A Movie Question


May 3, 2003, 02:39 AM
A while back there was a movie out, I think it was in first tun theathres, about the sniper duel that took place in a Russian town at the end of WW2. Can some one point me to the movie title?

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May 3, 2003, 02:42 AM
"Enemy at the Gates"

Badger Arms
May 3, 2003, 02:52 AM
Don't bother. It ignores the truth. Strange, they could have made a movie out of the real story but, for some reason, Hollywood chose to completely ignore reality.

May 3, 2003, 06:35 AM
They turned it into a love movie also.
Like they did to Pearl Harbor.
It started out decent,then sank fast.
The stats were trumped up to capture your attention.

May 3, 2003, 09:17 AM
but, for some reason, Hollywood chose to completely ignore reality.

Hollywood just has a reality all its own. And it usually doesn't involve the truth.

May 3, 2003, 10:42 AM
I'm not too worried about whether a movie based on an unverified Soviet propaganda story (the Zaitsev duel) is "truthful". I liked the movie and found it as believable as SPR. It gave a pretty accurate view of the regard the Soviets had for their troops and the importance of propaganda in the "Great Patriotic War".

Some scenes were a little cliche'd or over the top, but all in all, it was one of the better movies to come out, certainly better than "Windtalkers" or the Sean Penn, Nick Nolte WW2 film (name escapes me).

Dave Markowitz
May 3, 2003, 11:21 AM
...or the Sean Penn, Nick Nolte WW2 film (name escapes me).

"The Thin Red Line"

It SUCKED. The best part about that movie was when it ended, which as I sat through it was something I thought would never happen.

May 3, 2003, 11:48 AM
the Sean Penn, Nick Nolte WW2 film (name escapes me).

Thin Red Line. wretched thing, when i saw it by 3/4 through half the audience had left.

by the way Enemy at the Gates was pretty bad on a "historical movie" scale.
but surprizingly their IS supporiting evidnece for A good deal of what has been printed about Zeitsev in the past 20-30 years. including a Finnish interveiw of Zeitsev sometime in the 60's.

known facts,
the man survived an extended time (more than 12 hours) in Stalingrad as naval infantry (he was a Navy Clerk, whose unit was called to the front).

Someone during that first week or less saw that unlike most russian troops in the city he was actually AIMING and hitting what he aimed at. so he was made a sniper.

after another stretch of time zeitsev is made an instructor (he's still breathing, in that place, at that time this meant you were GOOD) in the Stalingrad sniper school.

around this time a German Officer from the Sniper school outside berlin shows up in Stalingrad. russians say he's after Zeitsev, the germans never say. and the odds are he was there to observe what we would now call "Sniper operations in a MOUT Enviroment". either way the russians use his appearence as a propaganda item.

a short time later Zeitsev, scores a confirmed kill of a German field grade officer in an adapted pit hide, the officer is well fed, well clothed (for stalingrad ) and wears the Cap Badge of a Sniper. this kill was made with the inadvertant and STUPID help of the comisar Danilov, who while out with Zeitsev in the railyard area, suddenly jumps up and says something to the effect of "i think i see him!" and gets his fool head blown off.

within a few days the officer from the german sniper school is reported as missing, then KIA.

Zeitsev continues on, with the veiw of "i'm still breathing they aren't, that's all there is to it"

BTW i don't think that Jude Law looks ANYTHING like a Siberian of Mongol descent. do you?? :rolleyes:

Also the "love interest" is based on a real woman, though it is not clear what her relationship with Vasily Zeitsev was. and many accounts say she was an american.

May 3, 2003, 12:22 PM
The most accurate account of the duel between Russian Chief Master Sergeant Vasily Zaitsev and German SS Colonel Heinz Thorvald that I am aware of is given in the book War of the Rats by David L. Robbins. He takes the facts from many historical books detailing the events of the battle of Stalingrad and the actual duel itself, combines this with reports from individuals that were present and creates a fictionalized account of the duel. He lets the reader know in what areas he took creative control of the story and why he did so.

Of course, some of the historical record is enhanced by Russian propaganda and denied by German propaganda, but there are enough facts to give credence to the fact the duel did occur and Zaitsev did win.

