to care for him who shall have borne the battle
During World War II director John Huston produced three films for the US government. Let There Be Light was shot for the Army Signal Corps. It covers the treatment of 75 US soldiers traumatized by their combat experiences in World War II. The film is narrated by Walter Huston, the academy award-winning actor father of John Huston. The Army brass did not like the finished product, thinking that its focus on men who suffered psychological damage from their service could be demoralizing to the troops, and banned the film on the grounds that it invaded the privacy of the soldiers featured in the film and that the releases they signed had been lost. (This reason was pretextual, but as a matter of law I would not place any reliance on a release signed by someone undergoing mental treatment standing up for an instant in court.)
The ban was lifted during the Reagan years. The film is now in the public domain and is regarded as a minor classic. This movie reminds us that after “the tumult and the shouting dies,” and “the captains and the kings depart” the brave men who fought sometimes have a difficult time making their way back from the hell they experienced.
“You know, you never get over combat. I don’t think you ever do.”