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Anachronisms in fiction, do you notice them? Login/Join 
Get Off My Lawn
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I usually don't let little details bother me, even when cowboys use Colt SAAs in an earlier time period. But one I discovered a few years ago amused me; in his DVD commentary, Francis Coppola mentioned one in regards to the early 1950s Las Vegas scene in The Godfather, when Mike and Fredo drive up to the hotel, there are a couple of guys straight out of the 1970s walking by inside.



"I’m not going to read Time Magazine, I’m not going to read Newsweek, I’m not going to read any of these magazines; I mean, because they have too much to lose by printing the truth"- Bob Dylan, 1965
 
Posts: 13083 | Location: Texas | Registered: May 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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one I THINK I noticed was in No Country For Old Men

the main protagonist Lewellyn (sp) finds that nifty mini MP5 on the drug dealers out in the desert.

I think that version of the MP5 was only in development at that time

or in very early release. probably not yet widely enough distributed to be in the possession of rural cartel guys yet

-----------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7880 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
I just rewatched "The Siege of Firebase Gloria" a few days ago, and I gotta say... The gun handling and movements in that film are laughably bad.



funny I watched that again recently also

I am almost positive the black dude who played the firebase 1SG was the criminal Dirty Harry gave his 'do you feel lucky punk' speech to

--------------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7880 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by Sig209:
I am almost positive the black dude who played the firebase 1SG was the criminal Dirty Harry gave his 'do you feel lucky punk' speech to


You are correct.

Albert Popwell



quote:
Originally posted by Sig209:
one I THINK I noticed was in No Country For Old Men

the main protagonist Lewellyn (sp) finds that nifty mini MP5 on the drug dealers out in the desert.

I think that version of the MP5 was only in development at that time


Also correct. The SP89 was released in 1989, whereas the film takes place in 1980. So they were off by almost a full decade.
 
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I'm Fine
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The problem here is that you guys are just too damned smart.


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SBrooks
 
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Little ray
of sunshine
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quote:
Originally posted by Belwolf:
Often I'll notice such things and depends on the film whether or not I take umbrage. If the film had good intentions but a low budget I'd be Ok with it, or if it was a "fun" movie.

The more serious films or big budget jobs I haev no problem calling out their mistakes or worse, on purpose errors.

Take Saving Private Ryan, in many things the accuracy was spot on and almost perfect. However, the actors/extras playing Germans all had close buzzcuts (ordered by the production)- in reality most German soldiers had rather long hair (on top). Many felt Spielberg did this on purpose to make the Germans look like "skinheads" and/or to dehumanize them.

I don't know if that's true but it is odd for such a film that was very accurate in other respects.


One error that was pervasive in Saving Private Ryan was the age of the actors. Tom Hanks was a 42 year old Captain. Captains were in their twenties or barely 30 Ted Danson was a captain, and he is even older. 28 year old Matt Damon was Private Ryan. Privates were 18, 19, or 20. Almost every actor was ten, if not fifteen years older than they should have been.

It would have been striking to us how young the soldiers in WWII were, and this and most movies miss that entirely. My father-in-law enlisted at 17 (he fudged his age), and was flying bombers out of Africa when he was 19 and 20. My grandfather was rejected for service at age 32 -too old.

That drove me crazy.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 48816 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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very true on the age issue

George Bush was 20 -- TWENTY !! -- when he was shot down in the South Pacific

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Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7880 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
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I often notice when the incorrect version (for the time period) of the US flag is used.


________________________________________

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Posts: 15300 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've been an extra in movies & TV before. It's crazy how the costuming department will obsess over minute things, yet production will overlook egregious anachronisms that get shown close-up on screen.

For example, the movie Friday Night Lights follows the 1988 season Permian Panthers. An extra in the stadium crowd scenes might be forced by costuming to change his jacket, or a woman might have had her hair redone, b/c they aren't period correct. These were background actors who were literally blink-and-you'll-miss-them blurs in the crowd.

On the other hand, many of the players were outfitted in Under Armour apparel and tinted helmet visors - things that didn't exist then. Things such as period-incorrect helmets, visors, gloves, cleats are easy to overlook. Like guns, they're things that unless you're into that stuff, you're not going to recognize it.

