Keeping It Right

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Andrew Klavan: The Lost Art of War

The Lost Art of War
Andrew Klavan
City Journal

Hollywood’s anti-American war films don’t measure up to the glories of its patriotic era.

Hollywood has gone back to war. And this time, it’s appalling. All autumn long, the film industry released movies about America’s battle against global jihad. With one exception—the competent actioner The Kingdom—each of these movies distorted an urgent, ongoing historical enterprise through the lens of a filmmaker’s unthinking leftism. Redacted, Rendition, In the Valley of Elah, and Lions for Lambs characterize our soldiers and government agents as rapists, madmen, murderers, torturers of the innocent, or simply victims caught up in a venal and bloodthirsty American foreign policy. All this at the very moment when our real-life soldiers and agents are risking, and sometimes losing, their lives fighting the most hateful and cancerous worldview since Nazism.

But I guess that’s showbiz.

Needless to say, it wasn’t always thus. During World War II, Hollywood stars like James Stewart and directors like Frank Capra enlisted in the military to combat dictators as willingly as Sean Penn and Michael Moore now tootle down to Venezuela and Cuba to embrace them. More to the point, yesteryear’s studio heads—many of them conservative Republicans—worked in cooperation with a Democratic administration to produce top-notch entertainment supporting the war effort. The result was not only rousing combat tales like 1943’s Sahara, Bataan, and Action in the North Atlantic—all still watchable today—but also some of the finest motion pictures ever made: 1942’s Casablanca and Mrs. Miniver, for instance, and the terrific yet all-but-forgotten They Were Expendable (1945). It was one of the film industry’s finest hours.

To read more - paste or click on link: http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_urb-war.html

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