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Cervaise
08-31-2001, 03:16 PM
This topic was posted by somebody on another message board I frequent, and I thought it was good enough to bring over here.

Preface: Yeah, yeah, I know, Hollywood screws everything up. Fact of life. But if they get the broad strokes more or less right, while messing around with details -- say, Amistad, for example -- it's still a useful exercise. There are lots of great tales just waiting to be discovered by moviemakers, but, if you're a purist, you may want to avoid this discussion, because you'll just grind your teeth thinking about how Merriweather Lewis carried his journal in his coat pocket, not in his pack like the goddamn movie that couldn't get it right grrr snarl snort -- um, well, actually I don't know that as a fact, I'm just making a little fun of the extremists' view. Sorry.

Anyway, back to the topic. Good example: the Shackleton expedition. It's an incredible story of survival, and it's amazing to me it languished for so many years before Hollywood got around to it. (Wolfgang Petersen, director of Das Boot and most recently The Perfect Storm, is currently working on it.) If they even get it halfway correct, it'll be amazing.

Another phenomenal survival story is in the book Arctic Grail. (If you're a fan of history, and you haven't read this, you must, must, must. Spectacular.) I don't remember the names of the participants, but there was one expedition where a group of people got separated from their ship and drifted on an ice floe for several weeks. As I was reading, I kept thinking, holy crap, how come more people don't know about this? If I ever get to be a moviemaker, I'm putting this one on my slate; it's simply incredible. (In fact, on the other message board, I mentioned that the whole book Arctic Grail would make an amazing miniseries, a la HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon.")

The thing about historical events in movies is that they work best when they revolve around a single person. The recent Thirteen Days fictionalized and synthesized a minor character in order to give us an identifiable protagonist, and while the historians didn't like it, I thought it was an intelligent and effective dramatic compromise that made the history more accessible. Other good examples of historical films that center on a main character are Lawrence of Arabia and Patton, of course, but for a better example of how a limited viewpoint can make a story work better, see Glory, which takes a complicated slice of history and focuses it down to the relationship between the commander and a couple of his men.

Also consider this year's Pearl Harbor. Its huge historical canvas wouldn't work very well as a straight movie (see Tora Tora Tora, which is interesting but dramatically fairly dry), so they made (in my opinion) the correct choice to create characters through whom we would experience the event. Unfortunately, of course, they did it really badly, and the movie stunk -- but the approach, I think, was right.

By the same token, there are historical events that are so broad that they'd have to be significantly narrowed in order to work as a movie story. Take, for example, The Crusades. Which one do you do? Actually, which part of which one? Who's the main character? What's the arc?

So with all of this in mind, history buffs, what real-life events would you like to see on the big screen? Either because they're just plain cool (they're working on the Battle of Marathon right now, trying to capitalize on the success of Gladiator), because they're important (likewise, somebody's doing a biography of Alexander the Great), or because there's some little-known incident that deserves to be brought back into the public spotlight (e.g. Sayles's Matewan).

ruadh
08-31-2001, 03:22 PM
There was a war in mid-17th century Ireland that even today historians are still having trouble sorting out. Basically, it was the Ulster Scots anti-royalists vs the Anglo royalists vs the Irish nobility vs the Catholic royalists vs the Catholic anti-royalists.

There's a comedy classic in there somewhere.

lno
08-31-2001, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Cervaise
By the same token, there are historical events that are so broad that they'd have to be significantly narrowed in order to work as a movie story. Take, for example, The Crusades. Which one do you do? Actually, which part of which one? Who's the main character? What's the arc?
Give me the Third Crusade and play up the conflict between Richard and Saladin.

In fact, I'd use Saladin as the main character; he was always far more fascinating to me.

Danimal
08-31-2001, 03:44 PM
It ought to be possible to make the life of the prophet Muhammed into a grand, sweeping epic along the lines of David Lean.

And the career of Luke Short, from the Dodge City War to the White Elephant saloon and the gunfight with Jim Courtright could be made into a top-notch Western. (If they could only resist the temptation to make him a square-jawed hunk and cast him as a witty little dandy like Short actually was).

The conflict between Marius and Sulla as a microcosm of the decline of the Roman republic could make a fine subject for a movie.

A number of movies have been made about Indian chiefs recently, but I don't think one has ever done about Tecumseh; it could make an interesting allegory about how rarely people can set aside their petty differences to face a massive threat to their way of life.

Danimal
08-31-2001, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by lno
Give me the Third Crusade and play up the conflict between Richard and Saladin.

