The central character of any film in the atomic development is Dr. Oppenheimer and he seems to be reduced to a pipe smoking poor choice of a character instead of the commanding presence he was and of the many contributions he took part in, in the scientific equations. I thought the choice of portrayals of principals such as David Ogden Stires as President Roosevelt was a great diminution of FDR's extremely important role. Many parts central to the story are only minimally touched upon.
The building the sites at Hanford and Oak Ridge is not even explained. Plutonium is said to be existing in thin air instead of as a transuranic element produced by of bombardment by a radioactive source such as a form of uranium with neutrons. In all, I found this to be very poorly done, though perhaps understandable because it was meant for and likely had little television exposure. Buy another film available if you want to see ample storytelling with any degree of accuracy.
In later views about twenty minutes into the film the stars were put out on the sewed-down portion of the epaulet. The dark brown dress jacket first seen at a later time also had wrong placement of the distinctive single star. It seems without constant supervision of shooting or writing out instructions, this error occurs on a General's star(s) more often than not. At about thirty-five minutes they are back, centered on the Class A dark brown top. Apparently the one who had been instructed in proper display was not always the one in charge of the uniforms. This was a sad note to see introduced into such a fine film.
I am always surprised to see this because almost any military man knows this. The General's star placement is done differently for a number of reasons, one likely being that his rank, above all others, is instantly discernible even with a greater distance.
Many good reviews are written about this film, I just thought the military accuracy due our serving men and women should be given the correctness the uniform deserves.
It was very refreshing too, seeing Dr. Oppenheimer's driving to a location he loved and was instrumental in choosing, in that fine, perfectly restored, beautiful vintage yellow Packard convertible.
I thought another comment was appropriate by this observer. Though there may not have been any physicists or other highly placed scientists of color, if one looks very carefully as I did, you will see an American of African Heritage as an attendant in an ambulance and helping load a box diagonally stenciled "OAK RIDGE."Similarly, close observation shows a person of Latin heritage and a person of native American heritage.
A comment and dismissal to Michael Merriman of no romantic interest with Nurse Kathleen Robinson and Dr. Schoenfield's attention directed seemingly unexplained elsewhere which may simply be to maintain professional distinction but he is never seen in the film with a woman so it might be meant to give a hint of his lack of interest in the opposite sex.
I found the incorporation of these attentiveness issues to be quite appropriate given the many considerations in this film, religion notwithstanding. I also noticed a derogatory term applying to the Japanese was noticeably nearly missing and was heard used only twice, and in the Pentagon. I applaud those connected with the film for this sensitivity. It is a very commendable and often overlooked.
This is a very good film with much of the physics shown accurately depicted; heard and seen in discussions. Very minimally touched upon was the major contribution made on the plutonium bomb with "shaped charges" designed for armor-penetrating ordinance. This and other accomplishments were much a part of the many earlier trial and error work of our British and Canadian allies though their program code named "Tube Alloys." It had been going on for a much longer time actually beginning in 1939 with the French seeing the need for a moderator of the reaction, then done with "heavy water." Knowledge of this by even the Germans was one of the reasons they had occupied Norway with Europe's only "heavy water" plant in Norsk, Norway. But the British and Canadians began with exiled German scientists in 1940, with their knowledge of many specifics. It seems our own "Manhattan Project's" beginning was among the last since it was known in these other countries where here it only began after it languished with a few thousand dollars funding and almost no research since Professors Szilárd and Einstein's letter to President Roosevelt in August, 1939. Even the Japanese had theorized the possibility of making an atomic bomb many years previously in 1934. Historically interesting was Einstein's unspoken thought that the process leading to making a destructive device such as a bomb, never even occurred to him." Thankfully, German scientist's religion had effectively doomed Germany's progress toward making a bomb.
I was very impressed with John Cusak's willingness to see accuracy shown; submitting to the loss of much of his hair for reality in the film. Though as a physician I was quite upset showing his intense suffering though this may have been done to make a point. I would hope that one so massively destroyed with radiation would have had most of the extreme suffering removed with the adequate use of morphine.
These scenes do have a basis in reality with unnamed hero, Armenian-heritage Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. during necessary testing, accidentally causing what is called a "nuclear excursion" when he dropped near critical-mass pieces together which required him to use and expose his "ungloved" hands to separate the then critical mass nuclear components and expose his whole body to the massively fatal radiation source. In 1946 Louis Slotin also died of a similar accident and these are mentioned in this review principally to show the testing in uncharted territory and done with the crudest of methods as shown very accurately in the film, using just a screwdriver.
