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Subject: War Movies: November 2016 rss

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Scott Gillispie
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Chamblee
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November's war movie schedule on TCM looks pretty good for a few weeks at least, in between all the monster movies in October, and friendlier holiday movies for Thanksgiving. Lots of documentaries, so I'll draw on some of those.

One I skipped, because I'm not sure if it counts as a war movie or not, is Battle of Chile on Nov 21 starting at 11:45 - this is a documentary on the Pinochet coup. Also, TCM is showing the three Harry Palmer spy films with Michael Caine, starting with the Ipcress File on Nov 19; I can't use them for this list, but that's probably top of my list to catch this month.

Here's my four TCM choices to kick off the thread this month (all times US Eastern):

Nov 2, 8:30 am: Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Warden, and Don Rickles (his screen debut) on a WWII sub; supposed to be remarkably accurate scenes on operations aboard a sub of the period, particularly on torpedo attacks.

Nov 3, 11 am: Brass Target (1978): Gold Thieves attempt to assassinate Patton (played by George Kennedy) – Sophia Loren, John Cassavetes, Robert Vaughn, Patrick McGoohan, Max von Sydow. I'd never heard of this one; interesting approach for the seventies suspense genre.

Nov 10, 5:30 am: Battle of San Pietro (1944) John Huston’s documentary of a battle in the Italian campaign; contains a number of re-enactments although Huston claimed he filmed the battle as it happened. Nov 9-10 is a program of famous WWII documentaries; if you missed these in the ‘Five Came Back’ program last year, check them out here.

Nov 22, 3:15 am: Spanish Earth (1937) Documentary/propaganda film for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War – narration by Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles. I think I mentioned this for one of my lists last year, but I don't see it now, and the second half of November starts to get scarce for choices.
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Bob Zurunkel
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Keep an eye out during The Billion Dollar Brain. There is a robbery scene involving Michael Caine in which one of the robbers is using an SG44, not an AK47.
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Bill Eldard
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scottgillispie wrote:
Nov 2, 8:30 am: Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Warden, and Don Rickles (his screen debut) on a WWII sub; supposed to be remarkably accurate scenes on operations aboard a sub of the period, particularly on torpedo attacks.

A rather routine WW2 submarine flick based on the bestselling book by Ed Beach, later retired as a Captain, USN, having served aboard and commanded subs. I was at a seminar at the Navy Memorial in downtown Washington, DC where CAPT Beach was a panel member. He said he thought the flimmakers really butchered his tale (no further details), but I'm sure most authors are disappointed in Hollywood dramatizations of their books.

scottgillispie wrote:
Nov 3, 11 am: Brass Target (1978): Gold Thieves attempt to assassinate Patton (played by George Kennedy) – Sophia Loren, John Cassavetes, Robert Vaughn, Patrick McGoohan, Max von Sydow. I'd never heard of this one; interesting approach for the seventies suspense genre.


Below average fare. The plot is inspired by conspiracy theories surrounding Patton's death from fatal injuries suffered in an automobile collision.

scottgillispie wrote:
Nov 10, 5:30 am: Battle of San Pietro (1944) John Huston’s documentary of a battle in the Italian campaign; contains a number of re-enactments although Huston claimed he filmed the battle as it happened. Nov 9-10 is a program of famous WWII documentaries; if you missed these in the ‘Five Came Back’ program last year, check them out here.


Huston's film is regarded as a classic in WW2 documentaries. I was let down a bit when I first saw it because the hype had raised my expectations. But it's a good documentary and well worth viewing for the military history fan.

scottgillispie wrote:
Nov 22, 3:15 am: Spanish Earth (1937) Documentary/propaganda film for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War – narration by Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles. I think I mentioned this for one of my lists last year, but I don't see it now, and the second half of November starts to get scarce for choices.


There were many in Hollywood -- primarily those affiliated with the Popular Front -- desperately wanting anti-Fascist films to be made, but there were few before 1939. Some historians credit that to the fact that the largest Hollywood market outside of the US and Britain was Germany, and studios didn't want to close access to it by angering the Nazis, who were actively supporting the Fascists in Spain.

But documentaries were not big money makers and inexpensive to produce, so films like the Spanish Earth came about. As a historical curiosity, it's worth a viewing to see the pro-Republican perspective.
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