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The anti-British lie at the heart of "Argo"


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Old 26-09-2013, 14:28
onecitizen
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Is the anti-British propaganda contained within Ben Affleck's film anything new? Apparently not. http://www.theweek.co.uk/film/oscars...favourite-argo
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Old 26-09-2013, 14:49
theonlyweeman
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I'm not sure it's anti-British propaganda I think it's the Americans trying to take credit for everything (did you not know they did the most fighting in and won WWII, whilst the French and the Brits watched helplessly screaming from the sidelines? )
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Old 26-09-2013, 15:03
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I'm not sure it's anti-British propaganda I think it's the Americans trying to take credit for everything (did you not know they did the most fighting in and won WWII, whilst the French and the Brits watched helplessly screaming from the sidelines? )
To be fair, the article linked in the first post does not claim that it's anti-British propaganda. It does refer to the historical inaccuracy of A Bridge Too Far as "American propaganda". However, if I remember correctly, the truth about that film is that the writer, William Goldman, wanted to tell the real story but could not make it work dramatically. It's in his book, Adventures in the Screen Trade:

... I realized, for all its size and complexity, Bridge was a cavalry-to-the rescue story - one in which the cavalry fails to arrive, ending, sadly, one mile short.
That was my spine, and everything that wouldn't cling I couldn't use. All five Victoria Crosses fell out of the picture. Super material went by the boards. But it had to.


Something similar happened in Argo. Stuff got left out for dramatic reasons. Does that make it propaganda?
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Old 26-09-2013, 15:06
Komrade Kieron
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What's the Hollywood submarine movie where the US strangely takes credit for obtaining a working Enigma code machine??

It was of course 100% a British operation.
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Old 26-09-2013, 15:13
theonlyweeman
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To be fair, the article linked in the first post does not claim that it's anti-British propaganda. It does refer to the historical inaccuracy of A Bridge Too Far as "American propaganda". However, if I remember correctly, the truth about that film is that the writer, William Goldman, wanted to tell the real story but could not make it work dramatically. It's in his book, Adventures in the Screen Trade:

... I realized, for all its size and complexity, Bridge was a cavalry-to-the rescue story - one in which the cavalry fails to arrive, ending, sadly, one mile short.
That was my spine, and everything that wouldn't cling I couldn't use. All five Victoria Crosses fell out of the picture. Super material went by the boards. But it had to.


Something similar happened in Argo. Stuff got left out for dramatic reasons. Does that make it propaganda?
I appreciate that things need changing for dramatic effect, but why didn't the writer use two countries that didn't help? Rather than going for two that actually did (i.e. why not use Australia and France instead of New Zealand and Britain?)...

And why did Ben Affleck not see fit to mention the involvement of the Brits and New Zealanders during the series of "facts" presented at the end of the film? If he wants to change things that's fine, but at least be nice enough to correct the big borderline xenophobic ones in the credits...

There's something odd about it, but I'm not sure the film was intentionally anti-British or New Zealander...
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Old 26-09-2013, 15:37
Inkblot
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I appreciate that things need changing for dramatic effect, but why didn't the writer use two countries that didn't help? Rather than going for two that actually did (i.e. why not use Australia and France instead of New Zealand and Britain?)
The specific inaccuracy/propaganda is that the film says "Brits turned them away, Kiwis turned them away". It wouldn't be any more accurate to say "Aussies turned them away, French turned them away" because (as far as I know) they didn't. It's movie shorthand for "they're all alone and in mortal peril - but we're Americans and we don't let our people down!"

But I still think it's stretching it to call it propaganda. I was much less comfortable with the images of rabid Iranians snarling like something out of The Walking Dead.
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Old 26-09-2013, 15:41
Jimmy_McNulty
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What's the Hollywood submarine movie where the US strangely takes credit for obtaining a working Enigma code machine??

