And who wouldn't take pride in the great genius of Hollywood, watching the heart-warming cinematic exploits From The Halls of Montezuma, or Mister Roberts ? Or take satisfaction in watching the action of Battle Cry, The Fighting 69th.,Night Train To Munic, Pork Chop Hill, Tora Tora Tora, Sands of Iwo Jima, Air Force, 633 Squadron, Battleground, The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far, The Enemy Below, Twelve O'Clock High, From Here To Eternity, Battle of the Bulge, In Harm's Way, Von Ryan's Express, Sink the Bismark, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Here To Eternity, The Desert Rats or They Died With Their Boots On ? Only a lunatic, a Liberal or a Progressive would dare question America's greatness after watching such great films as these.
The reasons for our superiority can be readily observed watching the role models of our greatest generation. Clark Gable, John Wayne, Van Johnson, Steve McQueen, Telly Savalas, Lee Marvin, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, Clint Eastwood, Charlton Heston, George Peppard, Walter Pidgeon, James Mason, Ursula Andress and Sophia Loren all showed us why we are the greatest country on the planet. Against the greatest evils threatening the American way of life, they all fought bravely to dispel the threat of a communist takeover to end democracy, limit freedoms and condemn the future generations into a world of servitude and feudalism. We thank them for their generous leadership, for their patriotism and for their selfless engagement to battle under unbelievable odds set against their success. American heroes' all, and there are undoubtedly, many more which deserve out gratitude.
Yes, Hollywood has been the world's greatest official resource for documenting America's rise to greatness; against overwhelming odds and treacherous adversaries, our rise to becoming the world's only superpower has been recorded in detail. Sure, there have been other nations with a multitude of cinematic efforts to establish their country's greatness; Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union made hundreds of movies during WWII, but they were all propaganda; made to sway the hearts and minds of their own people to fight against the values of an encroaching Western society.
There is however, one major flaw in this story and that is the flaw of illusion. Movies in Hollywood are made to make money, they are not made as factual documentation. Michael Moore and others make documentaries at small independent studios located anywhere but Hollywood.
The illusion which built Hollywood into such a mammoth perpetrator of America's greatness is "the suspension of disbelief." Movies need to string a story which excites the audience in some way. Either they must indulge the viewers curiosity with intellectual stimulation, as in a good mystery or drama, or they must engage their emotions. Love, hate, fear, fantasy, surprise, justice and patriotism are major themes to box-office successes.
Hollywood greatest era of growth and prosperity was fueled by stories about war. Stories were written based upon a grain of truth, and rapidly disseminated into the Hollywood template to entertain and make money. But Hollywood was not alone in swaying public opinion during WWII. Often movies were made in cooperation (direction and oversight) with the War Department. How could a group of film makers make movies aboard an aircraft carrier, or from the cockpit of a fighter-plane dropping tons of bombs upon Germany if the War Department didn't assist ? They could not. In fact, there were several movie directors, such as John Ford, who were commissioned by the War Department to make war movies. Not only did the department allow Ford to film aboard navy vessels, they actually presented him with initial scripts for the films.
There are over 600 World Word II movies posted on the Internet. How many of these were made with the assistance of the military ? Probably most of them, for when it comes to dramatic scenes of exploding bombs, sinking ships, invading beachheads, fighting battles with tanks and fighter planes, not very many of the studios in Hollywood, if any, would spend the kind of money necessary to stage these events; their accountants would scream !!!
While this weekend may be a grand festival of war movies, it is only a small part of the efforts of war-hawks to sway the minds of Americans. We will see the war-movie marathons again around the 4th of July and again over the Labor Day weekend. The Neo-Cons and Tea Party followers will insist that war movies are factual accounts, but their insistence is a suspension of disbelief. That is part of the illusion. Another part is that every patriotic American should live to fight the evil which lurks off our shores.
Hollywood has been uniquely successful as to change our society into a war-loving culture. If I dare to suggest that it is based upon propaganda, I would be tried for treason, or thought of as a terrorist and held indefinitely without trial. So,with God As My Co-pilot, I won't suggest that.
Where is my television remote ? I think there must be a Threes Company marathon on some channel or another......