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 Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 13:31

Naming the greatest was difficult and I have forgotten many that I thought great at the time but there are even more strong scenes that made a lasting impact.

'The Charge of the Greys' in 'Waterloo,' the opening scenes on the beach on D Day, several scenes from 'A Man for all Seasons,' The quarrelling between Katherine and Henry in 'The Lion in Winter,' spring to mind now. Please remind me of some others! It is likely that these are shared.
Regards, P
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 14:05

Omar Sharrif arriving through the haze in 'Lawrence' which makes me think of memorable scores as well.
Are westerns 'historic'? I suppose so, there's plenty there although many are because of the landscape.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 15:00

I loved the opening scenes of "Gladiator" (the battle preparations), although I have no idea how accurate they were. I always remember that intelligent, disciplined Roman dog - I suppose he was a police dog in real life. His handler must have thoroughly enjoyed dressing up as a Roman legionary - his few moments of fame perhaps in an otherwise ordinary life!

Yes, many scenes from "A Man For All Seasons", but especially Henry's arrival at Chelsea in his barge. The jump into the mud and Henry's brilliant handling of that tricky moment.

Cleopatra's entry into Rome perched high on that huge edifice they'd constructed - apparently the 20th century Roman extras were all shouting, "Elizabeth! Elizabeth!" as she approached Caesar, Mark Antony and the rest. Taylor, descending from the heights, then ruined the whole effect by winking at Rex Harrison. I wonder whose idea it was to keep that unedited - hers, or Mankiewicz's?

The most embarrassing scene in a film was Richard Burton wrestling with the eponymous garment in "The Robe" - it was supposed to be his struggle to resist the power of God I think, but it just looked silly.


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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 15:55

@Temperance wrote:
Cleopatra's entry into Rome perched high on that huge edifice they'd constructed - apparently the 20th century Roman extras were all shouting, "Elizabeth! Elizabeth!" as she approached Caesar, Mark Antony and the rest. Taylor, descending from the heights, then ruined the whole effect by winking at Rex Harrison. I wonder whose idea it was to keep that unedited - hers, or Mankiewicz's?.

You beat me to it Temp! This is the only scene out of the whole film that I've remembered, and Elizabeth Taylor looked absolutely stunning as ever. The scene was a load of rubbish, of course. A foreign ruling monarch would never have been allowed to set foot within the sacred boundaries of Rome, Cleopatra would have stayed outside the city.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 16:05

The D-day landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan made quite an impression.

If we're including westerns, the dialogue between Jack Palance and Elisha Cook Jnr in Shane,as the farmer [Cook] is baited into a fight by the professional gunman [Palance]



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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 16:18

@Islanddawn wrote:
A foreign ruling monarch would never have been allowed to set foot within the sacred boundaries of Rome, Cleopatra would have stayed outside the city.

I didn't know that!

I've just wasted a happy hour faffing about on YouTube. Here's the appropriate clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-dspv6LJHM

ET looks wonderful in the film - it was just a shame she ever had to open her mouth. Doesn't Burton look good too?
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 16:50

VICTORY!!!!



Though this might be hysterical rather than historical


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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 17:15

Burton sounded even better, I could listen to that voice all day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0a8MoJTh_E&feature=related

It was good to see the Cleopatra clip again after all this time, and it has another boo boo that I hadn't remembered. Cleopatra had royal troops or guard in her procession, even Roman soldiers were not permitted inside the Pomerium and foreign ones would certainly not have been..

When watching Hollywood, sometimes I think it is best if one remains ignorant of any history.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 17:41

@Islanddawn wrote:
Burton sounded even better, I could listen to that voice all day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0a8MoJTh_E&feature=related


I'm having a little swoon. Burton and Donne are a powerful combination.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 20:25

Only a little swoon Temp? I'm embarassed to say I had a major one on first hearing his narration of War of the Worlds, still do whenever I hear it. silent
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 20:46

@Islanddawn wrote:
Only a little swoon Temp? I'm embarassed to say I had a major one on first hearing his narration of War of the Worlds, still do whenever I hear it. silent

One does try to remember one is a Vestalis, ID.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 27 Jan 2012 - 21:00

What happened to my post? Maybe this will turn up twice.

