Waterloo the Film... Opinions?

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Gundulph, Nov 26, 2006.

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  1. After having just read '4 Days in June' by Iain Gale I have ordered Waterloo through Amazon, saw it many, many moons ago as a carpet commando so don't remember too much! who has seen it and does anyone have an opinion on the film, does it reflect the exact events of the day etc. looking forward to seeing if it shows the magnificent effort of the Guards holding onto Hougoumont with the same grit and determination, heroism and all out British fortitude as the book shows...


  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I seem to remember the usual technical errors such as exploding canon balls but it did seem to be a good film. Probably because we killed lots of Froggies and they had no say in the film!
  3. i have it in my DVD collection, its one of my faves

    historically its not too bad and the battle scenes are spectacular with the literal cast of thousands, in this day and age they would skimp with CGI.
    the only thing missing in my opinion was a lack of riflemen to be seen.

    Rod Steiger is unexpectadly good as bony and Christopher Plummer has the nose for his part.

    there must have been a shortage of muzzle loaders for the extras, if you look carefully some of the red-coats are using bolt actions to get the blank out :)
  4. ! If it didn't show 'exploding' cannon balls it would be a bit weird ugly! the Battle was in 1815, H.E. cannon balls (Case) were common place alongside solid shot , canister, carcass (incendiary) and chain...


  5. Henry Shrapnel

  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    You sure about that? Just that when Dusty lad did his war walks and Waterloo was done the delay in kick off from first light to nearly noon was attributed to Napoleon (typical gunner meglamaniac) wanting to wait for the ground to dry out so his balls would bounce through the squares and not a soggy squelch in front. The film seemed to show every canon shot exploding and no ricocheting ball!
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Good old Google:
    Did cannonballs explode?

    In movies showing battles from the Civil War and earlier conflicts, cannon-fired projectiles inevitably send up dirt and smoke and flailing stuntmen upon impact. It makes a nice visual and is probably easier to stage than an iron ball bouncing murderously through a division.

    In reality, an array of both exploding and solid projectiles were used in the Civil War and for centuries before, but solid shot predominated until around the1850s.

    The earliest cannons, developed in 1300s, fired nothing but solid objects -- stone balls. The following century weapons makers did develop hollow iron balls filled with gunpowder and fitted with a fuse that had to be lit just before firing. But the difficulty in handling these primitive time bombs and in getting them to explode at the target made them both dangerous and unreliable. To minimize the danger of their blowing up in the cannon's barrel, these lit-fuse balls were used mainly in quick-loading, wide-bore, stubby-barreled cannons called howitzers or with drop-and-fire "mortars," which looked like the World War II-era weapon of the same name only much larger.

    Over the centuries, weapons makers devised a great variety of solid-shot combinations and techniques. The one-two punch of stone and iron balls spelled doom for castle walls. At close range, cannons were often used like sawed-off shotguns to fire bunches of smaller balls, devastating to troops massed on level ground. At sea, ships often fired iron bars, chains and small balls to take down masts and rigging. Another trick was to heat a cannonball red hot in hopes of igniting a fire on deck or, better yet, landing one in the enemy ship's magazine. Blasting a hole through the hull of the enemy ship by firing into the water normally didn't work, however. The ball would skip off the surface.

    Elongated solid projectiles called bolts were developed for use with rifled cannons, which had a spiral groove cut on the inside of the barrel to start the projectile spinning and improve accuracy. But round balls were the most common solid shot used in the Civil War, and those are what you see today welded into a pyramid shape and set next to a cannon in a town square.

    Sources: Daniel A. Lindley and Keir Lieber, both Notre Dame assistant professors of government/political science;
    Dennis Showalter, professor of history, Colorado College;
  8. Solid Shot (round shot) was used to very good effect as it drove bloody great gaps through tightly packed 'columns' imagine a great big solid ball of metal flying towards you at 800 miles an hour! it would literally dismember and then dismember again and again as it bounced or was deflected through the ranks!
  9. pre computer generated graphics days they are stuck with flash/bang/smoke effects only,

    i agree in the movie it needed big lumps of iron scything through the squares for realism, but a little to difficult for a 1970 movie maker i think.

    the only desent part of the patriot movie was when a solid shot removed a rebels head in the line,
    good that bit.
  10. Isnt there a scene in that Mel Gibson tripe 'the patriot' where a solid shot proceeds through the ranks of the pesky colonials? Dismembering several of them in one go if i remember correctly.
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Thats my point the battle was delayed so the shot would skip through the squares and the film shows explosions where there wouldnt have been. A bit like A team and Hollywood grenades blowing up with huge effects!
    Still it seems to be a good film, I have a copy here and I must rewatch it!
  12. yes, that was done be computer generated imagery, not something they had when they made waterloo in 1970
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Everything that I have pulled out so far shows that only Howitzers and mortars using exploding shells before 1837.
  14. Really?

    When did this CGI stuff come out then :D

    Yes Drstealth I realise that, I was merely pointing out an example on the whole HE/solid shot discussion.
    Anyway its a good film (Waterloo that is)
  15. ugly, google Henry Shrapnel,

    he was the original inventer of the exploding shell, abit as primative as it was.