1/11/11: Romance and War

An Affair To Remember – 1957, Leo McCarey – TCM – I love Cary Grant. He’s easily one of my favorite actors and I could watch him in anything. A film like this is moving and beautiful and that first hour was amazing. The second hour is great as well and that was one heck of an ending. Sometimes I wonder why romantic films today can’t be as serious and moving as this. Today, all romantic films have to be turned into strictly clichéd chick flicks and simply stupid romantic comedies that you can tell the entire plot only by seeing a 30-second TV spot. 9/10

They Were Expendable – 1945, John Ford – Warner DVD – This was great, although I did find it was a little heavy handed.  They Were Expendable can seem dated, sticking in one time, that is during the war and just after. Ford is obviously making a film that is dedicated to the men he, Robert Montgomery and screenwriter Frank Wead had served with. I do find it remarkable that the film is not strictly a gung-ho, patriotic work because the film covers the loss of the Philippines immediately after Pearl Harbor. On top of it, the two-hour-and-fifteen-minute film (which I do find to be an incredibly long running time, considering Ford rarely goes over two hours) does not go back to the US’s eventual victory, ending with a Gen. MacArthur quote saying that they will return. It’s an enjoyable film and seeing it today only reminds us of a time when wars had strict meanings. 8/10

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