The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

What's not currently on the box
User avatar
Nick Cooper 625
D-MAC
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Hither Green, London
Contact:

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

marsey wrote:I seem to remember an episode of Lost which had a bit in London; they tried to cram in everything: bobby patrolling the beat, red double decker, hackney cab etc. Then again I hear that the set was filmed in the US anyway!
I previously dissected the appearnces of the London Underground in Lost, which start with the utterly abysmal, and finish off reasonably OK, yet even in the latter episode they still manage to have an army recruiting office on the Thames Southbank with this poster:

Image

It's that level of "couldn't give a shit researching it properly" ignorance that annoys people.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

GarethR
HD
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by GarethR »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote: It's that level of "couldn't give a shit researching it properly" ignorance that annoys people.
Does it honestly matter? I didn't watch Lost, but that photo just made me laugh. And can you really expect "proper research" for a throwaway piece of set dressing like that when only a tiny percentage of the global audience for Lost is going to even notice?

If you go much further down that path, you end up complaining about dramatic reconstructions of the Titanic because the set designer used an incorrect number of rivets per panel.

ctraynor
D-MAC
Posts: 777
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:43 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by ctraynor »

True to an extent. There were one or two other minor things wrong with Titanic as well but I accept it was an entertaining film.
In the case of a lot of TV shows, I wouldn't expect anything better than that poster in Lost. The show was only meant to be a bit of entertaining fluff anyway.

It matters the most in stuff that's meant to be taken seriously, I suppose, like historical things (Cameron's Titanic was basically a fairy tale). I wouldn't like to see Butch and Sundance riding around on motorbikes, stylised though the film was.

User avatar
Mickey
625 lines
Posts: 440
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:45 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Mickey »

GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: It's that level of "couldn't give a shit researching it properly" ignorance that annoys people.
Does it honestly matter? I didn't watch Lost, but that photo just made me laugh. And can you really expect "proper research" for a throwaway piece of set dressing like that when only a tiny percentage of the global audience for Lost is going to even notice?
The bloke pictured looking at the poster is Scottish, so presumably he could have said something if he'd felt it was important. When that episode aired, I did roll my eyes at the scene, but it was in one of the finest episodes that that show ever produced, so I was more than willing to let a minor detail pass.

Well, okay. Several details, some of them less minor than others! What comes of recreating Britain in Hawaii, at the hands of a team of Americans. It really was a very good episode, though. The sort that serves to remind just why "Lost" became as popular as it did.

User avatar
Beaker
625 lines
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:22 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Beaker »

That poster is just offensive......'HONOR' indeed! ;0)
If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!

User avatar
Nick Cooper 625
D-MAC
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Hither Green, London
Contact:

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: It's that level of "couldn't give a shit researching it properly" ignorance that annoys people.
Does it honestly matter? I didn't watch Lost, but that photo just made me laugh. And can you really expect "proper research" for a throwaway piece of set dressing like that when only a tiny percentage of the global audience for Lost is going to even notice?
You make that excuse a lot of time, Gareth, but the bottom line is that getting something right - especially when it is so easy to do so these days - annoys no one. A lot of the time production teams seem to strive for a certain level of authenticity in some details, but then mess up horribly on others. Last night's Restless was a case in point. So much effort put into the wartime setting, yet an establishing shot of an American street with the national flag at one point filling the screen, has it as the current 1960 revision with 49 staggered stars, not the one with 48 in ordered rows it would have been at the time. That's beyond a schoolboy error.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

User avatar
Doom Patrol
625 lines
Posts: 481
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Doom Patrol »

Ha! I haven't watched it yet. But I'm going to be looking for it now.

