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Old 01-21-2010, 07:24 AM   #1
Kenneth_Moore
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Default Mission to Moscow

I worked pretty late last night on the master bathroom in the new Casa. There were a lot of fumes from paint and glue and stuff, which may be the only explanation for this movie.

The basic plot of the movie is following the American Ambassador to the USSR around in pre-WWII Stalinist Russia. The Ambassador and his staff are there to assess Russia's ability to resist the Nazis militarily, and to gain them as an ally against the Axis powers.

I missed the first 20 minutes, so when I came in, the Americans were sitting in on the trial of several Trotskites, who were accused of collaborating with Japan and Germany to parcel out the Soviet U; Eastern half to the Japs, Western half to the Krauts. Col. Henry Potter and Van Johnson were sitting in the audience, and they'd cut from the Prosecutor to them, where their dialog would explain the proceeding to we, the audience. We had to understand that Uncle Joe needed to purge these traitors so that the Soviet U Army would be focused on the war ahead.

The next thing I knew, we were out on a Soviet airfield, where hundreds of bombers and transports blackened the sky, while thousands of hot female paratroops showed their stuff. After the ensuing medal ceremony, we all went to dinner at our gracious host's house, which looked remarkably like a split level ranch house in Columbus Ohio.

The Ambassador then had some flashbacks (or maybe I did) to his meetings with Churchill, the French PM, and some others, who didn't think joining up with the Russkies was a good idea. But, we learned, it really is a good idea, because even though we're Capitalists and they're not, they are a democratic society that is working to improve the life of the common man, and isn't that what we're all in favor of??

After that, we got to see the May Day parade, and even got a glimpse of Joe Stalin hisself. Man, those Russkies got a lot of tanks and planes! And thousands of young men and women parading in swimsuits (I kid you not). And tanks that went by at 100 mph!

Toward the end of the movie, as the Ambassador was leaving to give his report on the USSR to the anxious American President, he was thrilled and honored to gain an audience with Stalin himself. What a kind, gentle, caring man he was. He was warm and open, and longed only to set aside the petty differences between the US and the USSR (see how close our names are?) so that the Nazi threat can be met.

This is one crazy movie. I'm going to see if it's on Netflix; apparently it was pilloried during the McCarthy era as an example of Commies in Hollywood. Here's a link to some details on it:
Mission to Moscow (1943)
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:09 AM   #2
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Actually it sounds worth watching. Better than Avatar, anyway.

Thanks, Ken.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:08 AM   #3
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I watched part of that! we went out and ate chinese for my birthday and it was on when we got home, the rest of my family unfortunately fails to grasp the sublime nuance and idiological purity of Soviet era propaganda films as I do and insisted on watching some Owen Wilson flic about Bosnia.

Ken if you want a real treat watch North Star, an American movie made in 1943 to support our Soviet comrades. It takes place in a Ukrainean village in which a nazi doctor has rounded up all the children and is draining their blood for transfusians for wounded wehrmacht soldaten, the villagers of course rise up and attack tanks and machine guns with scythes and pitchforks... absolutely brilliant, the best one of it's genre I've ever seen...
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:15 AM   #4
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I caught the end of that because I planned to watch the next flick on TCM "The Kremlin Letter". When I saw the people walking to the shining city on the hill I knew that I had missed something wonderful.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
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I still want to live in that Communist Utiopia shown in The Grapes of Wrath...............




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Old 01-22-2010, 01:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarnali2 View Post
Ken if you want a real treat watch North Star, an American movie made in 1943 to support our Soviet comrades. It takes place in a Ukrainean village in which a nazi doctor has rounded up all the children and is draining their blood for transfusians for wounded wehrmacht soldaten, the villagers of course rise up and attack tanks and machine guns with scythes and pitchforks... absolutely brilliant, the best one of it's genre I've ever seen...
I think I found it on Netflix. I'll know when it arrives next week.

Personally I love these "propaganda films." They're corny, zenophobic, militaristic, etc. But when you put them in the context of (at least in the early years) the Japanese and Germans literally at the doorstep, they become very cool. They defined the enemy, showed why they were wrong and we were right, recruited for the services, and boosted our morale.

