War Movie Miscellany

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,663
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
BACK-STORY - The Longest Day

“The Longest Day” is the granddaddy of the war movie epics. Its progeny include “A Bridge Too Far”, “The Battle of the Bulge”, “Battle of Britain”, etc. It was a labor of love for famed producer Darryl Zanuck who purchased the rights to Cornelius Ryan’s bestseller. Zanuck got multinational cooperation and brought in a international cast. At $10 million, it was the most expensive black and white film until “Schindler’s List”. Zanuck used several directors and was very hands-on. He insisted on shooting at the actual locations whenever possible which included Ste. Mere Eglise, Pointe du Hoc, and Pegasus Bridge. The Omaha landings were filmed on Corsica. The movie was a box office success and was the highest grossing black and white movie until “Schindler’s List”. It won Oscars for Cinematography and Special Effects. It was nominated for Picture (“Lawrence of Arabia” won), Art Direction, and Editing.

View attachment 23031
The young lady who plays the resistance fighter at the railroad bridge was Zanuck's mistress. You'll see her in many of his films. Even he admitted she couldn't act at all.
 
May 2011
575
New Iberia, La.
TRIVIA - They Died With Their Boots On

  • Wikipedia, imdb
  • 1. David Lean was supposed to direct and Steven Spielberg to produce, but Lean dropped out because it was too much like a diary and Spielberg gladly took over because he admired Lean’s work, especially “The Bridge on the River Kwai”.
  • 2. Spielberg’s father had been a radio operator on a B-25 Mitchell in the China-Burma Theater.
  • 3. Christian Bale was cast over 4,000 auditionees partly because author J.G. Ballard felt he resembled him at that age. Bale was aided by Amy Irving (Spielberg’s wife at that time) who had co-starred with him in “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna”.
  • 4. Academy Award nominations for: Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Original Music Score, Costume Design, and Sound.
  • 5. One of the Zeros (which were actually modified Harvard trainers) was flown by Tom Danaher, a Marine night fighter pilot from WWII who shot down the last Japanese bomber in the war.
  • 6. The scene where Jim is tucked in by his parents was modelled after the Norman Rockwell painting for FDR’s “Freedom from Fear”. The painting is on the wall in the prison camp.
  • 7. Ballard appears as an extra in the party scene.
 
Apr 2014
224
Liverpool, England
With regard to Burt Lancaster in 'The Train'.

What exactly is Labiche's job on this railway? He is an accomplished engine-driver and a skilled fitter. He is clearly quite at home in a large signal box. At the end it becomes clear that he has spent some time working on maintenance of the track. He also has no trouble organising special trains and timetables. I don't think we see him in the booking office, but can anyone doubt that if someone came in and asked for a cheap day return to Cherbourg he would unhesitatingly reach for the right ticket?

Personally, I reckon he is the boss's son, gaining experience in each department before taking over as chairman.
 

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,663
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
With regard to Burt Lancaster in 'The Train'.

What exactly is Labiche's job on this railway? He is an accomplished engine-driver and a skilled fitter. He is clearly quite at home in a large signal box. At the end it becomes clear that he has spent some time working on maintenance of the track. He also has no trouble organising special trains and timetables. I don't think we see him in the booking office, but can anyone doubt that if someone came in and asked for a cheap day return to Cherbourg he would unhesitatingly reach for the right ticket?

Personally, I reckon he is the boss's son, gaining experience in each department before taking over as chairman.
Coincidentally, I watched that film just last night. His job title is mentioned when von Waldeim asks at the beginning, "Who cancelled my train?"

