The story of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and United Nations Commander for the Korean War. "MacArthur" begins in 1942, following the ... See full summary »
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Eva Marie Saint,
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The story of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and United Nations Commander for the Korean War. "MacArthur" begins in 1942, following the fall of Phillipines, and covers the remarkable career of this military legend up through and including the Korean War and into MacArthur's days of forced retirement after being dismissed from his post by President Truman. Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
Military bases utilized for this movie included the West Point Military Academy, Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, the San Diego Naval Air Station and the Mojave Air Force Base. See more »
In the exterior shot of the airplane flying MacArthur to Hawaii, the side of the airplane reads "UNITED STATES AIR FORCE". The U.S. Air Force was not created until after the war, in 1947. See more »
[MacArthur arrives at front lines and starts to get out of jeep]
General, sir! Excuse me, sir, but we just killed a Jap sniper here not five minutes ago!
Gen. Douglas MacArthur:
Fine, son! That's the best thing to do with 'em!
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This is a sound and thoughtful performance by Peck, who was saddled by a Ciceronian script, some of it presumably emanating from MacArthur himself.
MacArthur's conviction that war is a great evil is convincingly portrayed, as is the relish of a general doing the only thing for which he was trained: the prosecution of war to the utmost severity.
The real heroes of this movie are the politicians. Not just Roosevelt, but also the caricature of Truman, and the never seen or heard Eisenhower (a good clerk according to Peck's MacArthur). This movie reminded me that it is as important for a politician to compromise as for it is a general to combat.
MacArthur's greatest opportunity was to become military ruler of a defeated Japan, for 3 years. It appears that he seized this to some good effect. He later claimed that:
"The Japanese people since the war have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history. With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have from the ashes left in war's wake erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity, and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice."
In this one seems to hear the tone of a general boasting about his troops. That is no small thing: for a fighter to impose a peace, on more or less unconditional terms, and seek to reconstitute, rather than to humiliate. He would have made an abominably bad politician, but as interim ruler he ain't done so bad, according to this thoughtful movie.
7/10 for movie making; 8/10 for thought provocation.
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