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Chill Pill
09-16-04, 04:19 AM
Let me begin by saying Kubrick is one of my favorite film makers. Anybody who is more than just a casual movie fan probably likes Kubrick as much as I. 'Paths Of Glory' was indeed a good film, as far as the writing, acting, story, camera work, etc. is concerned. Kubrick could make a movie, no doubt. My gripe with this movie has nothing really to do with Kubrick, or the actual film itself. My gripe is actually quite common in a lot of old movies. My gripe is thus:

FRENCH SOLDIERS DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!! AND IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD BE SOME TRACE OF A FRENCH ACCENT, WOULD THERE NOT?!

How am I supposed to take a movie seriously when the language used isn't even correct?

And the ending, when the girl sings in french, all the soldiers appear to understand the words.

WHY WEREN'T THEY SPEAKING THAT WAY THE WHOLE MOVIE?

Or..

WHY DIDN'T SHE SING IN ENGLISH?

Yes, I understand finding an all french cast would have been impossible, and I understand that isn't really the point of the movie. So why should I take it seriously in 2004? Am I alone here? If not, please tell me why I am wrong in thinking this.

Nick Danger
09-16-04, 06:14 AM
Star Wars too! If it takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far away, they couldn't possibly be speaking English.

Nick Danger
09-16-04, 06:23 AM
If a story is translated into English, shouldn't the actors speak proper English, instead of a bad French accent like Inspector Clouseau? When you read the book, the book is written either in the original French, or completely translated English. The movie shouldn't be any different.

Music and poetry are often left in the original language because they're much harder to translate than dialogue.

slowcloud
09-16-04, 06:32 AM
Try suspension of disbelief and then you will find this is one of the most powerful films of that era.

John-In-VA
09-16-04, 07:16 AM
Seems like this belongs more in movie talk.

Yakuza Bengoshi
09-16-04, 07:45 AM
Chill Pill = Troll



Originally posted by Nick Danger
Star Wars too! If it takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far away, they couldn't possibly be speaking English.

:lol:

marty888
09-16-04, 07:46 AM
A wrong idea, and in the wrong forum. I guess there are several thousand movies out there that will get you griping.

Patrick Mirza
09-16-04, 08:03 AM
So based on this, the movie sucks? Are you for real???

If this is the case, then why do Nazis often speak with British accents in many films? Why doesn't Brando speak Kryptonian at the beginning of Superman? Hell, why does everyone in Star Wars speak English (or is subtitled in English) when they all are clearly aliens - even Luke and Han!

You are being completely and utterly superficial in your arguement.

The young captured girl sang in German at the end of the film. The whole point of the scene was that the soldiers felt the humanity of that girl and her vulnerable voice... that despite the politics of war, on each warring side is a human being that would rather live a peaceful ordinary life.

The film is also one of the finest indictments of the military class system - why is it that the common man is put in front of the firing line when often it is those at the highest levels of political power that have beefs with each other.

Butch Coolidge
09-16-04, 08:11 AM
There are plenty of movie with a similar issue. For instance in Hunt For Red October they spek Russian at the beginning of the movie and then stealthy switched to English. This is no problem at all.

On the other hand there are credibility issues with movies like Planet Of The Ape where everybody speak English. I guess for simplification.
Or The French Connection where the Corsican character speaks French with a strong Spanish accent. Here I guess the audience won't care much but it really sucks.

Grubert
09-16-04, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by Butch Coolidge
Or The French Connection where the Corsican character speaks French with a strong Spanish accent. Here I guess the audience won't care much but it really sucks.

FWIW it's said that Friedkin actually wanted Michel Piccoli, becaused he liked his performance on Bu˝uel's Diary of a Chambermaid. He asked for 'that actor that worked with Bu˝uel recently' and he got Fernando Rey (who'd just done Tristana)

Otherwise, I agree: wrong forum, very confused original posting.

sundog
09-16-04, 09:25 AM
I saw this thread and just knew it would be a gripe about American actors portraying French soldiers.

Originally posted by Chill Pill
And the ending, when the girl sings in French, all the soldiers appear to understand the words.

She's singing in German, not French.

