Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi

Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi : How Hollywood Turns Military Defeats into Moral Victories

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Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi examines how filmmakers teach Americans about the country's military past. Examining twenty-three representative war films and locating them in their cultural and military landscape, the authors argue that Hollywood's view of American military history has evolved in two phases. The first phase, extending from the very beginnings of filmmaking to the Korean War, projected an essential patriotic triumphalism. The second phase, from the Korean and Vietnam Wars to the present, reflects a retreat from consensus and reflexive patriotism. In describing these phases, the authors address recurring themes such as the experience of war and combat, the image of the American war hero, race, gender, national myths, and more. With helpful film commentaries that extend the discussion through popular movie narratives, this book is essential for anyone interested in American military and film more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12.7mm | 226g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 10 black & white halftones
  • 1138819565
  • 9781138819566

About Frank Wetta

Frank J. Wetta is Lecturer, Department of History and Senior Fellow, Center for History, Politics, and Policy, Kean University. He is co-author of The Long Reconstruction: The Post-Civil War South in History, Film, and Memory (2014). Martin A. Novelli teaches film and history at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia and at Kean University. He is co-author of The Long Reconstruction: The Post-Civil War South in History, Film, and Memory (2014).show more

Table of contents

Introduction: "The Very Thought of Losing" 1 "Do this Mean What I Think it Do?" John Wayne's Alamo (1960) John Lee Hancock's Alamo (2004) 2 "Are You Calling Me a Liar?" They Died With Their Boots On (1941) Little Big Man (1970) 3 Alamos of the Pacific Wake Island (1942) Bataan (1943) Back to Bataan (1945) They Were Expendable (1945) Letters From Iwo Jima (2006) 4 "We're Supposed to be Angels of Mercy" Corregidor (March, 1943) So Proudly We Hail! (September, 1943) Cry "Havoc!" (November, 1943) 5 "The Misfortunes of My Retreat" Northwest Passage (1940) Gung Ho! The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders (1943) 6 Planes Roaring, Voices Singing Command Decision (1948) Twelve O'Clock High (1949) 7 Pork Chop Hill is in North Korea Now The Steel Helmet (1951) Pork Chop Hill (1959) 8 "Go Tell the Americans" Go Tell the Spartans (1978) We Were Soldiers (2002) 9 "Narrowing the Aperture" Black Hawk Down (2001) Lone Survivor (2014) 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016) Conclusion: "It is Here that We Lie ..." Filmography Further Reading Indexshow more