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 synopsis says Col. Visser is Luftwaffe, which would be correct since the Germans organized POW camps by branch of service. But all the Germans wear Army uniforms. See more »
Written by Barney Bigard, Irving Mills and Duke Ellington (as Edward Ellington)
Performed by The Duke Ellington Band
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label, a unit of BMG Entertainment
Under license from BMG Special Products See more »
If one were to place too great an emphasis on many of the smug and self-serving views expressed by various contributors here, it may well appear somewhat of an enigma that HART'S WAR still rates 6.3 overall. Obviously many who have voted have not posted a review. Equally obviously, to offset its many detractors...a significant number of people must have liked it. I'm one of them!
Let us agree immediately, anyone looking for a sequel to THE GUNS OF NAVARONE can expect to be disappointed. A screen adaptation of John Katzenbach's excellent novel, this late WW2 flick tackles racism, POW life and honor...and not necessarily in that order. A re-hash of the plot is unnecessary as every second reviewer has covered this aspect. It is a film to LISTEN to and to take from it what you are able. Negative comments such that the events portrayed are "unlikely," that Bruce Willis isn't the "star," that "nothing happens except lots of people keep talking," are a sad indictment of viewers with a limited attention span. A lot of what is uttered during the "court-room" sequences has great relevance in all facets of life - IF you care to listen. Farrell is excellent as is Willis in what admittedly IS a far smaller role. Willis' presence however is felt throughout the movie in much the same way as was Jack Nicholson's in A FEW GOOD MEN. (Another military court room flick)
Yes its longish and it would be fair to say it is extremely dark for the greater part of the film. It is ultimately though a worthwhile addition to other POW films. You could do a lot worse.
76 of 100 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?