by Brad Nelson 11/4/13
I watched a rather better-than-average PBS movie a while ago called My Boy Jack which was about the story of Rudyard Kipling’s son desperately wanting to join the war against the Hun in WWI.
I don’t know how closely this was based on real life, but I’m assuming it was. Daniel Radcliffe as John Kipling (the son) was adequate, by the way. And David Haig as Rudyard Kipling was splendid. Well done, old man.
Here’s the storyline from IMDB.com:
English gentleman author Rudyard Kipling, famous for the Jungle Book, uses his considerable influence, being on a War Office propaganda think tank, to get his nearly 18 year-old son John ‘Jack’, admitted for military service during World war I after he is repeatedly refused on account of his bad eyesight. He is enrolled in the Irish Guards: their patriotic dream but mother and sister’s nightmare. After a short officer training course Jack gets command of a platoon and embarks in France. Soon, and just after his 18th birthday, his unit suffers terrible losses and Jack is reported missing. Now mother Caroline ‘Carry’ Kipling proves unstoppable pushing Rudyard’s influence and half of England to help find out the truth. When it finally comes, there is far less glory than gore and guilt.
What is shocking about the film is the apparent gusto that men had to join what could only be called organized murder. There is such thing as upholding honor. But you can go crazy with that too. Perhaps one can understand today’s sissified Europe. They’ve swung the pendulum from too much honor for honor’s sake to a continent that now believes in little except believing in nothing.