My immediate thought of seeing the title of this topic was to think of the chariot race in Ben Hur. And then the shooting of Bonnie and Clyde. And of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And other scenes from that movie - the comic cycling of Paul Newman while Katherine Ross is watching and laughing, and him jumping off the cliff to emerge grinning. Some of these memories are slightly dubious - perhaps it was Robert Redford who jumped off the cliff. And I want them to be jumping off when they are killed, but I don't think they were.

I was thinking my memories must be stronger of 60s and 50s movies - fewer to hold in my head then perhaps - but I watched Midnight Cowboy again recently and had no memory of the horrible ending to that.

Now, maybe I'll wait a little to post this, in case my other one turns up.

Cheers, Caro.

Oh, I don't seem to be able to copy and save it from here. Should have put it onto Word. Will send it again and can always delete one.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 8:37

For me, thanks to Tolstoy, Vivien Leigh and Alexanda Korda, a steam train and a few flakes of snow will always conjure up 19th century Imperial Russia:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4NUhGxip7G4/TYXSixT6piI/AAAAAAAAABE/4_HBN8EaItQ/s400/anna-karenina-movie.jpg
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 11:10

Oh yes, Vivien Leigh so several scenes from 'Gone with the Wind', including the burning of Atlanta and the hospital for the war wounded. The flaming longship sailing out to sea at the end of 'The Vikings' as well was pretty memorable and on that theme, the Mare of Steel from 'The Longships' sticks in the mind for all the wrong reasons!
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 11:37

This is in fact quite a potentially serious topic. How much of what we think we have deduced about history has actually been framed - sometimes literally - by a particularly finely produced cinematic moment or character portrayal? How many of us, for example, presume an insight into Henry VIII's character on the basis of Charles Laughton and those actors who borrowed from (or reacted against) his portrayal in subsequent films, and which we have all now consumed (to use the aptly American euphemism for digestion)?

There are so many such "moments" which I could list that it would become meaningless to enumerate them. Best just to cite the latest one to pop into my head - which I think was the frantic scramble by Hypatia to rescue the pitifully few scrolls from Alexandria's library which could be carried by the fleeing collegians as the christian hordes descended on it in the (mainly disappointing) film "Agora".
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 11:56

Interesting thought, nordmann, C L I suppose defined Henry for generations and Robert Newton to a large extent created the perception of the pirate.
One of my favourite films and I think a rather good evocation of the period is 'The Third Man'. I heard a discussion on its making and apparently those defining images of Harry Lime's shadow
were a purely practical way of circumventing Orson Well's reluctance to spend more than the absolute minimum of time filming. There's a memorable image which is all to do with expediency but has become iconic.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 13:20

The public perception of Rourke's Drift is greatly influenced by "Zulu".The 24th is seen as a Welsh Regiment [deliberately by Stanley Baker?],when,at the time,it was the Warwickshire Regiment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q8EM0G8tjg
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 14:52

Yes but the start of the film when the Zulu's are doing the marriage ceremony's is very memorable.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 17:44

@nordmann wrote:
This is in fact quite a potentially serious topic. How much of what we think we have deduced about history has actually been framed - sometimes literally - by a particularly finely produced cinematic moment or character portrayal? How many of us, for example, presume an insight into Henry VIII's character on the basis of Charles Laughton and those actors who borrowed from (or reacted against) his portrayal in subsequent films, and which we have all now consumed (to use the aptly American euphemism for digestion)?

"Presume" is an interesting and appropriate word - all interpretation of history is a kind of presumption, I suppose.

