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Military uniform goofs in tv shows / documentaries etc...

Article about: I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but was just curious about something. I'm retired military (serving from 1991-2015) and I watch a lot of documentaries, crime shows, etc

  1. #11

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    Quote by Kohima View Post
    With a lot of the tank and vehicle type films (Afrika Korps, Patton, &c.), they tended to borrow them and their crews from the then current and local armies, depending where it was shot. Cheaper than sourcing, restoring, transporting, import/export licensing, perhaps training crews, and so on... Oftentimes, practicalities win out.
    Budgets are finite, after all.

    Like you say, Mark, it makes you wince, but there are lacemaking experts all around the world who cringe every time they watch an Emily Bronte film... “Oh, no! They never used that weave pattern back then!”
    To the rest of the world, “Who cares?”
    Exactly, and an M60 Patton does look just like a Panzer III or IV.... from about ten miles away if you screw up your eyes and stand on your head, right? (as long as the only way you know a tank is by the fact that it is the thing with tracks but isn't a bulldozer)

    I suppose that if the main concern is the profit we have films on a par with "red top" newspapers who never let the truth get in the way of a good story

    What happened to the profit being the thing that allowed the art to continue?

    I think that low budget and todays "straight to video" productions are false economy and of course the public tend to take the view that if it is in a movie it must be accurate.

    Spielberg doesn't seem too limited by budget constraints. He certainly makes a profit and it is very difficult to pick holes in his authenticity (eg Saving Private Ryan and the rifles in plastic bags that "experts" said was inaccurate for the period until Spielberg produced period archive images).

    Anyway, the sight of Hardy Kruger wearing his KC in the back of an M3 halftrack firing a Browning .50 leaves me totally cold whether or not it is for the sake of the budget. I'd just rather they made a film about shopping!

    Regards

    Mark
    PS Don't forget The A Team with their 1000 rounds fired and not so much as a broken fingernail, but that' a kids programme right? A much different set of issues there I feel
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  2. #12
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    Hit the nail squarely on the head there, mate!

    Spielberg is NOT limited by budget constraints. He is one of the few who are multi-squillionaires, who can afford to get every last fly button correct. Backers will put the money up (and not a penny more), only when they believe in a reasonable return on the investment.
    It’s a business.

    However, look at the storylines themselves... true stories full of created and composite characters, original lines reassigned to a different character... invented scenes, datelines compressed or extended, events switched around for dramatic purposes or to accentuate a point... These, too, are subject to constraints and necessities.

    Locations, too! You always get ‘local’ buffoons whining, “Why did they film it in Bulgaria when it’s set in 15th century Upper Norwood?”

    Most filmmakers want to get it right. They just can’t always afford to.
    Ultimately, films are about ‘telling the story’.
    That’s the bit that always has to come first.

    We’ve just got to cringe and suck it up.
    Just like the lacemakers, architectural historians and 1960s enthusiasts have to.
    It’s about the ‘look’.

    Phew. Rant over.
    Last edited by Kohima; 08-24-2019 at 12:31 PM.

  3. #13

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    [QUOTE
    Incidentally, Smitty...
    I think you will find that the British wear their stripes the right way up.
    It’s you yanks that wear them upside down.

    All the best,
    Bob[/QUOTE]

    Hey Bob... Just to muddy the waters a bit more about chevrons... As you rightly say, we Brits wear the chevron the right way up, and even when we don't, it is STILL the right way up! The 'Good Conduct' chevron, which is worn near the cuff on the British uniform, is the 'right way up', although it appears the wrong way around... So although it is the wrong way around, it is the right way up!

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  4. #14

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    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    (as long as the only way you know a tank is by the fact that it is the thing with tracks but isn't a bulldozer)
    Must say, I love that clear, concise definition, Mark. It should be in dictionaries:

    Tank: The thing with tracks that isn't a --> bulldozer.
    Bulldozer: A --> tank, but yellow.

  5. #15

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    Hey Bob... Just to muddy the waters a bit more about chevrons... As you rightly say, we Brits wear the chevron the right way up, and even when we don't, it is STILL the right way up! The 'Good Conduct' chevron, which is worn near the cuff on the British uniform, is the 'right way up', although it appears the wrong way around... So although it is the wrong way around, it is the right way up!
    Steve, you remind me of that car rental man at Ashford, who told us "Remember, we drive on the left side of the road; or, as we say: the right side."

  6. #16

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    That is true Andreas, we drive on the right side - which happens to be left. Almost every other country drives on the wrong side - which happens to be right. So they are wrong, and we are right!

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  7. #17

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    Watchdog= Maybe we should start a thread on the biggest "howlers" in this area. Might be a laugh or even just a little educational.

    Yeah here you go. Wearing MSG(E8) Class A stripes on DCU's with SSG(E6) stripes on collar.

    Military uniform goofs in tv shows / documentaries etc...

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