Passchendaele movie trailer in theatres

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Passchendaele movie trailer in theatres

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 31st, 2008, 12:52 pm #1

I went to an afternoon matinée of Indiana Jones and was pleasantly surprised to see a full trailer for Passchendaele before the feature. There have been some threads on Paul Gross' movie on this board before; basically he is telling a fictionalized story of his grandfather, who served in the 10th Battalion. The movie follows Sergeant Dunne through 2nd Ypres (possibly only in flashback) and back to Calgary where he falls in love, then back to France to watch over a family member who goes off with the 10th into 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele) in 1917.

Uniform buffs will like the level of detail - in addition to C-over-10 badges, the trailer shows some good shots of the red battle patches being correctly worn, in addition to officers wearing proper bronzed cap and collar badges with white metal overlays. Gross, as his grandfather Dunne, also wears blue shoulder straps, the mark of one of the 1914 originals.

Obviously, uniform details don't translate into effective plot and story, and I am sure the military community will have all kinds of whining about "needless love stories", but as someone who likes girls, I will not be one of those pedantic few criticizing the movie before I've even seen it. Ninety minutes of grappling in the mud without some kind of underlying story would be deadly dull and I think Gross, from what I've heard of the plot, has picked a good story that will hopefully appeal to a wide spectrum of people. If any Canadian has the star power to draw people in to a movie about grappling in the mud, I think it would be him.

I'm looking forward to this, having talked to a couple of the military advisors and seen the level of research they put into it. A couple of those collar badges in the movie may have been mine as I loaned a pair of castings for the production crew to use as samples, for which I was handsomely rewarded - any re-enactor or other hobbyist would love to have Hollywood's deep pockets, I think.

The trailer is well done, so get your popcorn early when you go to see Indy and be seated by the time the trailers roll. Don't know if this trailer is playing everywhere, or for how long. I presume the film will be premiering in November for Remembrance Day but honestly don't know if that is still the plan.

http://www.passchendaelethemovie.com/mo ... xload.html

The movie's website has the trailer online, in addition to many photos from the set, some letters which I presume are from the actual Michael Dunne (hard to tell, really, and it's not explicitly stated) read aloud by Gross, and other information that is quite interesting and well put together. Lots of behind the scenes video clips and things.
Last edited by dorosh on May 31st, 2008, 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Geoff Middleton
Geoff Middleton

June 1st, 2008, 1:40 am #2

It is running out here in Ontario too, and I am really looking forward to the movie. My Dad was at the Museum of the Regiments when Paul Gross and the Premier (Ralph Klein)announced the film several years ago, and I have a nice picture of them all.

Really looking forward to the film.
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Geoff Middleton
Geoff Middleton

June 1st, 2008, 1:49 am #3



My Dad is the fellow in the Airborne beret to the left of Paul Gross.
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Joined: August 5th, 2006, 7:40 pm

June 1st, 2008, 2:03 pm #4

Hello,

I saw the trailer & navigated through the website and can make some observations. Paul Gross is one of Canada's great film & TV storytellers, and I have high hopes that he will present Canada & the world a really good film, telling a good Canadian story. I will see this film for sure, but when I go see this film I will have to not get hung-up on uniform/kit/and other details because I could already see a host of flaws. Regarding the kit, I will not recommend you to look to this film as a reference for historic accuracy, but merely watch it with the idea that it will give you a Great War "feel." The quality of the Pattern 08 looks like the same kit that we used in the Galafilm/CBC mini-series, The Great War, that aired last year and the quality of this stuff has been mentioned in detail in this forum before, as well as the uniforms. Paul Gross was simply using what kit & equipment was available in this country, but there are however better sources available that would have enhanced this film's production value a lot.

The E-Tools were not provided as part of the kit in the film. I don't think I saw any e-tool carriers at the rear of the belts, and no e-tool helves. These are important pieces of kit and a *must-have* for this period.

Haversacks would have been seen on the backs of troops at the front. I saw too many large packs being used instead in the front line shots which is quite wrong. This is not a film taking place in 1952 in Korea where Canadian troops dispensed with their small packs because of the larger amount of kit they needed to carry. Large packs would have been left behind in the Great War.

