Reviews written by registered user
|13 reviews in total|
This Slice of Life film seems to have been pieced together from the submissions of a 28-student class of fledgling Screen Writers. Each scene has the same framework, which identifies the requirements of the screen writing teacher. From that point on, each Student is given the freedom to flesh out their scene as they see fit in order to make each of them unique in some fashion. The Casting Director was lucky to cast a pair of actors who have the skill and experience necessary to fulfill each of the student screen writer's dialog and directions. However, the way the scenes are pieced together make the 82 Minute length seem like the film is dragging in some scenes.
This film is an example of the World War II work of Dalton Trumbo, who wrote the screen play. Not many young people have seen this picture because it was pulled from the shelves when Trumbo - one of the "Hollywood Ten" - was blacklisted by the film industry for being publicly accused of being a "Communist" by Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare. It was updated and remade in 1989 by Steven Spielburg as the movie "Always", and "Always" is just as good as this film, if not better, which proves that Trumbo wrote a great story to begin with. The re-write replaces World War II Carpet Bombing with Rocky Mountain aerial fire fighting, and adds some very sound romance and bonding that really makes the film.
"Always" is a remake of the 1943 MGM film "A Guy Named Joe", which had a screenplay written by Dalton Trumbo, one of "The Hollywood Ten" who was accused of being a Communist by Senator Joseph McCarthy, and thus blacklisted from the industry. The original film dealt with a hot-shot B-17 Bomber pilot, played by Spencer Tracy, who was shot down, and was given a chance by Heaven to go back and inspire another bomber pilot to success. In the original film, the pilot he helped was played by Van Johnson, and the girl between them was played by Irene Dunne. The film did not get great reviews at the time because it was produced as a morale builder for the war effort, and so it was rushed to completion, but that the story was a great one in any event is proved by its use in this film by Sten Spielburg to great effect. This film would NOT be as good without the Trumbo screenplay.
This story, which is set in 1898, is a wonderful story set in the mold
established by Owen Wister with his full-length novel "The Virginian",
which is set in the same time period, and was published in 1903.
"Broken Trail" highlights both the horse business of the Pacific
Northwest, and the shameful way we treated Chinese immigrants. At the
time, the "Chinese Exclusion Act" was in force, and they were not
entitled to immigrate for permanent residence, but could be used for
short terms, and then sent home. Thus, the treatment of the women shown
in the film was legal, if not moral. The film shows how people of good
moral character can defeat the aims of those who took advantage of the
"Act". There is a lot of fact and accuracy in the movie, and it has
gained a lot from the recent research into the real "Old West", not the
It runs for four hours, and it is well worth viewing.
The Military Adviser - if they had one - either wasn't listened to, or
else he did not provide accurate advice. In the first place, the
Cavalry officer is wearing incorrect Shoulder Boards - they did not
have the proper frame that is standard on US Shoulder Boards - and they
didn't have his Lieutenant Bars mounted. Each board should have two
Lieutenant Bars - one at the front edge and the other at the back edge.
Next of all, the bugler didn't know his calls at all - he just put out a lot of noise, with a few calls approaching correctness but never achieving it.
The uniform the cavalrymen are all wearing is a mix of early post-civil war and late post-civil war. The Lieutennant is wearing a double Breasted shirt which is early post Civil War, while everything else he is wearing is from a much later period. Since it is impossible to know if he is a First or Second Lieutenant since he is wearing no bars, it is impossible to know if he is wearing the shirt because he purchased one when he first joined up (1st Lieutenant)(Officers buy their uniform items), or is wearing one because the Wardrobe person got the uniform wrong (2nd Lieutenant). The hat is definitely late 1800's. Early post-civil war cavalry officers still wore the Kepi.
The collar of the shirts on the soldiers is an Attached Collar - as is the collar on everyone else. Attached collars did NOT become common until the 20th Century.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This version of the Cinderella story does much to include the
contemporary events of the time of the fairytale, but it also does much
to include the "Political Correctness" that infects the world today.
