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Another wartime movie, this film takes place at a base in Hawaii in the months leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It won a ridiculous number of academy awards, but perhaps I'm missing the historical context, but I did not find it fantastic. It was good, as all these films are, but I don't see Oscarity in it so much.

It mostly follows a Private Prewitt who has transferred to these barracks, his cruel treatment by his commanding officer and others for refusing to join the unit's boxing team (he had blinded someone in a match before and wants nothing to do with the sport), and his commander's wife's affair with the first sergeant.

There are several intertwining subplots, romantic and dramatic: Prew falling in love with a hostess at a local club, his best friend picking the wrong enemies, and the wife's and sergeant's subterfuge (with apparently one of the most famous romantic scenes of the 50s, and finally the bombing of Pearl Harbour. The stories are generally compelling and believable, and come across as very human.

Like many war movies, the end is not happy. I'm in desperate need of some happy films... Still, a good film, but not as incredible as 8 oscars would indicate.

Funny thing about movie trailers from this period: almost everyone says something like "The greatest film of our time! Perhaps one of the best of all time! To be remembered and talked about for years and years to come!". And many of them I'd never heard about since I embarked on this project. They can't alll be the greatest film.

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October 2011

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