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  #51  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:23 AM
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Glory. The Union's 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (with Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington) gets mowed down and fails to take the Confederates' Fort Wagner.
SPOILER:
All the stars die.
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  #52  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Kropotkin View Post
The Quiet American, 2002, an underrated and under-appreciated film, portrays Americans in Vietnam as “losers,” that is, evildoers. Many of the above mentioned films, e.g. those about Custer and the Alamo, are more of the “we lost the battle but we won the war!” type, and so I’d suggest not really “Americans as losers” films
The Quiet American is a great film.

I agree with you about the rest, too, and would include Peal Harbor-related movies as well. Part of the unspoken undercurrent of Pearl Harbor films is that the Americans only got their asses kicked because of the unhanded surprise tactics. The whole plot serves a larger narrative of American moral and military superiority and eventual victory.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:12 AM
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It might be more interesting to narrow the scope to fictional movies. It's one thing for a producer to sell a movie based on a historical US loss -- "Hey, what are ya gonna do, we lost" -- but it's a much harder sell to say, "We made up this story and the US loses. Don't worry, American audiences will love it."
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:22 AM
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There isn't much left of the US after the Sharknado series.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:46 AM
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Episode "Replacements" from the HBO series Band of Brothers.

The elite 101st Airborne attacks the Dutch village of Neunen, which is occupied by panzertruppen, and most definitely did not succeed in taking the town.
  #56  
Old 08-14-2019, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akaj View Post
It might be more interesting to narrow the scope to fictional movies. It's one thing for a producer to sell a movie based on a historical US loss -- "Hey, what are ya gonna do, we lost" -- but it's a much harder sell to say, "We made up this story and the US loses. Don't worry, American audiences will love it."
Thank you. This was my intention too.

It is very rare for Hollywood to sanction a fictional film where the American characters end up losing.
  #57  
Old 08-14-2019, 02:30 PM
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Glory. The Union's 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (with Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington) gets mowed down and fails to take the Confederates' Fort Wagner.
I don't know if losing battles in otherwise winning wars really gets at the heart of what the OP was getting at.

I mean, the Alamo was definitely a defeat, but was a heroic last stand in what ended up being a victorious campaign.

Same with Civil War movies told from the Union side- we know how the Battle for Ft. Wagner ended up, but we also know that the Union won and that eventually black troops were accepted into the military, and that even later, were instrumental in gaining equality for all black people.

I kind of think that movies like most of the Vietnam ones or maybe "The Day After" (albeit made for TV) are better examples, where the US loses outright.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:36 AM
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There's quite a number of movies where the terrorists /bad guys actually win/accomplish what they set out to do in the final part even if the heroes survive until the end.

Stone Cold

The hero defeats the bad guys but the terrorists literally accomplished pretty much everything they set out to do.

Unthinkable

The terrorists are able to detonate the last nuclear bomb before the heroes can find the location.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (Remake)

Alien leaves Earth but in the process detonates an EMP that disrupts all electricity in the world, ensuing a complete global collapse of society.

Transcendence

The movie ends with all technology being destroyed, ensuing a complete global collapse of society.
  #59  
Old 08-15-2019, 07:12 AM
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Kingsman - British super spy's defeat evil American tech billionaire Sam Jackson from doing weird shit, that was poorly explained, to the world
  #60  
Old 08-15-2019, 07:27 AM
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Fail-Safe, in which the US Air Force nukes both Moscow and New York.
  #61  
Old 08-15-2019, 07:43 AM
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Also, if we allow films where both the US and the USSR (or other evil superpower) lose: Colossus: The Forbin Project, where the defense computer systems of both nations become sentient, connect, and subjugate all of humanity.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:12 AM
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There's quite a number of movies where the terrorists /bad guys actually win/accomplish what they set out to do in the final part even if the heroes survive until the end.


Another one like that is "Arlington Road", in which the anti-government the right-wing militia not only succeeds in blowing up a bomb in the FBI headquarters, but also successfully deflects all suspicion onto their patsy, and effectively rides off into the sunset to start over with a whole new plot.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlington_Road
  #63  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:14 AM
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Also, if we allow films where both the US and the USSR (or other evil superpower) lose: Colossus: The Forbin Project, where the defense computer systems of both nations become sentient, connect, and subjugate all of humanity.
If you're going with those criteria, then Terminator 3.
  #64  
Old 08-15-2019, 11:29 AM
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How about Escape from LA? Snake Plissken plunged the United States and the rest of the world into a medieval level of power technology.
  #65  
Old 08-15-2019, 11:47 AM
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It's a fantastic (and eerily prophetic) book, as well.
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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
Red Alert? As I recall, it bore little resemblace to Kubrick's movie.
No. Kropotkin and I were both referring to The Quiet American, by Graham Greene, which was made into a movie of the same name.
  #66  
Old 08-15-2019, 12:48 PM
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No. Kropotkin and I were both referring to The Quiet American, by Graham Greene, which was made into a movie of the same name.
Oh. Well, that's very different.

Never mind.
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  #67  
Old 08-16-2019, 04:07 PM
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I know this is the traditional perspective on how The Day of the Rangers went down but considering that the Somalis went back to what was left of their homes with about 4,000 casualties, I'd say it was an absolute curb stomping by the US forces. I have said it before and I will say it again: they didn't lose, they left. As I recall from the book, Super Six Four pilot Michael Durant was returned intact after a general explained to the Somalis that if he was not returned in pristine condition with the quickness, not a single stone would stand upon another stone in Mogadishu. Black Hawk Down tells the story of how these soldiers were caught off guard and under-prepared and still handed the whole city its ass. Hence why the locals don't refer to it as "the day we beat the Rangers".
This is such jingoistic nonsense. They left while shooting behind them, you know, like during a retreat. I would love to know where the 4,000 casualties figure came from I can find nothing close to that. How many were civilians, the shooting began in a crowded market. The Americans instigated the attack so are responsible for the loss of innocent life. Les Aspin the Sec of Def stepped down because of this. It changed the course of US foreign policy in Africa for a decade. Let’s say the Durant story is true, what kind of John Wayne bombastic nonsense is that? Americans leveling a city is a win for SNA. If this operation WAS so much win, why not do it again and again right after?

Heroism can be found in defeat, Dunkirk is a great example of that. Black Hawk Down qualifies here.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:16 PM
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How about Escape from LA? Snake Plissken plunged the United States and the rest of the world into a medieval level of power technology.
And all these years later I'm still not sure how we were supposed to think he was the good guy.
  #69  
Old 08-21-2019, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kropotkin View Post
The Quiet American, 2002, an underrated and under-appreciated film, portrays Americans in Vietnam as “losers,” that is, evildoers. Many of the above mentioned films, e.g. those about Custer and the Alamo, are more of the “we lost the battle but we won the war!” type, and so I’d suggest not really “Americans as losers” films
Good Morning Vietnam had a similar take on the Americans in Vietnam. Not the movie as a whole, but when Adrian find out that his buddy is actually working for the VC, and the buddy screams out about the American atrocities and how "You're the enemy!".
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:07 PM
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Has Red Dawn (1984) been mentioned? The coda (and its certainly an unreliable narrator) says the war ended like all wars do...but "our heroes" have had the utter shit beat out of them by the end.

Quote:
And all these years later I'm still not sure how we were supposed to think he was the good guy.
Best. Ending. Ever.
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