I have a movie decision to make so I thought I’d ask my readers. At the library where I work, I’m planning several events leading up to Veterans Day (November 11) culminating in a Veterans Day movie. We can choose most movies from Movie Licensing USA and there are several good ones in that database. (Unfortunately my top choice, The Best Years of Our Lives, is not on that list.)
I’ve narrowed my choices down to two: Battleground (1949) and They Were Expendable (1945). I like them both, I think they would both be good films to show to honor our veterans, but I’m really having trouble deciding which one to screen. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Robert Mitchum: “Baby, I Don’t Care” – Lee Server
St. Martin’s Griffin, originally published in 2001
paperback, 608 pages
When Robert Mitchum walked onto a movie set, you never knew what was going to happen. He might develop an affable relationship with his director (as he did with Raoul Walsh in Pursued) or he might not (as with David Lean in Ryan’s Daughter). When Joseph von Sternberg banned food and drink on the set of Macao, Mitchum “began bringing in bags of food and coffee, and handing them out to one and all.” (p. 218) He also urinated on David O. Selznick’s carpet.
Here we go, wrapping up May 2017, which ended with a total of 33 movies. You can catch up on what happened in Parts I, II and III.
Vision Quest (1985)
Directed by Harold Becker
Produced by Joh Peters, Peter Guber
Screenplay by Darryl Ponicsan
Based on the novel Vision Quest by Terry Davis
Cinematography by Owen Roizman
Music by Tangerine Dream
Warner Bros. DVD (1:47)
I first saw Vision Quest shortly after it appeared on cable TV, probably in late 1985 or early 1986. The film resonated with me for several reasons, primarily because I believed I was on my own vision quest. It was my first year of teaching and I found my own drive mirrored in Louden Swain’s quest to defeat the toughest wrestler in the state. I wanted not only to be a great teacher, a great band director, but I wanted to be great early in my career, so great that people would think I’d been teaching somewhere else for years. In my mind, Vision Quest was nothing short of a call to action. How did that turn out for me? Keep reading.