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Old 08-10-2019, 02:50 PM
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Hollywood films where the Americans lose


In almost all films the American heroes or Humans (when pitted against aliens ) win the battles. Usually the Russians or Brits are the baddies who invariably lose in the storyline.

I can name only 2 films where the opposite is true.

Avatar (where the residents of the planet prevail against the Earthlings/Americans)

Mile 22 (where the Russians prevail in the plot)

Any other such films to add to the list.
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:04 PM
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:14 PM
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Seriously, for what?
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:08 PM
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Seriously, for what?
Possible wrong forum.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:54 PM
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Seriously, for what?
Your anti-American bias. Why do you hate America?
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:14 PM
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Black Hawk Down kind of straddles the fence: The movie was about a battle that could be described as a Pyrrhic victory or maybe outright defeat for the Americans in Mogadishu. 18 Americans killed, 75 wounded, and it was a disaster for the Clinton administration. Since the movie is based on real life, though, I don't know if this is what you are looking for. I am assuming you mean entirely fictional, not-real, movies.

Last edited by Velocity; 08-10-2019 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:32 AM
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The Cabin in the Woods. I won't say any more except to say that the Americans do not win... nor do the Japanese, nor does anyone else.

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Black Hawk Down kind of straddles the fence: The movie was about a battle that could be described as a Pyrrhic victory or maybe outright defeat for the Americans in Mogadishu. 18 Americans killed, 75 wounded, and it was a disaster for the Clinton administration. Since the movie is based on real life, though, I don't know if this is what you are looking for. I am assuming you mean entirely fictional, not-real, movies.
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".
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:32 AM
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The Man in the High Castle (book and Amazon series) is set around the scenario of the aftermath of the Allies losing WWII. The US is divided into the Greater American Reich in the east, and the Japanese Pacific States in the west.

Last edited by jz78817; 08-11-2019 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:32 PM
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The Man in the High Castle (book and Amazon series) is set around the scenario of the aftermath of the Allies losing WWII. The US is divided into the Greater American Reich in the east, and the Japanese Pacific States in the west.
And the Neutral Zone in between.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:07 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 08-10-2019, 03:15 PM
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Yeah, wrong forum homie. I imagine that American films will convey victory as a patriotic bias. There must be foreign films that show Americans losing.
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:26 PM
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There must be foreign films that show Americans losing.
I understand it to be a common feature of North Korean films.
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Old 08-10-2019, 04:10 PM
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In The Great Escape, almost all the escapees are killed or recaptured. Charles Bronson, playing a Pole, and James Coburn, playing an Australian, are among the few who made it to safety. James Garner and Steve McQueen played Americans, but both were recaptured.
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Old 08-10-2019, 04:22 PM
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Old 08-10-2019, 04:34 PM
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The Battle of Little Big Horn has been quite popular with Hollywood.


from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultur...mstrong_Custer
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Custer's Last Fight (a.k.a. Custer's Last Raid) (1912) - with Francis Ford as Custer.
General Custer at Little Big Horn (a.k.a. Custer of Big Horn) (1926) - with John Beck as Custer.
Custer's Last Stand (1936) - with Frank McGlynn as Custer.
The Plainsman (1936) - with John Miljan as Custer.
They Died with Their Boots On (1941) - with Errol Flynn as Custer.
Bugles in the Afternoon (1952) - with Sheb Wooley as Custer.
Sitting Bull (1954) - with Douglas Kennedy as Custer.
Tonka (a.k.a. A Horse Named Comanche) (1958) - with Britt Lomond as Custer.
The Great Sioux Massacre (1965) - with Philip Carey as Custer. The film depicts Custer as a bastion of tolerance whose efforts to secure fair treatment for the Indians leads to several confrontations with corrupt government officials.
Custer of the West (1967) - Robert Shaw depicts Custer as an Indian sympathizer, having disagreements with his superiors about fighting the Indians, but duty-bound as an officer of the U.S. Cavalry to enforce orders given to him.
The Legend of Custer (1968) - with Wayne Maunder as Custer.
Little Big Man (1970) - The film depicts Custer, played by Richard Mulligan, as a ruthless megalomaniac who massacres Indians in this revisionist Western.
Crazy Horse and Custer: The Untold Story (1990) - with Wayne Maunder as Custer.
Son of the Morning Star (1991) - with Gary Cole as Custer.
Crazy Horse (1996) - with Peter Horton as Custer.
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Old 08-10-2019, 04:39 PM
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Pearl Harbor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack...opular_culture
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Remember Pearl Harbor (1942) A Republic Pictures B-movie, starring Don "Red" Barry, one of the first motion pictures to respond to the events.[3]

Air Force, a 1943 propaganda film depicting the fate of the crew of the Mary-Ann, one of the B-17 Flying Fortress bombers that flew into Hickam Field during the attack.

