Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Gaith, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Regina, SK, Canada
    WWI is harder to do in an acceptable way because it wasn't a clear-cut "Good guys vs Evil Bastards" thing like WWII was, WWI was the result of numerous foreign policies (outdated ones) and random political events that blew up in everyone's faces. And there was no real "Happy Ending" for anyone given the widespread death and economic catastrophe that came afterwards.

    It did shape the world though, it was the end of the Great Empires as we knew them. But folks forget most of that for the effect WWII had on the rest of the Century.

    The main reason we don't see many documentaries on WWI is because there isn't much surviving usable footage from it left to use.
  2. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 7, 2004
    Mannheim, Germany
    If you want a good sub miniseries just go watch the german 80s "Das Boot".. sub warfare how it really was and what Spielberg/Hanks have been doing with their WW2 miniseries.

    I don't believe for a second that these guys snub the Navy intentionally.. maybe they haven't found the right story yet but it certainly isn't for lack of real world famous naval battles.. Leyte Gulf, Midway, Skagerrak etc. However if they re-filmed just these battles it would be nothing more that war action porn with ships.

    What their miniseries did so well was the human element, the human stories and i don't think they've come across a filmable story yet.
  3. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Apr 24, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta
    Didn't stop Michael Bay... <rimshot>

  4. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2009
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, I've seen Flyboys. Good, but not great movie, which mostly suffers from the direction. Still fun for what it is, though. Haven't seen the Red Baron movie as it hasn't been available to me, so can't comment on that.

    But in general, there are so many stories to be explored in that setting, and you don't even have to use the trenches and leave them out. Flight was very much in its infancy, which presented problems of their own as many of them were very unreliable. But, that's part of what I find interesting about it.

    Seen the Air Aces show, which has some pretty remarkable stories, for sure. Last one I saw was about the pilot who was about to go home to get married, only deciding to go on one last mission before departing, and crashing not because of something the Germans did, but because his propeller hit the ground from flying too closely. Damn :lol: Would love to see WWI get a similar treatment.

    Perhaps you're right, and perhaps that's the main reason there hasn't been more done on the subject, but regarding the random politics, part of it is why I find it so fascinating. The reasons for why it happened in the first place and what lead up to the war are interesting to me. And by the end of it, President Wilson had this idea in his head that there should be an alliance of countries to prevent this kind of thing from happening, which eventually came to be known as the UN.

    I recently read Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, and it was excellent, so I'd like to see something of that scope, even though that didn't feature any of the flying at all, but I realize it likely will never happen. Closest would be to have an adaptation of the novel, but I've been leary of Ridley Scott and his production company ever since the World Without End miniseries and would rather they didn't touch it.
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Regina, SK, Canada
    I read Fall of Giants too, and I have the sequel. Haven't read it yet.
  6. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2009
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, reading the sequel now, but so far it's not as great as Fall of Giants as he totally changed style and tack even down to how chapters are written and structured, and feels more linear as a result, which puzzles me because why would you change your proven style right in the middle of a trilogy? The great thing about Fall of Giants and some of his other books was the many different viewpoints throughout the affected countries, which added depth.
  7. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Brussels, Belgium
    While I'm very excited about another Spielberg/Hanks/HBO project, I am disappointed that it's not focused on the Navy. Maybe Round 4?

    Until then, I'll be content with The Hunt for Red October. :p

    There's no lost love between me and the Navy. It's just another job for me.
  8. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2002
    New England
    As it happens I came up with a WWI story for a game of Hollywood Mogul that I was playing in some years ago. It was done as a trilogy detailing the story of the war from the viewpoint of a single family.

    Was it any good? You tell me.

    The Great War Trilogy

    The Great War: Darkening Skies

    Plot: 1914 – Britain, as the Great War begins the Armstrongs are drawn into the conflict. Thomas is the Naval Lieutenant, already a skilled professional at 27, Gunnery officer of the battlecruiser HMS Inflexible. Phillip is the tough as nails hell-raiser who enlists in the Army as a Lieutenant of infantry. George, just out of University, is the bon vivant who joins the Royal Flying Corps. Anne is the nurse pledged to ease the suffering of the war’s victims. And Richard is the one-eyed former Brigadier re-called to a position with the General Staff.

