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Fury Movie Discussion.

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Hmmm. Not sure where I said it wasn't cliched enough. I'm going to take a punt (and I could be wrong) that you're referring to me saying that their lack of comeraderie was the cliche I was missing. No, I'm not citing that as a missing-but-necessary cliche. I'm saying that I found their lack of comeraderie difficult to believe. That's slightly different. I just thought that that their relationship as a crew wasn't believable. I assume you thought it was. OK, if you buy it then no wonder you enjoyed it. I didn't (on either count).

 

Did you really think the final battle was "enjoyable"? OK...

 

Incidentally, I preferred all the movies you cite above. And I'll add A Bridge Too Far (1977) as long as we're only talking about the dialogue among the senior staff. Wasn't so keen on the action.

 

I'd also add A Walk in the Sun (1945), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Come and See (1985) and Downfall (2004). Although with Downfall I'd add the caveat that they did rather gloss over certain elements of the battle for Berlin (for, perhaps, understandable reasons).

 

Thinking aloud, Attack (1956) is also very good (and shows you don't need authentic Tigers to make a good movie - they really are rubbish) and The Cruel Sea (1953) is, of course, one of the best war movies ever. Stalag 17 (1953) and The Colditz Story (1955) are also great but I'm not sure I count POW movies.

 

Actually this could go on and on... I'm thinking of all those Brit war movies of the '50s now. And the '40s, come to think of it... God, there's a lot of them and a shed load of them are great. But if I go on, this'll just be a film list... ;)

 

Did I mention The Halls of Montezuma (1950)? [Oh, just stop it - Ed]

 

And those movies aren't riddled with clichés and factual errors????  :o

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I fondly(?) recall a former member here ripping into SPR because the chin straps on the para's helmets were wrong for that time period :rolleyes:

 

It was at that point that I realised that wargamers complaining about war movies usually aren't actually complaining about the movie, they're just using it as a strawman against which to display their own superior knowledge of 70-year-old arcana. Yay them, I guess.

Edited by JonS

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I fondly(?) recall a former member here ripping into SPR because the chin straps on the para's helmets were wrong for that time period :rolleyes:

 

It was at that point that I realised that wargamers complaining about war movies usually aren't actually complaining about the movie, they're just using it as a strawman against which to display their own superior knowledge of 70-year-old arcana. Yay them, I guess.

 

 

That is exactly the point really. I recall the Threads on that Movie also and all the comments that people were making that was slamming the Movie. And that is really a good Movie, but of course it has its realistic flaws.

 

But you have it, its that attitude that they need to prove that they are more intelligent than the movie. Its like beating up a child in a fight and thinking you are tough. Movies are easy targets no matter how well they are made.  I Know I just hate child beaters - and that is how I feel about posters that attack movies ( they fall into about the same category).

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I fondly(?) recall a former member here ripping into SPR because the chin straps on the para's helmets were wrong for that time period :rolleyes:

 

It was at that point that I realised that wargamers complaining about war movies usually aren't actually complaining about the movie, they're just using it as a strawman against which to display their own superior knowledge of 70-year-old arcana. Yay them, I guess.

 

For the record, I rather like SPR. I didn't moan about it. Vastly superior to Fury IMHO. Yes there are some historical accuracies but it was groundbreaking at the time and there certainly aren't enough to distract from my enjoyment of it. I am not one of those people who can't watch a WWII movie because they've got the wrong chin-straps. ;) In thirty years SPR will still be regarded as a classic but I seriously doubt Fury will be. I'm actually just a bit mystified why so many people liked Fury so much. I think one critic described it as "overblown war porn" (not my words). I think I know what he means.  

 

Incidentally, when Tom Hanks cried in SPR it was dramatic and unexpected; it wasn't a cliche back then. When Brad Pitt did it, it just looked like it was a film requirement because Tom Hanks had done it.

 

I found Captain Miller an entirely convincing character but I can't say the same of Wardaddy. Reckon SPR would have been showered with Oscars (got plenty of nominations) if it hadn't have been the bizarre decision to give the biggee to Shakespeare in Love and (I think) Jack Nicholson in whatever he was in that year.