But damned if I can remember what the answer was. I'll watch it again tonight and get back to you. :-D
 

Davidius

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
4,993
Pillium
TRIVIA - They Died With Their Boots On

  • Wikipedia, imdb
  • 1. David Lean was supposed to direct and Steven Spielberg to produce, but Lean dropped out because it was too much like a diary and Spielberg gladly took over because he admired Lean’s work, especially “The Bridge on the River Kwai”.
  • 2. Spielberg’s father had been a radio operator on a B-25 Mitchell in the China-Burma Theater.
  • 3. Christian Bale was cast over 4,000 auditionees partly because author J.G. Ballard felt he resembled him at that age. Bale was aided by Amy Irving (Spielberg’s wife at that time) who had co-starred with him in “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna”.
  • 4. Academy Award nominations for: Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Original Music Score, Costume Design, and Sound.
  • 5. One of the Zeros (which were actually modified Harvard trainers) was flown by Tom Danaher, a Marine night fighter pilot from WWII who shot down the last Japanese bomber in the war.
  • 6. The scene where Jim is tucked in by his parents was modelled after the Norman Rockwell painting for FDR’s “Freedom from Fear”. The painting is on the wall in the prison camp.
  • 7. Ballard appears as an extra in the party scene.
Empire of the sun.
 
Apr 2014
224
Liverpool, England
Coincidentally, I watched that film just last night. His job title is mentioned when von Waldeim asks at the beginning, "Who cancelled my train?"

But damned if I can remember what the answer was. I'll watch it again tonight and get back to you. :-D
Thank you - I find I still have it recorded from the last time it was on. Area Inspector - responsible for organising special freight trains and no doubt a range of other tasks. He might well have started at the bottom - as a porter say - but I cannot imagine how an area inspector would have picked up the range of experience that Labiche displays.
 
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Triceratops

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,003
Late Cretaceous
Based on the book of the same name by William Nagel, which itself drew on Nagel's experiences in Vietnam:



IMDB:

William Lawrence Nagle author of the 'The Odd Angry Shot' novel, was about eighteen years of age when he went to serve in the Vietnam War enlisting on 31 August 1964. Private Nagle 38359 first underwent basic training and then in January 1965, completed the Army Basic Cooking Course, qualified as a cook, and then in May 1965, Nagel was assigned to the Australian Army Catering Corps (AACC). An army cook,( billed as The Cook and played by Graham Rouse) , is featured in the movie and has frequent humorous banter with Graham Kennedy who frequently complains about his food. In March 1966, Nagel was appointed as a cook to the SAS Regiment, the SAS being the military division seen in the film. Nagle returned to Australia from South Vietnam on 18 March 1967 and was discharged from the army on 12 September 1968. Nagle lived between 4 June 1947 - 5 March 2002, his novel 'The Odd Angry Shot' being first published in 1975.William Nagle was a qualified patrol member of the SAS and is recognised as such in the book about the SAS, "SAS Phantoms of the Jungle".
 
Last edited:
May 2011
575
New Iberia, La.
TRIVIA - Life is Beautiful

Wikipedia, imdb, Shmoop
  • 1. Roberto Benigni wrote the screenplay partly based on his father who spent two years in a German labor camp in WWII. His father told his children about his experiences using humor.
  • 2. The movie was nominated for Oscars for: Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing. It won for: Actor, Foreign Language Film, Original Dramatic Score.
  • 3. Guido’s wife Dora was played by Benigni’s wife Nicoletta Braschi.
  • 4. The title comes from a line Trotsky said to his wife in Mexico around the time he was assassinated by Stalin’s agents.
  • 5. It was the second time a Best Actor winner was directed by himself. The first was Laurence Olivier in “Hamlet”.
  • 6. The movie was only the second time a picture was nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film. The first was “Z” in 1969.
  • 7. Benigni was only the fourth person nominated for Director, Actor, and Screenplay. The others were Orson Welles (“Citizen Kane”), Woody Allen (“Annie Hall”), and Warren Beatty (“Heaven Can Wait” and “Reds”).
  • 8. Benigni was the second actor to win Best Actor for a Foreign Film. First was Sophia Loren for “Two Women”.
  • 9. Benigni is in the select company of Best Actor winners who also got a Razzie (for “Pinocchio”). The others were Halle Berry, Kevin Costner, Liza Minelli, Sandra Bullock, and Laurence Olivier.
 
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