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In Harm’s Way

Posted on Jun 11, 2013 by in Otto Preminger, War |


I’ve been on a classic war movie kick of late…they’re just one of my guilty pleasures.  Even when they’re flag waving, chest thumping odes to a nationalistic fantasy, they still strike a chord installed in my childhood.  Hell is for Heroes, Year of the Dragon, Across the Pacific, Force 10 from Navarone, The Good Sheppard, The Desert Rats, Twelve O’Clock High.  I think I loosely remembered that Preminger did this, but just threw it into the queue expecting the same fare.

So when In Harm’s Way began, I expected that it would be another vehicle for John Wayne’s bravery, John Wayne the indestructible, John Wayne the smooth ladies man.  I expected charming and handsome Kirk Douglass to save the day, to act the honorable hero, to be above reproach.  I expected Patricia Neal to be the swooning and sassy nurse love interest.  I expected the military to be populated by men with integrity and poise, to be singularly focused on wining the war.

What Preminger brings, of course, is exactly not that.