GarethR
HD
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by GarethR »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote: A lot of the time production teams seem to strive for a certain level of authenticity in some details, but then mess up horribly on others
Yup, because shit happens. That's life. In any production, no matter how big the budget or reputable the production company, mistakes will creep through and end up on screen (even really big ones like camera operators lying in full view), and you can bet that those responsible will cringe when/if they find out about them, but ultimately it really doesn't matter. In many ways they're fun - they add an extra something to look for and laugh at. It's always nice to keep the rivet-counters happy if possible because it cuts down on the green-ink missives, but it comes way down the list of priorities, and rightly so.

If the mistake on that Lost poster had occurred in a British production, I'd certainly tut about spelling standards, but in an American production it can't annoy me. It's simply not worth it. Just recently I saw a BBC-1 programme where the caption "Mobile phone footage" was spelled "Moblie phone footage", and I was tempted to send an email to the production company querying how that one had got through all the layers of approval within the company and at the BBC, but I didn't.

Cole
625 lines
Posts: 263
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:08 am

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Cole »

GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: A lot of the time production teams seem to strive for a certain level of authenticity in some details, but then mess up horribly on others
Yup, because shit happens. That's life. In any production, no matter how big the budget or reputable the production company, mistakes will creep through and end up on screen ...
Is it really always down to accident?

A friend of mine is involved in the Bluebell Railway which is occasionally used for filming period drama. The tale is anecdotal but staff at the Bluebell are always on hand to advise which engines or carriages would be the correct ones for the period being depicted; the reply is that the production team want the ones that look nicest. Style over substance?

Of course, in the transmitted drama, only those who know about these things are going to see an anachronistic train.

ghughesarch
405 lines
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by ghughesarch »

Is this a bad time to bring up the WWII Dalek poster supposedly printed by the "Ministry of Defense"?

George White
625 lines
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:46 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

A Dalek's fault. They might have shot at the typist, causing him to make a misprint.

brigham
HD
Posts: 1081
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by brigham »

Period transport is the easiest thing to get right, and yet seems to cause the most 'howlers'. It isn't new; there are at least two modern cars in The Man Who Never Was, and an almost endless number in Brighton Rock.

User avatar
Nick Cooper 625
D-MAC
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Hither Green, London
Contact:

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: A lot of the time production teams seem to strive for a certain level of authenticity in some details, but then mess up horribly on others
Yup, because shit happens. That's life. In any production, no matter how big the budget or reputable the production company, mistakes will creep through and end up on screen (even really big ones like camera operators lying in full view), and you can bet that those responsible will cringe when/if they find out about them, but ultimately it really doesn't matter. In many ways they're fun - they add an extra something to look for and laugh at. It's always nice to keep the rivet-counters happy if possible because it cuts down on the green-ink missives, but it comes way down the list of priorities, and rightly so.

If the mistake on that Lost poster had occurred in a British production, I'd certainly tut about spelling standards, but in an American production it can't annoy me. It's simply not worth it. Just recently I saw a BBC-1 programme where the caption "Mobile phone footage" was spelled "Moblie phone footage", and I was tempted to send an email to the production company querying how that one had got through all the layers of approval within the company and at the BBC, but I didn't.
Yes, it's true that something as a simple as a typo can slip past various eyes, but if the production is re-creating a setting - whether the past or another country - what are seen as appropriate objects or dressing are actively added, and while a little bit is wriggle-room is acceptable in some (e.g. cars or aircraft appearing a year years "early"), if it's a propr created from scratch, there's less excuse, and the Lost poster is wrong on a number of levels. For the sake of the character in question, we could maybe overlook the conceit of it being a Scottish regiment that would never recruit south of the border, let alone in London, but then sticking on it a picture of an American soldier (and others in the background) wielding an American rifle is beyond sloppy. You certainly can't excuse it as some sort of in-joke by a leg-pulling production team.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

User avatar
Nick Cooper 625
D-MAC
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Hither Green, London
Contact:

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Cole wrote:
GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: A lot of the time production teams seem to strive for a certain level of authenticity in some details, but then mess up horribly on others
Yup, because shit happens. That's life. In any production, no matter how big the budget or reputable the production company, mistakes will creep through and end up on screen ...
Is it really always down to accident?

