CREDIT: Warner Bros./Imperial War Museum

My favorite part of They Shall Not Grow Old is the featurette after the end of the movie in which Peter Jackson lets us in on the restoration process. It makes me wish that all making-of special features played on the big screen, or at least the ones for the most technically ambitious movies. I almost would have preferred an hour and a half of the behind-the-scenes footage to the actual documentary. But of course, I needed to see the thing itself for the making-of to have its fullest oomph. And it’s not like it’s a bad doc. Indeed, when They Shall Not Grow Old switches to color, it is just about as thrilling as when The Wizard of Oz makes that same vivid transition. The other big value is the peek into a past culture when teenage boys were so eager to enlist at the first sign of war. Society is so profoundly different now. Not that I want it to go back to the way it was. Rather, I am glad we have this first-hand document in such good quality to viscerally show us both how deadly and how disgusting the trenches were.

Advertisements