Priscilla and I have both mentioned "A Man For All Seasons". Minette rails against Bolt's Sir Thomas More and Paul Scofield's superb presentation of that character: M. goes too far in her condemnation, but she undoubtedly has a point. It took me a long time to let go of the idealised More I had so admired since 1969.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 28 Jan 2012 - 18:58

I take Nordmann's point that it is far too easy to crystallize an attitude based of fine filming/acting. I find it hard to divorce Plummer's Wellington from reality - though the TV Sharpe films have helped. Later knowing some of the family, I was stunned when what looked like Arthur first came into my office. Being a sort of admirer I had to explain my gobstruck silence. Later they lent me Arthur's campaign pewter inkwell to have on my desk for a day. Can't say I got any vibes from it.

O'Toole's Lawerence is another I find difficult to divorce from other realities gleaned from wide reading since........ and the best bit of that film for me was his galloping into Akabar. He related that being tight as a tick was the only way he could do it. Galloping camels really are a handful... even standing and sitting ones are too come to think of it.

Like Temp, I am a sucker for quality of voice but also of lyrical annunciation of English - the Irish and the Welsh greats are so much better at it.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 12:24

One last entry before the thread dies, the galley scenes and sea battle in Ben Hur are really impressive and surely accurate, I think from some wide reading on this subject Ship scenes often ring true because sets are not used.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 17:04

The sea battle was fought using miniature boats in a water tank behind the studios in Culver City. Years ago there was a documentary on TV which showed film of the occasion of the shoot. The huge tank was surrounded by about thirty grown men, each equipped with a radio control transmitter - one per ship - who ran around frantically to keep within range of their respective vessls and often collided with each other in their enthusiasm and concentration. Things got very heated indeed and I believe the unit director had a job getting them to stop when the so-called choreographed bits were over.

Can't blame them. It looked great gas!
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 23:10

So sets are used. It was the rowing bit that made the greatest impression. As a grown woman I wish I had had one of the control unit boats what fun. Lucky grown men. Complicated affairs, ancient sea battles - well Salamis was with great skill used to get the turning point right to chomp off another boat's oars with another boat in place for the ram attack. And all in a kind of slow motion.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 23:23

@nordmann wrote:
The sea battle was fought using miniature boats in a water tank
It often does not convince, because it's very difficult to replicate true sea-waves in a tank, particularly scaled-down waves. Maybe it works more convincingly for replica Mediterranean sea-warfare, as the Med doesn't have a tide, so I guess the waves look different. I suppose there is good justification for CGI in this area.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 23:34

Yes, yes, I'll go for CGI every time , yes




Er mmm exactly what is CGI? I have lived a sheltered life, remember.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 23:43

Not all sea battle scenes are filmed in the tank - Battle of the River Plate had most of the scenes filmed aboard ship - including two of those actually present for the original events.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Tue 31 Jan 2012 - 2:21

@Hugh_Mosby_Joaquin wrote:
@nordmann wrote:
The sea battle was fought using miniature boats in a water tank
It often does not convince, because it's very difficult to replicate true sea-waves in a tank, particularly scaled-down waves. Maybe it works more convincingly for replica Mediterranean sea-warfare, as the Med doesn't have a tide, so I guess the waves look different. I suppose there is good justification for CGI in this area.

No, no tide in the Med. Also the eastern end in particular has very little surface movement (unlike the oceans), or not unless there is wind and storm the Med sea is flat. When it is flat the Greeks say the sea looks like "oil" today, I think it looks more like glass but who is going to argue?lol But it would be quite easy to reproduce in a tank for mock battle scenes.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Tue 31 Jan 2012 - 12:22

@Islanddawn wrote:
The sea battle was fought using miniature boats in a water tank
It often does not convince, because it's very difficult to replicate true sea-waves in a tank, particularly scaled-down waves. Maybe it works more convincingly for replica Mediterranean sea-warfare, as the Med doesn't have a tide, so I guess the waves look different. I suppose there is good justification for CGI in this area.

