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Does not stand the test of time, 6 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Save yourself the trouble. There is nothing to see here you probably haven't before, and better, especially if you have seen High Noon.

With the corny opening theme song by Dimitri Tiomkin, it is painfully obvious that this is going to be a second rate attempted sequel to High Noon. The scenes of trees amid the hilly desert brush are virtually identical, except this version is in wide screen color -- and minus the political moralizing that torqued off the conservatives.

It worked at the time, judging from the box office. And why not? Wide screen color spectacles were still new in the Fifties, and it wasn't bad enough to leave the theater. But today we have the pause and eject buttons. I made it through to the end, but only with great difficulty and frequent use of the pause button.

Unlilke High Noon, I just didn't care about the characters. There was no coherent thread to the story, just a series of events, until about an hour in we finally shift to Tombstone. Then the dialog perks up, and the score starts to imitate a Rachmaninoff symphony.

Spoiler alert:

And then there is a gunfight. At the O.K. Corral.

If there is any reason to watch this movie it is to see some of the secondary players in off-character roles: namely Frank Faylen, the father of Dobie Gillis and taxi driver in It's a Wonderful LIfe; and Dennis Hopper as the baby faced Billy Clanton.

Look, any movie with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas can't be all bad, but this one comes close because their hearts don't really seem to be in their roles.

The most interesting scene is watching Kirk Douglas shave. I mean, just how does he shave that cavernous dimple? We see him whisk a straight razor across his face and, presto, no stubble -- and no bloody nicks. He tells Earp: "I like a sharp razor." Right. Call me a cynic, but that was no more a real razor than they were using real bullets.

Still, it is of some cinematic historical interest, mainly for its influence on the spoof "Support Your Local Sheriff." And the bit where the bad guy is swinging from a chandelier seems to have been the inspiration for a similar scene in Gremlins.

I'm giving this a 5, but if you try to imagine it without Burt and Kirk, and only have the anemic plot and script, it is down to a 4 or 3. Heck, I only finished watching it an hour ago, and I can barely remember the first half.

Stands the test of time, 29 June 2014

I didn't watch this when it came out, thinking it sounded lightweight, with a totally improbable plot. I finally gave it a spin after hearing it quoted on NPR, the part where the Dukes teach Commodities for Kiddies to Eddie Murphy.

Look, this is a pretty dumb movie that splices together ideas from many different sources. The characters are cartoonish and the plot leaks like a sieve. Yet, out of it all comes something reasonably creative and entertaining.

In short, I enjoyed it. And I do not suffer foolish movies gladly.

Why did it work?

- Skilled comedic acting all around. We've got some early Saturday Night Live alumni, including a current U.S. Senator who actually did graduate from Harvard (who plays a really dumb baggage handler), and some genuine, seasoned actors in Don Ameche (who's previous film was with Jamie Lee's father), Ralph Bellamy and Denholm Elliott. I think the actors were having fun, and it rubs off on the audience.

- I actually cared about and liked the main characters: Akroyd, Murphy, Curtis, et al. - - this despite being highly unrealistic.

- Good pacing. The plot pulls you along fast enough that you never have time to think about how stupid it is (well, not too much).

More important, the film gets you to suspend disbelief early on. The opening scenes of Philadelphia are the most realistic part of the movie, and helped along with a loud dose of Mozart -- highly reminiscent of "Hopscotch."

At about 4 minutes in we meet Winthorpe and see him go to work. He is obnoxious, and Akroyd's acting is not realistic, but the movie isn't either, so he is setting the tone. In essence, Landis is telling the audience: This ain't Shakespeare, despite the Mozart. Take it or leave it. He is also setting the quality bar low, so it can only get better, and it does. Smart. (Akroyd's acting becomes more genuine later in the movie, and he did a fine job in Driving Miss Daisy).

Then at 6 minutes we meet the Duke brothers in their sprawling estate (filmed on Long Island) and the tone becomes that of a fable, a la Prince and the Pauper. At 9 minutes, Eddie Murphy does his Porgy thing pretending to be a lame beggar. The Dukes beat him with a briefcase, yet the absurdity of the acting brings a smile to your face. At 10 minutes, the Dukes enter their private club, and I'm hooked.

About 50 minutes in we feel like we're in a 1980s version of It's a Wonderful Life, as Winthorpe tries to go home and his butler pretends not to know him. There's something eternal in that theme.

