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Home of the Brave [Blu-ray]
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Home of the Brave [Blu-ray]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Blacks weren't integrated into the larger Armed Services, and only later would Harry Truman force the policy of integration down the army's throat, but of course there were individual liberals and "social conservatives" everywhere, even during the 1940s. Lloyd Bridges plays a boyhood friend of "Mossy," and he seems genuinely, even freakishly colorblind, not understanding why Moss has a problem being his friend. For him, racism doesn't exist except if individual people see it as a problem. His character, Finch, a warm volkstümlich type of guy, gets captured by the Japanese on the island and the rest of the platoon, in hiding while surveying. Were the Japanese so cruel as this movie makes them out to be? To lure the remaining men out of the underbrush, they pierce Finch with bayonets to make him scream, over and over again. No wonder Mossy suffers from post traumatic stress and loses the ability to walk again!
A kindly yet gruff psychiatrist (Jeff Corey, authoritative and hammy as Freud himself) is assigned to snap Mossy out of it and return him to society in one piece.
But how can he do that when society itself has race consciousness embedded in it?
It's the rare US film in which a contemporary poem, in this case Eve Merriam's "The Coward," is given a full and dramatic close reading that preciptates the action on the one hand, and on the other helps to characterize one of the other GIs, the gruff sergeant, Mingo (Frank Lovejoy), whose wife supposedly wrote the poem, then a Dear John letter to him.
- Only we two, and yet our howling can
Encircle the world's end.
Frightened, you are my only friend.
And frightened, we are everyone.
Someone must make a stand.
Coward, take my coward's hand.
While Edwards is ostensibly the main character, HOME OF THE BRAVE is Corey's show too, and their pas de deux in the film's last quarter has the genuine power and sweep of director Mark Robson's best work.
I would recommend this movie to everyone, just not this copy of it.