Many perspectives and the fantastic development of its story and its telling are of the highest order not often seen in a film. It gets high marks from me.
Its a fair story. I see the often used picture of an F-100 losing flight control and ending up cartwheeling in flames is shown as seen in other films.
It would have been acceptable to just leave the 4:3 screen film stock alone instead of stretching it. I hope there are no more films done this way. I have seen a lot of films but this is the first time I ever saw this resorted to. A very poor rendition is the obvious result.
I want to start by saying that I am surprised the Navy even gave Doris "Dorrie" Miller the decoration he received; the Navy Cross. This was 1941 and a segregated military was still the national model. It seems likely that if this happened after 1990 or 2000, that he might have been awarded the Medal of Honor. On the face of it, others who remained at their station and who performed similar gallantry did receive the Medal of Honor. No doubt they deserved theirs, and I see that this is not a solitary view as this is the view of a writer at encyclopedia.com. I hope the President and members of Congress see fit to upgrade this award for him.
I was astonished at the details covered by this film. The amount of work to just do the flames and explosions is beyond belief.
There is a large effort apparent by the stunt persons who acted in the production. Mentioned are the feet of primer cord, dynamite and gasoline used in the film. The arsenal and ordinance expenditure used in this film I feel sure, exceed the GNP of small provinces and it all had to be paid for on the gamble that it would be shown enough to just come out even. That it was overlooked for Oscar® nomination or award receiving only the "Best Sound Content" award seems very surprising.
Having been a training flight instructor I have even greater respect for the men (and perhaps women) who flew their aircraft between actual ships just feet above the water where any minor miscalculation would not have been survived. The scene where tho two childhood pals, Rafe and Danny played chicken does not look like a computer generated piece. Maybe parts of it were manipulated, but undoubtedly the actual head-on closing speed of what must have been 400+ mph is real as well as the maneuver to first roll one direction and suddenly change to the opposite direction and then do this clear of each other. I am sure the slightest mistake would have erased two men's lives and retired two old war birds. A big hand for the pilots and certainly for their bravery and for whatever they were paid to do this. It must have required many rehearsals and many spine-tingling moments-to-hours expended by the pilots and undoubtedly, backup crews were also used in order to insure the shooting schedule.
A lot of ingenuity is apparent when seeing the battle scenes and later viewing the special effects section on the second disk. While others have been critical of this film to extremes, it receives my highest regard and respect. Gor another similar topic to come to the screen soon is very unlikely. unlikely.
The Los Angeles connection made it reminiscent of her mother and how Natasha Richardson Wagner's mother, Natalie Wood also served to flag two drag racers in "Rebel Without A Cause," which became a cult classic for us. The story was pure screenwriter work contrasting the "haves" with the "have-nots" and the similar ending involving a death. This part I thought was done particularly well avoiding to much racism, though it was touched on. I thought the acting was fairly good given this was early roles for most of the actors. In all, I recommend it for a nostalgia factor but today's hip-hop crowd may find it too juvenile. I believe you old people like me will like it also.
This is said to be one of her better performances, but I wish the businessmen or others who are talking while she is performing had gone elsewhere. Or else keep their comments to themselves so as not to spoil her performance.
Some of the same "discussions" can be heard in La Traviata and though I brought this to the attention of EMI who owns all of the rights and does remastering, these have remained. Otherwise, fine performances.
I was grateful that full seasons were available on DVD. Since I finished my quest to acquire some of these, I have been watching them observing their principal features; getting a lot of enjoyment from the realism of the plots and the pursuits used to make diagnoses in those times. Realism was also very, very faithful. Only once did I note that a couple of amps of sodium bicarbonate were not given following an episode of cardiac arrest. And in an early episode I saw an elderly patient who was dehydrated given D5 and ½ Normal Saline so it was not all D5&W or Ringer's Lactate.
Quite enjoyable is seeing the technology and equipment in use at the time, (not to mention the clothing we wore then: polyester shirts and double-knit trousers). As one of the first PAs, we were taught to employ even more ancient technology at a time when physicians actually touched their patients instead of reviewing test results. An example was the use of chest percussion to evaluate lung condition and heart size. The further use of abdominal palpation and percussion to determine liver size, locate areas possibly containing fluid, and the use of the other senses such as observing the patient's coloration, and the particulars of smell such as might occur with exposure to foreign agents.
I had forgotten the ancient Datascope cathode ray tube monitor that one had to really concentrate on to recognize the electrical processes going on within the heart. Other ancient CRT systems were used and only recently did I see the same style of equipment one viewed in early days of a heart echocardiogram and skull echoencephalogram. Today we especially appreciate having the modern automated blood pressure apparatus, the likewise modern method of obtaining body temperature, pulse and respiration, oxygen saturation and the modern twelve lead EKG taken all leads simultaneously, and all seen on one sheet.
