THE GOOD FIGHT" is standard fare as documentaries go -- live interviews intercut with faded photographs, newspaper headlines and flickering newsreels. Researchers did unearth some stirring stuff, but it is presented laboriously.
Studs Terkel narrates the story of 3,200 Americans who went to Spain to fight the armies of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini in the Spanish Civil War. Eleven veterans, both of documentaries and of the Lincoln Brigade, are interviewed here. Bloodied but unbowed from years of good-hearted rabblerousing, they recall how the world was besieged by a clear and present evil and how they led the charge.
Unfortunately, the filmmakers don't get to either the war or the veterans immediately, but indulge in a leisurely historical prelude. And when they do finally arrive, vintage Spanish footage is interrupted for personal reminiscences, which in many cases are plain dull.
And there is, of course, the requisite documentary mood music: folk songs by the various interviewees, sung at the top of their lungs and, of course, off key. At times like these you suspect the directors, all three, are thinking, "Aren't these old people cute?"
Eventually "The Good Fight" comes sluggishly to its oft-worked conclusion, that these folks are continuing to fight all the right battles, as the last of the Lincoln Brigade raises its banner against U.S. involvement in El Salvador.
THE GOOD FIGHT (Unrated) -- At the Circle.