Was General MacArthur an "egomaniac," as others reviewers have noted? Of course he was, but few Americans in history had better cause to have such an high opinion of themselves. Not only was MacArthur astonishingly brilliant (he graduated first in his West Point class), he was handsome, erudite, reached the apex of his profession with his fifth star, and he a military genius. It would be difficult to be humble having such an array of stunning attributes. Few have possessed such an astonishingly rich résumé.
This biography was produced 20 years ago and narrated by John Huston, who is craggy, crabby and unintentionally humorous in his comments. We see footage of various places MacArthur knew, from the military forts of his childhood, West Point, Manila, all the way to his last days at his improbable residence, the Waldorf Astoria. There are a multitude of interviews with people in MacArthur's orbit, from his military aide in the Philippines do his aide in Korea. The historians they include are all interesting, and Manchester is especially intriguing.
There is an abundance of material on MacArthur's private life, including his bizarre first marriage to a flapper and his stable second marriage to his devoted Jean. MacArthur's Eurasian mistress is not forgotten either, and the documentary quotes from his sappy, Victorian love letters to her. Very interesting stuff! Finally, they include the fact that his only son, Arthur MacArthur, changed his name and now lives anonymously in NYC as a saxophone player. This is a highly entertaining documentary, though dated. Recommended.