The Cinderella story is based on "The Cinder Maid" by Joseph Jacobs, which can be found at the following link: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html
If the Cinderella of the movie existed, and behaved as Drew Barrymore portrayed her, she would have been executed for impertinence many times over. Women of the time in the story were nothing like she was portrayed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I selected this film on TV completely blind. I had never heard of it, and was aware of none of the actors. Once the movie started, I was instantly aware that we weren't in the USA any more. The mountains didn't look right, and neither did the train. My first guess was Spain, except that the train wasn't right for that either. I finally gave in and looked up the film and learned that it was made in New Zealand. I realized then that it was made as homage to real Westerns, and the writers didn't have a clue. The film is a Slice Of Life story that attempts to follow the Hitchcock dictum of having the pictures tell the story, but leaves the audience without a clue as to where the storyline is taking them. What is worse is the fact that the writer tried to portray the culture of the 19th Century west as one stereotype after another, the action is never explained at all, and the audience must infer what the writer had in mind when he put pen to paper. If you like treating Slice Of Life movies as Jigsaw Puzzles, this film is for you. If Slice Of Life isn't your bag, don't waste your time.
I sat through this film with tears flowing from my eyes. I am old
enough to remember this period, but - of course - I never knew the
behind-the-scenes issues because they were just that: behind the
George Clooney has proved to us again that we need to remember that Conservatism is not always good in government. This is especially true when the specific Conservative is ignorant, or - worse yet - only venal. Liberals can run amok too, but they tend to be gentle in their liberalism whereas Conservatives tend to be intent on harming someone or something they don't like.
This film is an excellent military movie. It may not be an excellent Hollywood Movie, but that does not matter. Hollywood has a reputation of sacrificing accuracy for good entertainment, but that is not the case with this movie. Other reviewers have found this movie to be too slow for their taste, but as a retired Soldier I appreciate the pace the movie crew deliberately took to tell their story as completely as possible given the two hours and nine minutes allotted. The story itself has been told and retold several times over, but it remains for a professional soldier and an African American at that to report on the story as presented by the movie crew, and as it presents the US Navy to the world. The story of Brashear's work to become a Navy Diver, and his life as a Navy Diver beyond his graduation, is not the only story that is presented. There I also the story of how Master Chief Petty Officer Sunday defied the illegal order of his Commanding Officer that Petty Officer 2nd Class Brashear not be passed in his test dive no matter how well he did, and paid the price of a loss of one Stripe and a change of assignment. It also told the true story how Brashear found the third Hydrogen Bombs lost in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Spain in the 1950's, and how he saved the life of another seaman who was in the line of the snapped running line that would have snapped him in two if Brashear had not shoved him out of the way and took the shot himself. This was a complex story that was worth telling, and I will admit that two hours and nine minutes was not enough to tell the full story, and I can tell from the deleted scenes on the DVD that the crew tried their best to tell a story as full as possible. As a professional soldier, I was proud to see such a great story told in such a comprehensive manner, and to see the traditions and honor of the navy preserved in such a natural and full manner.
"The Enemy Below" was made in 1957, and the US Navy obviously gave
maximum cooperation. The Destroyer Escort used in the movie based on
its Hull Number was DDE-181, the USS Straub, a Bostwick Class ship
that was launched at the Federal Ship Building and Dry Dock Company at
Port Newark, NJ, on September 18, 1943. This class was a sub-class of
the Buckley Class of DDE that the story was about, but it was slightly
lighter due to the fact that the Bostwick class was Diesel-Electric
(equipped with twin Fairbanks-Morse Opposed Piston 3,000 BHP power
sets), while the Buckleys were Turbine-Electric with twin 3,000 SHP
power sets. The two classes carried the same complement of 220 Officers
and Men, and were identically armed with three 3-Inch/50-Cal Dual
Purpose Guns; two 40 mm Bofors AA Guns, four 20 mm Bofors AA Guns, and
21Inch Depth Charge racks. Both classes had twin shafts and screws, but
the Buckleys had a top speed of 28 Knots (26 Knot Service Speed), while
the Bostwicks had a top speed of 20 Knots (19 Knot Service Speed). Both
of them had the same silhouette, which is why the Germans in the film
identified the ship as a Buckley, when it was a Bostwick. 46 of the
Buckleys were allocated to the British Navy under Lend-lease, with 6 of
them lost at sea, and the remainder were scrapped at the end of the
war. The Bostwicks were retained at the end of the war, with 8 of them
being transferred to the Brazilian Navy, and 6 of them transferred to
the French Navy. Obviously, the USS Straub was still in commissioned
service in 1957.
The Technical Information is from "Janes Fighting Ships Of World War II".
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