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Magnificent, But Not War: One Grog's Complicated Relationship with Hollywood History

Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:00 pm

C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre . . . magnificent, but not war! This was spoken by French General Joseph Bosquet as he watched the charge of the... ... d-history/

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Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:59 pm

I remember seeing the movie Waterloo in the theater when it came out and that was pretty awesome. I also live in Texas and remember when the new Alamo movie came out. I can't remember what it was, but I remember thinking it was not very well done. On a related note, the site where they filmed the original Alamo movie with John Wayne is no longer open but they had a sale there at the end of January of all sorts of trinkets. I went by some years ago but I missed getting in and seeing the old movie lot. That would have been pretty cool.

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Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:09 am

I have an irrational hatred of any depiction of the Battle of the Little Bighorn which depicts Custer with long flowing locks. It prompts me to almost offhandedly reject any points that the film/documentary is making as I tend to then assume it has been badly researched. Probably an over reaction............

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Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:09 pm

I agree about how annoying it is when you spot unrealistic tactics, etc. in a historical film or TV series ... even in a fictional context (e.g. lovely straight lines of cavalry galloping through the forest in Game of Thrones).

One film that was a pleasant surprise, at least as far as vehicles and equipment were concerned, was "Kelly's Heroes" - those looked very much like real Shermans and Tigers to me, or a very good facsimile.

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Re: Magnificent, But Not War: One Grog's Complicated Relationship with Hollywood History

Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:09 pm

Waterloo has several deliberate errors, though the idea that the Prussians wore black may well have been political. The movie was filmed in Russia and used Soviet military units for the 1000's of extras needed. As such the idea of saying the Russians wore black (actually dark blue mostly, grey otherwise for some Landwehr units, etc) identified Blucher and the lads as the same evil bastards that invaded the Motherland in 1941. They hadn't changed a bit.

The most glaring error was when the Royal Scots Greys got skewered by French lancers. Depicted are the single, blue clad Polish squadron of the Guard Lancer Regiment, the remainder wearing the bright red uniform of the previous Imperial Guard Dutch Lancers. IN REALITY, the unit that hit the Scots Greys were Pire's line lancers who wore dark green uniforms with brass Grecian style helmets. But they obviously didn't look as spiffy.

In Kelly's Heroes, the Shermans are real while the Tigers are fabricated shells dropped on the top of Russian T-34s.

Finally a review on Popmatters about the newer Alamo evidently said (according to Wikipedia) "The depiction of Crockett's fate came from memoirs supposedly written by former Mexican officer José Enrique de la Peña, an officer in Santa Anna's army who fought in the battle. It was the first film to show Crockett executed as a prisoner of war; all others had depicted his death as occurring during the battle."

Ciao, the Author


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