Historian's View On War Movies

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,624
Australia
#2
Beevor is correct. The liberties taken with history by filmmakers is annoying, however unless they claim it to be true story then I can usually overlook the inaccuracies and just enjoy the show.
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,321
Venice
#4
One of the things I remember that annoyed me of the movie on Crusades by Ridley Scott is that he changed the nationality of Balian of Ibelin , from Italian to French , perhaps was more cool in his eyes to make him French?
 
May 2018
107
Houston, TX
#5
I think many of the war movies are useful because they serve to acquaint a later generation of the basics of what happened. In other words, e.g., there was an attack by the Japanese on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, how it more or less came about, and why it was important. I think the 'modern generation' (whoever that may be) is generally not aware of or may not have even heard of such events. Mixed in among the entertainment are often some cogent facts that should at least keep the memory alive. Some films succeed better at this than others, but the genre should not be as easily dismissed as the article referenced in the OP.
 
May 2015
48
Schertz ,Tx
#7
It was a very interesting article and he's right in many ways.i watch war movies at times, mainly because i am interested in history period. I haven't that many movies about events in Hungary which is where my mother's family came from. My dad and his relatives fought in WW2 for our side, just as his relatives in Germany served on the opposite side. I watched the movie , The English paitent because many of the places they mentioned my dad had been to during the war, like Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo.
I like the Blue Max, and have seen of course various movies like Bridge too Far,etc.

I didn't see Valkeryie with Tom Cruise as Count von Stauffenberg, didn't think he was really right for the part. But I watch these movies because they are in a way a link to relatives in the old country. Don't know if anyone in the family was in the Lufftwaffe, but we had relatives on grandma's side in the Kreigsmarine.
My grandfather's cousin Generaloberst Carl Hilpert commander of Army Group Courland(Kurland in german) had been in the west Chief of Staff to Field marshalls von Witzelbein and von Rundstedt. I sometimes wonder if Carl had any inkling of the plot, or gave some sort of silent consent, who knows. His former boss von witzelbein was i believe executed for his involvement in the plot.The Crusades interest me , because again, because relatives fought in it. I know grandma's cousins the von Lilienschilds where in the Holy Land and later went to Riga, where some family members belonged to an order called the Livonian Knights of the Sword, later absorbed into the Teutonic Knights. Grandpa's side was probably in the holy Land and could have been Teutonic Knights, or even german members of the Knights Templar, which did exist, but there is very english literature on the subject.There might even be some relative who is currently in the Teutonic Order, as a priest or nun, since it is strictly a religious order of men and women in the Catholic church.
The movie, A Man for All Seasons, while not a war movie, is about one of my idols, St.Thomas More, Lord Chancellor to Henry the Eight. I enjoy reading english history, heck i just love history period.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,517
#8
"And the fact that most colonists actually sided with King George is airily forgotten.”

I agreed with most of the comments made about The Patriot until I got to that one. The suggestion that the Tories were a majority is downright baffling. Loyalists made up a sizable portion of colonial America, but at no point during the conflict were they a majority.

It is impossible to say for certain what percentage of the colonists were Loyalists, but estimates by historians typically run from 15 to 30%. 15% to 30% is not a majority.

In making that comment Mr. Beevor deviated as far from historical truth as the filmmakers he is criticizing. The people in Hollywood however are not historians. What is his excuse?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,044
Las Vegas, NV USA
#9
And the fact that most colonists actually sided with It is impossible to say for certain what percentage of the colonists were Loyalists, but estimates by historians typically run from 15 to 30%. 15% to 30% is not a majority.

In making that comment Mr. Beevor deviated as far from historical truth as the filmmakers he is criticizing. The people in Hollywood however are not historians. What is his excuse?
Most of the colonist sided with whoever controlled their area at a particular time. The good people of Philadelphia supported independence before the Battle of Brandywine and the King after. After Yorktown, guess what?
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,517
#10
Most of the colonist sided with whoever controlled their area at a particular time. The good people of Philadelphia supported independence before the Battle of Brandywine and the King after. After Yorktown, guess what?
That was often true. There were plenty of people who weren't strongly committed to either side and mostly wanted to be left alone.

That doesn't change however that Mr. Beevor made an incorrect statement on the level of support for King George in the colonies. Tories were always a minority, albeit a sizable one.
 

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