NONE SHALL ESCAPE
1944, Sony Repertory, 85 min, USA, Dir: André De Toth

Produced before the end of WWII, this indictment of Nazi evil was remarkably prescient. Alexander Knox is chilling as Wilhelm Grimm, a German officer whose war crimes unfold in flashback during a Nuremberg-like trial; Marsha Hunt gives one of her best performances as Grimm’s former lover. Oscar nominated for Best Original Story.


JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN
1971, Shout Factory, 111 min, USA, Dir: Dalton Trumbo

Dalton Trumbo not only wrote but directed this fiercely powerful cry of anguish against the legions of aggression - the ultimate anti-war film. Joe (Timothy Bottoms), a foot soldier during WWI, loses his legs, arms and most of his face in an explosion. He awakes in a hospital and slowly becomes aware that not only is he imprisoned in a shell of a body but also the doctors think he is a vegetable. Through a series of flashbacks involving his father (Jason Robards), his fiancee and his fantasy encounters with Jesus Christ (Donald Sutherland), we learn about Joe’s character. As Joe’s hospital stay lengthens, he develops a friendship with a sympathetic nurse (Diane Varsi). “Trumbo has taken the most difficult sort of material - and handled it, strange to say, in a way that's not so much anti-war as pro-life. Perhaps that's why I admire it. Instead of belaboring ironic points about the ‘war to end war,’ Trumbo remains stubbornly on the human level. He lets his ideology grow out of his characters, instead of imposing it from above.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


THE BIG PARADE
1925, Warner Bros., 151 min, USA, Dir: King Vidor

King Vidor’s 1925 account of World War I delivers both epic sweep and intimate emotional moments in its tale of a young soldier (John Gilbert) who finds solace in the arms of a French woman (Renée Adorée) amidst the horror of war. Made just seven years after the end of the Great War, the film was the first war picture to tell its story from the point of view of a soldier. While the first half of the film is part light-hearted comedy, the second depicts war very realistically.


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