A friend of mine is involved in the Bluebell Railway which is occasionally used for filming period drama. The tale is anecdotal but staff at the Bluebell are always on hand to advise which engines or carriages would be the correct ones for the period being depicted; the reply is that the production team want the ones that look nicest. Style over substance?

Of course, in the transmitted drama, only those who know about these things are going to see an anachronistic train.
Rail transport it always a difficult one, because what is genuinely authentic is not always available, but as you say, production teams might want something they think is "appropriate," and that may be down to audience expectations. These days, it seems any steam train will do, even if depicting a pre-War journey that would have actually involved electric units (e.g. a lot of the Southern Railway commuter routes into London).

Yes, it's an absolute joy when a film like Wings of the Dove mocks-up not only the platform tunnel of an 1910 Underground station, but also an appropriate train from scratch, but if another production uses the surviving 1938 Stock train at Aldwych for the same setting, they still get points for making an effort with what's available. Of course, it's also possible to go to the other end of the scale, with "vintage" rolling stock being used to represent a time when it had already been superseded by something much more modern...
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

User avatar
Nick Cooper 625
D-MAC
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Hither Green, London
Contact:

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

brigham wrote:Period transport is the easiest thing to get right, and yet seems to cause the most 'howlers'. It isn't new; there are at least two modern cars in The Man Who Never Was, and an almost endless number in Brighton Rock.
Quadrophenia and Withnail & I are also prime offenders, although they're clearly more the victims of not wanting to be restrained by limited budgets.

My father-in law has a vintage 1920s Austin, and he mentioned over Xmas that while many of the cars in Downton are essentially "correct" they are invariably seen with brake lights, which wouldn't have been so prevalent at the time depicted, as they weren't compulsory.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

ctraynor
D-MAC
Posts: 777
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:43 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by ctraynor »

Those exciting World War II movies Where Eagles Dare, and Eye of the Needle. Helicopters in the Second World War!

George White
625 lines
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:46 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Who cares? They're the cinematic equivalent of a Commando comic, as are Italain war movies. Royal Festival Hall and the Post Office Tower in 1942, in Eagles over London? Yeh right!

User avatar
The Wooksta!
405 lines
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:34 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by The Wooksta! »

ctraynor wrote:Those exciting World War II movies Where Eagles Dare, and Eye of the Needle. Helicopters in the Second World War!

Erm, both the Germans and the US fielded helicopters operationally during WWII, albeit in limited numbers and toward the end of the conflict. The Germans intended to use one to fly out Mussolini following Skorzeny's commando raid to free him in '43, only for it to be unserviceable and they had to cram Skorzeny, Mussolini and a pilot into a Fieseler Storch.
"It's basically a cure... for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac... the potential market's enormous!"

ctraynor
D-MAC
Posts: 777
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:43 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by ctraynor »

George White wrote:Who cares? They're the cinematic equivalent of a Commando comic, as are Italain war movies. Royal Festival Hall and the Post Office Tower in 1942, in Eagles over London? Yeh right!
No, they're stupid too. Also, at the start of Where Eagles... Patrick Wymark says the captured general had been on his way to a top conference in Crete, which was occupied by the Germans.
The Wooksta! wrote:
ctraynor wrote:Those exciting World War II movies Where Eagles Dare, and Eye of the Needle. Helicopters in the Second World War!

Erm, both the Germans and the US fielded helicopters operationally during WWII, albeit in limited numbers and toward the end of the conflict. The Germans intended to use one to fly out Mussolini following Skorzeny's commando raid to free him in '43, only for it to be unserviceable and they had to cram Skorzeny, Mussolini and a pilot into a Fieseler Storch.
As you say, the helicopter was unserviceable!

Anyway, the Eye of the Needle had a British helicopter dropping Ian Bannen on to the island some time shortly before D-Day. They could have at least mocked up some modern light aircraft to look something like a Lysander.