Using Americans to portray French is a conceit made by the filmmakers because: financing would have been impossible; the themes of the film overshadow historical accuracy; the film is still consistent within itself, the only German we see is the girl at the end.

Are you going to gripe that All Quiet on the Western Front sucks because American actors portray German soldiers and the dialogue is in English?

You're looking too closely at a minor detail.

marty888
09-16-04, 09:41 AM
Since Pill said:
<i>"And the ending, when <u>the girl sings in french</u>, all the soldiers appear to understand the words.</i>"

when in actuallity:


Originally posted by sundog



<u>She's singing in German</u>, not French.



......maybe he should stick to silent movies. But then people's mouths would be moving and no sound would be coming out, and we KNOW that's not the way it really is.

eXcentris
09-16-04, 09:44 AM
Now you're one of those geeks that can actually speak klingon fluently now aren't you?










...:)...

movielib
09-16-04, 11:03 AM
I am going to be royally pissed if Colin Farrell does not have an ancient Macedonian accent in Alexander.

ThatGuamGuy
09-16-04, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by Chill Pill
My gripe with this movie has nothing really to do with Kubrick, or the actual film itself.

If you don't think Kubrick approved what you're complaining about, you don't understand how Kubrick worked.

FRENCH SOLDIERS DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!! AND IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD BE SOME TRACE OF A FRENCH ACCENT, WOULD THERE NOT?!

How am I supposed to take a movie seriously when the language used isn't even correct?

Because the country doesn't matter, Kubrick isn't speaking about one specific thing that happened once in France, he's making a movie which is about all people and speaks to all people. Thus, in America, it's in English. If you want it in French, import a region 2 DVD from France (or, actually, maybe even just a Canadian one). It could be *any* country and the message would be the same, though. First and foremost, you should understand that.

And the ending, when the girl sings in french, all the soldiers appear to understand the words.

Don't they actually specify *within the movie* that she's singing in German? Also, since you clearly don't know what French sounds like, why would it bother you that the movie is in English?

Yes, I understand finding an all french cast would have been impossible, and I understand that isn't really the point of the movie. So why should I take it seriously in 2004? Am I alone here? If not, please tell me why I am wrong in thinking this.

You're wrong to get hung up on it, yeah. The accents would be much more trouble than they were worth. Here's the thing; you're watching the movie in English, right? For all the characters, it's taking place in French, but that's for *all* of them, so when they're all speaking the same language, it doesn't matter which language it is, just that they're on the same page. But Kubrick doesn't want you to feel on the outside by having them speak a language you don't understand and have to read. That would run counter to what he's doing. So he sacrifices one detail of reality to the god of cinema -- he's not betraying the film for the purpose of popularity (if he were doing that, it would be in color), all he's doing is making the brilliance of the film more accessible to the audience that goes to see it.

ToddSm66
09-16-04, 11:30 AM
And if that wasn't enough, what's up with all these shades of grey?! French people clearly had some pigment in their skin back then.

eXcentris
09-16-04, 11:36 AM
Find me one soldier in WWII that had teeth as white as Matt Damon's. SPR sucks.

drjay
09-16-04, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by eXcentris
Find me one soldier in WWII that had teeth as white as Matt Damon's. SPR sucks.
:lol:

Chill Pill
09-16-04, 12:55 PM
German singer, thats right. Regardless...

The black and white filming was probably intended, I don't think perfect english speaking french soldiers were.

Wrong forum, sorry about that.

Did somebody say Im a troll? HA! On a DVD forum? Thats silly. I can understand, say, a Red Sox fan trolling on a Yankees forum, but not here. As if Im some big VHS fan and I hate you DVD people...

I liked the feedback.

William Fuld
09-16-04, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by sundog
I saw this thread and just knew it would be a gripe about American actors portraying French soldiers.

Really? I assumed it was going to be about the lack of Wookies.

Hendrik
09-16-04, 01:14 PM
"FRENCH SOLDIERS DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!! AND IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD BE SOME TRACE OF A FRENCH ACCENT, WOULD THERE NOT?!"

...and in "For Whom The Bell Tolls" the Spanish rebels (played, among others, by several Russian actors, one Polish actor, a Greek actress and a blond-haired blue-eyed Swedish actress) would not have spoken English...

