Two War Movies That Have Stood The Test of Time

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Down fall (2004)

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Hitler as a subject holds an eerie fascination for many people including film directors. This film in color recounts the last days of Hitler in his bunker and his decision not to leave. He finally shot himself and his paramour Eva Braun whom he had married just a few hours earlier consumed poison. Bruno Ganz plays the role of Hitler with a degree of conviction.

The director of the movie Oliver Hirschbiegel based his movie and screenplay on historical accounts by a number of writers including Joachim Fest, Travedl Judge and the memoirs of Albert Speer among others. This makes the presentation authentic and tallies with all known accounts of the last days of Hitler.

The movie faithfully depicts the negotiations and overtures by General Krebs to the Russians. It also shows the Dr Goebbels and his wife poisoning their 6 childresn before killing themselves as they could not countenance a life without Nazism and Hitler. After the death and suicide of Hitler the director faithfully shows the attempts by the Germans to break out from the bunker to the American lines.

The movie is engrossing and treats Hitler in clinical fashion. It is certainly a movie worth watching and keeping the DVD in your collection. Incidentally the movie made in German won the Oscar for the best foreign film in 2005.

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Flags of our Fathers

We have known Clint Eastwood as a macho cigar smoking gunslinger in umpteen films. But here he has co- produced the movie with Steven Spielberg. In addition he is also the director of the movie. It is an English war movie from the American point of view of the occupation of Iwo Jim an island close to the Japanese home land. The film recounts the American attack on the island and the culmination of 6 men (5 marines and I naval soldier) who under intense Japanese fire hoisted a flag on the highest hill on the island.

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The significance of hoisting of this flag cannot be underestimated as it was the first time that a foreign flag had been hoisted on Japanese soil in 1000 years of their history. The movie is really a tribute to the direction of Eastwood whose authentic portrayal of the landing and the flag hoisting has a gripping effect on the viewer. Starring Ryan Philippe and Jesse Bradford as the leading marines put in an authentic performance. But no praise can be enough for Clint east wood who must the credit for this movie. The movie has a sentimental touch and one realizes that war heroes are human after all. I rate this movie very highly and will recommend it to anybody who loves English war movies. People would like to remember that the famous photograph of the marines hoisting a flag is actually the US marines hoisting the flag on Iwo Jim. The narration of the movie is in a series of flashbacks and that has to be followed attentively.

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Both these movies are in a genre that is eternel and worth a look even now.

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