In the course of preparing my most recent war movie post I found two good war movie review sites, Sgt. Slaughter and Herr General. I should also mention the very good review section on Strategy Page. These are interesting and thoughtful reviews, and where I was familiar with the movies, I generally agreed with them.
I’ll mention one old favorite, Kelly’s Heroes that was reviewed on both Strategy Page and by Sgt. Slaughter. A very strange movie, set in World War II, but with a very late-60s feel to it. Donald Sutherland is a tank commander named Oddball, who is supposedly in 1944 but who seems like he just stepped out of a cloud of pot smoke in Haight Asbury in 1969. Clint Eastwood and Don Rickles in the same movie? Like I said, nutty. The GIs in this movie, led by Clint, are out to liberate a stash of gold bars from the Germans, but inadvertently precipitate a major breakthrough for the Allies. The final scene where Oddball’s tanks stalk German Tigers through the narrow streets of a French town is incredibly cool. Filmed in Yugoslavia, the movie looks like 1940s France. And this movie has more genuine equipment rolling around than any war movie other than A Bridge Too Far — about which I will go on and on some other time ÔŅĹ .
(And checkout the incredible custom army guys available on this site. You can get an unpainted Oddball head (scroll down) to stick on your super-expensive, super-detailed GI Joe-type guy. The war toys for grown-ups you can find on the Net are simply breathtaking. Dig this Delta Force guy.)
UPDATE: Earlier war movie posts: A review of Downfall, and of We Were Soldiers, and 2 Korean War
movies, a post about the excellent essay “The Serpent’s Eye: The Cinema of 20th-Century Combat”, and my initial post of favorite war movies.
2 thoughts on “War Movies VI: Other Reviewers”
I like Kelly’s Heroes, but at times that late-60s mindset can irritate. It shares the same kind of anachronistic characters as Altman’s MASH, and has hints of the same smartass / maudlin schizophrenia, which can grow tiresome after about 45 minutes. Fortunately KH is less pretentious than MASH.
There are some great moments in the movie, though. The characters, although generally unlikable, are interesting. Carroll OíConnorís character is particularly amusing, as he mistakenly sees his menís pursuit of treasure as evidence of their great fighting spirit. The last 20 minutes are awesome.
KH is saved by its lack of pretension. Clint in particular plays it straight, which provides a solid core for the movie to revolve around. And I agree that the whole movie is mere prelude to the final conmbat sequence, which is brilliant.
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