The Military & Hollywood

From David Bordwell’s excellent film blog, Observations on film art and Film Art, came this semi-recent article discussing the close relationship of the US military and Hollywood. It basically sums up the win-win situation for both: Hollywood gets to use expensive equipment and well-trained crews (soldiers) for their productions and the military gets a say in how their image is spun (positively, of course). I’m sure that this has also helped in directors and studios helping the branches in creating their own very cinematic commercials. It also makes you wonder how this effects our current mentality to using the military and their actions as well as how the US and its militarized movies are perceived by the overseas audiences it is distributed to.

1950’s Air Force Commercial:

Current Air Force Commercial:

Marines Commercial:

US Army Commercial:


  1. Ian

    It certainly has helped shape how this society sees our military. I mean, there is immediate reverence for our soldiers. How many times have we heard, “Well I don’t support the war in Iraq, but I certainly support the troops.” I don’t know why this is the default mentality. I’m not saying we should be against our troops, but shouldn’t we be allowed to question the sanity, or at least the judgement, of someone who signs up for the military without looking at all the facts? The Iraq War is not about protecting our nation or freeing other people from a ruthless dictator. Soldiers come down with PTSD and either spend years suffering from what they saw and did, or completely snapping. Our government doesn’t take care of soldiers once they return either.

  2. Andrea

    It’s disturbing that the Air Force commercial looks like a more realistic video game commercial. I speculate that some people sign up for service thinking it’s going to be like live action, shot ’em up video games.

  3. Chris

    In the case of an air force armed with remote piloted drones, it is like a video game.

  4. Jordan

    As well as for the ground-based bots used – their controllers are modeled off that of a PS2