best guess: if it weren’t for cage and cruz, this one would look a lot less interesting than it does.

cage plays an italian army captain who comes to the greek island of cephallonia with italy’s occupying forces in the early days of wwii. he soon falls in love with local beauty cruz who is, alas, engaged to a local fisherman. somewhere in there, a magical mandolin comes to the rescue.

windtalkers (november 2001)
starring: nicolas cage, adam beach, christian slater
best guess: expectations are high for one of the greatest “untold” stories of wwii.

while wwii participants used a number of ever-changing intelligence codes, the u.s. trumped them all with the famed navajo code talkers, who spoke a version of their own language that the japanese never could figure out. the story involves a marine bodyguard (cage) with orders to thwart a potential security risk by killing any navajo in danger of being captured by the japanese.

hart's war (spring 2002)
starring: bruce willis, colin farrell, terrence howard
best guess: tobey maguire and edward norton backed out of starring roles, but the intriguing story should be strong enough to get the movie by on willis’ star wattage alone.

set in a nazi concentration camp, this courtroom drama involves a former law student (farrell) defending an african-american prisoner (howard) against a charge of murder levied by fellow american prisoners. the story explores the parallel between german prejudices toward jews and the americans’ racism toward their african-american comrades. willis plays an imprisoned u.s. general. —