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  1. #21
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    Saw it tonight..................within 10 minutes, seeing tattoos of the same circular shape on every knuckle of the young lads hands whilst burying someone on the beach.
    Did they really need to zoom into a pair of hands producing that sort of twentieth century detail, which would never have occurred in the period?

    For what it was, a short film recount of the fiasco which was real life called Dunkirk in 1940, in colour, I would rather have watched the B/W original with John Mills as stated before.

    Who am I to criticise.............its for the Military historians they employ to get scenes, and singular shots and sound right, for the enjoyment of those paying a lot of money to watch it.

    I wasn't alone in my views as many there tonight, were older and perhaps were around at the time and remember how bad it was.

    Spitfires markings/Messerschmitt Bf 109 colourings all been said earlier, way off the mark, but John Romain the owner would be only too pleased to have his aircraft hired for the filming...who wouldn't. Probably see it again on the TV, just to see what else I missed.

    Is it that we are becoming more critical, as the internet makes us more aware of what our forbears had to put up with during such hardships, andf their sacrifices allow us to do so, freely???
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Excellence in making you feel something

    I'd like to add my two bob's worth (or, in current parlance 20 cents, if you still have coins...) to the growing commentary.

    Like many of you, I share an interest, respect and observance of historical facts, themes and artifacts. I am interested in the events, the methodologies and equipment employed, the outcomes of battles and trying to understand the "whys" and the "whats" of the military history of the first half of the 20th Century. It shaped the world we live in today more than any other period has.

    Now there has been sufficient critique of the aircraft exploits, crashing without significant damage, water craft like buoyancy of a Spitfire Mk 1, the gliding capability of a Mark 1 at 750' ASL, the 45,000 rounds each gun was fed et cetera, et cetera.

    There has been comment on the lack of background story to build each character and make them relevant to us in an identifiable way. Criticism has been leveled at the director for not 'bringing the modern audience around' to period norms, and attitudes.

    These specific niggles aside, I thought the movie was a fantastic tribute to a very dark time. The Britishicon Expeditionary Force was comprehensively thrashed by simply following almost the same failed tactics of 1917 in defending against the German invasion of Franceicon through the Low Countries. Now putting aside these stark facts, we do need to consider, as people not involved in that time, not being the ones who had to deal with this situation - how would we feel?

    And that is the point of the movie. The director has masterfully provided us a story (with technical flaws and some artistic license) that allows us, in a modern, detached, immune era, to actually appreciate some of the feelings and views of the protagonists.

    We get to expereince the intent of a young soldier running for his life from the German advance, killing his Section mates with impunity and he realising he has to do everything he can to survive. So he helps another bloke, almost entirely out of self centred preservation. For those of us with Service expereince and training, we're sitting there kicking in to drills. look left, look right, identify the target, range. Where's my ammo? Immediate Action, open the bolt, eject the round, plunge the top round down to realign it. Ram another round in, take aim. But really, we're not there. We haven't endured six months of the 'Sitzenkrieg' with inept, bumbling leadership making plans, then changing orders on a daily basis. We can't presume to expereince the initial feeling of invincibility of 'our team' that crumbles and retreats constantly at first contact with the blinding pace and concentrated force of the German army. We aren't in a position of absolute rock bottom morale, after this long, draining, 'do nothing' defensive preparation that was overwhelmed in no time.

    We have read these facts, we have understood through other's stories what this might have been like and compared them with our impressions of '...when we were soldiers...' Quite rightly, from a logical point of view. But is it fair, it is honest and is it empathic? Probably not.

    The scenes in the hospital ship were truly terrifying. That the two characters made plans, just in case, was interesting and made a story. But it was the terror and fate of those around whom impacted the viewer. We can not rationally put ourselves in that position (OK, if you've done HUET maybe you're exempt?) But the director wanted us to realise and feel the terror and tragedy of those last two minutes of life.

    The small boat captain was, to me, the centre of the whole story. There was nothing more moving, in my opinion, than that little boat's story. In reality, it was one of thousands of stories, all contributing what they could, when they could without hesitation. The minimal dialogue on the boat, between the father, his son and friend and their rescued passenger said much more than a Hollywood virtuous monologue would have. The fear and trepidation felt by those crews was overshadowed by the period feeling of genuine threat and the need to prevent Germanyicon from invading the UK. The skipper had seen the horror and futility of the Western Front and simply knew he had a duty to help the BEF survive. Nothing more needs to be said, the director let us see this in one sentence.