We're dealing here with a particular genre that may be foreign to 21st century viewers: 1970s Saturday Night Live alumni, Animal House, Blues Brothers, etc. Blues Brothers is by far the strongest - a classic! So contemporary viewers had a sense of what to expect.

Yet Trading Places stands the test of time because we all (or most of us) like a nice story of revenge on mean, old rich people. Events in the news have only strengthened this theme. The ending is sweet.

Patricia Breslin, 7 June 2014

Patricia Breslin, I loved you. Sure, it was puppy love, but what do you expect? I was only 2 to 5 years old during the original broadcast of "People's Choice," but I was precocious. And besides, I mainly watched you in re-runs from the NYC television stations in the early 1950s, so I was probably at least 6.

And then there was your co-staring role in "Crooked Road," on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, a show I will never forget, along with Walther Mathau as the crooked deputy. By the time you appeared on The Twilight Zone, season 4, "No Time Like the Past," I was truly ready to appreciate your maternal charms. You were the mother I always wished I had had.

Now, when I happen upon a vision of you on a wonderful old television time capsule, it as though I were in love with you all over for the first time. I wonder how many thousands, nay millions, of once young American males feel the same way about you?

You, Patricia Breslin, are my ideal, the virginal girl of my pre- pubescent fantasies, a woman I shall always seek, and never find, except in my dreams.

Unless, of course, I find a way to travel back in time. Somewhere. In time. Must go back. Focus! Concentrate! Ohio. Or is it Willoughby? Whatever.

Perry Mason meets his evil twin, 24 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The reason this is one of the best Perry Mason episodes is perhaps because the story was written by Erle Stanley Gardner, himself, as a book that was first serialized in The Saturday Evening Post in 1956. (The teleplay is written by Seelig Lester.) I see that some of the Perry Mason episodes are based on Gardner's books going back to the 30s. I wonder if they are better than the average episode written by other writers?

I also wonder if the original print version of this story had clues tucked away in the more voluminous text that were missing from the one-hour TV version? I suspect it is harder to camouflage clues on TV than in a book.

Like any good mystery, the first and most obvious suspect probably didn't do it, and this is especially true with the Mason episodes. Usually who we might think is the most likely suspect shifts as the show progresses and the background details become clearer.

The moral of the show could, perhaps, be: Appearances can be deceiving. Mason knows this, better than the police, who are all to quick to accept facts that are amenable to their case. This is key here, as Mason is more careful about checking the veracity of the facts the police seem to have established.

-- Spoiler alert --

What we have is layer upon layer of appearances and illusions, largely created by the unapologetic fixer for the oligarchical California Balfour family, a sort of evil genius alter-ego of Perry Mason. It is not every day Mason encounters someone so intelligent, and he respects him as a worthy adversary, and because he is doing his job to protect the Balfour interests.

The most interesting scene is where he tries to intimidate Mason, even while admitting some criminal responsibility. We wonder what is going through Mason's mind, and whether it is having any effect. We see later that Mason's probable reaction was to wonder what his real motive was. It is like a match between two chess masters.

The best way to watch Perry Mason is with a group of friends, and to try to analyze who did it, and why, as the show progresses. I wonder how many would guess the real culprit in this show? It certainly came as a surprise to me. The only person you could be sure was innocent was the rich guy's grandson, of course, because he was Mason's client.

With many of the Mason episodes, there seem to be too many gaps in the trail for the viewer to be able to pin the culprit ahead of time, and for the viewer to feel entirely satisfied when the guilty party is revealed. To me, the ending here was very satisfying, and that's all I will say about it.

-- End spoiler alert --

Raymond Burr IS Perry Mason. How could anyone else play the role as well? If you don't believe me, listen to Gardner:

"At the auditions to cast the parts, as Burr entered the room, Gardner shouted, "That's him! That's Mason!", changing the course of Burr's career forever." -- Wikipedia

Oddly, I think Burr more closely matches the original book description of Hamilton Burger than William Talman: "a broad-shouldered, thick-necked individual with a close-cropped moustache."

Burr fans should watch the episode of the Jack Benny Show where Perry Mason appears in Benny's dream to defend him against the charge of murder of a rooster.

-- Spoiler alert --

Benny was innocent, which is more than could be said of Mason.


