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Pal and his wife Czoka fled Holland as the Nazis were trashing Europe. He saw firsthand the horrors inflicted on innocent, peaceful people by these fascists. When he started making films in America, one of his first was this excellent anti-war piece in which an innocent pair of Dutch lovers are terrorized by the invading Screwball army. The faceless, inhuman, mechanical (literally, made of nuts and bolts), "sieg-hiel"-ing screwballs are a dark parody of the same faceless inhumanity that could mechanically exterminate innocent lives.
The two lovers, Jan and Janette, before the invasion.
The screwball army appears with the speed of a sudden storm, and the sky turns red with fear.
The onslaught of the Screwballs, 677k movie
The screwball planes are made of glass... beautiful models.
Look closely... a fleeing Jan and Janette are in the sights of this screwball tank.
Janette's windmill is in the background.
Janette seems to be dead (she is missing)... Jan prays for help, and is answered as nature (or God) is disgusted enough by these wretched screwballs to act. This time, the sudden storm is just that... and those glass planes are like lightning rods.
A final attempt at a salute as the steel screwballs rust, rust, rust!
The demise of the Screwball army, 858k movie
Jan and the recovered Janette have rebuilt the windmill... together. "V"
for Victory is in the clouds.
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This page was first posted December 1, 1996.