The Green Berets

The common misunderstanding is that The Green Berets failed because it is untrue, or because of its actor-director-producer’s views. The truth is it’s a film of really profound subtlety built on Thomas Jefferson, Isaiah, and E.E. Cummings.

The essential point is Jefferson’s considered preference for Newspapers over Governments. The main device is a gag on Cummings’ analysis of “kumrads” (“they do not know how to love”), and the great joke at the end (“I’ll try!”) is delicately, carefully and minutely constructed from Isaiah’s vision of Emmanuel (“the Government shall be upon his shoulder”).

If the moviegoing public was not ready at the time to receive this, perhaps a little more effort was required.