Atonement

#1
Went to see this last night with the missus and wasn't really expecting much.
Once the first half hour was out of the way (a bit too ponsy, in a Brideshead revisted style) , it turned out to be a real belter and even our stroppy, difficult to please daughter was impressed. There is some first rate acting and the scenes shot at Dunkirk during the "tactical withdrawal" are particularly impressive.
As a bonus, Keira Knightley ends up in a soaking wet outfit which shows off her lovely pins - but, granted, she does need to seriously consider surgical enhancement up top!
Highly recommended (the film, not Keira). :thumright:
 
#2
Can I drag this thread slightly off-topic?

A coloured British Army soldier in the retreat at Dunkirk: true? or the writers including a PC character to add ethnicity to an all-white film?

I didn't know any commonwealth soldiers where in France in 1940. Or did the BA contain 'mixed' Regiments of soldiers of readily apparent different race? (was it OK for a few blacks to serve in white regiments?)
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#3
Can I drag this thread slightly off-topic?

A coloured British Army soldier in the retreat at Dunkirk: true? or the writers including a PC character to add ethnicity to an all-white film?

I didn't know any commonwealth soldiers where in France in 1940. Or did the BA contain 'mixed' Regiments of soldiers of readily apparent different race? (was it OK for a few blacks to serve in white regiments?)
There were certainly Indian Troops at Dunkirk, Paddy Ashdown's father was famously court-martialed for refusing an order to abandon his troops and their mules during the retreat.

There were also black soldiers from French Colonial Regiments.

There were numerous Black Communities in Britain at the time, mainly in port cities, there were almost certainly Black soldiers in the British Army of the period, though in tiny tiny numbers.

edited to add: not so much dragging the thread off course, but resurrecting it after 4 years????
 
#5
There were definitely occasional black soldiers in the British Army of the period. Most famously, 'D' Coy, 2 Ox & Bucks, which stormed the Orne Bridges on D-Day, contained two black soldiers.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
To be fair, Lt Tull served in WWI, whilst The Civil Civilian was referring to Dunkirk. Your point stands about precedence set though. An interesting note from your Wiki link was this quote;
he became the first black/mixed race combat officer in the British Army, despite the 1914 Manual of Military Law specifically excluding Negroes/Mulattos from exercising actual command as officers.
wiki doesn't give any corroborating references. Can anyone confirm that official exclusion?
 
#9
Apparently the british public were made very aware of the number of colonial troops fighting in the second world war and treated the segregation policy of the Americans with a degree of hostility. I think there was an example of pubs having signs saying "no white G.I's allowed" when a US commander tried to ban black G.I's from pubs.

Then of course there is the battle of bamber bridge

wiki quote

"Trouble began on the evening of 24 June 1943, and it was largely an all-American affair that helped to highlight racial tensions within the American forces. Two white military policemen had entered the Hob Inn on Church Road to arrest a black soldier, who was out without a pass. An argument ensued between the black soldier and the white MPs, with local people and British servicemen siding with the black soldier and the small group of comrades he was with. The MPs left the pub to seek reinforcements and intercepted the soldiers as they returned to their barrack rooms. A melee broke out, guns were drawn and several men were shot."
 
#10
Atonement? Dull. I fell asleep. I then woke up and put Dunkirk on - the non-sleep-inducing, non-dull John Mills version of Atonement without the charmless Kiera Titless. Why do they never get the haircuts right?
 
#11
Atonement? Dull. I fell asleep. I then woke up and put Dunkirk on - the non-sleep-inducing, non-dull John Mills version of Atonement without the charmless Kiera Titless. Why do they never get the haircuts right?
Agreed, just give us a war film without the soppy love shit. Just dodging the bosche as usual with the units of infantry that only seem to exist in films, a cockney a taff a jock and a paddy all led by a occifer from the home counties!
 
#12
That'll be The Way Ahead then?
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
Apparently the british public were made very aware of the number of colonial troops fighting in the second world war and treated the segregation policy of the Americans with a degree of hostility. I think there was an example of pubs having signs saying "no white G.I's allowed" when a US commander tried to ban black G.I's from pubs.

Then of course there is the battle of bamber bridge

wiki quote

"Trouble began on the evening of 24 June 1943, and it was largely an all-American affair that helped to highlight racial tensions within the American forces. Two white military policemen had entered the Hob Inn on Church Road to arrest a black soldier, who was out without a pass. An argument ensued between the black soldier and the white MPs, with local people and British servicemen siding with the black soldier and the small group of comrades he was with. The MPs left the pub to seek reinforcements and intercepted the soldiers as they returned to their barrack rooms. A melee broke out, guns were drawn and several men were shot."
I have posted on this subject before, the attitude to the US Military Policy of Segregation was summed up by a West Country farmer. When asked about the visitors he replied: 'I love the Americans but I don't like these white ones they've brought with them.'

Things were not always that smooth though, have aread of the link below.

World War Two: When Jim Crow Met John Bull
 
#15
Can I drag this thread slightly off-topic?

A coloured British Army soldier in the retreat at Dunkirk: true? or the writers including a PC character to add ethnicity to an all-white film?

I didn't know any commonwealth soldiers where in France in 1940. Or did the BA contain 'mixed' Regiments of soldiers of readily apparent different race? (was it OK for a few blacks to serve in white regiments?)
As the OP, can I just thank you for actually posting the first response on this thread, 4 years late or not!! :)
I still reckon the film was pretty good, but what do I know.
 
#16
There is some first rate acting and the scenes shot at Dunkirk during the "tactical withdrawal" are particularly impressive.
Yes, disturbing & brilliant.



West Country farmer. When asked about the visitors he replied: 'I love the Americans but I don't like these white ones they've brought with them.'
Apparently some of the black US service units arrrived first to set up accomodation and were on friendly terms with the locals before the white troops arrived.
 
#18
Can I drag this thread slightly off-topic?

A coloured British Army soldier in the retreat at Dunkirk: true? or the writers including a PC character to add ethnicity to an all-white film?

I didn't know any commonwealth soldiers where in France in 1940. Or did the BA contain 'mixed' Regiments of soldiers of readily apparent different race? (was it OK for a few blacks to serve in white regiments?)
I have book in Dutch, at home which shows a black British sergeant guarding German prisoners in Scheveningen. Unfortunately I cannot make out the cap badge, but he is the only black face in the book. This is the only picture of a black British soldier taken in Europe that I have seen.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
I can't read that as I'm at work but I assume it's the piece in one of Ambrose's books about the black soldiers banned from the waiting room at a railway station in the U.S.
They had to wait outside and ride in the guards car whilst German POW's sat inside the waiting room and got a carrage to ride in
Patton was reportedly reluctant to use them but eventually man power shortages meant he had to accept them and send them up the line

My grandad knocked seven bells out of a Sgt during the war
At his Courts Martial the star witness was a Black Soldier who stuck up for him
So they were about and IIRC there was no bar on were they could serve
I'm sure I read about a black air gunner on a Lanc Sqn
 
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