Hart’s War (2002)


Harts_War“Strange thing about war wounds- the older you get, the less proud of them you become.” – Col. Werner Visser

Number of Times Seen – 2 (22 Apr 2008 and 16 Jun 2015)

Brief Synopsis – In a German POW camp during WWII, an American officer who was a law student is charged with defending a negro prisoner accused of murder

My Take on it – Ever since I was a kid and saw three of the best movies about POW’s during WWII, I have been fascinated with the genre.

Most of the movies don’t come anywhere close to being as great as Stalag 17 (1953), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) or The Great Escape (1963), but a few were worthy entries into the genre.

This movie fits perfectly into that kind of classification; it will never be iconic like the big 3 mentioned above, but it also wasn’t a poor showing of the genre.

They did an excellent job of showing how even as a prisoner, one can act with courage, honor and duty .

The cast, led by Collin Farrell, Bruce Willis and Terrence Howard is very good.

There are a few scenes that feel pretty inconsistent and hinder the plot moving forward, but ultimately the story works well as a whole.

Bottom Line – Great depiction of honor and duty during the stresses of war.  Farrell, Willis and Howard are all superb.  The storyline and plot are a bit inconsistent, but still manage to pull through.  Not as great as Stalag 17 (1953), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) or The Great Escape (1963), but still a worthy entry into the genre. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – One of the movie’s credited writers, Billy Ray, reports that he never read the novel, “Hart’s War,” which is the basis for the movie. In The Dialogue: An Interview with Screenwriter Billy Ray (2007), he calls this revelation a “painful admission.” But, he explains, by the time he came on the project, the screenplay had been through so many drafts that what was in the book itself did not matter much for his job of getting the screenplay to work. Ray says that one of the movie’s producers, David Foster “constantly” sent him excerpts from the novel, advising him to include those particular things in the movie. But he implies that he felt no need to include something simply because it came from the novel. He then makes a point of saying he “admires” the novel’s author, John Katzenbach and his father, Nicholas Katzenbach, whose time as a World War II prisoner of war was the basis of the novel. Ray explains further that he worked from the existing drafts and from the large amount of World War II research he did for the project, especially relying on the writing of Stephen Ambrose. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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12 thoughts on “Hart’s War (2002)

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