Monday, August 18, 2014

Ten Films Every DeMolay Should See

Today's post comes from "Dad" Peter Brusoe, Past International Master Councilor, and all around chipper guy. Enjoy!

Leaving KeyMan University 2014 “Dad” Zack Panitzke (Clap, clap, clap, clap) and I joked around about the idea of having a film minor, or during free time screening a movie that is culturally significant, but perhaps not known by DeMolays.   Indeed, in the car ride back there were films I had seen that “Dad” Panitzke had not, and vice-versa. 

The film minor is probably not happening, but there are a bunch of films out there that DeMolays should see because they are fun,  instructive and span the generations.  The films are not in any particular order, and there are other films that should be on this list.  Do you have films you want to add? Email me at with your list and your reasons.

The Goonies:  This was a basic staple of any child growing up in the 1980s.  Written by Christopher Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter, Mrs. Doubtfire) this film involves a group of kids who go on the search for pirate treasure.  It’s not an epic film, but it’s one that is good for jokes, humor, and a sense of connection that people feel undertaking a journey.  Active DeMolays may recognize Sean Astin of Samwise Gamgee fame. 
DeMolay Lesson:  The quest is best with friends and brothers.

Chariots of Fire:  You’ve probably heard the sound track to this, and perhaps even seen it parodied in slow motion.  This film, based on real events, follows the training schedule of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams as they prepare and train for the 1924 Olympics in Paris.  They came from different backgrounds but had the same passion and overcame odds in their training regime. Active DeMolays may recognize Ian Holm of Bilbo Baggins Fame.
DeMolay Lesson:  Keep to your personal convictions,

To Kill a Mockingbird:  Gregory Peck is one of the most talented actors ever. This film adaption of Harper Lee’s Classic novel is an amazing story in personal convictions.  Though you’ve probably read the story and have studied the book in school, Peck’s performance is masterful.
DeMolay lesson:  Be the voice for those without a voice.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington:  Seven years before the making of “It’s a Wonderful Life”  Frank Capra teams up with Jimmy Stewart for this amazing film.  This film follows Jefferson Smith as he’s appointed to serve in the United States Senate.  As soon as he gets there he faces a tremendous amount of pressure from the old guard, but he stands up and does what’s right for the people back home and becomes beloved.
DeMolay Lesson:  In the face of pessimism, optimism can win out!

The Emperorer’s Club: This film received mixed reviews. But I liked it.  In some ways it’s an updated version of Mr. Chipps, but there is a good moral lesson in the end.  Kevin Kine gives another masterful performance. 
DeMolay Lesson: Don’t be Shutruk Nahunte.

Tora! Tora! Tora:  This film was not a critical success and it has no major stars except Jason Robards.  This film tells the story leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It is historical, it is well researched, and it has been credited as being one of the major sources of information most Americans have about Pearl Harbor.
DeMolay Lesson:  Love of Country

Midway:  This film should be watched AFTER Tora! Tora! Tora! It recounts the success of the American Navy at the Battle of Midway.  It features an amazing set of actors including Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Hal Holbrook, Robert Mitchum, and Robert Wagner. If these names are not familiar with you, they should be they were among the best of our parents’ generation.
DeMolay Lesson:  After getting knocked down, we can get back up again.


Rocky:  This is a film that everyone seems to know, and they can quote “Yo Adrian” and maybe can sing a few bars of “Gonna Fly Now” but when you ask them who Cuff and Link are they gave you a blank stare.   It’s a good movie, and a piece of Americana.  In each of us there is a Rocky that we need to find and tap.
DeMolay Lesson:  Believe in yourself.

Remember the Titans:  This film plays a bit loose with facts and real life events.  But it does capture a moment in time when things like race separated us.  I first saw this film at a DeMolay Leadership Conference because it rained and we couldn’t play sports.   Denzel Washington gives a masterful performance.  Neat fact: The Real TC Williams High School is about a mile or so from the Scottish Rite Building in Alexandria, VA where MATOC was a few years ago.
DeMolay Lesson:  Brotherhood.

A Man for All Seasons:  This film features an amazing performance by Paul Scofield and won six academy awards.  The story tells the falling out between Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII of England.  More most choose between his personal beliefs and going along with in-crowd. 
Power house quote:  “I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.”
DeMolay Lesson:  Personal integrity is worth more than temporal power.

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