I went to see Dunkirk earlier this week. Not the town but the film of the same title written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It is a remarkable piece of art but is it a good film? And is it historically accurate? And does that in fact matter? I went with a completely open mind and was determined to leave my historian’s hat firmly at the door. Trouble is, I went…
War veterans are aghast that Blenheim Palace will double as Hitler’s headquarters for Michael Bay’s latest film.The transformation of Winston Churchill’s former home into the swastika-swathed headquarters of Adolf Hitler…
This blog post was written by Hannah Turner, and was originally published in Past Forward – Wigan’s local history magazine.
“I still go cold when anyone says The Somme. It became a nigh…
Source: The Somme in Leigh | GM 1914
or, The Royal Stag
The king’s promiscuity was an affair of state. It made government vulnerable to abuse from the wrong kind of woman pushed on him by a court faction, with domestic or foreign policy agendas, a scenario as familiar to modern republics as autocracies of any time. He was very lucky to find the rational, loyal and responsible Madame de Pompadour, or rather, that she introduced herself to him.
Nattier, Portrait of Louis XV of France, 1745. Oil on canvas The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
He was known as the handsomest man at Versailles; he was also the most libidinous and depressed. Here, portrayed in the year he moved his new mistress Madame d’Étioles, into Versailles, he looks disconcertingly like a chubby Dan Stevens, but Ryan Gosling would be better casting to convey his enigmatic emotional isolation.
He needed but was not obsessed with sex; he spent far…
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Even if you have never heard of Verdun, visions d’histoire, chances are you have seen clips of it. The epic French retelling of the Battle of Verdun was so accurate and so dramatically filmed that footage has been used repeatedly in documentaries of the First World War– sometimes even being presented as actual war footage!
It’s not surprising, really. Verdun was designed to recreate history using the very latest motion picture technique and technology. Accuracy was paramount. Real locations were used. Real soldiers were used as extras. Military commanders reprised their roles of a decade before. Though militarily accurate, the film is not jingoistic. It has a pacifist message: the Germans were human too.
Like so many other silent films, only a truncated version survived. The recovery of the complete print of Verdun is a fascinating tale in itself. The film had been seized by the Germans during the Second World War but was then captured by the Russians when they entered Berlin. It was taken back to Moscow where it waited in a vault before a copy was obtained by the modern French rights holder.
Restored in 2006, the film has finally been released on home media in time for the centennial year of the start of WWI.
(Please note that I am just reviewing the DVD release of the film, I will be reviewing the actual film in detail later.)
The disc includes the restored print of the 1928 film Verdun, visions d’histoire. In addition, there is a….
Originally posted on CURNBLOG
by Pete Johnson
This August sees the centenary of the First World War. This tragic conflict destroyed nations, took millions of lives, and changed the map of the world. Many films have been made about this war, and this seems a suitable time to examine some of them. I normally seek out lesser-known films for my posts; but on this occasion, I have decided that the circumstances warrant a reminder of the best films made about this terrible war.
At the end of hostilities in 1918, films soon began to appear. They mostly portrayed the victors, justly winning a noble and worthwhile war. Although the first film in this list is from sometime later, 1930, by which time there had been a chance to reflect on the loss, and perhaps to question the validity of all this carnage.
Please be aware that all these reviews contain plot spoilers.
All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)
So much has been written about this film, I feel little need to add more. I will though, for the benefit of anyone who has never seen it. The film is a faithful adaptation of the German novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, published in 1929. Although it follows the fortunes of a group of young Germans, the film was made in the USA, directed by Louis Milestone, and starred Lew Ayres and Louis Wolheim. Like the book, the film takes an obviously anti-war stance. We see impressionable schoolboys…