...and in "Ben Hur" the Jews, Romans, and others would not have spoken English...

...and nor would the Egyptians and Jews, and others in "The Ten Commandments" have spoken English...

...and nor would the Egyptians in "Pharaoh" - an epic Polish movie - have spoken Polish...

...and nor would "Hamlet" - a Prince of Denmark, no less! - have spoken English...

...and...

...sigh...

. . . :o . . .

Groucho
09-16-04, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by movielib
I am going to be royally pissed if Colin Farrell does not have an ancient Macedonian accent in Alexander. "I ain't one to fookin' brag, but I conquered the fookin' world, I did."

mjlukich
09-16-04, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by eXcentris
Find me one soldier in WWII that had teeth as white as Matt Damon's. SPR sucks.

:lol:

sundog
09-16-04, 01:28 PM
Look at Hendrik. Way to cite precedent!

Johnny Zhivago
09-16-04, 01:32 PM
-rolleyes-

warcp
09-16-04, 01:37 PM
I remember asking my brothers this when I was like 8 and we were watching some movie where they were affecting accents and my brothers just laughed and laughed at me... Ahhh, the mind of a child...

sundog
09-16-04, 01:44 PM
the odd thing is, I knew this thread was going to be about the language because I've heard others make similar complaints in regard to Paths of Glory. In particular, my aunt and uncle, enthusiastic cinephiles, found the English speaking French soldiers too distracting. I just rolled my eyes as loudly as possible upon hearing this.

ThatGuamGuy
09-16-04, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Chill Pill
German singer, thats right. Regardless...

No, wait, go back ... regard ... if you don't know what French sounds like anyway, how do you *know* they weren't speaking French? ;)

The black and white filming was probably intended, I don't the think perfect english speaking french soldiers were.

I can't leave this one alone ... what do you think happened? Do you think Kubrick was in the editing room and said, "Shit! I forgot to tell every single actor that I wanted them speaking either in French or possibly just with French accents! Damn! I can't believe that slipped my mind!"

It was entirely intentional, and I'd love to hear why you still think it wasn't, since we've all explained why it was.

(And, when you say "probably", you should realize that it was *entirely* intended. There's no "probably" about it. They shot it that way because the movie wouldn't be right in color, and it ended up losing them grosses. Even then, black and white was declining in popularity, it's just that, back then, there were still exceptions to that. I just find it weird that you're a self-described Kubrick fan who can't accept that, even that far back, he was in total control over what he did. He made the choices to do these things. You can dispute the choices and their validity, but don't imply or outright state that they weren't Kubrick's choices.)

gcribbs
09-16-04, 01:46 PM
I decided to stop watching movies. I realize now that they are not real and so should not be enjoyed .


Starts throwing away his Dvd's :(


Thanks Chill Pill ;)

Abranut
09-16-04, 02:38 PM
Paths of Glory kicks so much ass it's not even funny. Whutchu talkin' bout Chill Pill!?

ToddSm66
09-16-04, 04:04 PM
2001 always bothered me too...Seems like HAL should have had more of a Stephen Hawking type of accent.

marty888
09-16-04, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Chill Pill


The black and white filming was probably intended



Are you sure? Could be someone slipped the wrong film stock in the camera.

jaeufraser
09-17-04, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by marty888
Are you sure? Could be someone slipped the wrong film stock in the camera.

You're right. It definately happens a lot. Casablanca was supposed to be a 3D full color film, but the cameraman didn't notice he had the wrong film stock til they were done shooting. Happens all the time.

And the original poster has a point. I know I can't stand Disney's Beauty in the Beast...I'm like...what's with all the frenchie's speaking perfect english??? And didn't they notice they forgot to hire actors??? What's with all the drawings?

Grubert
09-17-04, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by jaeufraser

And the original poster has a point. I know I can't stand Disney's Beauty in the Beast...I'm like...what's with all the frenchie's speaking perfect english??? And didn't they notice they forgot to hire actors??? What's with all the drawings?

Actually, when I saw that, I wondered why everybody spoke perfect English except the chandelier who, being equally French, decided to do ze Maurice Chevalier. :D

Chill Pill
09-17-04, 06:51 PM
What a bunch of smart asses you guys are. Im impressed.

