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Bernard V. Calka, of Macomb County Michigan and a Polish-American World War II veteran, petitioned the U.S. Army to return Slovik's remains to the USA. In 1987, he convinced President Ronald Reagan to order their return. Calka raised $8,000 to pay for the exhumation of Slovik's remains and for their transfer to Detroit's Woodmere Cemetery, where Slovik was reburied next to his wife. See more »
This was made-for-TV movie shown about 30 years ago about the only American since the Civil War to be shot for desertion. Slovik (Martin Sheen) was a strange person and I didn't know how to react to this story, frankly. I knew Hollywood was going to give it its usual liberal bias, especially with Sheen in the starring role, so I tried to look at this objectively with no prejudices - something I don't see here with any of these reviews.
Unfortunately, in trying to be totally neutral, it's easy to watch this film and come away with no definite stance. On one hand, you can't blame the military because it would be in chaos if every soldier who didn't want to fight could get out of it. That's ludicrous. On the hand, Slovik was such a nice, gentle guy, the death penalty for his actions seemed severe, too. Couldn't something else have been worked out? I don't know, and at least I'm being honest. I never was in the military and maybe if I was, it would be an easier call. It is a tough call....but at least the film - except for a couple of lulls with the romance angle - kept my attention and made me think about an issue, so it served its purpose.
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