America has been stuck in a tough spot since WWII ended. That war was "perfect;" the bad guys were truly bad, they hit us first, and by God we pulled ourselves together and went out and whipped ass. Since then, I think a lot of Americans, particularly in the government and military, have been trying to duplicate that experience, conciously or not. As a result I think we've wound up in the wrong wars at the wrong times, and have in some ways become an ugly parody of the icon we were in WWII.

Van Johnson, anyone?
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:51 AM   #7
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Uncle Joe a kind a caring man? Oh puhleeze, the biggest murderer since Hitler (Mao makes both of 'em pale by comparison).

The newly formed Soviety Union was a kleptocracy, that stole the technology for everything it produced, from tractors to bombers (reverse engineered B29s). If it wasn't for our lend-lease program most of the former Soviet Union would be speaking German, no matther what the History Channel says.

Stalin was a double dealing psycopath that murdered most of his military's top commanders right before operation Barbarosa kicked in, if it wasn't for the Russian winter (hmm, Napoleon anyone?) along with the England & the US flooding the Russian airforce with Aerocobras, guns and whole factories to produce weapons, they would have been screwed.

And Patton was murdered for going against the Russians. The whole post WWII United States govt. was awash with commies, like Alger Hiss. Look it up if you don't believe me.

Gee, and China just had a 10.4% increase in wealth this last quarter. Must be from selling all those Chang Jiangs to stupid Yankees.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
I think I found it on Netflix. I'll know when it arrives next week.

Personally I love these "propaganda films." They're corny, zenophobic, militaristic, etc. But when you put them in the context of (at least in the early years) the Japanese and Germans literally at the doorstep, they become very cool. They defined the enemy, showed why they were wrong and we were right, recruited for the services, and boosted our morale.

America has been stuck in a tough spot since WWII ended. That war was "perfect;" the bad guys were truly bad, they hit us first, and by God we pulled ourselves together and went out and whipped ass. Since then, I think a lot of Americans, particularly in the government and military, have been trying to duplicate that experience, conciously or not. As a result I think we've wound up in the wrong wars at the wrong times, and have in some ways become an ugly parody of the icon we were in WWII.

Van Johnson, anyone?
People wish for a black and white enemy. WWII saw us ally with one butcher to defeat a more immediately dangerous butcher. The Soviets always profited from the love of the radical types who for some reason can't see the inherent evil of collectivism and centralized planning. Hence the over-the-top propaganda depicting Stalin as a good guy instead of a reluctant ally.

The only real failing of Anti-Nazi propaganda was that it wasn't ever extreme enough. No one understood until we found the death camps just how insanely evil the Nazis were. Some of the earlier anti-Nazi movies were quite naive.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscuddy View Post
Uncle Joe a kind a caring man? Oh puhleeze, the biggest murderer since Hitler (Mao makes both of 'em pale by comparison).

The newly formed Soviety Union was a kleptocracy, that stole the technology for everything it produced, from tractors to bombers (reverse engineered B29s). If it wasn't for our lend-lease program most of the former Soviet Union would be speaking German, no matther what the History Channel says.

Stalin was a double dealing psycopath that murdered most of his military's top commanders right before operation Barbarosa kicked in, if it wasn't for the Russian winter (hmm, Napoleon anyone?) along with the England & the US flooding the Russian airforce with Aerocobras, guns and whole factories to produce weapons, they would have been screwed.

And Patton was murdered for going against the Russians. The whole post WWII United States govt. was awash with commies, like Alger Hiss. Look it up if you don't believe me.

Gee, and China just had a 10.4% increase in wealth this last quarter. Must be from selling all those Chang Jiangs to stupid Yankees.
As the Allied commanders used to say, "Thank God for Hitler." Without his amateur interference the Russians would be speaking German no matter how much war materiel we sent them. The Germans would have attacked us with nuclear weapons eventually. The world survived a very close call. Fortunately even at their worst the Soviets weren't as crazy as the Nazis.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:23 PM   #10
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And the maverlous T34 tank used U.S. Technology pirated from the Christie tank, that the US Army rejected because they disliked John Walter Christie's dogmatic "my way or the highway" method of dealing with bureaucrats.

The T-34 used the same suspension and road-wheel design at the M1931 Christie, of which 30 were sold to the Soviet Union prior to WWII.

And you're right about the Nazis, they were way worse than the Soviets could ever be. Glad we kicked their asses.
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