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"Inmortal Greys..." Topic

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868 hits since 19 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2018 9:16 p.m. PST

Always a pleasure to see this…

YouTube link


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 12:38 a.m. PST

Agreed, so much to like and so much to regret.

The charge starts wonderfully…….and ends the same way. The "Charge the Guns" sequence and, even more, the sheer terror of the lancers' attack on the West flank. That almost has a Saving Private Ryan feeling of helpless slaughter.

Polish lancers in full dress are far more impressive than line or Chasseurs a cheval. The rest of the Union Brigade, let alone the Household cavalry would be asking too much obviously.

But, if only SB had not gone for the self indulgent impressionism. Slow motion followed by insane speeding up. Not a suggestion of what they achieved against infantry. Surely we could have seen one eagle taken.

A criticism at the time was that there were no real incidents or indeed personalities other than DoW and Boney. From the ranks we only got the looter and, in later versions, the conscientious objector. Hence we never see the gates closed, Baring in LHS, plus not single French soldier with a speaking role.

Anyone but SB could have done better with the facilities granted. But, of course, without him they would not have been available!

Artilleryman21 Jun 2018 4:06 a.m. PST

A great film but a real missed opportunity. Still, it has the best Napoleon of all in Rod Steiger.

42flanker21 Jun 2018 5:12 a.m. PST

Christopher Plummer not bad as the Duke.

And Dan O'Herlihy fine as Ney.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 5:46 a.m. PST

It's unlikely we're ever going to get another Napoleonic movie to equal this one. Not perfect, but it's the best we have.

Artilleryman21 Jun 2018 5:47 a.m. PST

Personally I think Christopher Plummer was too cheery for the Duke. However, Dan O'Herlihy was a good Ney. People tend to overlook that.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 9:30 a.m. PST

Happy you enjoyed the good memories with this my friends!. (smile)


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

Shame about Croatia tonight though. Why was I not in my favourite bar in Dubrovnik where the local fans gather for every international? What a night that must have been……..

For me D O'H was the definitive Ney. I think Steiger was far better than the critics suggest. OK, method acting and the wild stares that go with it, but he did play a middle aged man, in bad health, and way past his best. Plummer was great, but Artilleryman's point I had never considered before. True. DoW was a very reserved type by all accounts.

Just imagine the facilities granted to old SB and the story he could have told. Think just how badly the film did, at first release, because there is no characterisation other than the two contenders and maybe Ney. The first reviews really went for that failing.

There are scenes which can never be beaten, mostly in the first half of the film. The French marching down to Hgmt at the opening, the lancers attack on the Greys, the French cavalry cresting the ridge and…..then funnily it suddenly comes to a stop. LHS falls, with no explanation, and a cuirassier climbs the roof in full armour, the Guard attack meets the Guards and it is so badly filmed, the Prussians intervention is awful.

It could have been so much better. But if you watch War and Peace you will see his style. Do not try to watch "And Quiet Flows the Don"…….mind-numbing drivel and lots of helicopter shots (his trade mark)

ConnaughtRanger21 Jun 2018 1:36 p.m. PST

It was intended for a general audience, not for a bunch of Napoleonic geeks. It's still the best film made about land campaigns in the Napoleonic Wars so let's just appreciate what we've got – imagine if Christopher Nolan decided to do a remake?

42flanker22 Jun 2018 12:24 a.m. PST

It's not a question of the criticism of geeks and or whether the general public would not have noticed the difference.

It was more a question, as IMHO it usually is in these discussions, of what the film makers make of the richest body of material any story teller could want, with immense resources at their disposal. In most cases we are talking about unforced errors rather than artistic licence.

An orchestra will still be playing out of tune, even if the entire audience is tone deaf.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 12:50 a.m. PST

At its best, it is brilliant, especially now I have seen it in HD. I doubt a BluRay would be any better. Some scenes are quite superb.

Christopher Nolan would have to do it very differently these days…..but please, without CGI. He managed Dunkirk with only three Spitfires and a couple of aged Spanish/German designs. The result was far greater tension (in the aerial sequences anyway) than Guy Hamilton's Battle of Britain, some great scenes, but not quite the spectacle of an air fleet. Different. Both superb.

42flanker22 Jun 2018 9:13 a.m. PST

Plummer did emphasise charm over the Duke's notorious reserve, which of course allowed a lighter note in what might have been a relentlessly sombre tale. This allowed his flirtation with Virginia McKenna, the prolonged encounter with the pillaging Irishman, the shorter encounter with the trumpeter- "You'll hurt yourself." The final exchange between Wellington and Terence Alexander's Uxbridge (before the latter's unfortunate encounter with a shell splinter. Don't start….) is undeniably, toe-curlingly, cheesy.

"The Army will advance."
"In which direction my lord?"
"Why, towards the French"

And, of course, quite incorrect historically….

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 11:07 a.m. PST

I like Picton also!….


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 2:24 p.m. PST

I worked. as a trainee, under the bloke who eventually did Picton's laryngectomy……..I saw him a few times in London post op.

Like George Harrison though ….got him in the end

Moral…inhale if you really must but…………naw

42flanker22 Jun 2018 2:58 p.m. PST

And Picton was the spit of Jack Hawkins

Handlebarbleep28 Jun 2018 3:06 p.m. PST

And the Captain of Compass Rose. Incidently, his 1st Lieutenant from The Cruel Sea, the late Sir Donald Sinden, was a keen member of the Waterloo Association. Had the pleasure to meet him once before a meeting at the National Army Museum in Chelsea. Very knowledgable and entertaining company.

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