CIFF Student Classics Film Series: "They Were Expendable"

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The Coronado Island Film Festival's Student Classic Film Study Program is open to any upper-middle and high school students attending public, charter, or parochial schools, as well as those who are homeschooled. All students are welcome to attend and join the post-screening moderated discussion. 

Although this program is usually only for teens and adults who are with them, this final screening in this year's series is open to everyone. 

Reservations are requested and can be made here:

Two purposes will guide the program: 

1) To develop in young people the discernment necessary to understand dramatic film narratives. Because movies employ so many senses, classic films are among the most powerful genres of visual storytelling. The program will introduce young people to classic movies made by recognized masters of the film medium. 

2) To challenge young people to analyze dramatic film narratives and hone critical-thinking skills. Every dramatic narrative is, in its essence, a story of redemption. Great stories incorporate an introduction, a protagonist, an antagonist, and some form of conflict. Great stories conclude when these conflicts are resolved. This general narrative model is followed, in various forms, in nearly every classic film made during Hollywood’s Golden Age.  


A special program will be made available for homeschoolers or independent study students to document program completion as a drama and/or film appreciation elective. 

The discussion guides are drawn from Dr. Onalee McGraw, founder of the Educational Guidance Institute (EGI) and a former educator. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies, and her classic film study guides have been used successfully with audiences of young people around the nation from widely diverse demographic backgrounds and cultural experiences.  

If you would like more information on bringing a group or class and utilize the guided curriculum please contact Jon Mosier for more information: .

This launch of the program was made possible with seed funding from a City of Coronado community grant.

May 28: They Were Expendable (1945; 2 hours, 15 minutes) 

John Ford’s ode to the Army’s and Navy’s doomed defenders of the Philippines. Starring Robert Montgomery, John Wayne and Donna Reed. Based on the book by William L. White. 

About Jon Mosier, Program Director: Jon is a longtime devotee of classic Hollywood films. He developed the Student Classics Film Program as a fellowship Capstone Project in collaboration with Dr. Onalee McGraw at the Educational Guidance Institute. As Jon puts it, “The program is purposefully designed to engage the hearts and minds of young people, enrich their cultural literacy and strengthen their understanding of film as art.“