Daffy the Commando

“Schultz!!!!!!”

World War II propaganda at its finest, this technicolor burst of anarchy tosses Daffy Duck into the fight, as he bedevils and bonks those idiotic Nazi’s, encouraging his fellow Americans to do the same in real life.

Unlike the Warner Bros. cartoons attacking the Japanese — which always depicted that Axis group with buckteeth — this is mostly absent the racism of the time.

Though it does find plenty of time to mock Hitler, at one point comparing him to a skunk.

But, if you’re gonna complain about that, well…

 

Phoenix

Hitchcock would be proud.

This German mystery arrived long after the Master of Suspense passed, but it pays beautiful tribute to films like Vertigo.

Following WWII, we track a singer as she returns to Berlin after surviving a savage bullet wound at Auschwitz.

The injury required extensive reconstruction surgery, leaving her identity in question.

Which sets up an uneasy reunion with her husband, who may have betrayed her to the Nazis.

While he doesn’t know he’s speaking to his (presumed dead) wife, he thinks she looks enough like her to help him collect a major inheritance.

Cue the emotional fallout.

A League of Their Own

Tears are taboo on the diamond.

A rollicking grand slam, this fictionalized look at real-life women who helped keep professional baseball going in America during World War II is as fresh today as when it hit theaters in ’92.

Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances, rumpled and sarcastic, a faded star who finds, to his abiding horror, that he actually still cares.

Geena Davis, among the most-athletic of actresses (check out Cutthroat Island for more proof), is the true star, but don’t sleep on Lori Petty as her rambunctious lil’ sis.

This lineup is loaded with Hall of Famers.

 

Saving Private Ryan

The greatest robbery in Oscar history.

If you think Shakespeare in Love deserved to beat Steven Spielberg’s ode to the men who fought, and died, to save the world, you should probably stop watching movies.

The opening, when Tom Hanks and Co. hit the beaches during D-Day, is a monumental achievement of sound and fury, laced with quiet melancholy over what is being lost.

But, as strong as that first bow is, the rest of the film holds up its end of the deal.

From Jeremy Davies on the staircase to Hanks final stand, this is the Best Picture of 1998.

The Return of Captain Invincible

Not every superhero can be Batman.

Future Oscar winner Alan Arkin, as a very D-List “avenger,” goes toe-to-toe with Christopher Lee in one of the more unique ’80s movies.

The action centers around a disgraced American legend – now living in obscurity in Australia after being cancelled for possible Communist sympathies, and “wearing underwear in public.”

Comfortably drunk, Captain Invincible has to return to action when his arch-nemesis, Mr. Midnight, resurfaces with a stolen government Hypno-Ray.

Oh, and did I mention this is a musical, with songs by the guys behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Things just got interesting.