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  • Accuracy in military movies and TV programs

    In the past,such as back in the 60's and 70's military movies where not that accurate to the history.

    For instance in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" which came out in 1962 the Turks are shown many times with M1919a4 machine guns that didn't come out to well after World War I. Or "To Hell and Back" Audie Murphy is shown firing a machine gun from a tank, when in actuality he was on a M10 Tank Destroyer.

    Even worse where the large number of war movies churned out in the 40's.

    In the better military movies today there are experts that look at every detail from the rifles the troops are carrying to the correct boots and buttons on uniforms. For instance the series Band of Brothers is widely praised for its accuracy.

    When was the tipping point when military movies started to aim for more accuracy?
    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

  • #2
    To be fair, before CGI sourceing the right equipment would be problematic. For example there weren't loads of old Tiger 2s lying around for Battle of the Bulge so they had to make do with Patterns. Though not sure why they used Chaffes in place of Shermans.
    Likewise at River Plate they had to substitute an American cruiser for Graf Spee.
    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Surrey View Post
      To be fair, before CGI sourceing the right equipment would be problematic. For example there weren't loads of old Tiger 2s lying around for Battle of the Bulge so they had to make do with Patterns. Though not sure why they used Chaffes in place of Shermans.
      Likewise at River Plate they had to substitute an American cruiser for Graf Spee.
      I understand it is hard to find running euipment from bygone wars. But having the Turks using m1919A4 in Lawrence of Arabia is glaring error. It is such a recognizable machine gun. Which wasn't even in production until well after World War I. There were plenty of Maxim machine guns around that would look more accurate.

      On the subject of tanks that is much easier to solve. I've seen programs on TV that show how they made mock ups. Take any tank or even a truck. Make a shell that looks like the tank you want to represent.
      "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
      Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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      • #4
        Well one only has to think of the number of times that Me 108s have masqueraded as Me 109s or Dh Tiger Moths have represented all sorts of British and German WW1 two seaters...
        But with reference to Lawrence of Arabia. it isn't just the equipment that's fake its the location. Yes it was filmed partially in Saudi but having visited some of the real sites I can confirm in locations more cinematic and/or closers to Jeddah.
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
          It is such a recognizable machine gun.
          For the vast majority of population an assault rifle is a machine gun. The movies are made for a wider audience than history, firearm buffs and military personnel. Increased budgets have allowed for wider accuracy. It might also be that as less and less people are familiar with these issues the historical accuracy adds a level of enjoyment to the movies that was not previously needed.
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          • #6
            I can certainly enjoy accuracy of equipment etc, in war movies when I see it but I ceased to expect it a long time ago.
            "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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            • #7
              I think that earlier movies simply did not have the all layers of productions that are more common with more modern films. Some movies take two or three years after the completion of filming to be released. Many scenes are filmed in a green room and backgrounds are added later. They hold a stick to represent a sword, or a toy gun, all which will be replaced with computer graphics by techies that are guided by nerds that research that sort of historical stuff.

              The old war movies are no different than the old cheesy Sci-Fi movies with the cheap models of space ships that you can clearly see the thread that is holding it up or the guy in a garbage can pretending to be a robot.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
                In the past,such as back in the 60's and 70's military movies where not that accurate to the history.

                For instance in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" which came out in 1962 the Turks are shown many times with M1919a4 machine guns that didn't come out to well after World War I. Or "To Hell and Back" Audie Murphy is shown firing a machine gun from a tank, when in actuality he was on a M10 Tank Destroyer.

                Even worse where the large number of war movies churned out in the 40's.

                In the better military movies today there are experts that look at every detail from the rifles the troops are carrying to the correct boots and buttons on uniforms. For instance the series Band of Brothers is widely praised for its accuracy.

                When was the tipping point when military movies started to aim for more accuracy?
                "Accuracy in military films" is one of the major oxymorons of our time, since Hollyweird is all about everything except historical accuracy, which is often boring or otherwise unsatisfactory in terms of audience titillation. Car chases with flips, explosions and other horrific occurrences are a classical case in point.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                  To be fair, before CGI sourceing the right equipment would be problematic. For example there weren't loads of old Tiger 2s lying around for Battle of the Bulge so they had to make do with Patterns. Though not sure why they used Chaffes in place of Shermans.
                  Likewise at River Plate they had to substitute an American cruiser for Graf Spee.
                  And in Pearly Harbor they used modern destroyers as WWII ships.

                  Meanwhile in the otherwise halfway decent film Hunt For Red October they used crash footage of a Navy Panther from the Korean War to fake a Tomcat crashing on the flight deck. CGI an entire underwater war, but fake an aircraft crash?

                  And how many times in modern war films have we seen that same old gun cam shot of a Stuka being shot down? A STUKA?!
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                    And in Pearly Harbor they used modern destroyers as WWII ships.

                    Meanwhile in the otherwise halfway decent film Hunt For Red October they used crash footage of a Navy Panther from the Korean War to fake a Tomcat crashing on the flight deck. CGI an entire underwater war, but fake an aircraft crash?

                    s:
                    Sure their are plenty of bad modern war movies. The 2001 movie Pearl Harbor was truly awful.

                    The tactics in the final battle in the 2014 World War II tank movie Fury were plain stupid.

                    Still many recent war movies are far ahead of those from 30 and more years ago. Salinator makes some got points on why.
                    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post

                      Sure their are plenty of bad modern war movies. The 2001 movie Pearl Harbor was truly awful.

                      The tactics in the final battle in the 2014 World War II tank movie Fury were plain stupid.

                      Still many recent war movies are far ahead of those from 30 and more years ago. Salinator makes some got points on why.
                      The title of this thread is "accuracy in WWII movies and TV programs". Accuracy on the whole remains a secondary objective at best. Films like Battle of Britain are rare. More often films like Flyboys are produced, and why not? The target audiences of today know next to nothing about history and care even less. They want explosions, lots of violence and blood, and they want to be mindlessly entertained.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                        The title of this thread is "accuracy in WWII movies and TV programs". Accuracy on the whole remains a secondary objective at best. Films like Battle of Britain are rare. More often films like Flyboys are produced, and why not? The target audiences of today know next to nothing about history and care even less. They want explosions, lots of violence and blood, and they want to be mindlessly entertained.
                        In a certain way, sad (IMO) but true.
                        "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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                        • #13
                          WWll British Films: `37 Pattern webbing very sloppily assembled; hair of NCOīs/ORīs far too long; battle-dress too baggy and comfortable; most participants over-weight (by wartime standards) and looking too well-fed.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GreenTiger View Post
                            WWll British Films: `37 Pattern webbing very sloppily assembled; hair of NCOīs/ORīs far too long; battle-dress too baggy and comfortable; most participants over-weight (by wartime standards) and looking too well-fed.
                            "Am I hurting you laddy?"
                            "Er no sergeant"
                            "Well I should be, I'm standing on your 'air. GET IT CUT"

                            But with regard to battledress. In some theatres in the field uniform standards often became more relaxed. This was particularly the case in the Western Desert - see Jon's Two Types cartoons and numerous photographs.

                            http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/docs-p...humour-139542/
                            Last edited by MarkV; 10 Oct 18, 06:50.
                            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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