Discusssion: The Cost of War

Posted: December 17, 2009

Mrs. Miniver shows the effects of war on ordinary citizens.  This is an issue that has been dealt with in a number of films: The Best Years of Our Lives, also directed by William Wyler, Pride of the Marines, Coming Home, and more recently, Brothers.  Which of these films is your favorite?  Reel 13 Classics host Neal Gabler opted for John Boorman’s Hope and Glory.

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  • rayban

    I have a particular fondness for David O. Selznick’s “Since You Went Away”. But I also think very highly of William Wyler’s “The Best Years of Our Lives”. And I really do like Richard Brooks’ “Take The High Ground”, which shows us the effects of basic training on a large group of young recruits. In this film, Richard Widmark, Karl Malden, Russ Tamblyn and Carleton Carpenter do come to the fore.

  • Nikki

    My favorite of the ones you listed is “The Best Years of Our Lives” because it shows different layers of society and how each affected the other.
    Some favorite war films are “La Grande Illusion”; “Oh What A Lovely War”; “The Deer Hunter”; “Das Boot”; “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and of course “Night and Fog.” And a film that I can’t remember the title. I think it’s French and was about a little boy and girl during WWII, and in one scene they had a ritual burial of an animal. Does anyone remember the film?

  • Linda K

    My favorite is “Two Women”. with Sophia Loren. If you have time see this film!

  • rayban

    Nikki, thanks so much for reminding us all of Alan Resnais’ “Hiroshima, Mon Amour”. She: Hi-ro-shi-ma. Hi-ro-shi-ma. That’s your name. He: That’s my name. Yes. Your name is Nevers. Ne-vers in France. Nikki, that other film is Rene Clement’s 1952 masterpiece, “Forbidden Games” (“Jeux interdits”) with the gifted “petits”, Brigitte Fossey and Georges Poujouly. The kids collected dead animals for their own private cemetary and stole crosses from churches and graveyards. Many international film critics consider it to be one of the greatest wartime films ever made. Again, Nikki, many thanks for reminding us of this one, too.

  • Nikki

    YES! Thanks, Rayban! That’s it! It’s one of those great films that never seems to air on TV. And Linda, Yes! “Two Women” is one of the most heart-breaking pieces of film acting. The daughter’s distant stare and the Loren’s anguish and fury.

  • rayban

    Nikki, “Forbidden Games” is available on DVD. This category should broaden out to foreign films.

  • Nikki

    Thanks, Rayban, for the tip. And yes, there should be a foreign film category.

  • Virginia

    My vote would go to Since You Went Away which I always think of as the American version of Mrs. Miniver with Claudette Colbert on the homefront. The cast is terrific including Jennifer Jones who died this week as the older daughter in the family. John Cromwell directed — the ending is a killer!

  • Pat

    “Best Years of Our Lives”- hands-down! Also check out “Three Came Home”, classic Claudette Colbert.

  • Carol Marquand

    What a load of garbage Neil G spouted about ‘inside info’ on Eye of the Needle. Not only did you show a photo of someone who was not Richard Marquand purporting to be Richard Marquand but the tales of the shoot were totally erroneous as were the tales about my husband Richard. Did you even talk to Kate? Who allows this kind of garbage? Will you please communicate and I can at least put you right on some facts. And maybe you might even apologise for the hurtful wrong stuff tonight. Thanks, Carol Marquand.
    PS Oe of your directors will already know me from last year’s prog. about the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. I am not an ogre but cannot believe that your researchers are this terrible. I worked for the BBC for ever. We would never have allowed this kind of stuff on the air in a million years.