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U-571 - Anyone seen the movie?

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Postby Captain Nemo12 » Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:23 pm

Hi guys,

Has anyone seen the movie U-571? The U-Boat in there seems to be a type VIIc. The REAL U-571 is a VIIc but without a netcutter (the thingy that has a saw like triangular frame usually mounted on the front of a U-Boat). I wonder if anyone has seen the movie and if you did, please give me your thoughts about it.

280 meters.... and she's still in one piece!
-Jurgen Prochnow, Das Boot.
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Postby Casey Thrower » Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:47 pm

It's a loud, plodding, mostly predicable submarine movie that's short on strategy and long on repetitive special effects and explosions. The men who actually broke the Enigma code were British while "U-571" makes it a case of Yankee heroism. Those slighted Brits may breathe a sigh of relief when they see the movie, and the Americans referred to in the end credits may wish their mission hadn't been mentioned in this trashy context. Real heroes deserve something more than a monument made out of cheese.

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Postby Desert Boat » Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:41 pm

The movie? Hee Hee Ha Ha Ho Ho ... should run as a double feature with Pearl Harbor. :D
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Postby TMSmalley » Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:08 am

Even though for me there is no such thing as a totally bad submarine movie, this one comes about as close as it can to breaking that truism.

In a review, Charles Taylor said it very well...

...But then there's not much to express here. The dialogue in "U-571" is full of jaw droppers. My favorites include: "I'm a sea dog. I need some salt air"; "Where's your date? It's not like you to arrive stag like this"; the ever-popular "She's old, but she'll hold"; and "Mr. Tyler, please don't tell the other guys I'm half-German. They'd hate me." This last is spoken by one of the youngest of the crew. (Presumably his crewmates think that "Wentz" is a fine old Irish name.) Mostow's direction is so clumsy that when this sailor finally does speak German (in a moment that saves his buddies from the Nazis), there's not even a shot of the other sailors registering their surprise. . ."

If you have to own this one, buy it used from

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Postby Tim Morris » Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:19 am

you must be pretty far behind on movies! sorry to hear that.

i better not spoil K-19 for you then..
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Postby smwarships » Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:26 pm

Well I for one enjoyed the movie just as I enjoy any movie
about submarines . While watching any submarine movie I
study the submarine details because details are my focus
when building a scale model .
Now in the movie , they stated that a resupply submarine
had been sent from Germany . The German resupply subs
had deck guns for defense and no way to launch a torpedo .

The submarine used for underwater shots was a very large
RC Submarine weighing in at 3 tons and if my memory is
correct this RC Sub was 19 feet long .
Anyone up for that type of project ????

As for the Real Code Breakers , yes it was the British that
broke the code and read messages just as fast as the
German U-Boat commanders received and sent them .
Thanks to the British many ships and lives were saved .

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Postby Dolphin » Thu Dec 25, 2003 2:33 am

I have the tape of U-571. Watched it only once. Saw it in the theater only once. A German escort vessel sailing out to rescue U-571 through the Bay of Biscay? Ya sure! RAF Coastal Command would have had a quick and brutal 'ship party' with it before it ever got out of a French port. The Enigma cypher machine capture credit should all go to the British Naval Intelligence and the Prewar Polish Intelligence service, among those many brilliant mathematicians. U-571 insults our British friends. Hollywood with all it's assertions of free expression in speech and art, is singularly foremost in 'book burning' when it comes to history. U-571 puts me to sleep.

Das Boot however? I have just about every version released on tape, Laser disk, DVD, 'Directors cut'. Das Boot (directors cut) is simply the perfect submarine film in every way or ever will be.

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Postby JWLaRue » Thu Dec 25, 2003 2:03 pm

U-571 aside, the U.S. Navy did have a hand in the code war effort to defeat the U-boat threat. A case can be made that with the introduction of the 4-rotor version (Triton) of Enigma, the British were faced with an insoluble problem. A problem who's solution the U.S. very much had a hand in.

Also, it often appears to be forgotten that the actual 'defeat' of the U-boats took the combined efforts of the Allies (in this case the Canadians, British and Americans).

...and it's another whole discussion (debate!) on the merits of the basic British approach to an extremely conservative use of Enigma intelligence to re-route convoys vs. the so-caled American approach to use that intelligence in an offensive manner to attack the U-boats directly.

Finally, whatever the merits of the U-571 movie, it was a reasonably enjoyable movie...if you stopped yourself from trying to make it fit 'history'. If you want history read books, even the History Channel gets it wrong too often.

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Postby tsenecal » Fri Dec 26, 2003 7:31 pm

about the time that the movie came out "fine scale modeler" had an article about the 'special effects' models that were manufactured for the film. they ranged in size from 5.5 feet to 33 feet. If I remember correctly, the original master from which they scaled everything was the AMATI 1/72nd scale kit, which is a VIIb (u-47) how much modification they made to the AMATI, i don't know, but I do remember that I wasn't too impressed with the accuracy of what I saw on the larger models.
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Postby tsenecal » Fri Dec 26, 2003 7:34 pm

just searched their website, and found this:

FineScale Modeler Magazine
July 2000 Vol. 110, No. 7
The models of U-571
by Christopher Appoldt
Great (big) submarine models on the silver screen.
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Postby Captain Nemo12 » Tue Dec 30, 2003 12:34 pm

Well, I am building a type VIIc U-boat,but I don't think that it will get bigger than 3 feet (90cm?), but the first time I saw the movie, I thought the surface scenes were filmed with a model too, as for the underwater scenes I thought it was more of a computerized 3D animation in that kind of thing.

I can't really say that the movie was bad, since I'm not really a u-boat expert, just enjoyin' the show! The music was really good in my opinion, especially when the boat cruises the water. Not bad!
280 meters.... and she's still in one piece!
-Jurgen Prochnow, Das Boot.
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