0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Treacle by the gallon, 23 April 2014

The best part of this movie is the debut of Margaret O'Brien at age 4, standing on a table:

"Please, wait, don't send my brother to the chair! Don't let him burn! Please. Please, warden, please!"

That was probably the only moment in this film with anything close to real emotion. (She is so full of life, she puts other actors in the shade.) It was also the only moment of real humor.

I say "probably" because I quit at about 50 minutes. Normally, if a movie doesn't grab me by 10 minutes, I'm out. But this is Judy Garland and and Mickey Rooney, RIP. How bad can it be?

Well, if I were locked in a movie theater in 1942 with a bucket of popcorn, I guess I would have seen it through to the end -- if I were a teenager. If I weren't, I doubt I would have bought a ticket. But today, when we watch a movie, we have the pause and eject buttons.

It's funny, but as you get older, time seems to move faster, generally. But the first 20 minutes of Babes on Broadway seemed to last two hours; 50 minutes seemed like two years. At this rate, I'm not sure I will live long enough to finish it.

The movie seems so lifeless, so devoid of emotion, so flat. I really don't care about the characters or the story. If I were a teenager back then ... or even a teenager watching this on an old black and white TV set. Except I don't even recall doing that, and I would watch just about any old movie back in the Sixties with many NYC stations to choose from. If I did see it, it left ZERO impression.

The premise of the movie is contrived, and despite the time taken to set it up, not very interesting. Then we switch gears about 50 minutes into a string of song and dance numbers. The music is not very good, and bears no relation to the storyline, aside from the story being they are putting on a musical revue block party.

If there's one thing that turns me off, it is a musical with music that is not integrated to the story. Who cares? Well, I guess some people like musicals with dancing and big production numbers, regardless.

The music, right from the beginning, is cloying, mechanical tunes turned out by the MGM production team, dressed up with fancy orchestration. The exception is "How About You?"

Busby Berkeley knew how to put on big dance numbers, and he should have stuck to that. He seems to lack feeling, heart, soul. Here, it is all glitter and hyperactivity. I like Fred Astaire tap dancing, but I'm not going to sit through a sort of talent show amateur hour, no matter how skillful. I think the studio gave Berkeley the second rate stuff to direct, figuring he could keep them afloat with the dance numbers.

Maybe I am being unfair -- without sitting through the last hour, I will never know. But the problem with these reviews is that too often we only hear from the ones who liked it enough to sit through it. Babes on Broadway is treacle by the gallon. So, if you like treacle, you'll love it. As for me, Babes on Broadway makes me nauseous.

It also makes me sad. As I looked at all the young men in the movie, I couldn't help wondering how soon they would be drafted, how many would be killed or maimed in battle over the next four years. It was odd timing for such a story about young people wanting to make it on Broadway. I wonder how this went over with audiences at the time. Unless they were under 14, it was just a matter of time before they would be in uniform, as the war progressed. Was this on their minds?

Hollywood is about escape, so perhaps Babes provided some relief from the impending doom of WWII. But, unlike so many wonderful old Hollywood movies, it doesn't work as escape now. One reason, perhaps, is that Babes on Broadway violates the basic principle of musicals: it tries to be realistic. Musicals need an element of fantasy and unreality: it makes you suspend the disbelief that people can break into song and dance in their daily lives.

But Babes is stuck in the old formula, of having actors play actors and perform musical numbers as part of the story. The Wizard of Oz and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had demonstrated an alternative mode for musicals. This is the route of enduring escapist fantasy. But in Babes, the plot exists only as a pretext for performing song and dance numbers.

This is not for me. I'm outta here.

Swing Vote (2008)
The ultimate absurdity, 15 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a little gem that absorbs so much of our zeitgeist and angst, and turns it into a surprisingly entertaining picture. On the surface, it sounds like it should be a stinker, yet there are some interesting and touching twists to the plot, especially toward the end.

Costner plays a Homer Simpson dumb-ass, yet Swing Vote avoids falling into the Dumb and Dumber genre, thanks in part to his "Lisa Simpson" daughter, played to perfection by Madeline Carroll, and to the genuineness of Costner's performance. It also avoids falling into stereotypes of politicians and their operatives, though it sometimes comes close. The candidates, at least, do have second thoughts and feelings.

