The name of the movie escapes me, or I never knew it, but I watched it a few weeks ago, mostly because Gregory Peck was the star, and he was hot, as always, just a joy to look at, and of course he was playing the kind of character his almost always played (well, there was Ahab), a really good guy, and indeed, he was the good guy hero of the movie.
He was the son of the Rich Steel Baron in Pittsburg, Scots, or maybe Scotts, I’m not sure if it was their name or national origin, but I heard the family called that by the Angry Irish Dad (old guy, always played AID), and his daughter, the love of Greg’s life, even if only a poor Irish Servant Girl in the household of the Rich Steel Baron, and that woman whose name I also don’t know always played the Irish Lass in movies, but anyway, that was the love story part of the story.
But the main theme of the story was Strike, by the Steel Workers, who all happened to be Irish, or mostly, and of course the conflict between AID and the love of his dear daughter, and really, she wasn’t dear to him at all, he was a total douchebag, he’d been injured in the mines or I guess at the steel mill or something, and he was one Bitter Dude, so AID,BD, but there was conflict there, which eventually got at least a little bit resolved.
After all, Gregory Peck was the rich guy, and his Dad was decent, too, the Steel Baron, but as I recall I’m pretty sure Greg and the servant girl ended up together and happy, even if both of their fathers died, and I’m pretty sure both of them did, it was how it all got resolved, I guess, because he’d even married someone else in between and had a kid, but he basically threw his wife out and kept the kid and the Irish Servant Girl.
But the salient point, and yes, there is one, and I’ve seen it a few times now in old movies, is a deep understanding of Life from the Perspective of not so much the boomers, but the Pre-Boomers, the Greatest Generation, and Greg was one, my parents, too, and man if we get back to the Rugged Spirit of their parents and grandparents, well, it does offer up a very different way to look at them and what they, and we, make no mistake, we, too, have done with the world.
The Super Romantic Isn’t It Lovely Backdrop for Greg and the Irish girl’s romance was the unquestionably ugly and horrific smoke belching stacks of a steel mill. The story was set in the late 19th Century, and to the eyes of the characters, and in the eyes of the Greatest Generation that made that movie, that was something beautiful.
Progress. If you’re Canadian, you pronounce it like pro-gress, in the US, like prah-gress, and no, I don’t know why that is, but in either case, it’s like, way silly.
And I’ve seen it over and over in old movies. We, as a culture, really had not a clue just how much damage was being done. The Big War was glorified, of course it was, we were the Good Guys. I saw another one in which Jimmy Stewart (everybody loved Jimmy Stewart) was engineering offshore oil rigs. It was a Great Thing to be doing.
We’ve only just recently figured out that trees are nicer than Steel Mills and offshore drilling really sucks. But gosh, we can learn, I’m certain of it. The same spirit that led Jimmy Stewart to solve the how to get oil problem and Greg to get that alloy of steel exactly right, well, it has enough sense to look at the data and recognize that both of those great ideas had all sorts of unforeseen consequences associated with them.
We can learn, I’m sure of it. At least I hope we can.