It was of course 100% a British operation.
U-571.
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Old 26-09-2013, 15:48
theonlyweeman
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The specific inaccuracy/propaganda is that the film says "Brits turned them away, Kiwis turned them away". It wouldn't be any more accurate to say "Aussies turned them away, French turned them away" because (as far as I know) they didn't. It's movie shorthand for "they're all alone and in mortal peril - but we're Americans and we don't let our people down!"

But I still think it's stretching it to call it propaganda. I was much less comfortable with the images of rabid Iranians snarling like something out of The Walking Dead.
That would why I said in my first post on the thread that I didn't think it was anti-British propaganda but more Americans trying to big themselves up.

There's no denying this "Battle of the Year" film is borderline, if not actually, xenophobic. In it they pretty much say that no other country should be able to win a dance competition, and the that the trophy belongs in America (in fact I'm fairly certains there's a line in which a character explicitly says that in the film - it's not in the trailer, but I think I heard a US radio station play a clip with it in) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QibqRB9Gs9k
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Old 26-09-2013, 18:02
onecitizen
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What's the Hollywood , itssubmarine movie where the US strangely takes credit for obtaining a working Enigma code machine??

It was of course 100% a British operation.
True it's like the yanks have to steal British heroism and claim it as their own. Lies, damn lies, and Hollywood.http://www.dswilliams.co.uk/follett/...amm%20lies.htm
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Old 26-09-2013, 18:11
Big Boy Barry
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Been happening for years.

Americans either take credit for something they didn't do, or the British (or English) blamed for some sort of atrocity that never happened.
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Old 27-09-2013, 17:01
onecitizen
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Been happening for years.

Americans either take credit for something they didn't do, or the British (or English) blamed for some sort of atrocity that never happened.
True, vicious anti-British lies and propaganda are nothing new to American film makers. Here's a old quiz on that topic and in view of the vile anti-British slur in Argo things just seen to get worse.The curious thing is how many British people grovel to the yanks these days.http://film.guardian.co.uk/quiz/ques...343447,00.html
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Old 27-09-2013, 19:27
theonlyweeman
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To be fair, Americans cast on attractiveness, Europeans cast on ability. It makes sense to have European villains, because that's role that requires ability rather than attractiveness
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Old 27-09-2013, 20:11
Inkblot
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To be fair, Americans cast on attractiveness, Europeans cast on ability. It makes sense to have European villains, because that's role that requires ability rather than attractiveness
Not sure where Elizabeth Hurley (as mentioned in that quiz) fits into that theory.
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Old 27-09-2013, 20:43
theonlyweeman
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Not sure where Elizabeth Hurley (as mentioned in that quiz) fits into that theory.
That was a massive generalisation (and I assumed that was fairly obvious). Obviously there are attractive and untalented European actors (see cast of Hollyoaks) and unattractive and talented American actors....
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Old 28-09-2013, 08:44
onecitizen
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Who know an actor from Hollyoaks night get a job in US as a typical sneering craicature of the evil Brit. It isn't going to take much talent to play that role.
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Old 28-09-2013, 09:39
andy1231
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Wasn't it rumoured a while back that Tom Cruise was going to star in a remake of The Battle Of Britain ? If The Dambusters film ever gets made, no doubt it will star Chris Tucker as a hip, cool Guy Gibson.
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Old 28-09-2013, 10:06
theonlyweeman
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Wasn't it rumoured a while back that Tom Cruise was going to star in a remake of The Battle Of Britain ? If The Dambusters film ever gets made, no doubt it will star Chris Tucker as a hip, cool Guy Gibson.
It's being done by Peter Jackson, I imagine he'd go as accurate as possible. But presumably with a few token minorities, because America is so PC these days...

I can't see him wanting to make the Dambusters American, but the studio might twist his arm into it, because British are just naturally evil...
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Old 28-09-2013, 15:27
MARTYM8
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Its a throw away line in the film - suggesting they were isolated and only one country could help them i.e. Canada (which of course would not exist as a nation were it not for the British).

I am far more concerned about the fact that a key player in their refuge and escape - John Sheardown - was totally ignored,.

