There is no subject as well suited for the movies as war.
In war there is conflict, love, and of course lots of action. Movies, said Hitchcock, are just like life, but with the boring parts cut out. Thus, movies about war delete the incredible boredom of most war-time experiences in favor of the hyper-drama that characterizes training, combat, and the bursts of romance and friendship that invariably help define characters within a blasted landscape.
Seraphic Secret would like to draw your attention to ten spectacular war movies. Each film seethes with a specific national and regional point of view. And yet war and man’s experiences in war are universal, and each film left yours truly horrified, enlightened and deeply moved.
Movies about war are ideally suited to the kinetic energy of motion pictures. The eternal themes of love, courage, and loyalty are given full range in the theater of war. Readers will immediately notice the absence of silent films and movies from Hollywood’s golden age. Yes, in spite of our love of classic cinema we are the first to admit that sound and modern special effects have rendered most older war movies tame and stylized.
We have also excluded war movies that treat war as “senseless killing” or set forth a pacifist narrative. As far as Seraphic Secret is concerned, a just war is the only method by which moral states can triumph over evil nations. War is too serious a business to be intellectually castrated by fuzzy minds who traffic in moral equivalence.
We concentrate on movies that feature intense warfare, yet whose narrative line does not neglect the more intimate, personal stories. We have eliminated home-front movies, fantasies of good Nazi soldiers ( Auf Wiedersehen, Das Boot), movies about Holocaust victims, tales of spies, and POW movies, sub-genres that—except for good-Nazi movies, historically suspect and morally loathsome—deserve and will receive ten best lists all their own.
As always, we invite our readers to list their own ten best war movies.
Today is our 39th wedding anniversary.
But as readers of Seraphic Secret know, I have been helplessly, hopelessly in love with Karen since fourth grade when I first saw her on the playground of our elementary school, Yeshiva of Flatbush.
Without Karen, I never would have accomplished much in life. It was her faith that propelled me to become a successful Hollywood screenwriter. And of course, it has always been Karen’s uncommon common sense that has turned me from an irresponsible young dreamer into a mature man who proudly shoulders the complex burdens of life.
No commentary today.
No rants about politics and culture.
I am drained.
Here are some random pictures that will, hopefully, enliven a darkling plain.