Under Armour though... anyone who was alive in 1988 knows UA didn't exist then. It would be ten years before UA became commonly available. It's like watching a film set in the 1950-60s and seeing characters wearing Nike. You don't have to be an expert to notice that stuff.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by iron chef:
Under Armour though... anyone who was alive in 1988 knows UA didn't exist then.


Interesting observation.
Was someone possibly being paid to feature the brand?




“Caesar: Pardon him, Theodotus. He is a barbarian and thinks the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.”
— George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra
 
Posts: 41877 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by iron chef:
Under Armour though... anyone who was alive in 1988 knows UA didn't exist then.


Interesting observation.
Was someone possibly being paid to feature the brand?

Yes, most likely UA brokered a product placement deal. They made deals to outfit the teams in Any Given Sunday and The Replacements and felt it paid off. FNL came out in 2004 after those two movies. I guess one of the producers decided the money saved in providing uniforms was worth the trade-off in filming the obvious anachronism.

UA has been aggressive and innovative in increasing their brand visibility. They do out-of-the-box marketing such as being the official uniform supplier to NCAA football officials and signing a ballerina (Misty Copeland) as one of their sponsored athletes.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
For example, I noted with great satisfaction a couple of small details in the movie Saving Private Ryan that I’m sure were unnoticed by virtually all other viewers

Were the details accurate or anachronistic?



Facts don't care about your feelings.
—Ben Shapiro
 
Posts: 1779 | Registered: November 05, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Leatherneck
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quote:
Originally posted by iron chef:
I've been an extra in movies & TV before. It's crazy how the costuming department will obsess over minute things, yet production will overlook egregious anachronisms that get shown close-up on screen.

For example, the movie Friday Night Lights follows the 1988 season Permian Panthers. An extra in the stadium crowd scenes might be forced by costuming to change his jacket, or a woman might have had her hair redone, b/c they aren't period correct. These were background actors who were literally blink-and-you'll-miss-them blurs in the crowd.

On the other hand, many of the players were outfitted in Under Armour apparel and tinted helmet visors - things that didn't exist then. Things such as period-incorrect helmets, visors, gloves, cleats are easy to overlook. Like guns, they're things that unless you're into that stuff, you're not going to recognize it.

Under Armour though... anyone who was alive in 1988 knows UA didn't exist then. It would be ten years before UA became commonly available. It's like watching a film set in the 1950-60s and seeing characters wearing Nike. You don't have to be an expert to notice that stuff.


Were you in the Astrodome scenes?

I wasn’t working on that movie but I was working as a contractor for the Texans at the time and my office was in the Astrodome. We’d hang out in the stadium and watch them film when we were bored. That was my first time on a movie set.




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Posts: 13491 | Location: Florida | Registered: May 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Official Space Nerd
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:

One error that was pervasive in Saving Private Ryan was the age of the actors. Tom Hanks was a 42 year old Captain. Captains were in their twenties or barely 30 Ted Danson was a captain, and he is even older. 28 year old Matt Damon was Private Ryan. Privates were 18, 19, or 20. Almost every actor was ten, if not fifteen years older than they should have been.


I thought Ted Danson's character was a crusty old Sergeant who got a field promotion to Lt. I don't know if that was in dialog or I just assumed. Hanks was kind of old.

The thing that bothered me about SPR was the 'sniper.' Yes, he was left-handed, shooting a right-handed Springfield, but in the scene where he was shooting multiple shots, he looked like he never so much as touched a rifle before. I don't care if he was shooting cross-handed - surely he would have learned to adapt and shoot more smoothly.


As for George HW Bush, he was (and probably forever shall be) the youngest person to earn Navy pilot wings. He was young, even for his peer group.


What bothers me more than anything is the grossly inaccurate portrayals of aircraft. In that abysmal 'pearl harbor' movie (*spits on ground*), the Zeros and P-40s act more like X-wings and TIE fighters, the way they zip around and change direction 180 degrees in less than a car-length.



No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
Ronald Reagan
 
Posts: 20694 | Location: Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle Earth | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
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quote:
Originally posted by Hound Dog:
quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:

One error that was pervasive in Saving Private Ryan was the age of the actors. Tom Hanks was a 42 year old Captain. Captains were in their twenties or barely 30 Ted Danson was a captain, and he is even older. 28 year old Matt Damon was Private Ryan. Privates were 18, 19, or 20. Almost every actor was ten, if not fifteen years older than they should have been.


