Movie review: Peter Jackson trades the Shire for reality in powerful WWI doc 'They Shall Not Grow Old'

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  • batfink Australia, 00
    Feb. 2, 2019 4:49 a.m.

    @weston Jurney

    "Monash had 208,000 men under his command, including 50,000 inexperienced Americans. Monash planned the attack on the German defences in the Battle of the Hindenburg Line between 16 September and 5 October 1918. The Allies eventually breached the Hindenburg Line by 5 October, and the war was essentially over. On 5 October, Prinz Max von Baden, on behalf of the German Government, asked for an immediate armistice.[37] "

    It was the breach of the Hindenburg line that ended the stalemate. Without a strategy the Americans would have ended up canon-fodder like the 4 million allied soldiers dead before the Americans arrived.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 2:13 p.m.

    This is one of the greatest contributions to historical knowledge of WW1 imaginable.
    This is not "Hollywood" storytelling with fictional characters and events and CGI graphics.

    This is real soldiers' actions and dialogue restored from original footage, shaky black and white silent film. With a ton of hard work, and some computer magic they got the film to feed properly, sharpened focus and details and colorized all the footage, frame by frame.

    Bravo to the team which salvaged this historical documentary from nearly useless film. It is vital that we learn from the mistakes of the past, and also learn to honor those who sacrificed so much to defend their nations.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 12:56 p.m.

    batfink, what actually broke the stalemate and ended the war was when 25,000 fresh American troops a day began to arrive in French ports. Once they were equipped, trained, and brought to the front, the Meuse-Argonne offensive began. That battle began in late September, 1918, and lasted six weeks, ending with German capitulation.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    I was hoping this article was announcing the release of the film to DVD.
    I think this is the 3rd time through theaters.

  • stratman Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 7:13 a.m.

    I don't think you really understood the great technical aspect of this film. First, the footage was recorded in many different speeds due to the fact it was hand cranked and the had to somehow correct that to the 24FPS standard today. Then he hired lip readers to create the dialogue that is found within the film. They hired voice actors from the same regions to make sure the accents were correct. They also went back in the BBS archives to get first person narratives of the war from soldiers who were there and experienced it. The list of technical challenges boggles the mind. You made a comparison to Saving Private Ryan, but clearly you missed the true impact of the film, it was not a story retold by Hollywood, it is a literal snapshot into history told through archival footage and first person narrative. This film has an almost reverential and spiritual nature to it gives the viewer a perspective on how horrible and traumatic war can be. I hope you go and revisit the film and get to watch the 30 minute post narrative where Jackson tells all the difficulties and challenges they faced in putting this together. It simply cannot be compared to a typical Hollywood production.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 5:49 a.m.

    WW1 was one of the greatest (and, more the most part, unnecessary) tragedies ever inflicted upon the world by some of the nations it comprises. This documentary seems very much like it tries to show us the reality of what war is really like. But I suspect it's not for the faint of heart. That particular war ought to have been a significant cautionary tale but, alas, it's among the lessons of history we have refused to learn from and thus we are destined to repeat.

  • batfink Australia, 00
    Jan. 31, 2019 11:32 p.m.

    I mean to take nothing away from the efforts of the men who sacrificed all and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.

    I would however like to see a film about General Monash- not many people know what broke the stalemate of trench warfare in WW1 and its time they did.

    It was Monash who took 'Churchill's follies' and put them in the lead position , had infantry follow them while getting the noisiest old planes of all the allied forces together to fly them low overhead which covered up the noise of the so called follies (those noisy new tank things). While the Germans were expecting bombs to be dropped from the low flying planes overhead, the tanks appeared out of nowhere, often dropping right into the German trenches and the German were stunned. Those Germans that weren't killed by the armored tanks initially, surrendered to the infantry following the tanks.
    # All mechanized warfare since Monash's idea has seen infantry support tanks.

    Monash's ancestors were Jews and they emigrated to Australia in the 1800's. The fact that a Polish emigrant, yet alone a Jew, could rise to become a general in the King's forces is amazing in itself- there's a lot to this astonishing man's story.