Joe, a young American soldier, is hit by a mortar shell on the last day of World War I. He lies in a hospital bed in a fate worse than death - a quadruple amputee who has lost his arms, legs, eyes, ears, mouth and nose. He remains conscious and able to think, thereby reliving his life through strange dreams and memories, unable to distinguish whether he is awake or dreaming. He remains frustrated by his situation, until one day when Joe discovers a unique way to communicate with his caregivers.
The way I am, Kareen, the way it is with me, you'll never grow old. Because I keep you right here in my mind. And in my heart. Just the way you were when I saw you last. So you see, with me, you can't get old. Your hair will always stay brown, your skin will always be fresh like rain. I won't let one little wrinkle mark your face. I'll keep you beside me, young and beautiful forever. Because of all the people in the world, only with me will you be safe from time.
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I became an instant pacifist when I saw this movie at the age of 16. Prior to this, I had been a supporter of the war in Vietnam, and had fully intended to enlist when I was old enough. My father, a veteran of WW2 and Korea, took me to see this movie when it was first released, to help cure me of my delusion about the glory of war. He was very successful in that undertaking. While I haven't seen the movie in 34 years, I cannot deny it had a major influence on my life. I'll never forget the horror I felt in seeing that poor soldier trapped in his mind. I would strongly recommend telling anyone who is pro-war to see this movie. You may help turn on others to the horrors of war.
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