 

I've seen SPR about 15 times (maybe more). Once was enough for Fury... ;)

Edited by John1966

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...(I knew the girl was a goner the first sound of incoming).

 

I was jarringly reminded of the nurse who gets killed during an artillery bombardment of Bastogne in BoB, except that in the older film I found it far more affecting. In Fury it just came across to me as one more unimaginative, formulaic, stale cliché.

 

BTW, since SPR has come up, I wasn't able to see it until it had been out and commented on for a while, and I was surprised to fine that I liked it better than I thought I would. It has its flaws and excesses, but they are relatively minor I thought.

 

Michael

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My initial thoughts...this movie will bite the big one.

 

I didn't bother to go see it in the theater.  I read about a dozen "professional" reviews, and literally hundreds of wargamers' and military history buffs' reviews on this and several other forums.  I knew it would suck--from all the hype it received.  I knew it would suck when I saw the trailers--from the grim seriousness of the actors' portrayals (and the actors' commenting on the making of the film. I knew it would suck because it is a Hollywood production with no doubt an anti-war message as big as the Goodyear blimp. I knew it probably would suck when my youngest son and his girlfriend said it was great and that I really should go see it. (He's never been interested in military history or wargaming, and is quite the pacifist, bless his heart.) And I knew it would suck when I read about the crossroads battle scene. I knew it would suck because in one way or another, every Oscar-bait Hollywood movie usually does.

 

Last week, when it became available on Pay-per-view, I figured I would give it a shot just so I could take the moral high ground when dissing it later (can't do that if you don't actually watch the movie).

 

I wish I had gotten over myself and seen it in the theater! I really, thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

LemuelG and slysniper hit the nail on the head, as far as I'm concerned.  The crew was surprising believable...2nd Armored, been in the war since North Africa, would tend to have an older crew, and with the ravages of war, they look close-enough to late 20's for me. (My Dad was 23-24 years old in the Pacific, and the pictures of him after hostilities ended on Saipan show a man somewhere between 30 and 40.) There in-fighting at the dinner table rings true to me, just like my extended family when we get together on the Holidays... someone is always bitching about /fighting with someone else--usually over politics--but woe to the outsider who tries to diss one of us.  I wonder about the forced execution scene, and how likely that type of thing would occur, but who knows. More importantly, the war-is-hell and we are gonna have to take it to the enemy with balls to the wall sentiment rang true to me.  Again, only going by my Dad's experience, his outfit had that attitude in spades in the Pacific.  can't imagine it would have been much different in Europe at the end..."let's kill as many of these bastards as possible, as quickly as possible, and get this damn thing over with. I want to just get home already." 

 

The overall dialogue was way above what I thought it would be.  Face it, SPR's dialogues was mostly hokey, corny and cliched as hell. And Matt Damon just plain sucked.  Band of Brothers and even The Pacific did a much better job in that department. And frankly, so did many of the great movies listed above (and I like or love them all).  To me SPR is only good in the first 20 minutes and the last battle scene.  And come on, both have WTF? moments--in the landing scene, a German in sandbag emplacement on the ridge gets shot, falls forward, and the whole emplacement just falls apart by the weight of his body. How the hell did it stand up to the pre-invasion bombardment, fer chrissakes??? And the last battle scene, unhistorical and relatively improbable to boot.  But regardless, both those battle scenes were excellent eye candy, and were so far ahead of any depiction of WWII combat than anything before it, who can not enjoy them?

 

Fury does that for armored combat, in spades!  (Battle of the Bulge, anyone?) Those freaking awesome AP ricochets were freaking awesome, the crews' teamwork was well done, and to be expected in a crew that survived that long together, and the tension and intensity of combat was well depicted and believable.

 

Note to sound modders...Oddball, Waclaw and AKD and anyone I missed...I hope you are thinking of lifting sounds from this movie.  There's a particularly good, close-up rrrrriiiiippppp-ing MG 42 in the crossroads battle, hint, hint. And did I mention those awesome AP ricochets?

