Pete Appleton is just about to make his big break in hollywood. He’s got a compelling script, some experience as a screenwriter under his belt, and a great team to boot. Everything goes wrong however, when he is blacklisted in hollywood due to suspicions of being tied to the communist party. Pete despairs and gets drunk at a local bar. On the away home, he avoid hitting and animal and crashes into a nearby stream.
When he wakes up, he has lost all his memory. Who he was, where he lived, and even his name- all gone without a trace. In this town they believe him to be a long lost MIA solider returning home. Parties are organized, celebrations carried out, and all an old theater restored. Life is good for the man now called “Luke”.
But on one night, Pete/Luke’s memory comes back, and he must choose. Choose to do what is right in the eyes of America, or to follow instructions from McCarthyist hunters.
Things I Liked
The small town of Lawson lost over 60 young men to the War. Because of this, the town has grown incredibly close as a community, but never quite moved on. When Pete shows up, we see dozens of acts of charity towards him before he is mistakenly identified. A man gives him his breakfast, another gives his some fresh clothes, another gives him a place to sleep. The cool thing is, it only builds from there. When “Luke” decided to renovate the old theater with his father, we see the mayor, and the entire city contribute resources and manpower to see the project through.
Through this Generosity, we see Luke learn the town’s habits, he purchase a very sentimental and expensive gift for a worker at the theater, he encourages others, and participates in the town’s celebrations- even though he doesn’t want to. When he recovers his memory, we see those traits carry through to his actual life. He goes from a man of cowardice to a man of courage.
In addition to the excellent lessons taught by the people of Lawson, the respect and honor shown to the lives sacrificed in WWII is something quite memorable and praiseworthy. We are told of valiant stories of bravery and compassion. We are also shown how terribly war affects those who lost loved ones. The entire town was in decay because of the young men lost. What is most memorable about this, is a speech given by Pete at the end of the film. Recognizing how the sacrifice made across the sea must be preserved here as well. We as citizens have a responsibility to defend the constitution with our words and actions here, just as much as soldiers had a responsibility to defend it overseas. It was great to be reminded of this.
Things I Didn’t Like
There are dozens of (what our society might call) mild curse words used in everyday conversation.
Pete is punched in the face for disagreeing with a local town boy. He gets drunk on the night he is accused because of the despair that wells up inside of him. He kisses Adele several times throughout the movie when thought to be Luke. When watching a movie Pete wrote, we see a villain run through with a sword.
I know for a fact that Luke’s America was big. Bigger than you could imagine with a wide open heart, where every person has a voice! Even if you don’t like what they have to say. If he ‘were’ here, I wonder how you’d respond. If you could explain to him what happened to his America. ~Pete Appleton~
“The Majestic” is a film that addresses several issues society faced immediately following WWII in an uplifting perspective. Pete learns through losing his memory, and walking in another man’s shoes (literally) many valuable life lessons which grow him. He finds courage, conviction, and even develops a conscience. So when the time comes to make a stand, we don’t know what Pete will say, but we are fairly confident he will do the right thing for his country- not necessarily himself.
And therein lies the core value of this film. Loving selflessness and respected gratitude is prevalent everywhere you look in this movie. From the townsfolk of Lawson, to Pete himself we see everyone giving time, money, or even risking freedom to thank, help, or support the other. The undying respect and solemn thankfulness to the soldiers who have given everything for our country is incredibly moving, without even showing a drop of a dying solider’s blood to prove that point.
So while the amount of cursing is indeed shabby, “The Majestic” is indeed exactly that, a majestic drama telling about what can be accomplished when a group of people selflessly love the other, and how much difference one man can make when one stands up for his convictions. Something we definitely can learn from and apply to our lives as followers in Christ.