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May 25, 2017 Thursday     
Though treated as a film belonging to the ‘War-Movies’ genre, TUNES OF GLORY is not exactly about any realistic depiction of the war front, guns or severe violence. In fact this is one of those rare movies which introduce you to the tense scenario within a specific regiment, due to the difference of outlook between its two respected seniors, without taking you into the war-field at all. 
It is a well presented, impactful and brave story of conflict between two powerful personalities in a military regiment, when a new commanding officer is unexpectedly sent for a vacant post, which was sure to be given to the acting Colonel, well admired & respected by the entire regiment from a long time. Now where the old & familiar Colonel is a lenient, fun loving & friendly officer for all, the newly appointed senior is a strict disciplinarian which leads to all that conflict of command between the two. As a result, one gets to see many brilliant, tense yet enjoyable confrontations scenes between these extremely contradicting characters, till its brutally shocking climax delivers a serious shock, leaving the viewers with nothing but eyes wide open with a strong disbelief.
Based on the novel written by James Kennaway, TUNES OF GLORY is undoubtedly one of those lesser mentioned, but exceptional war-films (without depicting a war), which is rightly remembered for its two flawless key acts along with a thoughtful direction of Ronald Neame. At one end Alec Guinness simply wins your heart through his lovable portrayal of a friendly officer and on the other John Mills strongly makes you feel the pain felt at his end caused by his self-honor, sense of responsibility and long cherished tradition of being a military man. Superbly supported by the entire cast, the film has an entertaining script full of funny, engaging and well-written sequences between the two seniors.
However, when it calmly reaches towards the end, it stuns you completely with a shocking culmination and your whole outlook towards its leading characters changes dramatically. In few words, the final moments of the film truly convert it into one of the most authentic, powerful and profound adaptations on screen talking about the respected honour felt by the soldiers for their posts or uniform. And if you really feel for this pride felt by the military men guarding their respective countries anywhere around the globe, then do watch this classic film at the earliest and salute them all.
Directed By Ronald Neame
Written By James Kennaway
Starring : Alec Guinness, John Mills, Susannah York and more.

For more check out : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054412/

Tags : Tunes of Glory (1960), Movies To See Before You Die War Movies, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Best War Movies To Be Seen As a Must.
21 November 2013 / bobbysing /
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Beginning with an eye-opener statement right away, there have been many important ‘War Movies’ made since the last century but there hasn’t been any thing similar to PATHS OF GLORY for sure since the controversial subject has not been touched by any other director so outrageously in world cinema till date. And that is the basic reason why I felt simply stunned to see this ‘Black & White’ classic made way back in 1957 with such conviction and perfection by the maverick director, Stanley Kubrick. Plus I was really taken back by the fact that Kubrick actually made this precious, thought provoking gem in a very early stage of his career, when he was not even 30 years old yet.
But before talking about the exclusive plot of the movie, let me share some more fascinating facts about its making and post release scenario, which would rightly make you realize the real value of this timeless classic from the maestros.
As stated in the trivia section of the film’s IMDB page, Stanley Kubrick approached Kirk Douglas (playing the lead) with the script and Douglas instantly fell in love with it saying,
"Stanley, I don't think this picture will ever make a nickel, but we have to make it."
His words were all true since the film was not a box office success when released but later in 1969, Kirk Douglas's again recalled the film saying,
“There's a picture that will always be good, years from now and I don't have to wait 50 years to know that; I know it now". 
After it was released all over, PATHS OF GLORY was banned in France for its negative portrayal of the French army. Also banned in Switzerland & Spain initially, it got released there after decades when the storm was all over. In Belgium the makers were asked to add a foreword before the start of the film, with the words that “The story represented an isolated case that did not reflect upon the "Gallantry of the French soldiers." And all these bans were actually imposed because the film’s upsetting plot revealed an ugly dark secret of the War front having quite clear shades of truth in it along with the added element of fiction.
Based on Humphrey Cobb’s novel of the same name, PATHS OF GLORY basically talks about the voice of a revolt raised by a Colonel against his Commanding General in an official court case. And the case is imposed by the authority itself because the 3 men on duty, refused to obey the orders of their commanding officer, an offence punishable by death.
Kirk Douglas plays Colonel Dax in the film, who gets the order to make an impossible kind of attack on a heavily equipped rival point. Now the basic reason behind this order was that the Commanding General ordering it (played by George Macready) had a big ego issue involved and further he also looked forward the attack as the means to move forward in his military career. When the order is not executed and the assault is not made due to a heavy bombardment from the other side, the General gets furious and decides to set an example of this for all others. He demands that the three revolting men should stand a trial for showing incompetence and cowardice on the battlefield, not obeying the orders of their superior. Colonel Dax denies accepting this injustice and defends these men at their court-martial, fighting the case himself.
Post the above development, the film turns into a worth watching conflicting saga wherein the Colonel raises a strong voice against this cruel injustice by the General, ignoring the value of life of his own soldiers. And then we get to see a splendid depiction of both logical and philosophical reasoning given by the Colonel in support of his 3 men. While fighting the case Kirk refuses to apologies on their behalf and reveals a completely contrasting description of a battle field pointing towards the unnecessary arrogance, ego and personal agenda’s brought into the front, on the cost of countless lives of the brave soldiers.