The screenplay builds characters deftly. The movie is a bit long and slow, but to good effect. I am tired of hyper, zipping movies. The scenes with Bud and Molly fishing, with the President and Bud just sitting outside on chaises, need the slow pace to convey atmosphere. And it says that Bud is the sort of guy who just likes to enjoy a quiet life. He isn't a bad guy, and in an earlier decade with a better economy, might have done just fine; as such he represents millions of Americans.

The basic premise is more that a little improbable, of course, of an election decided by one vote. And yet we see stories about this on the local level often enough. It is movie as fable, much like the classic "Dave," a point alluded to by John Debney's score when it echoes the fairytale effects of James Newton Howard's score from "Dave." Both are about an everyman who gets to call the shots when he becomes king for a day. We get to imagine ourselves in their shoes.

Spoiler alert:

Swing Vote has a fantastic premise, and as such, we viewers are treated to the spectacle of seeing how far the writers and director can go out on a limb before it collapses. It never does. We wonder how it will end, who Bud will vote for, will he get a job, will he get the girl? Wisely, but sadly, they don't take us that far, leaving it to the viewer's imagination. It is nice to have an ending that leaves things to think about.

There are so many echoes in this movie of life and art, particularly the bizarre Dade County endless recounts of the 2000 Bush-Gore election. That was a case of truth being stranger than fiction; I still have trouble believing that a U.S. Presidential election was virtually stolen by someone who lost by more than a half-million votes.

Swing Vote is sort of the Wag the Dog of electoral politics, with the transmogrification of reality into PR media reality, as every word Bud utters leads to a near instantaneous rewriting of the candidates' positions through television ads addressed to Dear Bud. It also brings to mind The Lathe of Heaven, where the character's dreams and wishes instantaneously transform the world. Both Dave and Swing Vote are heirs to the Capra tradition of film populism -- and both have a hefty list of real-life cameos.

Swing Vote is a reductio ad absurdum of everyday poll-driven swing-voter politics to their ultimate absurdity: a single voter. It is amusing and frightening. But Molly and reporter Kate Madison save the day by rubbing Bud's nose in the reality of some of the thousands of letters he has received from people who are hurting, who care passionately about the issues.

Finally, Bud takes his responsibility seriously, ending the movie on a note of hope. If Bud is the Everyman, then what it is saying is that if every voter were to take his responsibility to weigh the issues as seriously, perhaps the candidates, too, would respond with substance. For they and their handlers care, but under the imperative to win must cater to an electorate that does not think deeply, who, like Bud, are probably in a beer haze while voting -- if they do.

Six years on, Swing Vote has become a sleeper, a potential classic that most viewers have overlooked. I highly recommend it. It's message is as timely as ever. Most of all, it is a fun, entertaining movie.

Shameless, 14 April 2014

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was no Internet. The world was a dark and dreary place. There were no cellphones, no selfies, no sexting. There were no porn sites filled with naked girls by the thousands, open to teens with just a click of the "Yes, I'm an adult" box. If you were a teen and your parents had a VCR (which cost about $1,000 back then), you still couldn't go into the XXX section of your local video rental store, if there was one. Heck, you couldn't even buy -- or browse -- a Playboy magazine, legally.

So what was left? Weeellllll, you could actually do it in person, but that would require actually meeting a girl. It was all quite mysterious, back in the days before porn. So, for the sex-starved American male, there was the local movie theater, or, better yet, drive-in. Way back then, a little nudity went a long way to attracting audiences, at least males. And that's about all you get with "Private School."

Originality, you do not get. We get clumsily remade scenes from the great classics of teen porn, such as Animal House - 1978, specifically, the second story peeping Toms. We get the shower scenes in homage to Porky's - 1982. And we get a sex ed class, a la The Meaning of Life - March 1983. And then there were the cross-dressing scenes, which were original in Some Like it Hot, way back in 1959. Yawwwwn.

What's the difference between Private School and porn? Porn is more educational. We don't actually learn anything in the sex ed class scene, unlike The Meaning of Life and any self-respecting porno. What we do learn is that Sylvia Kristel, who is a surprisingly good actress, gives an incredibly bad performance, presumably on the demand of director Noel Black. Was this some sort of retribution for a lack of "cooperation"? (No, Kristel does not provide a "demonstration" in the movie.)

