Saturday, February 23, 2008

Robin Moore, 1925 - 2008

So while I was at work tonight I was listening to "The Green Berets", you know what a John Wayne fan I am. The whole movie is posted at YouTube by The Cobalt Agent (who I love!). The John Wayne character, Col. Mike Kirby is talking to the Col. Frank Morgan character, Bruce Cabot. I wanted to ask SB a question about what they were discussing. I couldn't remember Bruce Cabot's name, so I was Googling "The Green Berets". This news item popped up.

'Green Berets' Author Moore Dies at 82
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Robin Moore, a nonfiction author best known for writing "The French Connection" and "The Green Berets," has died after a long illness. He was 82.
Moore died Thursday night at a hospital in southwestern Kentucky, said Dennis Monroe with Lamb Funeral Home.
Born Robert L. Moore Jr. on Oct. 31, 1925, in Massachusetts, he wrote several books under the name Robin Moore.
"The French Connection," published in 1969, was about a New York drug bust. It inspired a movie that won five Academy Awards in 1971, including best picture.
"The Green Berets," published in 1965, was made into a movie starring John Wayne in 1968. Moore also co-wrote "The Ballad of the Green Berets," which became the signature song of the Special Forces unit.
Moore spent time in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) to write the book, and his connection with the Green Berets endured after the book was written. In 2005 he and his wife, Helen, moved to Hopkinsville, which borders Fort Campbell, the sprawling Army post that is headquarters to a Green Beret group.
Maj. Gen. Gary L. Harrell, deputy commander of the Army's Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, called Moore a "devoted advocate" for the Special Forces and said his writings became textbooks for the Army's unconventional forces.
"They were both educational and inspirational and introduced the world to the Green Berets." Harrell said in a statement posted Friday on an Army Special Forces Web site. "He will be missed."

Read the rest here.

I remember watching this movie many times, especially in the summer time when Red would get us movies for Wednesday night movies in the Coop. He made sure they aired "The Green Berets" at least once every summer. I was such a Wayne fan that I went the to library to find the book. I read "The Green Berets" when I was in high school. At a time when I was far too young to "get it". Such confusion! Especially when Col. Cai's sister-in-law sleeps with the VC guy to distract him for the kidnapping. They described a sexual technique that the this day I don't get.
I'm getting a little blast of Castle readers to this post. Which is grand, thank you John. However, I want to get a few things straight.

I love this movie and John Wayne so don't bother trashing either. I moderate comments and I am not fair or nice.

The sun in the movie is not setting in the East, it is rising, the story is ending in the morning. If you didn't know that, you weren't paying attention to the movie. Not only is the sun rising, it's part of a whole metaphor about a new day and the future and emerging from the darkness.

There are pine trees in Vietnam, here is a picture of Nam Dong. The battle of Nam Dong is the basis for the crucial battle scene in the movie.

1 comment:

Pogue Mahogue said...

I spent a considerable amount of time on a "walking tour" in the area around Chu Lai. There are many pine trees in that vicinity, though most are located in the sandy areas close to the coastline. John Wayne visited our unit there in 1966 and I got almost close enough to shake his hand, but not quite. I still consider it to be one of the top ten things to happen to me in my life.