A little more than thirty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October, sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013.

One of his novels, Without Remorse, published in 1993, was based on the adventures of a friend of mine (best-friend type) who died in the Global War on Terror. The circumstances of his death don’t matter for the sake of this particular discussion, but he died with his boots on. It’s one of Clancy’s edgier novels. Another friend of mine who won a DFC in Vietnam when his A-1 was shot down, hated the book. Others I know loved it. To each his/her own. If you read the reviews on Amazon, they vary between 5 stars and 1 star, with the 1-star people believing that the plot is ridiculous.

My buddy was stationed at NAS Oceana, in Virginia and a friend of his told Tom Clancy the story. It’s not a true story, but the elements that make it interesting are. Clancy sought my buddy out and they talked. So there you are and Clancy only wrote it after my friend died.

Amazon bought the rights and made the film with primarily a black cast. They modified the book to make it into a movie as everyone who makes a movie must do.

My buddy was not black. None of the people associated with the original story were black. And you can say, “what difference does it make?” Maybe it shouldn’t make any difference, but it does.  I won’t view the film even though it’s “free” on Amazon Prime.

I wonder how people would feel if “Roots” had been made with an all-white cast in black face? Or if the Eddie Murphy film, “Coming to America” had been made with white actors, pretending to be black?

That’s my point.

I know that some of you are saying, “move on, LL, it doesn’t matter,” and it wouldn’t have if the subject hadn’t been a best friend.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for the background. I always enjoyed Tom Clancy’s books and movies and when I saw Without Remorse had been turned into a film I was very interested. But when I watched the trailer it hit me there was some kind of forced narrative here with the almost all black cast. You see that kind of thing everywhere today and I’m fed up with it I’m not going to waste my time with the movie either. Thanks for the time you put into this blog.

    • I’d like to go see a movie at a theater. Hollywood may come out with SOMETHING worth seeing this year — but part of me doubts that they’ll be able to pull it off.

  2. Ah, Mr. Clark. Easily the best and hardest of all Clancy characters.
    Your friend must have been a hell of a man.
    I hope he produced skilled followers as did John Clark.

    If all his books my personal favorite was Red Storm Rising. Not sure we are capable of overcoming adversity like that now…

    • “behind ‘it’…”…was waiting for MrsPM in Laramie typing on the phone (wouldn’t want to miss a minute of VM wisdom).

      No masks required in town, but did still see quite a few who believe they are protecting themselves by wearing some dirty face covering…tough habit for some to break.

      Clancy is great, need to look into Without Remorse. Read thru the Jack Reacher novels (swift justice wouldn’t hurt for a few people I can think of). Currently going thru some Baldacci, and for road trips we play a Grisham audio book…makes I-80 thru Nebraska or 287 north thru Muddy Gap more tolerable.

  3. If a movie or book is based on an historical setting or fact then I want the movie and the book to be historically accurate and be told that way. I too, like you LL, for other reasons, I won’t read or watch a movie if it is glamored up, politically corrected and changed to reflect people of color racism. I can handle the TRUTH!

  4. I liked the book, but like you, I don’t believe I’ll watch the movie. I don’t so much object to updating the setting, but I do suspect there’ll be a lot of political correcting going on here.

  5. “Coming to Africa”, a tale of an American Prince seeking to escape an arranged marriage and find a wife who will love him for who he is, not what he will inherit. Hiding his true heritage while working in a fast food establishemnt in Moghidishu he goes on to find true love on the Continent where life truly matters.

  6. I don’t think it matters who is cast in a movie, white or black, but what matters is the agenda behind it all. If race is no longer to be an issue then all of these making a point “issues” have to stop. All I see is a bigger divide and race issue being created by all this point scoring.

    A book should be portrayed correctly. I hate going to see a film when it bears no resemblance to the writers word.

    When Red Mist is on the big screen we can make sure “they” don’t F it up 🙂

  7. Changing the characters and the story between the novel and the movie is in some ways a “canon” violation. (It is also the moral equivalent of kidnapping someone, murdering and skinning him, and wearing the hide as a skinsuit. Generally while performing acts completely anathema to the original person. But that’s just my opinion.) Here is a commentary by The Critical Drinker (who is also a successful novelist in addition to being one of the best YouTube movie reviewers). Persons offended by commonly-used curse words should not listen to this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAmJ52dtQl0

    • Another bit by The Drinker on the topic of heroes. LTWT (lissen to the whole thing), but for those who prefer to read, here’s the key paragraphs (06:01):

      People who once looked to our heroes as symbols to aspire to, as a motivation to become more than they are, now see them as an unflattering reflection of their own weaknesses and failure. Rather than try to better themselves and their lives through hard work, courage, and sacrifice, they instead find perverted joy in tearing down anything that stands higher than them, bringing everyone and everything down to their level instead of the harder but more rewarding task of raising themselves up.

      And the end result of this way of thinking is a small, petty, envious view of the world, the kind of thing that belongs in the minds of small, petty, envious people, who hide their dark intent behind a façade of compassion and fairness. The kind of people who hysterically preach acceptance of everything, no matter how ridiculous, harmful, or pathetic. Because once you accept everything, then there’s no need to strive for anything.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow79eUHFhp0

      Small, petty, envious people with dark intent disguised as fairness and bettering the world. Who could possibly think anyone like that is even employed in Hollywood, much less running things? Hollywood has never delivered up propaganda, and it has always always always reflected the cultural values and norms of general American society.

  8. I saw the movie on Prime the other night ,very nearly turned it off when it had a Black FEMALE Officer on the Seal Team. I did watch and it was very poorly done ,Seals on Fox is better and it isn’t real either . Oh well most anything pedowood touches turns to Crapp.

    • My wife likes the TV show Seals. I was Joint Services and had to support some missions. That TV show is so much crap I can’t stand to watch it. If you look at the demographics of the Seals and other braches of special forces they do not fall in line with the numbers of the Regular Navy/Army/Air Force/Marines.

      • I haven’t seen SEALs, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post. So I can’t fairly comment. The demographics were thus when I was in – one black guy named Washington. He was a good enough operator. I don’t know where his career went. Not a stellar guy, but ok.

  9. I had a similar reaction when I visited the USS Constitution a few decades back and discovered her commanding officer was a woman. That was NOT the case when she went into action.

    • Really? It is progressive, Old Guy. Was she a real woman, or did she just self-identify as one? Did you check?

  10. LL of course it matters, the casting is just another part of the woke message from our “betters”. I liked the book, probably won’t watch the movie simply because I enjoy books more than movies in darn near every case.
    I ditched Direct TV about a year ago as it had turned into 300 channels of people trying to sell me stuff. Bought an antenna to get the local channels and still haven’t hooked it up yet. Just not that interested in TV, and in summer when it is light until 10 PM I will REALLY not be interested.

  11. I will have to buy the book now and read it with that recommendation.

    As to the movie being made with a Black cast, I saw somewhere, maybe even here, that a new Superman movie is in the works where ALL of the crew, actors and more will be Black, no Whites allowed. May be that there won’t be any Whites, Asians, non-black Latinos, etc. even in the background. From what TV I do watch, more and more of the advertisements have Black actors in the primary roles with a few other minorities thrown in and just maybe a White person now and then. I have to wonder how soon from one just watching movies and TV that the population of the country formerly know as the United States of America will appear to be 90%+ Black?

    • Certainly does. I wonder what Clancy would have thought about this.

      Actually, no, I don’t wonder. I doubt very much he would have agreed to it.

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