A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow Marine recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting set in 1968 in Hue, Vietnam.
Lt. Col. Iceal "Ham" Hambleton is a weapons countermeasures expert and when his aircraft is shot over enemy territory the Air Force very much wants to get him back. Hambleton knows the area... See full summary »
Set in 1944 France, an American Intelligence Squad locates a German Platoon wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the ... See full summary »
Fourth-generation Army Col. William McNamara is imprisoned in a brutal German POW camp. Still, as the senior-ranking American officer, he commands his fellow inmates, keeping a sense of honor alive in a place where honor is easy to destroy, all under the dangerous eye of the Luftwafe vetran Col. Wilhelm Visser. Never giving up the fight to win the war, McNamara is silently planning, waiting for his moment to strike back at the enemy. A murder in the camp gives him the chance to set a risky plan in motion. With a court martial to keep Visser and the Germans distracted, McNamara orchestrates a cunning scheme to escape and destroy a nearby munitions plant, enlisting the unwitting help of young Lt. Tommy Hart. Together with his men, McNamara uses a hero's resolve to carry out his mission, ultimately forced to weigh the value of his life against the good of his country. Written by
One of the movie's credited writers, Billy Ray, reports that he never read the novel, "Hart's War," which is the basis for the movie. In The Dialogue: An Interview with Screenwriter Billy Ray, he calls this revelation a "painful admission." But, he explains, by the time he came on the project, the screenplay had been through so many drafts that what was in the book itself did not matter much for his job of getting the screenplay to work. Ray says that one of the movie's producers, David Foster "constantly" sent him excerpts from the novel, advising him to include those particular things in the movie. But he implies that he felt no need to include something simply because it came from the novel. He then makes a point of saying he "admires" the novel's author, John Katzenbach and his father, Nicholas Katzenbach, whose time as a World War II prisoner of war was the basis of the novel. Ray explains further that he worked from the existing drafts and from the large amount of World War II research he did for the project, especially relying on the writing of Stephen Ambrose. See more »
The film's geography is convoluted. Apart from mixing infantry and aviation personnel in the camp, it is extremely unlikely that any tuskegee airmen of the Italy-based 15th Air Force would be to northern Germany where POWs from the Battle of the Bulge were kept. See more »
[Lt. Hart offers condolences upon learning that Col. Visser's own son was killed in action on the Russian Front]
Col. Werner Visser:
I killed my share of French and English in the last war; All of *them* had fathers.
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I recently had the good fortune of seeing an advanced screening of Hart's War. It took a good half hour for me to warm up to it but once the many plots twists took hold, I was pretty well hooked. Collin Farrell displays a good deal of screen charisma as Lt. Hart. Surprisingly, Bruce Willis is in a supporting role. Although the trailers I have seen would lead you to believe otherwise.
The story takes some surprising turns and that is one of the strengths of the movie. I won't spoil it by giving away too much.
As a student of history, particularly World War Two, I have to say that I really enjoyed this movie, not just for the original story line but the mood cast by the photography and the music score.
I highly recommend Hart's War as an intelligent, entertaining movie.
8.5 out of 10
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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