Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rewriting History

U-751 - it's time to rip this movie apart.
I'm only speaking from memory, but I do remember the points well that I am going to mention. The reason for why I want to tackle this movie is because I recently bumped into a list of "10-best submarine movies" which included this title. It really made me mad and I'll explain why.

During the movie it is noted that the following story is based on true events...
The story is about a US navy submarine that is sent out during the Second World War to capture a German submarine (
U-751) that is disabled. The reason that particular submarine is so important is a decoder that is on board which could decode all the German messages giving the Allied forces the upper hand in the War. Of course they succeed in the end to get the decoder and thus making the Americans the heroes of such a strategic advantage. Only, it wasn't the Americans who did that in reality. It was the British navy. At the time the British captured the so called enigma decoding machine the US wasn't even involved in WWII yet.

Such arrogance just makes me wonder. Is this an attempt to rewrite history for people who would buy into it? Movies are movies, but if based on actual events (real world war scenarios) you can't go changing things and claim it's "based on true events". I would accept it if they noted - "the following events are made-up". I mean, this was not a small fact that you could accept for the sake of making that event more interesting as a movie. This was a major war victory that cost lives of British soldiers and turned the tides of the war to a great degree. I later read that British Prime Minister at the time this movie came out, Tony Blair, said this movie to be an affront to British sailors.
Now consider that this movie won an Academy Award!

The other point I feel strongly about is how the movie portrayed the German submarine sailors as remorseless - they shoot helpless British (yep, now their British) sailors on a lifeboat that are trying to ask for asylum after the Germans sunk their ship. Such an event is said to never have happened (according to historians). The Navy of both countries had strict codes of honor in cases as such of surrendering. But again, let's ignore what history says and re-paint it with clear good and baaaaaad.

To conclude. This movie doesn't belong on any "best of" list and until the Academy Award goes to a movie about how the Allied forces invaded the beaches of Normandy without any American involvement I think this movie should be ignored.

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