Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We Need A Movie About...

This guy, for sure.
(U.S. Air Force Photo)
Alright, so we've been all over the movie Dunkirk lately AND yesterday I posted some movie previews that are recent, as in out already or to be released this year. Now on that post there were any number of awesome comments. But there were a couple which gave me the idea for today's post. Before proceeding, here are the comments in question -

(We'll be forming the "Actually liked Pearl Harbor Anonymous" group soon. I need to work out meeting times, etc. So if you're interested in joining ALPHA, let me know. HSWHTPFIHC.)

But IAS, if you had a gazillion dollars to get a historical motion picture made, what would it be? Who would it star? Would you go with CGI? Or would you insist on using real hardware, like the real machines or like the radio-controlled aircraft used in Dunkirk?

I'll kick things off. Remember the opening photo? Yeah, that's what I want to see, a bio-pic of Brigadier General Robin Olds. Start off with an early scene of him flying combat in World War II, then fast forward to the man arriving in Thailand to take command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, the mighty Wolf Pack.

There are still a few F-4 Phantoms around, a few MiGs, then you could "special-effect" for quantity. Hell, there's enough combat footage from Vietnam to really give the film that authentic feel. (Remember, you've got a gazillion bucks. but you still have to pay the actors and market the thing. I wouldn't go too nuts on refurbishing Phantoms from the boneyard. Then again, when the movie is over, I could sell those refurbished Phantoms to folks who really, really want their own Double Ugly. I'll bet Juvat wants one, heck after that superb post on Monday, I'd give him one, free!)

My first choice to play the general would be Robert Duvall, if he were a little younger...

Um, okay. You've got the job Mr. Duvall.

Now it's your turn. What movie would you like to see? Even if it's a remake of an old favorite, the only rules are that it has to be military and historical. (No Colonial Space Marines, even though they are cool as heck!) We're not making a documentary, but it has to be close to the truth, no fantasy stuff about "What if Peru had won the Napoleonic Wars?" (Yeah, yeah, I know. They weren't involved...)


Yeah, he could pull it off...(Source)


  1. I would definitely go see a movie about Robin Olds. Heck, I would enjoy a movie about any of the great men whose pictures you have here on Chant!!

  2. Rosie Rosenthal, B17 pilot; Francis Gabreski, P47 Pilot; Thomas McGuire P38 Pilot; True stories about the maquis in WW2; The polish general Tadeusz Kościuszko (I know about his name, but not much about what he did). That'll do for a start....

  3. Recently there was some movie director or producer that said conservatives need to go back to the theaters to see the movies that they are producing. My wife and I do not want to see some pansy left wing nut movie with actors that spout double standard BS about lifestyles. Hollywood actors used to be war heroes and now jackwads like Leo DeCrappio, Matt Damon, Neil Patrick Harris, and George Clooney are the ones headlining.

    The best movie I have seen this past year is Hacksaw Ridge. My wife made the comment afterwards that hollywood needed more films like that. I can't agree more. Get a few veterans as actors because they know how to wear the uniform and have a clue on how to behave while in uniform. Then do a close to possible historically movie about America's true heroe's, our MOH award winners.

    1. Hacksaw Ridge was excellent.

      A series of films about the MoH and those awarded it would be superb, provided it was done right.

  4. I'm still itching for the Spielberg/Hanks follow on to BoB and The Pacific about the 8th AF: The Mighty Eighth.


    1. Yes, I am (impatiently now) waiting for that. It has to be good, right?

    2. Gonna be hard to top "12 O'Clock high" though.

    3. I read the article above. I wonder if they will scout my dad's old field.

      Here is the Wiki link to "12 O'clock HIgh". As mentioned, the character of 2nd Lieutenant Jesse Bishop was based on John C. Morgan---

      When Morgan was later shot down, the pilot was Major Fred Rabo---

      When we lived in Chico, CA, I had the honor of getting acquainted with Fred Rabo.

  5. Fighter Pilot showed up in our mailbox and it is now in the reading list.

    Thank you for suggesting it.

