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Men in War, Anthony Mann (1952)

Korean War film from my favorite director of all time. A late and somewhat decadent Mann film, strange and good, but neither as strange nor as good as I’d remembered from my first viewing some years ago. Dark, relentless, and existential as Huis Clos. Even the wise and benevolent c.o. gives up and accepts his inevitable death as meaningless, and the absurdist touch of the speechless, catatonic colonel strapped to his jeep as if to his fate is effective and affecting. What’s best about the movie is its long silences, which suggest that the boredom and waiting of war may well be as terrifying as the attacks and battles.

08.30.02

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