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Interesting Facts...War Movies

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  • Interesting Facts...War Movies

    Here is yet another extremely uninteresting facts thread, this time pertaining to a rather unlikely subject:

    WAR FLICKS!

    Fact #1: A Bridge too Young

    Ryan O'Neal protrayed Brigadier General James Gavis in A Bridge too Far, and film critics blasted producer Joesph Levine for casting someone so young as a general. In truth, James Gavis was 37 at the time of Market Garden, and in fact, was still 37 when he was promoted to Major General, making him the youngest American Major General of World War II. Film critics never do their homework.

    Fact #2: Art Imitates Life

    It is well known that the cast of Saving Private Ryan underwent a few days of difficult military training to prepare them for the movie. Matt Damon, who protrayed Private First Class James Ryan, did not take part in the training. This was done deliberately by the producer, who wanted the other actors to resent Damon. His motivation was so that the resentment shown to Private Ryan by his would-be rescuers late in the movie would be as realistic as possible.

    Fact #3: Trying too Hard?

    In From Here to Eternity, Montgomery Clift, who played Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt, went to great lengths to prepare for the role. For one thing, he learned to play the bugle, even though he knew beforehand that his bugle playing would be dubbed. He took boxing lessons, but couldn't get it right and a double was used. The scene in which Prewitt and First Sergeant Milton Warden are drunk in the middle of the road, Clift actually was drunk. Lancaster wasn't.

    Fact #4: LEE! LEE! LEE!

    In the 1993 film Gettysburg, the part where, just before Pickett's Charge, Lee's men are chanting his name, was unscripted. The reenactors were so impressed by Martin Sheen's performace as Lee that he was riding in between takes and a crowd of reenactors gathered around him, cheering him. They cheered the name "Martin!" rather than Lee, and those good at reading lips can see this in the scene. The camera men immediately began shooting, and the scene was made part of the movie.

    Fact #5: African Kings

    About 700 Zulu warriors served as extras in the movie Zulu, many of whom were descended from those who fought the British at Rourke's Drift. Mangosuthu Buthelezi, chief of the Zulu people, even protrayed his own ancestor, Cetawayo. Apartheid being what is was (the film was shot in South Africa), the Zulus could not be paid as much as white extras, and the producers got around this by paying them in animals, which the extras considered far more valuable than money, causing them to be extremely grateful to their producer.

    Fact #6: You don't know, you weren't there!

    Oliver Stone, when he made Platoon, became the first Vietnam veteran to direct a major motion picture about Vietnam. He even based the scene in which Charlie Sheen saves a Vietnamese girl from being raped on something he actually did while serving there (a story that has since been confirmed...Stone wasn't lying). He was not the only Vietnam vet in the film. Dale Dye, a retired marine captain and legendary military movie advisor (who also acts in almost all the movies he works on) was there as well and came home with a Bronze Star. The epic last battle in the move is based on a battle he actually took part in.

    Fact #7: Deny, Deny, Deny

    The film Paths to Glory was banned in France because it showed a French general conspiring to rig a court-martial to execute some of his own men to distract attention from his own failures, which the French considered an insult to their honor, even though examples of this actually happening were not uncommon during World War I. Germany delayed showing the movie for two years for fear of straining their relationship with France. It was banned in Spain under Franco's Facist regime, and was not shown there until 1986, 29 years after it was released in the United States and eleven years after Franco died.

    Fact #8: They Shoot Redcoats, don't they?

    When Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger were learning to use muskets for their roles in The Patriot, they were told by their instructor, "aim small, miss small." Gibson liked the way it sounded and added it to his lines.

    Fact #9: Robs and Generals

    Robert Duvall protrayed General Robert E. Lee, and was supposed to have played the role in Gettysburg, but could not due to other obligations. He is actually descended from Robert E. Lee. As if this wasn't enough, some of the battle scenes were filmed on Duvall's estate, where some Civil War skirmishes took place.

    Fact #10: As Real as it Gets

    While some aircraft in the movie Pearl Harbor are computer-generated, others are quite real. While American AT-6 Texan trainers were used in Tora, Tora, Tora! to protray Japanese Zeros, three real restored Zeros were used in the movie. For Zeros shot at long-distance, some of the AT-6s used in Tora, Tora, Tora! were taken out of storage and used for Pearl Harbor, since it would have been too far away for anyone to notice.

    Fact #11: We're Back!

    The scenes of Air Chief Marshal Sir Caswall Dowding's office buidling in Battle of Britain were shot in his real office. Also, many extras protraying Londoners during the Blitz had to back out of filming. Some had actually lived through the Blitz and couldn't cope with the memories that the movie resurfaced.