User avatar
Tilt Araiza
405 lines
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:04 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Tilt Araiza »

Derren Nesbitt has said that he raised concerns about 1. the helicopter and 2. his own costume being the wrong kind of SS uniform. He was told 1. "They'll never know in Idaho" and 2. "Who cares? You look beautiful in it".

ctraynor
D-MAC
Posts: 777
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:43 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by ctraynor »

Did he say this only vernce?

GarethR
HD
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by GarethR »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote: For the sake of the character in question, we could maybe overlook the conceit of it being a Scottish regiment that would never recruit south of the border, let alone in London, but then sticking on it a picture of an American soldier (and others in the background) wielding an American rifle is beyond sloppy
But as with the rivet-counters complaining about inaccuracies in Titanic dramas, you have a depth of specialist knowledge that most people don't have and, to be absolutely blunt, don't care about.

For myself, the one and only thing that I would ever pick up on with that poster would be the spelling of "honour". That's it. I have no interest in the military, so it wouldn't even begin to occur to me that that regiment would never recruit outside Scotland, nor would I have any idea that it's an American soldier and rifle in the photo. I would say that would go for 99% of viewers in the UK, and probably nearer 100% outside it. And now that I *do* know... it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

There does come a point when demands for accuracy go beyond the reasonable and end up in green-ink territory. A WW2 drama where British soldiers were using American rifles, yes, I'd agree that that would be unacceptable, even though I wouldn't know unless it was actively pointed out to me. But a poster used as background set-dressing that most viewers wouldn't give more than a cursory glance? Sorry, I can't see that it's worth anything more than a chuckle and an eye-roll.

I should point out that I've contributed a fair number of factual inaccuracies and anachronisms to IMDb over the years, so I have an interest in pointing them out, but none of them actually annoy me.
Cole wrote: the tale is anecdotal but staff at the Bluebell are always on hand to advise which engines or carriages would be the correct ones for the period being depicted; the reply is that the production team want the ones that look nicest. Style over substance?
Absolutely, it's pretty much always been in the way in cinema and television, and I'll quite happily put my hand up. If spotting an anachronism relies on specialist knowledge that only a tiny fraction of the audience is going to possess, I'm not going to let the facts get in the way of shooting the best-looking scene possible, unless it's something I personally care about. To be quite honest, I think I'd probably enjoy knowing that train buffs would be spluttering into their weak lemon drink.

marsey
625 lines
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:45 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by marsey »

Well , if films with £100+ milion budgets can make glaring errors, then smaller budget tv doesn't have much of a chance of getting it all right, does it? Having said that, tv programmes are on a much smaller scale so have less to worry about. It surprises me that tv series that revisit the past don't have at least one historian on set approving props used , but as has been said the people producing the show may not actually care if everything is close to being factually correct.

GarethR
HD
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by GarethR »

marsey wrote:It surprises me that tv series that revisit the past don't have at least one historian on set approving props used
There often *are* historical consultants for period productions, but time and money aren't unlimited so you can't always ensure that all props are period-exact. Often, you just have to go with what you can track down in the time available. And as mentioned before, sometimes directors or designers or whoever will decide that prop X looks better on camera than prop Y and so that's what gets used, even if prop Y is the more correct for the period. If it's the kind of anachronism that only people with specialist knowledge are likely to notice, nobody will worry about it.

TV programmes and movies have to start making compromises the moment they get greenlit, so it's inevitable that slavish accuracy in every detail will end up sacrificed for the greater good of actually getting the thing made.

User avatar
Mickey
625 lines
Posts: 440
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:45 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Mickey »

GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: For the sake of the character in question, we could maybe overlook the conceit of it being a Scottish regiment that would never recruit south of the border, let alone in London, but then sticking on it a picture of an American soldier (and others in the background) wielding an American rifle is beyond sloppy
But as with the rivet-counters complaining about inaccuracies in Titanic dramas, you have a depth of specialist knowledge that most people don't have and, to be absolutely blunt, don't care about.

