Two Great WWII movies
Posted on 5 November, 2010 by Larry in Review
I am no movie critic but, as some of you know I am a World War II history buff. I would like to tell you about two WW II Hollywood movies that I have watched several times. There is no shooting or violence in either of these great movies. They tell of some of the emotional suffering that many of these returning Veterans went through. This was long before anyone had ever heard of PTSD. We may occasionally think of the physical suffering these men went through, but not the mental anguish of there recovery, both of these films touch on these subjects. If you get a chance to watch either of these 1946 movies let me know what you thought of them. If you have a few minutes you can also tell me what you think about anything else about the war that you find interesting. I also have read extensively for over 50 years about WW II, so if you have questions, though I am not a trained historian I will try to answer any questions that you may have about the war. I have over 65 DVD interviews with WW II combat veterans that I have recorded over the last 10 years, they have shared many very touching as well as many horrific stories about there service during the war.
The first movie is titled, “The Best Years of Our Lives”. It stars Myrna Loy, Frederic March, Dana Andrews. It also has Army veteran Harold Russell who won a academy award for his part in the film. While Mr Russell was a Army instructor, a explosive detonated causing him to loose both of his hands. The Best Years of Our Lives was made in 1946, the movie historian Robert Osborne of TCM called the movie “one of the greatest movies of all time.”
The movie tells of three returning WW II veterans and what they go thru trying to re-adjust to civilian life after the horrors of four years of war. It is a touching movie that I believe will hold your interest. You will come away with a new respect for what these men and women did for us.
In my ten years of doing WWII interviews of front line combatants I have heard many stories like the ones in this movie from the men that fought to give us our freedoms that some of us take for granted, we must never forget that our freedom did not come free. Some where a Veteran purchased them with his suffering, and he freely gave them to us. I also have interviewed four women, two German soldiers. three Women veterans of WW II and one woman who lived in Java under Japanese rule while her husband was taken prisoner and sent to work as a slave laborer on the Burma/Thailand Railroad. Some of you may remember the movie “Bridge on the River Kwai” in 1957, it was about the Burma/Thailand RR project, it was nothing like what these men went thru on the construction of the many bridges. I have a interview that I did in 2008 with Navy veteran Bill Ingram in Florida who was on the USS Houston that was sunk on 2 March 1942. Bill was taken POW in Java, and sent to the Burma/Thailand RR project. He gives a really telling interview of his three and a half years of horror while working on this project. I have the veterans written permission to sell their interviews. I am doing that to keep the memories of what WW II was really like for these men.
If any of you want to know about the second Hollywood movie made in 1946 about the War, email me at my website, you can get my email address by looking at Lmww2.com I hope to hear from anyone who would like to talk about WW II or may be interested in purchasing any of my interviews, they are fine teaching tools to show young people what price was paid for all of our freedoms.
The Jackson District Library and I are putting on a Free WW II program this Saturday the 6th of Nov. at 10am at the First United Methodist Church at 275 W. Michigan Ave. here in Jackson Michigan, I would like to personally invite all of you to the program. This is our 17th program in the last four years, please invite anyone that you think may enjoy WW II history. I still have veterans at the programs so it is a great way to teach all Americans what these men went thru for all of us. The youngest of these men are about 84 the oldest man I have on DVD is 94. We are loosing about 2,000 of these fine men and women a day, lets all come out to my programs to show the respect to these men while we still can.
I will talk to you next time about the other fine movie about WW II made in 1946.