 

And seriously, even if you didn't care for the movie, you gotta hand it to the set directors and costuming departments--everything just looked right, tanks, equipment, uniformsoy the sets, uniforms, etc., etc.  Those 41st Armored Infantry fellows looked like I would expect them to after just coming through a gruelling winter campaign in NE Europe.  (As an aside, I loved the armored company CO.  Well done.).  

 

So for me, grog factor, production and drama, as LemuelG categorized the movie elements, all worked for me in this movie.

 

That said, a lot of the tactics sucked, as they do in most war movies.  But even there, there is some saving grace.  The attack straight at the AT guns, as has been pointed out, was done to cover and pull out a trapped infantry platoon.  I really liked the tactic they used--uncovering the platoon, and having them get behind the tanks, but of course could be argued that they should have tried flanking the German line.  Who knows, maybe more enemy covering their flanks? And, apparently, Wardaddy did came at them from a flank, or at least not directly at them down the road which the ATG's had covered  (his comment to the infantry company CO).  

 

The Tiger scene was believable in that they were ambushed and then were backed up against a tree line, with only one recourse left...to charge forward and hope to get a flank shot.  Those trees looked pretty skinny, and should have been easy to retreat through  (but I assume there were heavy forest tiles underneath :) ).  The worst part was the Tiger's tactics.  It was in a covered position. If they wanted to get out from the smoke, then they should have reversed and gone left or right and sat there, blasting the 3 Shermies as they advanced. And was it supposed  to have come direct from the factory...no camo, unit markings, or anything?  In fact, the paint scheme looked like it came direct from Sicily. 

 

The crossroads battle was preposterous as executed, but their orders were to stop the SS battalion from getting to a supply column.  What ya gonna do?  A wiser course would have been to blast them with all guns blazing while they were in march column, set charges to blow the tank, and run like hell before the Germans regained their composure.  But it's a movie, and many others (SPR for example) suffer from the same type of unbelievability in parts as well. And for what it's worth, the actual number of German casualties depicted in that fight appears to be around 50-60, which if they had blasted them in column could probably be about right...just saying.  When I saw Pork Chop Hill as a wee lad in the theater, I remember thinking that practically the whole company was wiped out in the initial attack up the hill--how could they have gone on and captured and held it? (It was after all, basically a true story.) When watching it again years later, I counted the actual number of men depicted as being hit, which was only about 25--manageable under the circumstances, it would appear.   If you assume that the SS troops were likely green and yet fanatical, I can see their initial tactics actual being as depicted, and casualty numbers reasonable. I remember one story from A Bridge Too Far, and many from books about the Bulge, that relate green German infantry committed to similar disastrous frontal attacks.  Still, I have to agree with the detractors of the movie that it was just too much of a stretch. 

 

So, overall, I wanted to hate the movie before i saw it, and ended up truly, thoroughly enjoying it.  In fact, I purchased the full HD package off Netflix, and it is well worth it if you liked the movie.  I have watched the first two battle scenes (but not the last battle  :)) about 8-9 times over the last week.  There are about 50 minutes of deleted footage, too. None are added battle scenes--well, there's an extended scene showing the plastering of the plaza area when the girl and her apartment block get blown up, that shows the armored infantry CO getting killed.  But there is an important 7 or so minutes of exposition when Wardaddy and Norman are shooting the **** sitting on top of the tank as they are headed to what will be their confrontation with the Tiger, in which Wardaddy reveals why he has taken a bit to Norman, wants to toughen him up, etc....has to do with Wardaddy's girlfriend and his younger brother...and it goes a long way toward explaining Wardaddy's motivations.  It is one scene that I think should have been included in the final cut.  

 

Anyway, I rambled more than I planned, but put me in the column that enjoyed the movie--really enjoyed it.  I have seen almost every known WWII movie in existence that I could get my hands on over the last 55 or so years, including many foreign language ones.  I own about 45 on DVD, last count (Belle and Blade video is an excellent source for all war movies of any era).  Many of them are overall better in either screenplay, or acting, or whatever, but this one will remain solidly near the top, despite my initial desire to hate it.