For myself, the one and only thing that I would ever pick up on with that poster would be the spelling of "honour". That's it. I have no interest in the military, so it wouldn't even begin to occur to me that that regiment would never recruit outside Scotland, nor would I have any idea that it's an American soldier and rifle in the photo. I would say that would go for 99% of viewers in the UK, and probably nearer 100% outside it. And now that I *do* know... it doesn't bother me in the slightest.
It didn't bother me in the slightest either, but as somebody with no knowledge at all of the army - barring having quite enjoyed "Soldier Soldier" for a while, a hundred years ago - that poster was very glaring to me. The Royal Scots in London? That soldier on the front? The slogan? The problem was, it was a big part of the storyline, not just a background image. Des's enlistment was a big thing, and him noticing the poster was a big thing, so there was no chance of the poster not catching your eye. It amused me, and I certainly don't see it as something to be annoyed about, but I can't believe that there were many people watching it who didn't notice. Americans were discussing it, as well as Brits. By no means was it a "weak lemon drink" thing. We'd have been shot for that in college theatre!

It happens, yes. Don't be so quick to dismiss things as "nobody will know", though. People do know stuff. Even people who watch "Lost".

GarethR
HD
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by GarethR »

Mickey wrote: It happens, yes. Don't be so quick to dismiss things as "nobody will know", though
I'm not aware that I did. I said that *most* people won't, and I stand by that.

In all honesty, how many Lost viewers do you think saw that poster for the first time and immediately realised that it was an American soldier with an American rifle etc, and got annoyed? I would hope that the majority of British viewers would have picked up on the spelling, but on past evidence I wouldn't count on it.
so there was no chance of the poster not catching your eye
It's *there* to catch your eye, but we only need to see it long enough to clock that it's an Army recruiting poster, which will take a couple of seconds. Was there a lengthy close-up of the poster allowing all its details to be studied carefully?
but as somebody with no knowledge at all of the army - barring having quite enjoyed "Soldier Soldier" for a while, a hundred years ago - that poster was very glaring to me. The Royal Scots in London? That soldier on the front?
If you have no knowledge at all of the army, how did you immediately realise that it's an American soldier with an American rifle? Are they wearing obviously American insignia? I am pretty sure that most people who aren't in the army or don't otherwise have an informed interest in it wouldn't be able to describe the current Royal Scots uniform or name the types of rifle they use, let alone identify them on a poster used as set dressing in a TV programme. Which is where we come back to "if you need specialist knowledge to notice, most of the audience won't".

User avatar
Mickey
625 lines
Posts: 440
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:45 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Mickey »

GarethR wrote:In all honesty, how many Lost viewers do you think saw that poster for the first time and immediately realised that it was an American soldier with an American rifle etc, and got annoyed? I would hope that the majority of British viewers would have picked up on the spelling, but on past evidence I wouldn't count on it.
Annoyed? No idea. There was a lot of discussion about it right after it aired, though. The thing about "Lost" was, they hid a lot of stuff in the background. A lot of little clues and details, etc. You were supposed to watch the background stuff, and then the day after an episode aired, everybody would be analysing it to death. So yes, a lot of viewers noticed.
Was there a lengthy close-up of the poster allowing all its details to be studied carefully?
The episode aired in around 2007, and I've not seen it since then, but no, I don't think so. That screencap is probably the best shot of it that there was. But like I said, "Lost" made a big deal of the background details. That was why it leapt off the screen rather.
If you have no knowledge at all of the army, how did you immediately realise that it's an American soldier with an American rifle? Are they wearing obviously American insignia? I am pretty sure that most people who aren't in the army or don't otherwise have an informed interest in it wouldn't be able to describe the current Royal Scots uniform or name the types of rifle they use, let alone identify them on a poster used as set dressing in a TV programme. Which is where we come back to "if you need specialist knowledge to notice, most of the audience won't".
It's not specialist knowledge, though. What I know, I've picked up from watching the television, so I don't count it as specialist knowledge, I count it as general knowledge. We all pick up little bits from what we watch, don't we? And then hope that it's accurate, in case it settles in the long term memory!

