Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

RETURN WITH HONOR

 

Year: 1998
Country: USA
Run Time: 103 minutes

The first miracle was that they survived the air crashes. The second was that they survived at all. During the Vietnam War, 462 USAF pilots were held captive after their warplanes went down deep in enemy territory. Lodged in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, they underwent hideous physical and mental torment by the North Vietnamese, with little knowledge of and less respect for the Geneva Convention. RETURN WITH HONOR is an overdue salute to a courageous breed of American vet usually done a disservice by Hollywood's comic-book action portrayals. This oral history documentary interviews such real-life heroes as James Stockdale (Ross Perot's onetime presidential running mate), Senator John McCain, and artist Mike McGrath (whose drawings of torture grimly complement the communists' own garish propaganda reels), plus the wives who waited for them and eventually forced the US government to life its curtain of official silence on tenacious soldiers who resisted and fought at the maw of hell itself. "The enemy was still the enemy," says one. "And our job was either to defeat him or make his victory as difficult as possible." Whatever your views on the war, the strength and patriotism of these men are inarguable.

Screenplay
Freida Lee Mock, Terry Sanders, Christine Z. Wiser

Directors
Freida Lee Mock, Terry Sanders

Producer
Freida Lee Mock, Terry Sanders, Christine Z. Wiser

Cinematography
Eddie Martiz, Terry Sanders

Editing
Greg Byers

Principal Cast
James Stockdale, Mike McGrath, Everett Alvarez, Jr., Ron Bliss, Tom McNish, Sybil Stockdale, Marlene McGrath, John McCain, Ed Mechenbier

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