In fact, I'd use Saladin as the main character; he was always far more fascinating to me.

There was a movie called King Richard and the Crusaders with George Sanders as Richard and Rex Harrison (hurrah!) as Saladin. Not very historically accurate, but I found it very entertaining.

Sofa King
08-31-2001, 03:49 PM
The story of Alexander the Great, as we now know it, is abosolutely amazing. It's got everything a blockbuster needs. He...

* Was tutored by freaking Aristotle, fer crying out loud!

* Tamed an untameable horse, which he rode throughout his life.

* Was the guy who cut the Gordian Knot.

* Personally led his troops into battle... from the front. Most accounts of his fighting abilities imply that he was a physical genius, of sorts, and more than a little crazy in battle. Once, he jumped into a walled city alone and fought the defenders off singlehanded until he passed out from loss of blood.

* Killed his best friend--to whom Alexander owed his life--in a drunken argument.

* Was most likely bisexual, but was also married to and madly in love with the hottest babe in Eurasia. Kiiiinky.

* Once fought an elephant-mounted army led by a seven-foot tall king. When he eventually won the day, he allowed King Porus to remain the regent of his territory, because he was so bad-ass.

All of the above are more or less factual, as best anyone can discern. I'm telling you, it's effing money in the bank! No, Richard Burton never did anything like this. Don't bother to look it up.

magdalene
08-31-2001, 03:50 PM
There needs to be a good movie about Cortez's arrival in Mexico, maybe using the Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz as a backdrop. It's an incredible story - Cortez and his men were viewed by their peers as people of extraordinary bravery and courage, but history is less kind. You could do a fantastic story about this devastating clash of cultures, ideologies, beliefs, and germs.

And no, the Road to El Dorado does not count.

Sofa King
08-31-2001, 04:20 PM
Danimal, according to IMDB, there have actually been three films made about Tecumseh, but one was German and one was made-for-cable. He was an amazing guy with a lot of personality, as were a number of those who fought with him.

One of the most tragic stories I've ever read is about Chief Joseph (http://www.indians.org/welker/joseph.htm) and his attempt to lead his tribe into Canada. His retreat was a work of superb generalship, bringing along the women, children and old men along with him, but the tribe was cornered almost within sight of the border. Chief Joseph was said to have died of a broken heart....

Uncas (http://www.encyclopedia.com/articlesnew/13214.html) was a bad-ass guy, a pretty bad guy, really. There's actually a sort of courtroom drama in his story, where he defeated his arch-enemy Miantonomo in battle, and brought him before the Colonies in order to have him tried as a criminal. The Colony of Connecticut deferred to the United Colonies, who in turn handed the case off to a body of clergymen, who in turn decided that Miantonomo should die, but, um, not on Christian territory, please. Uncas, maybe a little disgusted with the English concept of justice, marched Miantonomo off, had him killed, then cut off a chunk of the guy's shoulder and ate it. Niiiice.

Cervaise
08-31-2001, 04:28 PM
Sofa King: Chief Joseph's flight was dramatized in the film I Will Fight No More Forever (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0073138). Plays a little loose with a few facts, but it's mostly accurate and a fairly effective bit of storytelling.

delphica
08-31-2001, 04:36 PM
The rise and fall of Brian Boru. A few years ago, when we had all the Braveheart and Rob Roy hoopla, I was convinced that Brian Boru would be next on deck, to tap into all that Irish American sentiment running around. Which of course goes to show you how good I am at predicting Hollywood.

Darwin's Finch
08-31-2001, 04:37 PM
I don't know if this really counts, since it's currently being made into a movie, but the war-time exploits of Jasper Maskelyne (http://www.cometamagico.com.ar/maskelyne2.htm) (aka, the "War Magician") should be interesting. However, the fact that they've already cast Tom Cruise in the lead role has me somewhat concerned....

Also, even though Pearl Harbor has been done, and it stunk, I think they could have made it everything it should have been if, instead of concentrating on a love triangle involving a couple of fly-boys, they concentrated on a group of men stationed on one of the battleships (Arizona, Nevada, or Oklahoma being prime candidates for lots of action and drama). It needn't even be historically all-encompassing (like Tora, Tora, Tora tried to be).

Jet Jaguar
08-31-2001, 04:49 PM
I've always thought the story of the Pacific Clipper would make an excellent movie. The Pacific Clipper was a Pan Am flying boat that was airborne en route to New Zealand at the moment the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Upon his arrival in Auckland, the pilot was told he was free to use any means at his disposal to get himself and his crew home. Unable to fly back across the Pacific, they began an amazing month-long journey flying west, around the world, with no navigational aids or support. It was the first circumnavigation of the world by an aircraft flying a route close to the equator and the first for a commercial aircraft. You can read a little about this story at this site (http://members.nbci.com/da_alvarson/mug/realpacclipper.html).