We should not forget Dan Greenburg and Suzanne O'Malley, credited with "writing" this movie (I wonder if they list it on their resume?). And who came up with the imaginative title: "Private School"?

Fortunately, Phoebe Cates is treated with more respect. I'm glad her career survived this flaming turkey. She was excellent in Gremlins. Where have you gone, Phoebe? You can come out of hiding now. All is forgiven!

If Private School were released today in a movie theater, would anyone show up? Would anyone stay to the end? Maybe. There are some people who actually enjoy stupid, bad movies. (Which raises the question of why I watched it. Answer: I stumbled on it in Leonard Maltin's book, and found the cast (Phoebe Gates AND Sylvia Kristel!!!??? (Don't be fooled: There is NO Phoebe and Sylvia scene) ) and rating of "BOMB" intriguing.) But the sex scenes wouldn't cut it, these days. Now, sex has to be graphic and dished out in heaping helpings, like Nymphomaniac, etc. Some mainstream movies are now nothing more than porn with better production values, like Titanic -- and unlike Private School, which had neither high production values, nor graphic sex.

Stay to the end? I dare you to make it past the credits! The title song is atrocious, repulsive and repeats a certain four-letter word, perhaps to help spice up the R rating. This movie is pure, shameless teensploitation. Perhaps it should be titled "Shameless."

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against nudity, porn, or sex in movies, just snickering, un-erotic, sagging nudity. But, hey, if this movie turns you on, enjoy those hyper-hormones while you can. Youth is wasted on the young. Go out and meet a real girl. If you don't know what to do with her, watch some real porn. You won't learn anything at this "Private School."

Anachronistic portrayal of the main characters, 4 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My main gripe is that the logging crew are portrayed as 1990s types, rather than rural 1970s people. If you look at the photos of the actual people from Travis Walton's website, they don't look at all like their portrayals in the movie.

The acting was good, with strong emotional demonstrations by the logging crew; without that, this movie would have been really weak. The only star I recognized was James Garner, whose presence added greatly to the movie's credibility (ironically, his character was the main skeptic).

The Walton encounter occurred before the wave of interest in UFOs that arose in the 1980s, following the publication of Shirley MacLaine's "Out on a Limb" in 1983, and especially the broadcast of the TV movie in 1987. It also preceded "Close Encounters" by two years; perhaps it inspired some elements of the movie?

While there was considerable interest in the press about UFOs in the 1950s, plus some movies, etc., there was little non-fiction about abductions until decades later. So Walton's account would not have been "inspired" by other descriptions. However, it also seems to vary from the more common accounts of abductions. If people independently describe similar details, this strengthens their credibility.

Without reading the book, there is not enough detail in this movie to make any judgment about the credibility of Walton's account. Aside from the movie special effects re-enactment, there is no actual talk from Walton describing in his own words what happened. There is a whole lot missing, like how he got out of the UFO and wound up naked at a cross- roads in the rain.

It is interesting to see how the townsfolk reacted. Perhaps the strongest scene in the movie was when Mike Rogers confronted the townsfolk in the church. I'm not sure how accurate that all was, this being a Hollywood movie.

As to motive, so-called skeptics are too quick to accuse people like Walton of seeking publicity with made up stories. I can't believe Walton would make up a story like this back in the 1970s, especially in a small town, etc. Most abductees don't want to talk about these things publicly. But Walton's five-day disappearance begged that question.

However, the folks making the movie apparently wanted to cash in on the wave of interest in UFOs, post-MacLaine. I think the movie presents the events in a fairly reasonable fashion, though, again, I'm not sure how accurate it is. But I would not say it is a particularly realistic presentation of the abduction experience compared to the more common, mainstream accounts.

I see from the discussion on IMDb that Walton now believes the aliens were not as malevolent as he thought, initially, and perhaps were trying to help him. This makes sense.

As to the so-called theory that UFO sightings are more common in rural areas, nonsense. UFOs have been seen in and around New York City, including along the Grand Central Parkway and hovering over the New Jersey Palisades, directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan. And then there was the sighting from the Brooklyn Bridge of a woman being abducted from her apartment. Perhaps New Yorkers are just a bit more blasé about oddities.

While rummaging through my brain for other similar accounts, I started to remember old images and descriptions like those in the film of the cavernous area. The trouble is, I don't remember the specifics. It is possible I am just remembering having seen the movie years ago on VHS, or having read the book.

