Best war movie questions of all time

Saving Private Ryan picture

Question: After Capt Miller gets briefed on his new mission to rescue Pvt Ryan and enlists Upham for the mission, there is a long shot of the beach. What are those Zeppelin-like things that are floating around, tied to the ground? What are they good for?

00:39:50

Chosen answer: These were barrage balloons, commonly used during the war. They are used to stop low level bombing and low level fly bys by enemy fighter planes. The cables attached to the balloons are designed to cut through the wings of the aircraft and to bring them down, so any pilot would have to fly above them, and the balloons would also restrict the view from above.

Gladiator picture

Question: I don't know whether this is a mistake or if there was a certain reason for it but, at the end of the movie when Maximus tells Quintus to free his men, Quintus turns to the line of guards standing behind him and says, "Free the prisoners, go!" Two of the guards standing next to each other immediately go to free the prisoners, and the rest of the guards don't budge. How did those two guards know that the orders were given directly to them?

dan coakley..

Chosen answer: Because they would be the ranking soldiers, and accustomed to being given orders. Being disciplined, they would obey Quintus without question. The legions would necessarily have soldiers assigned to following orders at different times, similar to how a captain would give an order to a full room, and the first mate would be the one to carry out the order.

rswarrior
Full Metal Jacket picture

Question: Who's idea was it, or the reason, Kubrick decided to kill off Gunnery Sergeant Hartman? Was it to merely show the casualty of war?

Chosen answer: It was Gustav Hasford's idea. It happened in the original book that the story is based on, "The Short Timers."

Captain Defenestrator Premium member
Black Hawk Down picture

Question: Why did the film makers portray Sgt. Eversmann as the main character/hero of the story? I've read the book and his involvement was minimal.

Chosen answer: The answer to this question is quite simple. Whenever any book is put on to the screen things must be glorified in order to catch the eye of a film goer. In movies like this one, heroes, brave men, and down right bad ass characters are what people need to see. If the movie was just like the book, there would be just a whole bunch of equally important characters, which is something very rarely seen in movies. So in short they made sgt Eversmann a main character simply because the movie needed one.

Braveheart picture

Question: The script was written by Randall Wallace. Any family connections to William Wallace or is it just a coincidence?

Chosen answer: According to IMDb Randall Wallace's personal quote reads, "I think he is an ancestor, I feel his blood in my veins. I can't prove it but then no one can disprove it."

OneHappyHusky
Empire of the Sun picture

Question: Can anyone who speaks Japanese tell me what Jim says to the guard who's beating up the doctor? He says a few lines, then bows. The guard seems embarrassed and walks away.

Krista

Chosen answer: The first time, Jim says "Nanika no machigai desu. Bokutachi wa minna tomodachi desu yone. Senso no sei desu." This roughly translates to "There has been some sort of mistake. We are all friends aren't we? It is the war's fault." The second time, Jim only says "Nanika no machigai desu. Bokutachi wa minna..." and then gets pushed aside. "There has been a mistake, we are all...". I hope that helps.

7

Troy (2004)

Troy picture

Question: What does Agamemnon yell right before the Greeks charge in the first battle?

Chosen answer: He doesn't yell any words, just an expression of anguish over his brothers death.

Inglourious Basterds picture

Question: Why does Hugo Stiglitz kill the German officers in the first place? The film mentions his enlistment, but how is this related to his killings?

Chosen answer: Based on his willingness to join the Basterds, we can assume he killed them because he didn't believe in what the Nazis were doing.

Schindler's List picture

Question: Does anyone know the name of the song which is playing on the radio in the beginning of the movie, when Schindler is getting dressed for the party?

Chosen answer: "Gloomy Sunday".

Kimberly Klaus
Atonement picture

Question: The scene with Briony and the French soldier made absolutely no sense to me. They seem to go back and forth from knowing each other well, to having just met. What exactly am I missing?

Chosen answer: Briony was just told by her superior to hold the French soldier's hand because he was dying. The French soldier was delirious and most likely confused her with another English girl whom he knew in the past. Since he was dying, Briony decided to play along and pretended that she was that girl. While this exchange is happening, though, Briony experiences something else as well. She sees the soldier as being like Robbie which is why I think she has such a strong reaction to him. When she tells the soldier "I love you" it is like her speaking to Robbie.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World picture

Question: Will someone explain to me navigation. I have never heard of "Sou Sou West" or "Sou East by East."

