Your Dunkirk?

Discussion in 'History' started by autophobe2e, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    So, I'm off to see the movie Dunkirk in a few hours, really looking forward to it.

    Dunkirk is one of those events with an extremely compelling story which is of some importance culturally to people in the UK, but because it only involves the British Expeditionary Force and, crucially, takes place before America enters the war, It has been overlooked by Hollywood etc. I would not be surprised if Nolan's film was the first time many people had ever heard of Dunkirk.

    My question is, do you have an equivalent in your country? something of importance to your nation with a fascinating story behind it that you feel has been overlooked and could do with a movie adaptation? I imagine most American events like this have been fairly well covered (though I may well be wrong) but whaddya got?

    An Australian friend was telling me about his one the other night, but I've forgotten the name of it (we were drunk as skunks).

    A very small Australian force essentially holding off an enormous Japanese army, fighting along this mountainous trail - some of the worst conditions for combat found in the entire war. He told me that many Australians walk this trail as a sort of historical pilgrimage, and that walking the ups and downs of it is the same distance and climb as doing Everest (although not in terms of elevation, obviously)
    2 people like this.

    GLENGLEN Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    It's Called The "Kokoda Trail"...... :)

    Cheers Glen.
  3. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    That's the one!

    Utterly extraordinary story.

    someone get Nolan on the horn.
  4. pensfan13

    pensfan13 Senior Member

    Aleutian islands campaign is the best I can come up with off the top of my head.
  5. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Hobbes is real Staff Member

    vimy ridge
  6. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    There's probably a story like that in our 80 year war with the spanish empire (which led to the glorious dutch republic)
  7. I'minmyunderwear

    I'minmyunderwear voice of sexy

    i still don't know what the hell a dunkirk is. i've heard the word a few hundred times in the last 3 days or so in reference to some movie, but nobody ever mentions what the movie is actually about and it has never actually been advertised or anything that would give me any idea.

    until i came across this thread just now, i figured it must be a superhero movie because those are the only ones that get this much hype.

    a part of me wants to google it now, but the bigger part of me is tired and lazy.
  8. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    Apparently the American citizens are not happy with this movie as it doesn't have any lead female actors or people of color. :D

    I won't see this and am uninterested simply because of the actors.

    The producer said they wanted no name actors and new faces like Band of Brothers series yet they go and pick a superstar from some boy band. How disgraceful.
  9. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    It's how the english call Duinkerken. It means Dunechurch.
  10. Fromelles

    Australians always crap on about Gallipoli when Anzac/Rememberance Day comes around

    I think most Australians have no clue about what happened with our forces in Fromelles, or pretty much anything else about WWI.

    There is a Kokoda film by the way (2006) full of ex "Neighbours" stars
  11. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    Well in terms of established actors it had Mark Rylance, Kenneth Brannagh and Tom Hardy, who are all top notch as far as I'm concerned, and in terms of unknowns, almost all of the young soldiers in the film were played by actors with 1 or fewer film credits. Including the guy who played the character with whom we spent the most time (first role in a film never mind lead role). So I reckon they struck a good balance.

    And Harry Styles was fine, I didn't recognise him, his role wasn't that huge, but he did it well for a fella with little acting experience.
  12. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    The thing about war movie is the sheer amount of people and faces involved so when they make a war movie starring actors from other films, then it takes away the feeling from the war movie because I'm not watching a random person as how it was in real life, that's the feeling I want. To not know someone and get to know them rather than seeing a person I've seen in several movies and then adjusting to them faking their personality for a movie role.
  13. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    I think they probably had that in mind when putting Dunkirk together. All the soldiers on the beach are anonymous, unknown actors. The famous faces play the admiral, the civilian and an RAF pilot. There's also minimal dialogue, which adds to the feeling of anonymity.
  14. neoprene_queen

    neoprene_queen Rebel Grrrl

    I saw the movie last night. I don't know why my friends wanted to see it, and I don't know why I agreed to see it. I generally don't like these types of movies. They're too intense for me. And this one was just brutal.

    War movies give me the willies. With horror films, it's like you can accept it because it's all fake. This was real. This really happened to real people. Too intense.

