Friendly Fire

65 EpisodesProduced by John Roderick, Adam Pranica and Benjamin Ahr Harrison

A history podcast with a twist: Friendly Fire uses war movies as a point of entry on not only the history of war, but the history of how societies think about war. John Roderick, Adam Pranica and Benjamin Ahr Harrison dissect movies from throughout the history of cinema, talk about film production, … read more

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The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

March 22nd, 2019


Are we as humans ok with the destruction of our creations if its under the auspices of patriotism? Or do we gain our strength from knowing that our real reward are the railway bridges we built along the way? On …

Memphis Belle (1990)

March 15th, 2019


The crew of a B-17 readies for its last bombing mission over Germany but is this the real tale of the Memphis Belle? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John put the hot dog in the bun and chow down—while reviewing this …

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (2016)

March 8th, 2019


What if you took Quint's two-minute monologue from Jaws, added Nicolas Cage, and then with the help of crib notes from a 1975 history class, made a …

Green Zone (2010)

March 1st, 2019


Does this film tell the truth? The whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Nope. But does that matter when Matt Damon is trying to get to the bottom …

Heaven and Earth (1993)

February 22nd, 2019


Has Oliver Stone always had the ability to slow down and take a back seat? Or is it only when adapting books by Le Ly Hayslip? Either way, this film …

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

February 15th, 2019


Can a personal war, be as powerful as a global war? In a fictional pagan society the rules of war can be as loose or as tight as the chains that bind …

Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

February 8th, 2019


Films take years to make, and moments to cancel. So one might think it strange to put out such a brave film so shortly after September 11, 2001. Is Behind Enemy Lines telling a fictional tale that supports the troops, …

Salvador (1986)

February 1st, 2019


There are multiple sides to creative types, much like how there are multiple sides in a civil war. Can the combined power of Oliver Stone, James …

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

January 25th, 2019


Is this Quentin Tarantino's Magnum Opus or did Eli Roth's uncredited direction give this film the fever? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John are in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin' while …

Flags of Our Fathers

January 18th, 2019


Flags of Our Fathers: Is this film the cultural flip it intended to be, or are we as an audience left flapping in the wind? On today's episode Adam, …

Letters from Iwo Jima

January 11th, 2019


Letters from Iwo Jima: Does this film's story-telling device help craft a pragmatic tale of WWII or Is this movie only one-half of a Clint Eastwood fever-dream? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John build those …

Paths of Glory

January 4th, 2019


Paths of Glory: Is this a tale of frustration and loss during The Great War, or does this film successfully encapsulate all of the red-tape, …

RoboCop (1987)

December 28th, 2018


RoboCop: is this film about the war on crime, or is this movie Paul Verhoeven’s "Greatest Story Ever Told" remake? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and …

Black Book

December 21st, 2018


Black Book: Is this a WW2 film that tells its tale from an unfamiliar angle, or are Paul Verhoeven films only shot at unfamiliar angles? On today's …

Courage Under Fire

December 14th, 2018


Courage Under Fire: Does this film show the progressive evolution of a convoluted US Military, or is this movie simply Zwick's Rashomon? On today's …

Pearl Harbor

December 7th, 2018


Pearl Harbor: Is this a faithful retelling of the attack on Pearl Harbor, or is this film Michael Bay’s Titanic? On today’s episode neither Adam, …


November 30th, 2018


Valkyrie: is this a film where the heroes unfortunately don’t succeed, or are we just watching the lesser of two evils fail? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John find out that "Anything" is a very dangerous word, when …

The Deer Hunter

November 23rd, 2018


The Deer Hunter: Is this film a slice of life experience which explores the ripple effect of war, or is this story a slow burn of small town life? On today's episode we hunt what is "this" and what's "this" while …

Biloxi Blues

November 16th, 2018


Biloxi Blues: Is this a film about Neil Simon, or is this a film about America? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John find out the difference between a bathroom and a latrine while reviewing this 1988 Comedy.

