Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Free State Of Jones

Sunday Liz and I and some neighbors went to see the movie: The Free State of Jones.

Don't miss it.

It is a very well researched and well produced movie about events during the Civil War in Jones County, Ms. involving Newt Knight, his paramour, an escaped slave named Rachel, and their neighbors and families. The story seems fantastic in many ways, but is mostly true.

It ties Civil War events together with Reconstruction and with a 1946 trial of a descendant of Newt and Rachel, who was charged with violating Mississippi's anti-miscegenation laws by marrying a white woman.

The film has obvious connections with current events in Ferguson, Mo., Charleston, etc.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow objects to the film. I think he misses the point. He actually misses several points.

So I want to offer some thoughts that differ from Blow's analysis (

1. The film depicts the origin of the observation that the Civil War was a "Rich Man's War and a Poor Man's Fight;
2.  The film shows people, both white and black standing up against the power structure of the day, but imperfectly;
3.  There are no heroes, just people who did what they had to do;
4.  The Civil War was a lot more complicated than Gone With The Wind

I'll say no more for now.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Seventy Years Ago - Army And Navy In Phillipines

While US Army pilots were training at Eglin Field in Florida for the Doolittle raid, US Army and Navy units were fighting a rear guard action in the Phillipines. On March 11, US Navy motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) Squadron 3, commanded by the Navy Lieutenant J.D. Bulkeley, transported General Douglas MacArthur from the island of Corregidor to Mindanao in the southern Phillipines.

The MTB squadron remained in the Phillipines after MacArthur went on to establish his headquarters in Australia. The squadron's exploits were described in a book and film by the title of They Were Expendable.

The film, directed by John Ford, is one of my favorite WWII movies. Ford, who served in the navy during the war, captured the feel of military service with a high degree of technical and dramatic accuracy (though with some embellishment). Robert Montgomery, who played the Lieutenant Bulkeley figure in the movie, had commanded a PT boat during the war. Three other actors playing MTB squadron personnel also had served in the war (Marion Morrison -AKA John Wayne- not among them. He never wore his country's uniform except in make-believe.)

Another WWII movie among my favorites is Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.  Both movies were based on actual events and depicted with a high degree of accuracy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Don't Fence Me In

Sometimes memory plays tricks.

In my memory, I never cared much for cowboy movie star Roy Rogers. He sang too much and paid entirely too much attention to Dale Evans. Even Gabby Hayes was more interesting.

Didn't care much for Gene Autry, either.

This evening on Turner Classic Movies I watched a 1945 Roy Rogers movie that I first watched 65 years ago at the Will Rogers Movie Theater in Tulsa Oklahoma. The movie didn't get any better in the intervening decades. Still, I found I could sing along with Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers when they sang "Don't Fence Me In" and "Tumbling Tumbleweed." I was surprised that I remembered the words after all these years.

I still preferred Hopalong Cassidy.