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Action and Colonial Power
on July 31, 2013
Few people want to watch the old movies about Colonial Foreign Wars, particularly the French colonialism that produced wars in Vietnam, and Algeria. " The Lost Command" is a good, but shallow historical overview of French military tactics, but the movie is worth watching through the intense and fine acting by Anthony Quinn and Alain Delon, who bring strong emotional characters to the screen, the reasons why colonialism always ends badly for the dominant power, as those colonies are stirred to demand self-independence.
Threaded through the movie is Quinn's role as a commander seeking promotion and glory " to be accepted " in the upper echelons of the elite French politicians and Generals who do not have a clue about the end of colonialism and lack visionary and strategic ways to allow for colonial independence. Quinn is assigned to bring Algeria under military rule, and through brutal tactics, defeats his enemy, new actor " George Segal" playing a former Legionnaire, now turned Algerian revolutionary....he is defeated, Quinn goes home to his promotion, and the French believing all is under control, are still left with Algerians writing on the city walls " Freedom Now" at the end of the movie. We also get a glimpse of the fall of Dien Bien Phu, but not in detail. Good movie, good acting, and a preview of why we ended with the Vietnam War.