ElDestructo
08-31-2001, 04:53 PM
According to Coming Attractions, there are no less then three Alexander the Great biopics in production right now. A Dino DeLarentis version directed by Ridley Scott (maybe), a version directed by Chris McQuarrie of The Way of the Gun fame, and an Oliver Stone version. All three are in development hell right now, but the McQuarrie version has a screenplay.

Does this make you feel better or worse, Sofa King?

xenophon41
08-31-2001, 05:21 PM
The Anabasis (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0202&query=toc&layout=&loc=2.1.1) (of course ;) )

Sofa King
08-31-2001, 05:43 PM
Better... but only if McQuarrie gets it.

Interrobang!?
08-31-2001, 05:52 PM
The story of Hans van Meegeren (http://www.mystudios.com/gallery/han/), a Dutch painter who did forged works in the style of Vermeer. He sold or traded several pieces to the Nazis during WWII. After the war, he was arrested by Dutch authorities and charged with collaboration because of works he sold to Hermann Göring.

To save himself, he confessed that he was a forger, then spent two months painting another fake Vermeer to prove that he hadn't actually sold Dutch national treasures to the Nazis. And he said that he should be considered a hero for having hoodwinked them, for that matter.

I'd like to see Jonathan Demme tackle that one.

According to Pliny
08-31-2001, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by Cervaise
Another phenomenal survival story is in the book Arctic Grail. (If you're a fan of history, and you haven't read this, you must, must, must. Spectacular.) I don't remember the names of the participants, but there was one expedition where a group of people got separated from their ship and drifted on an ice floe for several weeks. As I was reading, I kept thinking, holy crap, how come more people don't know about this? If I ever get to be a moviemaker, I'm putting this one on my slate; it's simply incredible. (In fact, on the other message board, I mentioned that the whole book Arctic Grail would make an amazing miniseries, a la HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon.")



I think that must be the story of the USS Polaris. Beside the story of those stranded on the ice flow there's also the likely murder by poisoning of the ship's captain.

After seeing the impressive CGI effects used in Titanic I figured it's about time someone made a film about the Battle of Trafalgar. The fact that there are only one or two replicas in the whole world that come close to reselmbling the 60-odd ships involved has made such a film impossible until now.

If Mr. Cameron is interested, I've got a script for him.

Forbin
08-31-2001, 07:44 PM
I think the Norman conquest of England would make a great movie.
It's already scripted on the Bayeux Tapestry.

Guinastasia
08-31-2001, 07:48 PM
The Lusitania would make a DAMN good movie-the only one made about it was a silent in 1916 that was used as propaganda.

Kaitlyn
08-31-2001, 08:11 PM
I was getting ready for bed Tuesday night, when I noticed a bridge building documentary on PBS, and I had to stay up and watch it. So you will understand if I think that Tora! Tora! Tora! was a great movie and that its approach works very well. Which is not to say that a more personal approach wouldn't also make a good movie.

1812 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0812524713/qid=999305284/sr=1-1/ref=sc_b_1/103-7831721-3102256): I know the novel is historical fiction, but it's more history than it is fiction and damn, this is a book begging to be made into a 3 hour epic. The British overrun and burn Washington; Dolly Madison saving artwork from the White House, epic naval battles, the first American battlefield victory over an equal sized British force.

CalMeacham
08-31-2001, 08:16 PM
Anyway, back to the topic. Good example: the Shackleton expedition. It's an incredible story of survival, and it's amazing to me it languished for so many years before Hollywood got around to it. (Wolfgang Petersen, director of Das Boot and most recently The Perfect Storm, is currently working on it.) If they even get it halfway correct, it'll be amazing.



There's an OmniMax movie on this that just finished playing at te Boston Museum of Scienc. I didn't see it, but I believe most if not all of it was re-creation.

Legomancer
08-31-2001, 09:20 PM
Andrew Wiles proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. Hey, I'd go see it.