He and the Canadian Ambassador not only helped scout out the Iran airport in advance, but also purchased the Americans’ tickets, coached them in having a Canadian accent, and were even responsible for setting the rescue plan in motion to begin with. It was not all CIA - with a bit of Canadian help as the film implies.

Just accept what it is - a dramatised version of a true story. The end sequence at the airport - including the chase on the runway - is total fiction. They actually left on a flight at 5.30am when the revolutionary guard was asleep!
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Old 28-09-2013, 22:20
Mystical123
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If you want historical accuracy, then you make that, and it'll be a small indie movie that maybe gets seen at a few festivals. If you want a suspense-filled drama that's going to win awards and make millions of dollars at the box office, then you use the same major facts/broad story and make a blockbuster.

Guess which one Clooney and Affleck were going for....


On a more serious note, it's simply not possible 99.9999...% of the time to make a movie about an event entirely historically accurate, because it just doesn't translate to screen. It's the same with literary adaptations - they're basically never word for word. The media are different, therefore it doesn't make any kind of sense to try and transpose identically.

That has absolutely nothing to do with propaganda. It's all to do with commercial common sense and creative reality.
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Old 28-09-2013, 23:25
Inkblot
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I am far more concerned about the fact that a key player in their refuge and escape - John Sheardown - was totally ignored,.

He and the Canadian Ambassador not only helped scout out the Iran airport in advance, but also purchased the Americans’ tickets, coached them in having a Canadian accent...
I wasn't aware of that, having only seen the film and not read up on the operation.

Was it really thought likely that the Americans' accents would give them away to the Iranians?
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Old 29-09-2013, 11:04
theonlyweeman
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If you want historical accuracy, then you make that, and it'll be a small indie movie that maybe gets seen at a few festivals. If you want a suspense-filled drama that's going to win awards and make millions of dollars at the box office, then you use the same major facts/broad story and make a blockbuster.

Guess which one Clooney and Affleck were going for....


On a more serious note, it's simply not possible 99.9999...% of the time to make a movie about an event entirely historically accurate, because it just doesn't translate to screen. It's the same with literary adaptations - they're basically never word for word. The media are different, therefore it doesn't make any kind of sense to try and transpose identically.

That has absolutely nothing to do with propaganda. It's all to do with commercial common sense and creative reality.
Yes, but during the series of "facts" presented at the end of the film they could've corrected it without much impact on the film. But they didn't. That's what pisses me off, rather than them having changed it, that they swept it under the rug afterwards...
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Old 29-09-2013, 11:16
DariaM
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Is the anti-British propaganda contained within Ben Affleck's film anything new? Apparently not. http://www.theweek.co.uk/film/oscars...favourite-argo
Unless and until the Brits get their act together, and offer finance which would allow British Movies to be produced and distributed, where presumably the British would take credit for anything happening anytime, it is perhaps unreasonable to look at films as offering any semblance of realism.
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Old 30-09-2013, 21:56
mrcynical
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Wasn't it rumoured a while back that Tom Cruise was going to star in a remake of The Battle Of Britain ? If The Dambusters film ever gets made, no doubt it will star Chris Tucker as a hip, cool Guy Gibson.
It would have to be Samuel L. Jackson. He's the only actor who'd be able to shout the dog.
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Old 30-09-2013, 23:10
theonlyweeman
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It would have to be Samuel L. Jackson. He's the only actor who'd be able to shout the dog.
Peter Jackson (or possibly Stephen Fry, I've heard both talk about it) has said the dog's name will have to be changed (to "digger"), because whilst the rest of the world could handle it, America couldn't, and you don't want to piss off the Americans...
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:33
Inkblot
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It would have to be Samuel L. Jackson. He's the only actor who'd be able to shout the dog.
Many a true word is spoken in jest.

If Samuel L. Jackson said it, most people would infer that the dog was some kind of streetwise character which deserved our respect.

If a British actor said it, most people would infer that he was playing a contemptible racist who was unkind to animals.

Would that really be historically accurate?
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