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Dreadful Films: A Great Shame On Brave Men

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Dreadful Films: A Great Shame On Brave Men

Old 5th Jun 2019, 06:16
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Dreadful Films: A Great Shame On Brave Men

I have recently obtained the films: "Lancaster Skies" and "303 Squadron" on DVD.

The subject matter is first a bomber crew coming to terms with losing their pilot and getting a former fighter pilot as replacement, whilst the second is loosely related to the Poles of 303 Sqn.

The CGI work is good but the acting and attention to detail is IMHO dire in the extreme. In one scene an officer is seen wearing the current pattern of RAF airman's SD hat and several shots show 'queens crowns' on other hats. In the first film, saluting without a hat, collar attached shirts, in the second the current style of NCO rank stripes and a shed load of other 'continuity' errors and lack of accuracy spoil what - in both cases - is serious subject matter.

The current Mrs Old Duffer (herself a 20 year veteran, in the mob) and I watched the first film for about 20 minutes and gave up and the second film didn't last much longer before removing to a safe distance!

A very disappointing outcome to serious subjects and much of it unnecessary had reasonable steps been taken by the makers.

Just my views of course!

Old Duffer - in grumpy mood!
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 06:41
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Perhaps writing to the respective producers of the films highlighting the inaccuracies and suggesting improvements would of more benefit to future productions rather than having a moan on an anonymous forum?
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 06:48
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campbeex,

I disagree. OD has done me (and probably many other PPRuNers) a favour by reviewing these films, giving me a good reason to avoid wasting my time watching them.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 06:56
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--------and the original Dam Busters Film used Lincolns????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

The films mentioned by the OP are fiction; they can wear what they like. It's the same with contrails in cowboy pictures.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 07:20
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
campbeex,

I disagree. OD has done me (and probably many other PPRuNers) a favour by reviewing these films, giving me a good reason to avoid wasting my time watching them.
You disagree with providing constructive criticism?

I'm inclined to disagree with this thread appearing in the Military Aviation forum. Aviation History & Nostalgia or Jet Blast might be more appropriate.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 09:24
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Whilst FarEastDriver is correct that they are 'fiction', 303 is heavily biased towards the real 303 and the Polish contribution to the BofB. As to Lancaster Skies it makes the point of being based on real events, although I accept that can be subject to very wide interpretation. He is also right about contrails in cowboy films and there is the famous landrover in the film El Cid and I'm sure many others.

It's a great pity that the subjects have been so casually dealt with and whilst it is commented that this Thread uses my 'false' name, I'm happy to repeat the comments in any sort of open forum and can justify (the films will show the truth of my remarks) what I have written.

I won't write to the makers, my experience of correcting serious errors of fact has not been good!! I wrote to a commissioning editor for a book about Arnhem - of which I have some knowledge. The book refers to ranks such as 'Leading Air Commander' (LAC), 'Second Lieutenant' (S/L), 'Flight Officer' (F/O) {and neither the female or the USAAF rank} and is peppered with dreadful mistakes of fact. The Editor wasn't interested so I wrote a formal book review which was published but the book is still on sale!!!!

O-D
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 10:29
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I must say that attention to detail can lead one to doubt the accuracy of more important aspects of a story. I did not buy a book called "Lancaster Down" because the cover showed the gun turret of a Blenheim!

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Old 5th Jun 2019, 13:27
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Lancaster Skies was frankly grotesque.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 16:30
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Thumbs down

303 squadron was passable but Lancaster Skies was so much dross it was an INSULT to all Bomber Crews from WW2.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 22:13
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Ref 303 Sqn. I can't comment on the uniforms, since I didn't particularly notice. However, the CGI, and the mock-ups were faultless. Before criticising too much, take account of the fact it was a Polish film, made in Poland. I watched it on the one day it was screened locally. W have a very large proportion of Poles in this area, and a good 80% of the audience were Polish. They were happy with it, which is what counts.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 01:24
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Oddly, in watching movies for years, I've noticed that "attention to detail" isn't a priority - they're entertainment

And TBH did the wrong saluting convention affect the story ? And how many people would know - and of those how many would care.................
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 09:07
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The answer to that is - lots. And lots care, because it's such an easy thing to check and get right. However there is nothing new in this, set designers and costume suppliers etc have been getting things wrong for a long time. In The Longest Day (1962) for example, they obviously couldn't decide which way the diagonal stripes on the DFC and AFC on Richard Burton's uniform should go, so they compromised and had the DFC stripes running one way and the AFC the other. Sure, lots of people wouldn't notice, but an awful lot would, including yours truly

TTN
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 10:23
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Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
I must say that attention to detail can lead one to doubt the accuracy of more important aspects of a story. I did not buy a book called "Lancaster Down" because the cover showed the gun turret of a Blenheim!

