Dien Bien Phu

#1
A few years ago the French made a film of this their ignominious defeat in Indo-China in the 50's. Anyone know if there's a dvd available - preferably with English subtitles? javascript:emoticon('post',%20'message',%20':scratch:')
 
#2
Yes its available on Ebay region 2, I got a copy a few months ago which cost me £14 the only English actor in it is Donald Pleasance but its a very good film all the same and subtitles are available for the non Francophones
 
#3
Ancient_Hush_Puppy said:
A few years ago the French made a film of this their ignominious defeat in Indo-China in the 50's. Anyone know if there's a dvd available - preferably with English subtitles? javascript:emoticon('post',%20'message',%20':scratch:')
Have the septics made a film of the same dunghill.

As i remember the 7th cavalry did a "General custer" courtousy of the USAAF.

But then I could be "Cnut of the week" candidate?

Ah, yes John Wayne was in charge so it must be true>
 
#4
Many thanks TT for your helpful and prompt response.
 
#5
The director of the film is Pierre Schoendorfer who was in DBP as a member of the army's film unit.

It's a very personal film that many did not like because it's not a "war film" as such. The french army provided a lot of help (conscript paratroopers from the 6°RPIMa and 1er RCP), jumpmasters, logisticians etc.

The veterans loved that film and the premiere with them was a very emotional time.

If you have not seen them yet, you also absolutely must see two other films by Schoendorfer: The 317 section which was shot in Cambodia in the 60s and is said to be, by the veterans, the best ever film done on the war in Indochina and was in the final run for the Palme d'Or in Cannes and the Anderson Platoon which won an Emmy and an Oscar for Best TV Documentary and Best Documentary in 1967.
 
#6
SITREP: :salut:
The dvd arrived yesterday and after pouring myself an ice cold glass of the local brew and switching on the air con to counter the 32 degree heat, I fed the disc into the machine and settled down on the sofa to enjoy the film. Well bless my soul if there were no English subtitles :( and I was reliant on my schoolboy French from 37 years ago :oops:

Synopsis: Donald Pleasance, playing a decaying alcoholic US hack speaking French with a contrived American accent, journeyed between various Hanoi watering holes on a bicycle rickshaw to obtain updates of the siege from informants with cutaways to the French and Colonial troops at the sharp end. Interestingly no Viet Minh fighters were seen until the last few frames In the end the good guys lost. Having previously read Street without Joy I could follow the story line but the subtitles would have helped. :D
 
#7
Ancient_Hush_Puppy said:
SITREP: :salut:
The dvd arrived yesterday and after pouring myself an ice cold glass of the local brew and switching on the air con to counter the 32 degree heat, I fed the disc into the machine and settled down on the sofa to enjoy the film. Well bless my soul if there were no English subtitles :( and I was reliant on my schoolboy French from 37 years ago :oops:

Synopsis: Donald Pleasance, playing a decaying alcoholic US hack speaking French with a contrived American accent, journeyed between various Hanoi watering holes on a bicycle rickshaw to obtain updates of the siege from informants with cutaways to the French and Colonial troops at the sharp end. Interestingly no Viet Minh fighters were seen until the last few frames In the end the good guys lost. Having previously read Street without Joy I could follow the story line but the subtitles would have helped. :D
Did it include the actions of Lucien Ott?
 
#8
Ancient_Hush_Puppy said:
SITREP: :salut:
The dvd arrived yesterday and after pouring myself an ice cold glass of the local brew and switching on the air con to counter the 32 degree heat, I fed the disc into the machine and settled down on the sofa to enjoy the film. Well bless my soul if there were no English subtitles :( and I was reliant on my schoolboy French from 37 years ago :oops:

Synopsis: Donald Pleasance, playing a decaying alcoholic US hack speaking French with a contrived American accent, journeyed between various Hanoi watering holes on a bicycle rickshaw to obtain updates of the siege from informants with cutaways to the French and Colonial troops at the sharp end. Interestingly no Viet Minh fighters were seen until the last few frames In the end the good guys lost. Having previously read Street without Joy I could follow the story line but the subtitles would have helped. :D
Was there not a menu at the beginning giving you some options? It should be in "extra features" or similar if there. I'm reading the Last Valley at the moment and was considering getting this film, so would you rate it a hit or a miss?

Wasn't there a film with Anthony Quinn about french paratroopers at DBP too? Was it called Lost Command??? or am i making this up??
 