Seriously, I saw an IMAX movie on the epic of flight or something and they briefly touched on the story of the Wright Brothers and all sorts of complications they had, including this rival almost beating them to the finish line. I thought at the time it would make for a great story and movie.

detop
08-31-2001, 09:31 PM
A few that would interest me (in addition to those posted above) :
[list]
Boudicca's rebellion
the battle of the plains of Abraham (the conquest of Québec)
a bio of Hannibal
a bio of Winfield Scott
the battle of Kursk
the batle of Poltava
Borodino
Dino wars, the rivalry between Marsh and Cope

Michael Ellis
08-31-2001, 10:32 PM
Operation Pedestal

A heavily escorted convoy of 14 ships has to run from Gibraltar through to Malta or the island will be forced to surrender. The most important ship in the convoy, the tanker S.S. Ohio, was so badly damaged she had to be towed into Valetta harbor sandwiched between two destroyers. Only 4 other frieghters made it through, and most of the escorting cruisers and an aircraft carrier were lost. The only thing that saved the convoy from being shot to bits by the Italian Navy were a submarine which attacked and damaged a cruiser and several Wellington bombers broadcasting spurious directions to other, non-exsistant bombers.

It's Road Warrior on the high seas.


The Battle of the Java Sea would be a good one, too. Especially if the subsequent events were included such as the Battle of Sunda Strait and the frantic air and sea evacuations (including a B-17 rebuilt as the Japanese were sweeping the island and flown out by a US Sergeant and two airline pilots).

Chronos
08-31-2001, 10:41 PM
Ha! For once in this sort of thread, I was certain that nobody else would steal my idea. Picture this: A small island kingdom, in the middle of a growing Empire. One man singlehandedly defended that kingdom from the mightiest army in the world, and inspired fear in all his foes. Great movie, no?

Archimedes. His ideas were so successful, that the Roman sailors would scream in panic if they saw a single piece of rope aboard ship that they didn't recognize, for fear that it was one of his devices. We've seen plenty of brave war heros, or strong ones, or tough, but it's about time that we saw a smart hero. Of course, you could also throw in the bit about the counterfeit crown and the naked "Eureka!", if you wanted.

Spavined Gelding
08-31-2001, 10:44 PM
The Ia Drang Valley

Simply because I am convinced that combat exposes both the merits and flaws in men, Hollywood ought to put together an honest film on the Ia Drang Valley fight in November 1965. There were two fights, one an almost Rourke’s Drift engagement by the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry and three days later an other which was a catastrophe for the Second Battalion, Seventh Cavalry. LTG (then LTC) Harold Moore who commanded the 1st Bn.,7th Cav., has written a detailed and moving book with Joe Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once and Young.

Soup_du_jour
08-31-2001, 10:49 PM
THE ANNEXATION OF ARKANSAS, BAY-BE!

Nevermind. :)

Tedster
08-31-2001, 10:55 PM
Since the 200th Anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition is coming up, I'm wondering if anyone will tackle that.

It's an astounding tale, but one that I trust has never been done right. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone would do it justice. It's just too clinical an expedition- it was done very well, and there really isn't a love story in it, unless you want to count a french trapper impregnating a 13 year old girl who was enlisted to help with language translation and a bit of navigation.

"Only" two Indians were killed, which is probably not enough for Hollywood. Too, they would want to portray all the Indians as 'noble savages' which wasn't exactly what the explorers found, if the Journals can be believed. Clark took his slave, York, which might be problematic in these ever so touchy times.

Now, I offer my directorial skills if they are needed. I'm quite certain I could do much better than anyone else. I work cheap, too. Let me know.

Mr. Duality
08-31-2001, 11:05 PM
Give people a perspective on a continuing tragedy:
http://www.cactus48.com/truth.html

waterj2
08-31-2001, 11:19 PM
I am currently working (from time to time) on a script based on the raid on Zeebrugge in WWI. The whole event lasted just over an hour, and resulted in 8 Victoria Crosses (Britain's highest military decoration) being awarded. The individual actions involved almost seem beyond belief. I'm aiming for keeping it as meticulously accurate as possible, although it looks as if I'll have to play with the timing a bit to show everything I want (because of them happening more or less simultaneously in different places).

What I think would be most interesting is the idea of showing an entire military engagement in real time, which could be done in this case.

Also, the political machinations of the Admiralty at the time, and the character of Vice Admiral Roger Keyes (later Admiral of the Fleet the Baron Keyes of Zeebrugge and Dover, KCB) make for a compelling story for the action to be set against.

Now, no one steal the idea. But if you do, I'm well ahead of you in the research :p

rackensack
08-31-2001, 11:19 PM
No one knows for sure how many people were killed, but it's generally agreed that the explosion of the steamboat Sultana just north of Memphis in April 1865 was America's worst maritime disaster ever, with a loss of at least 1500 lives.

