“You try and you try, and you’re still behind the eight ball.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Wright’s overly earnest, non-“Method” portrayal role feels somewhat jarring in contrast, though she nicely conveys the tensions inherent in such a life-altering choice.
Meanwhile, Carl Foreman’s Oscar-nominated script is refreshingly authentic, touching on a variety of uncomfortable topics (including the sudden, unexpected death of a well-liked vet, and the very real possibility of infertility), and making it clear that life for these brave soldiers has been brutally transformed.
While other films — i.e., Coming Home (1978), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), and Murderball (2005) — have since covered similar territory in both narrative and documentary form, The Men remains worth a one-time look for its historical relevance and for Brando’s performance. Watch for Everett Sloane as the men’s no-nonsense doctor, and Jack Webb in a supporting role as a cynical bearded vet.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: