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Sons of Liberty (1939)
Rarely Mentioned Episode of American History
A refreshing little short about a little known element of our Revolutionary History. Someone who almost single handedly financed the Revolution should have gained a larger place in our history books, but sadly, he was relegated to the footnotes section. This short began by showing the Jewish Congregation in Philadelphia - the oldest synagogue in America. I was perplexed by the previous user from England who felt it was made as a slap in the face of the British as they were about to go to war. Ironically, the British were not heavily represented in this short at all, unless the subject of the Revolution, merely by its existence, is an insult to the British. If that's the way they felt at the outset of war I'm surprised they didn't deny our help feeling the insult would be too great to allow yanks to come to their assistance...or should I say win the war.
As Haym was represented gathering his funding and moving it around the country, it was ironically shown that his greatest antagonist was pursuit by the Hessian Soldiers...sure they were employed by the British...but if someone wanted to point out some pre-WWII propaganda elements in this film, you couldn't look any further than the brave little group of Jews being chased after by the Germans! I'm not a student of Haym Solomon history, but this element might even have been solely added for political effect and perhaps to cushion any anti-British sentiment in this subject. America has always been proud of its beginnings, and has made many movies/shorts in celebration. You also forget that even at this early point, it was a serious possibility that we could soon be entering a war. Patriotic symbolism in Hollywood was not aimed at the British, regardless of the British actors who obviously didn't think this was a slap.
The production was fine, nice color, acting was fine...nothing out of the ordinary, but still very enjoyable and very valuable for pre-WWII American cultural studies.
The Ten Commandments (2006)
Incoming message from the big giant head!
The only reason I am giving a second star is for the first half of the movie. This was a good rendition of the story. I enjoy seeing a few fictional characters added to add some color to a well known story. But the second half was horrible!!! Yes there were violent aspects of this story. But the writers of this movie chose to only include the violence and forget about the good things God did for the Israelites. Towards the end of the movie Scott looked as though he were getting messages from the big giant head instead of talking and hearing from God. This rendition had some HUGE problems with deviation from scripture. And big surprise, there are no favorable deviations! Their portrayal of Moses as this screaming naked lunatic who did all of this against his will is totally false. It showed a Moses who had to scream in order to get God to talk to him. WRONG The scripture says God spoke to Moses all the time and not just after a temper tantrum. They got the people's complaining right, but failed to show that God spoke to Moses at Sinai in an audible voice that the followers could hear and believe.(Chapter 19). They also forgot the pillar of fire and cloud which guided them in the day and night.
What was the whole Joshua thing? The righteous peace loving Jew who would not fight until Moses threatens him? WRONG (He was known as a great warrior) What about the great speech that Moses gave the army telling them God had helped them enough and now they were on their own?? WRONG (They only won through God's help as shown in their own scenes with Moses lifting his staff)And what was that sorry looking Ark of the Covenant? Instead of overlaying it with gold this movie was on a tight budget and attached little gold chips to it! Oh yeah, it was a "molten calf" not a straw one with little chips tacked on. Someone forgot that they came out of Egypt with a huge amount of gold tribute from the Egyptians. You wouldn't know it from this sorry looking bunch.
By the way, the part about them slaying the Israelites after the golden calf incident says "men" and does not mention women and children which the movie delighted in showing the viewers. Oh yeah - Manna wasn't the only thing sent from heaven - don't forget the birds for meat. Also, the Bible mentions Jethro bringing Moses his wife and children and then says Jethro went back to his own land. It does not say that Moses gave up his family.
Oh well, if you know nothing about the real story, read Exodus for yourself. If you know the real story, you will hate this version.