  6. "Rolling Thunder" starring Gary Sinise as Merlyn Dethlefsen, Chris Hemsworth as Leo Thorsness, Anthony Hopkins as LBJ, Alec Baldwin as McNamara and Me as Ed Rasimus. Oscar Shoe in I tell ya!

  7. Reading that comment about kids not knowing history makes me want to be a History teacher, and an easy gig it would be. I'd just show great movie after great movie. The ones that aren't that good, we could spend a class discussing what was done wrong. I'd also assign some of Bill O'Reilly's "Killing ______" books which are well researched and give a part of that history that isn't as well known.

    1. I was with you up until you mentioned Bill O'Reilly. I read Killing Patton and I thought it sucked, both as to the writing style and as to the historical accuracy. I won't touch any of the others on account of that.

      But I'd love to be a history teacher, too bad the pay isn't that good. I like your movie-as-teaching tool idea as well.

    2. You'd get fired in less than 30 seconds for not teaching the current Pravda, comrade.

      Schools are that bad.

      Now, if you get into a private school system....

    3. Killing Jesus, Killing the Rising Sun- killer books and notable exceptions to your rule.

    4. Patton left a bad taste though.

  8. A movie about Operation Bolo would indeed be pretty darn epic. One on Pomegranate 20, a similar aerial ambush likely inspired by Operation Bolo, where the Israelis took on Soviets Pilots in air-to-air over Egypt would also be pretty cool.

    A movie on Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors would be great.

    A movie on the 2004 Battle of Al Amarah as recounted in Sniper One would also be pretty darn cool.

    A movie about the Battle of Lake Erie would also be a nice touch.

    1. All excellent choices. Operation Bolo would be the centerpiece of my movie about General Olds.

      I'd pay good money to see all five!

  9. Wendell Fertig's guerilla campaign in WW2 in the Philippines.

    1. I had to look that up. Holy crap, there's a story which NEEDS to be told.

      Great idea!

    2. my personal top ww2 stories I would like to be told in the movies...
      in no partiucular order.
      Squadron 303 - nuff said
      Cobra and Falaise pocket. From the breakout, to the Polish 1st Armored Divison slamming the door on last Germans trapped in the pocket. Yhe original highway of death... Bayerlein reporting "total destruction" of Panzer Lerh by carpet bombing. Death of Wittman.
      Dieppe raid.
      Java Sea and drama of the ABDA destruction.
      Defence of Wake Island.
      Coral Sea.
      Schweinfurt raid, the black day of the Mighty Eighth.

      bonus as a mini-series:
      Guadalcanal sea battles, Neptune's Inferno.

    3. Awesome ideas Paweł.

      I would add the Poles at Monte Cassino.

    4. ...including Woytek the Bear Canoneer.
      Right to Keep and Arm Bears.

    5. Regarding Fertig, John Keats "They Fought Alone." Four bucks on kindle!

      WEB(strap) Griffin features him in "The Corps" series, not bad really, but Keats did it much better.

    6. Paweł - love the idea of the Poles having a tame bear!

      I see he has at least two statues, one in Kraków and one in Edinburgh! He's also referenced in the game Hearts of Iron IV. Awesome!

    7. Shaun - Sigh, so many books, so little time...

  10. An accurate telling of Lexington and Concord is way over due. Do not confuse the recent "Sons of Liberty" with anything in actual history.

    1. Absolutely. The film, April Morning, with Tommy Lee Jones and Rip Torn covered Lexington pretty well, I liked it. But Concord wasn't covered at all.

      And yeah, Sons of Liberty was absolutely terrible.

  11. I just started a book yesterday titled "From Makin to Bouganville: Raiders in The Pacific War" by Major Jon T. Hoffman that I think would make a good movie. Although it would probably have to be a multipart movie and I guess more of a documentary but based on what I've read so far, I would enjoy it.

    1. Raiders in the Pacific, sounds like a great mini-series.

  12. A movie about the Son Tay raiders. Any operation where they purposely crash a Jolly Green helicopter, and only suffer a sprained/broken ankle while racking up a huge body count is tops in my book. Sucks the prisoners were moved.

    A movie about, well, to the Shores of Tripoli. Show people we've been fighting Islamic Slavers for forever. Plus, the firing of the Philadelphia is a great story by itself.

