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Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

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didds
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Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#112410

Postby didds » January 21st, 2018, 8:40 pm

Anyone else seen it?

Just seen ti this evening - I liked it. Smooth paced, gripping in parts.

The tube scene was somewhat schmaltzy ...

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todthedog
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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#113473

Postby todthedog » January 26th, 2018, 1:44 pm

Thought that the acting was top class.
The portrayal of Churchill terrific, the enormous stress that he was under palpable.
Interesting the cinema was full 7pm performance, only one person under 30 that I could see.

Perhaps I am an old grump, however the mini referendum in the tube was frankly dreadful, you have a tense political thriller, a collapsing army, threat of imminent invasion, political intrigue, oh not exciting enough? Well let's spice it up with 'hollywood' smaltz. Destroyed the mood ruined the film.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#113494

Postby XFool » January 26th, 2018, 2:59 pm

didds wrote:Anyone else seen it?

Just seen ti this evening - I liked it. Smooth paced, gripping in parts.

The tube scene was somewhat schmaltzy ...

I've seen it and also generally enjoyed it.

I DETESTED the tube scenes! If I were editor they'd all be removed. I found them toe curlingly embarrassing and utterly unrealistic. They spoilt the rest of the film.

didds
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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#113497

Postby didds » January 26th, 2018, 3:17 pm

As a plot device I can see "why" they were done - the garnering the will of the people thing etc.

But it was so rubbish...

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#113509

Postby XFool » January 26th, 2018, 3:48 pm

didds wrote:As a plot device I can see "why" they were done - the garnering the will of the people thing etc.

Yes. I thought about it and also wondered if it might be something very much of our times. Perhaps at some point it occurred to the film makers they were portraying a collection of politically elite, middle aged white men in suits (they were!) and they conceived a need to bridge a perceived gap between those portrayed and the contemporary public and perhaps even younger members of today's audience.

didds wrote:But it was so rubbish...

Quite.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#113511

Postby didds » January 26th, 2018, 4:21 pm

There was a giveaway just beforehand when Churchill was pondering about what the people wanted - so it was "the bit" that dealt with it.

Along with the early giveaway that he'd never been on the underground. That much may have been true of course.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#113723

Postby zico » January 27th, 2018, 7:11 pm

6.5/10 for me. The first two-thirds of the film was fascinating and nuanced, humanising Churchill and showing the various opposing viewpoints at the time, and presented a genuine quandary about the best way forward. Then the final third was a bit of a train-wreck, as it was a case of "sod the nuance, we've got to get to our desired ending" so characters acted completely against type, Churchill had a poetry reading with a black guy, and everything worked out all so nicely. A shame. I liked the parts with his wife, showing her as a strong character in her own right - which she was, by all accounts.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#114146

Postby Clitheroekid » January 30th, 2018, 12:55 am

8/10 for me. I thought Gary Oldman's portrayal was excellent overall, as was that of Kristin Scott Thomas as his wife.

I also enjoyed the fact that Lord Halifax and the other pro-negotiations politicians weren't portrayed as pantominme villains, as I'd feared they might be. Their case has always struck me as a perfectly reasonable one in the situation that faced us in May 1940, and I was glad they got a fair hearing.

I've often wondered how these people would be viewed through the lens of history had Britain lost the War, as we so easily could have done.

However, even if that had happened I'd have been confident that the Nazi regime wouldn't have lasted that long anyway. Nazism was already an old-fashioned system when it was formed in the 1920's, and a dictator could never have held sway over such a large group of what had been sophisticated Western democracies for any length of time, as the resistance, both passive and active, would have made effective government impossible.

I'd heard about the Tube scene before seeing the film, but it didn't make it any less cringeworthy. And the inclusion of the black guy was just deeply embarrassing and patronising. For one dreadful moment it crossed my mind that he and Churchill were going to rap together! If I were black I think I'd have felt very p'd off to be `tokenised' like that.

It was also slightly irritating that every famous quote had to be shoehorned into the film, often rather clunkily.

But I kept reminding myself that the film wasn't made for historians; it was made primarily to entertain and with that in mind it managed to throw in a lot of pretty good education very effectively. There were a surprising number of young (well, youngish) people when we went to see it, and I did wonder how much they knew of that part of our history before seeing the film.

It's so easy to overlook the fact that the War is part of the DNA of people of our generation, whose parents nearly all served during it and whose lives it had affected tremendously. When I was growing up it was part of most adults' experience and they talked about it a lot, not to mention the constant diet of war films, comics and so on.

But for someone in their 20's the War is about as relevant as the Boer War was to us. I'd very much like to hear their views on the film.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#114151

Postby Clitheroekid » January 30th, 2018, 1:31 am

I've just made a deeply satisfying discovery! In full on nerd mode I'd said to my companion that I didn't think they were using Dakotas in May 1940, and lo and behold!

