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Code Two (1953)
Just like being back at the Academy!
I was an LAPD Explorer in the late 1960"s and had shot on the Academy pistol range. The movie showed the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters (outside) before Parker Center was built. It also showed the real Academy with the pool, parade ground, a fenced area, indoor training area, dispatch, and pistol range. The part that was not real was the dining room. The dining room looked like a movie set. Some of the the motorcycle training looked real too like laying down the bike and driving through the cones. Like I learned during my motorcycle training course (civilian), it does not take much of a rider to go fast. The trick is how slow can you go!. It was also interesting how the movie gave a plug for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The movie had everything I like bikes, guns, and cops. What else is there.
Bridge to the Sun (1961)
Nobody Remembers the Victims
I never saw this movie before. I am an avid TCM fan and war movie fan. I think this was the first time it was shown on TCM. Before this film I did not realize there was a peace movement in Japan. The Japanese people also suffered because of their leaders and the average person could only do what they were told. However, after reading some of the other reviews where the reviewer told how much their heart bled for the Japanese, I am not so sorry. Like shown in the movie, when Baker was on the train going to the small village, she saw US servicemen working along side the track. It seems many people don't know how POWs were brought to Japan and used as slaves in the mines and other places. People also don't remember the Bataan Death March and the Rape of Nanking. They also don't remember the medical experiments done on live victims. People also forget that the Japanese started the wars in China, the US, and other countries. The Japanese only cry about what the atom bomb did to them. There is a scene in the movie with Robert Taylor where he is playing the part of Col. Tibbets who dropped the first atom bomb on Japan. This scene is where Taylor's superior gave him a push button and he was asked that if pushing that button would save thousands of American lives, he pushes that button. I would push that button. Like the death penalty in the US, people remember the criminal but they never remember the victims.
Every Icon in Australia was in it.
Being half Australian myself and knowing something about Australia, I really liked the movie. In addition, I am a "Paladin" fan so it was great to see Boone in the movie. As far as icons, I saw Chips Rafferty, koala bears, kangaroos, joey's (small kangaroos), two-up (the gambling using two coins tossed up in the air after resting on a piece of wood), the word tucker (food), cockatoos (the white bird), and the Australian Kingfisher bird. There were also the aborigines aka Abos (natives) with their boomerangs and spears with throwing boards (they help throw the spears). Shown too were the Abos on a walkabout. That is where they travel in groups. There was also drought, bush fires, and the men carrying on their shoulders the short whip they use for the cattle. Also mentioned was how good the Abos are in tracking. They are world famous as being the best in the world. Like Chips said, they can track a man by the shadow the man left on a rock a week before. I kept waiting to see what else showed up. For additional information, I can throw a boomerang--ask me how! All in all a good and interesting movie.
I have remembered this movie for over 50 years.
I saw this movie in the late 1950's or early 1960's on TV and it has always stuck with me. The scene that stands out vividly is when Robert Ryan walks into the church and yells, "The Japs just bombed Pearl Harbor". That scene has stuck in my head over 50 years. Oddly it seems that the ending involves bombing Nagoya. The movie went from Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor to the U.S. bombing the Japanese homeland really quickly. Another interesting thing is the movie never uses the word Norton Bombsight. At the time of the movie, even the word Norton was secret. Also, you never see the actual bomb sight only something being carried in a cloth bag by two airmen. Even a picture of the sight was secret. I did like the picture because it shows the training the men received. It seems like a lot of training just to push a button. I also like of part of the Bombardier controlling the plane. The part of the movie seems right in that the plane, pilot, ground crew, and everything else is there just to take the Bombardier to the target so he can push a button. The Pilot and Bombardier is like playing golf. The drive is for the show (pilot) but the putt (bombardier) is for the dough!. The rest was over the top--the oath and song of the Bombardier. Lastly, wasn't the actor who played the Japanese officer also played "Harry Hoo" on the TV show "Get Smart". All in all a film worth watching.
Force of Arms (1951)
The action scenes and equipment are first rate.
I really liked this movie. I fast forwarded through the love scenes though. I am a Holden fan and I seem to like his snide comments he always seems to make. His comments are usually like "gallows humor". In times of stress everything seems to take on a different view or meaning. I also liked where Holden seems to exhibit PTSD. He talks about the horror of the battlefield and his men dying for no reason. I liked this because I thought the US Government did not want anything but us the good guys and the enemy the bad. Most war movies show us never getting hurt and the enemy all dying, What tipped me off was the word "San Pietro". John Huston made a movie called that and it was banned by the Government and not shown because it showed people actually getting killed. Lastly, all the equipment looked real and used in the real manner even down to the mail room! Usually I can find many errors in guns and ammo. Another good movie to watch is, "Pork Chop Hill" with Gregory Peck. You actually see men using body armor and guns and ammo used in the proper manner.