 

YMM (and it apparently does!) V

Edited by mjkerner

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Note to sound modders...Oddball, Waclaw and AKD and anyone I missed...I hope you are thinking of lifting sounds from this movie.  There's a particularly good, close-up rrrrriiiiippppp-ing MG 42 in the crossroads battle, hint, hint. And did I mention those awesome AP ricochets?

 

Sad to say, but I've given up on soundmodding for the forseable future.

I agree with the rest of your post though.

Alot of people around here seem to get bogged down on the details and not able to enjoy a good movie.

 

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Well, this one didn't get me as much emotionally invested as the German "Generation War" 3 part mini series. It's interesting to observe how same thing (Fury) can be looked upon from different angles. It's what makes people awesome. 

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Just saw it. The tank performed Pretty well, better than the movie story. In WW II, The poor tankers would not have stayed alive so long being immobilized like they were with infantry able to move around with panzerfauts.

The sequence with Brad Pitt forcing the green guy to shoot in the back an elderly infantryman having surrendered is disgusting. In Normandy to speak only of that battle, paratroops in some instances, shot captured enemies by obligation having no way to guard them. They just shot them and moved on, they had no time to give a psychological lesson to a poor green guy.

Fury is a movie that's all.

Edited by snake_eye

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Watched it last night. I thought it was a decent action movie. I found the last scene a little hard to believe....An immobilized Sherman crew holding off 300 Germans? :rolleyes:  But it was entertaining.

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Forgot to add that it would probably be statistically impossible for that crew to have survived intact from NA through to April ' 45.

And I liked Norman a whole lot better than Upham in SPR.

And Pitt was using a Sturmgewehr 44. I have a .22 LR replica of one; no recoil, but it's a lot of fun to shoot.

Edited by mjkerner

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2 things I didn't like.

 

1 the music, if your going to have a war movie, have the war sounds not some symphony playing.

2 only an idiot would have stayed with a immobilized tank.  I would have taken the guns off & set up some kind of cover over the area, it seemed pretty open to me.

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Think the round was developed, but probably not carried by the 76mm Sherman crews.

They normally carried AP and HE, sometimes the HVAP if they could get their hands on it as it was not in theatre in large quantities.

I'm not sure if US tankers have a 'standard load', but selected ammo load out more on a mission specific basis.

As regards the film, I was musing on those packed ranks of germans on the road and what effect a couple of canister rounds would have had :)

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Really like the movie! :)

I was totally astonished by the good psychological representation.

 

The sequence with Brad Pitt forcing the green guy to shoot in the back an elderly infantryman having surrendered is disgusting. In Normandy to speak only of that battle, paratroops in some instances, shot captured enemies by obligation having no way to guard them. They just shot them and moved on, they had no time to give a psychological lesson to a poor green guy.
 

 

Ummm, for me it was reasonable.

I have heard numerous stories about how you get easy with killing people in war. Many veterans say the first 1-2 kills are emotionally horrible because one breaks the ultimative ethical peace-time taboo. But after the shock settles and they become emotionally hardened they wonder what they were fuzzing about. So, from the standpoint of an old veteran (Wardaddy), a good way to get a recruit who hesitates (which can be deadly) combat effective is to make him breach that line...

 

And by the way, some American GIs had no qualms at all with fragging POWs. There is this story from southern Germany, where a lone 128mm gun-equipped Jagd Tiger company destroyed about 70 Shermans in 14 days. Frustration amongst the Americans about unnecessary losses rose and in that AO about a 100 German POWs were found dead. One can assume some Americans let off some steam.

 

It's just the never changing psychological mechanisms of dehumanization, frustration, hatred and suffering that make ordinary people do this kind of ****.

Not every soldier succumbs to it, but you have this phenomenon in every army in all times and all wars. Sometimes worse than others.

 

 

Just happens when war drags out.

 

@ SlySniper:

I was thinking the same, but reading your post I just wrote down some more points that came to my mind.

See my post as addition to yours.

Edited by DasMorbo

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Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, it was relatively common - sometimes, well, you just don't get to throw in the towel.

 

If you're going to surrender to someone, you should really do it BEFORE you slaughter his best buddies like hogs, that's all... mortal combat is not a game, though some Germans apparently treated it as such - i.e. brewing-up a point tank with a Panzerfaust and then throwing-up the hands in surrender. It ain't gonna happen Fritz.