Churchill is seen flying to France is a Douglas C-47 with RAF markings in May 1940. The C-47 did not make its first flight until December 1941 and did not enter RAF service until 1942.

There are some other interesting snippets as well - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4555426/goo ... =tt_trv_gf

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157202

Postby Snorvey » August 4th, 2018, 9:48 pm

Darkest Hour. Very powerful stuff.

It makes today's Brexit political claptrap seem almost puerile by comparison.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157244

Postby Mike88 » August 5th, 2018, 8:02 am

I didn't find the film convincing although Gary Oldman's acting was good. I have yet to enjoy a modern World War 2 film and this particular film is nowhere near as convincing or atmospheric as older war films such as the Man Who Never Was, I was Monty's Double or Sink the Bismark for example.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157269

Postby todthedog » August 5th, 2018, 10:50 am

Thought Gary Old man was terrific.
Had to keep telling myself​ it is just a film.
My wife has made me promise that I must not hurumph during films. Punishable by a sharp dig in the ribs.
The tube scene and the total fiction of Chamberlain's approval bit was truly hurumph worthy :cry:
The ending did remind me of the comic strip skit on the miners strike. :D
I do worry that a fiction film based around a real event in the end becomes the received wisdom and reality fades.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157275

Postby Snorvey » August 5th, 2018, 11:00 am

I thought the tube scene was tolerable. I guess there had to be a scene where Churchill got the opinion of the people directly and that was a quick and easy way of doing it.

I thought the parliament scenes were very atmospheric as were the scenes with the King.

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157294

Postby ReformedCharacter » August 5th, 2018, 12:04 pm

todthedog wrote:I do worry that a fiction film based around a real event in the end becomes the received wisdom and reality fades.

Yes indeed, but that 'real event' may well not have been quite the truth either. There must have been more mythologising and historical window-dressing (or lies) about Churchill than most other leaders; some of it written by himself of course. David Irving (yes, I know he's a Hitler apologist) provides quite a useful counterpoint for those who regard him as a hero. Didn't enjoy the film much myself.

RC

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157349

Postby Snorvey » August 5th, 2018, 3:14 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:I've just made a deeply satisfying discovery! In full on nerd mode I'd said to my companion that I didn't think they were using Dakotas in May 1940, and lo and behold!

Churchill is seen flying to France is a Douglas C-47 with RAF markings in May 1940. The C-47 did not make its first flight until December 1941 and did not enter RAF service until 1942.

There are some other interesting snippets as well - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4555426/goo ... =tt_trv_gf


One of the worst wartime movie goofs (in my opinion) was the helicopter in 'Where Eagles Dare'

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157356

Postby PinkDalek » August 5th, 2018, 3:31 pm

Snorvey wrote:One of the worst wartime movie goofs (in my opinion) was the helicopter in 'Where Eagles Dare'


Some say it was Clint’s hairstyle that was the most goofy. As for the helicopter, was the goof that it was the incorrect model (as they did exist back then, apparently)?

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Re: Darkest Hour (potential spoilers)

#157358

Postby Snorvey » August 5th, 2018, 3:50 pm

Few WW2 helicopters were beyond basic prototypes.

I believe the helicopter in WE'D was Bell model (similar to the MASH choppers) from the USA and not flown until 1947 at the earliest.

But yes, Clints hairdo. And the ability for Richard Burton to wear a German uniform and to converse with other German officers in deepest enemy territory in the finest Queens English.

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Re: Where Eagles Dare (goofs)

#157377

Postby PinkDalek » August 5th, 2018, 6:34 pm

Snorvey wrote:Few WW2 helicopters were beyond basic prototypes.

I believe the helicopter in WE'D was Bell model (similar to the MASH choppers) from the USA and not flown until 1947 at the earliest.

But yes, Clints hairdo. And the ability for Richard Burton to wear a German uniform and to converse with other German officers in deepest enemy territory in the finest Queens English.


Should have been finest King's English to be in period. ;)

I wonder if his German was up to speed. I never thought Richard Attenborough's French was great, followed by the "Good luck" and Gordon Jackson's "Thank you" etc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0h9ZKBsDPg

I looked up the stuff about the helicopter later and ended up here (and only read some of it but it was relatively interesting):

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threa ... ter.56624/

It includes I think you will find that a number of FA-223 Drache helicopters* were operational particularly with the alpine units although not seeing much action they did do recovery/rescue missions and IIRC, the helicopter in the Alistair McLean novel is a period Arado helicopter**. but there aren't any surviving examples so they just used a Bell 47 for the movie..

Wikipedia adds The Luftwaffe never had an abundance of helicopters, and did not have one capable of flying a high-ranking general from Berlin to Bavaria, as seen in the film..


* As seen here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Ach ... Fa-223.jpg
** I haven't checked the book nor seen if Arado manufactured helicopters.


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