Worst historical war film

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by North Carolina Tentmaker, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    The thread on "best historical film on the Vietnam War" got me thinking about all of the bad war films out there. Some films are so bad that I have to classify them as unwatchable. A couple of recent films come to mind:

    How about in "Windtalkers" where Nicholas Cage is calling for artillery fire and they are encoding the coordinates. This destroyed the film for me and I could not watch the rest. You would never call for artillery fire in code, that is one communication you don't want confusion on or you could land rounds on your head. Also in about 30 seconds the rounds are going to be landing so it won't be much of a secret at that point. Finally if the enemy looked at the transmission later they would have a pretty good idea where the rounds landed and therefore they could break your code for future transmissions.

    I thought "Tears in the Sun" was also totally unwatchable. Bruce Willis as a Navy Seal who jeopardizes his mission because he feels sorry for those poor Africans. Give me a break, a real Seal would have killed all the Africans, trussed the Doctor up in hundred mile an hour tape, and carried her onto the helicopter.

    Am I the only one who thinks this way? When I see stuff like this it really destroys the movies for me. We can do a poll on this later but what are some other films to include?
     
  2. Phillip

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    When did you get out of the army? After Korean war? haha Just kidding.

    Actually, maybe the film is technically wrong for Viet Nam era (except for units being tested), but all communications are now encoded.

    The system used in the film was used for a while, but probably not in real combat; possibly used some near the end of the war for test purposes, since that is when it was developed.

    You have to remember that encryption has gone through several stage and had to evolve to what it is today (all networked and linked via spread-spectrum, low-intercept, direct and sat links.)

    Whether voice or Code, the idea of dialing in coordinates was to confirm the coords to make certain they were right before punching the send button. Encryption was secondary.

    No, the encrypted code will not allow the enemy to decode it. At that time, the code was changed on a time synced through radio transmission. Today it is even worse since there is GPS time coordination. In 30 seconds the code will have changed about 60 million times (I believe that is the spread rate for that length of time.)

    Today, the coords are typed into a rugged laptop or a built in computer on a vehicle where they are transmitted world-wide over a sat net only to be picked up by the aircraft which allows the signal to be routed directly to the smart-weapons GPS computer. The computer will not allow you to dial your own coords, or coords even close have to be overriden with "battle override". Safety precaution.

    This system had to evolve from a lesser system, and it did. The one you saw on the movie above. Just because you may have not used a system such as this does not mean it did not exist.

    You have to remember, all of our smart weapons and new technology was mostly tested in Viet Nam. Precision bombing was actually perfected when we went downtown Hanoi. Life magezine had pictures of military complexes blown awway with apartments across the street still standing. (probably lacking windows.) But, the technology was being tested at the time.

    After Viet Nam, Israel helped test a lot of the technology in the Yom Kippor War.

    Coords are rarely given by voice any more (even though voice is now encrypted and placed on spread-spectrum.) Too much possibility of error.

    Hey, don't get upset please, this is a debate site, we debate okay? ;) [​IMG]
     
  3. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Thanks for the information Philip, that was very interesting. I only got out in 1992 and we never encoded when we called for fire, but perhaps some of those high tech types did. When I called for fire it was from within the division, I never called for naval guns or air support like in the movie. Like you said
    I still did not like the movie very much.
     
  4. Stratiotes

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    Althought I am an avid John Wayne fan, I have to say that as an unconventional warfare nut "Green Berets" was one of the worts war films ever. I understand the intent being patriotic but good intentions are no excuse for sacrificing truth.
     
  5. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Yes the Green Berets was pretty cheesy. I loved the film but recognize the historical inaccuracy. I love John Wayne of course, but there was one film he made, it was a WWII film, and there is this Japanese plane strafing the Americans and John stands up and throws a grenade that goes into the open cockpit on the plane and blows up. Does anyone else remember that? Which film was that?

    So far we have:
    Windtalkers
    Tears in the Sun
    The Green Berets

    How about "The Rock" with Nicholas Cage. Do you remember when he injected the antripine in his heart. Now I remember the antripine injectors we were issued when I was in the service and you were supposed to inject them into a major muscle group, they recommended your quadriceps. I can not remember anyone ever telling me to inject myself in the heart. Those self injecting needles were scary enough.
     
  6. Plain Old Bill

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    OOOOOOOOH I must be very old. When I went to CBR school now called NBC or something else, we would put the atropine into our legs but everything was manual, no auto injections.We had a little poker that would break the seal inside of the needle and then we would squeeze the little metal container until it was empty.Oh for the days of ironmen and wooden ships.
    By the way "Green Berets", was pretty bad technically speaking.
     
  7. stevec

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    As a war movie nut and amateur military historian; for (reasonable) historical accuracy I would recommend Gettysburg (US Civil War), Tora, Tora, Tora (Pearl Harbor--WWII), The Longest Day (Normandy Invasion--WWII), Patton (WWII overall), We Were Soldiers (Viet Nam) and the little known and hard to find The Siege of Firebase Gloria (Viet Nam)--a purely fictitious movie but does an excellent job of portraying the time and place.

    For an absolute stinker I would give top honors to the big-budget Pearl Harbor. They should have taken $20 of the $135,000,000 budget and invested it in a history book.
     
  8. Phillip

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    How about the Battle of Brittian?

    I remember seeing it when I was quite young at the theater and was literally horrified by the blood-shed of the gunners and pilots that got hit.

    For the first time, I think I understood the reality of war. It was not a bad thing to understand (if you get my drift).
     
