Night at the Movies

The Blue Max

Released in 1966, this WW I adventure was directed by John Gillermin and stars George Peppard, James Mason and Ursula Andress. These three “A” listers alone would have ensured the movie’s success, but what made it a cut above the rest was the magnificently directed aerial combat scenes. Peppard plays German infantry soldier Bruno Stachel, who is mired at the […]
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Soldier in the Rain

This 1963 gem had the misfortune of premiering just five days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. With America still deeply in mourning, it never received the attention it deserved. Directed by Ralph Nelson and based on a book by Academy Award-winning author William Goldman, it stars Jackie Gleason in a dramatic role as Army Master Sergeant Maxwell […]
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No Time for Sergeants

With World War II and the Korean War safely in the past, the period sandwiched between them and the Vietnam War was a time for military comedies. On television there was “The Phil Silvers Show,” aka “Sergeant Bilko,” and on the big screen there was “No Time for Sergeants.” This 1958 release came with a cast of several young actors […]
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The Messenger

This 2009 release stars Ben Foster as Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery and Woody Harrelson as Captain Tony Stone, two U.S. Army soldiers detailed with the unenviable task of making in-person notifications to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq. This critically acclaimed movie won several awards and earned Woody Harrelson Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations in the category of Best Supporting Actor. […]
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The Desert Fox

Released in 1951, “The Desert Fox” stars James Mason in the title role of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. While he fought on the side of Nazi Germany against the British and Americans, Hollywood chose to tell his story only six years after the war ended. Rommel served in the German Army during WW I, winning Germany’s highest award for bravery. […]
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I’m Staying With My Boys

U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone was the only enlisted man in World War II to receive the nation’s two highest awards for valor. Credited with almost single-handedly saving the Allied assault on Guadalcanal, he earned the Medal of Honor for his heroics on the island, and he perished while earning the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his […]
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Based on the James Michener novel and released in 1957, this critically acclaimed romantic drama won four Academy Awards, including best supporting actor (Red Buttons) and best supporting actress (Miyoshi Umeki). With an all-star cast including Marlon Brando (nominated for best actor) and James Garner, the movie is set in 1951 Japan. It deals with American servicemen forming relationships with […]
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American Son

The 2008 feature “American Son” stars Nick Cannon as Mike, a 19-year-old who joins the Marines to escape a life of dilapidated bungalows, broken cars, dysfunctional families, a drug-addicted older brother and a group of friends who are going nowhere. With his training completed and his unit set to deploy to Iraq, he is given 96 hours to return home […]
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Baggio shows Caan, Coppola the ropes

A few weeks ago, Steve Corbo reviewed the movie “Gardens of Stone,” Francis Ford Coppola’s somber exploration of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment known as The Old Guard, which stands watch over Arlington National Cemetery. We were delighted to learn that Retired U.S. Army Colonel Dan Baggio was a 1st Lieutenant and the Executive Officer of Charlie Company (Company C) […]
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Gardens of Stone

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this seldom seen 1987 release stars James Earl Jones, James Caan, Anjelica Huston, D.B. Sweeney, Dean Stockwell, Mary Stuart Masterson and Laurence Fishburne. Despite its all-star cast, the film was released on a limited basis and received mixed reviews, though it earned the admiration of Chicago’s very own Roger Ebert for its unflinching look at […]
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