sending the youngest of their three sons off to the Korean War, Sarah begins trashing the husband's WWI shrine.]
Liar! Crazy, crazy liar! You never were in any one of those places and you know it. You never heard a shot fired. You were in Paris all through the war, shining up a general's boots, bringing him bicarbonate of soda when he'd drunk too much the night before. I went along with you; I thought it was childish, foolish, but I didn't think it did any ...
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Outstanding look at "the forgotten war's" home front.
This first-rate film about the effects of the Korean War on an Anytown U.S.A. deserves to be thought of in the same league as movies like 'The Best Years of Our Lives.' But just as history has done with the real wars, this movie seems to have gotten lost in the shadows of the much larger number of World War II dramas.
The Korean War came just five short years after WWII ended, just as many families whose lives were so disrupted by the bigger war were finally able to enjoy some peace and stability in their lives after struggles of readjustment. Lacking the impetus of a Pearl Harbor or the spectre of an Adolph Hitler, the draft was the prime mechanism for getting young men to the front lines in Korea. Older vets were now being asked to leave their homes and families again as well. This film shows surprising depth in its depiction of the problems and feelings of not only the eligible men, but their wives, mothers, fathers and girlfriends. The excellent script was written by Irwin Shaw based on magazine stories by Edward Newhouse and they provide us with an insightful look at this period in American history which doesn't get as much attention as the preceding or following decades.
Clay Blair called his book on the Korean conflict 'The Forgotten War' and this movie might be given a similar appellation, even though it deserves better. Simply as a piece of nostalgia it's enjoyable, but the movie is much more than that. It has a fine cast with many actors that even some of us baby boomers will recognize.
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