My Week of Movie Watching

In the Year of the Pig – 1968 documentary chronicles the escalation of the American involvement in Viet Nam. Director Emile de Antonio mixes archival battle footage with interviews with politicians, journalists (like a young David Halberstam), and military figures such as Curtis LeMay and Mark Clark. It’s interesting to note that this film was released at the height of the war, and thus doesn’t have the luxury of hindsight after the fact. Pig is engrossing, and should be viewed as a historical document, as well as a cautionary tale. Recommended.

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The Scar – Lesser-known Noir from 1948 stars Paul Henreid as a career crook who has to go on the run after a botched robbery of a powerful casino owner. He ends up encountering a doctor who is his double, and assumes the other man’s identity. Noir icon Joan Bennett stars as the doctors receptionist, who ends up falling for Henreid. What I liked about this film was that Henreid’s Muller isn’t a decent man who made a wrong choice. He is portrayed as a smooth, intelligent louse who doesn’t really give any thought to going straight. The finale is memorable, and deeply ironic. Film is also known by the title Hollow Triumph. Recommended.

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