Quote :
No, no tide in the Med. Also the eastern end in particular has very little surface movement (unlike the oceans), or not unless there is wind and storm the Med sea is flat. When it is flat the Greeks say the sea looks like "oil" today, I think it looks more like glass but who is going to argue?lol But it would be quite easy to reproduce in a tank for mock battle scenes.
I worked on a project in a museum in Tel-Aviv, which is indeed about as 'east' as the Med gets, and one night I watched the sea from the beach. It was oddly 'choppy', and actually looked very artificial (A bit like Tel-Aviv itself, but that's another story..). There was a strong rip-tide (is this a 'tide' in the true sense?) which nearly carried a friend of mine to his doom, but I never witnessed it to be glass-like, although that is what I expected, I suppose.
I presume galley warfare, such as what took place at Lepanto, was ideally suited for the Med, but tidal considerations stopped the notion of it being used elsewhere. Maybe the Viking longships had potential here, though; a possible re-design as a galley for ramming?
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Tue 31 Jan 2012 - 15:56

[quote]"Hugh_Mosby_Joaquin"
Quote :
I worked on a project in a museum in Tel-Aviv, which is indeed about as 'east' as the Med gets, and one night I watched the sea from the beach. It was oddly 'choppy', and actually looked very artificial (A bit like Tel-Aviv itself, but that's another story..). There was a strong rip-tide (is this a 'tide' in the true sense?)

A riptide isn't a tide at all, it is a current of water flowing back from a shore, seaward. Very dangerous to get caught in one as they move very fast and a person can be swept out and be far off shore before they know it. The Med does have quite strong currents, and the seeming placidity of the sea on the surface can be deceiving for those who don't know local conditions. Here in Greece it is not that unusual for swimmers to go missing if they are unwary.

Sorry, this is off topic.


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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Tue 31 Jan 2012 - 16:08

Same at this end of the Med, the mouth of the River Tech during winter floods sometimes shifts nearly a kilometre along the beach compared to its summer position. Not surprisingly there are sand bars and deep undersea "river" gullies just offshore. The beach is beautifully sandy and the sea can be flat as a mill-pond but the river creates a very powerful and unseen current running parallel to the beach sometimes just a few metres offshore. Very dangerous for the unwary.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 1:18

I don't know if my view of history has been affected by films - probably those blockbuster movies like Ben-Hur in the 1960s had their effect on my view of Roman life, but I have never watched Zulu so Rorke's Drift was a closed book to me till Duncan (AA) wrote about the Boer/South African War. And I doubt that I took in the real history (however real it was) of films like A Lion in Winter or A Man for All Seasons or Lawrence of Arabia.
But I do think movies have had the definite effect of making me feel I am more au fait with a book than I really am. The classic books I feel I am quite familiar with tend to be books like Tom Jones and Great Expectations and Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre and several of Jane Austen’s, whereas when I read The Moonstone again or think about Pendennis or Le Rouge et Le Noir or Heart of Darkness I don’t recall them at all. (The exception to this is Pamela, which I think of with such horror it has stayed a little in my mind. Awfully boring book.) And yet I don’t feel I am remembering them because of the films.

Tonight on Sky’s TCM channel there is whole day of historical and classic movies – Waterloo Bridge, Anna Christie, The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Ben-Hur, Gandhi, Captains of the Clouds (Canadian air force story ‘charting the shenanigans of cocky bush pilot James Cagney’ my film book says), The Picture of Dorian Gray. Not all historical, Gone with the Wind is strongly associated, as ferval said, with Atlanta burning, and Casablanca has the bit with them singing the two national anthems.

And it's not just that films affect your memory of history or books, but discussion of them does too. I can't actually remember if I've seen Gandhi or am just visualising photos of Ben Kingsley and discussions of it.
Probably won’t actually watch any of those (Christmas edition of Downton Abbey tonight), but did watch The Student Prince last night, with Mario Lanza’s singing. A Guardian obit for the actor Edmund Purdom said, Apart from the (mismatched) singing of Lanza, the film's highlight for today's audiences is a group of students interlocking arms and warbling: "Come boys, let's all be gay boys." Not exactly a historic scene but a historic phrasing now.
I was watching The Student Prince for nostalgic reasons – I remember it was my grandmother’s favourite movie and she saw it 8 times, and I saw it 5 times with her. (This has brought worries about memory recall – why would we, living an hour from the main cinemas, be going so frequently to the movies when we only had one driver in our household? We did go to the movies quite often though – those Roman/Biblical things, Tammy – anything with Debbie Reynolds really, Geordie, On Moonlight Bay, Gigi, Gone with the Wind.)