This film …

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

November 9th, 2018


All Quiet on the Western Front: Is this a transitional film which plants a seed in the trenches of Hollywood, or is it simply a dramatized retelling …

Ran (乱)

November 2nd, 2018


RAN (乱): Can a film set in feudal Japan translate the brutality of feuding families with the same je ne sais quoi of Bill Shakespeare? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John share fine words —but words don't win …

Downfall (Der Untergang)

October 26th, 2018


Downfall: Is this film solely recounting the last days of Hitler? Or does this movie's story evoke deeper truths about human beings and their cruel …

Von Ryan's Express

October 19th, 2018


Von Ryan's Express: Can an audience be ok with an anti-hero if he's an aging Crooner? Or is this film a fun action-romp no matter who's in the cast? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John bust out of their studios while …


October 12th, 2018


Is this a fun trope-filled submarine caper, or is U-571 a classic example of winner revisionism? On today’s episode Adam, Ben and John brace themselves and stare at the ceilings of their studios while reviewing this …


October 5th, 2018


Sands of Iwo Jima

September 28th, 2018


Dr. Strangelove

September 21st, 2018


Dr. Strangelove: Is this simply a film that pokes fun at government systems, or is this movie a cautionary tale for all who watch? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John mutually assure podcast destruction while …

Army of Shadows (L'Armée des Ombres)

September 14th, 2018


Army of Shadows: Does this film have the viewer ask "what would I do?" or does its intensity have the viewer reflect on what they can do? On today's …

Kelly's Heroes

September 7th, 2018


Kelly's Heroes: Can one rag-tag story encapsulate everything you want in a war movie? Or does this film simply have a 70's take on a 40's heist? On …


August 31st, 2018


Aliens: Does this film reflect on the past by portraying a frightening future? Or is this just a fun popcorn-chomping action flick? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John point their flamethrowers at the eggs of this …

Star Wars

August 24th, 2018


Star Wars: Can one film both radicalize a hero and support a royal bloodline government? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John turn off their targeting computers while analyzing this 1977/1997 adventure!

Star Wars is …


August 17th, 2018


Paisan: Does this film live and breathe the eccentricities of life during wartime? Or does each vignette simply signal an understanding between Italy and America? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John walk into a …

The Enemy Below

August 10th, 2018


The Enemy Below: Is this simply a cat and mouse Naval adventure? Or is the takeaway more about knowing thine adversary? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John anxiously prepare their pork chops while reviewing this 1957 …


August 3rd, 2018


Platoon: Does this film truly express the duality of human nature (especially during wartime), or is it simply Oliver Stone's retelling of his own …

The Siege

July 27th, 2018


The Siege (1998): Does this film represent an alternative past that predicts a frighteningly familiar present? Or does this story show how easy it is …

Operation Dumbo Drop

July 20th, 2018


Operation Dumbo Drop: Is this fun time adventure romp based off a true story, or is Disney trying to spin the war in Vietnam for children? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John parachute into Walt’s world while …


July 13th, 2018


Mongol: Does this film accurately tell the tale of Temudgin —Future Khan of all Mongols— or is the story tainted by those who wrote the history …

Paradise Now

July 6th, 2018


Paradise Now: Can this film bridge the gap of understanding between cultures, or will some folks only consider it negative propaganda? On today’s …

The Last Of The Mohicans

June 29th, 2018


The Last Of The Mohicans: Does this love story help an audience understand the French and Indian war, or does the film just reenforce noble savage stereotypes? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John use every part of …

Apocalypse Now

June 22nd, 2018


Apocalypse Now: is this a fictional journey based on Veterans’ urban legends, or does this film just encapsulate the horrors of the Vietnam war? On …

The Dirty Dozen

June 15th, 2018


The Dirty Dozen: It’s 1967 and Nunnally Johnson and Lukas Heller have decided to take on a fictional prequel of D-Day. But does this film accurately represent the time before the Normandy invasion, or are the filmmakers …

Clear and Present Danger

June 8th, 2018


Clear and Present Danger: Does this film depict the “war on drugs” as realistic? Or does the movie set out to sensationalize the three branches of the American Government? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John make …

The African Queen

June 1st, 2018


The African Queen: Does this film correctly portray colonial life in Africa during World War I, or are the pipes and rapids too distracting? On …

