Tag Archives: War Movie

Friday night movie: Decision Before Dawn (1951)

For Friday night, I thought I’d re-post a movie I like a lot.

IMDB rating: [7.5/10]

Description:

WWII is entering its last phase: Germany is in ruins, but does not yield. The US army lacks crucial knowledge about the German units operating on the opposite side of the Rhine, and decides to send two German prisoners to gather information. The scheme is risky: the Gestapo retains a terribly efficient network to identify and capture spies and deserters. Moreover, it is not clear that “Tiger”, who does not mind any dirty work as long as the price is right, and war-weary “Happy”, who might be easily betrayed by his feelings, are dependable agents. After Tiger and another American agent are successfully infiltrated, Happy is parachuted in Bavaria. His duty: find out the whereabouts of a powerful German armored unit moving towards the western front.

Happy Friday!

Friday night spies: Decision Before Dawn (1951)

Here you go:

IMDB rating: [7.4/10]

Description:

WWII is entering its last phase: Germany is in ruins, but does not yield. The US army lacks crucial knowledge about the German units operating on the opposite side of the Rhine, and decides to send two German prisoners to gather information. The scheme is risky: the Gestapo retains a terribly efficient network to identify and capture spies and deserters. Moreover, it is not clear that “Tiger”, who does not mind any dirty work as long as the price is right, and war-weary “Happy”, who might be easily betrayed by his feelings, are dependable agents. After Tiger and another American agent are successfully infiltrated, Happy is parachuted in Bavaria. His duty: find out the whereabouts of a powerful German armored unit moving towards the western front.

Happy Friday!

If you need more spies, here are some more:

Red Tails movie aims to revive old-fashioned, patriotic war movie genre

The trailer:

And here’s a review:

“Red Tails” is almost certain to be derided as an ‘old-fashioned’ film, as if using cinematic forms and languages of the past were in and of itself a bad thing.

It isn’t.

One of the traps of thinking about popular art is the idea that if artists aren’t constantly pursuing the latest or the next ways of doing things that they’re somehow failing.  As a result, truly rich forms of expression are abandoned simply on the basis of arbitrary sell-by dates, even when they still have much to offer.  Consider the films of Guy Maddin, which use the form of silent cinema to thrillingly modern effect; somewhat similarly, “The Artist” no doubt makes some audiences aware of how plastic and lively the silent film medium was.

In the case of “Red Tails,” the old-school inspiration derives from any number of patriotic and sentimental World War II movies of the sort that producer George Lucas grew up on.  Following his lead, screenwriters John Ridley and Aaron McGruder and director Anthony Hemingway have told the story of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-Americans commissioned to fly and maintain planes by the U. S. military, almost as if they were doing so in the 1940s.

[…]In many ways, this film could’ve starred James Cagney, William Bendix or Audie Murphyand been made 60-odd years ago — with, of course, the crucial difference of race, which, in and of itself, is a worthwhile thing to achieve.

I might go see this on Saturday, because I love war movies. My collection of DVDs is about two-thirds black and white World War 2 movies! By far my favorite genre. More than that, the P-51 Mustang and the B-17 Flying Fortress hold special places in my heart (not so much the old Curtis P-40 Warhawks they are flying initially – blech!). The plot from the reviews I read reminds me of what it is like to be a Christian scholar and apologist. The Air Force is like the church, the generals are the pastors, and the Tuskegee airmen are the apologists and scholars.

B-17 Queen of the Skies
B-17 Queen of the Skies

As a child, my mother bought me Avalon Hill’s B-17 Queen of the Skies from the hobby shop downtown. I remember her telling me that I couldn’t get anything over $10, so I scoured the store trying to find a game that was less than $10. I found B-17 – it was the only one! But when we got to the register, we found out that it was actually $16.99 not $6.99. But she bought it for me anyway, and I played it a lot – it was a 1-player game. Understanding the fight between the Allied Air Force and the Luftwaffe taught me a lot about the importance of having military superiority in war. I hope the movie is as realistic as the game was.

If you want to see another good war movie about the air war in Europe, try “12 O’Clock High” and “Memphis Belle”. A good one in the Pacific theater is “Midway”.