Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
"The Wounded Don't Cry" is an excellent story provided by screen writer James Landis which on the one hand presents the stark reality of war, and on the other shows most soldiers on both teams are human beings and probably do not want to be there. (I once read a story about a nurse who served in Vietnam. She had to save a Viet Cong soldier from certain death after he had just killed three Americans. As a condition she asked for an interpreter and asked the Viet Cong what he felt about "our Vietnam conflict." Spontaneously the Viet Cong replied, "If I could be protesting in Saigon the way Americans are protesting in Washington DC, I'd be doing it right now.")
Vic Morrow plays an outstanding role as a Sergeant Saunders who on the one hand appears hard hearted but on the other has no choice. Again, it's war. Two SS troops soon justify Saunders approach. There is no room for soft heartedness in war and many times trusting good hearted soldiers wind up dead.
The Americans capture a German battalion aid station and both sides ultimately need plasma which according to the Germans is available in a blown up convoy about 2 kilometers away. Saunders refuses permission to go for the plasma several times and is finally convinced it's the right thing to do. He plays an outstanding role in that he must be 100% focused on what he's doing all of the time. He finally agrees to go with a wounded Sergeant Bauer (excellently played by Karl Boehm) who appears to genuinely be concerned about the wounded troops. Along the way they encounter German SS troops on two occasions. Interaction between Bauer and Saunders is excellent as each is focused on what they are trying to accomplish and each show their human side.
Sergeant Bauer learns about the pure evil of the SS and he and Saunders finally come to an understanding about what is right.
We get two fine performances respectively from Leonard Nimoy and Oscar Beregi Jr. as Private Neumann and Major Schiller, the German doctor.
In looking at the German wounded you real feel for them as you realize they are just ordinary people stuck in a war the same way we are with no way out. And nobody wins in a war.
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