24-Hour Memorial Day Tribute - 5/27
On the day set aside to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces, join us as we celebrate Memorial Day with a 24-hour parade of films with settings ranging from the American Civil War to America's intervention in the Korean War. Here's the lineup:
The Civil War is represented by The Red Badge of Courage (1951), a John Huston film in which Audie Murphy plays a Union soldier whose courage is tested when he goes into battle for the first time. In Glory (1989), Matthew Broderick stars as Robert Shaw, the Union colonel in charge of the Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, with Denzel Washington as a proud and defiant ex-slave soldier and Morgan Freeman as the company's sergeant. William Wyler's Friendly Persuasion (1956) concerns a family of Indiana Quakers whose faith is tested by the turmoil of the Civil War.
World War I is the background of The Big Parade (1925), an influential silent drama directed by King Vidor, with John Gilbert and Renée Adorée as young lovers forced to endure wartime hardships.
World War II films include The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944), a documentary from William Wyler that depicts one of the final missions of an Army Air Force bomber crew in 1943. Fred Zinnemann's From Here to Eternity (1953) has a brilliant all-star cast interpreting the James Jones novel about U.S. soldiers based at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack of 1941. Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr stars.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is David Lean's Oscar-winning epic about a British colonel (Alec Guinness) who becomes obsessed with the construction of a railway bridge for his captors at a WWII Japanese P.O.W. camp in Burma. The Young Lions (1958), based on the novel by Irwin Shaw, is a character study involving both U.S. soldiers (Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin) and a confused Nazi officer (Marlon Brando). King Rat (1965) stars George Segal as an American soldier who runs a black-market operation in a WWII Japanese prison camp.
The Korean War forms the setting for Samuel Fuller's The Steel Helmet (1951), the first film about that conflict, with Gene Evans starring as part of a ragtag group of American soldiers trapped behind enemy lines in an abandoned Buddhist temple. Also set in Korea is Men in War (1957), which has Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray as leaders of a platoon of Americans desperately trying to rejoin their division after being cut off by the enemy.