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THE BEAST aka The Beast of War

This movie was Stephen Baldwin's debut. I have not been able to find a copy, as soon as I do, I will post my own review. Until then, enjoy these reviews from IMDB.

Perhaps the most underappreciated film of the 80's, the Beast stands out as a solid war epic, with heart, action and beautiful imagery. Set during the Soviet Union's brutal war against Afghanistan, the Beast chronicles one tank's attempts to get back to friendly lines. The conscience of the tank crew is a young soldier played by Jason Patric. Increasingly put off by the atrocities against civilians that his hardened tank commander (wonderfully played by a rather lean George Dzundza!) has them all commit, he is forced out of the tank and left to die in the Afghan desert. While waiting to die, he is set upon by the rebels, who spare his life, and accept his aid in going after his comrades' tank! There was a lot to like about the Beast. Good acting all around. Fine attention to military detail. Suspenseful, well-done action scenes. Haunting score by Mark Isham. And amazing, razor-sharp cinematography by Douglas Milsome. The images of the desert are haunting and beautifully composed.

The Beast, a classic example of a foreign unwanted Army. The Beast is a movie I could sit and watch time and time again. The men in the tank dutifully follow the tank commander. All except one. They don't realize he is reliving his boyhood exploits as a "Russian Tank Destroyer" The cinematography in this movie is so extraordinary. The first time I saw the movie, at the end I had to take a shower,because I felt dusty, I could almost taste it. The anxiety communicated by the crew after they killed the deer was waring. I rate this movie with the Humphrey Bogart version of Sahara. While the propaganda value of Sahara was measured in Patriotic Ferver. The combative value of The Beast could be realized in the transmitted smell of fear and burning transmission fluid, it made me think of two words. "Let's Talk!" If we are able to juxtapose ourselves onto the screen as Martin Scorsese propounds. As a crew member I would have had to shoot the Tank Commander, after he cut down the Afgani Liason Officer. I would not want to wait to be next. The demons of war are bad enough without having one as a boss. baddog44@ilhawaii.net Paul Joseph Driscoll

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