Archive for: WWII

10 Best Opening Sequences From the Glory Days of Military TV Shows

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BY BLAKE STILWELL AND WARD CARROLL — WEARETHEMIGHTY​.COM

During the halcyon days of broadcast television – before streaming media and DVRs existed – there were a host of military-themed shows on the airwaves. As much as the quality of the episodes (in some cases even more so) these programs were known for their openings and the associated theme songs. Here are 10 of the most classic: +Continue Reading

Director Angelina Jolie Tells Louis Zamperini’s Story in ‘Unbroken’

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Unbroken is one of those movies that arrives with the weight of enormous expectations. Louis Zamperini’s story  was most recently told in Lauren Hillenbrand’s bestselling book, a biography that touched millions of lives. At least 50 people over the last year or so have told me that it’s their favorite book ever.

Making a film out of a such a beloved book is always a risk and crafting a film out of what could be five different movies (the story of a young delinquent, the experiences of an athlete at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the bravery of a man who survived 47 days at sea after a plane crash, the even more striking bravery of a man who survived a Japanese POW camp and the story of a WWII veteran who battled PTSD and put his life back together. +Continue Reading

Louis Zamperini Tells His Story With Some Help From Angelina

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Unbroken, director Angelina Jolie’s movie about World War II hero Louis Zamperini, opens on Christmas Day and the studio has released a short documentary clip to introduce his incredible story to moviegoers who don’t know Lauren Hillenbrand’s bestselling book about Zamperini’s life and his success as an Olympic athlete at the 1936 Berlin games and his brave WWII service.

Of course, Military​.com readers already know at least the outline of that story, but this clip has some great footage of Jolie interacting with Zamperini during the preparation for the film. Louis died at 94 earlier this year and didn’t have a chance to see the finished film, but his message about perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds will finally make it to theaters this month. Check out the clip below. +Continue Reading

Bing Crosby’s WWII Legacy

  • December 3, 2014
  • Television
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During World War II (and for several years after), Bing Crosby was just about the biggest popular entertainer the USA has ever known: he was the #1 actor at the movie box office, the #1 recording artist in the world and the hosted the top-rated radio show in America. It’s like he was peak Tom Cruise, peak Michael Jackson and peak Johnny Carson all at the same time.

A big reason for that success was the song “White Christmas,” a throwaway tune from the 1942 movie Holiday Inn that became the biggest record of all time and a poignant reminder of home for millions of troops stationed overseas during World War II. People remember Bing’s movie partner Bob Hope for his tours to entertain the troops, but no one did more than Crosby to promote the war effort in the Forties.

There are a flood of new releases that might help revive Crosby’s reputation, including American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered, a new documentary airing this week on PBS and available on DVD and White Christmas: Diamond Anniversary Edition, an elaborate Blu-ray/DVD reissue of the 1954 movie inspired by the song’s popularity with the troops. +Continue Reading

Remembering Louis Zamperini for Veterans Day

Louis Zamperini at Midland Army Airfield, 1941

Each year, the American Legion Magazine publishes a list of America’s Most Beloved Veterans. The name most likely to be added to that list in 2015 is Louis Zamperini, the former Olympic athlete who survived incarceration in a Japanese POW camp after enlisting in the Army Air Corps. His inspirational story was chronicled in Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 bestseller Unbroken and that book is now the basis for a new movie directed by Angelina Jolie. +Continue Reading

‘Fury’ Visits Fort Benning

"Fury" - Fort Benning Georgia Special Screening

Fury director David Ayer and cast members Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman and Michael Peña paid a visit to Fort Benning on October 16th to show the film to soldiers stationed there.  It was a beautiful day in Columbus, GA and the Army laid out an impressive tank display. +Continue Reading

The Complete Tanks of ‘Fury’

  • October 2, 2014
  • Movies
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Fury, the long-awaited World War II tank movie starring Brad Pitt, opens on Friday October 17. Our set visit last fall suggests that the filmmakers are aiming for a level of accurate detail that we haven’t seen before in a WWII movie.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been running a series of infographics about the real tanks used by Allied and Axis powers during the war and today we’ve got all eight tanks in a full-size slideshow with images large enough to use as wallpaper on most laptops.

Set in the final days of the European conflict in April 1945, the film follows a Sherman tank and her crew on a mission behind enemy lines and stars Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal as the tank’s crew. Director David Ayer wrote and directed the acclaimed LAPD movie End of Watch, directed Sabotage and wrote the screenplay for Training Day.

Tanks of ‘Fury’ #8: Tiger II

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The final tank in our series is the Tiger II, which was anticipated to be something like Germany’s Second Death Star after the fearsome Tiger I. That didn’t really work out for the Nazis, because the Tiger II’s underpowered engine and excessive fuel use limited its effectiveness. The 150K lb. monster was 33 ft. 9 in. long and 10 ft. 2 in. tall. It featured an 88m gun and 2 7.92mm machine guns. The Germans deployed the tank on all fronts: Europe, the USSR and North Africa. +Continue Reading

Tanks of ‘Fury’ #7: M24 Chaffee

  • September 23, 2014
  • Movies
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The M24 Chaffee is the final Allied tank in our series from the upcoming movie Fury. Weighing approximately 45,000 lbs. and measuring 18 ft. 3 in. long and 9 ft. 6 in. tall, the lightweight tank featured advanced off-road capability and reliable performance. The 75mm gun represented a significant upgrade from the old 37mm and could to a lot more damage to heavyweight German tanks. The five-man crew also had 2 .30 Browning machine guns at its disposal. The M24 Chaffee was used in both Europe and the Pacific theater.

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Tanks of ‘Fury’ #6: Tiger I

  • September 18, 2014
  • Movies
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The Germans used the Tiger I tank on the North African, Soviet and European fronts. Weighing a massive 120,000 lbs. and measuring 27 ft 9 in. long by 9 ft 10 in. tall, this heavy tank struck fear in its enemies. It was expensive to maintain and operate, leading to its replacement by the Tiger II in 1944. Its main armament was a 88mm gun backed up by two 7.92mm machine guns.

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