• "A Midnight Clear" is a film that reminds me of the wonderful French film, "Joyeaux Noel". However, instead of being set during WWI, this American film is set just before the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. Both occur at Christmas time...and both involve a strange sort of cessation of hostilities.

    The story is about a tiny reconnaissance group of American soldiers. They have the thankless task of scouting ahead of the rest of the army...and not surprisingly many in their small unit have already been killed. There are two main plots that result. First, they are discovered by a group of German soldiers who do not attack but instead wish to surrender. But, in order to prevent the SS back home from taking retribution against them for not fighting, they propose to make it look like they surrendered only after a horrible fire fight. Sadly, it does NOT go down as they'd planned. Second, after this, when the Major meets up with them, this commanding officer mostly screams at them and threatens them...and leaves them back at their forward base. When the German offensive begins, they're soon stuck behind enemy lines and they have to work hard to find their way back to the Allied lines.

    Despite some similarities to "Joyeaux Noel", it is different enough and somber enough to be a different film viewing experience. For the most part, it's just the story of a few men trying to survive...and the thankless tasks they've been given. Well made and worth seeing.