John G
May 3, 2003, 12:29 PM
I like Enemy at the Gates. Yes, it's fiction, but so is Saving Private Ryan. As it stands, Enemy at the Gates is a good view of the battle of Stalingrad from the Russian perspective.

As for The Thin Red Line, I think people went to see it expecting another saving private ryan-style action movie. Thin Red Line is a drama, and I can see where some folks don't have the patience for it. It's a more cerebral film than SPR, and doesn't stick to Hollywood cliches.

May 3, 2003, 12:49 PM
Thin Red Line is a drama

Ah! I knew there was a reason I thought it was boring and disjointed. :)

May 3, 2003, 05:11 PM
I think it would have done better if the studio would have put it out the next year.

May 3, 2003, 10:41 PM
I watched about 1/3-1/2 of thin red line before i had to turn the POS off. Its not that it was drama.. It was a friggan un-realistic soap opra mind numbing pointless drama.

Woody Haroldson detonating a grenade on his belt then living to shout "I BLEW MY ASS OFF I BLEW MY ASS OFF!" And finishing a dramatic death scene? Oh my God! When does the hurting stop?! I give it a negative 3 stars.:barf: :barf: :barf:

Possibly one of the worst movies i have EVER seen, and that inclues the movie fodder for MST3K!:banghead:

May 4, 2003, 01:10 AM
"Enemy at the Gates" made me laugh until my sides hurt. Watching those filthy commie pigs die in the mud like the PsOS that they are/were delighted me to no end.

My favorite part is when the Ruskies start using the only HMG they have to mow down their own troops. ROTFLMFAO

Any movie that features the whacking and stacking of Commies and Nazis gets two thumbs up from me, every time! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

May 4, 2003, 01:16 AM
What? No technical questions about the Mosin-Nagant or Mauser sniper variants? Off to General we go.... :)


May 4, 2003, 01:21 AM
And while we're at it.. I think "Enemy at the Gates" was about one of the most depressing movies I've ever seen.

Ya lose, you're under the thumb of a maniacal mass-mudering despot who goes down in history as one of the worst monsters of the 20th century.

Ya win, you're under the thumb of a maniacal mass-mudering despot who goes down in history as the other of the worst monsters of the 20th century.

Talk about your motivation. :(


May 4, 2003, 01:23 AM
and here we are.......

May 4, 2003, 01:34 AM
My understanding is that there never was a German sniper named K├Ânig sent to kill Zaitsev.
Bearing that in mind, I thought it was a really excellent movie that showed a segment of the war that very few people know about.
Were parts of it bastardized for modern movie-goers who have no understanding of ballistics, or made more appealing through the injection of a (rather cliche) love story?

But whaddya expect, if a movie didn't have mass appeal, then no one would go see it, resulting in no movie to go see.
Regardless, the movie served to crucify two evil philosophies at once: Nazism and Communism, which is always good in my book. :)

May 4, 2003, 10:10 AM
It has been a while since seeing the movie, but I do remember a spot where one of the snipers takes a shot at the other while the other was running through the hallway of a building where he could not be seen and jumping a gap made presumably by the war effort in the area and then getting shot in the head. BS if you ask me.


May 4, 2003, 01:09 PM
Actually, the sniper was in his post, and he saw one of them jump the gap. He then aimed at the gap, and then was all lined up to shoot the second one in mid air as he lept. Far fetched, but not impossible.

John G
May 4, 2003, 04:46 PM
I agree, the love story was unnecessary. The usual Hollywood crap, but I don't mind. It was Rachael Wiess! That's my future ex-wife we're talking about (well, her and Salma). :D

Ian Sean
May 4, 2003, 06:45 PM
I was dismayed when it was announced they were making The Thin Red Line into a movie. It was a very good book, unfortunately it has a lot of personnal thoughts, via the first person(s). It is very well written, hard hitting and moving. Unfortunatly this type of book makes it totally unadaptable for the big screen, the movie was barely comprehensible to me having recently re-read the book, I can only imagine someone who didn't.

I would still recommend reading the book.