In the photo of Paul Gross in the Costume Design page of the website there seems to have been an attempt to have him wear a set of Pattern 13 kit, but the kit looks like a fusion of post WWI Pattern 25 kit & Pattern 08. The upper rows of cartridge carriers are sadly misaligned with the lower, and the shoulder straps are completely wrong with the Pat 08 kind being used. It would have been easier to just use Pat 37 British made shoulder straps & not use the Pat 08 ones, because it would have looked a bit better. He is also using a WWII helmet as well in the shot.

In one of the shots showing advancing Canadian troops in the trailer, one soldier in the foreground is holding his SMLE a little too modern in my opinion. When I see the film, I will be watching to see how the SMLE's will be handled.

There are some positives I can say though.

The changes in the colour tones implemented in post-production for the battle scenes will help hide the site of the low quality wool in the uniforms. (They were terrible. I know from personal experience.)

The computer generated (CG) effects will be on a level never ever seen before in a Canadian war film with shots showing German 77mm's & Canadian 9.2 inch howitzers "doing their thing" looks quite good. I will assume that there might be some CG planes to see as well.

I am sure I can make further comments but at this point, with only the trailer & website to use as reference, I can only (with confidence) say so much.

Like I said, I will see this film for a series of reasons.....namely because it is a Canadian story, it is a Canadian film, it is a Canadian War film, and I have confidence in Paul Gross's directorial & writing abilities. I will however try my best not to cringe too much when I notice military historic problems and try to enjoy the interpretation of the time in which this story takes place. It will be a challenge that I will have to face.

Colin
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A.J. Lockard
A.J. Lockard

June 2nd, 2008, 5:54 pm #5

To respond to some points in order:

"I will see this film for sure, but when I go see this film I will have to not get hung-up on uniform/kit/"

I think this is generally good advice in any setting. Particularly if you are paying 12 dollars to be entertained. I always find it too dark in most cinemas to be able to study my uniform references thoroughly during the feature in any event - and then there is the incessant whining of the cineplex staff when I ask to roll my library cart into the theater so as to have my references near to hand. I stopped asking the ushers to help me wheel the cart up the steps at about the same time they stopped having ushers.

"In the photo of Paul Gross in the Costume Design page of the website there seems to have been an attempt to have him wear a set of Pattern 13 kit, but the kit looks like a fusion of post WWI Pattern 25 kit & Pattern 08. The upper rows of cartridge carriers are sadly misaligned with the lower, and the shoulder straps are completely wrong with the Pat 08 kind being used. It would have been easier to just use Pat 37 British made shoulder straps & not use the Pat 08 ones, because it would have looked a bit better. He is also using a WWII helmet as well in the shot."

How odd that in all your frantic searching for errors, you didn't notice the weird boots and lack of puttees on Mr. Gross. Or is there a line you draw personally between being simply interested in historical detail and uncomfortably obsessive about minutia? If such a line exists for you, I wonder then why you placed the boots on one side of the line, yet all the other inaccuracies on the other?

Incidentally, did you know that "WWII" is usually referred to as the Second World War by serious Canadian military historians?

"In one of the shots showing advancing Canadian troops in the trailer, one soldier in the foreground is holding his SMLE a little too modern in my opinion. When I see the film, I will be watching to see how the SMLE's will be handled."

That does remove from you the burden of having to check uniform references in the dark.

"There are some positives I can say though.

The changes in the colour tones implemented in post-production for the battle scenes will help hide the site[sic] of the low quality wool in the uniforms. (They were terrible. I know from personal experience.)"

Thank goodness you were able to say something positive. Um. Well, almost.

"I am sure I can make further comments but at this point, with only the trailer & website to use as reference, I can only (with confidence) say so much."

Why let that stop you?

There were some other fallacies one might point out if one were truly of a mind; the wearing of overseas battalion badges by recruiters in Canada, for example - the site seems to indicate that the recruiter is a fellow who never went overseas. That being so, he could reasonably be seen in the badges of the 10th Battalion's parent regiment, either the Winnipeg Light Infantry or the Calgary Rifles (or any other Canadian regiment, of course). If the film is set in Calgary, then there are a few other southern Alberta regiments that could have been selected also. The CEF badges are incorrect in any event.

Gross' character, as a sergeant, should not be wearing a Good Conduct chevron on his sleeve. (Had to freeze frame myself, there).

The list goes on, I'm sure. The lack of divisional badges on all the extras - not just the principal actors - might be another one.

