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Comments 1 - 14 of 14

Timec's avatar

Timec

niesl2-

And what was Shakespeare thinking, giving all his Italian and Danish (and so on) characters poetic English dialogue? Man, very few productions of "Hamlet" even have the actors speaking with a Danish accent.

But seriously - that's not a flaw. In fact, considering that the movie was made for an American audience, it was actually a very smart move to have them talk in English and without accents. Like it or not, foreign languages are a barrier to understanding and empathy for many people, and a decision to shoot this in German would have made the film less powerful than it is. By speaking English, audiences who might reject subtitled films were forced to empathize with a group that had been their enemy less than fifteen years earlier - by giving the characters everyday English dialogue it gave the impression that these people were, indeed, quite human, and that, in most cases, they weren't all that different than the average American in the audience. They had the same concerns, the same fears, the same hopes...

It does get more tricky when different characters would, in reality, be speaking different languages (that is to say, if we had an English soldier and a German soldier among the main characters) - but since that's not the case here, it's entirely reasonable that the characters speak English, as we the audience are given insight, are made witness of a world and experience that we may otherwise never have known.

In other words, having foreign characters speaking something other than their native language is an entirely acceptable stylistic device, one that had been established for a long, long time before film even came around. That device is used to brilliant effect here.

So a dogmatic "Oh no, they're speaking something other than their native language and that ruins the film" approach is entirely wrongheaded, and will lead you to reject some of the greatest films of all time (as well as some of the greatest works of theater, opera, and literature.) Those looking for that sort of verisimilitude are going to want to turn to something other than film, or literature, or theater, or pretty much any art form that contains the spoken word.
3 years 6 months ago
Camillae's avatar

Camillae

This movie reminded me of what Stefan Zweig mentioned about WWI in his Die Welt von Gestern (1942). The movie is so sad and shocking and realistic and so amazing. Also it left me speechless.
1 year 1 month ago
jacktrewin's avatar

jacktrewin

its not often you see such a personal war film with such well developed characters
3 years 3 months ago
jacktrewin's avatar

jacktrewin

spielberg made saving private ryan but i take your point abmannetje, the battle scenes are unbelievable considering the year it was made it 1930, 68 years before saving private ryan and 27 before paths of glory.
3 years 3 months ago
abmannetje's avatar

abmannetje

A very good movie. The enormous battlefield must have been where Tom Hanks got his inspiration for making his Saving Private Ryan movie.
A good story and and ultimate piece of history.
Gives you an idea why the second world war was started.
3 years 5 months ago
Sir_Byzantium's avatar

Sir_Byzantium

An extremely powerful ending, it summarizes the meanings and the themes of the movie quite nicely.
3 years 6 months ago
Mhrass's avatar

Mhrass

Oh boy, the ending!!!
2 months 2 weeks ago
Fluegi's avatar

Fluegi

The mother of all anti-war movies and probably one of the best. Very intensive.
3 months 2 weeks ago
Carota's avatar

Carota

awesome
3 months 3 weeks ago
Marazmatique's avatar

Marazmatique

Is it so unthinkably difficult to perceive the "English speaking Germans" as though they're simply dubbed?
2 years 1 month ago
Dieguito's avatar

Dieguito

Great movie, but I've got to agree with @niesl2. Germans speak German.
2 years 8 months ago
satyrvs's avatar

satyrvs

2nd half of the film is quite good. Liked the ending
3 years 7 months ago
niesl2's avatar

niesl2

This movie has the same flaw that has spoiled a lot of other war movies: English speaking Germans.
3 years 8 months ago
Fenring's avatar

Fenring

Boooring
3 years 10 months ago
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