Combat Films: American Realism, 1945-2010, 2d ed.
Steven Jay Rubin
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Combat films have long been a staple in the history of American cinema. This critical text offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most important American war films of the last 60 years. Based on original interviews, archival research and featuring rare photographs, this book covers films that are considered unusually realistic for the genre. The original edition covered war films through World War II, while the updated version includes seven new chapters, which address the Civil War, the American gunboat presence in China in the 1920s, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the fighting in Mogadishu in 1993 and the war in Iraq. Coverage goes through The Hurt Locker (2009).
bridge during pre-production on The Bridge on the River Kwai. That an American producer had purchased Boulle’s novel proved quite signiﬁcant in terms of the projected ﬁlm’s plot line and characters. One of Spiegel’s ﬁrst directives to Foreman was to create an American character in the story for box-ofﬁce purposes. Major Shears, the English commando in the novel, thus became Commander Shears, the American opportunist who makes a miraculous escape from the camp on the Kwai, only to be assigned to
Tall and slender. Very American in his movement and conduct, just that he is unmistakably of Japanese origin. Dry sense of humor. Please do not bring any Chinese or other nationality for this Japanese part. He is Gregory Peck’s conﬁdante and close friend and plays most of his scenes with Mr. Peck. About 30. (As previously mentioned, this part went to Clemons’s West Point classmate, George Shibata.) 1st Lieutenant Russell— Should look from 28 to 35. Russell is Mr. Peck’s brother-inlaw in the
tunnels on their underground trolley cars, a lengthy dolly track was constructed. On another soundstage, he constructed the full-sized barracks rooms where the prisoners toiled, slept and plotted their escape. In nearby Munich, the theatrical center of Germany, Sturges found his German actors. The handsome Hannes Messemer was signed to play the critical role of the camp commandant, Colonel von Luger. During World War II, Messemer was captured by the Russians on the Eastern Front, and escaped by
photographs of the period. Questions had to be answered. What did Changsha look like? How did people dress in 1926? What did an American gunboat look like? What was the terrain in Hunan Province? How did the Chien River look? Some consideration was given to shooting The Sand Pebbles in the United States. As Wise told Y.C. Lee, who was freelancing for the Los Angeles Times that fall, “We could have built cities on the Sacramento River, but no one had a quick answer about obtaining 20 river junks,
in the New Territories district of Hong Kong. Wise needed a river channel where both banks could be visible and he couldn’t ﬁnd that in Taiwan. Weather and logistics were not the only challenges for Wise and his production team. They would be the ﬁrst American crew to shoot on Taiwan, and it should not be forgotten that the island was, in 1965, literally at war with Mainland China. The entire island, which is only 240 miles long and 85 miles wide, was a virtual military base, with army trucks