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
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
Braveheart picture

Question: Why does Wallace spit out the pain killer that the princess gives him?

dan coakley..

Chosen answer: Just like he said, it would dull his wits and not leave him fully lucid the next day when he had to face the torture.

LorgSkyegon

He wanted his full awareness so he didn't accidentally yell for mercy.

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.

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.

Inglourious Basterds picture

Question: In the scenes leading up to the shoot-out in the bar, the German Major says that the Captain just gave himself away. I am assuming that he is referring to the fact that the Captain held up three fingers when asking for only three glasses. I don't see how this is a give-away. Can someone please explain?

scrappy1982

Chosen answer: It is explained shortly afterwards that a real German would hold up his thumb, index and middle fingers to indicate three. Since, the major already suspects the Captain of being a spy, holding up his index, middle and ring fingers to indicate three confirms this.

Xofer
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
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

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
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 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.

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.

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 Premium member
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
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
Hope and Glory picture

Question: What is the deal with Mac? Why isn't he in the Armed Services like a majority of the other men in England?

Tobin OReilly

Chosen answer: He could have flat feet or a bad back or many other problems which don't really inconvenience him but make him ineligible for service.

Grumpy Scot
Heartbreak Ridge picture

Question: Why was the platoon making such a big deal about wearing shirts during their exercises? I would think they would be better off wearing shirts so they would not get a sunburn. So what was the big deal?

SAZOO1975

Chosen answer: Gunny Highway insisted that they all wear the same shirts as he himself was wearing. If they showed up in a different one, he made them go shirtless. The reasons for this were 1) to break through their rebellious attitudes and teach them to follow his orders, 2) to make them look and feel unified, and 3) to develop resourcefulness and adaptability in them.

Chanteuse66 Premium member
Henry V picture

Question: Throughout the film, why do people refer to Henry as Harry?

Chosen answer: Harry is a nickname for those with the given name of Henry, and has been for centuries. Today's Prince Harry, for example, is actually named Henry but is called by this nickname.

LuMaria 1
Cold Mountain picture

Question: I just loved the music. Can anyone tell me whether there's a soundtrack or anything, or who are the main performing artists?

Chosen answer: There is a soundtrack to the movie which has two oscar nominations for best original song and a nomination for original score - go to amazon.com to find out the artist info.

Jane Doe
Jarhead picture

Question: Who is the guy getting on the bus yelling "Semper Fi" at the end of the movie?

Chosen answer: He was just an old former Marine (I would assume a Vietnam vet) that wanted to congratulate the Marines, and give them a better welcome home than the Vietnam vets ever got.

EMTurbo

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