The irony is there is so much stuff out about UFOs now, that anyone now would have difficulty telling whether it was a bad dream inspired by some movie or book or TV show, and anyone claiming to have had an encounter might face similar questions.

On the other hand, there are now thousands of people describing UFO encounters, often with common threads, all over the world, including Presidents, governors, high ranking military brass, and scientists. This, in retrospect, probably vindicates Walton's account.

But while missing time is common, it is very rare to show up days later, naked. And most people simply don't remember their abduction. How Walton recalled it is not made clear in the movie -- did the doctor put him into hypnosis?

There would probably be many more descriptions of UFO encounters, but most people who know keep their mouths shut. Why? Just look at this film, and you will see why.

The bottom line: While this movie is reasonably interesting, compared to other fiction and non-fiction movies about UFOs, it comes across as a bit weak and not terribly enlightening.

The Bargee (1964)
Tedious and disappointing, 7 February 2014

What were they thinking? Acting of a level found in children's movies, yet a story about philandering? Some of the acting is jaw-droppingly bad, with the most bizarre from the fellow playing the doctor, followed by the mariner-twit. Julia Foster and Hugh Griffith deliver the only satisfactory performances.

The concept of the movie is commendable: documenting the fast-fading life along the canals. The widescreen Technicolor does the subject justice. But it should have been more of a slice-of-life approach, with more natural acting and writing. Instead, it is painfully corny.

British viewers seem to like it. Perhaps they are more used to this sort of highly artificial acting, from their movies and television programs? American TV is not without its share of corn, such as Gilligan's Island and The Beverly Hillbillies, also from the Sixties. So there must be people who like this sort of thing.

My guess is The Bargee has more appeal to British viewers, the subject being part of their cultural heritage. However, although I love historical period movies, this lacks the vérité and detail to really give me a feeling of the time. The music also often seems out of joint with the action on the screen. The end result is tedious and disappointing.

Plenty of shame to go around, 1 February 2014

Words cannot begin to express how sad and depressed I am after watching this documentary. But, then, I am Jewish. I could not help but feel that most Gentiles even today might feel the actions by the State Department and many America first organizations in opposing the admission of Jewish refugees from the Nazi Holocaust were reasonable -- that is, if they could be bothered to watch this.

Several important facts should be noted: American Jews and Jews around the world were virtually powerless in pressuring governments to support the admission of Jewish refugees; America did little and Canada did next to nothing. This puts the lie to that fiction, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (which was disseminated in America by Henry Ford).

Yet in my travels I have found educated, middle class people in Asia who believe the Protocols are an absolutely true description of how Jews secretly control the world. This is not just Muslims, but Hindus in India, as well as teachers in Korea, and elsewhere. Hitler is, I am told, presented as a role model of a great world leader in schools in China today.

Although Jewish refugees were turned away during WWII, in the decades after, America established a generous policy of admitting refugees from around the world. This provides real solace that those millions of deaths were not entirely in vane.

There is a great deal of information in this documentary, backed up by powerful imagery, such as the footage of American Nazi rallies. Eric Sevareid talked about seeing this, and visiting the living rooms of home- grown Nazis in the Midwest before Pearl Harbor. We see footage of Kristallnacht, and descriptions by Kurt Klein of his parents' home being destroyed by his classmates and neighbors.

Without the complicity of the German people, the Nazi Holocaust could not have taken place. Yet I cannot hate the Nazis nor the Germans for this because I know that the same seeds of hate existed in America, in the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazis, the anti-semites, the racists, and this hate continues on in the contemporary American political scene.

It is probable that this, and this documentary, are reasons that Republicans try repeatedly to eliminate all government support for public broadcasting in America. However, most Americans are decent people, and most would have supported the admission of Jewish refugees had it not been for pressure groups, politics, and WASP domination of the State Department.

The America first attitude stated by a member of the Patriotic Order Son's of America sounds reasonable, except when you consider that America was settled and built by immigrants (who largely stole land from the Indians) and refugees, and that by refusing admission of Jewish refugees, they were complicit in their extermination.

I recently watched and reviewed Hitler's Children - 2011. That was difficult to watch, but this was far, far more painful; I had difficulty finishing it. I doubt many Americans will watch it. America has done much in its history we can be proud of. But it is also important that we face our collective guilt and shame honestly.

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