    An English speaking version of the Siege of Vienna. Really want to see the Polish Winged Hussars come save the day.

    Lepanto. Now that was a naval battle. And how did the Pope know Don Juan won? Hmmmm.

    One dealing with the Tet Offensive, how we won it lock, stock and barrel and lost it at Home.

    More coming later, maybe

    Oh, yeah, a movie about the First Crusade and the real reason it was fought!!!! Not the mambly-pambly PC garbage.

    1. I just knew you'd like this topic Andrew, after all, it was kinda-sorta your idea!

      Good ideas on the films, I'd watch 'em, for sure! (Especially Tet!)

    2. Oh, yeah, qualifiers.

      Live action as much as possible. Really good model work (like in Tora, Tora, Tora - the Jap carriers in heavy, stormy seas is a stomach-churning event to watch. And only CGI when you can actually make it look real. Not like the phony CGI look in "Pearl Harbor" (I just had to get my digs in.)

      And Bunker Hill/Breed's Hill.

      One on the Hunley would be great. I know they did a mini-series or made for tv version, but I can't find it.

      Get really funky and do some French and Indian war flicks. Covered pretty well in "The Last of the Mohicans" and touched a bit in Mel Gibson's "The Patriot", but this little known war was pretty much the epitome of nasty, vicious, bloody slaughter with no quarter, on both sides.

      Maybe a movie dealing with the CSS Virginia and the USS Merrimac. The casement monitor scene out of that stupid movie "Sahara" (not the really good one with Humphrey Bogart and an M3 Lee) just wetted my appetite for some CivWar naval gunfire. The new movie could deal with the whole Hampton Roads scene, with flashbacks to construction of both ships. Hmmmm, sounds like a mini-series...

      Even a biopic on that fat gay kraut Steuben, talk about totally pc-ish. His professionalism saved Washinton's troops. Or a biopic on all the rich, progressive, elitist nobility that gave their all for our country. Lafayette, Polaski et al.

      One on the blockade runners of the Civil War.

      Maybe one on the Franco-Prussian war. Germany when they were 'good' germans?

      1066 - maybe make it a multi-movie. I mean, the death of Edward, the election of Harold Godwinson (hwack-sptut), the whole Godwinson-William the Bastard pre-thingy of swearing an oath to support William, Stamford Bridge, Hastings and the coronation on Christmas of William the no-longer-the-bastard Conqueror. And really require the actor warriors to really fight, not that crappy hollyweird 'I can use two swords because two is better than one-kung fu crap', real fighting. Armor stops blows, shields can bash, hacking, horses kicking, Harold getting it in the eye (dumbass, never look up when someone goes "What's that?" and points their finger...)

    3. and, to continue....

      If I had a bazillion dollars, well, real weapons, historically correct costumes and harness, real horse equipments (NO STIRRUPS DURING ROMAN, GREEK or EGYPTIAN MOVIES, DANGIT!!!) and make the actors actually learn to fight the way being simulated. As much real recreation as possible.

      And every movie would list the amount of animals sacrificed on the alter of good food just to piss PETA off. Imagine, 3,000 chickens, 14 whole cows, 12 dozen pigs (mmmm, Bacon!!!), etc. Hey, it's my movie, I can show what I want!!!

      And every US movie will end with the list of awards for the units and persons involved, especially MOH, Battlestars (for the ships), and so forth. And the casualty figures. People need to be reminded that 'It is well that war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it.' as General Robert E. Lee said.

      I would pound the blood and guts in peoples' faces, along with the message as to why the fight occurred. Fighting because our politicians (elected and especially unelected ones - State Department, I mean you!!) screwed up, fighting because our way of life was being attacked and there was no other way around it (well, Crusades, Lepanto, WWII (WWI was a crap shoot, we coulda gone to either side, or stayed out altogether - damn that bastard Wilson!) etc.