From Here to Eternity

May 25th, 2018


From Here to Eternity: Is this a tale that puts pre-war emotions in perspective? Or is it a study of the evolution of equality and acceptance? On …

Rescue Dawn

May 18th, 2018


Rescue Dawn: Is this an accurate depiction of Dieter Dengler’s time in Laos or are the tentpoles of his experience used to manufacture a Hollywood …

The Battle of Algiers

May 11th, 2018


The Battle of Algiers: Is this a raw tale of the Algerian war or is it a manual for modern warfare? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John swap …


May 4th, 2018


Glory: Does this film accurately portray the United States Civil War, or has it been viewed with Bueller-tinted glasses. On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John traverse a historical battlefield that has an effect on …

Red Dawn (2012)

April 27th, 2018


Red Dawn (2012): Is this a remake of an awkward 80's film or just a springboard for Josh Peck and Chris Hemsworth? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and …

Red Dawn

April 20th, 2018


Red Dawn: Did this film accurately portray what a World War 3 United States Invasion would look like, or is this a right-wing-Brat-Pack-wet-dream? On …

Force 10 from Navarone

April 13th, 2018


Force 10 from Navarone: Is an elite task-force the only way to blow-up a bridge or just the best way? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John flip their hats and prepare their briefcases while strategically reviewing …

Three Kings

April 6th, 2018


Three Kings: Was this a war movie or a heist flick? Can’t it be both? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John figure out who’s the main-man while …


March 30th, 2018


MASH: Does this film hold a mirror up to 1960's society or is it merely a baby boomer entitlement fever dream? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John …

Enemy at the Gates

March 23rd, 2018


Enemy at the Gates: Is this film about the legendary rise of Vassili Zaitsev or is it just another Hollywood romance job? On today's episode Adam, …


March 16th, 2018


Fury: Does this story accurately represent the last days of WWII or is this a melting pot of popular war tropes? On today's episode Adam, Ben, and …

7 Days in Entebbe

March 13th, 2018


7 Days in Entebbe: Is it a dramatic retelling of actual events or does this film further the conjecture involving the problems in the middle east? On …

Fires on the Plain

March 9th, 2018


Fires on the Plain: Does this WWII story reflect a harsh and honest end to a losing battle or is this a film about confidently facing infinite obstacles? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John taste the monkey meat of …


March 2nd, 2018


Zulu: Is this an underdog film that shows the futility of colonialism or does this biopic reflect the progressive movements of the 1960s? On today’s …


February 23rd, 2018


Braveheart: Does this film tell the tale of a freedom-fighting warrior or is this a story about William Wallace’s revenge-fueled descent into madness? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John rewind all four VHS cassette …

Stalag 17

February 16th, 2018


Stalag 17: Is this P.O.W. dramedy a prison break film or is it a movie about coming together during times of distress? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John crawl through the mud of World War 2 humor and discover that …

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

February 9th, 2018


Master and Commander the Far Side of the World: Is this a nautical tale of patriotism or does it show that teamwork conquers all? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John face a squall of talking points in this 2003 …

First Blood

February 2nd, 2018


First Blood: is it about the challenges of small-town law enforcement, or is the tale of John Rambo an allegory for the war in Vietnam? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John explore the abandoned mine that is this 1982 …

Flying Leathernecks

January 26th, 2018


Flying Leathernecks, is it a film about whipping your soldiers into shape or does it merely swap subs for jets? On today’s episode our three …

Run Silent, Run Deep

January 19th, 2018


Run Silent, Run Deep: is it a submarine revenge flick or a tale of cohabitation and companionship? On today’s episode Adam, Ben, and John travel to new depths in discussing this classic WW2 film, and learn that of the …

Saving Private Ryan

January 12th, 2018


Saving Private Ryan, was it an honest portrayal of World War 2 or did Spielberg mesmerize the United States into feeling emotion? In today’s …

Friendly Fire

December 20th, 2017


War movies: one of the core genres of the cinema. From the earliest days of the form, filmmakers have been trying to capture and comment on war. Do these films accurately represent the battles depict? And are they more …

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