Monday, May 27, 2019

Humor in War Movies Essay

There is much than one elan to get a point across in the moving-picture shows. Movies establish on actual events, movies made using actual facts plainly not always rough true events, documentary films and those films that employment humor or sarcasm to get their point across. I think the three films that I chose fall into the last category. The first film (released in 1953) is Stalag 17, a film about American prisoners of war creation held in a German prison camp. This film seems to keep up the typical war movie theme, group unity for a ordinary cause and no single hero.The movie stars William Holden who as Sergeant Sefton, a wheeler-dealer who doesnt hesitate to trade with the guards and who has acquired goods and privileges that no other prisoner seems to have is imp each(prenominal) of creation a German spy by his companion prisoners. The Germans always seem to be forewarned about escapes and in the closely recent blast the two men, Manfredi and Johnson, walked st raight into a trap and were killed. For some in Barracks 4, especially the loud-mouthed Duke, the leaker is obvious. An officer is passing though on the way to another camp, tells of how he sabotaged an ammo train by luck using matches.The Germans find out and now he has to hide so he can escape to avoid being shot. The handler Billy Wilder created a popular film loaded with subversive subtexts, his signature cynicism and humor (although its some eras a feeble flak at humor it is humor just the same). WW II wasnt even a decade old yet and maybe it wasnt the right time to make a movie depicting the conditions of the German prisoner camps in such a realistic manner, but there seem to be a goldmine of possibilities within that setting for the directing genius of Wilder.By todays standards it may be difficult to appreciate Stalag 17 as a classic film due to the TV show Hogans Heroes that it inspired. Wilders directing style, wit and perception are lost in the interpretation, but th e films humor still remains. Another reason for lack of appreciation the basics of the Stalag 17s plot have become the staple in ground of wartime incarceration and general prison-break films. Still, it is interesting to see the matter-of-fact style in an escape film.Most focus on the details of the laborate plan, but Stalag 17 follows the most practical route make a run for the fence while the guards are diverted which, when you think about it, is a more than likely scenario in like manner how easy do you think it is to lay your hands on a pair of wire cutters in a prison camp. Broadly played, the humor, serves as a good method for getting away with the more subtle subversive aspects of the film. As Wilder once was quoted that if one was going to tell the truth, be anomalous or theyll kill you. There is a long musical scene as one of the POWs sings while the rest celebrate Christmas by dancing with each other.The men are nice and toasted after having raided Seftons booze and A nimal is desperately pining over Betty Gr able. When Shapiro stuffs yellow straw under a bonnet as a gag, Animal thinks his dream girl has come to behavior and starts to dance and come on to Shapiro as he thinks Shapiro is Betty Grable. You cant say that Sgt. Sefton is the hero of the movie, even Holden sited the unlikeability of the character, but his vicious, sharp and charismatic demeanor was enough for you to forgive him and root for him anyway.Holdens character doesnt change his wheel and dealing ways at the end of the movie and one of his fellow prisoners remarks as Sefton is escaping Maybe he just pauperismed to buy our wire cutters. You perpetually think of that? Wilder had little use for such sentimentality and it is reflected in Stalag 17 because its an examination of the benignant condition not a honorable tale. Such a cynical perspective in the depiction of actual combat would have to wait another twenty years and the dismal result of two unpleasant wars to have the American audience fully ready for it.While a number of novels about World War II were able to capture such themes, Wilder was a boss of his time. Film critic Richard Corliss once suggested that, Wilder may have been less a cynic than a immature realist. Stalag 17s dramatic scenes seem to hold up ofttimes better than the comedic scenes, considering many of people in the original audience had fought in the WWII and that American POWs were then being held in the current military conflict going on in Korea.It seems that the extensive comic segments might have been a employ to defuse scenes that would have hit home more then than it would now. Back then I dont think that many Americans audiences would have been will to sit through an insistently grim POW drama. The bit about the soldier, his wife, and the baby on the doorstep must have made a hardly a(prenominal) people in the audience in truth uneasy. Its important to remember that this film was made and released in the early 1950s. It is no mistake that the real