    That being said, to answer the OPs question, 9/11 seems the obvious choice followed by Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy Assassination, but we already have multiple movies on these events because we Americans love to make entertainment from our tragedies.
  15. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    I'm in no hurry to see this film, but earlier I read a review in the Guardian where the reviewer seems to think that it was 'Bloodless, boring and empty'.

    I'm generally bored with WWII movies. Saw too many of them as a kid and over subsequent years. I know how nasty it all was, and I don't really feel I need to keep driving home the message. Also there was a 1958 film of the same event which I've seen at least twice.
  16. neoprene_queen

    neoprene_queen Rebel Grrrl

    It was bloodless. But I didn't think it was boring.
  17. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    I don't want to get into discussion about a film I haven't seen. Probably should have thought again before making my previous post.

    Enough to say that the real thing was far from bloodless.

    One thing the whole story does show though is the British ability to turn a disaster into a kind of victory. My father used to talk in glowing terms about Dunkirk, alongside the defeat of Rommel by the British 8th army later in the war - but they did win that one. Dunkirk was a defeat from which we were very lucky to recover. Despite the Battle of Britain that followed on from the evacuation, had Hitler not turned his attention to Russia, I think we would have been sunk.
  18. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    Mm, I strongly disagree with the guardian review.

    The possible invasion of Britain is an interesting point. We had air superiority thanks to the Battle of Britain, but would that have lasted? Frankly, I suspect that Hitler probably wouldn't have bothered to invade England. No plans were ever seriously made, and operation Sea Lion was always more of a contemplation than a goal. Had America not joined the war, WW2 may well have been just a fight between the Russians and Germans on the Eastern Front and continuing campaigns between Germany and Britain in North Africa and the colonies.
  19. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Like I said, I'm not in a position to comment on the film.

    Hitler diverted the German airforce from bombing RAF bases during the height of the Battle of Britain to go after London. The RAF at that point was nearly destroyed, so had he persisted in the attacks on airfields, the RAF might well have been wiped out.

    I saw a documentary some while back which showed that the Nazis did indeed have well worked out and quite comprehensive plans for the occupation of Britain .Many German documents exist detailing it all minutely. Can't recall now whether it was on youtube or the BBC. Evidently, we were training squads of guerillas who would have tried to sabotage the Germans as much as possible. Some of the secret shelters they were to use still exist hidden away in woodlands etc.The squads were not expected to survive for very long. Also it seems that Hitler intended to put Edward VIII (an old pal) back on the throne had he been successful.

    My take on the later developments in the war is that the Allies wanted the invasion of occupied Europe because they foresaw the Russian hordes not stopping at Germany, but over-running the entire continent.

    I don't think invading Britain was high on the Nazi agenda though. Right from the start in Mien Kampf, Hitler made it clear that the goal was to expand eastwards, eliminating the Bolsheviks, gaining 'lebensraum' and enslaving the population to serve the master race. But Hitler had been a soldier in WWI - with the fall of France it must have seemed to him that he'd achieved with astonishing rapidity what the old German Army couldn't do in 4 long and bloody years. Hitler famously saw the Brits as 'a Jew rotted race', but also said the the British were 'not our natural enemies'.
    I think a large part of how the war was won comes down to Hitler's incompetence as a military commander. He was too much the ideologue and the fanatic.
  20. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    Quite so, it's also a bit of a myth that the Germans needed air superiority in order to invade anyway, they could have just pressed their advantage straightaway, they just knew that an amphibious invasion with modern equipment was completely untried (only the Japanese had any experience of it at that point) and had a huge potential for disaster. Operation Sealion was planned and documents exist about it (I was given a copy of the translated manual for Christmas by a friend), but correspondences between Hitler and his Generals make it clear that it was never a high priority.

    The Scallywags (or The ministry of ungentlemanly warfare, both fucking awesome names) were an interesting lot, not only were they essentially sleeper cells waiting for a NAZI invasion, they were also a clever ploy by the government to deal with "enemies within" by getting them on side. Many of those recruited were Left-wing radicals and anarchists who it was feared might be problematic to the war effort. The only people they hated more than the monarchy and the Conservative government were the NAZI's so the government trained them up. They included future Labour Leader Michael Foot, Leftist Playwright JB Priestley and George Orwell.
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