December 7th: The Movie, directed by John Ford for the U.S. Navy in 1943, is a film that recreates the attacks of the Japanese forces. Footage from this Hollywood recreation has been mistakenly used as "actual attack footage", first by two different documentaries released in 1991 to mark the 50th anniversary of the attack, and again by television network CNN during an entertainment news report in 2001.[4][5]

From Here to Eternity (1953), an adaptation of the James Jones novel set in Hawaii on the eve of the attack.

In Harm's Way (1965), director Otto Preminger's adaptation of the James Bassett novel, which opens on December 6, 1941, in Hawaii, and depicts the attack from the point of view of the men of a ship able to leave the harbor.

Storm Over the Pacific, also known as Hawai Middouei daikaikusen: Taiheiyo no arashi (Hawaii-Midway Battle of the Sea and Sky: Storm in the Pacific Ocean) and I Bombed Pearl Harbor (1961), produced by the Japanese studio Toho Company and starring Toshiro Mifune, tells the story of Japanese airmen who served in the Pearl Harbor Raid and the Battle of Midway. An edited version dubbed into English as I Bombed Pearl Harbor was given U.S. release in 1961.[3]

The Time Tunnel, TV series; Season 1, Episode 4: The Day the Sky Fell In (1966).[6]
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), a Japan-U.S. coproduction about the attack is "meticulous"[7] in its approach to dissecting the situation leading up to the bombing. It depicts the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from both American and Japanese points of view, with scrupulous attention to historical fact, including the U.S. use of Magic cryptanalysis.

Pearl (1978), a TV miniseries, written by Stirling Silliphant, about events leading up to the attack.

The Waltons TV series; Season 7, Episode 10: Day Of Infamy, aired on the 37th anniversary of the bombing on December 7, 1978.

Voyagers! TV series; “Sneak Attack”, season 1, episode 14, original airdate February 13, 1983. The time travelers arrive at Pearl Harbor on December 7 and save the life of General Douglas MacArthur (who was actually in the Philippines at the time).

The Winds of War, a novel by American writer Herman Wouk, was written between 1963 and 1971. The novel finishes in December 1941 with the aftermath of the attack. The TV miniseries based on the book was produced by Dan Curtis, airing in 1984. It starred Robert Mitchum and Ali MacGraw, with Ralph Bellamy as President Roosevelt.

Pearl Harbor (2001), directed by Michael Bay, a love story set amidst the lead up to the attack and its aftermath.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:29 PM
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The Battle of Little Big Horn has been quite popular with Hollywood.


from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultur...mstrong_Custer
Americans won this one, nest-ce pa?
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:38 PM
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In The Great Escape, almost all the escapees are killed or recaptured. Charles Bronson, playing a Pole, and James Coburn, playing an Australian, are among the few who made it to safety. James Garner and Steve McQueen played Americans, but both were recaptured.
But the Americans win by featuring in an escape they did not in fact participate in. At all. Screwed over are the two Norwegians and one Dutchman who actually were the three successful escapees.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:32 AM
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But the Americans win by featuring in an escape they did not in fact participate in. At all.
Not entirely true. There were American s in on the digging but they were transferred before the escape.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:34 PM
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In The Great Escape, almost all the escapees are killed or recaptured. Charles Bronson, playing a Pole, and James Coburn, playing an Australian, are among the few who made it to safety. James Garner and Steve McQueen played Americans, but both were recaptured.
And all the Brits were killed.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:42 PM
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And all the Brits were killed.
As I recall, there were quite a few Brits who were recaptured and returned to the camp in "The Great Escape".

There are very few Vietnam movies where the Americans are "winners". The only ones I can think of offhand are "The Green Berets", and I suppose the movies where Sylvester Stallone singlehandedly defeats evil postwar Vietnamese.

