Thursday, September 11, 2014

MacArthur (1977)

Director: Joseph Sargent

Writers: Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Starring: Gregory Peck, G.D. Spradlin, Ivan Bonar, Ward Costello, Nicolas Coster, Marj Dusay, Ed Flanders, Art Fleming, Russell Johnson, Sandy Kenyon, Robert Mandan, Allan Miller, Dan O'Herlihy, Dick O'Neill, Addison Powell, Tom Rospui

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Daring, Defiant, Brilliant, Stubborn, Gallant, Glory-Hungry, Cold, Compassionate, Idolized, Despised, War-Lover, War-Hater, Supreme Commander, Supreme Egotist, Husband, Father. MacArthur.

Plot: The story of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and United Nations Commander for the Korean War. "MacArthur" begins in 1942, following the fall of Phillipines, and covers the remarkable career of this military legend up through and including the Korean War and into MacArthur's days of forced retirement after being dismissed from his post by President Truman.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

It's hard not to compare this to PATTON (1970).  Hell, if it weren't for PATTON this movie wouldn't exist.  Universal was quick to announce this flick as far back as '72.  There are some good performances and some bad ones.  The leads like Peck (MacArthur) and Flanders (Truman) are fantastic.  It's also great to see Russell Johnson in a serious role in a high profile Hollywood film like this.  If this picture is any indication of who this guy was, he was a real windbag with an ego the size of Montana.  Probably in an effort to bring some of that PATTON magic to this production composer Jerry Goldsmith was brought in for a rousing score.  The biggest issue I've got is how cheap a lot of this looks.  It looks like the budget wasn't there to buy some production values.  There are times it looks pretty good but there are more than a few moments where it looks like TV movie (but not one of those great 70s TV movies).  It's rather embarrassing. The anamorphic widescreen print looks great (you know, except for the cheapness of it all) but the only decent extra (I don't consider text production notes or bios much of an extra so they don't count in my book) is the fullscreen (the fuck?) theatrical trailer.

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