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Combat Films: American Realism, 1945-2010, 2d ed. 2 Revised Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786458929
ISBN-10: 0786458925
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Editorial Reviews


"light but thoroughly researched and engagingly told" --Booklist/RBB

"an absorbing book" --Classic Images

"nicely written" --Big Reel

About the Author

Steven Jay Rubin is a motion picture producer based in Los Angeles and the author of several books about film.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; 2 Revised edition (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786458925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786458929
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,216,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike O'Connor TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Over the past 60 years, American-produced combat films have undergone an evolution in the way they depict the combat experience and, more importantly, the manner in which they present American fighting men at war. Steven Jay Rubin surveys 15 of those movies, describing and analyzing their creation, production, box office/critical success and impact in this entertaining and informative 2011 McFarland & Company release.

COMBAT FILMS, AMERICAN REALISM 1945-2010 is an expanded version of Rubin's 1980 work that covered war films through World War II. The 2011 edition adds seven chapters on the Civil War, the 1920s American gunboat experience in China, Korea, Vietnam, the 1993 fighting in Mogadishu and the Iraq War. Films covered include WALK IN THE SUN, BATTLEGROUND, TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH, BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, PORK CHOP HILL, LONGEST DAY, HELL IS FOR HEROES, THE GREAT ESCAPE, SAND PEBBLES, PATTON, PLATOON, GETTYSBURG, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, BLACK HAWK DOWN and THE HURT LOCKER.

Rubin provides details on the inception of each flick, the individuals who were 'present at the birth,' how each project was received by various studios, the actors/producers/directors and other creative people involved in filming and their experiences making the flick, how each film evolved through its production life, how each fared at the box-office, etc.

What is most fascinating about COMBAT FILMS is Rubin's insights into film-maker's changing portrayal of the American fighting man. For example, TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH (1949), BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) and PATTON (1970) all featured high-ranking officers as the lead character but the three were worlds apart. Or, contrast the weary but determined dogfaces in BATTLEGROUND (1949) with their Vietnam contemporaries in PLATOON (1986).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Steven Jay Rubin's second edition book on US combat movies. It provides an excellent and extremely informative look at the making of some of the more prominent US combat films including some not in the first edition such as SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, BLACK HAWK DOWN, GETTYSBURG and THE HURT LOCKER. Also, Rubin updated movies in the first edition with more recent information such as THE GREAT ESCAPE.
One of the most interesting and entertaining additions in the second edition is Tom Sizemore's comments on his first meeting with Steven Spielberg to play Sgt. Horvath in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN:
"He [Spielberg] then said, "Here's the story. I know you've been cast in THE THIN RED LINE. Do you like Terry Malick?" I said , "So far so good." Spielberg then says, "So you like like him, huh. Well I like him fine." And I said, "Is that a trick question?" And Spielberg says, "No, no. But would you like to go to Great Britain and Ireland with Tom [Hanks] and me or do you want to go to Australia with Terry and Sean [Penn]?"
I said, "I'd rather go to Great Britain and Ireland with you and Tom." And he said, "that's a very good choice. Because I'm going to cast you in this movie. Do you want to be in it? It's a half-million dollars across the board, favored nations. Tom [Hanks] makes different money than anyone else."
And I looked at him and said, "Can I call my mom?" And he laughed and said, "Call your mom. That's the closer. Bonnie, come in here, he wants to call his mother." So I called my mom and told her, "Mom, you're not going to believe this. I am going to be in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN for Steven Spielberg." So Steven asked to be on the phone and said, "Mrs. Sizemore, this is Steven Spielberg.
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By Van T. Roberts on May 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steven Jay Rubin has written a book on war movies that every cinematic fanatic should be acquainted with!
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Combat Films: American Realism, 1945-2010, 2d ed.
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