    As autumn turns to winter and winter to spring it becomes apparent to all that this war will be unlike any other in both scope and carnage. While Thomas chases the elusive Graf von Spee and Germany’s crack East Asia Cruiser Squadron across half the world, his father, Richard, settles into his post in London. But Richard’s strategies are of a different age and ill suited to this new kind of warfare. In Hampshire, Anne sees the bloody harvest of battle as hundreds wounded in the desperate battles against the Huns in France are given over to her care.

    As the Allied Powers fall back before the German advance it is the heroism of Phillip and his men that helps stem the tide of German grays rushing headlong toward them, while in his Yank built Curtiss NC-4 flying boat George hunts the elusive U-boats in the Irish Sea that threaten to starve England into submission. Finally catching and destroying the German Squadron after months at sea Thomas expects a return to home waters but HMS Inflexible is diverted to provide supporting fire for the campaign at Gallipoli, where Phillip is fighting for his life against determined Turkish infantry, whose German machine guns turn the beaches, hills and cliffs of Turkey into bloody killing fields that consume men by the thousands.

    The five Armstrongs are held together by the bonds of family and a tradition of service that goes back over a thousand years. But will even that sustain them through the firestorm that rages across the globe?

    The Great War: The Storm Breaks

    Plot: 1916 – Europe, as the war continues the Armstrongs find themselves once more thrust into the forefront of the conflict. After the carnage that was the Gallipoli campaign Commander Thomas Armstrong and Captain Phillip Armstrong are hoping for some rest in England only to be thrown into two of the biggest battles of the war.

    Thomas is now Inflexible’s first officer as she joins the Grand Fleet in the sortie that may well decide the war at sea – the Battle of Jutland. In France Phillip’s company is deployed to the front lines once more for the Somme, a campaign that will forever scar the English psyche.

    Lieutenant George Armstrong is assigned to a fighter squadron but finds the novelty of aerial combat wears off quickly under German fire as he battles the “Fokker Scourge” in a do-or-die campaign in the skies over France, and romance finds Anne in the form of a young Belgian officer wounded in the fighting in Flanders.

    Meanwhile in London Major General Richard Armstrong, one of the major planners of the Somme campaign, is faced with a decision that is almost certain to send one of his sons to his grave. But at first Phillip Armstrong seems invulnerable, standing unscathed as all about him German machine guns and artillery turn the ground red with English blood.

    Finally after weeks of brutal carnage the advance grinds to a halt and Phillip’s charmed life comes to a bloody end, sending shockwaves through the Armstrongs that threaten to tear them apart.

    The Great War: Final Thunder

    Plot: 1918 – Europe, as the war reaches its climax the Armstrongs, still bleeding after the loss of Phillip, must soldier on for the freedom of England. For it is now, at the end, that those in the strongest positions will be able to decide the terms of the peace.

    Determined to share the danger alongside the men he commands Richard Armstrong, now a Lieutenant General, leads his divisions in a last ditch attempt to capture a key piece of ground in the Ardennes. In England Anne and Major Rene Peugot are wed but as the last push begins their happiness may be short-lived. When Rene’s battalion is attached to her father’s command Anne cannot help but to recall Phillip’s death a year earlier.

    In the air Captain George Armstrong’s daring has made him a legend but as the best of the Kaiser’s Air Corps battles to stem the Allied assault he learns that even legends can die when he is shot down, barely surviving a crash behind the Hun lines and is thrown into a POW camp.

    At sea Captain Sir Thomas Armstrong’s cruiser may be all that stands between glorious victory and ignominious defeat as the German High Seas Fleet makes one final sortie and only HMS Defiant is in a position to spread the alarm. But first she must fight her way free of a squadron of fast destroyers that dog her heels. Turning on them, Thomas attacks, gambling that Defiant’s armor will protect her from the lighter caliber guns of the destroyers while his powerful batteries of 8-inchers sends them to the bottom. The gamble works and Defiant reaches England with mostly superficial damage, alerting the fleet in time to sortie and meet the Germans.

    Meanwhile in the Ardennes, when Richard’s offensive bogs down in the dense woods he strips his divisions of their armor, which he forms into fast cavalry-like troops and sends around the flanks of the German resistance, freeing George from his prison camp in the process. But even as his strategy is proving it’s worth, his armor is dangerously over-extended and when the German’s mount a counter-attack Richard and his headquarters unit are cut off and surrounded. Richard orders George to fly a wounded Rene out in a captured Fokker D.VII while he and his armored units try to break through the German cordon and re-join his infantry divisions.

