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WAR FILMS, MILITARY MOVIES, AND THE LAW

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Last updated 09/28/04

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since July 10, 2001

Treason

The little known film Time Limit (1957) features a story about a Korean POW accused of aiding the enemy. Richard Basehart is the officer and Richard Widmark the American interrogator who slowly becomes convinced something is desperately wrong with Basehart=s confession. I Accuse! (1958) based on Emile Zola=s famous defense of Alfred Dreyfus, analyzes both anti-Semitism in France and the failures of military justice. The much later Prisoner of Honor (1991) allows Richard Dreyfuss to showcase his talent as an anti-Semitic but honest prosecutor who comes to doubt the case against Dreyfus. The image of Alfred Dreyfus in popular culture is an interesting and provocative one.

Anti-war activism

Born on the Fourth of July features the true story of Ron Kovic, paralyzed during a tour of duty in Vietnam, who actively works for peace during the 1970s.

War crimes

Obvious Awar crimes@ movies include Judgment at Nuremburg (1958), the prototypical courtroom drama about the responsibility of individuals in the face of government and societal evil, and The Andersonville Trial (TVM 1970), based on the Saul Levitt play about the only Confederate officer executed for war crimes after the Civil War.

For more materials in this area see Law, Politics and Popular Culture (this website). 

 




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