A Midnight Clear: One of the Good Ones
Phil Davetas
10/28/2002 1:45:37 PM

December 1944. Six very unique American soldiers are sent out to post homestead in an abandoned home as they collect intelligence on Wehrmacht movement. Soon, the soldiers are confronted with the Wehrmacht, who may or may not be willing to surrender to the Americans before the German movement comes in. It's an excellent conflict that keeps driving all the way to the end. A Midnight Clear is as honest a war film as it is humble. The danger with making war films is that we've seen so many of them-- and what's left to learn that we haven't already seen and heard? Probably nothing, but the conflicting issues of individual human beings trying to find peace with the enemy is what makes this work. If you have any compassion for your fellow man or brother-in-arms, your heart will beat sadly for those lost.

In the construct of the world of war, it's interesting to see a war movie about trying to find the good in your fellow man, even if he is the enemy. The six Americans in this movie go to extra lengths to try and save the seven Wehrmacht and their families, but there's an undertow of suspicion based on the fact that both sides are politically at odds. This is one of the good ones.

Other Very Recommended War Flicks:

The Thin Red Line (1998), Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, Empire of the Sun, Full Metal Jacket, The Big Red One, Three Kings, Enemy at the Gates.

Special Features:

Filmmaker Commentary with Ethan Hawke, Excellent Deleted Scenes, Bonus (?) Trailer of Casualties of War of all things.

A Midnight Clear
(3 out of Four)
R, 1991, 108 min., Columbia Tristar Home Video.

Ethan Hawke, Kevin Dillon, Gary Sinise, Frank Whaley, Peter Berg, Arye Gross, John C. McGinley, Music by Mark Isham, Based on the novel by William Wharton, Produced by Dale Pollock and Bill Borden and Written & Directed by Keith Gordon.


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