"There was one particular story he told us about carrying a message across No Man’s Land alone at dusk,” Mendes told Radio 1. Even the rats – which chew off a soldier’s ear, swarm around the trenches, and (unfortunately for the lads) set off a booby trap – are true to life. Comment below what you thought of the movie. Mendes’ film is set on April 6, 1917, the day the US joined the war. I've just seen "1917" and when Schofield and Blake were in enemy trenches - the rat tripwire scene - they were using some portable lamps. “Andy Robertshaw was the advisor on that stuff. Biddiss also got into the psychology of soldiering on the Western Front. The guns, thanks to some creative licence, might not be quite as accurate as in real life: Schofield escapes several gunmen, including a sniper and soldiers on foot. In reality, Alberich was a tactical, well-executed plan which allowed the German army – battered and depleted from the Somme and the grind of the Western Front – to regroup, free up divisions, and shorten its defensive frontline line by 25 miles. However, the specific tale of 1917 speaks of a … Following the accepted adage that realism in war movies means quality, Sam Mendes’s Oscar-winning 1917, (for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects), is a technical triumph: a sometime harrowing soldier’s-eye-view of a mission that plays out like one long continuous take. They must leave the trenches and cross No Man’s Land to stop Colonel Mackenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the 2nd Devons from launching an attack, which could cost the lives of 1,600 men – among them, Lance Corporal Blake’s own brother. A soldier wakes up in a flowery meadow in the first few seconds of "1917," Sam Mendes' gripping action drama about World War I. With the Germans in retreat and the Allies communication lines cut, Lance Corporals Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are charged with delivering a message. Jan. 7, 2020 at 6:00 am Updated Jan. 8, 2020 at 11:48 am . But how real is 1917? 1917 Realistic Dr , Bedford, TX 76021-4655 is currently not for sale. In a way that doesn't brush over certain details or gloss over them. In fact, 1917 was inspired by stories told to Mendes by his grandfather, the writer Alfred Mendes. It dispels with the popular “lions led by donkeys” myth for a more matter-of-fact viewpoint: not everything was completely senseless. Archive’s androids give new life to an old question: is ‘romance’ electric? 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Sam Mendes’s epic new First World War film 1917 is based on the stories of his grandfather Alfred Mendes, who fought on the Western Front between 1916-18.Born in Trinidad, Alfie Mendes signed up at And as Blake and Schofield cross No Man’s Land, it’s a starkly terrifying picture: a maze of barbed wire, industrial-scale wreckage, dead horses, and – most stomach churning of all – soldier corpses decomposed just enough to accidentally stick your hand through. “So I told them they must look after their feet.”. The two men had a baptism of fire from Paul, who put them through ­gruelling boot camps until they looked and acted the part. You need to be a subscriber to join the conversation. Could it have done better? “When they did realise, they advanced very cautiously – partly because of the traps and rear guards left for them, and partly because they would have to advance 20-odd miles across devastated terrain. Some are lost, but some are saved.”, 'I saw a corpse and jumped out my skin': inside the muddy horrors of making 1917. “I thought Mendes handled it rather well. Having the clobber and guns is a great start, but to avoid having “all the gear and no idea” military advisor and former paratrooper Paul Biddiss taught the actors were taught to move, shoot, and even think like real WWI soldiers. I thought within the world that Mendes created, it was coherent, consistent, sensible, and actually rather beautiful.”. Overall, though, he's complimentary. But the film is not about actual events that happened to Lance Corporal Alfred H. Mendes, a 5-ft.-4-inch 19-year-old who’d enlisted in the British Army earlier that year and later told his grandson stories of being gassed and wounded … The attack is depicted as a hasty assault by Colonel Mackenzine (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the 2nd Devons, who believe they’ve caught the Germans on the run. There's a reason for this all to be happening. Biddiss put the lead actors and 800-strong army of extras through training course, using actual training pamphlets from the time for reference. Officers in WWI swore like, well, troopers. Consequently, it all feels very real, and tension runs extremely high. But the Germans knew they’d be coming back.”. He searched shell holes where the companies might be hiding and was shot at by German snipers. This included 140,000 soldiers from the Indian subcontinent on the Western Front. 