The Sultana was a typical lower Mississippi steamboat, with rated legal capacity of 376 passengers. On April 21, 1865, she left New Orleans with between 75 and 100 passengers, on a regular run north to Memphis, Cairo, Evansville, Louisville, and Cincinnati. On April 24, she put in at Vicksburg, where the problems with the boilers were discovered. These were quickly repaired, but she stayed at Vicksburg much longer than had been expected. During that stay, in addition to her regular crew and passengers, as many as 2000 Union soldiers, recently released from Confederate prisoner-of-war camps like Cahaba and Andersonville, were put on board to be transported back to their homes in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana. Weak, sick, half-starved soldiers filled every available space in the boat -- the last known photograph shows the upper deck packed solid with men. On the 26th of April, she put in at Memphis, where a few lucky men disembarked. New problems with the boilers were found, and again repairs were hastily undertaken. She set off again, and sometime after midnight, just nine miles north of Memphis near Mound City, Arkansas, the boilers blew up. The flame and noise of the explosion were seen and heard back in Memphis.

The waters of the Mississippi in the springtime are icy cold, and the majority of the men on the Sultana were in no condition to survive them for long, being sick, weary, and ill-fed. Those who were not killed outright by the explosion were faced with the choice of being burned to death on board or drowning. A few hundred managed to find pieces of wood or other floating debris to cling to, and sufficient reserves of strength, to allow them to survive. Between five and six hundred were taken to Memphis hospitals, of which two hundred later died. Given the estimates of between 1900 and 2300 people on board at the time of the explosion, the death toll is estimated at between 1500 and 1900.

The Sultana disaster couldn't have come at worse time, or in a worse place, for making news, however. President Lincoln had just been killed eleven days before, and the nation was still reeling from that blow and adjusting to a new president. The nation's media centers were still New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and these areas were essentially unaffected by the disaster -- almost all the dead were from the Ohio River valley areas.

Novelist Donald Harington makes excellent use of the story of one Sultana survivor in the chapter on Mound City in his non-fiction work Let Us Build Us A City: Eleven Lost Towns. The story as lightly embellished by Harington could almost be filmed as is, though there are any number of approaches one could take to the story. While comparisons to Titanic would be inevitable, the public's appetite for material related to the Civil War seems nearly insatiable, and this at least has the advantage of being an episode that's not already familiar to everyone from American History classes.

Danimal
09-01-2001, 01:15 AM
Otto Preminger did a very fine movie on that subject: Exodus. Wonderful score, too.

Sofa King
09-01-2001, 02:40 AM
Another favorite: the Battle of Trenton. A desperate, Delaware-crossing gamble on the part of Washington, so desperate that in one clash during the campaign Washington rode his horse between the British and American sides just as both fired. He and his horse were completely missed. In Trenton itself, Alexander Hamilton commanded a cannon firing down King Street, while James Monroe was wounded.

TheeGrumpy
09-01-2001, 01:05 PM
Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle. (http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-voyage-of-the-beagle/)

Finland's Winter War with the USSR. Though I think Rennie Harlin plans to do this, at least as part of a biopic of Mannerheim. http://www.mil.fi/tiedotus/talvisota_eng/

Guinastasia
09-01-2001, 01:26 PM
Maybe a movie about the Easter Uprising of 1916 in Ireland-Morgan Llyelywlen (I completely butchered that), wrote a fantastic book about it-1916. The sequel, sucked, however.

Lodrain
09-01-2001, 01:30 PM
Historical events I'd like to see in a movie:

- The Battle of Agincourt (mentioned in some Joan of Arc movie, but not shown). I'd love to see a small band of British longbowmen stomp French kunnnnn-ig-its.
- The Norman Conquest... of Sicily! (little-known fact: they conquered to the south, as well...)
Something about life in Berlin, just after World War II, when the Wall wall being built. Make it a love story, if it need be, involving the two lovers being split by said Wall.
- A biography on Tycho Brahe (I'd pay good money to see it). Maybe play up the nose bit, to make it a comedy.
- The Viking's discovery of Vinland (add battles with the 'Skraelings' to make it more interesting, but I'd like to stick to the facts in this case.).
- The unification of Japan (ehh, his name escapes me... Help? Who unified Japan?), or Germany (Otto von Bismarck's doing, in part).
- The Mongol invasion of Europe.

There are more, but I need to look up a vital fact...