    I agree with the technical inadequacies people have pointed out. But I don't agree that these little things detract from the intent of telling he story of a generation to another generation and trying to show 'what it was like' to be there. Technical details don't help you feel scared, or unprotected, or unsafe or simply fatigued beyond you imagination. That is the condition of the majority of these troops were in.

    Perhaps nowadays we're immune to thinking and really feeling in movies. We want 'realism' in special effects (particularly in fiction) and we want action. It seems that feeling (putting yourself in the protagonist's shoes and sensing their position) is only necessary in a romance that is more suited to those of a more gentle disposition, often (but not always) women. Perhaps I'm wildly mistaken? Don't get me wrong, I'm always keen to be up front of the line to see Bond and Bourne. But this movie made me feel, for once, what the story was about.
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  9. #24
    Really Senior Member Mk VII's Avatar
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    Nobody seemed to have any bayonets (not even scabbards) but on the whole I liked it.

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  11. #25
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    Haven't seen the film yet and probably won't till its on TV, but have read many books and have been to Dunkirk many times on ship refits, always winter time so no museums open etc, I normally go for my run along the beach front and take different routes to the beech, last time I was there I took a different route that led to one of the evacuation points on the east side, (pics have gone since photo bucket highjacked my account) but am sure I posted them ?? one of the later Germanicon fortifications was there a bigger version of our "PILL box" one thing that does catch the eye on the west side of the beech front is a big fortification that looks like they couldn't destroy it so used part of it as a house (I'll try and get some pics next time)

    Something that really hit home for me was a visit to the Town Cemetery the previous year, one Grave in particular stood out with a photograph on, lifting it up on the back was written "His Mum and Dad" ........ can only guess they visited there sons grave not long after the War as it still retains a wooden cross. Certainly brings a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye

    Again I don't have the pics anymore but they are in the link below.

    https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=51242


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  13. #26
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    I was waiting for this movie to come out. I wanted my wife to understand what these men had gone through. It skipped all over that. I didn't like it. There were some good aerial scenes, but what about the ground. There should have been more about the guys backed to the sea. Also It showed maybe thirty private boats coming to extract men doomed if left. My understanding there was every private boat available making that run, and some repeated runs.

    Artistic license is one thing, showing history is another. I was very disappointed and could not recommend it to anyone.

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    I believe that pretty much any sea worthy vessel available and which wasn't needed elsewhere, of any description, shape or size, made that trip to Dunkirk.

  16. #28
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    The Germanicon juggernaut was a well oiled force by the time it hit France the Frenchicon along with the Britishicon were totally unprepaired for the tactics evolved by the Germans mainly Blitzkreig they made a mockery of the Marginot line if the numptee in charge was prepared and went across the channel straight away then it all could have been different also numptee having a war on 2 fronts helped the allied cause.

    Bit like the attack through the Ardennes forrest moving tanks in which allot of allied commanders thought impossible but fact proved them wrong the only thing certain in that war or any for that matter is the enemy is coming from where you least expect it and will do their utmost to kill you and all your other companions.

    Burning aircraft,
    Geoffery Page commented on this when his aircraft went up* said of the experience you went from 0-3 degrees to 350 degrees in about 3 seconds
    *Think it was a Hurricane with the fuel tank behind the instrument panel which Geoffery thought was a stupid place to put it, he said that all the plexi glass had melted from the frame work of the sliding canopy before he was able to exit the aircraft.
    By sheer guts he eventually regained flying status and with another P-51 pilot who had lost his left fore arm they flew together as a pair on Rhubarbs sadly the latter did not survive the war.
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    Last edited by CINDERS; 09-29-2017 at 04:29 AM.

  17. #29
    Really Senior Member Paul S.'s Avatar
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    'Troops in combat are to be clean shaven primarily because of the potential of gas attacks.' That's not to mention to help prevent any facial wound infection.

  18. #30
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    OK, so maybe "Dunkirk" is not perfect. But it seems to be better than "Pearl Harbor", which had repeated shots of the same group of 1970s destroyers. If you're going to burn up some mock-ups, at least make the correct mock-ups first, and then shoot simultaneuously from different angles, so that the repeats look different! Vastly inferior to Tora! Tora! IMHO.

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