America won the Battle of Britain

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Paul_Sjordal, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    Forgive me if there is already a thread for this movie.

    Apparently, there's a movie coming out starring Tom Cruise that does to history what Hollywood often does to history. I have to imagine some of our British friends will be angry about this.

    http://www.westpress.co.uk/displayNo...tentPK=9562995

    I can understand making small changes to history to make a movie interesting, but Hollywood all too often goes too far.
     
  2. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I'll pass judgement only after I've seen the finished film. I just don't buy into negative publicity on movies that haven't even been made yet.

    I'm a WWII/history buff & also a fan of Michael Mann so I'm very interested in seeing this.

    I do admit that U-571 was an injustice to the Brits along with being a mediocre WWII sub film. Give me Das Boot, The Enemy Below & Run Silent Run Deep any day. [​IMG]
     
  3. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    One should never be surprised at this kind of reactionary gun-jumping whenever Hollywood makes a historical epic, particularly one rooted in such an easily researchable historical event. Likewise, one should never be surprised at Hollywood's revisionist approach to narratives rooted in real life - particularly those that deal with other cultures.

    I'm with Jim on this - wait until it comes out. That said, the article writer's use of phrases like "However, winning the Battle of Britain was not one of his many accomplishments." is frustrating, as it's so obviously a preemptive lob against something that hasn't even happened yet - and it assumes the Americans are saying that it WAS one of his accomplishments without quoting the source. This kind of one-sided journalism burns me, and it's so prevalent these days it makes me sick - exactly where is the opposing viewpoint in that article?

    At the same time, somewhat ironically, I must express my disdain for Hollywood's ceaseless ability to find even the most tenuous, America-centric (and too often white) point of entry before in order to make a film about other cultures. This train of thought, unfortunately, backs up the thinking behind that interviewees in that story, but at least we can look to finished films to find examples. THE LAST SAMURAI - another Cruise starrer, ironically - is just one good example. Surely Japanese filmmakers of today would have done the story far more justice, although it's a given they'd downplay the American's involvement since it's open to so much speculation. Knowing the Hollywood history of questionably inserting American characters into alien environments so we can see the history of the world through their eyes, one can see where the Brits might be getting a little nervous - but that's still no reason for shoddy, one-sided journalism to help them make their point.
     
  4. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for reminding me why I like K-19. [​IMG]

    Sadly, your point is correct, and it's stupid. Take the above mentioned project: it's not as if British culture is particularly alien to us.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    So is "The Few" going to be a remake of this potboiler:

    [​IMG]

    Actually it's the other way round: the Battle of Britain won the Americans (to the cause).

    The closing credits of the 1960's film The Battle of Britian gives a breakdown of the pilots by nationality. It lists British, Irish, French, Czech, Polish, South African, American, and even one Israeli. The last is odd in that there was no "Israel" in 1940.

    Tales of US circumvention of neutrality in 1940-1941 would make a much more interesting film. For example, US aircraft would be flown to isolated points on the Canadian border, pushed by hand across into Canada, and thence flown to the UK.

    We need Steve Christou's commentary..... :p)
     
  6. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Typical isn't it? Top Gun's Maverick wins the Battle of Britain singlehandedly.
    Crap. That link says it all, someone should print and paste that article on the posters when the film comes out.
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    The Battle of Britain is one of the most heroic battles in recent Western History. It has been the pride of a whole nation for 60 some years. The mere idea of yankeefying it is repulsive to me, one sided journalism or not.

    Heck, even Steve can't find anything funny to say about that one. What does that tell you?

    --
    H
     
  8. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    Hey, we've had to put up with those lunkheads screwing up our history for long enough; it's high time someone else get a taste of the misery we've endured, and I can't think of a better victim... erm, "subject" than the Brits. [​IMG]
     
  9. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    You know, as an avid - almost rabid - amateur American history buff, I always start to get a bad taste in my mouth with when Americans bash either England or France.

    The French & Indian War brought great benefits to the colonies, and yet England incurred serious debt fighting it, weakening that nation, which would soon be forced to fight uprisings throughout its Empire. Without England, there would be no "English colonies" to begin with, or room to expand in the American North.

    On the flip side, without the English Social Order, Thomas Paine could not have penned the beginnings of the American philosophy...self-determination free of the class system, and a democracy based on limited government.

    France, on the other hand, was a stalwart ally against England during the Revolution. The French adored America, and especially Ben Franklin. Our cause led to their own revolution. I see and hear all these people bashing France now -- without France stepping in on the side of the Americans, there would be no USA as we now know it, and without Napoleon granting the Louisiana purchase, it is possible that eventually the fledgling American nation would have found itself in a disastrous war with France to settle lands east of the Mississippi.

    Both France and Britain refused to intercede during the American Civil War, refused to come in on the side of the Confederacy...if they had stepped in and bolstered the south, or worse -- used the opportunity to conquer or reclaim the Americas for themselves -- the American experiment would have perished. Flash forward 140 years, and I keep hearing people bash England and France, saying that "we saved England" and "we saved France" in WWII, and therefore, they owe us allegiance.

    Both nations saved us first. Not just once, either.

    American pilots took part in the Battle of Britain. This film is about one of them. Does it suggest that "America Saved Britain"? I have not seen the film. I don't know. I do know that Americans *helped* during that battle. I do know that American involvement in WWII - coupled with the disastrous move by Hitler to try and invade Russia - was the turning point of that war. I do know that modern English and French people are very sensitive of that fact, and that it is deeply offensive to them to hear young Americans gloat about such things.