The trend in Hollywood movies in recent years is to depict Americans as, if not outright losers in international conflicts, Pyrrhic winners.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 08-11-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:07 PM
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Maximum Overdrive

In the epilogue it's revealed that the virus causing all of the machines to rebel against humans (only seen from the American perspective) was coming from a UFO which is destroyed by a Soviet weather satellite and restores order to the world.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:15 PM
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The Alamo. Not only did the Americans lose, one of them was played by John Wayne.

Last edited by P-man; 08-10-2019 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Word left out
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:59 PM
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Tomorrow Never Dies. The American info mogul is defeated by the British agent.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:10 PM
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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
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:16 PM
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Wake Island was a movie about an American defeat. Of course, it was depicted as a heroic last stand but the Japanese clearly won the battle. And it was made in 1942, when the battle was still recent news.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:40 PM
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In the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers the pod people take over, contrary to the 1956 original.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:55 PM
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In the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers the pod people take over, contrary to the 1956 original.
In the original version the original ending had Kevin McCarthy running down the highway, yelling "You're next!" to the motorists, who think he's crazy. They tacked on a "happy" ending when he finally convinces people about the pod people only after test screenings showed the audience didn't like the "downer" ending.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasi...Body_Snatchers


Finney's novel, by the way, has a completely out-of-the-blue "happy" ending that's just as unrealistic. The pods shoulda won.


In Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Masters the humans win. His book predated Finney's.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:47 PM
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Wake Island was a movie about an American defeat. Of course, it was depicted as a heroic last stand but the Japanese clearly won the battle. And it was made in 1942, when the battle was still recent news.
Corregidor with John Wayne, and Bataan with Robert Taylor (both 1943). The Purple Heart with Dana Andrews (1944).

With regard to the Battle of Little Big Horn, it should be noted that Native Americans were not considered US citizens at the time, nor would they be until 1924 (and then only those born in the United States).
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:49 PM
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No one really wins in Dr. Strangelove

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The Quiet American, 2002, an underrated and under-appreciated film, portrays Americans in Vietnam as “losers,” that is, evildoers.
That is a really good movie!
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:00 PM
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Day After Tomorrow

Most of the population of the United States has to flee to Mexico as refugees after a devastating ecological disaster makes everything north of Florida a frozen wasteland (and yes they make as many ironic immigrant jokes they can)
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:20 PM
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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
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No one really wins in Dr. Strangelove


That is a really good movie!
It's a fantastic (and eerily prophetic) book, as well.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:30 PM
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It's a fantastic (and eerily prophetic) book, as well.
Red Alert? As I recall, it bore little resemblace to Kubrick's movie.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:49 AM
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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, 11:12 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, 02:29 PM
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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."
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.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:10 PM
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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 08-10-2019, 10:34 PM
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The third man. It’s a 1949 movie so I hope spoilers are ok:

There are only 2 Americans in the movie. One gets dead and the other doesn’t get the girl.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:40 PM
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"A Bridge Too Far" (1977)
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:57 PM
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Platoon. At the end the US base being defended by the platoon is overrun by the Vietnamese.

Last edited by Colibri; 08-10-2019 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:01 PM
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The third man. It’s a 1949 movie so I hope spoilers are ok:

There are only 2 Americans in the movie. One gets dead and the other doesn’t get the girl.
It's not a Hollywood movie, though. It's British.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:11 PM
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Avengers: Infinity War if you don't count Endgame.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:42 PM
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It's not a Hollywood movie, though. It's British.
Correct and my bad.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:45 AM
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A Fish Called Wanda. I may be remembering this wrong, but it comes down to a fight between Kevin Kline and John Cleese, right?
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:52 AM
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid don't do so well against the Bolivian army.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:36 AM
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E.T. presumably (I surprisingly never actually saw it) escapes government agents.

Not a film but on Babylon 5 Earth is defeated by separatist and a coalition force of aliens.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:19 PM
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The U.S. Navy didn't fare too well in The Sand Pebbles.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:02 PM
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I've seen the film, but it was too long ago to remember: do they make explicit in the film version of The Handmaid's Tale that Gilead defeated the United States?
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:46 PM
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Being a big generous about winning and losing, I submit:

On The Beach
A Day Without a Mexican
CSA
The Road
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:02 PM
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The entirety of the Planet of the Apes films.

The directors cut of The Little Shop of Horrors remake.

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