Too, it is a trip into the past to hear the names and uses of older medications which have been largely replaced today. Today the common aspirin can have life-saving properties when chewed and swallowed during an acute episode of chest pain due to arterial compromise. Another medication is still used which goes back centuries, and is the best pain reliever known, morphine sulfate. Conversely, I saw an earlier episode of poisoning of a child who ingested the wild version of the ancient poison used by Socrates, hemlock.
One of the first things interestingly noted is the apparent absence of use of the then commonly available rudimentary automobile seat belt. In 1974 I did not have a newer car, being too poor, but my old 1970 Chevy did have seat belts. In each episode you see Gage and DeSoto bolting into the Dodge, putting on their fireman's hats, and roaring off to the scene.
I have to comment on the acting skills of physicians Dr. Brackett, Dr. Early and RN nurse McCall. I seem to remember that Robert Fuller's earlier acting life had principally been in western films. I have to say that both of these physician-surgeons did justice to their high honors as Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), though seldom seen in actual operating room surgery scenes. Today the emergency physicians most likely are Fellows of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), which by the way, was even around in 1968 though trained, board certified physicians in the specialty were still in a minority.
Julie London is particularly memorable, having first known of her as what came to be called a "torch-singer," and a principal one who succeeded greatly in the recording industries. Her albums continue to sell and entertain today, probably 50 years after they were recorded. A particular effort was noticeably made by the writers to portray her breakthroughs in reaching significantly proper conclusions and discerning facts.
Having been one of the first five hundred PAs, I have an understanding of the problems facing the early EMTs. Today they fill expanded roles and are permitted to function in a similar manner as PAs, using their education and training to make decisions in the field and to initiate many life-saving procedures without first getting "permission" from a supervising physician. Like us, they do follow established protocols and are also said to be under physician supervision at all times, though this does not mean they have to be supervised "over-the-shoulder" as in earlier times such as during training.
I am not completely through the first season of episodes I received, which unfortunately came out-of-order, and I look forward to seeing the first season when it arrives. Likely I will complete the set as I have a lot of time to view material now, having been retired for 8 years. I was not a youngster when I began my education at Wichita State University in 1973.
It is also noteworthy to follow the changes in the emergency transport vehicles from the old style Hearse-types, to a similar version with an extended upper roofline. Then the first two-tiered stretcher square-shaped van, becoming later seen as the full size custom made coachwork of the modern mobile intensive care capable vehicles in general use today in most locales on North America.
I highly recommend this series and echo most of the remarks made by earlier writers such as how it was the landmark presentation whose success made succeeding series possible and of interest to us viewers. My hat is off to all who had any hand in the production of Emergency! Thanks all!
An interesting "medical" maxim bringing levity to observers of hip radiographs in some oldsters even as late as the 1960's; often a radiolucent area was noted at the injection sites of the arsenical/mercurial. We used to say, "One night with Venus, and seven years with Mercury," a reference to "exposure" and the subsequent treatment and its length of time and the signs left behind.
I would appreciate any comments from more knowledgeable persons on some of the historical events I commented about; also any thought any have as to the validity of my assertions. As I said, hindsight is usually 20/20, but the isolation it seems, of these saving techniques remained principally in the Pacific as I know of no action on the European continent that employed this method of prosecuting war against the enemy. I have to wonder and write this in an effort to understand why it was not employed for the D-Day landings?
I found beauty in this story from the beginning when Peter (Alessandro Gassman, from a famous acting family) is left behind by his Saracen father. Just as there was good and compassion in this man, I see good in many who would be now considered among his posterity. That his ancestry and actions cause the film to delve into seeming divided allegiance, this only serves to fortify this viewer's interest. I cannot imagine how this story line would have succeeded as well as it did, nor could it have held the conflicts and following resolutions into the tight and numerous turns and even reverses seen in its three-plus hours; a tribute from me and credit to the writer Andrea Porporati. It is with anticipation I await seeing his later screen work, L' Inchiesta.
It adds so much to the story that Peter is a learned and scholarly man as well as a kind man who actually shows more Christian qualities than many of the leaders of the force making its way to the Holy Land. I did not find the slightest weakness in his portrayal of these qualities though at times, his quietude and acceptance of his conquered position without the extremes of violence seen by many of the others did puzzle me at first. However, this is not a film to be fully understood and appreciated at its first viewing.
