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The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

THE WISDOM OF OLD MOVIES

Force Ten From Navaronne is an old 1961 WW II movie about a group or soldiers, including Harrison Ford and Robert Shaw, who are sent to Yugoslavia to blow up a bridge.  The munitions expert of the team, Edward Fox, determines that although the bridge is too firmly rooted in the gorge it spans to be blown up, it can be destroyed by a flood of water from a reservoir upstream if the dam creating the reservoir is destroyed.  Ford and Shaw sneak into the interior of the huge dam and plant explosives where Fox tells them to, but at first nothing seems to happen.  Downstream, Fox and Carl Foreman, another member of the team, are waiting, and when the dam does not disintegrate, Foreman yells at Fox that he has bungled the job.  But Fox, who understands these things, counsels patience.  Finally, a tiny crack appears in the face of the dam and some water trickles through.  Then, with excruciating slowness, more cracks appear as the enormous water pressure behind the dam starts to do its work.  Eventually the entire dam collapses and the bridge is destroyed.


That is what this Russia/Trump story is beginning to resemble.  To those of us impatient for a flood of revelations that washes away the Trump presidency, we must take heart from Edward Fox.

7 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

You have a great memory. I believe that I saw that movie when it came out, but all I recall is some guys blowing up a dam.

Anyway, if it now seems quite probable that the flood of revelations will wash away Trump, the question mark now seems to be Pence: how deeply was he involved in the connection with Putin? And if the flood waters wash away Pence, who comes next?

Ed Barreras said...

A correction. Force 10 From Navaronne was released in 1978. It is a sequel to The Guns of Navaronne from 1961.

I looked this up because you mentioned the movie starred Harrison Ford. The Harrison Ford most of us know didn't make it big till Star Wars in 1977. So initially I thought you might be referring to Harrison Ford the silent movie star, in perhaps a late-career role.

But no, the silent Harrison Ford died in 1957.

s. wallerstein said...

In any case, Professor Wolff's memory is exceptional. Coincidentally, I had a long conversation just two days ago with my friend, Jaime, about what movies from the 60's and 70's are still worth seeing. Jaime, who is in his mid 60's, was a university professor of film studies and still our conversation was marked by many memory lapses: films whose names both of us had forgotten, actors and directors whose names neither of us could recall.

We both agreed that everything by Buñuel, Fellini and Bergman are still worth seeing. The Godfather 1: I added the Godfather 2, but Jaime left it off the list. Some British films like The Servant. Blow-up. I nominated Dog Day Afternoon, but Jaime vetoed it. Almost everything by Kubrick made the list, especially Paths of Glory (that's from the 50's). Chinatown (Polanski). We couldn't come up with much else that we'd recommend to a young person today.

David Auerbach said...

@s. wallerstein: Robert Altman's movies

howie b said...

Is Edward Fox related to Fox news?

Charles Pigden said...

If the flood waters wash away Pence, isn't the Speaker of the House next in line? Of course, if the VP goes first, the President appoints his successor (though Congress has to approve). Isn't that what happened with Agnew? Nixon appointed Ford who was House Minority Leader, that is the nearest thing to a Republican Speaker in a non-Republican House of Representatives. Congress approved, partly perhaps because Ford was personally popular with his fellow-represeantives.

Kate said...

If the President is removed or resigns, Pence becomes President. He then has the power to nominate a Vice President, who must be confirmed by a majority vote of both houses. (25th Amendment). Ryan only succeeds if Pence is removed before a new Vice President is confirmed.

Kate