Donald White (donaldwhite1)Midwest City, OK
Donald's Recent Reviews
This is a classic Science Fiction movie. The basic story is a standard Sci-Fi story, the first contact with aliens. It's all a retelling of the Columbus discovers America story. The short story the movie was based on has only a few elements that made it into the movie. The obvious was the giant robot. I saw this movie on TV when I was a kid. For a young kid the robot was very scary with its slow opening visor and heat ray that disintegrates everything. At the time the robot scared me but I was puzzled when world was threatened by a lady not being able to do the laundry. I understood the cars and trains stopping. I just thought a washing machine stopping didn't seem like a big deal. The scariest part was when the robot started zapping people and not just their weapons. It was already outdated when I first saw it with outdated cars and clothes but I also watched the old Superman TV shows with the same outdated clothes. And Aunt Bea was in the movie. The movie is intended to be an anti-war film. The creators of the movie naively thought that the United Nations could stop wars if given enough authority. This movie was made in 1950 the same year the Korean War started. The Korean War quickly proved the fallacy of this theory. The movie backed up the idea that the United Nations could act like a policeman, like the robot, and stop the aggression of the North Koreans. The robot in the movie had overwhelming power to stop any weapons. No such power exists in the real world. The UN has since proved to be too undemocratic and too impotent to wield the power represented by the robot. A few years later the world realized that the U.N. couldn't stop war without the support of the U.S.A. and the threat of nuclear war. The style of the movie is slow and quiet. Robert Wise directed this movie and also directed the first Star Trek movie. The complaint about that movie was that it was too slow. Fortunately this movie is only 92 minutes long. This is still the best flying saucer movie of the 1950's.
This movie was John Fords first to win him the Oscar for best director. Victor McLaglen won the best actor award for this movie. It's basically a one man show with no stars and only one main character. The story is set during the Irish war for independence from England in the 1920's. The main character is an outcast of the Irish Republican Army. He's in love with a prostitute and wants to get tickets to America and take her with him. He sees a wanted poster for an old friend from the IRA and when he runs into him at a soup kitchen he decides to turn him in to the British police for the reward. After his friend is killed he starts feeling guilty and goes a drinking and partying binge. Eventually the IRA figures out where he got the money and tries him for being an informer. Before they can execute him he escapes but in shot in the street and runs into a church where he meets his friend's mother and dies after she forgives him. The movie ends abruptly with no closing credits. The movie was praised more for the black and white filming techniques and McLaglen's acting more than the story. This movie glamorized the IRA and except for the fact that they murdered they're own members when they suspected them of disloyalty the movie never mentions that the IRA was a terrorist organization. They faded away after Ireland was granted independence from England but came back in 1970 in Northern Ireland with a Communist Ideology and backing from East Germany and the Soviet Union.
Donald's Favorite Movies
This is the action adventure movie all others are compared against. The story is set in an exotic Greek island location during World War II. A small group of commandos on a desperate mission to destroy a set of German coastal guns that stand between the British Navy and thousands of outnumbered British soldiers trapped on a Greek Island near Turkey about to be captured by the Germans. The movie is set in the spring or early summer of 1941 after the British had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Germans in Greece and Crete. It is a true fact that the British barely were able to evacuate their defeated troops to Egypt before they were taken prisoners. The rest of the story is fiction. There is no Island of Navarone and the Germans never installed any big guns in Greece. Unlike many war movies, the Germans speak German to each other, not English. The violence is quick and brutal. There is no waste of ammunition for the sake of typical Hollywood action. The bullets don't explode, they just poke holes in people killing them. The special effects were good in 1960 but today it's obviously done with models. The story explores the morality of war and the duty of a soldier. When the mission commander breaks his leg his second in command must choose whether to sacrifice the life of his friend or the success of his mission. Later when a traitor is found in their mist they must decide whether she should live or die. I first saw this movie on TV when I was a kid. I have a Laserdisc version that was made with a faded copy of the film. I later bought the DVD which has a crisp cleaned up picture and is in wide screen format with much better sound. Best quote, "Are you sure it will work?" "No guarantee but the theory is perfectly feasible."
This movie is long and intense. It starts out good with an excellent battle sequence at the VC village. However, as they move upriver the historical accuracy gets lost. I don't think the American servicemen were as undisciplined as depicted in this movie. I also doubt that the Southeast Asian people were as primitive as shown in the movie. But this story was about 19th century Africa and not Vietnam. The ending on the DVD is not what I remember from the movie theater. I first saw this movie at the Cowboy Mall in Stillwater, OK. It was a strip mall north of the OSU campus that was new at the time and was the first multi-screen theater in Stillwater. This movie came out about the same time as Star Wars and is as dark and depressing as Star Wars was fun and uplifting. Redeux is Longer version of a good movie This version is longer and just as intense. Added a little sex left out of the original. The discussion about the history of Vietnam is interresting and reminds the viewer that this is a Vietnam War movie and not an African adventure film. This movie is worth watching more to remind people what was going on in the late 70's than during the real war. Oh Yea, the music is excellent.