is also a great deal of humour in the movie (most of it slightly off
kilter and terribly British). The contrast between Caine and Goulds
character, Major Wells with his umbrella, Sean Connerys comment about
God being a Scotsman. There are lovely and tragic moments scattered
thoughout the film which give careful insight into the humour sometimes
discovered in combat situations.
finally note should be made of Attenborough’s attention to historical
detail. From the weapons they use such as the Piat against the tanks,
to the type of house to house street fighting, Major Gen Urquhart
getting cut off and the Germans finding the allied plans. Seldom have
I know a film that claims to follow a true story that has such rigorous
attention to historical events. In order to achieve this they pulled
in lots of military and technical advisors [if you've watched the
film you may know some of these names].
James M. Gavin
Frank A. Gregg
Kathryn Morgan Ryan
Cornelius Van Eijk
is a lovely vinette that during the shooting of Hopkins run between
buildings Johnny Frost who retired as a Major General said at one
no dear boy I don't run like that'
reshot the scene twice with Hopkins being covered each time up debris
from the explosions. Eventually they kept the original take as the
a final military note Montgomery made a mistake with this one, a big
one but I’ve noted how willing my American friends were to blanket
him with being a poor general. I’m not getting into debate here
but suffice to say it is well documented that he acted with consummate
skill in Africa against arguably on of the best military commanders
of this century. Patton had a picnic in the park.
Addison's music score will have you humming along for a number of
days and the CD is well worth buying. Oh and the Special Edition DVD
is just out.