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 Battles in films

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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Battles in films   Tue 26 Mar 2013, 09:08

I was wondering about films that have battles in them and about the extent to which they were accurately or inaccurately portrayed.

Good examples of very inaccurate portrayals are

Ashdown in Alfred the Great

Eddington in Alfred the Great (to the extent that we can have much idea how Eddington was fought)

Stirling in Braveheart

Falkirk in Braveheart

Edgehill in Cromwell

Naseby in Cromwell

I would have said that Operation Market Garden was reasonably accurately portrayed in A Bridge too far, but I wondered about your views on other battles in movies.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Battles in films   Tue 26 Mar 2013, 15:44

I'm not sure I'd want realism in battle scenes - gore is not my thing and thankfully smell-a-vision hasn't caught on. However scenes which evoke the true nature of battle and give a reasonably accurate sense of the events depicted can be enthralling viewing. I suppose the Normandy landings as depicted in Saving Private Ryan are worth a mention in that sense, and I have always enjoyed the clever use of silence in the 1960s version of The Charge Of The Light Brigade when they break into their fatal gallop in the end (though aside from horses going fast that's probably where historical accuracy ends in that scene).
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Battles in films   Tue 26 Mar 2013, 15:59

As the nearest I have ever been to a battle is being part of a gun crew on a 5.5" howitzer, and firing an SLR and submachine gun while in the British Territorial army, I would find it difficult to judge what is realistic and what is not in battle. However, I do understand that veterans have considered Saving Private Ryan to be realistic of combat at that time. i have not seen the film aas it is, to me, too much how 'Uncle Sam' won the war.

I was thinking more in terms of, for example, the absence of the bridge at Stirling in Braveheart and Sir Tom fairfax leading a parliamentarian cavalry charge at Edgehill when he was not present.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Battles in films   Tue 26 Mar 2013, 16:37

I'm not a specialist about things military nor Napoleonic, but I have always thought that the film "Waterloo" not only captured the sense of the battle but was also reasonably accurate in its depiction of how the battle historically unfolded. At least as far as I'm aware there were not too many glaring errors or incongruities.

And at least for once it wasn't the bloody Americans who arrive to save the day! Perhaps the true multi-national nature of Wellington's army was under played (I believe British troops were actually outnumbered by coalition forces, although all under Wellington's command), and the significant and timely arrival of Blucher (Prussia saves the day!) was rather down played. But at least the Dutch, Belgians, Prussians are there in the film - and it was not portrayed as another victory for the gung-ho US of A!
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Battles in films   Tue 26 Mar 2013, 20:35

Not exactly a battle, but Argo's portrayal of the storming to free Americans in Teheran hasn't gone down specially well in NZ (or Canada). Only a throaway line, but it said, "Brits turned them [the hostages] away, kiwis turned them away.." This doesn't quite equate with the facts where NZ diplomats gave them temporary shelter and took them to the airport. There have been questions in Parliament, but the general feeling on comments to news sites seems to be that NZers should get a life and this is small-country syndrome. The director said he didn't want to offend NZers but he wanted to portray how alone these people were (apart, of course, from Americans coming to the rescue).
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Battles in films   Thu 28 Mar 2013, 13:51

I seem to remember the depiction of Waterloo as being reasonably accurate. However, I also remember that my then teenage sons preferred the Sharpe episode covering Waterllo even though in that it is Sharpe and not either Wellington or Blucher who won the battle!
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