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2014 Is the First Year of A Very Unhappy Centennial:


Palmerin
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I thoroughly enjoy watching period pieces about WW1. 1914 was the literal actual beginning of the 20th Century and what has transpired in the succeeding century. WW1 triggered all the immense political movements and fallen empires that totally changed the path of world history. Our world today globally is the direct descendent of that murderous war and political carnage/revolution. Personally I would like to see a day or week devoted both to sound and silent WW1 movies.

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Here are 2 TV series (documentary) about WWI

 

"World War I" (CBS)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057801/

 

"The Great War" (BBC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_War_(documentary)

Note..you will have to type _(documentary) into the address bar at the end of the website.

 

All of "The Great War" episodes are on Youtube (I think)

Episode 1...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXhiagFG8KE

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Dargo2 wrote:

<< Aaah, "The war to end all wars".

 

(...whatever became of that quaint little notion anyway?) >>

 

When it dawned on everyone... There will be wars and rumors of wars . Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history. :(

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Well Ham, I guess there COULD be some comfort in knowing that the odds of a peaceful world are better than...MY FREAKIN' CHANCES OF WINNIN' THE FREAKIN' POWERBALL JACKPOT!!!!

 

(...though somehow I don't feel any better after considering that)

 

LOL

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Excluding some period documentary type footage of WW1 I don't believe there were many , if any, films made during that war that depicted what was going on. (Unlike during WW2, when many films were made to build up patriotic support of the war effort) . WW1 films were all made after the war was over and generally depicted the horrors and the folly of war. *All Quiet on the Western Front* , *The Dawn Patrol* etc made in the 30's and before the next war. And then there are the later films like *Paths of Glory* and *Gallipoli* . Sometime over the next year TCM should dedicate a period of time to showcase these films, WW1 is somewhat of a "forgotten" war at least here in America. There are the history lessons to be learned, regardless of what time period they are from.

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America's involvement in WW1 was rather short in time but the US casualty rates over the combat time are rather close in comparison to WW2. --- In both wars the other principle nations, Russia (USSR), Germany, Britain, France, Italy, etc, certainly paid a much, much higher price than the US.

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I'm not certain how many films were produced during WWI that reflected the conflict at the time. However, Cecil B. DeMille's The Little American, released in 1917, is a romantic melodrama that uses the war as backdrop.

 

Star Mary Pickford is on a boat that gets torpedoed by the Germans and is later threatened with rape by German soldiers (those nasty Huns - Boo! Hiss!).

 

I believe that it wasn't until the commercial success of King Vidor's The Big Parade in 1925, seven years after the conflict ended, that a small boom of films depicting the war (some making statements, others using the war for romance) started to get released. Among them: What Price Glory, Wings, Lilac Time, Legion of the Condemned as well during the early talkies, Dawn Patrol and Hell's Angels, among them.

 

Later '30s efforts that come to mind are The Road to Glory, Dawn Patrol remake as well as The Fighting 69th in 1940. By the time of that 1938 Dawn Patrol remake, the rumblings of a new way were starting to be heard in Europe. In 1941 Warners would release Sergeant York, about America's most decorated WWI hero, tremendously important as a wakeup call to isolationists in America. FDR was very appreciative of any film of this nature at that time.

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US deaths in the First War are around 116,000 . American troops didn't participate in any major combat action until the last months of 1917. So in roughly 1 year of time (the war ends in Nov 1918) there were over 100,000 lives lost. In WW2 the US (fighting basically 2 separate wars at the same time) loses a little over 400,000 lives in a little less than 4 years. My point is , WW1 was very comparable to WW2 in terms of American casualty rates. Most Americans have felt that WW2 was a noble sacrifice, costly, but accomplishing a worth while goal. But most Americans didn't feel the same way after the ending of the First War , that we should have never gotten involved in that conflict. And the veterans of that war were treated with indifference here at home, many films reflect that attitude about the plight of the WW1 vet.

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Was WWI worth fighting?

The two successor empires of Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, fell apart after an existence of barely three quarters of a century.

The fall of the Russian Empire and of its bastard offspring, the Soviet Union, on the other hand, led to the liberation of many countries: Finland, Poland, the Baltic trio, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasian trio, the stan countries, and, of course, Russia itself.

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> The fall of the Russian Empire and of its bastard offspring, the Soviet Union, on the other hand, led to the liberation of many countries: Finland, Poland, the Baltic trio, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasian trio, the stan countries, and, of course, Russia itself.

 

The fall of the Russian Empire CREATED the Soviet Union. And the countries you mention weren't really liberated until IT collapsed.

 

Sepiatone

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Sepiatone:

What you say is absolutely true, but you miss my point, which is that WWI and its grandchild WWIII--the deceitfully named ,,Cold'' War--are the reason why all those countries are now free from tyrannical thralldom.

In a discussion with a poster at the IMDb NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA board about the many failures of Nicholas II as a ruler and as a man my interlocutor pointed out the disturbing fact that the kingdoms and realms that made up the Russian Empire were not voluntary members of that regime, as is the case of the states of the USA, but rather occupied territories hardly different from the countries that Stalin enslaved during WWII.

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