Such is the case with this 1992 American war film that is getting its first time DVD and Blu-ray release.
This low key but big emotional impact film tells of a group of young soldiers sent on an intelligence gathering mission to the front line in the Ardennes Forest on the eve of Hitler’s last ruthless counter attack known as ‘the Battle of The Bulge’ in the dying weeks of the Second World War.
It is deepest winter and the original group of twelve young soldiers has been reduced to six largely thanks to the incompetent ‘leadership’ of their career striving useless Major.
Selected specifically for their intelligence the original group were to be used as a resource to effectively collate intelligence for the benefit of the overall allied campaign.
We join the story when the small group of men are at a low ebb and have been once again put in unnecessary danger for no discernable gain.
Ordered to seize and occupy an old house deep in the forest the men settle in with a routine of nighttime watches.
At this point the film breaks off into a poignant interlude when we are taken back to the night before the battalion’s departure for Europe.
Four of the men go in search of female company as a ‘rights of passage’ settling of scores before they go off to war and maybe die.
This scene is very moving, believable and real.
Back to the war.
In time the stressed soldiers come across a group of weary Germans who want to surrender.
Events do not go as planned and the horrors and madness of war consume them.
Filmed against a canvas of a snow bound landscape representing innocence that white innocence is sacrificed in sudden blood reds and brown dirt mud streaks.
The script is sharp and poetic with stand out lines such as “I’m having my usual trouble noticing how beautiful the world is Just as I might be leaving it”.
The young cast of future stars is simply wonderful in their swagger, nervousness and emotional depth.
This is a first rate work of art and a war picture that haunts long after the movie has ended.
Before ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ there was this.
First among equals in telling the stories of those young men who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom in the forties.
Starring Ethan Hawke, Kevin Dillon, Gary Sinise and Peter Berg ‘A Midnight Clear’ written and directed by Keith Gordon is now available on DVD from Second Sight.
Don’t miss it this time around.