From the Independent : Tom Cruise and Hollywood rewrite the history of the Battle of Britain !!
"Billy Fiske was a racing driver, a pilot, an Olympic gold medallist and an American - but one thing he did not do was win the Battle of Britain single-handed. Veterans and historians fear that will be the impression given, however, when Tom Cruise plays Fiske in a new film called The Few".
"I've heard it is almost like he won the war all on his own," says Ben Clinch, who loaded the guns fired by the real Billy Fiske and his comrades in 601 Squadron during the summer of 1940. "I can't see how they can make a film of Fiske's life. It was quite short. He was unremarkable, in the context of the squadron. He was just another pilot as far as we were concerned."
"Hollywood's version of the Second World War has already shown Americans capturing the Enigma code machine in U571 (they didn't) and leading The Great Escape from a German prisoner of war camp (also not true). Pearl Harbor even suggested that the RAF only thwarted the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940 because US pilots popped across the Atlantic to help out. Now Mr Cruise looks set to expand on that with his own version of what Churchill called our "finest hour".
"Fiske was a remarkable character who did fly in the Battle of Britain, but recorded no confirmed kills. "It is going to be a farce if we have the Yanks shooting down everything in sight," says Bill Bond of the Battle of Britain Historical Society. "The battle was four weeks old when Billy was shot down. He made several sorties but he didn't shoot anything down, and his impact on the battle was negligible."
Location: South of the North Pole, north of the South Pole...
Obviously, Tom Cruise will be sitting on 2 parachutes.
But is this just another USA-bashing thread? I'd better pile in quick then before it gets cut...!
We all know that most Americans suffer from an inferiority complex. They need continuous reassurance that the World really loves them. If Hollywood has to feed this insatiable requirement with yet another movie portraying the American hero and has descended to rewriting history by pinching other's heroes because they have run out of their own...should we really complain?!
After all, that way we get to be able to maintain our own image of superiority!
But if they want to lionise one of the (9) yank volunteers, why not "Shorty" Keogh? The chap who really did sit on 2 parachutes (he was shy of 5ft tall), walloped the krauts, and sadly died the same way. That bloke in "The Station Agent" would seem typecast...
Anyway, it's no wonder that 30% of the population believe the cold war never happened...
It is time for the British Film Industry to "fight back" with a uniquely British film version of history! Using American methods the Empire can exist once more. Quickly....before the economically powerful French take over.
Anyone wanting a quick bio on Billy fiske can click here
Although there is (an american) reference to him shooting 6 enemy aircraft in the above link the best I've been able to come up with is 1 confirmed kill on 13 Aug 40 (Ju-88). Most references to Billy Fiske quote 0 confirmed kills.
All that being said I do think he did have a wonderful life and contributed much to the winter olympics pre-war. He was also the first american to join, and die for, the RAF in 1939/40. He deserves much respect for that. All we can hope is that the current day film makers do not over-exagerate his contibution to the BoB.
The Cruiser has his admirers, I suppose but for true Hollywood lunacy you have to hand it to Mr Gibson!
Having seen impossibly well-groomed and psychopatically cruel Englishmen killing and torturing women and children on two continents (In 'The Patriot' and 'Braveheart') until pulled up short by one man's possession of all the important human virtues and a lot of guts besides. That mean-looking guy in the green jacket in 'The Patriot', do you have many like him at home? I would hate to meet him in a dark alley, or even a well-lit one, come to that. And what you did to Mel in 'Braveheart' was really, really mean!
So I cannot wait for Mel's version of the Battle of Britain:
The grinning English fiends machine-gunning Goethe-reading Jerries as they float helplessly under their canopies after having been shot down by sneak attacks from behind!
The bloated capitalist swine W. Churchill spurning Rudolf's last-minute entreaty to see reason and avoid unnecessary bloodshed by making common cause against the Bolshevik threat from the east.
And, just when all seems lost, salvation from over the seas as we Yanks arrive to show everyone how to fly!
I like it!
The only question remaining in this is, where does Pope Pius XII fit into the plot? As far as the Jews, I guess Mel's point of view, like Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged's, would be, 'I did them!'
Right. Before we get started I am NOT anti-American...I have relatives who are Americans and I have a lot of time for them generally as a Country, however.............
Can any AMERICAN tell me why it is necessary for the USA to re-stage WW2 in a way that re-writes History to show them actually winning something??
What is it about Hollywood/the American Physche that prevents them portraying events as the actually were, and without a constant "US of A coming to the little Brits aid and winning everything for them" approach to everything?
Am I alone in being disgusted that true bravey and sacrifice are thoughtlessly cast aside by Hollywood producers in an effort to try to persuade a gullible American audience that they actually won something in WW2.
I would like to agree with you however in a period in history when (on both sides of the Atlantic) people have very little grasp of history, and when we have revisionist writers re-writing history for a variety of politically correct reasons and from their own twisted dogmas, there is every risk that this will become accepted History.
Wouldn't it be so nice (and what a change) for an American production to actually feature a historically correct film about say Bomber Command...with British/Dominions/Commonwealth actors.
And to those PC people...remember that there were West Indians and Sikhs in the RAF and wo gave their lives for freedom. They were treated fairly and as equals...unlike in the US Army/Air Force.
Without entering into the fray about the political licence of re-writing history in the movies, or about Tom Cruise in general.
But the fact that Tom Cruise OWN'S and FLY'S his own P51D Mustang, might make it likely that not only can he see over the dash of a Spitfire, but that he might even be able to FLY the thing himself - fancy that!
Which might be more than some of the people commenting here can claim?
And anyway, as any fule no, the Battle Of Britain was won by Ben Affleck - didn't you see "Pearl Harbor"?