If you haven't figured it out by now, I am a big fan of movies. I love the classics, such as Casablanca and others, but I also enjoy the lesser known ones. I thought I would share these with you since you may not have heard of them and might want to check them out. All of them deal with some phase of history.
This film portrays the exploits of the Australian Light Horse (Mounted Infantry) in the middle east in World War I. Well filmed and written, it covers a little known facet of that war, the long struggle against the Germans and Turks in the holy land. Another more well known film, Laurence of Arabia showed a small part of this campaign and type of warfare, but this goes a bit more into the details of it. It also shows what is considered the last cavalry charge in history, the Light Horse's assault on the town of Beersheba.
The Real Glory
This is a hard to find Gary Cooper movie. It is set in the Philippines just after the Spanish-American War. Not many people are aware that in the early 1900's we were engaged in putting down a insurrection of Muslim rebels that had a great deal of similarities to what our troops face today in Iraq. Cooper portrays a army doctor who has to deal with both contagious diseases as well as training the local recruits for the Philippines Constabulary. His biggest difficulty is to be able to have these recruits to lose their fear of the Moros (the rebels) who are looked at with almost a supernatural fear.
David Niven also stars as a one of Coop's fellow officers and be sure to be on the look out for a very young Broderick Crawford.
Sometimes, you just need to escape, and I can't think of a movie better to do it with. This was Errol Flynn's first famous role, and no one could have done it better. Errol was a young pup in this movie and is shows in the action scenes. The supporting cast is wonderful, particularly Basil Rathbone as the French buccaneer.
This one is real hard to find. It's the version filmed by Turner a few years back and stars Charlton Heston as Long John Silver. It is closer to the book than any other version I have seen. It has a grittiness and realism that others lack. In this version unlike the others, you know that while Long John has affection for Jim Hawkins, that he would cut his throat in a heartbeat for the treasure if needed, just like a real pirate would. The soundtrack music by the Chieftains is like icing on the cake. Now if they would only bring it out on DVD before I wear out my v.h.s. tape.
Another Gary Cooper film set in 1763. This was time of Pontiac's rising. Cooper plays a officer of the Virginia Militia, fighting against renegade whites selling weapons to the Indians. Paulette Goddard is Cooper's love interest and the movie also stars Howard De Silva as the bad guy, Boris Karloff as the Indian chief, and again be on the lookout for a very young Lloyd Bridges as a British officer.
This movie stars Burt Lancaster as a leader of a group of French railway workers who were also in the anti-German resistance in World War II. Directed by John Frankenheimer when he was at the top of his game, it is a well crafted movie. The plot of the movie deals with the German attempt to steal a train load of famous artwork and transport it to Germany. One of the interesting things about this film is that Lancaster did ALL of his stunts for the movie, and it shows in the final product.
Cross Of Iron
This one is a Sam Peckinpah film which stars James Coburn. It's set in WWII on the Russian front which looks at the war through German eyes. It is your typical Peckenpaw slow-mo, blood fest, but does bring some interesting views to light and looks at the war with a whole different perspective.
Well that's it for now. What about you guys? Do you have any favorite movies that you think I or other folks should check out?
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