Memorial Day

These 20, alongside hundreds of others, redefine what it means to be a movie veteran.

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As pointed out by my favorite airman, Memorial Day is exclusively a day to remember those that died during service, but it’s almost impossible to honor their memory without being acutely aware of those that survived and those that continue to survive and fight. The Story of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is a documentary about one last mission for the surviving veterans of WWII. With some impressive camera work and what will most likely be invaluable interviews with those that fought in the last Great War, this trailer might lead to a few tears or pride and poignancy. The main goal might be to bring as many WWII vets to the war memorial in DC, but the end result appears to be something much greater than that. Just in time for Memorial Day, check out this trailer for yourself:

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Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. The persistent question in To Be or Not To Be is this: what use is a clown during wartime? There might not be a definitive answer, but Ernst Lubitsch‘s most dramatic work (by default) is a comedy that has to be taken seriously. It’s also startling proof that it’s harder to laugh when you’re standing too close to the fire. It’s only in stepping back that you can feel the warmth without getting hurt. That was the case when this comedy about Hitler and Hamlet premiered right smack dab in the middle of Word War II.

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Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. Every February, I use this column to explore some Best Picture nominees that didn’t win. In fact, it’s a rare thing that we look at Oscar winners (often times they take care of their own publicity), but few are as fascinating as The Best Years of Our Lives. After a brief period of Hoorah American jingoism that shoved WWII through a processor with the violence turned down to something civilians could swallow in pill form (which either meant comedy or straight-ahead action), Best Years marked an attempt at telling the story of men returning from war to find that life had changed and so had they. It’s an honest look at what shocking violence can do (that doesn’t need to shock with violence), and it brought heroes back to a home front that simply re-framed the type of war they were fighting.

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These Walls are Furry

You wouldn’t know it if you aren’t a top-ranking member of the FSR staff, but it’s been a busy week around here.

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We’re celebrating all week with war films. Today we learn how the actions of one man can affect an entire nation.

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We’re celebrating with war movies all week long. Today we learn the true meaning of teamwork when a mission doesn’t go as planned.

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We’re celebrating all week with war movies. Today we learn what happens when a band of misfits has to blow up a pair of giant guns or see 2,000 men get killed.

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We’re spending all week celebrating war movies. Today we learn what happens when a group of men who have been marginalized by their country fight for it.

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We’re spending all week celebrating war movies. Today, we look at an early work from a master film maker, one of Stanley Kubrick’s lesser known films that shows World War I from view from the trenches as well as the courtroom.

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We’re spending all week celebrating war movies. Today we revel in the story of three men from very different backgrounds, all confronting the realities of the early days of Hitler’s rise to power.

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We’re spending all week celebrating war movies. First up, we learn that sometimes it doesn’t matter if the purpose of an American holiday is better captured by the cinema of another country. In the case of Ballad of a Soldier you’d be hard-pressed to find another story to exemplify why we honor those that serve and, unfortunately, don’t make it home.

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