    Looking at the Western world through the prism of history, the fact is, we've all saved each other from time to time.
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Napoleon had his hands full with the Napoleonic Wars. He was also broke. When American negotiators approached him to buy the city of New Orleans, he counter-offered to sell them the whole French claims. What we got for $3 million was legally a "quitclaim deed".
     
  11. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "Actually Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation when he did to forstall European states siding with the south."

    Yes, I know, but it wasn't *European* states, the move was explicitly made to mollify the British. Though incredibly unpopular at home, the Emancipation Proclamation wrapped the Union cause in a moral cloth beyond that of preserving the union of American states. Britain was actively engaged in fighting the slave trade as a human abonimation long before Lincoln found the courage to do the same here in the States. The Emancipation Proclamation was specifically targeted to head off British intervention in the American Civil War.

    "Napoleon had his hands full with the Napoleonic Wars. He was also broke. When American negotiators approached him to buy the city of New Orleans, he counter-offered to sell them the whole French claims. What we got for $3 million was legally a 'quitclaim deed'."

    It was also vitally necessary to the growth of the USA -- eventually, without the Louisiana Purchase, such growth would have certainly engendered conflict between France and the USA, just as the growth of the British colonies in North America caused the French & Indian war decades earlier.
     
  12. andrew markworthy

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    As a token Brit, I suppose I ought to say something. And it's this - let's wait and see. If it's an accurate account of Mr Fiske's life, then it may be an interesting movie.

    Contrary to what you guys might suppose, most Brits are very grateful to the USA for joining in WWII. We do understand that you didn't want to get dragged into a war in a country far away from home (though the actions of Kennedy Snr when he was American ambassador didn't endear him to many Brits; hence why 'ordinary' Brits were never very smitten with JFK - they remembered his dad). And it would be utterly wrong to pretend that we aren't aware of the American lives lost in fighting for the allied cause (at Rememberance Day each year, a point is made of laying wreaths to remember the Americans who died). It only sticks in the throat when we get the 'without you you'd be speaking German' comments (to which an accurate reply is 'yes, and if the UK and Commonwealth hadn't held out, so would you').

    Whilst on the subject of historical accuracy and the Battle of Britain, what does annoy a lot of people is the general assumption that the battle was won by upper class white public school boys flying Spitfires. In reality, most kills were by Hurricanes, and a high proportion of the pilots were from working-class or modest middle-class backgrounds. Flying was a popular hobby in 1930s Britain (there were more airfields in the 30s than there are today). However, there was a 'them and us' attitude, and the working class pilots were often segregated in separate (and typically inferior) living quarters, and after the war largely airbrushed out of the picture (ah the Brit class system, don't you just love it). Likewise, a lot of the coloured pilots from the Commonwealth found themselves consigned to transport duty (though never as rampant as in the USA, racial prejudice was still present, alas). However, the Brits did get one thing right. The eventual reason for the Allied victory in the B of B was that the Brits were better able to replace lost aircraft than the Germans. The reason? Britain was quite happy to let women work in the factories in skilled jobs - something Hitler refused to countenance, with the result that the UK had a higher quantity of skilled non-combatant labour.
     
  13. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    [voice_Homer] Hee-hee-hee! That stupid Hitler! [/voice]
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Some of us on this side of the pond share this viewpoint.

    The Nazis had a reactionary view of women: "Kinder, Kirche, und Kuchen" with a vengance. They also refused to release domestic servants for the war effort. Meanwhile in the US women built ships and planes in vast quantities. Hard to win a war by ignoring the majority of your population.
     
  15. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Well, Fiske did make the list of those killed during the period of the battle:

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/roll.html

    If his contribution was indeed as negligible as the people in the article claim, it will be interesting to see what the film does to make his aerial exploits more exciting and "cinematic." Give the guy credit, though: unlike the majority of this country in the first two world wars, he showed up nearly on time.

    Looking at all those Canadians who were killed, however, and being a biased Canadian, I sincerely think an equally compelling story could be told about many of our pilots (possibly more compelling, and "action-packed," since most of them flew more missions). Problem is, Hollywood movies about Canada and/or Canadians rarely make money since Canucks seem as foreign to the Yanks as the Brits do, and Canadian movies about Canada and/or Canadians tend to be cheap, pretentious and dull. Anything bordering on a true-life adventure usually ends up being made-for-TV.

    But I guess it's OK being bland...[​IMG]
     
  16. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Strange Brew wasn't bland.
     
  17. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Ernest, not only have you reminded me of a classic Canadian movie, but dammit all, you've renewed my faith in America! I salute you.
     
  18. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    While we will have to wait for the film's release to see if this is gonna be another U-571, I have a hard time figuring out how Mr. Fiske could have had enough of an impact in actuality to justify a major motion picture. There's almost bound to be some exaggeration of his importance to the war effort if this is gonna be a high budget Tom Cruise vehicle.

    A more modest production with a less prominent star (and one closer to being accurate as far as age, Cruise being 40+) would be more likely to be historically accurate. Maybe even get a young Brit actor that can do a convincing American accent, [​IMG]
     
  19. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "Ernest, not only have you reminded me of a classic Canadian movie, but dammit all, you've renewed my faith in America! I salute you."

    The best restaruant at EPCOT is in Canada.

    One of the best "movies" at EPCOT is in Canada.

    Epcot's Canada is about to receive a new white-water-rapids ride, further bolstering the status of the Canadian pavillion at Epcot.

    If you can't tell, I'm off to EPCOT for the International Flower and Garden Festival with me mum and dad and my sister and my niece and nephew...leaving Saturday morning. Arriving Saturday noonish.

    In the words of William Shatner, "Epcot is the shiznit".
     
  20. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    So Ernest, are you saying the best things Canada has to offer are located in Florida??? [​IMG]
     

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