Imagine "Stalag 17" as rewritten by John Grisham, and you'll have a sense of "Hart's War." In the final days of World War II, greenhorn lieutenant Thomas Hart (Colin Farrell) is captured by the Nazis and sent to a P.O.W. camp where he comes under the watchful eye of Col. William McNamara (Bruce Willis), the top-ranking U.S. officer on the premises.
When an African-American prisoner apparently murders one of his fellow captives, the Germans allow the Yanks to conduct a military trial, with Hart as attorney for the defense. Believing in such Axis largesse is just one leap of faith required by "Hart's War," which narrowly covers its narrative posterior for an hour or so. It's a bit jarring to hear the commanding Nazi, Col. Wisser (Marcel Iures), opine that the defendant, Lt. Lincoln Scott (Terrence Howard), is being treated better in Deustchland than he would be in Alabama: Who knew the members of the Third Reich were so conversant with the Southern states? Later, however, we learn that Wisser studied at Yale in 1928. Take your base, mein herr.
The second half of the film is pure malarkey. Though Scott is met with contempt by nearly every white P.O.W. save Hart, he remains a paragon of Christian forgiveness, ready to lay down his life for his "friends." Concurrently, the stalag becomes a place where minorities don't merely receive fair trials but are permitted to append their testimony with heart-tugging sermons about the evils of prejudice. Alabama, Schmalabama; Detroit doesn't have courts this liberal.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.