1917

One thing I noticed that is hackneyed cliche is the Albatross incident

the tommies see it coming at them yet try to run ahead of it instead of at a 90 degree away from it.

This cliches is in dozens of movies typically with autos but also in North by Northwest


Also didn't buy a injured German flier (or British/French or American) stabbing his rescuers. far more likely to have a revolver than a knife and far more likely to not resist (Frank Luke excepted)
 
Watched it, enjoyed it, a very good drama that gives a tiny insight into some of the horrific conditions of the war. The end credits state:

“For Lance Corporal Alfred H. Mendes / 1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps / who told us the stories.”

The operative word being stories, not a single factual event, a series of old soldier dit’s meshed together to give the viewer a tiny insight into a war that lasted considerably longer than 2 hours.

Gets my vote, but I think it will be much more effective on the big screen than a TV.
 
Mrs S.O. and I went to see it on Friday night, and apart from a few WFT moments with credibility/accuracy, and the potential 'homage' to Peter Weir's 'Gallipoli', thought that the overall story-telling was both good and compelling (only degenerating into mawkishness with the girl/baby scene) and the cinematography pretty amazing.

WTF moments for me:
- As it was so important to get orders forward to 2/Devons, and the wx was obviously good enough for flying, why not just fly over and drop a message sack.
- While Blake seems to have been a runner, Schofield was picked by him to accompany him, seemingly at random. How likely was it in 1917 that 2 LCpls would both be wearing wristwatches, and when Blake dies, why would Schofield not remove his watch, as they were uncommon, and potentially personal, items?
- Soft-skinned trucks driving across No Man's Land?
- Officers still in early war uniforms (soft caps, rank on epaulettes, jodhpurs). I expect it was to provide differentiation for the audience, but ...
- Indian cavalry mixed in with the other troops being taken forward in the trucks. I guess it ticked the diversity box, as did the Caribbean soldiers in 2/Devons, but ...
- As Schofield crossed the bridge, there were bullet strikes on 'his' side of the rails, even though the firing was coming from the other direction.
- Random individual German soldiers popping up. I get the possible looters in the village, but the others?
- LCpl Schofield is quite a remarkable individual, as not only does he have a watch, but he can read, and swim.
- Some random erk (Schofield) without webbing or weapon (deserter?) forcing his way into the CO's dugout would more than likely have been shot as a threat.
- The above ground CCS was in a peaceful meadow only about 100 yds behind the frontline jumping off trench, and completely untroubled by the German fire that had smashed the 2/Devons first wave minutes earlier.

Overall, we were impressed by it, but think it is definitely a 'big screen' show that won't translate well to TV.

E2A; bolding for the benefit of the poster below.
1579769793165.png


An original photo taken in the follow up to the Hindenburg Line (Sherwood Foresters) - note that there are trucks in the column and the troops are not moving tactically....
 
Mesmerising stuff. Saw it with a couple of friends and we were all impressed, especially by the cinematography, despite so many leaps of faith.
 
Mesmerising stuff. Saw it with a couple of friends and we were all impressed, especially by the cinematography, despite so many leaps of faith.
A few more images of the real thing - essentially the film got more right than it got wrong....

1579776372157.png

1579776388983.png

1579776539743.png
1579776435212.png

1579776606764.png


Note lots of soft hats being worn as soon as it was realised that the Germans were no longer a direct threat...
 
Off the top of my head I couldn't remember the start date but as last year was a 100 years then RFC.
The Crabs sprang into being on April Fools' Day 1918.

I found a War Graves Commission headstone for an RAF Captain from May 1918 in the main Chester cemetery recently. Presumably he either died of wounds, 'flu, or an aircraft accident (RAF Sealand nearby) very soon after the amalgamation and before the ranks were changed.
 
The Crabs sprang into being on April Fools' Day 1918.

I found a War Graves Commission headstone for an RAF Captain from May 1918 in the main Chester cemetery recently. Presumably he either died of wounds, 'flu, or an aircraft accident (RAF Sealand nearby) very soon after the amalgamation and before the ranks were changed.
RAF officers ranks weren't formalised until 1st August 1919. Prior to that there were various types of rank badges proposed and rejected but ranks remained army (not sure about former RNAS personnel though).

Ultimately RAF officer ranks were based on the naval equivalent with the exception of Squadron Leader, which was based on the cavalry appointment of an army major.

One quirk of the rank structure became apparent in the Royal Observer Corps, who in theory mirrored RAF ranks. The rank of Observer Lieutenant Commander was introduced in 1968 as a rank for full time officers only as a matching rank for Squadron Leader. The logical rank of Observer Leader was not adopted because it sounded like it belonged in the Boy Scouts and was frankly rather silly.
 

ches

LE
Mate of mine is in Eire with work, popped into a cinema in Limerick to see this. Was on his own, staff said it hasn't been that popular a film there. Still the old attitudes abound it seems.
 
Just saw it. Apart from the odd Afro-Caribbean type bewilderingly spliced into the Devon Regiment and a random Sikh in the back of a lorry after the farmhouse scene, it’s not that revisionist.
Laurence Fox caught some flak for pointing out that the random Sikh was incongruous, I tend to agree and think maybe it would have been better to have had a whole truckload of Sikhs instead of just a token one if there was a point you wanted to make.
 
Piss off. Packed cinemas where I live, not far from the Curragh. The film is highly regarded here. We haven't called this country Eire in quite a while. My family is down one 3198 McKnight because of that war.
 