Mivtsa Yonatan (1977)
Military Technique Accuracy?
I really liked this movie. I rented it through Netflix and they do not have the extras so I was not able to see the other parts. I liked where the Commandos were practicing their moves and their exiting the planes and entering the practice buildings. Usually in movies you do not see the training and practicing that goes into a rescue like this. When the Commandos landed they put lights where the other lights were and I wondered why when there were already lights there. When the tower was told to turn off the lights, it all made sense. I wondered why the Commandos were not wearing helmets or caps or something on their heads. I also wondered why, when the plane landed, there were bright lights inside the plane. In a night operation, you would think they would have a red light or no lights at all to enhance their night vision. I did like where the Commandos would throw a grenade in the room first, one man went left and the other right spraying the room with bullets. The part where the Commandos used RPG's to blow up the planes and the control tower was good too. The Uzi's, RPG's and AK47's were real looking and used in a proper manner. I also liked the part with Idi Amin giving a speech to the hostages-he really sounded nuts! All in all I liked this film. I hope to find a DVD with the extras so I can watch them also.
Ambush Bay (1966)
Whats with the hats?
I have seen the movie before years ago on TV and I don't remember much about it from that time. However, this time the first thing I notices all through out the film was-WHATS WITH THE HATS! Each character wore a different style or color hat. I guess the producers wanted the audience to be able to distinguish each actor by the color and style of the hats. Hugh O"Brian was a former Marine so he probably refused to wear an unauthorized COVER (see I did use the right term). His had the symbol in the front. In addition, Mitchem wore jeans. I can't see a real Marine doing that and I also can't see a real Marine talking in such a disrespectful manner. He would have gotten that beaten out of him the first day in boot camp. Me being a gunnut I did notice the man with the M! Garand having the side mounted scope on it (M1D). That really surprised me. When the story opened and the comment was made that the man was an expert with the Garand, he would have carried a M1D and sure enough in the story he did and he used it. All in all it was a good war movie. It was not Platoon but good.
More Than Meets the Eye!
I heard of the movie but was not really interested in seeing it. I watched the History Channel and became fascinated. I bought the 2 disk set and watched the 2nd disk first. I was disappointed to learn the movie was made from a "comic book". What is this "s_t". I watched the film and was transformed. I actually want to watch it again and again. It was fantastic. I always have been impressed with people or groups who dedicate their lives to-Duty, Honor, Country, Right, Glory and Freedom. The film is violent but not like I thought it would be. It is more like "comic book" violence. There was not one second in the film that was boring. Every second had something interesting in it. It is the type of film that each time you watch it you see something else you did not see the other time. If you want a documentary, this is not for you. Lastly, I am losing weight and going back to the gym to work out and my new workout cry will be "300".
Der Untergang (2004)
Wonderful. Learn the real end to the Third Reich.
I have been studying about Hitler and the Third Reich since High School and have read everything I could get my hands on. I have also traveled to visit the sites shown in the movie. I also read a review in the IMDb which said the lead actor had heard and practiced Hitler's accent. Usually when you watch movies about history, the writers want to make the movie interesting not accurate. The first thing I look for is the accuracy of the equipment and uniforms and I was most impressed. I found out later the movie company had excellent technical advisor's.
What really left a profound impression on me was how some of the people in the movie would prefer death over surrender. The idea of loyalty, honor, and duty to country was outstanding--like the motto of the SS, "My Honor is Loyalty" or a motto like, "Death before Dishonor". I was so impressed by this that I wanted to climb into the screen and go back in time to be able to be with people like this. I really wished I was back in the Third Reach!
Who Dares Wins (1982)
Soldier of Fortune Magazine Approved
I saw this movie when it was titled, "The Final Option". I was an avid reader of Soldier of Fortune (SOF) magazine and it was recommended as a must see movie. It was noted for its realism. In addition, it was felt the peace movement was actually supported by Russia because by having the "West" disarm, it would allow Russia to get stronger while the West got weaker. You see this in the movie when the bankers help funnel money to the peace movement.
The main reason for seeing the movie was the action by the Special Air Service (SAS). SOF magazine said the SAS cooperated in the making of the movie. I thought the movie was a little long but the action parts were first rate. The final part was the best part. The best part was when the camera was filming through the gas mask and you could hear and see what it is really like to be on the inside. I remember the huffing and puffing and the words, "One terrorist down, one terrorist down" as each one got shot. SOF magazine said when the SAS goes in, there are no prisoners taken-only dead terrorists. As a real law enforcement person I am always complaining how the public has no idea of what really happens during police actions. The public always seems to ask why did the police not shoot the gun out of a persons hand or why did the police shoot or didn't shoot. Split second decisions have to be made and it is so easy to to be a "Monday morning quarterback" They never see the confusion. I think every person who thinks the cops are always wrong should see this movie.