The Good Old days of the Hollywood Propaganda Machine

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Military
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Starting Friday evening, AMC TV, the station that has brought us such awesome viewing as The Walking Dead and Mad Men, will begin their Memorial Day weekend “Movies of Heroes”.  During this time period we will see such classics as ‘A Bridge too Far’, ‘The Dirty Dozen’, ‘Midway’, ‘The Longest Day’, and so many others.  Some of these Hollywood specials were being made within weeks of the action that was taking place in World War II and later during the Korean conflict.

Some of these flicks were the perfect fodder for young mind growing up in the 70s with a father who was a recent veteran and growing up in a relatively blue collar, patriotic town.  Seeing Audie Murphy, badass that he was, play himself in ‘To Hell and Back’, and John Wayne play a member of every military service and varying ranks during his WWII movies and later on Playing Colonel Mike Kirby in the only VietNam era movie to note of the conflict, ‘The Green Berets’.

As truly cheesy and obvious propaganda the majority of these movies are, they speak of a time when the people who had the most visibility and influence with the home front, felt a calling to demonstrate their patriotism.  Today, many movies are of a much better quality, the action of a high budget movie being extremely realistic and usually done with some sort of consultancy and training by those who have actually done the job.  Two of the best to come along in the last thirty years are ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and the series ‘Band of Brothers’.

I look forward to catching some of my favorites over the weekend.  I will probably run through all of my Band of Brothers box set including all the interviews from some of the members of Easy Company whom the series is based on.

No matter what you do on this holiday weekend, sometime during the day on Monday please remember to take the time and think about the veterans serving today and those from times past, both those that made it through and those who did not.  If not for them there would be no Memorial Day and no long weekend to kick off the summer.


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