blabber to American values was the head of earnest Price.At the time of the films release the congressional members of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was busy protecting American security by depriving citizens of their right to be different in very much the same ways as those depicted in the film. Like Sefton, however, Wilder is no hero. It can be argue that this is very much the films real message, Wilder cleverly hides it under enough comedy and plot that he runs no risk of offending Sen. McCarthys communist hunters. The next film Mister Roberts released in 1955 is about life on a Navy supply enter the Reluctant dubbed the Bucket by its crew.The Reluctant is commanded by an oppressive Captain Morton, who takes sadistic pleasure in undermining the crews morale. Lt. Doug Roberts (aka Mister Roberts) intervenes on the crews behalf as much as possible and watching him butt heads with the captain seems to lift the crews spirit s while providing most their entertainment. This film doesnt seem to follow the war movie theme. The main character Mister Roberts seems to be out for himself, with the war drawing to an end he wants to see some action.His weekly requests to be transferred are always turned down by Capt. Morton, who according to Roberts is using Roberts to promote himself. The fact that the crew is not happy with their situation is secondary to Roberts problem. One of the more sympathetic and insightful films from the 1950s to deal with World War II was Mister Roberts. It was an indication of the infinite the public as well as filmmakers had come from the war. This distance would allow for a more sophisticated and dramatic treatment of the conflict and the people involved.Of all the films during this time that also reflect the new maturity, Mister Roberts was the most undefeated of them all, though getting it made properly took real work. Director John Ford was perfect for the project he retired from the reserves as a butt end admiral. Ford may have been too close to and slightly too old to do justice to the script to this subject, also he was up against the competing reputation of star Henry Fonda. Fonda had scored a huge hit with the Broadway version of Mister Roberts and he had given up any hope of ever doing the movie version since he hadnt been on-screen in eight years.Ford insisted on Fonda to star as a condition to directing the film, but the two were at odds from the ancestor over the production, mostly over the directors tendency to inject rough-house comedy into his movies. Ford utilise such an approach to breathe life into some of his other movies like Fort Apache. However, Mister Roberts was a character-driven film with very little real action and Fonda thought the Fords emphasis on laughs would destroy the fairness of the material. Fords demanding dictatorial directing style combined with his excessive drinking created tension between the two.Ford left the production, he was replaced by director Mervyn LeRoy who basically asked the cast to use their best judgment and make the genial of movie Ford wouldve made. The result is a finely textured character line of business that captured the best dramatic moments of the play. Some of the comical scenes in the movie were when the sailors discover that they can have a clear view of the nurses shower room in a hospital on the nearby coast by looking through binoculars. This provides them with their first release from drudgery in over a year.The posts morale officer, young Ensign Pulver, is also aware of the nurses and finagles a trip to the hospital to pick up aspirin for Doc. While there, he convinces head nurse, Lt. Ann Girard, to come to the ship later by promising to share a bottle of scotch with her. Back on board, Pulver is distressed to learn that Roberts, the owner of the scotch, has used it to bribe an official to send the Reluctant to a liberty port. Roberts and Doc mix up simula ted scotch, called jungle juice, from alcohol, Coca-Cola, iodine and hair tonic for Pulver to use in place of the scotch.When the nurses appear, Pulver, With Roberts permission, pretends to be the ships cargo officer and shows them around. The nurses, who are undeceived by his pretensions, discover the sailors view of their quarters and leave at one time to hang curtains. Another humorous point happens during a night onshore, the men unleash all their pent-up energy, they crash an Army dance, fight with soldiers, terrorize women, steal an admirals goat and mistake the French Colonial governors mansion for a bordello. Roberts hopes the night will give them strength for the miserable, without end days ahead of them.The next day, the ship is banished from the port. Mister Roberts also made two appearances as a TV series, once in 1965 and again in 1984. As far as public was concerned enough time had passed that most Americans were able to laugh at some of the kookier aspects about mil itary life and Hollywood provided just the right amount of seriousness and irreverence with this 1955 