Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day that we honor and give thanks to those who have served in the military. I would love to honor my father who was a Drill Sargent in the Marines. If you knew my father, you could see it. He served in the Korean war. My father-in-law was in the Navy during the Korean war and was one of the youngest salvage deep sea bell divers and at the time was the youngest Lieutenant Commanders in the service. Now my nephew is in the Army and although I worry about him-I know that he comes from strong stock and will come back even more of a cuss than when he left.
To honor our men and women who so dutifully served and gave their lives for freedom, I have decided to pick a few of my favorite war time or military movies and none of them have John Wayne in them!
Mash came out in 1970 and addressed the Korean war through the eyes of a wacky medical unit. This black comedy chronicles the daily lives of civilians drafted into military service. It's a serving of nurses, doctors and their patients with a side of hot lips and martinis. Robert Altman's classic allows us to laugh at a tragedy of war and know that being human is okay.
Robert Duvall as Major Frank Burns is a sight not to be missed.
You KNOW I love a good 1940's musical. I can NOT resist them! Betty Grable in Pin Up Girl is just too much for me to handle. She is absolutely adorable in this musical comedy romp. Her imagination is much more vivid than her real life but it does lead her to a true love who happens to be a naval hero. Will she get the guy and the USO? You have to watch to find out.
One thing I love about military movies in the 1940's is that they were supportive and knew of the sacrifices that everyone was making. At the end of most movies during the 40's, they reminded us to buy war bonds at the concession stand, and they told us that, "we know you're suffering for freedom, but let us entertain you". One movie that celebrates (in it's own way) the women of the war is Rosie the Riveter. During the war, Rosie and her friend Vera have to share the last room with a slightly dysfunctional family. Although the movie doesn't spend a lot of time on the importance of Rosie and her fellow workers' role in the war, it does allow us to see the history of what women went through. Jane Frazee is wonderful and the musical numbers are catchy. Plus, how can you be upset at a movie that has a Conga line in it.
Again, I want to thank the men and women who have given their life for their country. Their sacrifice of the one thing so precious should be honored. We should learn from our history and hope that there is more peace than war, more laughter than heartache and more love than hate.