What may have escaped your search would be Gross' award-winning smile, physique and bearing - definite leading man stuff. The opening dialogue of the trailer about "I don't dance with naked soldiers" is funny, poignant, and accurate to the period. Set design seems to have been well-staged. As far as trivia, actual Lewis Guns are shown in the production - something I'm not sure many, if any, other First World War productions have done. There is a mix of jerkins and greatcoats. Mostly, though, it looks like there will be, one hopes, a believable human drama in the story that transcends dreck like Pearl Harbor and "better dreck" like Enemy at the Gates. If it does as good a job as, say, We Were Soldiers, at combining homefront and battlefront stories, Gross should have a successful property on his hands. And We Were Soldiers had about as much fiction in it as the Dukes of Hazzard.
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Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

June 2nd, 2008, 8:06 pm #6

Being overly concerned about whether the buttons on the third sentry's Gor' Blimey are 10 ligne or 12 ligne should not be the point here. As Canadians we have often (continuously?) complained about Hollywood's lack of recognition for the Canadian contribution in both World Wars and Korea.

My only hope from Paul Gross' epic film is that it portray a valid and honest Canadian contribution in the First World War. I would be happier still if the production gave a passing nod to uniform accuracy and would be ecstatic if they could leave out sporterized rifles in the hands of the soldiers. Beyond that I recognize that movie producers are not documentary film producers and, if they wish to take some poetic licence, so be it.

My understanding is that the prop people visited Victor Taboika's comprehensive colection and copied a number of items for use in the film (trench periscopes, etc...). These may not make it past the cutting room floor but at least the effort was there.

I will attend this movie on its first weekend in order to support the very idea of a Canadian war movie - and hopefully one with better acting than that terrible Dieppe thing. At the very least Paul Gross has earned that by bringing the First World War Canadian contribution to the unwashed masses.
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Chris Purcell
Chris Purcell

June 2nd, 2008, 8:20 pm #7

To respond to some points in order:

"I will see this film for sure, but when I go see this film I will have to not get hung-up on uniform/kit/"

I think this is generally good advice in any setting. Particularly if you are paying 12 dollars to be entertained. I always find it too dark in most cinemas to be able to study my uniform references thoroughly during the feature in any event - and then there is the incessant whining of the cineplex staff when I ask to roll my library cart into the theater so as to have my references near to hand. I stopped asking the ushers to help me wheel the cart up the steps at about the same time they stopped having ushers.

"In the photo of Paul Gross in the Costume Design page of the website there seems to have been an attempt to have him wear a set of Pattern 13 kit, but the kit looks like a fusion of post WWI Pattern 25 kit & Pattern 08. The upper rows of cartridge carriers are sadly misaligned with the lower, and the shoulder straps are completely wrong with the Pat 08 kind being used. It would have been easier to just use Pat 37 British made shoulder straps & not use the Pat 08 ones, because it would have looked a bit better. He is also using a WWII helmet as well in the shot."

How odd that in all your frantic searching for errors, you didn't notice the weird boots and lack of puttees on Mr. Gross. Or is there a line you draw personally between being simply interested in historical detail and uncomfortably obsessive about minutia? If such a line exists for you, I wonder then why you placed the boots on one side of the line, yet all the other inaccuracies on the other?

Incidentally, did you know that "WWII" is usually referred to as the Second World War by serious Canadian military historians?

"In one of the shots showing advancing Canadian troops in the trailer, one soldier in the foreground is holding his SMLE a little too modern in my opinion. When I see the film, I will be watching to see how the SMLE's will be handled."

That does remove from you the burden of having to check uniform references in the dark.

"There are some positives I can say though.

The changes in the colour tones implemented in post-production for the battle scenes will help hide the site[sic] of the low quality wool in the uniforms. (They were terrible. I know from personal experience.)"

Thank goodness you were able to say something positive. Um. Well, almost.

"I am sure I can make further comments but at this point, with only the trailer & website to use as reference, I can only (with confidence) say so much."

Why let that stop you?

There were some other fallacies one might point out if one were truly of a mind; the wearing of overseas battalion badges by recruiters in Canada, for example - the site seems to indicate that the recruiter is a fellow who never went overseas. That being so, he could reasonably be seen in the badges of the 10th Battalion's parent regiment, either the Winnipeg Light Infantry or the Calgary Rifles (or any other Canadian regiment, of course). If the film is set in Calgary, then there are a few other southern Alberta regiments that could have been selected also. The CEF badges are incorrect in any event.