Akatsukami
09-01-2001, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Redukter
- The unification of Japan (ehh, his name escapes me... Help? Who unified Japan?)[/B]
The final unifier was Tokugawa Ieyasu. He inherited, though, the effort of decades to that end by the warlords Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (not that Tokugawa didn't make his own aignificant contributions).

As they say in Japan, "Nobunaga made the cake, Hideyoshi baked it, and Ieyasu ate it".

Cervaise
09-01-2001, 01:56 PM
With all the excellent suggestions in this thread (I'm especially fond of the Archimedes idea), it's amazing that Hollywood keeps churning out crap like Tomb Raider instead.

Oh, and Spavined Gelding, We Were Soldiers Once... And Young is, in fact, being made (with title truncated). Shooting wrapped a little while ago, and they're in post production for a holiday release (though it looks like they'll be postponed). The writer/director is Randall Wallace, who wrote Braveheart and who has been very public about how Bruckheimer and Bay screwed up his script for Pearl Harbor. More information here (http://www.corona.bc.ca/films/details/weweresoldiersonce.html).

detop
09-01-2001, 02:05 PM
Thought about some more potential movies :

Operation Tidal Wave
On August 1, 1943, the USAAF attacked the Ploesti oilfields in a daylight low-level attack (and when I say low-level, I mean low-level, some planes came back with what looked suspiciously like grass stuck on their antennas :eek: ). 7 heavily-defended refineries were attacked (big flame explosions, more than enough to satisfy Hollywood's love affair with napalm). The refineries were heavily defended (88s firing point blank, lots of light flak, a flak train, duels between the bomber gunners and the flak positions). The mission suffered heavy casualties (in the order of 20 %). Bonus, a sequel could be made about the POWs that were captured during the mission.

The battle of Chickamauga
In Fall 1863, the Confederacy had its last victory in this battle. The situation has everything to satisfy moviegoers : surprise, interesting characters, desperate situations, incompetence, bravery. Bonus, a sequel could be made about the battle of Chattannooga.

And, waterj2, if Zeebrugge is not their cup of tea, there is another similar situation in WWII, maybe you could pitch the raid on St-Nazaire ?

Tuckerfan
09-01-2001, 03:23 PM
The Johnstown Flood. One of the worst disasters in American history. A dam in the Pennsylvania mountains built by the steel kings of Pittsburgh breaks during a heavy rain storm and nearly wipes out an entire valley (and had it not been for a railroad bridge, it might have wiped out Pittsburgh as well). Great stuff!

How about one about the USS Indianapolis on its last voyage after delivering the atomic bomb and it got torpedoed? Haven't read much about it, but the story's surely got to be fascinating!

Or one about the Nazi's attacking the Maginot Line? Despite what most people think, the Nazi's were worried by that line.

I'm sure I'll think of others in a bit.

Baker
09-01-2001, 04:26 PM
Tuckerfan, there was a TV movie about the Indianapolis. What's his name, John-Boy Walton played a ships doctor or something.

And Danimal, someone DID make a movie about the life of Mohammed. Since there are Muslim restrictions on depicting him, I heard it was told from his POV, as if his eyes were the camera. But I never saw it. When it came out in New York a number of years ago, Islamic extremists took over the theater or something, and there was a big hostage situation. Kind of killed the show. Apparently they had heard info they didn't like, although they themselves had never seen it. Kind of reminds me of folks who picketed "The Last Temptation of Christ" without seeing the movie.

Colibri
09-01-2001, 04:37 PM
The life of Richard Halliburton (1900-1939). Halliburton was a dilettante and professional loon who made a career of undertaking daredevil travel adventures and writing florid accounts of them. On a trip to Latin America (New Worlds to Conquer), for example, he dove into a Mayan sacrificial well, swam the length of the Panama Canal (paying the lowest toll on record - 36 cents - based on his tonnage), bought a monkey and became an organ-grinder for a while in Argentina, spent a night locked in the cell block on Devil's Island, and re-enacted the Robinson Crusoe story on Tobago, dressing in goat skins and hiring a bemused local black guy to play the part of Friday (who he called Toosday) in a grass skirt. On another trip he rode an elephant across the Alps in imitation of Hannibal. He drowned when the Chinese junk he was sailing from San Francisco to Hong Kong as yet another publicity stunt went down in a storm.

