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The Myth of the Deadly M1 Garand Ping


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#26 artu44

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:55 AM

I'm not sure how you can defend that position Artu; by your own definition, a 'celebration' of the event it may have been certainly, but that doesn't dictate strict adherance to every nauance of the film being completely true factual and documented. As an example, the dialogue is undoubtably not precisely as it really was.

I didn't accuse anyone that doesn't share my standpoint of being an "old lady". You also seem to be indicating that anyone that found the scene ridiculous is a real man; the fact that I don't find it ridiculous therefore leads to a singular conclusion. I'm not going to engage in that sort of discussion with you; this was supposed to be friendly discourse. I apologize, but you're going to have to live with my take on the merits or failures of the scene being as valid an opinion as yours.



Chris, you have to consider that I'm italian so often I cannot found the exact words to explain my meaning. I wanted to say that there are movies where director can go a bit out the lines with fantasy just because the main purpose of the movie is entertainement and "old ladies" will forgive everything in a good sentimental movie. Our movie instead was more a documentary with real historic characters and facts so why to be "out" of the realism with that "fantasy" click clack?

#27 Chris_B

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:50 PM

If the film is taken as a documentary, it gets only general events and characters correct; we could argue about what weapon Lovat carried for instance, as it's not known for certain. We could also debate about what Cota really said on the beach as there could be doubt about his actual comments. That dialogue and those props were chosen for certain reasons. Perhaps not a lot of thought was given to those things, but nonetheless they may be points of discussion in terms of reality vs. what may be called "fantasy", if I define 'fantasy' as things that didn't actually happen but were put in the film. If the film was intended to be a documentary, it strays slightly from actual events for various reasons- pershaps the people involved couldn't remember what they actually said, or what they carried, on that day, which is understandable. Nevertheless, it is a point of deviation from exact factual events.

That sort of thing is easily forgiven as it is quite understandable. Another is that the entire event didn't take place in the brief time the movie runs for. We understand these limitations and even expect them. But let's look at a factor in the film that nobody comments on, usually: it's filmed in Black and White, not Color. Its so obvious it's not even really considered by many viewers. Consider why this may have been done. The reasons could be many. Whatever the reason, the actual events obviously took place in full visual color. Here we again have a deviation from reality: but why? Why this deviation from factual portrayal? The reason is that film is an art form and the choice of film is part of that art. Black and White was chosen to give the film a certain feel; most people recall newsreels, etc from WWII as being filmed in Black and White; color was certainly used but was not very common. Having this film shot in Black and White was therefore a conscious choice to preserve the 'feel' of the events for the audience in a way that they will immediately identify with how they have always known the subject.

A lot of what producers and directors do is to make the film accessible to an audience; to make the film easily understood or identified with. The most accurate documentary ever made will not hold an audience's attention without the film being enjoyable to watch.

Being of a limited length, the film condenses many events. We also acknowledge and 'forgive' this flaw as well; it's necessary. I have given several examples, some minor, and one major, in which we don't even really think to question a deviation from reality. Let's look at the specifics- the Mauser making the 'cricket' noise.

The desperation of combat, the finality of a mistake, the brutal and unforgiving speed at which death could come to a soldier is not only an emotionally tricky subject for a film-maker (they want audiences to like the film, not become depressed or nauseated) but in some cases, technically tricky too; the time to set up a scene and deliver the emotional message of a death scene such as that takes precious minutes in a film to set up and portray. In a film with so many stars, minutes spent on secondary characters would be budgeted very closely. So the film-makers chose a very fantastical but emotionally effective "hook"- the snapping of the bolt of the rifle sounding just like the cricket. Perhaps this is how the soldier that died misinterpreted the sound. Perhaps its pure allegory. In any case, it was a clean and efficient use of the minutes to portray the brutally quick and senseless death of that soldier. It works very well as artistic cinema. In a film in which you or I can point out many historical errors if we look hard enough, this scene is the most inaccurate I can recall, and the film only goes into this blatant 'fantasy' once to my recollection. It was used to make a point, to deliver a message- that any of these men could have died in a heartbeat, from dangers un-suspected and from tiny mistakes, and there were no excuses or second chances. In it's era of film-making, this type of deviation from factual events was not very uncommon. Although it's something of a 'trick' today, it worked well and accomplished it's goal: you certainly do remember the scene and what happened to the soldier, after all

Edited by Chris_B, 05 April 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#28 45ACP

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:10 PM

I don't think the Army would have done it but I'm not sure of the Johnson guys they said it they might have had a deuce ready.



