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50 minutes into BATTLE OF THE BULGE and nothing has happened yet....


FredCDobbs
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Gotta agree with ya here, Fred. The opening to this turkey IS a real yawner, alright. But then again, remember, Ken Annakin ain't no William Wellman, dude!!! ;)

 

(...oh, and to answer your question here, believe it or not, there's been a whole mess of well made flicks since 1965...though I know from past experience with you around here, you'll probably find this hard to believe!!!) ;)

 

LOL

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Wellman's BATTLEGROUND started out with a lot of different characters that we got to meet, and that was good character development. But it took only about 15 mintues, then we were on the march in Belgium and the war began right away. No time wasted, very interesting from the very beginning. A great movie.

 

The first hour of BofB should just be removed, or cut down to a 5-minute intro.

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Once again, I absolutely agree with ya on this, Fred. Wellman's "Battleground" and "The Story of G.I. Joe", are two of best WWII films from the perspective of the "Grunts" anyone will ever see.

 

Maybe this is what's "wrong" with war flicks like "The Battle of the Bulge" and "Midway" and a number of other war films with this whole "big picture" philosophy? They seem to want to give us a "history lesson", but while doing this, they miss out presenting the "human factor" in the whole equation.

 

(...btw, another very well made WWII movie which has this "human factor" in spades is "Go For Broke"...that one is also on my list of superior films made on this subject)

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on May 26, 2013 9:06 PM

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Well Fred, I agree with you totally. The problem with this film and many others like it back in the mid 1960's to mid 1970's was the fact that the studios merely wanted to make big blockbuster type war films with big casts and stories that pretty much went no where. It has been mentioned that Midway from 1976 also falls into this category.

 

I had one problem with yesterday. Sunday was John Wayne's birthday. And TCM did show several of the Duke's war films including one of the finest war films ever made, They Were Expendable. However once primetime started they decided to shift away from the Duke and show Battleground which was a great film and the now discussed/panned Battle of the Bulge.

 

I think what TCM should have done was to show two additional Wayne war films in the evening and they could/might have been able to show either Sands of Iwo Jima, The Wings of Eagles and or In Harms Way.

 

In Harms Way was also produced in 1965, as was BofB but was in my humble opinion a far superior film. Director by Otto Preminger, Harms Way was the story of a naval captain Rockwell Torrey (Wayne) in command of a pre-war heavy cruiser on December 7th who was patrolling near Pearl Harbor. After the attack he is given orders to try and locate and engage the Japanese fleet and do as much damage to that fleet as he could. Along the way, he decides to throw the book out the window by not zigzagging so he could conserve fuel. His second officer Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas) advises him not to do this, but..... Unfortunately for Torrey, his cruiser is torpedoed.

 

After an inquiry, he is assigned to a desk job routing convoys with his good friend naval intelligence officer Burgess Meredith. Along the way he meets a nurse who he ends up having a relationship with. Eventually he gets a promotion to admiral by the new Commander in Chief (Henry Fonda). I am not telling anymore.

 

So TCM could have played one or two more John Wayne war films last night and these could have been aired? Why not? Probably could not get the rights. Too bad.

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Somewhere in between the BoTB snoozefest and the narcoleptic *Midway* was *Tora! Tora! Tora!* , in my opinion the most accurate and compelling Pearl Harbor re-inactment movie ever made. It both gave the audience well paced "war movie" action AND a history lesson without bogging down as did the other two. It was too late for "Bulge", but the template was already in place for *Midway* , which failed to follow "Tora's" example.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Ten posts into this thread and nothing new has been said.

 

I do love posts that find creative ways to describe how a movie may have a lulling effect on its audience: words like snoozefest and narcoleptic are nearly synonymous.

 

And this thread is almost synonymous with countless other threads that the original poster has created to complain about a movie whose pace may not be of his liking.

 

I happen to like more leisurely crafted motion pictures. I was wide awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when TCM aired all those Merchant-Ivory films a few years ago. Different strokes for different folks, right?

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I too do not particularly mind leisurely paced war movies, not at all, and Midway is among the best of 'em if you ask me. The background on Joe Rochefort breaking the **** code I have always found intriguing and enjoyable....and Matt Garth's remarks about Joe's codebreakers needing more baths is always a hoot. *Matt: "You know, it really stinks down here. How often do some of your people bath? Joe: "I don't even know what day of the week it is." Matt: "Forget it, Joe."* :^0 :^0 :^0

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Ya know TB, I'm not sure that that's bein' all that fair to Fred here.

 

I mean, yeah yeah I know Fred is inclined to like the older, shorter and more "crisply paced" films made back when Louis B was runnin' the show out there in Tinseltown, BUT in THIS case I think his point is well taken. Annakin(no relation to Skywalker, I presume ;) ) takes FOREVER to set this baby in motion, and even once he finally finds his pace in this thing, his directorial skills still pale in comparison to Wellman's...at least in THIS genre and THIS film, anyway.

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>I myself like certain parts of BOTB but certainly not the whole deal. I think it was more the script than Annakin.

 

I agree with that. It was mainly the first hour that was so boring and meaningless.

 

I'll bet that was a studio decision to try to make this a long film, for some reason. That first hour could have been cut down to 5 or 10 minutes to set up the historical situation, but listening to German troops singing a long song in a tunnel was just not needed. And the chasing of the car at the very beginning wasn't needed.

 

BATTLEGROUND is a great model of how to make a good BATTLE OF THE BULGE movie. Much of it had a no-name cast, but every one of those guys had very interesting and realistic personalities, and we felt close to each and every one of them. That's fer sure, that's fer danged sure! :)

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Btw, in this film when Ty Hardin's (probably best known as TV's "Bronco") character of Nazi saboteur Lt. Schumacher was introduced, did anyone other than me get a chuckle out of him maybe bein' perfectly cast in this thing??? ;)

 

LOL

 

(...for those of you of whom I might have just vexed with this question, clicking on the below IMDb bio of the guy should explain all)

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0362249/bio

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