The Golden Age of Hollywood


Fix Bayonets!

A group dedicated to War films, from BIRTH OF A NATION (1915) to the WWII Epic spectacles of the 60s and 70s. My second favorite film genre and one often delved into over the years. 

Note: Only films with combat and actual fighting count on this group, not just war being used as a backdrop for the film's story. anything from fighting in the air, on land and sea or mixing the three elements together for battle is accepted.

Members: 3
Latest Activity: Dec 1, 2014

Discussion Forum

Silent War Films I Have Known...

Started by Dave Miller. Last reply by Al Pearce May 22, 2014. 8 Replies


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Comment by Al Pearce on December 1, 2014 at 4:19pm

That sure sounds  like a fine cast! and yes, I have heard of it. I will be sure to see it soon enough.

Comment by Dave Miller on November 30, 2014 at 12:46pm

Just watched ARMORED ATTACK, aka THE NORTH STAR last night. Never saw it before. It had a great cast with Dana Andrews, Anne Baxter, Walter Brennan, and Eric von Stroheim.

A Ukrainian village must suddenly contend with the Nazi invasion of June 1941.

It's pretty grim as most war films are, but I liked the different view of the war as seen from the villagers' perspective.

You can see this film on YouTube by clicking here. It goes under the THE NORTH STAR title. Enjoy!

Comment by Al Pearce on May 19, 2014 at 7:11am

Sorry, Mr. Walker, but you have SON OF THE MORNING STAR confused with CUSTER OF THE WEST, and the latter is the one that stars Robert Shaw as Custer. I know Shaw was an excellent british actor, and i have seen clips of his performance as Custer. 

 I am somewhat partial to GODS AND GENERALS. Though i admire Stephen Lang and Robert Duvall's interpretations of Jackson and Lee, and the sweep of the battle scenes and the lot i think the movie was pretty heavy handed and a little too preachy. And i didn't like the score. But GETTYSBURG is a civil war epic i will always consider definitive.


Comment by Kenneth Walker on May 16, 2014 at 4:06pm

For a much better presentation of George Armstrong Custer ,Son of The Morning Star with Robert Shaw as Custer was more true to the facts. Flynn is dashing and heroic no matter what the role.Shaw plays Custer as a flawed  but brillant military leader whose thirst for glory lead to his defeat. Flynn played a similar role as a doomed officer in the Crimean War. The second prequel to Gettysburg,GODS AND GENERALS, [also from Turner] delves more into the personal live of Stonewall Jackson.Little is actually known about the Battle of Little Big Horn so perhaps the combination of two films such as THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON and SON OF THE MORNING STAR presents a fairly accurate ,tho not precise ,depiction of that famous battle.

Comment by Al Pearce on May 15, 2014 at 2:30pm

I, honestly, don't much care for modern war films, unless they are done very well and are faithful to the time period as far as atmopshere and actors go. GETTYSBURG is for me the greatest large scale epic about the Civil War, next to NORTH AND SOUTH (though the latter is a very well done miniseries that, though full of great battle and action scenes suffers from soap-opera elements).

   THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON is a good example of a film that mixes genres, but it is essentially a war film covering two conflicts (the war between the states, the Indian wars in the Dakotas). Yes, it is a western saga about General Custer (played by Errol Flynn in my favorite role of his) but it has an unmistakable military atmosphere to it with two well done combat scenes.

Comment by Kenneth Walker on May 15, 2014 at 1:45pm

In my opinion Full Metal Jacket is spot on when it comes to Marine Corps  training. So much so that the Corps denied any seal of approval for the film.The DI [Jack Webb] takes a middle of the road approch. Training scenes are accurate but minus the salty language the recruits were subjected to each day. Battle Cry is fairly accurate with Van Heflins role as Sam Huxley.For a good Korean era film, Pork Chop Hill [Gregory Peck] fills the bill. Thanks for the info on Wayne. He was always a fav of mine. Retreat Hell is gritty and presents another side of the war.A lot of points about viewing war films depends on what your interesting in. Theres so many with different points of view. Dont forget the more recent ones such as Flags of the Fathers and Letters to Iwo Jima. Both are very well made. in conclusion, I might add Gettysburg which centers on a pivitol Civil War battle. Long film[4:hrs/9 minutes] from Ted Turner.

