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Saturday Night Cinema: The Winds of War

Tonight’s Saturday Night Cinema selection is Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War, starring Robert Mitchum, Ali MacGraw, and Jan Michael Vincent. I thought a war flick would be appropriate, seeing as that I couldn’t run what I really wanted to: Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney. It’s not available online — at least not for free.

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From best-selling author Herman Wouk comes the TV miniseries of his novel “The Winds of War,” a broad, sweeping story that follows the historical events leading to the declaration of war by America on Japan in World War II through the experiences of one American family.

The story centers on the patriarch of this family, U.S. Navy Commander Victor “Pug” Henry (Mitchum), who travels around the world to the various nations involved in this brewing war through his naval posts and his advisory role with the President, Franklin D Roosevelt. At one point, he is the Naval attaché in Berlin just before the German occupation of Poland and he has private conversations with Hitler and his various commanders, and at another point in the story he is the president’s advisor in England and works closely with Winston Churchill as Britain declares war on Germany.

The story revolves around all these nations in conflict and it also delves into the lives of Pug’s family (his wife and his three grown children) and how the war and this tumultuous time is affecting and shaping their lives. This an epic, globe spanning film that goes into great detail on the events that lead up to World War II and the effects it had on one American naval family.

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