Hollywood, Film & Politics
Chapter 8: Hollywood Goes to War: From the Great War to the Good War to the Forgotten War
“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.” —Herodotus “The only glory in war is surviving.” —Samuel Fuller, director and WWII infantryman “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” —General George S. Patton “The real heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who didn’t come back.” —John “Doc” Bradley, who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima. “War does not determine who is right—only who is left.” —Bertrand Russell Overview: War Is Hell When the author was teaching his film and politics course, invariably a student would ask why the subject of war takes up almost one quarter of his book. It is a legitimate question that deserves a reflective response. As I thought about the question, two possible replies came to mind. For one, is it possible that being male I was simply reflecting Hollywood’s paean to the testosterone that drives the action-adventure emphasis of the marketplace? Could I have succumbed to the excitement and violence of the war movies that played at least once or twice a month at my local theater during WWII when I was a teenager? But, truthfully, the author’s interest in war movies waned like the rest of the nation’s once hostilities ceased. Being shipped to Korea after receiving my degree dispelled any fantasy images from Hollywood war movies. As a young man, I had no real affection for war movies of any kind. Hence, this...
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