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The clever peasant Arnaud du Tilh had almost won his case, when a man with a wooden leg swaggered into the French courtroom, denounced du TiIh, and reestablished his claim to the identity, property, and wife of Martin Guerre. This book, by the noted historian who served as a consultant for the film, adds new dimensions to this famous legend.
Few stories are more captivating than the one told by Natalie Zemon Davis in The Return of Martin Guerre. Basing her research on records of a bizarre court case that occurred in 16th-century France, she uses the tale of a missing soldier - whose disappearance threatens the livelihood of his peasant wife - to explore complex social issues. Davis takes rich material - dramatic enough to have been the basis of two major films - and uses it to explore issues of identity, women's role in peasant society, the interior lives of the poor, and the structure of village society, all of them topics that had previously proved difficult for historians to grapple with. Davis displays fine qualities of reasoning throughout - not only in constructing her own narrative, but also in persuading her readers of her point of view. Her work is also a fine example of good interpretation - practically every document in the case needs to be assessed for issues of meaning.
With extensive cross references and production data, filmlovers and students will find this a valuable reference for identifying feature films that take place during a specific period of world history.
Essays illustrate the ways Renaissance Florentines expressed or shaped their identities as they interacted with their society.
Movies have provided a record of the war veteran as he was viewed within his own culture and within the culture in which the movies were produced. Thus, movies account for a significant portion of what people “know” about the war veteran and how he fared during and after the war. In this book, the author examines 125 movies from the classical era to the 20th century that feature the war veteran. The author provides commentary on specific categories the films can be organized into and notes similarities between films produced in different periods. The categories deal with the wounded veteran returning home (e.g., The Sun Also Rises, The Best Years of Our Lives, Born on the Fourth of July, The Manchurian Candidate); the veteran struggling with guilt, revenge and post-traumatic stress disorder (Anatomy of a Murder, Lethal Weapon, Desert Bloom, In Country, Jacob’s Ladder); the war veteran returning in disguise (Ulysses, Ivanhoe, The Seventh Seal, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit); the war veteran as a social symbol (Dances with Wolves, Gosford Park, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Big Chill, Gods and Monsters, Cornered); the war veteran in action (The Born Losers, Conspiracy Theory, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Saint Jack, Looking for Mr. Goodbar); and the war veteran before, during and after the war (The Deer Hunter, Forrest Gump).

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