Armin Mueller-Stahl's performance as Alessio was another of his commanding presences in most every film I have seen him appear in. I was saddened that his existence met its end so near the beginning of the film. I found the symbolism of the carrying of the palm frond and its being woven into the tapestry of the film much of a factor in carrying this portion of the interest foreword.
The performances of Thure Riefenstein and Johannes Brandrup are also powerful throughout the film. Their characters, actions and the unpredictability of the storyline add to the overall heightened interest I found throughout.
Franco Nero's role and familiar face add much to his part in the film and the revelations he makes add a completeness to an earlier facet of the film. His performance is at his usual high standard.
Some have noted and I comment also that it is a film without dialects and accents among the various factions. I suppose if this film had been made twenty years ago with Arnold Schwartzenegger playing Olaf Gunnarson; that would have satisfied the requirement. Given the various nationalities of Italians, Germans, Austrians, Slovakians, Yugoslavs, and likely others not identified playing Saracen roles, I found this lack of accents to be a plus as this film follows a number of very successful predecessors filmed by Cecil B. DeMille.
Noteworthy and appreciated by me was a somewhat less than the usual Hollywood depictions of killing and violence. Though killing is prominent in the film, there is little of the beheading, limb loss and volumes of blood seen. In most instances I do not believe this adds any realism and in fact, is deplored similarly by others like myself. There is art to hand-to-hand combat and swordplay which have been carefully executed by whomever was responsible for this choreography and I found it to be first-rate.
The locations and vistas chosen by the director and the liberal use of them and the quality of the cinematography adds much to this film. I always find a film much more interesting when it includes many scenes showing topography other than the action taking place on flat ground or cars buzzing around on city streets. There is more than an ample amount of horsemanship demonstrated which should prove spellbinding to those aficionados.
Finally I must complement the costumer of this film. There are so many different groups and factions coming together in this saga and a broad spectrum of camp wear is seen throughout the film. Noteworthy are these differences, as would certainly have been the case in fact given the times. Altogether I believe this film is an epic in the same category as "Troy," "Alexander," or the recent miniseries, "Rome."
Hat etiquette; the approach of a woman, the mention of death, many topics cause the hats to come off. Certainly a woman entering a room was the basis of a remarkable display of respect with the removal of all male headgear. A notable subtle aspect such as the touching of one's hat brim in front of the brow with the right hand as a display of respect and compliment. This was a commonly performed function.
The language is prominently gracious, elegant and superior. It demonstrated a period of times with exceeding consideration. Such language, its dialects and delivery still exist today in a few areas, even here in Kansas but more so in Southern areas still reverent to the real issues of the Civil War. Some of this is mentioned in other reviews.
The funniest moment in the film is the discussion where Holt is offered Turner's bacon. His reply was, "I could eat more." When Jake Roedel received the same offer from George Clyde, he was told, "Well, I'll ---- it out by the oak tree tomorrow and you can help yourself."
There is historical accuracy about the founding, and the reason for Lawrence is sound. Topographically it is less than 15 miles from the slave Capitol of Kansas which existed in Lecompton. Proximity to the issues was an everyday point suffered by both sides as it was dangerous to be known as showing allegiance to either side.
This dangerous discord in Kansas spilled over into the issue of its coming into the Union on one side or the other. Skirmishes such as portrayed in the film are totally accurate in what was called "Bloody Kansas." Its motto even speaks of these times and its joining the Union: "Ad Astra per Astra," or "To the Stars, Through Difficulty."
Jewel's speaking voice has a "bell-like" quality which leaves a resounding impression, even after the end of her speaking. She is an example of exceptional acting which must certainly derive, aside from acting training, to her many years performing on stage. Every scene she appears in leaves this writer spellbound. I regard her best work in the extended scenes at the end of the film, after she and Jake Roedel are married. The exchanges with Pitt Mackeson between Jake and her switch rapidly from confrontation and memory of past events and pronouncements to a more civil conversation, almost forgiving in which Jewel's acting skill carries much of the heightened anticipation of the next series of exchanges, what they may be and what their content will promote.
Others have spoken remarkably accurate about the portrayals by other actors.
I don't know of another film which addresses this period and location. While not truly a Civil War film, it is a must-see for those aficionados.
Many comments can and have been made about the content of this version, but overall I feel it was Coppola's intent to make a classic in the vein of "Gone with the Wind," which I believe he succeeded at. While perhaps rightfully subject to some criticism about the storyline and editing which others have pointed out, I feel that overall, this version will insure Coppola's place as a producer of another classic. I have watched this film since it first came out on videotape, the first copy from about 1982 at a cost of $92. Even with the inherent poor quality of tape and the what must have been poor transfer of the original version, I have enjoyed watching this film many times.
