War movies, how accurate should they be?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Lucky13, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Just think about the latest Pearl Harbor thingy....why have a dogfight over Pearl Harbor when it never happened in reality?
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Historicaly I think they should be kept as accurate as possible. Obviously if the movie is not based off a true event then do with it as you please but as for true historical events they should be historically accurate as possible in my opinion.

    As for realistic? If you were to make a movie as realistic as real war, it would not be allowed to be shown to anyone under 18 and it would still frighten most people after that.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    It might also be traumatic for some of the viewers. I remember when "Platoon" and "Saving Ptivate Ryan" came out, several vets were upset...not with the movie but with how realistic they were.

    I really appreciate when a director makes an effort towrads realism. BOB was great especially for the use of Spanish made Heinkels and Bf 109s. Makes for a great film at times.

    Poor realism seriuosly detracts from a film. "Battle of the Bulge" was made to look like the Battle of Kursk was a sideshow and that the action took place in North Africa!
     
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    In this case gentlemen I was more thinking about the historical perspective rather than blood and guts....
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yeah and I said that it should be kept as accurate as possible in my post.
     
  6. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    A historical war film must keep close to the truth. If you look at Braveheart...it was based on truth but not real. The battles were real and the people were real but the historical context was a fabrication.

    But some people can take the film as real.
     
  7. Negative Creep

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    It's a hard one to call. On the one hand, if you are depicting a real event then the whole point is to tell that story. On the other, a film is entertainment, and you have to allow for character development, length and pacing. You'll never be able to tell everyone's story, even films like the Longest Day or Battle of Britain missed things out; if they didn't it would have been about 10 hours long.

    With regards to Pearl Harbour, although it was a terrible film, I did genuinely enjoy the actual attack and dogfights, so in that context I had no problem with it. Another thing to remember is that whilst people on boards like this could see the inaccuracies, wrong Spitfires, fighter pilots flying bombers etc, 99% of the people watching wouldn't know, just as I couldn't tell you the anachronisms in Pride and Prejudice
     
  8. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    How accurate should they be? Watch Tora Tora Tora, then try to watch the unwatchable Pearl Harbor (it's horrible). Tora Tora Tora is probably the best, most accurate PH movie ever made, almost a documentary with stars. Pearl Harbor is one of the worst movies, war or otherwise, of all time. Tried watching it three times, couldn't sit thru it once.
     
  9. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    I think the issue is defining 'accuracy' - from who's side? Surely different sides have different recollections and histories. As an example when did WW2 actually start?, we would say 03/09/39 when we declared war, the Czechs might have a different perspective!

    But overall yes they should be accurate and as far as possible complete - compare the Longest Day Private Ryan - the first is accurate complete, the second realistic but very slanted and limited.

    I think it's important as many people see them as 'history' and not entertainment, hence many young people in the US now not sure who was om which side!
     
  10. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    SPR certainly is realistic, but how is it "slanted"?
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    TLD is much more slanted than SPR. Ryan is slanted somewhat (the letter home with blood on it, the several Jewish references, the German soldier who is saved then betrays, etc) but Day had so much more slants. But it was the transistion film from the likes of "Sahara" to "Tora, Tora, Tora".

    And speaking of slants. I agree any war film should be objective like "Tora" which had both American and Japanese directors. But you must consider the perspective of the film. If I'm making a film, lets say about the LRDG, I'm not gonna have Rommel in Berlin arguing on a withdrawl unless its key to the film. A movie about an event should have both or more sides properly told but films with a single character or unit should keep to that perspective. IMHO> :D
     
  12. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    My objection to SPR is its complete ignoring of the 'other allies' - you could argue that's down to the chosen subject but to ignore the majority of the effort on D-Day (3/5 beaches) strikes me as slanted.

    The film completely ignores the fact that Montgomery was in overall charge of all landing forces until D+90. Many younger viewers will now swear blind that Monty was just in charge of the Brits and they all sat around drinking tea while the yanks did all the fighting! Whereas the truth is some what different.

    To comment that he was 'over-rated' and ignore both the US's ignoring / misuse of the armoured 'funnies' and the combat refusals by US troops in early days of Normandy is both incomplete and slanted IMO.

    How is TLD slanted?
     
  13. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    SPR is not about D-Day, though certainly the assault on Omaha is the major backdrop. It is FICTION, loosely based on the story of the four Niland brothers, two of whom were killed on June 6, 1944. TLD was about D-Day, in it's entirety, almost documentary style. If the British, Canadian and French contributions were left out of that movie, you would have an argument. You're much too sensitive about a movie (SPR) that only covers a "limited" (to use your word) part of Overlord.

