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Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
This should be required reading/viewing in school!
When I was in high school in the 60's both 1984 and Animal Farm were required reading. They should still be! That they aren't is just one more indication that Orwell was right and the entire world, especially the U.S. of A. is steadilly moving to a "mind control" society. Though today we call it "political correctness". What happens to Winton Smith, Julia and the animals in Animal Farm is happening to today's society. The 1984 version of the movie does a good job of following the book. Though as is the case nearly all the time, it means a lot more if you've read the book first. It's not entertainment. It's a warning. In this election year, 2004, listen to what the candidates don't say. Nobody is talking about the Constitution because they don't want us to know when they violate our rights.
Was I influenced by this Movie?
I was 7 years old when this movie came out. I had a coonskin cap and wore it until it cut off my circulation. I'm now 50+ and have seen exactly three professional basketball, one hockey, two baseball and no football games. I built and hunt with a 1775 flintlock, horn and bag. My focus these days is Lewis and Clark but it was Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen who captured my imagination and have kept me dreamin' for nearly half a century. Sure there were some Hollywood inaccuracies but the flavor, feeling and freedom of the eastern woodlands and the early frontiersmen were portrayed good enough to make me, and a lot of others, life-long Crockett admirers. "Be sure you are right then go ahead."
Almost Heroes (1998)
Why an amateur historian likes this movie.
As an amateur historian who has read extensively about the settlement of North America and The Corp of Discovery, I really liked this movie. While decidedly a comedy and parody of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, I found it to be surprisingly accurate. My reasons for this opinion are: 1) The costumes and accoutrements were right on. How many times since Davy Crockett have you seen a flintlock actually fire in a movie? The lodges were from Panther Primitives and Farley's pistol is an early 1800's Harper's Ferry. 2) The crew members all had distinct personalities. The members of the Corp of Discovery varied from well educated to nearly illiterate though all were accomplished at their respective skills. 3) Anyone who has ever been on a long term encampment will remember humorous events. 4) There were other explorers and adventurers on the Missouri in 1803-1806. 5) The dialog, while humorous, is accurate to the time and circumstances. If you read between the lines, you'll actually come away with a picture of 1804 North America that is surprisingly accurate rather than politically correct.
On Any Sunday (1971)
The best publicity motorcycle racing could ask for.
From the never-ending wheelie by a 10 year old on a Stingray through flat tracks, Daytona, hill climbs, motocross and Bonneville On Any Sunday was absolutely the best job of covering any kind of racing. This wasn't a Hollywood concoction with a hokey love story line. It was purely about the love of two-wheeled fun. Considering the technology of the day the photography was outstanding. In a time when lots of people only saw the dark side of motorcycle gangs, On Any Sunday portrayed the real side of most motorcyclists with bright lights, colors, sportsmanship and fun.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993)
An amateur historian's viewpoint.
Absolutely the most flagrant bastardization of historical accuracy in the name of political correctness in the history of Hollywood. Well, maybe after that 50's thing starring Charlton Heston about the Lewis and Clark expedition. Dr. Quinn started out with lots of promise. The clothing and most of the scenery was pretty good. The plots and dialog were then written right of the 'revisionist' view of history that has gained so much popularity in recent years. I hope anybody who reads this will forbid their children to watch. Go to the library and pick up a copy of Francis Parkman's The Oregon Trail, Steven Ambroses' Undaunted Courage, or anything by James Alexander Thomm, Allan W. Eckert or Kenneth Roberts. You'll do yourself and all your decendants a great favor.