Besides, what a bunch of crying sissies at the end of the movie. Typical French. Its war! Kill the enemy!

Patrick Mirza
09-17-04, 06:55 PM
Stick to the Adam Sandler films and leave the quality stuff for the rest of us who can appreciate it.

By the way, when are we going to see your masterpiece, Chill Pill? With all your talk, you'd think you would have the monster of all anti-war films (with proper spoken languages, natch) to unleash on us.

rennervision
09-17-04, 07:21 PM
Set the DVD to the French language track with English subtitles. Problem solved.

Sex Fiend
09-17-04, 07:28 PM
This is actually a pretty elementary concept to grasp, so I don't get why so many people seem to be flummoxed by it. The inherent assumption of most dramatic art is that the audience will understand that characters in the dramatic narrative, who in versimilitude may be foreign or speak in a different native tongue than the audience, are still essentially intended to relate to the audience primarily, rather than to one another. If the characters in the narrative are supposed to be of a different linguistic origin than the audience, it still makes sense to have dialogue in the native tongue of the audience since they are intended to share the same POV as the characters.

Hence, no matter what language a film's dialogue is recorded in, it is assumed that the intended audience for the film is the native speakers of that dialogue. Thus, a French film, produced for distribution in France, will generally be recorded with French dialogue, regardless of whatever nationality the characters are intended to be, and so forth. And of course, when the film is distributed in other countries, the language difference is compensated for either by subtitling or dubbing in a different language. Does anyone really believe that Chinese audiences who are watching Die Hard dubbed in Mandarin will suddenly exclaim (in Mandarin, of course) "Bruce Willis sure doesn't look Chinese. How come he speaks Mandarin? And why are those terrorists speaking Mandarin? That doesn't make any sense."

Like all narrative arts, films do require some suspension of disbelief, as there is inherent unrealism in any sort of dramatic presentation. "Realism" - in it's most profound sense - would also dictate the existence of a "fourth wall" blocking your view of any interior scene, or that characters could never express their inner thoughts through voice-over narration. Does the existence of these inconsistencies also ruin your enjoyment of movies?

Terrell
09-17-04, 07:34 PM
Hell, why does everyone in Star Wars speak English (or is subtitled in English) when they all are clearly aliens - even Luke and Han!

They are not alien in the story. I agree his argument is a superficial one. But the comparisons with Star Wars are off base. It's obvious characters in Star Wars speak in english, or are subtitled in English for one reason. So we can understand them. Who would want to watch Star Wars if every character spoke in a strange language we couldn't understand? Nobody!

Though, you could make this argument about nearly every movie that incorporates character from other countries. You could make the same argument about Gladiator. It's obvious why they do it that way. Americans don't want to see a movie that's subtitled in English all the through the movie. It wouldn't do well. There are exceptions to this, such as Passion of the Christ. But more often than not, they don't want to have to stare down at the subtitles to understand a movie.

Rizor
09-17-04, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by Grubert
Actually, when I saw that, I wondered why everybody spoke perfect English except the chandelier who, being equally French, decided to do ze Maurice Chevalier. :D Same thing with Moulin Rouge. You'd think people in Paris would speak with a French accent!

I can usually let this kind of stuff slip, but for some reason, it really bugged me when I was watching Time Bandits. Here's a movie where so much of it depends on characters understanding each other and traveling back and forward in time through different countries. You've got Napolean speaking English, and then for some strange reason, you've got the little English boy making conversation with King Agamemnon (from Ancient Greece) in perfect English! There's no way they could've understood one another much the less establish such a father-son relationship! :D

Chill Pill
09-18-04, 01:16 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Patrick Mirza
[B]Stick to the Adam Sandler films and leave the quality stuff for the rest of us who can appreciate it.

Big Daddy has so many different levels its not even funny, my friend. Casual viewers will most likely to be unable to see into it tho. Oh well, some of us have it, some of us don't.

Sex Fiend, great reply.

You are all absolutely correct anyway. I just have a different way of expressing little pet peeves of mine.

Anyway, its amazing how a movie that old stills looks good today. That battle scene is simply great.


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