The film displays a fine balance between its extremely well shot war & trial room sequences and has a unique kind of tension running as an undercurrent throughout. Moreover with an highly inspiring climax it is unarguably one of the most realistic and truthful movies made on the First World War ever. Along with its perfect writing (especially the dialogues), great sound effects and very effective camera movements, it also has many fine polished acts lead by both Kirk Douglas and George Macready in the lead.
To put it together, this is surely something beyond all the other famous masterpieces made on the War front. In reality its neither about the war nor against the war in the most expected usual form. On the contrary it brings forward a totally secured and hidden secret about the questionable functioning at the battle fields which might change the whole way you look upon a war completely. So from that angle, PATHS OF GLORY strongly needs to be rated as one of the top five greatest war movies ever made with a difference. And that should give you enough reason to go for this “True Gem” at the earliest.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Starring : Kirk Douglas, George Macready, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou & more.
Tags : Paths of Glory (1957), Movies To See Before You Die War Movies, Must See Films List by Bobby Sing, Not To Be Missed Movies List by Bobby Sing, Stanley Kubrick Masterpieces, Kubrick Gems, Worth Watching War Movies list by Bobby Sing,
10 June 2013 / bobbysing /
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In 1986, director Oliver Stone gave a cinematic masterpiece called PLATOON talking about the Vietnam War in the most cruel, sad and realistic manner. The film won 4 major OSCARs in 1987 but the visionary director was still left with something more to add on the subject of War which made him deliver his second gem on the same theme titled BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY in the year 1989. And this time the focus was more on the after-effects of the war experienced by all the ‘returning soldiers’ back at their homeland, which is full of hatred, conflict, opposition, remorse and betrayal by their own fellow citizens unexpectedly. Reportedly in Oliver’s own words, after PLATOON, this is about the other war waiting for the soldiers when they return back from the front.
Based on the real life experiences of Ron Kovic, it’s a biographical account of his days fighting as a soldier and the days when he returned back home as a Vietnam veteran, having a half paralyzed body below the waist. It begins with Ron’s young days wherein he decides to serve his nation as a soldier and then is made to witness the horrifying truth of a war where innocent people are killed without any reason and soldiers follow the orders of attack like lifeless robots. And on top of all, the main planners of the war, that is the politicians remain miles away from the battlefield, safe in their cozy homes or offices planning the further attacks, simply signing on the official papers. 
The film makes you feel the pain along with Ron, when he realizes that his platoon has mistakenly killed several poor & innocent Vietnamese peasant families living in a small village including their kids, women and old people. Further, the young enthusiast simply breaks down morally, when he accidently kills his own fellow soldier in the confusion of a fading sunlight and bullets being fired from all directions. As if the guilt of taking the life of his own friend was not enough, Ron gets severely wounded himself and ends up half paralyzed in a badly managed hospital to be informed that he will not be able to walk or have kids ever in the future.
Fighting with his challenging state, Ron Kovic returns home to his loving family and finds a whole different world waiting for him, where people are opposing the war, have no respect for their war veterans and are not willing to offer a helping hand to the injured soldiers who are now forced to live a dependent life forever. The indifferent behavior of everyone around disturbs Ron deeply and he feels betrayed by his own people and the nation. The unexpected revelation brings in a big change in his personality and he starts working against this whole political system of war as an anti-war and human rights activist living for a purpose. 
So its all about this transforming & enlightening journey of Ron Kovic, who went on to become a key activist exposing the actual reality behind the war and its futility. Therefore it is widely rated as one of most impressive and important war films made till date with a specific message for the world. And I personally rate it as one step ahead of Oliver’s earlier masterpiece PLATOON too, for this very reason alone. It has Tom Cruise playing the lead, in complete contrast of his onscreen image of those times and the actor has undoubtedly gone deep into the skin of his suffering character superbly. Along with Tom & his impressive co-stars, the other big support to the film comes from its cinematographer, composer, writer and editor who rightly got the well appreciated 8 nominations in all the reputed categories of the OSCARS in 1990 but could win only two, namely the Best Director and Best Editing award quite deservingly.
In short BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY talks about War in a distinctive manner which indeed forms the hidden & ugly part of the energetic picture painted in front of the people by the authorities, concerning the War veterans. It’s a solid, impactful and thoughtfully directed masterpiece by Oliver Stone, which has many emotionally haunting scenes which would even force you to take your eyes off the screen in disgust.
Hence do watch it for sure to experience what it actually feels to be sitting on a wheel chair after fighting a war for your nation and then get spitted by the same nation’s people right at your face with hatred.
Directed by Oliver Stone
Starring : Tom Cruise, Raymond J Barry, Caroline Kava and more.
Tags : Born On The 4th Of July (1989), Movies To See Before You Die, War Movies, Biographies in Films, Must See Films List by Bobby Sing, Best War Movies in World Cinema, Oliver Stone War Movies, Tom Cruise as a War Veteran, Not To Be Missed Films List by Bobby Sing, Worth Watching Films List, Worth Watching War Films List by bobby sing at www.bobbytalkscinema,com
16 May 2013 / bobbysing /
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