Huzzah! We have a long weekend ahead of us and perhaps some actual places to go! Or we may just stay in and listen to music and watch movies, because–of course–it’s supposed to rain all weekend!
Monday is Memorial day and one of the ways I typically observe Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, is to watch a good war movie. Here are a few suggestions, mostly old movies as is my wont, but please note I have included one from the 21st century!
They Were Expendable (1945) John Ford directed this story of a PT boat unit defending the Philippines during WWII. John Wayne and Robert Montgomery star.
Cry Havoc (1943) A mostly all-female cast portrays a group of Army hospital volunteers stationed in Bataan during WWII. In some ways it is standard wartime melodrama, but the ending, as the brave nurses and volunteers fall into the hands of the Japanese, is quite powerful. Margaret Sullavan and Joan Blondell star.
Twelve O’Clock High (1949) Gregory Peck stars as a general who takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into shape before collapsing himself under the strain.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Robert Emmett Sherwood adapted MacKinlay Kantor’s story of veterans returning to their hometown after service in WWII. William Wyler directed; Frederic March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Harold Russell star.
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending Indian uprising following the disaster at the Little Big Horn. John Ford directed; John Wayne stars.
Hacksaw Ridge (2016) An Army medic and conscientious objector becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor for incredible acts of valor without having fired a shot. The scenes during the Battle of Okinawa in WWII are very intense and more graphic than I like to see, but the movie is a good one. Directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington.
Monday is also John Wayne’s birthday (🎉🎉🎉) so I will probably be leaning toward They Were Expendable.
Last Monday (our regular John Wayne movie night) I watched Red River (1948) and it was great. John Wayne and Montgomery Clift play so well off each other. Clift was never better.
So you might want to check it out as well.
I should also note the passing of Indian-born Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. Ravi’s ministry gradually evolved, but his basic focus remained the same: to “help the thinker believe and the believer think.”
In March doctors discovered a malignant tumor when he underwent back surgery. He began receiving treatment, but two months later they deemed his cancer untreatable and he died shortly thereafter. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
And I really want one of these face masks from the National Cowboy Museum! #HashtagTheCowboy…
*Tom Dunston to Matthew Garth in Red River. They end up taking ’em to Kansas, of course, in order to avoid the marauding border ruffians in Missouri.