Chosen answer: There are four major directions (North, South, East and West), four minor (North East, south east, south west and north west) and 16 sub directions. Among these are South South West and South east by East. South South West is between South West and South and South East by East is between south east and east.

SexyIrishLeprechaun

12

300 (2006)

300 picture

Question: Could someone please explain the goat in Xerxes' 'sex room' (for lack of a better word). The scene before Xerxes offers the hunchback Ephialtes everything, this scene begins with a shot of a goat with human hands playing an instrument and (I believe) smoking something. Does Xerxes have a goat fetish or something? Could someone kindly explain this for me.

Chosen answer: The scene is meant to show that Xerxes has exotic creatures/slaves from every corner of the world. In the reality of the film, a goat-headed musician would certainly qualify.

Jason Hoffman
King Arthur picture

Question: What does the Saxon who rallies the troops actually yell? He yells it twice: once, after Cerdic meets with Arthur in front of the wall and gives the order to "prepare the men for battle", and then a second time when Cerdic gives the signal after the only survivor of the first "wave" comes back through the wall. (And I don't mean his cry of "battle formation.").

Chosen answer: He yells 'Schlachtet den feind!' (In very, very bad "German") - 'slaughter the enemy!'. And his army seems to yell: "Schlachtung! Schlachtung! Schlachtung..." - "Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter..."

The Last of the Mohicans picture

Question: At the fort they cover their cannons with sheepskin. Why?

Chosen answer: During inclement weather, dry sheepskins were used to keep rain from entering the barrel. During battle, wet sheepskins were used to cool down the barrel to decrease the likelihood of the powder exploding prematurely.

Greg Dwyer
The Pianist picture

Question: I want to know how the scene with the Nazis dumping the man in the wheelchair off the balcony was done. How did the man/stuntman manage to survive this fall?

ChitownGal

Chosen answer: In the scene, we see the old man being lifted in his wheelchair. Then, there is a cut-away to the family watching from across the street. Then we see someone being dumped from the chair and falling, but we never see him hit the ground. My guess from watching the scene is that the stunt person fell into a cushion which was removed in post-production. Generally, when confronted with a question such as this, I like to refer it to someone who would be in the know - in this case, the stunt team on the film. I looked up that team on IMDb.com, and searched for the individuals on Facebook. Of the twenty or so stunt people and coordinators, I could only find three with unique profiles that made me think I might have the correct individuals: Janusz Kadlubowski, Stella Kuczynska and Zbigniew Modej. I posed your question to them. However, given that I am not connected on Facebook to any of them, I have no idea if or when they would see my message and respond. I will update this answer if I receive further information.

Casablanca picture

Question: Why did Ilsa jilt Rick in Paris when she was in love with him?

Chosen answer: She was married then, and discovered that Lazlo was still alive.

scwilliam

17

Patton (1970)

Patton picture

Question: Is it just me or does this film seem to have some definite homosexual undertones when it comes to Patton? He dresses flamboyantly, wears lots of jewelry, designs uniforms, caresses his dead staff member, kisses a soldier tenderly after a battle. Did the writers do this intentionally and/or were there rumors about Patton's sexual orientation?

Chosen answer: It's just you.

The Thin Red Line picture

Question: When Witt is in the clearing surrounded by Japanese riflemen, does anybody know what the Japanese soldier was saying to Witt before he shot him?

Chosen answer: He said "I don't want to kill you. Don't move."

Cubs Fan Premium member
American Sniper picture

Question: When Chris and co are having dinner with an Iraqi family, why does Chris react the way he does when he sees the mark on the Iraqi father's left elbow? What does Chris think it is?

kh1616

Chosen answer: Chris has "shooter's strawberries" on his elbows, which are red callouses caused by lying in the sniper's position for long periods. He notices the same marks on the elbows of the father, and realizes that he too is a military sniper.

Sierra1 Premium member
The Lost Battalion picture

Question: In one of the last scenes of the movie when the camera is spanning the waste of the battlefield, why is there a British Lee Enfield rifle shown propped up against a tree? Why would that weapon be found there?

Chosen answer: Units from all nations were mixed throughout the field.

Hotel Rwanda picture

Question: I believe they mentioned it in the movie, but I missed it. How was it decided who is Tutsi and who is Hutu?