#9
Lost command started off in Indo china and then went on to Algeria, haven't watched it for a while now so the actual details are very hazy. IIRC one of the officers deserts to the Algerian cause.. common apparently amongst the more educated algerian non commisioned troops that were captured by the viet minh who were more susceptible to the propaganda etc.
 
#10
Yeah good film starts at Dien Bien Phu with Anthony Quinn playing the Colonel Rasbeguy ( based on Marcel Bigeard ) and George Segal as a Algerian member of his unit who goes back to Algeria to fight with the rebel FLN and how they come into conflict with each other, not bad but for realism try the "The Battle of Algiers" a classic documentary style film about the war in Algeria, still available on DVD and also the whole film is on YouTube.
 
#11
Western are you surfing while on night duty somewhere or an insomniac posting questions on websites at such an hour! Well you certainly set me the late arvo challenge here in Queensland. Quite honestly I'd never heard of M. Ott but Google is a wonderful thing and he seems to have led a full life: www.ibabodyguards.hu/en/history/lucien_viktor_ott You are well informed aren't you? In answer to your original question though no, as far as I know he did not make an appearance in the film but I am open to correction by Fantassin on this point. According to the link Lucien escaped the siege so he was there and respect to him for evading capture - few did.
 
#12
CrapGame said:
Was there not a menu at the beginning giving you some options? It should be in "extra features" or similar if there. I'm reading the Last Valley at the moment and was considering getting this film, so would you rate it a hit or a miss?
CrapGame said:
CrapGame, I fully checked the menu and subtitles - in any language - were not an option only chapter selection and bonus features such as audio commentary (in French) by the director. The Last Valley is also on my bookshelf and gathering dust. I rate Dien Bien Phu overall a hit despite the language difficulties and suggest you search a little longer than me and ensure your copy has subtitles. BTW IMHO this film should have been released in the UK. It's certainly as good as Days of Glory or Intimate Enemies.
amongst other things I'm a war film buff and have a copy of Lost Command and agree with the posts by quality crab and le crabe tambour
 
#13
thanks AHP - much appreciated. I feel some more £s being spent very soon. apologies didn't mean to patronise, I only mentioned it as it is something i would probably miss myself.
 
#14
le_crabe_tambour said:
"The Battle of Algiers" a classic documentary style film about the war in Algeria, still available on DVD and also the whole film is on YouTube.
Calling this film "a documentary" is pushing it; let's not forget it was commissioned by the algerian FLN after the war with a very strong anti-french agenda and that in spite of attempts to keep the film balanced by the (then) communist italian director, it remains close to a propaganda piece even though many leftist media hailed it as objective and impartial.
 
#15
fantassin said:
le_crabe_tambour said:
"The Battle of Algiers" a classic documentary style film about the war in Algeria, still available on DVD and also the whole film is on YouTube.
Calling this film "a documentary" is pushing it; let's not forget it was commissioned by the algerian FLN after the war with a very strong anti-french agenda and that in spite of attempts to keep the film balanced by the (then) communist italian director, it remains close to a propaganda piece even though many leftist media hailed it as objective and impartial.
If you read it carefully I said " documentary style" which is a comment on the way it way filmed not the content of the film mon ami which I agree is left wing ..............
 
#16
'Anderson Platoon which won an Emmy and an Oscar for Best TV Documentary and Best Documentary in 1967'

Although this severely dates me, I saw this documentary just before I joined up in 1968 (although I don't think that it has been shown since). At the time, the subject content was seen to be a tad out of the ordinary as Lt. Anderson was a black West Pointer and the majority of his platoon were Southern white...

In the '60s, this was still unusual in the US Army.
 
#17
le_crabe_tambour said:
fantassin said:
le_crabe_tambour said:
"The Battle of Algiers" a classic documentary style film about the war in Algeria, still available on DVD and also the whole film is on YouTube.
Calling this film "a documentary" is pushing it; let's not forget it was commissioned by the algerian FLN after the war with a very strong anti-french agenda and that in spite of attempts to keep the film balanced by the (then) communist italian director, it remains close to a propaganda piece even though many leftist media hailed it as objective and impartial.
If you read it carefully I said " documentary style" which is a comment on the way it way filmed not the content of the film mon ami which I agree is left wing ..............
Fair point...Pontecorvo was one of the first director to film in the "camera in hands" style and it gives the film a very realistic feel. Having former FLN "players" as technical advisors must have also helped reaching that realistic atmosphere...
 

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