Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 7 Old 11-22-07, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD

Battle of the Bulge is one of those old time movies you see so few of these days with plenty of star power and doesn't seem too contrived, it's actually a good movie, not just some studio exec monster.
Robert Shaw is a very convincing Nazi officer. Telly Savalas is a wheeling and dealing Yank soldier with a secret passion. Charles Bronson is the brooding sergeant on the front lines. Henry Fonda is an American officer whose instincts tell him something is about to happen, but the establishment (the top brass) disagrees and is about to find themselves totally unprepared for a Nazi push into allied held territory thick with American positions - who naturally expect to rest out the Christmas season playing cards and drinking coffee.
Robert Ryan from Wild Bunch is also in this movie as a General who doesn't wants to believe the Nazis are all but defeated just waiting to surrender.

Very good movie, the HD DVD transfer is quite well done. The special features on this one are very entertaining and includes a lot of vintage interviews with the cast that will really take you back.

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-22-07, 09:57 AM
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Re: Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD


I agree it's entertaining but the screenplay is pretty cliched and it's historically inaccurate
but I suppose that applies to most period epics made in Hollywood. Eisenhower criticized the
movie when it was released back in the mid-sixties. I did enjoy those Cinerama traveling shots for the 'you are there' effect. In this movie are some train and tank shots that make you
feel like you're riding them in you project this disc on a DLP. Those shots were usually cut
out of the pan/scanned televison version since they didn't make any sense unless they
were seen on a big screen.
This was one of the later single strip Cinerama film and photographed in 65mm with an anamorphic lens thus the very wide image with a 2.76 x 1 aspect ratio.
In the suppliments you'll see an interview with Robert Shaw mentioning that he was 're-voiced'.
That's British technical jargon for having his voice dubbed. Apparently he attempted a mock
German accent during the actual shoot that wasn't convincing so they had him re-dub all of
his lines with a generic accent instead. I prefer when the Nazis speak in German with subtitles as they did effectively in "Patton". A mock German accent tends to sound comical since their "W" sound is pronounced as as "V" in their language. "What if he gets away" will sound like "Vott if he's gets avay" with the fake accent resulting in Hogan's Heroes type of camp.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-22-07, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD

The fake German is always cheesy. It worked in Hogan's Heroes though.

I liked BoB. I don't care about historic accuracy... Movies are rarely historically accurate. I liked the characters and seeing these old time big stars on the screen. I didn't realize Robert Shaw was dubbed. I don't know his voice very well anyway, except from Jaws.

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post #4 of 7 Old 11-23-07, 12:40 PM
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Re: Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD

I liked the film too although it's not one of the best war movies. There are so many roles that none of them get enough screen time to make an impact. I guess they assumed
you knew who the real life people were that they were playing so character development and
background weren't necessary in 1966 which was only twenty years after the events depicted.

The fifties and sixties was a good era for big budget wide screen all star films. Many of them were entertaining like "Around the World in 80 Days", "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", "The Great Race",
"Battle of the Bulge", "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines". Others were
disappointments like "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Fall of the Roman Empire". I saw most of them when they came out in theaters on gigantic screens
and it's fun to watch them again on a 10 foot screen in my screening room. I wonder how many
young viewers know who these movie stars are though. Certainly "Mad World" and
"Around the World" achieve much of their humor from the famous people involved.
Famous back then that is. If you don't recognize them, then the 'all star' epic has less meaning

Robert Shaw did his own dubbing with a generic accent. However,
all of his recorded dialogue on set wasn't used because he was unable to fack a convincing
German accent. Probably the best actor for accents was Marlon Brando, despite his other
problems as a performer.

Rober Shaw used different accents in
many of his features. He had a pretty convincing New Englander accent in "Jaws". He used
an upper class British accent playing the Spectre spy in "From Russia with Love" which was
probably his second best role. He used another style of British accent when he played "Henry
VIII" in "A Man for All Seasons". A very intense performer who looks like he's holding in his anger
and is about to explode at any moment. He died young of a heart attack. His wife was Mary Ure
who played the female member of the commando team in "Where Eagles Dare" back in 1969.
She also died young but of a drug overdose.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-23-07, 08:39 PM
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Re: Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD

This was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. As I got older I still enjoyed the movie, but the technical inaccuracies bugged me (paint an American tank gray, put a cross on it and call it a "Tiger" for example. Starting with Kelly's Heroes it was nice to see attempts at more accurate depictions of German equipment - even if the "Tigers" were just Russian T-34's in Tiger dress). There were also some "model" tank battle scenes that bug me too, but I still enjoy watching this movie occasionally.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-24-07, 04:37 AM
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Re: Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD


Speaking of bad model work, a few years later another Cinerama film that had attrocious
ones was "Ice Station Zebra" which was also an entertaining movie that had bad f/x. What
made them ever more embarassing was the enormous curved screen they showed them on.
Didn't anyone at the studio notice this in the audience test screenings? Given the scope
of the image and budget, they should've been re-shot or cut. Even later, "Logan's Run" was another
expensive feature that can unconvincing miniatures and there's no excuse for that after Kubrick's
"2001" which raised the bar of what to expect in a sci-fi movie.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-26-07, 10:26 PM
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Re: Battle of the Bulge in HD DVD

I'm not a huge documentary fan, but Ken Burns' "The War" that aired on PBS (available on DVD) is of excellent quality in cinematography, narration, and overall storytelling. One of the more amazing things about the series is the enriched audiotrack that really enhances the experience.

Springfield, IL

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