A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.
After the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.
An American Army officer is recruited by Jews in Palestine to help them form an army. The surrounding Arab countries are opposed to the creation of the state of Israel. He is made commander of the Israeli forces just before the war begins.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
I don't know why this movie doesn't work, but it doesn't. I guess I'd hold the writers and the actors responsible -- the direction is efficient and the score good.
The script tells us things that most of us already know, without adding much that we didn't. Thankfully it avoid extensive shots of the death camps. If anyone needs to be told about that, he's hopelessly benighted anyway. That mass genocide was perhaps the most horrible expression of the baser impulses of human nature, and like any transcendental event should be treated with caution, not with an eye to the box office.
Still, the dialog is flat and ordinary. Giant closeups of faces telling us important things -- "For the first time, I've realized I'm a Jew" -- doesn't really help. It's like being hit over the head by someone wielding a crowbar and yelling -- "GET IT? GET IT?" Yes, we get it. Stop already.
Kirk Douglas isn't bad. In fact he's pretty good, outdone only by Topol as an Arab sheyk -- "I course your Faddair." Cheese, Topol is good. And so is his role. He plays "The Sheik of Arabie" on a Victrola and rolls his eyes with glee.
John Wayne's performance is perfunctory and so is Frank Sinatra's, but the latter's involvement is interesting. At one point in the film he protests, "Don't leave me alone -- I'm anti-Semitic." Far from being anti-Semitic he was, let's say, pro-Semitic. Like a lot of recent immigrant families in the Northeast his had a keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of ethnicity, and Sinatra plumped for the strengths in Judaism. He envied and admired Jews for their family values and their solidarity, and even learned to read a little Hebrew. A scene in which he spurts seltzer water at an attacking Arab fighter is beneath comment.
Overall the film is not a success because it doesn't spell out in any detail exactly what Mickey Marcus actually DID for the Israelies. It won't do to have two minutes of Marcus telling them "Attack! Attack!," when ten times that amount is spent on an unconvincing adulterous affair with Senta Berger -- not that having such an affair with such a magnificent woman would be a blot on anyone's escutcheon. (I could never spell that word. It means "shield".) I guess it's worth watching once, just to remind us of a part of history that some of us have not bothered to look into. As a film, (shrug).
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