I also agree with magdalene that the story of the Cortez expedition to Mexico, as seen through the eyes of the foot soldier Bernal Diaz, is one of the most extraordinary stories in world history. Cortez burning his ships behind him to prevent any retreat - the utterly insane bravado of marching straight into the capital of an exotic and ferocious empire and taking the emperor hostage - the defeat of the Noche Triste, when the Spanish survivors battled their way out of the city only to watch from a distant hillside as their captured companions were dragged to the temple altars to have their hearts cut out - and the final conquest, abetted by smallpox and an alliance with the Aztecs' subject peoples.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
09-01-2001, 04:42 PM
The Zepplin bombing raids over London in World War 1. From the view of the attackers/airship crews, the defenders {AA gunners & pilots}, & from the civilians view.

Picture this-- someone working quietly in an English garden. A dark shadow covers her. She looks up. And up. And UP! A look of horror, nay, terror comes over her face. A huge airship, covered in German Crosses fills the sky, the roar of it's engines booming through the theatre.

The bombing raid on London. Everybody thinks they're in a non-combat zone, a rear area. Safe. For the first time in history, all Hell breaks loose from the sky in a major city.
Nobody in the British government expected anything like this. However horrible, a historic first.
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stuyguy
09-01-2001, 04:57 PM
Sofa King there was a recent TV movie about the battle of Trenton called The Crossing. I thought it was pretty good in fact.

Katisha
09-01-2001, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by Redukter
- The Battle of Agincourt (mentioned in some Joan of Arc movie, but not shown). I'd love to see a small band of British longbowmen stomp French kunnnnn-ig-its.


I assume you mean "...not as depicted by Shakespeare"? :D

(Suddenly, I feel like watching Henry V again...)

The Wars of the Roses would be a good one, too, Shakespearean text or no.

clairobscur
09-01-2001, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by TheeGrumpy
Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle. (http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-voyage-of-the-beagle/)


Actually such a movie has been made, since I saw part of it on the TV. Sorry, but I don't remember any specifics, like what was the title or who was the realisator. I didn't really payed it the attention you think it deserves.

clairobscur
09-01-2001, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by Redukter

- The unification of Japan (ehh, his name escapes me... Help? Who unified Japan?), or Germany (Otto von Bismarck's doing, in part).
[/B]

Don't you think that probably a lot of german movies have been made about German's unification? Concerning the japanese unification, I know there has been japanese movies about it, since I read threads about them on another board (dedicaced to a game made about this war). And by the way (I don't know that much about cinema), don't several of Kurosawa's movies take place during this era?

Crusoe
09-01-2001, 07:26 PM
How about the Canadian/British/US raid on Dieppe in 1942?

http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/BACK/Dieppe.htm

clairobscur
09-01-2001, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Baker
And Danimal, someone DID make a movie about the life of Mohammed. Since there are Muslim restrictions on depicting him, I heard it was told from his POV, as if his eyes were the camera. But I never saw it [/B]


I did see such a movie, years ago, on the TV. I don't know if it is the one you're refering to. In the one I saw, Mohammed appeared, but was always seen from the back (you never see his face).

Baker
09-01-2001, 07:32 PM
After re-reading this thread I am wondering why so many(not all) of the events we would like to see are about wars. I'm a military veteran and not a pacifist by any means, but this has just made me curious.

clayton_e
09-01-2001, 07:43 PM
WWII, oh wait...

detop
09-01-2001, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by Crusoe
How about the Canadian/British/US raid on Dieppe in 1942?

http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/BACK/Dieppe.htm

Already done (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0106720). OK, it's a mini-serie, but...

Mr. Duality
09-01-2001, 08:59 PM
tells a different story than the one Preminger did. It's extremely interesting reading.

Chronos
09-02-2001, 01:44 AM
Tuckerfan, there's already a couple of movies about the Johnstown Flood, but they're both strictly documentary-type things. You can see them at the two flood museums in Johnstown (downtown, and at the dam site). If you want a Central Character to build the movie around, one candidate would be the railroad engineer who tied down the cord on his engine's whistle, and pulled out all the stops on the route from the dam to Johnstown, trying to warn the townsfolks.

Sofa King
09-02-2001, 02:22 AM
Yeah, but what about the Great Molasses Flood (http://www.mv.com/ipusers/arcade/molasses.htm) of 1919?

Incidentally, dirigible bombing was covered pretty well in Hell's Angels.

(You know, I'm starting to get the impression that a lot of these stories go get made, just not for major release.)

TV time
09-02-2001, 01:27 PM
Probably with the media's fondness for sex and violence the only one I can think of making it on to the screen would be,

"The Rape of the Sabine Women"

Actually, one I would love to see would be based on Gene Fowler's book Timberline. It is the biography of the Denver Post founders and is delightful. The two guys who started the paper were a bartender and a conman. Among other things they did: they painted their office bright red, got shot up, collected circuses, funded children's hospitals, started people like Damon Runyon on their journalistic paths and pretty much built a city.