Chosen answer: Generally there were two methods, one they had identification badges that mentioned whether they were Tutsi or Hutu. This is evident when Don Cheadle goes to buy supplies and they want to see some ID. The other was simply that people knew each other. Some people would say who was Tutsi and who was Hutu.

Lummie Premium member
Flags of Our Fathers picture

Question: What exactly happened to Iggy? Are we ever supposed to know exactly how he died?

Chosen answer: The movie insinuates that he was killed horribly but doesn't provide many details. Books about Iwo Jima have quotes from witnesses about what happened to him and they all say that he was very brutally tortured, including having his eyes cut out and his genitals removed and stuffed in his mouth. The book "Flags of Our Fathers" contains the following quote, "A few days later someone yelled that they'd found him. They called me over because I was a corpsman. The Japanese had pulled him underground and tortured him. His fingernails... his tongue... It was terrible. I've tried hard to forget all this.

Rambo: First Blood picture

Question: I actually have two questions about this film. Firstly, does Rambo actually kill anyone in this film? Dennehy doesn't die and he didn't kill Galt so was there anyone else? And secondly when Rambo arrives at the cliff face, why didn't he simply run to his right or left? The police were only coming at him from behind (and even if one of them came from the side, Rambo could have used his skills to get past him). So why did he feel that going down the cliff was his only option?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: No he doesn't kill anyone. He didn't know if he was surrounded or not and if he did encounter one from the side they might have shot him.

Grumpy Scot
We Were Soldiers picture

Question: Would a sergeant-major participate in a mission?

Chosen answer: This one did, everything ascribed to him in the film was true.

Farmersboy Premium member
The Alamo picture

Question: In the John Wayne film, Frankie Avalon is riding into Sam Houston's camp and is stopped by two sentries. The one questioning him appears to bear a striking resemblance to Robert Mitchum. Is this him?

Chosen answer: No, that's not him. Robert Mitchum has no part in this movie.

Mortug Premium member
Gone with the Wind picture

Question: I read in the trivia section that something falls out of a tree while the letters "Gone with the Wind" go across the screen. I watched the movie and it's true, but does anyone have any information about it? (Was there any controversy? What was the object? Did they try to edit it out? etc.).

Movie_Freak 1

Chosen answer: It looks to me like a bird flying from the tree to the ground. Nothing controversial there and no reason to edit it out.

ChiChi Premium member
Where Eagles Dare picture

Question: Mary's attire looks more like 1960s than 1940s. Any info on this?

Susan Emery

Chosen answer: This is not unusual in older films. Earlier costume designers were less attentive to historical accuracy and freely incorporated current fashion trends into period movies. It was just an accepted practice and movie audiences back then were often less discerning and/or unaware of inaccuracies. Today's costumers have greater access to historical information, do more research, and strive for authenticity.

raywest Premium member
The Manchurian Candidate picture

Question: There were two flashbacks of how Raymond Shaw killed one of the soldiers. One scene it showed him suffocating him in the desert with a piece of plastic. In another scene it shows him choking him with his hands in some kind of observation room. Was the desert 'killing', a dream combining the truth with the brainwashing?

Deezul

Chosen answer: Perhaps the piece-of-plastic killing was a "test run" by the brainwashers to see if Raymond would actually react to their commands. You can see other soldiers lying down wearing "halos", hinting that this happened at a different time and place than the observation room choking.

The Alamo picture

Question: Can anyone tell me if Santa Anna really ran away from Houston's forces as it shows in the movie? And was that battle really over in 18 minutes? (Not being an American or a Texan for that matter, I have very little knowledge about what happened at the Alamo, I'm just curious).

Chosen answer: The defenders of the Alamo held off Santa Anna's troops for 13 days before a final assault on 6 March 1836, where the complex was stormed just before dawn. The battle ended by sunrise. Santa Anna was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto in April of the same year, and Texas won its independence from Mexico. Also check www.thealamo.org for detailed information and links.

Macalou
The Patriot picture

Question: Who was the baby in Charlotte's arms in the closing scene? Why was the baby not alluded to previously?

Chosen answer: At the end of the film, it is implied that Charlotte and Benjamin Martin have married and had a child together. It wasn't alluded to earlier because it is meant to show that a person's life can start over, even after tragedy and loss.

raywest Premium member

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