Days of Glory
Film history pop quiz for Russians: What movie was made in 1944, directed by Jacques Tourneur (“Cat People” and “Berlin Express”) and starring screen legend Gregory Peck?
Hint: Two Russians had important roles, namely Tamara Toumanova and Igor Dolgoruki.
It was “Days of Glory.” And shame on you, Russian, if you’ve never heard of it.
What was it about? Here’s what:
This tribute to Russian resistance in World War II gave Gregory Peck his opportunity for a starring film screen debut. Now that the Cold War is over we can appreciate the Russian contribution to defeating Nazism without getting hung up over Communism. The Russians took a quick study in what defeated Napoleon and applied those lessons to World War II. Where you see the German Army in the Ukraine in Days of Glory is roughly how far they advanced into the Soviet Union. Those partisans that Peck heads are on the cutting edge as factories are being transported and rebuilt in the Urals and east of same and the Red Army is being reorganized. Joe Stalin is also looking a military leadership team to beat the Nazis. The Russian people took a tremendous toll and it was the great worry of both Roosevelt and Churchill up to the Allied invasion of Normandy that Stalin might just make a separate peace. If he had the world would be very different. Peck’s love interest was dancer Tamara Toumanova who plays a dancer caught up in the partisan movement. As an actress she’s a great dancer, she’s seen to better advantage in Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain where she concentrates on dancing.
Now we ask you a second question: Has Russia made a similar film about the bravery and accomplisments of Americans, starring a major figure from the Russian screen playing a heroic American? Does it tout the selfless courage of the Americans who stormed the beaches at Normandy, or slogged though Africa against Rommel? And it hasn’t, why not? How is it possible that Americans have paid Russia this compliment, and Russians have not returned it? Is it really fair, given that, to suggest that Americans are somehow at fault for poisoning the relationship between the two countries? What other insults has Russia offered America, and what othe rdark clouds of ignorance do Russians labor under?
It’s rather poignant, of course, to see the above review discuss the cold war in the past tense. It was written many years ago, and the writer could not foresee that today we would see the cold war very much alive and well, with Russian tanks rolling into Georgia without any consultation with the United States whatsoever.
Russia simply does as it pleases, heedless of the facts, recklessly indifferent to fairness. It does exactly what the USSR used to do, in other words. And so, of course, it must meet the same fate.
Meanwhile, Russians labor in total apelike ignorance. They simply don’t know that Americans have all kinds of access to real information about the USSR, while in return the USSR eradicated all information about the real U.S.A., a condition of blindness that persists today in modern Russia. The unabated stream of crude propaganda fed to Russians as if they were chimps leaves them totally unable to perceive the real world, and Russians have done nothing whatsoever to change that situation. One could be forgiven for concluding that they enjoy it.