Kantalooppi
09-02-2001, 01:43 PM
Finland's Winter War with the USSR. There already is one. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000JPH0/qid%3D999455808/103-1688210-8119818) In tradition of Finnish war movies, it doesn't beat, CAN'T beat, The Unknown Soldier, the essential Finnish war movie and book (book being required reading in all schools). Still, I'm being told it's quite good, actually.

Now, Marshall Mannerheim. That movie might actually be quite interesting. Marshall Mannerheim certainly lived an interesting life - born in Swedish-speaking family of aristocratic lineage, enlisting in Russian army, being sent to China as Czar's envoy/spy, then fighting Japanese in Russo-Japanese war, leading the White side against Reds in Finnish civil war, and after all this, finding time to inspire Finns to fight Russian armies to standstill in Winter War and negotiating an end to Continuation War as a President. Having Renny Harlin direct it is, however, a slight drawback. You half except to see Marshall speaking Nokia MT or taking a sip of Finlandia vodka.

Folkie
09-02-2001, 02:47 PM
My favorite would be the life of George W. Bush.

No, not THAT one. George Washington Bush.

I'm not making this up. This Bush was the man most
responsible for Washington state being part of the US
instead of Canada.

As a successful middle-aged businessman he bankrolled
(and participated in ) one of the first wagon trains over
the Oregon Trail in the 1840s. When they arrived in
Astoria the British tried to convince them to go
south of the Columbia River, because the Brits wanted to keep Americans out of what is now Washington, but his whole
group chose to take the riskier choice north.

Why? Because Bush could not legally enter Oregon. There was a law against Blacks there, and Bush was a free Black.

Apparently one of the reasons he succeeded in the North
was that he could speak French and got along well with the
Quebecois voyageurs who didn't like the British anyway.

He founded Tumwater, WA and when virtually no one had
crops, he gave his harvest away for free, or at cost.
When the Indians rebelled the leader, Leschi, told
him no one in Tumwater had bothered the Indians so
his town would not be bothered.

One of the first acts of the WA territorial legislature was
to ask Congress to make an exception to the law
that no Blacks could own land in Washington. Bush's family
was allowed to do so.


Other stories:

Stephen Decatur in the war with the Barbary pirates. Especially the time he and a few sailors swam to a grounded
US ship, fought off the enemies on board and destroyed
it.

Robert W. Carter III, the obnoxious, elitist, patronizing,
snob - who just happened to free his 500 slaves, more
than any other individual in US history.

And a crazy little story I read about 19th century Birch Bay, Washington,about a non-sailor who accidentally wound up sailing a ship solo across to Vancouver Island - three days with no food but an uncooked goose.


On the bright side, Hollywood would probably screw up the stories if they ever did them...

CalMeacham
09-02-2001, 02:54 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Baker
And Danimal, someone DID make a movie about the life of Mohammed. Since there are Muslim restrictions on depicting him, I heard it was told from his POV, as if his eyes were the camera. But I never saw it
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I did see such a movie, years ago, on the TV. I don't know if it is the one you're refering to. In the one I saw, Mohammed appeared, but was always seen from the back (you never see his face).


How soon they forget. The big-budgt Life of Muhammed was Mohammed: Messenger of God, also released under the tiele The Message. It was made by a Muslim cmpany and starred Anthony Qinn as one f Mohammed's relatives (Ali?) It was being shown in Washington D.C. when a group of Hanafi Muslims took some people hostage and demanded the film be withdrawn. After that there was understandably little interest in running the film elsewhere.

It quietly made its was onto video, but I've only seen it in two video stores. It's now available on DVD, if you're interested.

I'm sorry, myself, about the incident. American understanding abut Midle-Eastern culture in general and abut Islam in particular has always been pretty shaky at best. It's all well and good to sa that Americans don't care about other cultures, but there's little opportunity, either. The historical epics from the 1960s -- El Cid and Lawrence of Arabia cast Muslims in a good light (I'll argue for that point), but there has been less of it since.

Since the film's backers were Muslim, they understood the need to be respectful of the subject matter. The Prophet was never shown - his presence was indicated by his items (his cane, etc.). I think at one point you saw his shadow. You did't see him from behind.

CalMeacham
09-02-2001, 03:00 PM
Here's the IMDB on The Message. Anthony Quin plays Hamza. Irene Pappas and Michael Ansara are in it, too!

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0074896