Cheers, Caro.

(Why does this come out with all different fonts and far too much space between the lines (and something that says [/size] after things? I did do a little straight onto the board and then switched to Word, but then it was all in one font and one font size. These things mystify me.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 6:12

The ball scene from A King and I with Yul Brenner, Sound of Music, Gone with the Wind and Streisand strutting her stuff in Hello Dolly all made an impression on a young (female!) mind. Films today have lost that innocence.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 7:15

I dont know about the films losing their innocence... I know I have.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 20:33

@MadNan wrote:
Yes but the start of the film when the Zulu's are doing the marriage ceremony's is very memorable.

This one Nan,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2pJ4iH1v_c

Correct me if I'm wrong,but did the Romans not use freemen as rowers on their warships,rather than the galley slaves we see in Ben Hur?

Trike.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 21:08

Since Legio I Adiutrix was raised by Nero (or perhaps Galba) from sailors and marines, and Legio II Adiutrix similarly raised by Vespasian, I think you are probably correct - rowers in multi-banked oared galleys needed a lot of skill and from Athens on it had been a career rather than a sentence.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 21:30

Thanks Gil,

Trike.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Thu 2 Feb 2012 - 0:28

Non professional crew in the sailing world are still called Corinthian after the crews of the Greek fleet at the battle of Salamis. Persians scoffed because the men of Corinth were considered effete but they were trained and had a will to live and to save their land in the skills that defeated Xerxes fleet.

Pirates in Roman times of course used slaves - did Caesar ever have to do that I wonder?

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PostSubject: Memorable scenes.....Take your partners!   Thu 2 Feb 2012 - 19:28

Although the western film 'Heaven's Gate' is often villified as being awful, (it's possibly far too long), due largely to the fact that it bankrupted United Artists (?), but I think it deserves a little appraisal, not least because it does offer a panoramic view of the Johnson County range wars (1890?), but more because it has not one but two memorable dances.
Firstly, the passing-out ball at Yale (although filmed in our very own Oxford), a wonderful outdoor exuberant swirl of waltzers that seems to go on for ever, with the camera flying overhead.
But later on we see the antithesis of this; the 'barn dance' in a marquee (the Heaven's Gate of the title) a magnificent uplifting get-together of the Polish immigrant farmers and, pure brilliance, the dancers are pirouetting around on roller-skates on a board floor, dancing to a terrific tune; The 'Mamou Two-step', as it happens, played with great gusto by David Yates who learned to fiddle whilst flying around on skates.
Memorable movie dances, I think, showing people coming together to share a life. Are there any others similar to offer that tingle quotient?
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Thu 2 Feb 2012 - 21:13

I don't think it had anything like the significance you have attached to the dancing in Heaven's Gate (which I haven't seen), but dance in movies reminds me of Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago. Wonderful legs and nice dancing, but it did go on and on - I remember thinking, "you can get sick of beautiful legs". Perhaps I could see it as indicative of the emptiness of the whole movie (I thought Chicago was soulless and immoral and a waste of time), but I suspect it was just to show off the clothes, legs, beauty and dancing skills of Catherine and the others round her.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 18:21

@Caro wrote:
I don't think it had anything like the significance you have attached to the dancing in Heaven's Gate (which I haven't seen), but dance in movies reminds me of Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago. Wonderful legs and nice dancing, but it did go on and on - I remember thinking, "you can get sick of beautiful legs". Perhaps I could see it as indicative of the emptiness of the whole movie (I thought Chicago was soulless and immoral and a waste of time), but I suspect it was just to show off the clothes, legs, beauty and dancing skills of Catherine and the others round her.
I agree about 'Chicago'; It was something of a soufflé of a movie, but I agree about the 'showcase' quality it has. It was almost a vehicle for showing off the razamatazz of it all. And I suppose thar highlights something of what I thought about 'Heaven's Gate', insofar as the dances depicted were very much episodes of the story as a whole, just part of the panorama within the narrative.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Sat 4 Feb 2012 - 6:55

@Triceratops wrote:
@MadNan wrote:
Yes but the start of the film when the Zulu's are doing the marriage ceremony's is very memorable.