hit. The third film I chose is M*A*S*H released in 1970. The movie is about a mobile army surgical hospital set in the Korean War conflict (1950-1953). This movie breaks from the traditional war theme movies.It not about any one person at any given time but its not about the unit as a whole either. The plot in M*A*S*H is not defined instead the unusual characters are involved in a sequence of darkly comic episodes. M*A*S*H is a black comedy about life in a alert Army Surgical Hospital unit located only three miles from the front lines. The mission of any MASH unit is to provide immediate checkup treatment to those wounded in combat, and the young surgeons are always up to their elbows in blood and guts for long periods of time.When theyre off duty, the MASH unit personnel keep their sanity by pursuing a wacky, irreverent lifestyle that leads to some hilarious adventures. Some of t he hilarious scenes in the movie are they sneak a microphone under the bed of Major Hot Lips Houlihan, and broadcast her lovemaking to the entire camp, a tent that is pulled away from the showering Major Houlihan an attempt to settle a bet about her being a natural blonde, they drug a general and photograph him in a brothel, a eventually Supper parody where a man whose impotency has made him despondent is duped into a faux suicide and a rather lengthy football game sequence.The way they present humor in M*A*S*H, is almost metaphysically cruel, there is something about war that inspires practical jokes and the heroes (if you can call them heroes (Donald Sutherland (Hawkeye), Elliot Gould (Trapper John) and fellow camp members) are inspired and utterly heartless. We laugh because it is so true to the sadist in all of us. There is perhaps nothing so wonderful as achieving sweet mental revenge against someone we hate with particular enthusiasm. And it is the flat-out, poker-faced hatre d in M*A*S*H that makes it work.Most comedies want us to laugh at things that arent really funny in this one we laugh because theyre not funny. We laugh, so that we do not cry. This movie depends upon timing and tone to be funny. Hawkeye, Trapper John and the members of their merry band of pranksters are offended because the Army regulars Major Burns and Houlihan who dont feel late enough. They are only concern is with Army protocol and not with war. Hawkeye and Trapper John dancing on the brink of crack-ups, dedicate themselves to making them feel something.Their facade offends them no one could be that unaffected by the work of this hospital. And so if they can crack their defenses and reduce them to their own level of dedicated cynicism, the number of suffering human beings in the camp will go up by two. Even if they fail, they have a hell of a lot of fun trying and of course, its a distraction to the war. Although the movie is set in Korean War, no one seeing M*A*S*H in 1970 s plit the film for anything but a sarcastic comment on the Vietnam War.This is one of the counterculture movies that exploded into the mainstream at the end of the 60s. Altman wanted his 1970 audience to think in name of Vietnam, where another unpopular war was still in progress. Altmans style of cruel humor, overlapping dialogue, and densely textured visuals brought the material to life in an all-new kind of war movie (or, more precisely, antiwar movie). Audiences had never seen anything like it vaudeville routines played against spurting blood, fueled with open ridicule of authority.The films huge advantage spawned the long-running TV series, a considerably softer take on the material. The concept of war comes in three parts, the training, the actual combat and the repair of the casualties of the combat. Each part has its critics and its supporters, both championing for their side. Not seen in the earlier combat films was the concept of why we fought. Those wars before the Korean War were world wars with many countries involved being fought in many different countries.The Korean War and all those that followed up to the present were mostly two sided with the Americans at the spearhead of each. Yes, the United Nation forces were involved in many of these wars, but it was the Americans leading the way. After such a history, Americans could very well sustain their unity against the Axis Powers during WW II, but they could not promptly accept a limited war such as the Korean War, in which negotiations with the enemy to bargain for objectives far short of his destruction accompanied the very fighting of the war.Dissents against the Korean War also were encouraged by an uneasy political atmosphere troubling the United States in 1950. WW II had produced not a satisfactory peace but an ongoing Cold War with communism led by the Soviet Union, to which the United States held out the prospect of no more triumphant but an outcome of containment. Such a change in the w ays of war was perceived by Americans were truly visible in a lot of modern day war films.Referencehttp//

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