    Fact #12: Unlikely Location

    Most of the movie The Big Red One was shot in Israel, and of course, most of the extras were Israeli, including the German soldiers. Director Sam Fuller remarked that it was unsettling to see 'German' soldiers take off their helmets after filming, weaing yarmulkes and speaking Hebrew. Sam Fuller, by the way, actually fought in the 1st Infantry Division in World War II.

    Fact #13: Air Force None

    In the 1943 movie Air Force, aerial scenes were shot in Texas and Florida. It was against the law to have Japanese-looking aircraft flying on the west coast, for fear that onlookers would mistake the filming for an actual invasion.

    Fact #14: And a Legend is Born

    R. Lee Ermy was only hired as a military technical advisor for Full Metal Jacket. Ermy then, for one reason or another, taped himself on a 15-minute non-stop insult and profanity fest, and Stanley Kubrik hired him on the spot, thus beginning Ermy's rise to legendary status. The man originally cast as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, Tim Colceri, wound up taking a smaller role, as the helicopter door gunner who keeps shooting at Vietnamese yelling "Get some!"

    Fact #15: Cross of...you don't want to know...

    The film Cross of Iron was financed by a West German porn producer.

    Fact #16: Glory Revisited

    Many of the scenes of the battle of Antietam in the opening scene of Glory were taken from a reenactment battle commemorating Gettysburg.

    Fact #17: More than just a dirty car salesman

    Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, who played an Iraqi defector who sold the three protagonists the cars in Three Kings, was a real Iraqi refugee, as were many of the film's extras. He was actually blind in one eye, since he had been in real life beated and tortured by Saddam's regime.

    Fact #18: You got to be real

    In the 1995 HBO film Tuskeegee Airmen, Lt. Colonel Bejamin O. Davis Jr is the only character in the Red Tail Angels who was actually a real person. All members of the unit protayed in the film were composites of real people, with ficticious names.

    Fact #19: Our finest half-hour

    The protrayal in Heartbreak Ridge of the invasion of Grenada is amazingly realistic. The scene in which Mario van Peebles takes control of a bulldozer to drive Cuban soldiers from a bridge is based on an actual act during the battle. The scene in which the marines actually use a phone, complete with credit card, to call in an airstrike also really happened. The only obvious fiction was that Army Rangers took the medical school, not marines.

    Fact #20: Fire of the Intruder

    In Flight of the Intruder, many of the carrier scenes were shot aboard the USS Independence, which spent two weeks at sea so that the scenes could be shot. The crew's lighting equipment kept sparking electrical fires, meaning that the carrier's fire crew had to be called in to deal with the problem.

    More shall follow.
    Last edited by RapierFighter; 10 Apr 07, 03:54.
    "Yellowstain!"

  • #2
    Oliver Stone, when he made Platoon, became the first Vietnam veteran to direct a major motion picture about Vietnam. He even based the scene in which Charlie Sheen saves a Vietnamese girl from being raped on something he actually did while serving there (a story that has since been confirmed...Stone wasn't lying). He was not the only Vietnam vet in the film. Dale Dye, a retired marine captain and legendary military movie advisor (who also acts in almost all the movies he works on) was there as well and came home with a Bronze Star. The epic last battle in the move is based on a battle he actually took part in.
    I don't know about the rape scene but the last battle scene is based on the battle of FSB Burt during which the 2/22 and 3/22 were assaulted on January 1, 1968 by 2 VC Regiments.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great list !


      Although..
      Fact #19: Our finest half-hour

      The protrayal in Heartbreak Ridge of the invasion of Grenada is amazingly realistic. The scene in which Mario van Peebles takes control of a bulldozer to drive Cuban soldiers from a bridge is based on an actual act during the battle. The scene in which the marines actually use a phone, complete with credit card, to call in an airstrike also really happened. The only obvious fiction was that Army Rangers took the medical school, not marines.
      I know about the events, but its a bit strong to call the movie amazingly realistic when it comes to Grenada...
      I also doubt how the telephone thing went down. Was it not SEALīs hold up in the Govenors Mansion that had to use the phone because they had somehow lost their radio? The result however was that Gunships where sent as fire support, and I belive one of them was lost enroute due to enemy fire.
      "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Pergite View Post
        Great list !


        Although..


        I know about the events, but its a bit strong to call the movie amazingly realistic when it comes to Grenada...
        I also doubt how the telephone thing went down. Was it not SEAL´s hold up in the Govenors Mansion that had to use the phone because they had somehow lost their radio? The result however was that Gunships where sent as fire support, and I belive one of them was lost enroute due to enemy fire.
        The telephone deal was real! YEars after Grenada a talk show interviewed a few of the guys who where there when it happened and the operator they talked too...sounds unreal, but it happened! I believe it was a Marine platoon. (Do SEALS really need artillery?)
        Now it's ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
        In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
        Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun and bought it

        Comment


        • #5
          Battle of Britain: This epic air combat film was noteworthy for several reasons:

          1. The He-111's were borrowed from the Spanish Air National Guard, who were still using them.

          2, The British fighters were restored locally, but the German Messershmidts came from the Confederate Air force, a restoration outfit based in Texas.

