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 »
Stalag IVa was a real prison camp, but in fact only held one American. The vast majority of the prisoners were Russians or Poles, with a few Frenchmen and Britons being interned there as well. 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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Having grown tired of the typical action packed glorified war films (Pearl Harbor for example), I sought out more of a human interest story. I wanted something that delved past the cliché romances, battle wounds, and graphic violence we have become accustomed to. To me, Hart's War exemplified exactly what others have failed to do. It was an inside glimpse into the lives of a WW2 POW camp, but more so. It dealt with the struggle for power, respect, and honor in an unlikely situation. The stellar performances by Bruce Willis and Marcel Lures stole the show away from the title character, Lt. Hart (played well by Colin Farrel). There are times when you don't know who the token hero or villain is, just by the way that each commands their region. If you missed this movie in theaters (as I am guilty of), easiest way is to catch it is on pay per view - it's still going to be running for a while. Enjoy!
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