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Tank films


Walter_Sobchak

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A careful examination of documentary films such as "Battle of the Bulge" (1965) clearly shows that the King Tiger tank was in fact an improved version of the US M26.  Known in US service as the M47, this vehicle was known as the King tiger in German service.

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Edited by Walter_Sobchak
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Another very accurate documentary film featuring the King Tiger/M47 called "Battle of the Last Panzer."  Produced by Italians and filmed in Spain, the quality is obvious.  Enjoy.  

 

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5 hours ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

Another very accurate documentary film featuring the King Tiger/M47 called "Battle of the Last Panzer."  Produced by Italians and filmed in Spain, the quality is obvious.

Well, I respect that they tried to put tank action onto the screen with a limited budget. TBH, I could very well live without vismodding or a lot of CGI if they got the basic tactics and procedures right, and decent photography.

Putting tanks on the screen is objectively difficult. If you have realistic inter-vehicular spacing, they either become tiny, or you can see only one or two in a given scene. The interiors are hardly conducive of filming, you you actually need a good set to film the crew from different angles and show recognizable faces. Usually, you must not damage the tanks, so that's another restriction, and it's got to be safe for actors and crew. All that makes it at least as difficult, if not more, to film tanks in action than fighter jets, submarines, or battleships.

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13 hours ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

Another very accurate documentary film featuring the King Tiger/M47 called "Battle of the Last Panzer."  Produced by Italians and filmed in Spain, the quality is obvious.  Enjoy.  

 

Whilst you are at it, check out the Italian movie 'The Battle of El Alamein'. You wont regret it. Well, you will, but sometimes war films descend to such a level, they rival 'Plan 9 from outer Space'. Italian Army M113's painted with wholly accurate WW2 British tank markings was my favourite part. That and a 30 year old Rommel. :D

 

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8 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Well, I respect that they tried to put tank action onto the screen with a limited budget. TBH, I could very well live without vismodding or a lot of CGI if they got the basic tactics and procedures right, and decent photography.

Putting tanks on the screen is objectively difficult. If you have realistic inter-vehicular spacing, they either become tiny, or you can see only one or two in a given scene. The interiors are hardly conducive of filming, you you actually need a good set to film the crew from different angles and show recognizable faces. Usually, you must not damage the tanks, so that's another restriction, and it's got to be safe for actors and crew. All that makes it at least as difficult, if not more, to film tanks in action than fighter jets, submarines, or battleships.

The first 30 or 40 minutes are actually not too bad. They get the actual offensive basically right, the scenes   flying about in the Piper Cub are interesting. The malmedy masscre is vaguely accurate. And then suddenly we end up on the back lot at Fort Knox, reeenacting the Soviet depiction of the Battle of Kursk.  It looked magnificent, but it was no closer to reality than Monty Pythons 'The Battle of Pearl Harbor'. The big clock counting down is hilariously arbitrary. It was less the fuel that was the problem (though it was) than allied airpower turning up and turning the offensive off. That is barely even depicted in the film.

IMHO its a fair point, and they would have done better to have concentrated on infantry, and leave the tanks for middle distance work. The Bridge at Remagen did that fairly successfully, as did The longest day and A bridge too far. There have been good films made about the Bulge, the episodes of band of brothers set in the Ardennes in that period, and even films like castle keep, filmed just 4 years later, were far better. But few of them made the tanks the centre of the story.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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You can do it successfully about one tank, and incidentally we have The Beast, Kelly's Heroes, The Tank - heck, even Fury, The White Tiger, or that CGI tank porn flick T-34. But these do not make good (historical) war movies. Fury might have, if they had ended the film before the Tiger encounter. The trouble starts if you want to make a tank unit the focus of a film's attention, like Band of Brothers, just in tanks.

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Yeah, White Tiger was a weird one. Clearly they had a great idea to make something like a crossover between 'The Keep', 'Christine' and even 'Soul Survivor'. In the end though it came across as just more Russian victimhood propaganda. Maybe the book was better.

Ironically, Kellys heros probably has my favourite battle involving tanks portrayed on film. Its notable how little Oddball spends inside his tank, and spends most of the film outside it indulging witty repartee.

I must be the last person on Gods earth never to see Fury. Maybe one day Ill weaken, but Im  of the opinion it will just turn out to be U571 on tracks. The making of documentary was very interesting however.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Rick said:

So this ex-sailor presumes "Kelly's Hero's" is "the best tank" movie?

I'll be the controversial one with Gawd, no!

