Twenty years ago, on January 21, 1998, Jack passed away in his home. Marie was by his side.
To help us remember him and to honor his passing, let us watch our favorite one (or more) of his television or film appearances. Be sure to leave a note in the guestbook to let us know what you watched.
Jack in costume on the set of Williamsburg: Story of a Patriot (1957)
"I always agreed , and still do, with what Steve has to say about being responsible for what you say and do, giving Marty Sloane (John Randolph) a dressing down. There Steve refers to the murder of the young prostitue Sloane had watched but not reported and who, as it turns out, is about the same age as Sloane's daughter.
"But I think he means that you are always responsible for your words and deeds,even if you are having a good time (to put Sloane's intentions into decent words) far from home.
"Steve's words take root, Sloane will testify against Charley Bombay although folks at home will know that he had intended to go to a prostitute and a mere girl at that.
This episode shows very clearly the values that were very important to Steve (and Jack !) . Values that , sorry to say, tend to be not estimated very high today."
"First, it shows what happens when tempers flare and factions splinter. Would the people of Virginia pay the exorbitant taxes levied on goods imported from England, or would they join the people of Massachusetts in their rebellion against the King? The House of Burgesses, which was the lower chamber of Colonial Virginia's legislature, could not decide. Finally, the governor fired them all and called for a new election.
"Similarly, Congress still has failed to adopt a budget for Fiscal Year 2018. That budget was due to go into effect on October 1, 2017. Instead, the members point fingers of blame and hide behind bipartisanship. Why, the president should fire them all and call for a new election.
"Second, The Patriot showed the King's militia stealing gun powder from the colonists to ensure that it could not be used against the Crown. The theft was discovered in progress, but before the colonists could intercede. Besides sending the message that the King was not willing to negotiate with the colonists, the theft showed how far the King would go to ensure that he had his way.
"We see a similar situation when partisan politics becomes more important than providing for the nation's well being. Children who rely on federal health insurance suddenly are without coverage. Federal employees either are being furloughed or, if essential, required to work without pay beyond an IOU that they will one day be paid. Congress seems not at all interested in looking after those who live and work at its mercy.
"Third, The Patriot shows how it feels for a parent to send his son off to fight a war that seems unwinnable: King George III versus a ragtag bunch of colonists. As John Fry (Our Boy Jack) tells his son, their farm was to have been his legacy one day. Now, his only legacy may be poverty. At the same time, of course, Fry's son might not return alive to receive a legacy.
"This is a chilling thought with the knowledge that Jack lost his son only a year before he filmed The Patriot. It is an equally chilling thought with the knowledge that our own young men and women go off each day to fight guerilla wars in the Middle East, even as we, at home, fight a domestic war against the threats to our traditional family values and our Constitution."