Musings From A Musical Mind

The Pacific

I bought the mini series “The Pacific” for my husband this last Christmas.   In the last couple of days I finally got to see the whole thing with him.  Based on the true story from two marines stationed in the Pacific Islands from 1942-1945 – it contains much more personal drama and a “behind the scenes” looks from the men and their families.  It is considered a sister series to the very popular “Band of Brothers“.

The Pacific is based primarily on two memoirs of U.S. Marines, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. The miniseries tells the stories of the two authors and Marine John Basilone, as the war against the Empire of Japan rages. It also draws on Sledge’s China Marine and Red Blood, Black Sand, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside Basilone on Iwo Jima.

The miniseries features well-known battles with Japan involving the 1st Marine Division, such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, as well as Basilone’s involvement in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

I would NOT suggest this for a less than mature audience – not just for the extremely graphic violence – but for the sexuality as well.  Not sure why it needed to be so graphic in that area in order to tell the story – but it is what it is.  If you don’t like either of these things – don’t watch it.

I enjoyed the human interest aspect – and so did my husband – especially a father/son relationship of one of the lead characters, Eugene Sledge.  His father was a doctor and had treated men from WWI – and did not want his son to enlist knowing that it wasn’t the physical injuries – but the internal ones that the men never got over.  He said “They got their souls ripped out”.  And this is exactly what Eugene experiences after returning home from duty.  It is hard to watch the father – hearing the nightmares from his son.

We watched the making of this – and also the interviews with the real men whose stories were told.  One man said that they had just about given up hope that their story would ever be told – and being so sensational – they were not sure anyone would believe it.  On one of the days of shooting – several of the men – now very advanced in age – showed up to watch.  It was very moving for all the actors to be in the presence of such great men.

In light of the recent announcement from our president that the troops are being sent home – it just seemed like a fitting end to our series a few days ago.

Thank you to the men and women who are a part of this great service to our country.  We can never repay you.  You are the true heroes.

Who do you know who served during any of the great wars?  Who are you indebted to today?

God Bless

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Comments on: "The Pacific" (8)

  1. I’ve never seen that movie – probably not something I’d enjoy.

    • I’m not much for violence – but the human side of the story was fascinating – I loved Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers too for that reason.

  2. I’d like to see it, Cindy. Three of my Uncles fought in WWII, two in the Pacific theater and one in the European theater. My dad tried to enlist, but he was a bit too young. And when he tried to enlist for Korea, my mom was pregnant with me. Back then, they didn’t take men with pregnant wives. He said I kept him out of the service. By the time Vietnam came around, he was too old. My husband was in the service in that era.

    • Carla – you NEED to see this then. The Pacific was the really ugly part of the war and I’m sure you would be able to appreciate what your Uncles went through. I so appreciate our armed service men and women and the sacrifice of their lives after watching something like this. Incredible.

  3. I loved the Pacific when it was on HBO. I am a sucker to war movies. I have watched all of them. I think the Pacific is just behind Band of Brothers in quality. It is a great story and a great perspective. I loved the human view of it too. After I watched it, I read, “with the old breed” which is the book the series is based on. Not for the faint of heart. The Pacific was was ugly, even uglier than the European one, but doesn’t get as much attention. The japanese army was crazy and very, very aggresive.

    Thanks for your review, I really enjoyed it!

    • Thanks Moe – totally agree. Oh my goodness yes – it was a nasty war – especially for the marines in the Pacific – not a story that you hear too much about and I’m glad this one was told.

  4. I was excited there til you mentioned the sexual themes. I am looking for realistic WWI and WWII movies for my 12 y/o for history next year. I want to show him movies as well as read books about the times. There are some about WWII but not as many about WWI and even the WWII ones are a bit questionable for kids. Sigh…

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