Sure, there's a tank in it or two, but ultimately it's an Italo-Western that disguises as a campy 1970s war comedy. It's not entirely un-enjoyable but calling it "the best tank movie" is several steps too far. The first half of "Fury" is really good. Then we have a full retard 15 minutes World of Tanks sequence where the two best things that can be said about it are,

a. it has an actual Tiger I in it

b. it serves the plot requirement of having but a single Sherman at the end of the scene

Then comes the final half where they tried to cram in parts of the Audie Murphy war history into the film without making it an Audie Murphy film. If you're aware of Audie Murphy's WW2 exploits, it makes a bit more sense ... still, I'd rate Fury a better film than Kelly's Heroes, even a better war film, and the tanks in it and the uniforms are period-accurate as far as I can tell. It most certainly isn't a U571 on tracks, Stuart.

 

The Tank is the most enjoyable, well-rounded "tank film" that is not a war film. The tank is a bit of a personality in it, it has late 1970s vibes about corrup police in it, there's no need to get picky about the Sherman tank itself because the film is set in the 1970s in the US, so all in all it worked for me with no major let-down. It it an all-time classic? No, unfortunately it's not. But if you like James Garner, it's worth watching it once I guess.

The Beast is maybe the best drama and maybe also the best "tank film". But be aware that it was originally written as a stage piece, and that the tank as it is shown in the film would actually be more of a clown car than an actual fighting vehicle, based on the sheer number of people that they eventually squish into the thing. So, it's about as realistic about tanks as is Snowpiercer about trains. It's set in 1980 Soviet-occupied Afghanistan with Mujahedeen portrayal one or two notches above Rambo III. I guess the main critique I have is that it's overburdened with artsy-fartsy symbolism as stage plays often are. Nevertheless, it has merit.

T-34 is in some ways absolutely ludicrous, a group of Soviet POWs escaping a German KZ in a T-34 that they are supposed to drive as a live hard target for SS panzer soldiers - because, ... well, we need a premise for this movie, m'kay? The combat scenes are basically what you get if you have a hyperactive 10 year-old War Thunder player trapped in the body of a 3D artist with a fetish for super slow motion animations. In a way, it's tank porn at its finest, and has approximately as much depth to it.

Stuart wrote what is to write about White Tiger, though I thought it had also a sprinkle of Moby Dick in it.

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Let's throw in Reign of Fire while we're at it. It's post-apocalyptic science-fiction with dragons, an Apache helicopter, and a Challenger tank. Also, pretty good actors actually, and overall it's not the worst of the films in this line-up, but might not qualify as "a tank movie" (depending on your expectations). I liked the scene where the parents try to entertain their children in a TV-less world with bringing Star Wars on the stage.

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6 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

...Challenger tank...

Stillbrew Chieftain :)

i108232.jpg

 

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I haven't seen Fury either.  I did see a clip featuring the platoon assault across the field.  My first thought was, 'Where was the arty and smoke?'  Then when the AT gun missed with the first shot, after all the time the crew had to get aimed in, I gave up.

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7 minutes ago, shep854 said:

I haven't seen Fury either.  I did see a clip featuring the platoon assault across the field.  My first thought was, 'Where was the arty and smoke?'  Then when the AT gun missed with the first shot, after all the time the crew had to get aimed in, I gave up.

In one of his tank movie rating videos (cf. his thread, it has to be in one of the last pages), Nick Moran said he wasn't too perplexed/put off by the inaccuracy of the AT gunners, stating that actual statistics showed that combat stress did make those guys miss more shots than we think is possible.

EDIT - here, precisely timestamped:

 

Edited by Renegade334
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Fury started well but got progressively worse. By accepting Holly Wood spin, the fight with Tiger was not bad. But the end fight really over did it.

One other one... a 1939 movie based off of a tank commander named Nishizumi. So weird feeling watching it. 

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49 minutes ago, Renegade334 said:

In one of his tank movie rating videos (cf. his thread, it has to be in one of the last pages), Nick Moran said he wasn't too perplexed/put off by the inaccuracy of the AT gunners, stating that actual statistics showed that combat stress did make those guys miss more shots than we think is possible.

EDIT - here, precisely timestamped:

 

I remember that video, and really enjoyed it--as I do anything with Nick.  He is of course, correct, especially for when the enemy is shooting back.  That first shot at relatively close range, from an established position and after plenty of time to get the sights on target, seems a bit of a Hollywood stretch.  

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It is, I get it, unlikely. On the other hand, such things are also not unheard of. A gunner shifts his weight to help circulation, loses his balance on a root, and accidentally hits the trigger sort of thing.

The thing about Fury is that almost everything in the movie happened in the war and Ayer had references up on the walls of his office, from tankers wearing top hats to an Audie Murphy stand. What didn't happen was everything happening to one crew, a concession to movie making as audiences aren't going to be interested in a War and Peace cast of hundreds. 

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My whole team went to see Fury together.  When the women are shouting "spread out" and "evasive driving" it's sort of a signal.  Fury was good enough for what it was and there's no way a movie that would appeal to tank enthusiasts could get made so it isn't fair to bash it too much but what it could have been... with just a bit of effort.

