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Film - Forgotten men


healdav

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A few weeks ago I came across a video I had bought at some time, 'Forgotten Men'. I think I must have got it from DD Videos to judge by a small logo on the box, but I don't remember.

I watched it last night and can thoroughly recommend it as a most strange documentary!

According to the blurb on the box, it was made in 1934 to show the next generation the horror of war and to try to persuade them that it should never happen again. It was then lost and only recently found in an archive. Certainly the introduction looks 'official'.

The introduction is by General Hamilton (the only time he appeared on film, apparently. Unfortunately, he looks like Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets.

The rest of the film is run by an 'eminent hisorian of whom I have never heard, John Hammerton. It takes the form of a statement prompted by hammerton from a veteran resplendent with medals and then newsreel footage illustrating a particular action, but film taken on both sides of the line. Some of it is pretty gruesome - film of a soldier in his death throes and clearly in agony from a wound, for example.

There is even one film of an attack where it ends abruptly as a shell blows up in front of the camera and kills the cameraman.

I have a feeling that some shots are staged - the camera angles look a bit suspicious - someone filming an attack from in fron, and in No Mans Land, for instance. Film from an aircraft of a bomb being dropped and then from the ground of the bridge blowing up. Oh yea.

But on the whole well worth watching. It covers land sea and air operations.

I saw from the price tag that it only cost me £2.99! so hardly an investment. Anti-war it certainly is. There is even a short interview with a woman who was in the Graves Registration and a long shot of bodies being tipped into massgraves - stretcher bearers and officer in charge all smoking while doing it.

Anti-war it certainly is.

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I first saw this a few years ago and bought a copy myself, it is a remarkable film indeed.

To see the veterans as young men was very odd, especially Piper Laidlaw VC once again playing the pipes as if he was at Loos 19 years earlier.

Highly recommended.

Sir John Hammerton was well known at the time and responsible for many weekly publications such as 'The Great War, I Was There'.

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Annette Burgoyne

I have this film and agree that some of the shots are staged but most are not. The shot with the shell landing near a galloping gun team is unsetting.

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a long shot of bodies being tipped into massgraves - stretcher bearers and officer in charge all smoking while doing it.

I would take up smoking if I had that job: the stink of old corpses is unbelievable, and you never forget it. In my case, 50 years ago. Smoking might help.

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I would most heartily agree with langleybaston. Smoking is one way to "freshen" the air while doing a throughly nauseating thing. I can still remember "The Rose Garden" at the hospital in Da Nang. It wasn't.

DrB

:huh:

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I only mentioned this scene becasue the smoking soldiers gets a mention in the fil, althought not why. Sounds logical to me.

I agrre that it is a job I would tend to avoid.

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An interesting film from 1926 along the same lines as described here is 'Pour la Paix du Monde', released in Holland as 'Om den Wereldvrede'. It starts with a line-up of French ex-soldiers with facial wounds. They are from the veterans organisation 'Les Gueules Cassees'.

This film also mentions that non of the images shown are fake. We are critical these these in that regards, so I'll think I will watch it again tonight to form an opinion about that. They have however a strong claim since the film is dedicated to the four filmers that died and the four who were heavily wounded...

Regards,

Marco

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Healdav,

DD still have 'Forgotten Men' for sale, but at GBP 12,99. Either you had an excellent deal or the '1' is rubbed out :D .

I'm looking :rolleyes: for a copy myself. If anyone is interested please contact me off-forum.

Regards,

Marco

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An interesting film from 1926 along the same lines as described here is 'Pour la Paix du Monde', released in Holland as 'Om den Wereldvrede'. It starts with a line-up of French ex-soldiers with facial wounds. They are from the veterans organisation 'Les Gueules Cassees'.

The film was released on video in the Netherlands a couple of years ago by the Dutch Filmmuseum.

The film is great, but the new, modern soundtrack is dreadful.

Walter

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