'You can't tell a book by it's covers' is true!

I knew an author of war history and he told me he had little say on the cover art.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 10:31
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3486080/reviews?ref_=tt_urv

This review seems fair. Basically the film had a budget of £80,000!
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 14:05
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
The answer to that is - lots. And lots care, because it's such an easy thing to check and get right. However there is nothing new in this, set designers and costume suppliers etc have been getting things wrong for a long time. In The Longest Day (1962) for example, they obviously couldn't decide which way the diagonal stripes on the DFC and AFC on Richard Burton's uniform should go, so they compromised and had the DFC stripes running one way and the AFC the other. Sure, lots of people wouldn't notice, but an awful lot would, including yours truly

TTN
Lots?? Are we talking 10's, 100's or thousands?? I think you mean lots of people who served in the armed forces (and even then I suspect many don't care at all) which isn't a very significant number any more

Compared to the number of bums on seats they need to make the movie pay??????

I'm sure it's important to a few but the Great British Public don't care at all
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 16:34
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As previously posted - it is just as easy to get most of the details correct as to get them wrong - all the film producer/writer/director had to do was engage with a couple of ex RAF guys - many would have checked the story for authentic details without charging any money LOL.
It is just sloppy writing/producing - I have seen it on many films (and not all of them aviation themed ! )
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 05:35
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I agree with Longer Ron; it is as easy to get things right than not bother and get things wrong. Any group of 'enacters' would have helped. It also throws the rest of the film into doubt. If one notes simple errors, it leaves one wondering what more important things have been ignored in the production of the films. In Sci-Fi or blatant comedy, accuracy is probably not too important or irrelevant but in these two films, they were dealing serious issues - 'spoiling the ship for a h'path of tar'.

O-D
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 06:20
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Each to his own. There’s a big difference for me between a film with very minor errors and a bad film. (Which these still may be).

I wonder how many instances of this thing there are in real life? Even our older contributors probably weren’t there so who can say?

FWIW I’m well and truly in the ‘So what if some absolutely trivial details aren’t quite right?’ camp. If the actual events and in particular inividuals’ contributions are reasonable accurate.
In real life (like actual - like actually happened) I’ve seen medals in the wrong order, someone in someone else’s flying coverall post change out of goon bag, inappropriate (ISAF) medals worn, an officer mistakenly wearing a non commissioned hat, an officer saluting without a hat, I’ve even seen an officer salute the SWO (first). Squadron CO being out of rig...VSOs making up rigs because the real ones didn’t suit them,etc etc. Part of the WW2 mystique is the at times liberal interpretation of dress regs.

Anyway, well done spotters, award yourself an advanced spotting badge with bar.

Edit to add: Just remembered, a friend went on exchange and to blend in bought a local hat. His squadron kept it from him for the entire tour that he was wearing a female officers’ hat. I’m sure a film made about that unit would have an error in it somewhere!
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 06:36
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I might have agreed many years ago Orca but these days even 2 minutes on your PC/Device will bring up WW2 RAF Ranks etc and images of genuine RAF personnel - which is why I say it is as easy to get most details correct as it is to get them wrong - sloppy/lazy preparation and 'research' - a little keyboard time which would have added perhaps a few hours onto the schedule would not have cost a penny
Another free technique would be to watch a couple of old films such as 'Appointment in London' or 'The way to the stars'.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 06:47
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The petulant child in me is weighing up whether to spend my home bound commute looking for an instance of a WW2 Air Force chap being out of rig! Being an ex ‘finder of moving airfilelds’ I’ve got no idea what to look for...but given the relative youth of the RAF at the time, allied units in the orbat and wartime expansion I’d be amazed if a few minor rig transgressions weren’t recorded!

I might just dribble on my lapel like usual though.😉

Good weekends all.
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