Movie reviews: Merrill’s Marauders and The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit by Len Krol
There has to be a term for it. If not, the term has to be invented. It can be explained simply as:
If you have not read the book or know about the subject, it is a great movie!
Merrill’s Marauders is based on the book the Marauders by Carleton Ogburg. It is about his experience fighting with the 5307 composite unit (Provisional) in Burma during the WW II. The movie is directed by Sam Fuller. As we all know, Fuller fought with the 1st Division in Europe. The movie is well paced; the actors are good, and the movie is well photographed. If you know nothing about the campaign, you will enjoy the movie. However people like me, know the people and the situation is much more interesting. The major problem is that the valor of the Maunders cannot be explained in a 90-minute movie. We need a miniseries like the Band of Brothers series.
The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit was a surprise. I expected a Don Draper like angst about the corporate world. A large part of the movie is about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) The main character is portrayed by Gregory Peck and he commanded an airborne company in Italy and the Pacific. During the movie he has flashbacks about his experiences. He has killed twenty two people including accidently killing his best friend. I was surprised at the quality of the battle scenes. The movie makers went all out to make the battle scenes as realistic as possible. Sam Fuller would have been proud to have filmed scenes as good as these.
The rest of the movie is a bore. Peck’s character has a wife who wants a larger home and someone is trying to cheat him out of his inheritance. His children are too busy watching westerns on television to notice his presence, and he left his safe job at the “Foundation” to work in the mean corporate world for more money. Compared to the guys in The Best Years of our Lives, he has got it easy. The big climax at the end is he decides to work from 9 to 5 so that he can spend more time with his family. Since this is the golden age of television westerns, he can watch TV with them!
Gregory Peck always plays characters that are noble and always do what is just, so there is no suspense here. If I was alive when this movie was made (1955) maybe I would be more appreciative. Maybe the book explains it better.