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?

xx:xx:xx

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
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
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

5

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.

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.

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.

Inglourious Basterds picture

Question: After touring the cinema, why does Goebbels become so angry when someone mentions Lillian Harvey. Who is she?

Chosen answer: Lilian Harvey was a British-born actress who made her career in Germany. While under Nazi scrutiny for having too many friends in the Jewish community, she'd helped a Jewish friend escape the country before escaping herself and performing for Allied troops. So yeah, Goebbels hated her. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilian_Harvey)

Captain Defenestrator
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
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
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
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.

20

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.

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
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
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
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.

Born on the Fourth of July picture

Question: There's a scene in this movie that I've never understood. When Ron Kovic is in the VA hospital, there's one scene where he wakes up in the middle of the night, and looks up and sees something, and screams. What did he see that made him scream?

Chosen answer: He doesn't see anything. He hears his blood dripping back into the makeshift machine the doctors have set up and realizes it isn't working properly. In the previous scene he was told that if they couldn't get the machine to work, he would never walk again.

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.

Reformed Dispatcher
Rambo: First Blood picture

Question: I was wondering, at the beginning when the cop is about to shave him, why does he freak out about the knife but can kill people with his own knife?

Metalligod666

Chosen answer: Because it's a knife that someone else is holding and can use against him. It's common for people in dangerous professions to regard their weapons as tools. For example, police officers who commit suicide by handgun rarely use their service weapon, but rather a personal firearm.

Captain Defenestrator
The Last Samurai picture

Question: Nathan told Katsumo a story about the Greeks fighting a much smaller army and ended up losing the battle. Can anyone tell me the story or where to find the details on the web?

Chosen answer: The Battle of Thermopylae, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae for more info.

Myridon
The Train picture

Question: Where was this movie filmed?

Chosen answer: In several location throughout France, from Paris to Mertz, with many scenes being filmed on location. You can find more details on IMDB or Wikipedia.

Bishop73
The Hurt Locker picture

Question: What does the "hurt locker" mean?

Chosen answer: It's a term similar to "a world of hurt". It's both outside of you and within you. The outside definition is that a hurt locker is anywhere you go to find pain. In the film's case, war-torn Iraq is the hurt locker. Inside, your hurt locker is the place you bury your anguish.

johnrosa

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