GarethR
HD
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by GarethR »

Mickey wrote:the day after an episode aired, everybody would be analysing it to death. So yes, a lot of viewers noticed
Except, the number of viewers who are the type to analyse a TV programme to death online are a very small percentage of the programme's overall viewership, and they contain a disproportionate number of rivet-counters. Goes with the territory.
What I know, I've picked up from watching the television, so I don't count it as specialist knowledge, I count it as general knowledge
If you know something, then you probably *do* count it as general knowledge, but that doesn't mean it's something generally known. Do you think that knowledge of the specific current uniforms and weapons used by the military of different nations is something that most people possess? Personally, I don't. If you're a military buff (or actually in the military), obviously yes. Otherwise, no - I reckon most British people couldn't name the rifles used by the British military or pull them out of a lineup, never mind that poster in Lost.

Which is where we're back, again, to "if most people won't notice, it doesn't matter". It also doesn't matter if internet forums notice, because they aren't most people, not by a long shot.

User avatar
Nick Cooper 625
D-MAC
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Hither Green, London
Contact:

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: For the sake of the character in question, we could maybe overlook the conceit of it being a Scottish regiment that would never recruit south of the border, let alone in London, but then sticking on it a picture of an American soldier (and others in the background) wielding an American rifle is beyond sloppy
But as with the rivet-counters complaining about inaccuracies in Titanic dramas, you have a depth of specialist knowledge that most people don't have and, to be absolutely blunt, don't care about.

For myself, the one and only thing that I would ever pick up on with that poster would be the spelling of "honour". That's it. I have no interest in the military, so it wouldn't even begin to occur to me that that regiment would never recruit outside Scotland, nor would I have any idea that it's an American soldier and rifle in the photo. I would say that would go for 99% of viewers in the UK, and probably nearer 100% outside it. And now that I *do* know... it doesn't bother me in the slightest.
You flatter me, as it's not particularly "specialist knowledge" at all. There are a (very) few subjects of which I might be classed as a world/leading expert, but this ain't one of them!

Most Scots would recognise the recruiting incongruity, as would a awful lot of people in or with connections to the British Army as a whole. The latter would also recognise photograph error, as would anyone with more than a passing interest in the military, which is a lot. You could also flip it round and say many Americans (especially the gun enthusiasts, who would certainly notice the left/right flip of the image) - and those of other nations - would also wonder why a American soldier would be on a British recruiting poster. Sticking a Saltire on his epaulet doesn't cut it.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

User avatar
Nick Cooper 625
D-MAC
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Hither Green, London
Contact:

Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

GarethR wrote: It's *there* to catch your eye, but we only need to see it long enough to clock that it's an Army recruiting poster, which will take a couple of seconds. Was there a lengthy close-up of the poster allowing all its details to be studied carefully?
The shot I posted the still from is a couple of seconds, but preceded by a reaction shot of Desmond obviously seeing something that's important, so the audience gets a cue that what they see next - i.e. the poster - is "important." After another shot of Desmond, there is a slow tilt down the poster in close-up, lasting around four seconds, and lingering at the bottom, so a lot of people would at least have glimpsed some of the rest of the text, i.e.:

"BECOME A MAN YOU CAN BE PROUD OF
Thinking about joining the military?
Find out what military life is really like. Get information about the Royal Scots, signing bonuses, boot camp requirements, and much more. Contact your local recruiting officer your self."

Obviously a few more howlers in there, although it would be a bit too picky to point out that the tank - which wouldn't be on a poster specifically for an infantry regiment - is a Second World War model.

Honesty, Gareth, this isn't just background set-dressing, it's an important part of the plot.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

Post Reply