In this episode we investigate The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carre, and by director Martin Ritt. That is because we are trying something a little different in this episode. We are combining the reviews of both the book and it's film in ONE episode. The novel received critical acclaim at the time of its publication and became an international best-seller. It was printed in 1963 and is full of Cold War fun. The film was released in 1965 and won several awards and had 2 Academy nominations for Best Actor (Richard Burton) and Best Art Direction (in spite of the overuse of the Jackalope antlers).
The war in Vietnam was unique in many ways. Films that attempt to illustrate the conflict have some tricky ground to cover. One of the classic Vietnam War films was, of course, We Were Soldiers Once. If you'd like to watch the film before we cover it here, go ahead and do so now. Or, listen to our views first, as pathetic as they are, then watch the film for yourself and see what you think. Both ways work for us.
One of the classic books about the Vietnam War, is of course, We Were Soldiers Once ...and Young by marine Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and journalist Joseph Galloway. It is the account of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in November of 1965. According to Google Books "Each year, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps selects one book that he believes is both relevant and timeless for reading by all Marines. The Commandant's choice for 1993 was We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young." It was also a N.Y. Times bestseller, who knew there were so many military history fans.
Charlton Heston, empty city streets, strange albino-like people created by germ warfare; what more could a person want from a film? Except perhaps, the removal of the hip jazz soundtrack and it being replaced with anything better. All of those theatrical elements can be found n the film The Omega Man. If you don't like 1970's sci-fi cult classics then maybe you would rather try the most recent film adaptation of Matheson's novel. It is a film called, surprisingly, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith.
When Dave and Jeff got together to reveal their opinions of this classic (in the cult sense) horror novel, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, some unexpected surprises occurred. As the conversation developed, there was an intersting divergence of opinion.
Matheson's novel is the vampire story that isn't quite a vampire story. If you don't believe us, just watch the many film versions of this influential tale.
When we were young, George Pal created a film called The War of the Worlds, and it captured the imaginations of a generation. In 2005 Steven Spielberg created another version of the H.G. Wells story to capture the imaginations of a new generation of Science Fiction fans.
We ask the followings questions, Does Spielberg's version surpass or meet the power of the 1953 film and do either of them match the creative genius of the novel? Come join Dave, Jeff, and our guests Mike and Dennis as we have a lot of fun reviewing these two Sci-Fi classics.
We review the classic war film A Bridge Too Far. Sure, it feels like a film that should have been made a decade earlier than it was, due to it's lack of a modern sensibility. Let's face it, the film was made in 1977, after the Vietnam War. Even so, we always enjoy an epic WWII film and our thoughts reveal that fact, even as we offer up several constructive criticisms. We hope we do not digress too often, and that you will enjoy our look at this WWII film. Hey, at least it has a crudload of tanks and stuff.
September Hope is an excellent book by author John C. McManus that chronicles the American side of the WWII campaign against Nazi Germany known as Operation Market Garden, the Allies attempt to cut through the Netherlands and to Berlin to "end the war before Christmas". It is a compelling and well researched account that covers the operation from it's inception to it's agonizing conclusion. Join Dave Kleinschmidt, Jeff Hallett, Mike Lembke and our special guest Jim McDermott as they discuss and pontificate about this interesting book.