Re: A Midnight Clear

Maggie Jaffe (
Tue, 16 Jul 1996 21:22:51 -0400

Dear Sixties People:

If you're in mind for a good film available on video, I'd recommend *A
Midnight Clear*, a ferociously anti-war and anti-military film. Much of
*Clear* is analogous with the Vietnam War: some of the actors are
recognizable from *Platoon* and *Born on the Fourth of July*, and the movie
is based on William Wharton's novel, a Vietnam veteran and author of

Most of the action takes place in the Ardennes Forest between France and
Germany in winter, World War Two, 1944. Will Knott, one of the soldiers,
explains that the military brass wanted to devise an elite intelligence
unit, so they pool twelve men who scored the highest on various tests. Of
the twelve, only six survive in the first week of patrol. "So much for
intelligence," muses Knott. Later, the 6 men meet a bedraggled platoon of
German soldiers who want to make a separate peace, since the Germans might
be shot for desertion. Typically, snafus abound.

For the beautiful camera work alone, this sensitive film is well worth
I especially appreciated the deflation of World War Two, the "good war," since
*A Midnight Clear* makes it very clear that *all* wars are tragic and barbaric.