1917 says that – as it could and should – but also it wasn’t just all futile. Required fields are marked *. “But these are pedantic things to get worked up about!” says Boff. The war-drama from the First World War received great critics as a movie with a real war background. It was not actually shot in one take, but rather a series of continuous, uncut shots that were then cleverly connected to give the feeling of one long take. View more property details, sales history and Zestimate data on Zillow. In October 1917, during the Battle of Poelcappelle, Mendes volunteered for a mission – despite being told “there may be no return” – to venture into No Man’s Land alone and track down three companies with which his own company had lost contact. Sam Mendes’s blockbuster film 1917 follows two young British Army messengers in an against-the-clock attempt to deliver a message behind enemy lines. Messengers were used on both sides of the conflict (“Adolf Hitler was a messenger, of course,” Boff reminds me) but the concept – a race against time to save the lives of 1,600 other men – does sound like it was created with a sharp, self-aware knowledge of the genre: part Saving Private Ryan, part Gallipoli. “The Allies had pretty much come up to the new German line by then,” says Boff. In the film, the retreat is played as a trap – a crafty manoeuvre to lure the Allies into an attack, unaware that the enemy is heavily fortified and anticipating it. In short: sort of. Not the cramped hovel of Blackadder or swampish hell-holes piled with bodies. F ollowing the accepted adage that realism in war movies means quality, Sam Mendes’s Oscar-winning 1917, (for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects), is a … 1917 follows two British soldiers, Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay), who are handed the perilous task of traversing no … June 8 It's Official: The U.S. “I couldn’t let go of that one image. The film was pretty nuanced in its portrayal of the realities of war. “The landscape and No Man’s Land in the film was as you’d imagine it to have been,” says Boff. “We had one chap who was a very, very good singer and he used to indulge in his singing and lead us in the choruses and he was always inclined to get a bit sentimental,” said Private E Todd, who served on the Western Front. “That was all quite well done.”, Some analyses have identified the film’s final big push as a recreation of the Battle of Poelcappelle, which took place on October 7, 1917. Would two Lance Corporals really be plucked out of the trenches and charged with such a mission? Find out more, The Telegraph values your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. But 1917 is arguably a more nuanced take on the WWI. Instead, the German trench is like a large dormitory, with rows of bunk beds. “But when he reads the letter, he backs down and does what he’s told. Boredom was also part of life in the trenches, and Biddiss captured that by putting supporting actors to work on mundane, true-to-trench-life tasks: filling sandbags, playing checkers with buttons, and killing lice with candles. 1917 is the first major motion picture event of 2020, and is already sweeping the board at awards ceremonies.. From director Sir Sam Mendes, the … Finally, a war story worth watching. Big expectations but falls short on realism. 1917 also depicts several black soldiers among the British forces, which is also historically accurate. 1917 is a hard hitting war film that’s rampaging award season. He wrote that the snipers may have actually directed bullets away from him because of a “secret admiration for my nonchalance… or they may have thought me plain crazy.” He found the companies and spent two days carrying messages back and forth, for which he was awarded the Military Medal. Despite all the bloodshed, 1917’s most haunting scene is also a rare moment of beauty. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 1917 is described as a ‘Hard-hitting, immersive, and impressive technical achievement, 1917 captures the trench warfare of World War I … But if he said 'Get your rifles!' My question is - how realistic is this depiction and if it is realistic - what were technical specs of these lamps? Schofield also checks all his pouches before going over the top – a reference to his experience and how soldiers would lose ammo from their pockets during battle. We’ve had lots of films which have told us that. The new World War I drama from director Sam Mendes, 1917, unfolds in real-time, tracking a pair of British soldiers as they cross the Western Front on … (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); I'm the active duty law enforcement officer serving in SWAT unit. “But in the course of the retreat, the Germans did leave booby traps, and snipers, and machine gunners to make life as hard for the Entente as possible.”. Wounded soldiers are bloody, missing limbs, and crying in pain. While it sets up Cumberbatch’s character, Colonel Mackenzie, as a rampant warmonger, when Schofield finally delivers the message, Mackenzie takes his orders. The film’s call to action – the German army retreating from the Western Front – is based on Operation Alberich, a real-life withdrawal by the German to a newly built defensive position known as the Hindenburg Line. First of all I know the Germans did pull back to the Hindenburg line in March of 1917 as a way to straighten out, and therefore shorten, their line. The 1,735 sq. A Historian’s view on 1917 from History Extra; Is 1917 a true story? 1917 based on a Mendes family story. But thanks to Andy Robertshaw, there’s detailed accuracy with equipment and uniform. there was an immediate implication of urgency and danger.". But this technical accomplishment is wasted on a soulless film. “But we had to shut him up for obvious reasons, as we couldn’t stand too much of that.”. There’s also a scene with a tank stuck in a shell hole in No Man’s Land that has the right guns for the period.”