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Re: Combat films

From: Los <los@c...>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 15:23:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Combat films



"Thomas.Barclay" wrote:

> SPR the best combat film? It wasn't bad. It had some really good
points. The
> first 10-20 minutes were... amazing. Horrifying. I think maybe close
to the
> actual horrors of being there. And he did justice to the realities of
> conflict by having the US guys gun down surrendering Germans and loot
the
> dead (no shot at our US friends, just the Tuffley-esque comment about
no one
> wearing a white hat). Some of the vehicles were real, and the faked
ones
> were reasonably well done (not quite the familiar panzer Chaffee we've
seen
> in so many other period flicks or M3 "German version" halftrack). The
> characters were mostly interesting, even if the mission was a bit
> bird-brained (ended up wasting a bunch of lives to save one... not
what I
> consider wise policy). HOWEVER, they gave in to some cliches. The
sniper

Even the less than real parts of SPR including especially the last fight
at
REMEL still blow away most any other hollywood attempt out there. Feel
free to
name rivals. Sure it's not perfect compared to the real thing and it is
a MOVIE
not a documentary so I don't see cliche's as being a bad thing.  But
compared to
anything else out there SPR is it. With "Winter War" a very close
second.

> director having some nice touches (the use of the 20mm AA gun), yet
again
> German veterans were treated as idiots. They suddenly forgot how to
use
> cover during an assault (must have finally recalled their "Imperial"
> stormtrooper schooling). The last attack was like in so many movies -
the
>

There are numerous examples of supposedly veteran units on the German
side,
switching to more aggressive tactics and even seemingly suicidal
tactics. Some
of the counter attacks attacks on the first day of the DDay landings.
For
example during Anzio, even veteran/crack units like the fallschirmjaeger
and
panzer units like HG were using almost massed wave attacks with their
infantry
to try and break through the beachhead. Much to the amazement of the
allies
repulsing those attacks.  In the Bulge, as a rule most all of the small
unit
offensive actions used by the Germans, especially the SS units were
poorly
handled. They may have been veteran units in mane and in a sprinkling of
leadership, but with a high majority of green troops and leaders after
repeated
horrendous losses. Heck even in Normandy you take a unit like 12SS
panzer
division, any given platoon was only two or three casualties away from
having
nothing but highly motivated, but very low experience mob of  troops.
Even in
Normandy, desperate german attacks in places like Mortain, Falaise,
resulted in
the very tactics that were portrayed in the film.

> opponents were cheapened in order to make it a shooting gallery. So
the
> movie, which I liked a lot and found hard to watch (the beginning was
very
> real), gets an 8.5 from me.
>

You rating is irrelevant unless some other movie gets higher than an 8.5
for
it's combat action. No argument that SPR is  not an EXACT replica of
combat
action from front to back and the the plot is perfectly done and devoid
of plot
devices and clich├ęs (by the way is that supposed to be bad?)

>
> Now, most films don't rate even close to that good. A couple of other
good
> "combat" films were Cross of Iron (you want to see close combat? watch
the
> scenes where Russians are overrunning German positions) and Stalingrad
> (foreign film) gets an honourable mention for its room to room
fighting and
> the depiction of German morale (I've talked with a family friend who
was a
> survivor - 3 men out of his Battalion survived as far as he knew).
All's
> Quiet on the Western Front might also get some sort of nomination.
>

Cross of Iron is a great flick, (I practically have every line
memorized)  but
if you're going to sit there and tell me that's somehow less hollywood
than SPR,
than pass my a toke of that pipe. ("I'll show you where the Iron Crosses
grow
<grin>) And Stalingrad, (Which was allright but...) I wouldn't even put
in the
same league. It does get high marks for all the tanks they use in that
panzer
attack, but the city fighting scenes could have used at least one guy
with
military experience advising them for a day or to. Hell their
city-fighting
tactics were even worse portrayed than than the  Remel Germans in SPR!
And as
for room to room fighting, they hardly show any! For  a better
Stalingrad movie
watch the 1959 original "Stalingrad: Dogs Do You Want to Live Forever"
which is
in B&W has a good story and lots of sliced in actual combat footage
which woorks
well.

SIDE NOTE: THERE IS A NEW STALINGRAD MOVIE IN THE WORKS!

>
> There have been a number of horrendous films (for various reasons -
the
> tactics employed, the vehicles badly done up, etc) such as the Dirty
Dozen
> (and the sequel especially) and possibly the worst rendition of a
historical

But that's still a fun movie.

>
> situation I've ever seen, Battle of the Bulge. In most cases, these
movies
>

The Panzerleid in itself redeems the entire film. (Ok well, maybe not)

> For Sci-Fi "combat" films/segments, I think Aliens was pretty good
(thought
> the Laser Disk version with the Sentry guns and some other scenes was
> better) though the sergeant who collected the ammo should have been
smacked
> and the Marines' tactics weren't bright (though that was the point).
The

BTW these scenes also exits in the DVD version which has like 14 minutes
of
extra footage.

>
> combat scenes from the future in T1 and T2 were pretty good. Not too
many
> other good sci-fi combat segments I can think of (not counting some
chunks
> out of B5). Many bad ones (Moon 44 leaps to mind, as does pretty much
any
> Imperial Stormtrooper appearance).
>

Still, if I have to take my kid to ONE film and say, son, this is more
or less
what combat is like, then I will show him SPR, in it's entirety.

Cheers...

Los

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