Gross' character, as a sergeant, should not be wearing a Good Conduct chevron on his sleeve. (Had to freeze frame myself, there).

The list goes on, I'm sure. The lack of divisional badges on all the extras - not just the principal actors - might be another one.

What may have escaped your search would be Gross' award-winning smile, physique and bearing - definite leading man stuff. The opening dialogue of the trailer about "I don't dance with naked soldiers" is funny, poignant, and accurate to the period. Set design seems to have been well-staged. As far as trivia, actual Lewis Guns are shown in the production - something I'm not sure many, if any, other First World War productions have done. There is a mix of jerkins and greatcoats. Mostly, though, it looks like there will be, one hopes, a believable human drama in the story that transcends dreck like Pearl Harbor and "better dreck" like Enemy at the Gates. If it does as good a job as, say, We Were Soldiers, at combining homefront and battlefront stories, Gross should have a successful property on his hands. And We Were Soldiers had about as much fiction in it as the Dukes of Hazzard.
Aren't we taking away from what the movie is all about,by nit picking every detail. What is very important is that this movie is about Canadians. a film about Canada. it is not very often that we see a Canadian movie,staring a Canadian, about our actions in World War One.I am sure to the average movie goer, he\she will not notice if he is wearing the right boots or webgear. We should be proud of our heritage and what this movie will do to stir up emotions.Just thought i would put my 2 cents worth.
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Monty: Convoy Magazine
Monty: Convoy Magazine

June 3rd, 2008, 2:07 am #8

I must agree fully with Clive and Chris. Clive has written especially well. With the vast majority of Canadians having absolutely no notion of our history or contributions to the defeat of tyranny and aggression, I warmly welcome ANY half decent Cdn production on our history. That is, as long as its not some apologetic drivel, and/or politically correct (supposedly) tripe as has too often been the case in the past regarding such sorts of films or TV specials.

I am not concerned about details -as Clive said its not a documentary- but that we were there for a just and right cause, and that we were there to win.

Clive you spoke well.
I will see this film and support a Canadian effort with my entrance ticket dollars.
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A.J. Lockard
A.J. Lockard

June 3rd, 2008, 3:48 am #9

Tut, tut, Monty, you are not merely agreeing with Clive and Chris. Perhaps my points were too subtly stated. I get the feeling that a rereading of my comments will reveal that Clive and Chris were actually agreeing with me...

Having said that, Mr. Law definitely did not ever say anything like "we were there for a just and right cause" - dulce et decorum est - so I hope you weren't quoting him but rather dealing in your own jingo. Corrigan agrees with you, naturally enough, about the righteousness of the cause but it's hardly a slam-dunk. I'm dizzy just trying to figure out if his revisionism is merely revising past revisionism of early revisionism, or "just" revisionism of revisionism. Either way, Berton's conclusion on whether it was all worth it is aptly summed up in a single word at the end of Vimy. His too is but one opinion, but one I admire if not actually share.
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Monty -convoymagazine
Monty -convoymagazine

June 4th, 2008, 12:04 am #10

subtle indeed Mr Lockart
let me revise somewhat the revision..
as long as its not some apologetic, or PC drivel (all too common in Cdn historical TV and film), also not something ridiculous like some of the US offerings on historical stuff (what was the US submarine film where they captured an Enigma????) I will enjoy it -as you say - for some good drama.
If its half as entertaining as Das Boot, I'll be a real happy movie goer.

Quebec now has an extremely good French-language industry with some really great films, some hilarious, some dramatic, some in between. Why? Well they were mediocre a few decades ago, but because the Qeubeckers have been going in great numbers to see them over the years, supporting them with their dollars, the films have been getting better and better...and they tell Quebeckers stories..
We need to support our films, even when they're not so good, in order to provide incentives for people to continue writing directing acting...which they did, and they became a lot better. They don't have multi-million dollar competition from the US quite the same way English Canada does- after all a dubbed film is never quite the same. So I'll be glad to support Gross in his efforts to stay in Canada and help build a Canadian film industry.

Who knows, if this is a success, maybe he'll make a real film about Dieppe -for example- and that other Dieppe thing will be lost.

cheers

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