I have seen that "topped off" criticism of the Garand en-bloc clip, as a near-exact-same type of quote.

First of all, I suppose the time-span "between firefights" would be a factor.
Seems like that chain-of-thought also makes out that the reloading of an en-bloc clip, as much more difficult than it actually is.
Also, how often is 'loose ammo' being carried, in field/on person, for such 'topping-off? That's why there are bandoliers available (including for magazined weapons).
And anyone smart enough to keep track of their number of rounds of expending ammo, has the option of popping the clip, and remaining rounds, for future use. I also wonder on just how many thousands of 'last-one-or-two rounds' were fired-off, indiscriminately, to gain a full charge ...especially when ammo re-supply was not an issue, or made necessary for reasons of logistics.
Although the detachable-box magazine IS far better; keep in mind, that basically, the M14 would have been the M1 Garand, if the Ordnance Department wouldn't have had the design objection, to begin with.
The en-bloc design also necessitated a lot more complicated parts and machine-work.

While I also understand "that things got nasty in this fight for government contracts" between the M1 Garand and the M1941 Johnson; was even the 'potential thought' considered of tossing these weapons under deuce-and-a-halfs, really part of the field trial abuse testing? ...

Regards,
Don.



#29 artu44

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:00 PM

BTW Chris, Lovat used to carry a Winchester 70 but director found cooler and more european to give him a Mannlicher Schoenauer alpine carbine.

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#30 Chris_B

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:01 AM

Understood Artu; I mean in the context of the film, it is not known for certain what weapon Lovat was carrying on 6 June 44, not what weapon he carried in general

#31 artu44

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:02 AM

Understood Artu; I mean in the context of the film, it is not known for certain what weapon Lovat was carrying on 6 June 44, not what weapon he carried in general

OK

#32 DSchlagan

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:33 PM

As Chris states:

Movies is movies. They are made as an art form; the scene in which the rifle sounded like a cricket was intended for dramatic effect, which it achieved. Enthusiasts of anything depicted in films are often so 'close' to the subject that the art of the film is lost in light of what the enthusiasts knows that the film makers exaggerated or changed to produce the desired emotional or visual or audible effect. Just a movie.


Yes, movies ARE just movies; the constraints of 'cinematographic time' are very often 'condensed'; and "for dramatic effect".
It seems, in more recent years that the Military consultants, hired-on a movie set, are more motivated to "actual" historical/logistical accuracy.
Not just simply in 'correct' uniforms/field gear/combat actuality, but generally across the board.

The one recent 'come-to-mind' huge exception was that ridiculously conceived/contrived/directed, from any number of perspectives, was "The Hurt Locker".
...Great theatre/lots of awards/but NO WHERE NEAR logistics/actuality.....

For any further commentary on such, I would suggest relating on "WAR MOVIE BLUNDERS"; as we seem intent towards that line...

Regards,
Don.

#33 hink441

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:41 AM

The one recent 'come-to-mind' huge exception was that ridiculously conceived/contrived/directed, from any number of perspectives, was "The Hurt Locker".
...Great theatre/lots of awards/but NO WHERE NEAR logistics/actuality.....


The worst one in my opinion is "Pearl Harbor". What a POS movie!

#34 squirrely

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:45 AM

I was actually working at a movie theater the weekend that movie premiered - I had 3 people offer to buy my "pearl harbor" movie pin before going in, as they thought it was going to be as huge of a hit as "Saving Private Ryan". Nobody was interested in it after leaving the theater.

The worst one in my opinion is "Pearl Harbor". What a POS movie!


All I can say is that I've carried an M1 for years at reenactments. With only 8 rounds, the need to 'top off' is pretty slim to none. Ejecting a partially spent clip and reloading a full one takes less than 30 seconds. No complaints.

I've also had some limited experience going up against GI reenactors carrying the M1. I can think of only one time I ever heard a 'ping', and it was while trying to suppress a squad-sized element with our 98k's. That one didn't work out so well for...


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