May 5, 2003, 01:01 AM
The love scences was the real turn off for me (' cant figure out how it fits in the movie :mad: ), otherwise its a good movie as far as entertainment goes. Not true to life, but some characters/events are.
Another one to avoid is Sniper II w/ Tom Berringer(?). Just buy a Whooper sandwich instead!

May 5, 2003, 01:55 AM
The part of the Zeitsev/Thorvald duel that makes it fiction in many historian's eyes is the utter lack of operational or unit records of the event, something which would have been very evident considering the importance of quelling the snipers, and on the russian side they certainly should have had some record of it on the unit level, yet it's all just stories. The German's made absolutely zero mention of it, while the Russians who had every motivation to did not either.

Consider an event like the Billy Sing's sniper duel in Turkey during WWI, where both sides made account with names/dates of the sniping. Something doesn't "sit right" with many experts about the battle. It could have happened, but more than likely it's just a nice piece of propoganda. Zeitsev himself has never officially denied or confirmed the duel happened.

May 5, 2003, 02:44 AM
I thought the Russians in the movie could have had more Russian-like accents. After all, the Germans got to have German-like accents. It wasn't the worst sniper movie ever. I remember seeing one sniper movie where a guy hears a rifle report and raises his eyebrow THEN gets shot in the eye through his scope.

May 5, 2003, 09:51 AM
Except for the artsy crap like the natives dancing and the water dripping off of leaves, I thought The Thin Red Line was pretty good. Did anyone ever see the original? I haven't, I was just curious as to how they compare.

May 5, 2003, 09:56 AM
Even though most people here are really into history, movies like EATG can serve to spark the interest in others. For example, my wife hates watching war movies, but for some reason she really liked EATG. Now she is studying the actual events more closely. In addition to that, what Justin said.

May 5, 2003, 10:23 AM
Along with Ian's statement about "Thin Red Line", I read and listened on tape to EATG, upon hearing that a movie was planned, I really knew there were too many ' thought dialouges' for it to be any good on film.

However, that said, I own it. My son is 37, but I am still rounding up his education.

May 5, 2003, 12:38 PM
Maybe a little off topic, but as far as historical war movies goes, Band of Brothers is a great reccomendation. I had the chance to see it for the first time on HBO. It's a documentary type mini-series. Don't let that "mini-series" title throw you off though. It's actually a great historical movie about the 101'st Airborne division and Easy Co. It's a Spielberg flic, so it should be good!!! Just my 2 cents.

May 5, 2003, 01:00 PM
Well, I _liked_ Thin Red Line. I thought it was beautifully filmed, and I didn't see too many firearms screwups in it... The looks at the characters really said things... the passed-over officer, the youthful fast-track general, etc... I actually thought that Penn did a good job. He's an actor, and a pretty decent one. Not a great human being, but a decent actor. Don't have to like him, you know?

And yeah, it'd be possible for a pineapple grenade to do that sorta thing. The human psyche is a funny thing.

TRL isn't a war movie, but it's about war, and about what it does to people. When the puzzled, almost conscientious objector, protagonist sacrifices himself so that his buddies can get away...

EATG also struck me as a decent movie. IMHO, better than _either_ of the sniper flicks as far as the actual shooting.

May 5, 2003, 04:01 PM
Yeah, Band of Brothers was a great movie series! Me and my dad enjoyed watching the whole series (he's a WWII veteran). I planning on buying the whole DVD collection.

May 5, 2003, 04:24 PM
Sniper II? Didin't even know that one was out.

Thin Red line. Even my wife said "You can't have enjoyed watching that. It was stupid." I greed taht the best part of that movie was when it ended.

I did like "Enemy at the Gates" Not so accurate, but enjoyable down time.

Johnny Guest
May 12, 2003, 02:04 PM
Sure glad I didn't waste my money seeing it in a theatre. I was at a school in Austin when several of us ordered pizza and rented a couple of movies.

Even with good companionship and very decent food, I thought I'd barf with all the Felini-esque, sky-through-the-trees, changing-focus bullstuff. (HELP! I'm trapped in Last Year at Marienbad!) There WAS some decent small arms use, but a lot of misuse as well. :rolleyes:


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