Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

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Zumpano
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Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#1 Post by Zumpano » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:07 pm

Did anyone else catch the TCM Premiere of this film during their Korean War Movie Marathon this past week? I was absolutely blown away by the film, the score (Elmer Bernstein), camerawork, and the way it depicted soldiers' psyche of being "in war" on the battlefield (several characters are depicted as "sick"; clearly battle-scarred and psychologically messed up).

It reminded me a lot of "The Steel Helmet"; a tough look at warfare and how it affects the men involved. War is brutal in this film, and is portrayed as such. There are a lot of interesting camera movements/moments, pretty good acting all around, and at the end: Aldo Ray
SpoilerShow
wields a flame thrower to take out some remaining Koreans, which is pretty awesome.
Did anyone else see this? And can you guys recommend some more films like this?

(PS. Mann's birthday is Wednesday and TCM is showing more of his flicks then)

broadwayrock
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#2 Post by broadwayrock » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:11 pm

Men In War was one of Mann's favourite films he made (along with El Cid, Winchester '73 and God's Little Acre)

Samuel Fuller's Fixed Bayonets! and Lewis Milestone's A Walk in the Sun are some films are in the same vein.

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zedz
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#3 Post by zedz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:07 pm

It's a masterpiece. Mann's 50s output is of an astonishingly high standard, even once you get away from the iconic westerns, but this is one of his best. As far as I know, there are no DVD editions of the film that rise above wretched, but I'd be absolutely delighted to be proven wrong.

I haven't seen the Milestone, but Fuller's war films are the only comparable American movies I can think of off the top of my head, though if you're looking for a similar lack of sentimentality you could do worse than Ichikawa's Fires on the Plain or Masumura's hair-raising Red Angel. I also like Walsh's Objective Burma quite a bit, but it's a much more traditional war film, and (morally) a lot less complicated.

EDIT: Oh, I completely forgot about the contemporary equivalent: Generation Kill. We're not likely to see a better war movie this generation.

Props55
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#4 Post by Props55 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:58 pm

Check out Don Siegal's HELL IS FOR HEROES. Steve McQueen is a stone cold killer who cracks up when he's taken off the front line. Outstanding ensemble work from Harry Guardino, Fess Parker, Mike Kellin, Bobby Darin, James Coburn, Nick Adams and Bob Newhart(!). Don't blink or you'll miss L. Q. Jones in 1/4 profile dolly shot. Incredible little movie with a shattering finale. IMHO it's right up there with the Fullers, MEN IN WAR, DeToth's PLAY DIRTY and about 2 or 3 other small scale war films that rarely get covered.

Here's another: Denis Sanders' WAR HUNT with Robert Redford and John Saxon competing for the heart and mind of a Korean war ophan. With Sidney Pollack before he turned director. Don't know if this ever made it to DVD though.

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Finch
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#5 Post by Finch » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:05 pm

Re Men in War on DVD: Beaver says the French Wild Side disc is pretty good

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReview ... review.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The DVD is available here (no English-friendly interface but still straightforward to navigate with one's basic French):

http://video.fnac.com/a2530052/Cote-465 ... n=-1&Ra=-3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

mattkc
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#6 Post by mattkc » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:22 am

This really is a stunner... zedz, have you taken a look at the Geneon release? Originally part of this set. It's very good.

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zedz
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#7 Post by zedz » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:57 pm

mattkc wrote:This really is a stunner... zedz, have you taken a look at the Geneon release? Originally part of this set. It's very good.
That's the one I've got, which I thought was weak (but the quality of the film more than compensated).

mattkc
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#8 Post by mattkc » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:24 pm

Ah. Calling it "very good" is certainly being generous. It's gray, and that's a big deal for b&w Mann. For anyone curious, the image quality is the same as the Wild Side release that Finch linked to.

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swo17
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#9 Post by swo17 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:37 pm

mattkc wrote:For anyone curious, the image quality [of the Geneon release] is the same as the Wild Side release that Finch linked to.
I have the Geneon release, which seems like a definite step up PQ-wise from the old OOP release from EMG (though it could still be improved upon). However, the audio quality is still really lacking, reducing Bernstein's fantastic score to a tinny mess. Can anyone with the Wild Side release speak to the audio quality on that one? Or are the two just ports of each other?

shaky
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Re: Men In War (Anthony Mann, 1957)

#10 Post by shaky » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:48 am

In what aspect ratio should I see this film? I'm assuming Mann and his cameramen framed in 1.33 knowing it'd often be presented in widescreen ratios. Dan Sallitt tells me he's always thought of it as 1.33. Glenn Erikson says this:

"On old TV showings the un-matted image with its empty space reduced the sense of threat against the patrol. In one scene an enemy soldier crawls through some grass, and in un-matted versions we very clearly saw that they created the effect by pulling some kind of a sack with a string. I can't think of any better proof that matted widescreen movies need to be presented in their original theatrical ratios."

I would love to know what you all think!

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