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Hymns for the FallenCombat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam$
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Todd Decker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282322

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282322.001.0001

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Movies and Memorials

Movies and Memorials

(p.11) 1. Movies and Memorials
Hymns for the Fallen

Todd Decker

University of California Press

This chapter defines the serious Hollywood war film of the post-Vietnam era within industry, genre, visual style, and reception history. These movies engage seriously with historical fact from the point of view of the individual soldier and veteran and reflect their makers’ sense of moral urgency. Several of these films have sparked larger national conversations about specific American wars. The various discourses and practices of authenticity undergirding these films are discussed. The capacity of young men to read ostensibly anti-war films as celebrations of war is noted. The four overlapping cycles of serious war film production after Vietnam are outlined: films about Vietnam made between 1978 and 1989, four films about US military involvements in the Middle East in the 1990s, the long-lived World War II cycle begun in the late 1990s, and the twenty-first-century cycle of combat films about ongoing American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keywords:   authenticity, Vietnam War, soldiers, veterans, war films, SEALs, action/adventure films, Global War on Terror, World War II, Hollywood, US military

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