    Leading from his un-armored touring car, Richard’s tanks thrust into the German lines forcing a breach. But when a battery of artillery opens up on the tanks with armor-piercing shells he realizes that the slow-moving Mk. V’s will never make it. In a suicide charge he sends his car hurtling across open ground to smash into the center of the Hun artillery, silencing the guns and allowing the armor to complete it’s breakthrough.

    In the air George flies directly to Anne’s hospital but even as it comes within sight he is set upon by four German fighters. From the ground Anne sees the plane bearing her husband and youngest brother climb back into the clouds hotly pursued by three fighters while the fourth circles ominously below. She cries out in anguish as she realizes that she is about to watch two of the people she loves be killed before her eyes.

    But though machine gun fire rips through the fabric of his plane, George Armstrong focuses as he has never done so before. He and the Fokker become welded into a single machine that climbs, dives and slashes through the clouds. Below Anne counts one, two, three DR. I’s as they fall, broken, through the clouds. But as George tries once more to land, the remaining triplane jumps onto his tail, firing burst after burst from his guns. As Rene is hit, George puts the plane into a steep dive with the German following close behind. At the last second he pulls up, but the pursuing DR. I’s weak 110 hp engine is unable to pull out of the dive and it slams into the French soil as the plane explodes in a ball of fire.

    A month later, after laying flowers on Richard and Phillip’s graves, Thomas, George and Anne visit Rene at a convalescent hospital outside Paris. Suddenly, one after the other, the church bells begin to ring all around them. When Rene asks what has happened they tell him that the Armistice has been signed, the Great War is finally over.
  9. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2001
    Land of Enchantment
    The only WWI story I'm interested in is a character piece on Wilhelm. Any guy who goes to war with his grandma and closest cousin over the murder of someone he went hunting with a few times is worth a study.
  10. Icemizer

    Icemizer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 29, 2008
    One of my favorite WWI air movies is The Blue Max. For WWII I just watch Black Sheep Squadron reruns.
    As far as a Pacific based Navy movie the time and distances between actual battles is just immense. Few ship to ship encounters happened as ours were mostly destroyed at Pearl and so it ends up being an air war over water. The excitement of watching the Navy gunships shell an island just doesnt have the strength of story behind it.
  11. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 14, 2004
    I've seen all of those shows, like three times each. I've seen McHale's Navy, I've seen Black Sheep Squadron, Midway, Tora Tora Tora!, Enemy Below, Run Silent, Run Deep, etc. etc. countless times, which means I don't give a tinker's damn if Spielberg and company never find it in their hearts to do "Band of Sailors" because I've already seen the best (and worst) WWII naval stories Hollywood has to offer.

    Let 'em stick to land war. No skin off my butt...
  12. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    Yes, The Blue Max is really good.

    I can't really agree with that. Even if you don't accept carrier actions as "naval" battles, you still have the Java Sea, Sunda Strait, Cape Esperance, Savo Islands, 1st and 2nd Guadalcanal, Empress Augusta Bay, Cape St. George, Tassafaronga, Komandorski Islands, Surigao Strait, and many more destroyer-level engagements.
  13. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 11, 2008
    Washington State
    I don't know about that - The West Wing had lots of incredible drama scenes in the Situation Room.

    Granted, one wouldn't want to see twelve episodes of only that, but I can definitely picture a miniseries of, say, four three-episode arcs, say, about admirals, a sub crew, a convoy, a squad of carrier-based pilots... with the admiral eps serving as relatively cheap "bottle" shows to offset the cost of showing full-on naval battles.
  14. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    As good as some of those shows were, they don't have the time for the more detailed and in-depth treatment that a mini-series has. The Thin Red Line was a great movie, but that doesn't diminish The Pacific in any way, and I'm glad it was made.

    Also, to use the example of Victory at Sea: As fine as it is, it has some real problems of historical accuracy. A lot of fine scholarship has come out in the past 60 years; it would be nice to see something with a good budget be able to take advantage of it.

    That would be great, but that wouldn't be a miniseries based on the four admirals lives, which is what I was responding to.
  15. Othello

    Othello Commodore Commodore

    Mar 2, 2001
    Well, the best branch to cover will ALWAYS be the USMC. The rest of ya are just normal to our awesomeness!! :techman:
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 4, 2001
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    Nah, I've watched Gomer Pyle, USMC. What more needs to be covered?;)

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