. According to the National Army Museum, the British Army was relatively small scale at the start of the war – just 700,000 soldiers – and was bolstered by by volunteers, conscription, and forces from across the Empire. Biddiss ensured lots of other details were correct: how to salute properly; handling and firing weapons (using rubber bayonets and blanks – both of which are still dangerous); how specific bullet wounds would affect body movement; not keeping fingers on triggers (a common mistake from movie soldiers), and expressing fear and anger during battles. As recalled in Alfred Mendes’ autobiography, which was written in the Seventies and published posthumously in 2002, Alfred enlisted aged just 19 and fought on the Western Front for two years with the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade. Read our community guidelines in full, The latest offers and discount codes from popular brands on Telegraph Voucher Codes, Alfred Mendes, whose story inspired his grandson's film, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman in 1917, Dean-Charles Chapman, left, director Sam Mendes, center, and George MacKay on the set of 1917, What’s on TV tonight: Teenage Superstars, The Masked Singer, Raging Bull, and more, Truman Capote as Pygmalion: how the 'tiny terror' threw his adopted daughter into high society. The depiction of atrocities against civilians are also nuanced. (A comment on the insignificance of the Americans’ involvement for the average honest-to-god Tommy, perhaps? Production cut out 2,500 feet of trenches around its filming locations on Salisbury Plain, with military historian Andy Robertshaw (who was also an advisor on War Horse and Wonder Woman) ensuring that the trenches and No Man’s Land landscapes were dressed properly. Is there life after death? Mendes is known for his Academy Award-winning work on … In a gripping drama inspired by a real-life war story told to Mendes by his grandfather, they play Lance Corporals Will Schofield and Tom Blake – two young British soldiers on a mission to warn comrades that they are walking into an enemy trap. it was understood as a matter of routine. ft. single-family home is a 3 bed, 2.0 bath property. A fate… Young actors Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay play the parts of Lance Corporals Blake and Schofield respectively, taking responsibility for the majority of the film's dialogue and action. Set in World War I, 1917, is a pure bravado of two soldiers, Lance Corporal Schofield & Blake, who are tasked to deliver a crucial message to Colonel Mackenzie. Here’s Gavin’s review of it. The idea of a spur of the moment small attack to catch the enemy off balance isn't so likely, but in the big scheme of things, the Allies were planning another major attack and indeed launched one.”. “There were fundamental implausibilities and minor historical details that weren’t quite right,” he says. The Golden Globe nominated film 1917 tells the story of WWI runners carrying a message on the Western Front, inspired by director Sam Mendes's grandfather. Historian Alexandra Churchill reveals what the conflict was like for the real trench runners of World War One They are supposedly electric but I’d be very surprised if they last longer than half an hour. “He starts off that way and has a line about, ‘The only way this war is going to be won is last man standing,’” says Boff. The story has been, as Mendes himself described, “enlarged” for the big screen. “In the big scheme of things this was not some major strategic trap they were trying to spring,” says Boff. A potential contender in the 2019–2020 awards race, director Sam Mendes’ World War I movie, 1917, looks to be as technically impressive as it is dramatically heavy, telling the story of two soldiers (George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman) attempting to deliver a message that will save a huge number of lives, including one of their brothers. The Mauritanian, review: Cumberbatch in Guantánamo is no-one’s idea of a thrill, 76 Days vaunts the severity of Wuhan’s lockdown – but ducks the real questions, The White Tiger, review: the punchy, propulsive tale of a grubby ascent to the top, Marvel’s problem child: Joss Whedon and the battle to make Avengers: Age of Ultron, Film industry faces squeeze as streaming giants expand, Why this year's Oscars will be like nothing we've seen before, Stanley Tucci on becoming a cult figure: 'It makes me really happy. The First World War was sparked by the shooting of Austria-Hungary heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914, with war officially declared a month later. But there’s nothing to mark the assault out as anything other than generic WWI stuff. In reality, Alberich began on February 9 and was finished by March. Around 15,000 soldiers from the West Indies enlisted for services, including men from Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago (Mendes’ grandfather was from Trinidad). At the end of the day, the message does get through and some lives are saved. Made to look as if it is one singular take, with no hard cuts throughout the entire movie, 1917 alludes to the ever-lasting brutality and intensity of warfare. “One of the highest non-combat injuries in that war was trench foot because the boots were seeped in water,” Biddiss told The Mirror. 