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Buzz Rickson is a dare-devil World War II bomber pilot with a death wish. Failing at everything not involving flying, Rickson lives for the most dangerous missions. His crew lives with this aspect of his personality only because they know he always brings them back alive. Written by
KC Hunt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An excellent novel that translated into a so-so motion picture.
War is a wrenching experience. Whether experienced in far off foreign lands on the battlefield or at home in the living room gathered around the radio to hear the latest news, those who experience it are often moved to put their physical and emotional experiences down on paper. Later, others are moved to attempt to turn those writings into motion pictures. The process just doesn't always work perfectly. More often than not the emotions that can be expressed beautifully in words by an excellent writer like John Hersey just cannot be caught on screen.
It is really hard to define exactly what kept "The War Lover" from becoming a first rate film. The production effort was definitely first rate, and the casting was excellent. The framework of this move is all there. It is well filmed, well acted, well directed and well produced. Even the use of the black and white format works. It not only allowed the use of actual combat air footage, but also provided a gritty quality that fits the material nicely. The adaptation of the dialog is good. It may just be that the emotions which Mr. Hersey put into his novel just can't be translated onto the screen, no matter who tries to do it.
I like this movie despite its shortcomings. I occasionally watch it when a nostalgia for the "bad old, good old days" of WW II gets hold of me, usually on a dreary winter evening when it gets dark around 4:30 in the afternoon, and I enjoy it. Watch this one for the realism of its depiction of the air war over Europe from 1942 to 1945.
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