Combat Films

American Realism, 1945–2010, 2d ed.

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About the Book

This critical text offers a behind-the-scenes look at fifteen of the most important American war films of the last 60 years. Based on original interviews and archival research and featuring rare photographs, this book covers films considered unusually realistic for the genre. The original edition (1981) covered war films through World War II, while the present, expanded edition includes seven new chapters covering the Civil War, the American gunboat presence in China in the 1920s, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the fighting in Mogadishu in 1993 and the war in Iraq.

About the Author(s)

Steven Jay Rubin, the author of several books about film, is a motion picture producer based in Los Angeles.

Bibliographic Details

Steven Jay Rubin
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 121 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5892-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8613-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Introduction      1

SECTION I : FILMING HISTORY, NOT HEROICS      5
1. A Walk in the Sun (20th Century–Fox, 1946)      7
2. Battleground (MGM, 1949)      20
3. Twelve O’Clock High (20th Century–Fox, 1949)      34
4. The Bridge on the River Kwai (Columbia Pictures, 1957)      49

SECTION II : THE THIN RED LINE      69
5. Pork Chop Hill (United Artists, 1959)      72
6. The Longest Day (20th Century–Fox, 1962)      89
7. Hell Is for Heroes (Paramount Pictures, 1962)      111
8. The Great Escape (United Artists, 1963)      123

SECTION III : THE NEW HEROES      149
9. The Sand Pebbles (20th Century–Fox, 1966)      153
10. Patton (20th Century–Fox, 1970)      171
11. Platoon (Orion Pictures, 1986)      183
12. Gettysburg (New Line Cinema, 1993)      201

SECTION IV : WAR FILMS IN THE 21ST CENTURY      221
13. Saving Private Ryan (Paramount Pictures, 1998)      224
14. Black Hawk Down (Sony Pictures, 2001)      246
15. The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment, 2009)      264

Chapter Notes      279
Bibliography      287
Index      291

Book Reviews & Awards

“thoroughly researched and engagingly told tales offer sufficient evaluation of the movies’ importance to intrigue fans as they read about their favorite mud-slogging heroes”—Booklist; “an absorbing book”—Classic Images; “nicely written…fans of World War II cinema will want this volume”—Big Reel; “an insightful study”—Photoplay; “fascinating stuff”—West Coast Review of Books; “the selection of films is excellent”—L.A. Times; “expertly put together…a useful addition”—Screen International; “an insightful study”—Cinema Canada; “focuses insightfully on eight war films and their makers”—American Cinematographer.