I had associates that were part of the making of the film.  I know they gave it their all.  If somebody made a "Director's Cut" I'd watch it in a heartbeat.

My personal favorite tank scene is the arrival of 2nd Armored in Band of Brothers.  I think very well done to all of that series regarding the tank action.

Clearly Janes Garner's TANK is the best tank movie ever.  Who can't cheer when the Sherman relieves the farmer's house by shooting up a pick up truck?

Or the wife in the news reporter interview: "It's my son and husband in a tank with a hooker, if I don't have a problem with it..."

Come on, it's great!!

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3 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I'll be the controversial one with Gawd, no!

Sure, there's a tank in it or two, but ultimately it's an Italo-Western that disguises as a campy 1970s war comedy. It's not entirely un-enjoyable but calling it "the best tank movie" is several steps too far. The first half of "Fury" is really good. Then we have a full retard 15 minutes World of Tanks sequence where the two best things that can be said about it are,

a. it has an actual Tiger I in it

b. it serves the plot requirement of having but a single Sherman at the end of the scene

Then comes the final half where they tried to cram in parts of the Audie Murphy war history into the film without making it an Audie Murphy film. If you're aware of Audie Murphy's WW2 exploits, it makes a bit more sense ... still, I'd rate Fury a better film than Kelly's Heroes, even a better war film, and the tanks in it and the uniforms are period-accurate as far as I can tell. It most certainly isn't a U571 on tracks, Stuart.

 

The Tank is the most enjoyable, well-rounded "tank film" that is not a war film. The tank is a bit of a personality in it, it has late 1970s vibes about corrup police in it, there's no need to get picky about the Sherman tank itself because the film is set in the 1970s in the US, so all in all it worked for me with no major let-down. It it an all-time classic? No, unfortunately it's not. But if you like James Garner, it's worth watching it once I guess.

The Beast is maybe the best drama and maybe also the best "tank film". But be aware that it was originally written as a stage piece, and that the tank as it is shown in the film would actually be more of a clown car than an actual fighting vehicle, based on the sheer number of people that they eventually squish into the thing. So, it's about as realistic about tanks as is Snowpiercer about trains. It's set in 1980 Soviet-occupied Afghanistan with Mujahedeen portrayal one or two notches above Rambo III. I guess the main critique I have is that it's overburdened with artsy-fartsy symbolism as stage plays often are. Nevertheless, it has merit.

T-34 is in some ways absolutely ludicrous, a group of Soviet POWs escaping a German KZ in a T-34 that they are supposed to drive as a live hard target for SS panzer soldiers - because, ... well, we need a premise for this movie, m'kay? The combat scenes are basically what you get if you have a hyperactive 10 year-old War Thunder player trapped in the body of a 3D artist with a fetish for super slow motion animations. In a way, it's tank porn at its finest, and has approximately as much depth to it.

Stuart wrote what is to write about White Tiger, though I thought it had also a sprinkle of Moby Dick in it.

Yeah, I can see that.  A good concept but... well, its up on the Mosfilm section on youtube for free if anyone wants to see it and form their own conclusions. The bit whre they build a T34 supertank which is very clearly just a bog standard T34, and the commander sits in the drivers seat, are just some of the problems I have with it.

I love Kellys Heros personally. Its possibly one of the first warfilms that portrays German Soldiers (yes, even Waffen SS ones at that) as basically just decent guys at heart, as long as they stop all the silly  fighting and knock off a bank. Which is a lesson to live by really. I dont think its so much a comedy, as a Spagetti Western set in WW2. If you view it in that light, surprisingly it works quite well. Its cheesy, but its tasty cheese.

Ive never seen The Beast. I don know why, but it does sound like something knocked up by Golan Globus, and I learned my lesson about those with Megaforce and Delta Force.

Funnily enough, about 10 years ago I was watching an Episode of 'Hill Street Blues' and there was an episode with a sherman tank in it. They police use it to break into a shop thats holed up with villains. Very silly, but interesting to see. An Easy 8 if I remember correctly.

 

My favourite tank films? I think the mosfilm 'Liberation' series are quite good. They dont spend much time IN the tanks. There is a memorable scene in the Fire Bulge where the Soviet army rewrites Prokorovka as they WANTED it to be, with point blank fights with T34's and T44 based Tiger vismods. Its complete nonsense, nothing of the like very happened. But jesus, it looks good on film.

 

 

I should also add, there are some good moments in 'The Battle of Moscow', if you can overlook that the German Vismods are not very good. The Soviets ones are much more creditable however.

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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3 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Ive never seen The Beast. I don know why, but it does sound like something knocked up by Golan Globus, and I learned my lesson about those with Megaforce and Delta Force.

No, it's not anything like a Golan Globus production at all. Like I wrote, maybe it's a bit heavy-handed with symbolism and the "war is hell" message. But it clearly is one of the best tank movies out there.

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