Veterans Day - 11/11
For this year's Veterans Day, the national holiday set aside to honor our brave servicemen and women, TCM has again invited veterans of the United States Armed Forces to introduce and discuss a favorite film.
Lynelle White, a native of Long Island, New York, served in the Air Force during the Bosnian War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lynelle is sourced through Veterans in Film and Television. Her film choice is A Raisin in the Sun (1961), a film version of Lorraine Hansberry's play about a Chicago family in search of a better life. The stars are Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil and Ruby Dee, who won the National Board of Review's award as Best Supporting Actress.
John Pruitt, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, served in the Coast Guard during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. John is sourced through Veterans in Film and Television. His chosen movie is Breaking Away (1979), a comedy-drama about the coming of age of four recent high-school graduates (Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earle Haley) in Bloomington, Indiana. Steve Tesich won an Oscar for his original screenplay and the film was nominated in four other categories including Best Picture.
Dan Deitz, who was born in Alaska and grew up in Oregon, served in Vietnam with the Army Special Forces. Dan is sourced by Paul Henderson, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel who participated in last year's Veterans Day discussions on TCM. Dan chooses The Guns of Navarone (1961), a World War II adventure based on Alistair MacLean's novel about the Battle of Leros in the Aegean Sea in 1943. The story focuses on the efforts of an Allied commando unit to destroy a German fortress, and the cast is headed by Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn.
Sean Adams, who hails from Gainesville, Georgia, served in the Marines during Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan. Sean is sourced through the Gary Sinise Foundation. He selects The Longest Day (1962), a World War II epic produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and based on Cornelius Ryan's book about the D-Day Landings at Normandy, France in 1944. The all-star cast includes John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton and Sean Connery.
James Taku Leung was born in Hong Kong but moved to New York City with his family when he was one-year-old. James served in the Marines in Okinawa, Japan and is sourced through Veterans in Film and Television. He chose The D.I. (1957), a military drama starring Jack Webb as a Marine drill instructor at South Carolina's Parris Island. Don Dubbins plays a young private with a tendency to cave under the pressure of training.
Brenda Garcia grew up California and served in the Navy in Washington, D.C. Brenda is sourced through Veterans in Film and Television. Her pick is Man of La Mancha (1972), a film version of the Broadway musical and its source, the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Peter O'Toole plays the title role, and costarring are Sophia Loren as Dulcinea/Aldonza and James Coco as Sancho Panza.
by Roger Fristoe