Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hollywood Went to War

Sixty-fourth* in our series Hollywood Went to War, is Michael Caine.


Between 1952 and 1954, Caine was called up to do his national service, and served in the British Army's Royal Fusiliers, first at the British Army of the Rhine Headquarters in Iserlohn, West Germany, and then on active service during the Korean War. 
He had gone into Korea feeling sympathetic to communism, coming as he did from a poor family, but the experience left him permanently repelled due to the human-wave attacks practised by North Korea and China, which left him with the sense that their governments did not care about their citizens. 
Caine experienced a situation where he thought he was going to die, the memory of which stayed with him and formed his character. In his 2010 autobiography The Elephant to Hollywood, he wrote that "The rest of my life I have lived every bloody moment from the moment I wake up until the time I go to sleep." 
Caine has said that he would like to see the return of national service in Britain, to help combat youth violence, stating: "I'm just saying, put them in the Army for six months. You're there to learn how to defend your country. You belong to the country. Then, when you come out, you have a sense of belonging, rather than a sense of violence."
Mr. Caine, thank you for the service to your country!

*Sixty four posts, eighty-two individuals.

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