War Movie Miscellany

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
Looks a lot like The Train.
No question about it. Anyone who owns the DVD with director's commentary: Watch it with the commentary turned on, if you haven't already. Absolutely fascinating. So much interesting stuff went into this movie.
Apr 2014
Liverpool, England
No question about it. Anyone who owns the DVD with director's commentary: Watch it with the commentary turned on, if you haven't already. Absolutely fascinating. So much interesting stuff went into this movie.
That does sound worth getting hold of. I have 'Becket' with commentary and that is fascinating. On a railway tour through France about a year after the film came out the party came across a siding full of withdrawn steam locos including some from the film - I keep meaning to check my photographs against the film to confirm this.

Going back to Labiche's CV, I suppose that having hired Burt Lancaster it would be a bit odd to have him sweating over the timetables while a selection of minor characters do all the he-man action scenes.
May 2011
New Iberia, La.
Holy dog s***, Texas! Only steers and queers come from Texas, private Cowboy! And you don't much look like a steer to me so that kinda narrows it down! - Gunnery Sergeant Hartman
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
Based on the book of the same name by William Nagel, which itself drew on Nagel's experiences in Vietnam:


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".
Great movie...... "Grey , Green, Brown and Oakover"......:lol:


Forum Staff
Feb 2009
Eastern PA
I liked the movie, but the entire story arc involving Pyle's abuse and eventual reaction was unsettling.
Last edited:
May 2011
New Iberia, La.

Okay, let’s get this over with right now. For you haters out there, I like this movie. I can hear all the groans and I don’t care. And it’s not one of those unexplainable WTFs that you get when you read some critic inexplicably give a positive review to a terrible movie

“Enemy at the Gates” grew from the tiny seed of a few pages in the eponymously entitled non-fiction book by William Craig about the Battle of Stalingrad. (A book I read in high school.) Director Jean-Jacques Annaud took that seed involving a sniper’s duel in the rubble of the City of Stalin and grew a movie out of it. The movie was to be Europe’s answer to “Saving Private Ryan”. It was, at the time, the most expensive non-American movie ever made.

My loyal followers know that I put a high premium on historical accuracy, especially when the inaccuracies make a mockery of history (as in “Braveheart”, for example). “Enemy at the Gates” does little harm to history (other than the laughable poster line “A single bullet can change history”). Craig might have been suckered, but the movie is obviously not a propaganda piece. The Zaitsev seed may have been fertilized with a ton of Soviet manure, but it makes for good entertainment for war movie lovers and more importantly for civilians (especially women).

“Enemy at the Gates” is a fine example of a modern war movie. It does retain some of the elements and cliches of old school movies, but adds modern pizzazz and technology. The movie is surprisingly unpredictable to go along with its predictability. The action scenes are kinetic and the suspense is palpable. The acting is good, especially Hoskins (he chews the scenery – just like Khrushchev did) and Harris.

The cinematography is excellent as are the sets. A lot of money went into rubble. The musical score is memorable and repeats a strong motif for impending suspense. The sound effects are also top notch. The theme of a manufactured hero is reminiscent of “Flags of Our Fathers”.

Is it “Saving Private Ryan”? Definitely not. It’s a game try and you can’t seriously expect Europeans to duplicate an American epic. (Sorry, I didn’t mean that.)