Re: Misc. Junk --- "Historical Films" & a *challenge*

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Posted by Tom on June 11, 1999 at 06:42:31:

In Reply to: Re: Misc. Junk --- posted by Champ on June 11, 1999 at 03:52:41:

I have never seen "Ned Kelly" or "Big Bear" so I cannot comment. But "A Bridge Too Far" has several fictional characters. Hardy Kruger, Elliot Gould, the Dutch resistance family, the Dutch liason, and the "Major Fuller" characters are NOT historical figures. Although they are based on composites of several historical figures. The film also creates a number of conversations between the main actors to have all these big name actors sharing screen time. The film also fudges most of the action especially 82nd Airborne assault across the Waal River. I would rank a "Bridge Too Far" high on the Hollywood history scale but it does contain fictional characters, contrived conversations, and fudged facts.

"Zulu"- I would also rank this film high on the Hollywood history scale. Yet is contrives a friction between Chard and Bromhead which never existed. It turns Henry Hook into a malingerer which he wasn't. The entire Jack Hawkins parts are false. Also the famed salute the Zulus give the gallant defenders at the end of the battle never happened. Once again a good deal of dramatic license taken with the film.

"The Longest Day"- Another film that would rank high on the Hollywood history scale. Yet it contains fictional characters and contrived scenes for dramatic effect. In particular the grand "charge" the Americans make to get off Omaha Beach at the end of the film not even close to reality. Zanuck just wanted a spectacular ending.

Overall you picked some pretty decent films but they are still more Hollywood than history. One note on "The Longest Day" in Paul Fussel's book "Wartime" the film is dismissed as nothing more than a "romance." Fussel would know since he was horribly wounded as a platoon leader in Autumn 1944.

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