      Make great movies not just about the actual fight, but why we fought, how we fought. Real movies. Not ones catering to the Chinese audience. Ones not meant to cause PTSD by viewers, but still, immersive movies, ones that grab you and pull you in and leave you sweating in the seat after they are over. Ones that leave you slightly troubled, as they attack your fundamental beliefs, or exhilarated (like how you felt after watching "300", I mean, if that movie didn't leave you wanting to work out, get totally buff and then go bash heads, nothing will.) Ones that the great actors and directors of WWII would get.

      For that, I will become a shapeshifter and take over Zuckerberger's body... muhahahahhahahaha.

    4. Whew, that's quite a list, all good too.

      As I was reading one part, I started to get the eerie feeling that you were actually inside my head.

      Puzzled, stay tuned for tomorrow's post.


    5. It may have something to do about growing up om military bases where they had active CAP fighters (Hollomon AFB) or were shooting really big missiles on a regular basis (Vandenberg AFB) or living amongst the dead and at an active ABM site (Kwajalein) or standing on the hallowed deck of the USS Arizona memorial when I was 8, trying to sound out all the names.

      I kinda had a weird childhood. Brother watched two Blue Angels auger in at Point Magoo in the late '60s and got to deal with that trauma. Wondered why my ex-fighter pilot dad was doing weird projects in the desert (now I know, duh, Vietnam.) Touched expended (and non-expended, shhhh - don't tell my mom) from both sides of the Pacific war. Watched the Delta rockets exploding. So, I got a weird exposure to military death, I guess.

  13. I'm just going to start signing myself ' Late to the Ball '. Just one movie suggestion to add to all the great ones above: a movie about Richard I. ( Dick ) Bong.

    IMHO one of your top posts, OAFS.

    Late to the Ball

    1. Concur on the film about Dick Bong, there are still a number of airworthy P-38s, and I'd love to see a modern film with them in it!

      Thanks PLQ, or should that be LttB?

    2. "...or should that be LttB?" That depends on whether I comment before there are 15 comments ahead of mine. Thanks for recognizing my " fist ".

      Paul L. Quandt

  14. I would love to see something about Col. Olds or Col. Boyd, for that matter. Col. Olds took over the 8TFW just as we left. I have often wondered if any of the Phantoms we "high-flew" over there were a part of his historic activities. I also would have loved to know whether my Flight CO and Col. Olds ever met. They would have made quite a pair. I think and thank my CO most everyday for keeping my young rear alive or least out of trouble most of the time. I have a painting of "Phantom Raiders" by Simon Atack hanging over my desk here. It shows four Phantoms led by Col Olds making an attack on Viet Tri as a part of "Linebacker" in '67. It's fun to think that I might have flown those A/C at some time. I'm pretty sure I've been there.

    1. You were in the 8th?!?!?

      (So were Juvat and I, hence my excitement.)

      I Googled that painting, talk about low and down in the weeds! Love it!

    2. 68th was a sister squadron when I was at Moody.

    3. I post this with growing piss-d offness as Wiki left out a whole airplane (F-4C) from their re-cap of what went on in the olden days. I flew the Deuce in the 68FIS (we get ours at night) atItaazuke to protect the Huns and the Farmingdale Squat-bomber. Then got Moved to George for the mighty Phantom, preparing me to stem the tide of the Asian hoarde. In August, not Sep.
      I remember, 'cuz Jeanie and got married on 3Jul65.
      This from Wiki.,
      Cold War[edit]
      With the end of the Korean War, the wing was assigned to Itazuke AB, Japan for the next ten years. On 1 October 1957, the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group inactivated, with the flying squadrons then assigned directly to the wing. Less than a year later, on 1 July 1958, the Air Force redesignated the wing as the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. During its tenure at Itazuke, the wing flew several different aircraft, including the North American F-86 Sabre, North American F-100 Super Sabre, Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, and Republic F-105 Thunderchief.

      As part of an overall effort to reduce the number of wings in Japan the wing's tactical squadrons were detached on 13 May 1964, and on 18 June 1964 all wing components except wing headquarters inactivated.

      Vietnam War[edit]

      On 18 June 1964, the wing moved without personnel or equipment to George AFB, California, replacing and absorbing the resources of the 32d Tactical Fighter Wing. Operational squadrons of the 8th TFW at George were:

      68th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (TFS)
      431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (TFS)
      497th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (TFS)
      While at George AFB, the wing trained with the McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II fighter aircraft and participated in numerous exercises, operational readiness inspections, and the like until the wing moved to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand in September 1965 to commence combat operations in the Vietnam War.