 

Pitt took the opportunity of a dead man walking to blood his newby, didn't seem all that implausible to me. Sadly, such is war.

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Hmm... Being the victors in the conflict, it always amazes me when I hear these comments.

American veterans and history books all proclaim how prisoners were shot out of hand on an all to frequent basis.

Yet if there is the slightest hint that a German soldier was observed doing this, he would be hounded and tracked down and would end up being put on trial many, many years later... Allied soldiers interviewed after the war continue to make these statements and are never brought to book.

Before anyone starts, this is just an observation... I'm well aware of soldiers attitudes, and have been one for most of my adult life.

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Think the round was developed, but probably not carried by the 76mm Sherman crews.

They normally carried AP and HE, sometimes the HVAP if they could get their hands on it as it was not in theatre in large quantities.

I'm not sure if US tankers have a 'standard load', but selected ammo load out more on a mission specific basis.

As regards the film, I was musing on those packed ranks of germans on the road and what effect a couple of canister rounds would have had :)

Been looking and I can't find any reference to a canister round for the 76mm sherman.

 

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Yet if there is the slightest hint that a German soldier was observed doing this, he would be hounded and tracked down and would end up being put on trial many, many years later... Allied soldiers interviewed after the war continue to make these statements and are never brought to book.

 

 

Maybe so, in one court martial during the war (of Horace West) a Colonel testified that Patton had directed soldiers to not take any prisoners if they continued to resist when the Americans had approached to within 200 yards of their position - Patton claimed he had been 'misinterpreted' - West had perhaps erred only killing them in cold blood after their surrender had already been accepted. West was convicted and sentenced to life - but was back at the front about a year later.

 

It was/is extremely rare for anybody to actually admit to doing it themselves - always it's someone else, someone they didn't know from another battalion or somesuch. Reading Red Army vet's accounts you'd think it never happened at all. I strongly doubt the vast majority of such cases of summary battlefield executions would be prosecutable, even if there was a will to do it, finding witnesses ready to implicate their chums would be quite unlikely. I doubt it's much different for German soldiers, though I could be wrong.

 

I'd argue that the overwhelming majority of the Germans who were 'hounded' were implicated in civilian massacres or cold-blooded POW mass-murders analogous to West's, rather than a neglect to accept the surrender of a foe, and then you've got guys like Peiper and his minions, who got off relatively easy and lived relatively peaceable and agreeable lives (until unknown assassins finished him off in '76).

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Been looking and I can't find any reference to a canister round for the 76mm sherman.

The Sherman did have a canister round for the 75mm, but you are right, Pitt's Sherman was the M4A3E8 76mm, so would not have had any... not that I can find either, lol!

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I thought I would necro this post a little bit to talk about the POW thing a little bit.

 

I am reading Company Commander right now, and the author (Rifle Company CO) said how they captured an injured German soldier one time. This was in the middle of the night after they had lost a lot of men during the Battle of the Bulge. They were confused, running into German patrols, friendly fire, etc. etc. They held onto him for a little while until he told two joes to take the POW back in the lines to a rear company and report back. After sometime the two joes come back and they are caught off guard when he asks if they linked up with the company. They just said that (paraphrasing here) "the sonofabitch tried running, you know Cap'n". He just nodded to the men and went on with his day.He knew they were frustrated and just shot the POW, but he just let it slide.

 

I think in long potracted wars and battles with high casualty rates stuff like this happened and it was just accepted. And no one really brings it up as "bad" because of one reason or the other and the fact that it is usually first hand accounts of "someone else" that did the shooting and not the author because the everyone knows the author is the protagonist and would never kill someone who surrenders. And it is often years after the fact (Company Commander was published in 1949 I believe. Highly recommended especially if you were in the military).

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I am reading Company Commander right now....Highly recommended especially if you were in the military).

 

If you liked that (and I did too) you should take a look at If You Survive by George Wilson. He too spent most of the last year of the war as a company commander. I found it to be one of the most valuable texts on soldiering in the ETO.

 

Michael

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