Watch on the Rhine (1943)
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A truly thought provoking and soul-searching movie. For me, it moved slowly through the first part but the second half was worth sitting through it. I love those movies made just before, during and after the war. They are so filled with pride in ones country, pride in doing ones best, and happiness in selflessness. Truly a great way to live.
What a truly, truly rich, moving experience. I love those films made in the war years, as they mean so much and teach so much and have so much more depth and meaning. Watch on the Rhine is no exception. I can see why Bette Davis took the role "for its importance." It teaches so much to the American people of its time - and even now - how we don't really know what it means to be a European in an Old World so often used to the kinds of conflict that created World War II.
The movie also strikingly doesn't feel like propaganda, even though the message was clearly to move its audience into action (aren't all worthwhile films aimed at personal change?). It presented a very enlightening, moving perspective on both the German menace and the Underground protagonists. Muller (Paul Lukas) explains how we will one day feel pity for those Germans who just "follow orders" and are really just fools, like De Brancovis (George Coulouris). And the perspective that Muller and the Underground may indeed be like the evil they fight - to see Muller admit he was bad. Situations like this are not black and white.
After seeing this, my sister wanted to learn more about WWII, the Underground, and the Holocaust. Through it, she's had the experience I've had so long ago.
In that time, I see character, selflessness, and purpose greater than self. I love it so, and I am saddened by the blatant selfishness that defines today's society. Movies like this inspire me and make me see continually that ideals and convictions can be attained and are indeed beautiful.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #143 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #957 in The New York Times's Book of Movies