    It doesn't IGNORE the "other allies"; it is not about them. You have to realize the scope of the film before you criticize it's content.
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thats my point with SPR. Its about a squad of Americans on the beach and several days after. It wasn't about the whole effort. If it was, it would be 3 hours before Hanks got his orders to save Ryan. And thats the point. Where in the storyline is it needed to include the Canadian effort on the beaches?

    TLD had so many stereotypes and slanted towards the Allied effort like they could do no wrong. D-Day was tough, it was brutal but there was no guarantee they would make it. But against soldiers like the soup-carrier on the donkey, the one with backwards boots, the gate guards who slobber over pretty women, etc., how could they lose? Priller and Wodarczyk weren't the only Luftwaffe presence over the area. And Priller talking to a superior like that?

    Like I said, I see it as more of a transistional film from the victorious War films of John Wayne and Gregory Peck to the more accurate of "Tora,etc.", BoB, and SPR.
     
  15. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    Fair points but equally where's the need to include the 'over-rated' comment?

    If there's no need to include the Brits Canadians why do so in disparaging terms?

    A cheap shot IMO. It sullied SPR for me and reminded me of 'Burma Victory' - never got over it, only ever watched the action bits since :)

    You claim we shouldn't take it seriously because it's fiction - isn't that the whole point of this thread ?

    TLD isn't perhaps as slanted as you claim. The troops holding the beach defences were very second-rate (flat feet divisions), they were a trip-wire force at best although I agree some of the portrayals were stereotypical.
     
  16. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    "Over-rated" comment? Many feel that Monty was just that. Again, you're being overly sensitive ("It sullied SPR for me and reminded me of 'Burma Victory' - never got over it, only ever watched the action bits since"). Just because that line was in the movie, doesn't mean it was so. Just the opinion of two characters in the movie.

    And who claimed that "we shouldn't take it seriously because it's fiction"? I certainly didn't. :confused:
     
  17. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Fair points back at you and I may be alittle harsh on TLD but I still love the film. As far as the "over-rated" comment, I look at like this. US troops had been with Monty and Patton since Sicily and maybe a bit in North Africa. The bias on their part, which is to me is understandable, was for Patton. With Monty in charge and Patton with a semi-non-existant 3rd Army, I can accept alittle grudge from US troops. Even though it can be debated if the comment was correct or not, I can't throw away the fact it might have been an emotion felt by the GIs. To that extent, it made the film seem accurate to me.
     
  18. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    If the Brits want to make a film about THEIR troops in Normandy, or anywhere else for that matter, then go ahead and do it.

    Just dont give us a sob story that SPR ignores the allied contributions because the movie WASNT ABOUT THEM.

    Just as 633 Squadron or The Dam Busters wasn't about the 8th AF!!!

    Or "Kokoda" ignored the US contributions!
     
  19. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    Fair do's - I'd argue that Monty had lots of bad points and made many mistakes but his conduct of the ops D-day to D+90 vindicates his reputation as a commander. As a man many of his views were odious his personality 'difficult' - not unlike Patton (neither were Slim)

    Much of the Monty-slagging has come from the pen of Stephen E Ambrose who was involved in SPR, his agenda is obvious and possibly unfair.

    I don't think I'm being over sensitive, the slur was optional, included at the director's discretion, the same director who bangs on about the Holocaust seems to forget that but for our efforts standing alone bankrupting ourselves in the process it would have been completed.

    We tried to make a film about Bomber Command, it ended up as 'Memphis Belle' - I'm not sure you guys have a real handle on how Hollywood works with regards to anything non-US.

    I could mention U-57whatever to re-emphasise the point!

    Look at Hollywood's recent output and that of the game industry (not unrelated) and you'll see the UK, Canada the Free Poles being written out of WW2, which was my original point.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ToughOmbre you mentioned 'fiction' to defend SPR (and capitalised it JIC I didn't get the point - I did!).
     
  20. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Ok, as a whole I'll agree with you on the slant among films and games in general. But to apply that to one single movie I don't believe is accurate. I'm not well versed in the gaming aspect but I did recently buy "Call of Duty: Finest Hour" for the PS2 and it starts with the player as a Russian in Stalingrad, moves to British 8th Army in North Africa and then gets to US troops. Maybe the industry is waking up alittle.

    But as for SPR, I wouldn't be too harsh on it because of movies like "Memphis Belle", "Pearl Harbor" or "U-57". At some point I try not to be critical and enjoy it for what it is...entertainment (if I can!). Anything more there's the History and Discovery Channel! :D
     
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