  9. Phillip

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    I still did not like the movie very much. </font>[/QUOTE]Can't say that I blame you for not liking the movie. Not much to debate there! :D

    Yep, most of the stuff was actually built for the Navy and ground troops that tied into their technology.

    They always seemed to have the jump on technology (but, then again, look at who got the most money to build those huge ships and subs.) :rolleyes:
     
  10. Stratiotes

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    Antropine...yeah, when I was in it was in a tube like toothpaste and you were supposed to stab your thigh and squeeze it in. I always wondered if I'd ever be certain enough to have the fear level necessary to inflict that on myself.

    Agreed on Pearl Harbor - one of the worst ever.

    I did see "The Rock" but I don't remember much about it. All I remember is that I had no desire to watch it a second time ;) .
     
  11. blackbird

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    I agree, too, on Affleck's "Pearl Harbor"---too unrealistic, too "Hot-doggish"---I mean, the dudes are at three different places----first, the hero is in Great Britian before American involvement(ok, so some were involved before the initial involvement, that's a gimme) Then the dude is back in the Pacific Theatre---hobnobbin' with the buddies and "kickin' Jap Fanny"---then, third---he's with Doolittle and the raid to Tojo's "Backyard!"----just too unrealistic!

    What about "The Bridge Over River Kwai"

    And "A Bridge Too Far"
     
  12. Phillip

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    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see a good explanation of the bad parts of Pearl Harbor.

    I have not studied Pearl Harbor very much, but I did see the movie.

    I went away almost feeling sorry for the poor Japanese having to fly those planes into the battle and the poor Admiral on the Japanese carrier. Outside of that type of stuff, what were some of the biggest mistakes.

    I would REALLY like to hear from someone who was there or had relatives that were that saw it in action.
     
  13. Kiffen

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    My problem with Pearl Harbor was

    1. American fighter pilots in the RAF before WW2 (PLEASE!)

    2. Pearl Harbor was basically a back drop for a pathetic silly love story

    3. The Doolittle Raid should be a movie in of itself and not attached to the movie and William Baldwin as Doolittle!?

    Tora! Tora! Tora IS the Masterpiece on Pearl Harbor...Hopefully the recent Pearl Harbor movie will fade into history itself.
     
  14. blackbird

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    Phillip---biggest mistakes for Americans at Pearl

    1) Ammunition and fireing pins to ack-ack guns(20 mm and .50cal machine guns) were locked up below---due to inspection from Fleet Commanders

    2) No battleship was currently "makeing steam" at the time of initial attack---steam was used to turn the ship's propellers, hoist anchors, and run hydrolic machines to operate the 5 inch, and 40 mm anti-aircraft guns---I believe I read somewhere---where it takes about an hour from start for the ship's boilers to make enough steam for the ships to get under way!

    Blackbird
     
  15. Dogsbody

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    Absolutely true! Several American pilots fought in the Battle of Britain. The Americans were then organized into the "Eagle Squadrons" which were mustered into the USAAF when the US entered the war and they became the Fourth Fighter Group of the Eight Air Force. But...
    The movie "Pearl" is garbage. The Japanese Naval Air Force didn't swarm like "Independence Day" alien "Foo Fighters" wasting bombs on ships that had already turned "turtle". Their attact was highly organized and carried out in precision formations.
    The "Do-Little" raid was totally bogus! The B-25s did not go in formation(each had a different target) and strafing at night while your chrashing hitting only the enemy just feet away!?
    Paleeeeze! :rolleyes:
     
  16. Johnv

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    I agree. I loved the movie, but it was abundant with mozarella. I'm a big John Wayne fan as well. I have to be. I live in the OC (where John Wayne lived), and it's mandatory for all OC residents to love The Duke.
     
  17. mioque

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    "Absolutely true! Several American pilots fought in the Battle of Britain."
    "
    Allthough none was quite as capable as was suggested of that one character in the film.
     
  18. blackbird

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    mioque says, "Although none was quiet as capable as was suggested of that one character in the film."

    That ain't sayin' much for the character---his frazzlin' Spitfire sprung a hydrolic leak---then the Luftwaffe shot him down like he were a little target at the county fair!!
     
  19. mioque

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    blackbird
    If I remember correctly, somewhere earlier in the film that character's commander lavishes huge praise upon him suggesting that he is basically the best fighterpilot he has ever seen.
    By the way, no U.S. servicemen did, or could, join the RAF, however Americans civilians could and a few did.
     
  20. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Blackbird:

    You mentioned:
    I thought both of these were pretty good. I have seen the documentaries on the "Bridge Over the River Kwai." I know there was some inaccuracy there. There were actually several bridges and the conditions of the British POWs was much worse than in the movie. Also I don't believe there was ever a successful escape from those work camps. Actually a great number died of starvation. But overall I did not think it was that bad.

    As for "A Bridge Too Far," I thought that one was pretty accurate historically, it is one of my favorites. My brother actually visited Holland last year and brought me back pictures of the bridges, and that house where they were surrounded, and they match up with the movie pretty good. Perhaps mioque can give us some insight here. I know the units involved and the massacre of the Polish brigade were about right.

    Anyway the nominees are:

    Pearl Harbor
    The Green Berets
    Tears in the Sun
    The Bridge Over the River Kwai
    A Bridge to Far
    The Rock
    Windtalkers
    The Battle of Britain

    If there are no other nominees I will post this as a poll and let everyone vote on the worst. I would have to guess that Pearl Harbor is the current favorite.
     

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