1917 does simplify details for the sake of dramatic license: maps that would actually get you nowhere, muddled jargon relating to the regiments, and bringing its casualty clearing station (a makeshift hospital for the wounded) much closer to the frontline than it would have been in real life. One detail changed is the date. And it has won praise from real soldiers such as Afghanistan veteran Colonel Richard Kemp. Moira Macdonald. Blake and Schofield are sent miles further than real messengers would likely have been expected to go – “It’s some very long distance and at a very funny angle,” laughs Boff, “you’d find other ways to get the message across!” – but there is some truth to idea of a soldier being randomly picked for messenger duty. Dr Jonathan Boff, history lecturer at the University of Birmingham and author of Winning and Losing on the Western Front, jokes that after coming out of the cinema he dubbed the film “Tommy Atkins and the Trenches of Doom” for its Indiana Jones-style adventure. I'm not going to pretend it doesn't', One Night in Miami, review: when four black icons in the making put their heads together, ‘Were we doing what the FBI tried to do to King in the 1960s?’: director Sam Pollard on MLK/FBI. It's a hugely cinematic moment, of course, but according to the Imperial War Museum, songs – including popular tunes from the day such as Pack Up Your Troubles – were a way to combat boredom in the trenches. And it really is old fashioned. Soldiers, though banned from shooting them, would stick rats with bayonets. Battle violence is graphically realistic, including shootings, strangling, stabbing, bombings, etc. AK-74: The successor of the legendary AK-47 assault rifle, The Cost Of An AK-47 On The Black Market Around The World, 3 Ways to Supercharge Your Life this Year, The Last Full Measure: Heroic story of William H. Pitsenbarger, Battle of Marawi – a longest urban battle in Philippines modern history. “It didn’t seem specific to me,” says Boff. Paul Biddiss had only one objective, to train more than 800 men to look and act like soldiers and give ­essential advice to director Sam Mendes. By . I suppose there was more incentive to make it more comfortable. “When the Germans retreated, the Entente didn’t even realise they’d gone for a bit,” says Boff. He became a military ­adviser after working as an extra on the 2014 film Monuments Men and getting into a ­conversation with its star, Hollywood giant George Clooney. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. A soldier wakes up in a flowery meadow in the first few seconds of "1917," Sam Mendes' gripping action drama about World War I. Of course, anyone would know 1917 is a year during which British troops were fighting in World War I. “They were ready with the next big attack on April 9, the Battle of Arras.”. “You do get that in some of the accounts, that Germans put more time and effort into making their trenches,” says Boff. This home was built in 1984 and last sold on 7/24/2017 for $179,150. ‘1917’ review: World War I tale captures a realistic, riveting race across enemy lines . In his interview with the Sunday People, Paul Biddiss, 51, a dad of five from Oxfordshire, tells the secrets behind 1917’s authenticity. June 8 As More Americans Head Out, 22 States Are Seeing Jumps In New Coronavirus Cases. Guns featured in the action include the Lee-Enfield No. Jarhead, based on Anthony Swofford's book of the same name, recounts Swofford's time as a Marine, while 1917 tells the story of two soldiers racing to deliver a message that could save the lives of up to 1600 men. The movie 1917 is visually accurate in terms of uniforms, but it suffers from multiple historical errors, I liked the movie. He was, of course, wrong and has since apologised. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 1917 is described as a ‘Hard-hitting, immersive, and impressive technical achievement, 1917 captures the trench warfare of World War I with raw, startling immediacy.’, Your email address will not be published. According to the information, the most important man who can take a lot of credit for that is ex-paratrooper Paul Biddiss, according to the Mirror. Although it features A-list names Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch in supporting roles, the actors who take up most screen time are the ­previously little-known George MacKay, 27, and Dean-Charles Chapman, 22. He was caught in a gas attack in 1918 and sent home. Biddiss had Blake constantly check his bayonet is fixed, while Schofield – more experienced with his kit – fastens it only the once. It was okay, but it perpetuates a bunch of British memes, and the many long shots do not make it more realistic. The war ended at 11 am on 11 November 1918 an armistice was declared. He has since worked on the film Jason Bourne, the BBC version of War and Peace, and most recently on Sky One’s Strikeback series. In the 1930 book Songs and Slang of the British Soldier: 1914-1918, John Brophy described how F-bombs were common, everyday parlance – so much so, that not swearing made things all that much more serious. Actors also wore authentic uniforms, including replicas of WWI Brodie helmets (even taking note of variations in helmet shape between battalions) and authentic period hobnail boots. It drew in all the world’s major economic powers. “They closed up the German line pretty cautiously and launched the Battle of Arras on April 9. ... but in the case of the first world war I think it is very important to show case the struggle in a realistic way. Rats were a problem in the trenches, spreading “trench fever” via lice and feeding on corpses. "It became so common that an effective way for the soldier to express this emotion was to omit this word. 1917 is something of a true story, loosely based on a tale the director's grandfather - Alfred H. 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