I too have watched "Heart of Darkness" and "The Search for Colonel Kurtz," a film made by a television channel, and I find the story compelling. Change the topography and the jungle to sand and the story is just as valid today or indeed in any time. I feel sure that in time, some writer will find a way to remake this film as the story is timeless. Yes, I am and always have been a great fan of this film. It may have its foibles but I can enjoy the bad with the good nonetheless.
Also, I can find no objection at all to Halle Berry's portrayal and movement throughout the film. I have thought and cannot think of a better choice. I suppose I am just not as "astute" as other commentators, knowing less of their elicited "finer points" contained in their comments about this film. It is one that I own, and have seen its bringing joy to the one youthful little girl I have watched view it and who has her own copy now too.
In all, I give this a 7 out of 10, but cannot say what I think would have improved it. But then again, I am one who thought "Purple Rain" may have been one of the ten best films I had ever seen at that time.
If I am in a minority of posters, I do not believe in any way it makes me a minority as we know there exists the large "silent majority." I believe this film fits into that exact slot.
Of course the script follows mid 1930s writing and I did not find any of the actors giving less than other of their performances of the times. Given that this was Sonia's first film, her acting must be given some forgiveness there, though I did not see what others apparently viewed as less than optimal. As to the "other 1936 Olympics film," it was merely a propaganda documentary and therefore not a comparison by any means.
As to Sonia's universal appeal, she went on to make many such films, and was known as a very smart businesswoman who went on to build great riches from investments and was the benefactor of many philanthropic ventures which was virtually unknown among actors of that era. On the strength of her appeal alone, I would rate her among the great women actresses of the time. I would recommend this film to any families who want wholesome "G" rated entertainment shown to their children.
Since the Russian officer wore shoulderboards which are standard issue, it was not possible for the costumer to make a glaring error there. Congratulations.
Going to the next scene, we see a Lt. Col. in front of a map showing locations and on which to map progress: "Libya." So glaring accuracy errors pointed out by other posters aside, even the most uninitiated in military matters or warfare will see that a major faux pas is committed in the first five minutes of the film. Oh well, I got the used DVD for $3, so I don't have a lot invested. I am just hoping as I view it now, that I can overlook the errors of the other posters and get $3 in value from it.
Until just the last few years of the 20th Century, the film was classified; a piece of seized property and therefore unknown to most of the American people. Interestingly enough, it is connected with our history by way of the Watergate burglary and scandal. It has been said that G. Gordon Liddy took men connected with this event to a showing of the film which he apparently had access to. It was said to have been the most striking example of a mission and of the elements of command.
Not the lone film of its kind, the American public was subjected to propaganda films as well. One that comes to mind is "North Star," which was a film purporting to portray life in the Soviet Union in the late thirties and early forties. Communism was not a popular subject with the American people so this film was produced with much pro-Russian sentiment and fanciful portrayals of the Russian people. At this it may be said to be successful as much of the anti-communist furor was dispelled and the American people accepted sending billions of dollars in equipment and aid to Russia who after 1941, was fighting Germany on a wide front.
The American equivalent to "Triumph of the Will" was the series, "Why We Fight," which contained seven films about the American interests in World War II.
For sure grandeur and gesture, "Triumph of the Will" likely receives several stars, however has no great redeeming value other than spectacle and showing a few faces and voices from that time. A must-see for historians and military aficionados
Many of the depictions show the officer's rank properly. As a Brigadier General, General Savage's single stars are worn centered on jacket epaulets. This accurate depiction is often not seen in films of today. Usually on the costumes provided officers of this rank, somebody puts them way out on the sewed-down portion and that is always wrong. It is a location reserved for generals as this rank can easily be seen from quite a long distance. They can then be properly regarded with the extraordinary respect and courtesy shown general officers. I applaud the respect this film shows all servicemen, with the military accuracies.
I don't know if it was factual in the war years, but I can tell you as one who sat in briefings and Commander's Calls, I found it an interesting "oyxmoron;" the outburst by an unidentified man in the Group announcing, "I'll take Colonel Keith Davenport anytime . . . . " And the concurring reply, "Me too!" This flies in the face of reality, at least in the military circles I was in. To me, the only way this would have happened was if the man suddenly took leave of his senses. But I guess Hollywood elements have to creep into the best works.
Part of the interest is the black & white rendering instead of the color we see nowadays. I liken it to my hobby pursuit of photography and say that color is for documentaries and B&W is reserved for art. As a work of art, I believe this film will long prevail in the top of films portraying WW II air action. I give it a 5 star vote.