          3. When it came time to fly all these aircraft, Spanish pilots flew the He-111's, but since the Me109's belonged to Americans, their American pilots flew those, while some German pilots ended up flying the Spit's and Hurricanes for the British.

          4. Although the aircraft were meticulously restored, the majority did not have working radios, making the coordination of the air sequences an incredible feat using various visual signals.

          5. In order to actually film the air combat sequences, an aircraft was needed that would allow room for camera equipment and be able to keep up with the speed and maneuvers of the fighters. Helicopters and light aircraft couldn't do it, so the producers obtained a B-25, removed the rear turret for maximum visibility leaving a bare platform, strapped the cameraman to the platform, and gave the pilots cart blanche to do whatever they had to do to stay with the fighters. Rumor had it that the cameraman needed a quiet period each day after shooting to recover his equilibrium and return his stomach to its rightful place.

          For the Steve McQueen film, The War Lover, the B-17's were actually resurrected from the aircraft graveyard at Monthan AFB in Arizona and flown across the Atlantic. Martin Caidin, an air combat author who flew with them, wrote a non-fiction book about this feat, entitled Everything But The Flak.

          Because they lacked any decent navigational gear, the aircraft flew in formation and had to go down on the deck in bad weather. Caidin described an incident in which dense fog forced them down to the deck. Suddenly, they flew into a clear patch and directly over an American destroyer, where one lone seaman on watch could be seen standing on the bridge wing gaping up at them. Then the fog swallowed them up again. Caidin wondered what that seaman reported to his captain about the overflight: "You saw WHAT?!"
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by panzermacher View Post
            The telephone deal was real! YEars after Grenada a talk show interviewed a few of the guys who where there when it happened and the operator they talked too...sounds unreal, but it happened! I believe it was a Marine platoon. (Do SEALS really need artillery?)
            Yes I know it was real. The SEALīs IIRC where cornered in the mansion, outnumbred and facing a BTR. They lacked any AT weapons and where not going anywhere. They didnt direct any fire over the phone, they however informed their command that they where in trouble.
            Good thinking anyway whoever it was, and its a example that I often use when it comes to adaptation and communications.

            The whole campaign have alot of screw ups and tragic deaths that never got any attention. I read a extensive report on Op Urgent Fury once, highly recomended if you want to fill in any blank spots in recent US military history. After that, "Heartbreak ridges" portrayal of the operation sort of fades.

            I was for your information called "Swede" during my basic training after my platoon had watched the movie one night on the telly.
            Last edited by Pergite; 10 Apr 07, 11:57.
            "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pergite View Post
              I was for your information called "Swede" during my basic training after my platoon had watched the movie one night on the telly.

              Comment


              • #8
                by Pergite: Yes I know it was real. The SEALīs IIRC where cornered in the mansion, outnumbred and facing a BTR.
                SEAL's are never outnumbered - they simply operate in "target-rich environments."
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MountainMan View Post
                  SEAL's are never outnumbered - they simply operate in "target-rich environments."
                  Saw this great "commercial" for the Navy SEALs in another thread:

                  Last edited by Boonierat; 11 Apr 07, 01:43.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MountainMan View Post
                    SEAL's are never outnumbered - they simply operate in "target-rich environments."
                    ROFL thats a good one!
                    The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. -Carl Jung

                    Hell is other people. -Jean-Paul Sarte

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pergite View Post
                      Yes I know it was real. The SEALīs IIRC where cornered in the mansion, outnumbred and facing a BTR. They lacked any AT weapons and where not going anywhere. They didnt direct any fire over the phone, they however informed their command that they where in trouble.
                      Good thinking anyway whoever it was, and its a example that I often use when it comes to adaptation and communications.

                      The whole campaign have alot of screw ups and tragic deaths that never got any attention. I read a extensive report on Op Urgent Fury once, highly recomended if you want to fill in any blank spots in recent US military history. After that, "Heartbreak ridges" portrayal of the operation sort of fades.

                      I was for your information called "Swede" during my basic training after my platoon had watched the movie one night on the telly.
                      Ouch! That was a wild Moniker there! Yeah the rest of the movie kinda sank...I do remember they made the phone call with a credit card too cuz it was long distance.... Pretty wild!
                      Now it's ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
                      In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
                      Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun and bought it

                      Comment

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