Laurence Fox caught some flak for pointing out that the random Sikh was incongruous, I tend to agree and think maybe it would have been better to have had a whole truckload of Sikhs instead of just a token one if there was a point you wanted to make.
I agree and not a single Chinese labourer in sight, either.
 

4(T)

LE
Laurence Fox caught some flak for pointing out that the random Sikh was incongruous, I tend to agree and think maybe it would have been better to have had a whole truckload of Sikhs instead of just a token one if there was a point you wanted to make.

His point was that the inclusion of token "persons of colour" out of historical context is a modern and grating (to the un-woke) PC affectation. This was clearly the director's intent, otherwise he could have - as noted - illustrated the Empire, Dominion and civil contribution to the war by a few shots of separate formed units.
 
Piss off. Packed cinemas where I live, not far from the Curragh. The film is highly regarded here. We haven't called this country Eire in quite a while. My family is down one 3198 McKnight because of that war.
Not surprised, since many more Catholic Irish fought for Britain than against it (and more in fact than their Protestant counterparts) - as I recall, the captured Irish rebels of 1916 were (initially) openly booed in the streets as traitors after the Easter Rising.

Regarding the Sikh in the film - I may have misheard, but I think his colleagues made the point that he was the cook - as a member of the transport train, regimental cooks would normally have ridden one of the draught horses/mules, hence the bandolier rather than standard webbing...

1579787834776.png
 
You do know its a film and not a documentary. Point to note The directors grandfather was in the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade and he was Caribbean.
The message needed to be delivered by hand as they knew sherlock Holmes just wanted a scrap with jerry so air drop would not be a good option.
IMHO
Its a great film.
I watched it the other night and just sat fixed on the journey and allowed myself to just enjoy it. Apart from a chuckle when the officer asked them to throw the flair pistol back and joke about his wanking hand the packed theatre was silent and it stayed that way until 30 seconds into the credits then a huge round of applause went up. Its a first ive seen that atmosphere and reaction in a cinema.
I have read quite a few rave reviews before going to see it but it was some of the positive reviews from ww1 history and reenactor types that sold it.
According to the close credits Mendez's grandfather was actually in the 1st Bn. The Kings Royal Rifle Corps, though I read two separate reviews of the film which like you, said he was in the Rifle Brigade?

As for audience reaction, I saw it two night ago and at the end people jsut got up and left, as I did. I didn't think much of it tbh, the sight of Blake wearing 1908 pattern leather equipment in 1917 ruined it for me.
 
Went to see it with LRjr yesterday. Right it's a good film and it works as films go. But.....All quiet it ain't. It might be quasi factual, but accurate it ain't and the film says so. That said it's not that inaccurate. It based on stories from Mendes Grandad. No the speech patterns are odd in places, the incidental meeting with some Bird and a child in a burned out shell of a house was odd but fulfilled a cinematic need I suppose. There are too few Germans knocking about especially in the town and the destroyed bridge. Snipers tended to work in teams. The Bunker rig up had me gripped, My WTF moment was the spiked guns-would they really have done that to viable pieces, the implication being that they were just knackered. that said the element of surprise that the place was actually leer was palpable. Cumberbatch didn't come across quite right either.
 
According to the close credits Mendez's grandfather was actually in the 1st Bn. The Kings Royal Rifle Corps, though I read two separate reviews of the film which like you, said he was in the Rifle Brigade?

As for audience reaction, I saw it two night ago and at the end people jsut got up and left, as I did. I didn't think much of it tbh, the sight of Blake wearing 1908 pattern leather equipment in 1917 ruined it for me.
I think Blake was (or should have been) wearing 1914 pattern leather equipment, issued to many New Army units as a substitute for 1908 pattern webbing. From the limited photographic evidence, it was the predominant personal equipment of 18th Division in 1916. Note that in my photo of the Sherwood Foresters at #123 above, taken in 1917 they are all still wearing it.

1579797391733.png


Even later - a picture taken of the Gordon Highlanders in 1918 still shows a mixture of 1908 webbing and 1914 leather equipment, so quite conceivable that Schofield and Blake would be wearing both....
 
Last edited:
View attachment 445317

An original photo taken in the follow up to the Hindenburg Line (Sherwood Foresters) - note that there are trucks in the column and the troops are not moving tactically....
No dispute there, but how far behind the new front line was that taken? For the '1917' plot, the destination village of Écoust-Saint-Mein was within about 1 mile of the German front line.

1579797982248.png
 

Attachments

No dispute there, but how far behind the new front line was that taken? For the '1917' plot, the destination village of Écoust-Saint-Mein was within about 1 mile of the German front line.

View attachment 445391
I think most probably taken on the Bapaume road, as very straight and has at one time been tree lined. The Germans had also been withdrawing for some time by 6 April, when the film is supposed to have taken place. The last place they withdrew from was the northern sector. So I'd agree that whilst the British would be reasonably confident as they moved north from the Ancre, they would be getting cautious by the time the reached Ecoust - which as far as I can see, does not have a river or docks.

I assumed from the film, and Firth's map, that Schofield and Blake are walking the 8-10 miles from the Monchy/Arras front Line (which had been essentially static since July 1 1916) SE to Ecoust. The troops arriving after Blake's death should therefore have been moving up from the Bapaume area, which had been clear for some days....
 

Latest Threads

Top