I thought Ted Danson's character was a crusty old Sergeant who got a field promotion to Lt. I don't know if that was in dialog or I just assumed. Hanks was kind of old.

.


My take on the age thing, a year or three of that kind of stress would likely age a man 20 to 30 years and he'd look it when grimy.

At least that was how I accepted it.







Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.


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And some people listen to the quiet.

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Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by Keystoner:
Were the details accurate or anachronistic?


I believe they were accurate, or could have been.

The first was the injectors they gave the wounded medic the morphine with. They were like little toothpaste tubes with attached needles. Although I don’t know for certain that that’s what was in use during the war, that’s exactly the early type of injectors used for atropine that was pictured in an Army chemical weapons publication I had in the early 1960s. That was before the later auto-injectors with spring activated needles.

The second was when the captain was talking to the men after the medic died and his grave was marked with his upright Garand, presumably by attaching the bayonet and sticking it into the ground. At one point he pulls the trigger group out of the rifle and throws it away with the obvious intent of making the rifle unusable. It was done very casually with no pause in his talk, and could have been dispensed with entirely for the movie’s purposes, but when I saw it, my reaction was that it was a perfect demonstration of what someone like Hank’s character would think of and do.




“Caesar: Pardon him, Theodotus. He is a barbarian and thinks the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.”
— George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra
 
Posts: 41877 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This kind of stuff drives me nuts but I know people who are totally opposite. There could be a movie where Caesar calls in an air strike and carpet bombs the Gauls and they wouldn't bothered in the least.


No one's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.- Mark Twain
 
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Official Space Nerd
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quote:
Originally posted by sigspecops:
This kind of stuff drives me nuts but I know people who are totally opposite. There could be a movie where Caesar calls in an air strike and carpet bombs the Gauls and they wouldn't bothered in the least.


There is a balance. Bad mistakes grind on me, but it depends on the movie. For example, one of my guilty pleasures is the movie "Battleship." Yes, it is cheesy, stupid, and downright impossible. However, it is a schlockly 'popcorn flick,' and as such, I love it. Of course, this movie does not take itself too seriously, and it is not supposed to be a 'real' war movie.

Take "We Were Soldiers." I love this movie, but after reading the book, I discovered the movie is a blatant lie. The movie ended with a rousing US victory with the troops storming and capturing the enemy command post. No such thing happened at Ia Drang, and in fact, the following evening as the US troops were exfiltrating to their evac point, they were ambushed in the jungle and suffered a horrifying defeat. Of course, that would not have sold movie tickets as well. . .



No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
Ronald Reagan
 
Posts: 20694 | Location: Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle Earth | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Back, and
to the left
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quote:
Originally posted by LS1 GTO:
quote:
Originally posted by Hound Dog:
quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:

One error that was pervasive in Saving Private Ryan was the age of the actors. Tom Hanks was a 42 year old Captain. Captains were in their twenties or barely 30 Ted Danson was a captain, and he is even older. 28 year old Matt Damon was Private Ryan. Privates were 18, 19, or 20. Almost every actor was ten, if not fifteen years older than they should have been.


I thought Ted Danson's character was a crusty old Sergeant who got a field promotion to Lt. I don't know if that was in dialog or I just assumed. Hanks was kind of old.


My take on the age thing, a year or three of that kind of stress would likely age a man 20 to 30 years and he'd look it when grimy.

At least that was how I accepted it.

I thought the average age of a US serviceman serving in WWII was supposed to have been 26? That figure would include all REMF's (of which most were) as well. The combat troops likely would have been younger in general though.
I also always thought of Ted Danson and Paul Giamatti as likely 'mustang' officers as well. Captain Miller could easily be one of those guys that eschewed the politicking necessary to get promoted, hence an elder E-3.



I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. -Ecclesiastes 9:11
 
Posts: 5251 | Location: Dallas | Registered: August 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Comancheros with John Wayne comes to mind. At the beginning of the movie they place the timeframe at 1843.

At one point they refer to the Battle of San Jacinto as being four years prior, which is incorrect. Correct time would be 1836, or seven years prior to the movie setting.

More importantly, they are using Winchester Model 1873's and Colt SAA throughout the movie, both of which weren't invented until the 1870's.

Whenever an old gladiator flick comes on, I always check the Roman soldier ranks to see if someone in the back row is wearing sunglasses or a wristwatch.
 
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