28 July 2004 | bozon
Liked it should know Audie's History first
I liked this movie not so much because it is a great movie ( it is an average war movie of this era) but because it made me reflect about reality versus perception and how you can be very wrong about something by taking it at face value. Let me explain. My perception, If I had to pick a platoon for battle I would never pick Audie Murphy. At 5'5", maybe 110 lbs, a high tinny voice, and hyper-kinetic motion, he seems more like someone that would get killed early and easily, or worse get you killed. The reality, he was the man you wanted in your platoon when the battle started. He was made of heroic stuff. He wasn't a tough talking braggart. He was just a soldier that would do anything to save his brothers and get home alive. He of course isn't the only example of this. He just got his own movie. It was a good thing that he was an actor because John Wayne would have played his part if he hadn't been, which would have been a real shame because you would have lost the true meaning behind the story. Hollywood prefers style over substance. It would have been a true
disservice to all of the short, underweight chirpy men in the world.
Think about Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, who would you want in your platoon. John Wayne is your probable choice. Now compare Jimmy Stewart's military career with John Wayne's. John Wayne avoided WWII instead using it to advance his career when many of his contemporaries went to war. Jimmy Stewart on the other hand joined the Air Force 9 months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He had to force the Air Force to let him in because he was under weight. He was a bomber pilot that flew 20 missions. "His wartime decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, four Air Medals, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm." Now who do you want on your side. I'll take the battle hardened, frail looking, stuttering veteran over the tough talking, strapping, strutting Hollywood pretender any day.
So when I watch the movie I think about the reality of Audie Murphy. Which leaves me with the feeling that if you put your heart into it you can do anything. So when you watch the movie think about the reality. You have a 5'5" war hero that actually became a Hollywood action hero which is improbable in itself.