This one Nan,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2pJ4iH1v_c

Correct me if I'm wrong,but did the Romans not use freemen as rowers on their warships,rather than the galley slaves we see in Ben Hur?

Trike.



Yes indeed! Thanks Triceratops enjoyed watching it again.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Fri 10 Feb 2012 - 21:35

Private Ryan.
The only film I have been to where most of the audience sat stunned through the final credits, instead of all rushing to the exit.

I'd agree with Ferval about the fellas in the haze in Lawrence - great way to do it.

The opening of that Stalingrad film - the one they messed up by introducing a 'love interest'

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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 22 Feb 2012 - 19:10

I haven’t been to the cinema for years… but I remember years ago hearing gasps from the audience and nothing but words of condemnation for them ‘bastard yanks’ as I left the cinema after watching ‘Soldier Blue’. I suppose it would seem quite ‘tame’ today.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 22 Feb 2012 - 19:27

For all the wrong reasons - Big John as the centurion at the foot of the cross in 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'. Talk about a misnomer but I did enjoy the apocryphal story about the director telling Wayne, on the umpteenth take, "More awe, John, we need more awe". So John responded with " Awwww, this man truly was the son of god".
It's all right, I've got my coat already.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 22 Feb 2012 - 20:22

Awwwww, no need for that ferval.

Can not understand why 'ol Marion was so popular, he was always so wooden. He even walked like he had been impaled.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 22 Feb 2012 - 20:32

But at the say time I'm always surprised by how much criticism he got for his closing line in 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'...

Why do people expect a 1st century AD centurion to speak English and with an English accent? In the context of the film: as part of an occupying army his gung-ho/folksey/whatever American drawl, is probably nearer the true spirit (when rendered intelligible for modern audiences who do not speak latin or aramaic)... than a crisp oxbridge RP.

That said, seriously though, he couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag.... like you ID, never could see why he was so popular.

EDIT : And 'The Greatest Story...' aside, he really couldn't deliver lines : " Get off your hoss and stick you hands up your bum!" ... and other classics.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Wed 22 Feb 2012 - 23:22

Ah yes, film moments that are memorable for being awful. Tony Curtis bringing the Bronx to Taras Bulba comes to mind. By 1962 you'd have thought he would have eased away from de for the

Most of the big stars of his era - Wayne, Mitchum, James Stewart played the same role - themselves - in every film
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Thu 23 Feb 2012 - 0:05

How about that "pigeon hole" musketry thing in "55 Days at Peking"? Weird thing.

The Odessa Steps scene from Potemkin - that I'll never forget.
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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Thu 23 Feb 2012 - 0:10

The scenes with the little girl in the red coat in the otherwise black and white "Schindler's List" were effectively haunting. One knew one was being blatantly manipulated by Spielberg but didn't care at the time. The message was as eloquent as it was understated despite the gimmick and all the more moving for it anyway.




And when we next see her ...

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PostSubject: Re: Memorable Scenes in Historical Films.    Thu 23 Feb 2012 - 5:00

@Priscilla wrote:
Most of the big stars of his era - Wayne, Mitchum, James Stewart played the same role - themselves - in every film

A lot still do today, Niicholas Cage, Tom Cruise, Brad Pit, Meryl Streep, just to name a few. There are not many who come out of Hollywood who can act enough to make you forget who is playing a part. I don't really watch movies anymore so am not sure if there has been improvement in the newest crop of actors though, wouln't even know their names come to think of it..affraid
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