The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings

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LiberateLaura@gmail.com

North Korean Movie Madness

The current geopolitical drama playing out in North Korea, with American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee caught smack-dab in the middle, has all the makings of a taught cinematic drama. If that film ever gets made, either for the big screen or say HBO, it will instantly vault to the top of a very small and generally unimpressive sub-genre.

While @BarackObama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have worked hard to gain LingLee traction with North Korea, former President Ronald Reagan parachuted into the movie version of the country back in 1954 via MGM’s Prisoner of War. As Webb Sloane, Reagan goes undercover in a Korean War POW camp, where he witnesses various forms of brutality.

Meanwhile, Ronny Cox as President in the 1997 Wesley Snipes action drama Murder at 1600 must decide whether to go to war with a belligerent North Korea that is holding some U.S. soldiers hostage. That same year also saw the release of Dead Men Can’t Dance, an oddly titled Michael BiehnAdrian Paul drama in which an elite U.S. team is tasked with the mission of destroying a North Korean nuclear facility.

The aforementioned Ronny Cox also co-starred in arguably the best piece of U.S.-made North Korean narrative fare, the 1973 ABC-TV movie Pueblo. Hal Holbrook won a pair of Prime Time Emmys for his portrayal of Commander Lloyd Bucher, while Harvey Keitel appeared unbilled as one of the seamen.

After eleven months of captivity, the Commander and 81 crew members were released (one other died during the capture). Though it took some time, the Pueblo incident eventually had a relatively happy ending; let’s hope the same happens for this dreadful LingLee episode.

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Filed under: Movie Madness

3 Responses

  1. spelunker702 says:

    Who can forget the James Bond movie that depicted North Korea as the bad guys? (Die Another Day, 2002) Funny thing about that flick is that since North Koreans don’t really physically intimidate anybody the film had to make up some science fiction farcical facade of having the North Korean get his total face lifted off and replaced with that of a Caucasian.
    One of my favorite scenes is actually the first one, as James Bond actually surfs onto a North Korean beach. (It isn’t clear if he surfed from China or which exact beach he landed on.)
    There is another scene in the middle of the movie in which I swear you can briefly glimpse portraits of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il on the wall.

    • liberatelaura says:

      Was concentrating on American made movies and technically, this is a British production. Took 14 months for Bond to get released from North Korea after getting captured, when he was finally exchanged for bad guy Zao (Rick Yune).

      Strangely enough, more than one person has tweeted the suggestion that we should offer to exchange Bernie Madoff for Ling-Lee, as he can teach them a whole new set of financial tricks.

  2. john Gelber says:

    the girls are in my prayers i hope they will be released soon and i am constantly pondering the silence of mitch Koss? this whole deplorable incident is an underlying reminder of the danger of the north korean regime, even now as missile after missile is hurled toward japan and other soverign nations near the North koreans.
    Why has no list of participating companies and countries come to light for the public around the world to understand just who is vested in the NK regime and who is really profiting from involvement with the totalitarian rulers of The Northern part of korea?
    May laura and euna return home soon. peace.

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