      At Ubon, the 8th TFW carried out its wartime mission as it led the way for other tactical Air Force fighter units during the Vietnam War.

    4. I worked on the F-4C and the D.

      How could they forget the C-model?!?!?!

    5. Maybe they didn't C it?

  15. I'm with you on Olds. IMO it must feature his time flying Meteors with No. 1 Squadron at Tangmere, including his stint as CO of that squadron. How many Yanks have skippered foreign squadrons I ask you?

    I'd dearly love to see Jack Broughton's story portrayed accurately in film. Adapting "Thud Ridge" and "Going Downtown" would be a good way to stab lbj and bobby strange in the eye and perhaps show Americans what a load of horseshit they've been sold.

    There's a hell of a story to be told regarding Randy Cunningham and his fall from grace, but it should wait until after he's gone and Americans have Made America America Again.

    "The Heart of a Man," Frank Elkins.

    And speaking of Dunkirk, the story of US Naval Aviation developing strategic bombing there in 1917-1918.

    Another good one IMO would be the story of Ray Jones, who by all accounts was a hell of a pilot, who thought Olds and Yeager were fos, and who was ultimately crippled while evaluating the Bede BD-5 microjet for use at the USAF Test Pilot School.

    Also, well, don't get me started!

    1. Oh, yeah. "Thud Ridge" would rock, in so many ways. Definitely focus on the guy who dropped into that SAM site and blew it away, and then got his punishment papers delivered the day he was shot down.

      Screw you, LBJ, and every ass-bag that acts like you (past president included!!!)

    2. Shaun - great ideas. Thud Ridge? Oh Hell YES!

    3. Andrew - Yup, LBJ was a disgrace. And we're gonna name a freaking ship after him.


    4. Why not, we have the Harvey Milk, the Gabby Gifford and the 2nd Worst President Ever (wouldn't it be neat to change the name of that ship to that actual name?

      We need to just pass a law allowing only military heroes (bronze star and equivalent or better), locations and battles for surface ships, and fish names for subs. Cut out all this ego stroking and pc bullshit.

      Just the whole WWII naval list should keep us busy for half a century with no repeats.

  16. Me, I would have them make Sledge's "With the Old Breed", and do it right. I wouldn't tone it down, or deny the atrocities committed. Another one I would like to see done right, is HW McBride's "A Rifleman Goes to War".

    1. I would love to see Sledge's book made into a movie.

      I need to track down that McBride book. Snipers, nuff said.

  17. And as to the "NO FANTASY MOVIES" clause, I have only one beef.

    "Starship Troopers" done right. Like in the actual book, written by RAH himself. Not those stupid movies...

    I want real powered armor, real bugs, real "History and Moral Philosopy."

    That is all. Sorry for the hijack, but you put the bug (hehehe) in my head.

    1. Cooperate on Thud Ridge and we'll do a two picture deal, Shaun does Thud Ridge, as long as Juvat gets a part, and you get to remake Starship Troopers. Heh. Hollywood.

    2. Andrew:

      Every time you comment, I like you more and more. I can't think of anything you've written with which I disagree.


    3. Juvat can be the "I've had it up to here" guy, flirting with catastrophe on FCF's and testing the nose wheel sand dribbler!

  18. MonkeyWrangler got me thinking with his post above and his statement, "I wouldn't tone it down, or deny the atrocities committed." And my mind turned dark, darker than exposing LBJ and MacArthur and Wilson and FDR and....

    And this will be a controversial one, or a few controversial ones.

    The My Lai massacre. The real reasons why it happened. Not the commie crap we've been told. The real, horrible truth about how even the best troops can be pushed over the edge by the nastiness of the locals, the nastiness of your own superiors, the stupidity of restrictions on warfighters. It wasn't just a bunch of teenage US hooligans on a killing rampage. Some proof that it wasn't all the fault of the US. That, maybe, the villagers had something to do with it. Don't gloss over the story. But tell all sides of the story for once.

