Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some things never change

Every once in a while Turner Classic Movies sneaks in a good flick in the middle of the night. I was lucky to catch the 1946 Till The End Of Time (fair synopsis, but skimmed over the point I'm trying to make) last night. I never heard of the flick before, but I'm glad I saw it.

It's about three Jarheads who muster out after WWII and their problems with adjustment to civilian life. Here's the setup clip. More clips here.

I couldn't find a clip of the part that really got my attention so I'll try to describe it. After a buncha trials and tribulations, girl trouble, etc., the next-to-last scene brings it all together. The three Marines are drinking in a saloon and trying to come to answers. At one point they play pinball with a black GI. Some shady looking characters approach them offering membership in a Veterans' group called the "America War Patriots" which was unknowingly prescient of today. One of the bennies of membership is $200 a month "without those foreign commie unions".


Then the Marines are told of certain "restrictions" of eligibility to join - "No Catholics, Jews, or Negroes". Perhaps not exactly the point of WWII...

Mitchum's character says, and I must paraphrase, "A buddy of ours, Maxie Klein, would spit right in your face for saying that. He's dead on Guadalcanal, so I'll do it", and he does and the fight is on. Great bar fight scene. The bigots get well and truly thrashed, as they should in a perfect world, and the movie goes on to a pretty happy ending with hope for the future. No way this flick was trying to predict anything other than a possible good future for WWII GIs, which mostly they went on to have, I think.

My point is they had right-wing racist assholes then and we've still got them now. That old flick caught it and we're still dealing with it.

I'm going to try and get a DVD or VHS of the movie and get that scene for you. Seeing those assholes get what I wish I could give them will warm the cockles of your heart.


Jersey Guy said...

If you review U.S. history, the fairy tales we were taught in high school have never been true. The founders were as pro-capitalist as is the GOP and the rest of the extreme right today.

yildizname said...

hello nice blog nice blog