Comment by Al Pearce on May 15, 2014 at 6:54am

Funny enough, i was reading a book on the American war film which said that the majority of young fellas that joined the Marine Corps after the War did so becuase of the inspiration they got from Duke Wayne in SANDS OF IWO JIMA, and you're one o them! i consider it an honor, sir. That said, i consider IWO JIMA probably the best film about the Marines in both training and combat. i haven't seen RETREAT. HELL! or BATTLE CRY or some such others, but i do intend to see those in the near future.

 As an added thought, i just finished reading an interesting book written by one of the Duke's daughters, Aissa Wayne, called JOHN WAYNE: MY FATHER. in it, she paints a loving and respectful portrait of her iconic parent and fills it with memories, but also shows the flaws and dark side of him as well that very few people know about. She also shows what pressure and what a strict thing it was to be the daughter of an American superstar, and how domineering and forceful he was as a father but also very sensitive and tender under the macho image he gave off. As a child, Wayne was somewhat rejected by his mother and his younger brother Robert was favored more. So becuase of that he expected those he was close to to love him in return. I could go on and on about the various things i learned in the book, but it would take up the entire page! the point is, she demythologizes her father but does not destroy his image. In the end, it is a very emotional tribute that is so gripping that i finished it in only two days. One of the best books i've ever read. But i'm already going off topic. Back to the Combat film! :-)

Comment by Kenneth Walker on May 13, 2014 at 5:14pm

While I mention lack of credibility, im not infering they lack entertainment value. In the case of Seebees and Flying Tigers ,Wayne and a top notch supporting cast ,save the day. If the viewer has no military experience, there would be no reason not to doubt the heroics.In fact, Wayne's heriocs in Sands Of Iwo Jima ,believe it or not, was my main reason for joining the Marines in 1952. All in all, credibility is just a minor issue after all,when it comes to a good war film.

Comment by Al Pearce on May 13, 2014 at 6:32am

BIRTH OF A NATION is among the greatest films i have ever seen despite it's racist views and glorification of the KKK (which even in 1915 was pretty offensive). President Woodrow Wilson called the picture "History written in lightning". It was the first true war movie and the first Epic made by the American film industry (the first epic was CABIRIA, a 1914 Italian film that was set during the Roman Punic Wars.

  You may say that those films you mentioned lack credibility, but i find SEABEES and YORK to be very entertaining and the battle sequences not unrealistic, though the two films are apples and oranges. The former is indeed a propaganda with Duke Wayne and Susan Hayward (one of my personal favorite actresses), and the latter is a biographical war drama starring my favorite actor, Gary Cooper, in an oscar-winning role. Thanks for mentioning more movies, Mr. Walker. i've got a feeling you might be this group's top commentator. :-)

Comment by Kenneth Walker on May 12, 2014 at 4:28pm

Read your posts. The movies you mentioned are indeed good representations of the air war during ww2.Go For Broke does justice to the infantry as well. While i enjoy films such as The Fighting Seabees and Flying Tigers [ww2] and The Fighting Sixty Ninth and Seargent York[ww1],i view those films with a grain of salt.While entertaining,these movies lack credibility.In my opinion, war films must have credibility and less propaganda[example is film titled Gung Ho].The Purple Heart[Dana Andrews] while tugging the heartstrings, was probably made for one promote the war effort.Birth of a Nation is a classic of some repute....glorifying the Klu Klux Clan!I have no particular favorites. Certainly Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Gettysburg,They Were Expendable and Go For Broke would be on my top five list.


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