    Maybe, do like John Ringo suggested in the book "The Last Centurion" and take selected famous photos, like the South Vietnam officer shooting that guy on the road, and back-tracking it, and showing the truth behind what the newsies allowed us to see. The Burning Girl. Even one on that b.... Hanoi Jane and her treason, sitting in that gun seat, done before she dies, so she can see her cult followers explode when the truth is out on widescreen.

    The Dresden bombing and firestorm. The bombing of Aachen. The firebombing of Japanese cities. Tell the whole truth, the totally ugly truth, and why.

    Civilians die during war. We can try to sanitize it, but until the civilians backing the fighters feel the pain in their souls, the war won't stop.

    And one really controversial one. The planning of the Invasion of Japan, interspersed with the development of fighting in the last years of the Pacific Theater, hitting a crescendo with the 2 bombs, and then kicking the audience in the genitals with the follow-up after the surrender showing how well prepared the Japanese were, including weaponized kids, suicide boats and planes, planned mass suicides, their nuclear, chemical and biological warfare and culminating in the staggering numbers of Purple Hearts minted for the invasion, and what has happened to them (we are still issuing medals today for injuries incurred today from that stockpile.) Talked to some people in the know from both sides and the consensus was that if the invasion went on, and we finally prevailed, the Japanese people would have been ended. Finito. Gone from Modern History. Gone the way of Babylonia, Carthage... That, that movie (or mini-series, or tv show or whatever) would be worth making. Shouldn't have dropped the bomb, my ass.

    1. Concur on The Bomb.

      Vietnam needs to be dug into, like you say. All wars are like that, those in Asia seem particularly nasty.

    2. Made my previous comment before I read this one, Andrew. We seem to have some similar thought and beliefs. If you are ever in my part of the world ( northwest Oregon ), I would be most pleased to spend some time with you.


    3. And then show Germany, Italy and Japan in 1965. Also the Gulags in Russia and China; the difference between six million and 150 million. Then cut to Charlton Heston on the beach.

      Upon further review, there may be a reason I'm not a hollywood director....

    4. Unfortunately stuck in Florida for the foreseeable future.

      And no one believes that socialists kill. Look at how bad "Reds", "The Killing Fields" and movies of that type have done.

    5. Man, these are great comments!

  19. BG Robin Olds, the man all of us wanted to player at USMA, Lightening pilot, married to a movie star, F-4 fighter pilot/leader of fighter pilots extraordinaire, major PITA to "Big Air Force." To list just a little. What's not to envy? Were Hollywood to attempt his movie it would probably be left to Oliver Stone and Michael Moore so it's probably best just left alone. On another issue, Mark Bowden's, of "Blackhawk Down" fame, "Hue 1968" is telling of the brutality experienced by our Marines during the three week liberation of Hue. "Brutal" is sugarcoating it! regards, Alemaster

  20. Hey, how about a totally historical movie based on the fall of Rhodesia? And then one that follows up about all the enlightened changes that 'native' rule brought?

    That would cause some heads to explode. Maybe one about Nelson Mandela during his days as a terrorist, blowing up busses of children?

  21. A movie about TAFFY THREE, of course, and ones about the survival of USS LAFFEY, and the fire on BUNKER HILL. I would like to see a moie about the RN/RCN winning the convoy war, with maybe one about the USN Hunter Killer Groups of CVEs that the Admiralty guided with ULTRA to kill the Milch Cows. A movie about David McCapmbell, too, please.

  22. An all time high comment-wise. Nice and thanks to all!

  23. Replies
    1. Hahaha!

      Tuna for the win!

      I think the old record was in the 60s (number of comments, not the decade) and Juvat set it.

    2. Guess I'll just have to write better posts. Hat's off to the new Cham-peen!

    3. Juvat - I think you still hold the record for the highest average number of comments per post.

      And I'm not just saying that to make you feel better.

      Or, am I?

    4. Mrs Juvat just sent me this link which I thought was pretty special given the Dunkirk theme for the week.

    5. Please thank Mrs. Juvat for that link.

      Like listening to an Arizona survivor.

      I gotto go and cry now.


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