We just observed D-Day again, yesterday. It reminded me of a war movie I like. The Longest Day.
And over Memorial Day I rewatched A Bridge Too Far.
Amazing movies if you consider the cast alone. War movies of that stripe are expensive. You needs LOTS of people, lots of on-location filming, lots of expensive props and costumes, especially if you want it to look accurate. To get more people buying tickets one production strategy is to have as many named movie stars as possible in relatively smallish roles. That way you attract movie goers to see their favorite performer. Look at the cast lists. Big names. BIG. Smallish parts so you can pay them less than their usual big salaries
For the Longest Day you had The Duke, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Sean Connery, Red Buttons, Richard Burton, Robert Wagner ... hell even Eddie Albert and Paul Anka. But that was in 1962. Harder to assemble that kind of list in 1977 for A Bridge Too Far, but think how hard it would be today. Anyway for that one they got Connery again, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Elliot Gould, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, James Caan, Laurence Olivier, Roddy McDowell, and John Ratzenburger. Craploads more. And if you lined up the Academy Awards won by the cast of both movies they could play their own golden OPFOR regiment. Also big name furren actors to play the non English parts.
Another movie like that was Saving Private Ryan. Biggish names sprinkled throughout. Not super big, but still a few knowns. It's a war movie. War has LOTS of people in it. You need lots of actors and stuntmen.
Another strategy is to film it in the country in California instead of Italy or the Netherlands. Or a cheap loacation that looks sorta right like Spain. And to use modern functional tanks to represent the German Tiger, but are actually US Army M-60s or M-47s or summat with Wehrmacht paint jobs. Like Battle of the Bulge. (Also, it's hard to film with actual Tiger tanks since only 6 are known to exist today. Still, a tank called a 'Patton' subbing in for a German Tiger? For the love of a... Criminy!)
Or another route, use lesser named and cheaper actors, but release the movie to cable, like Band Of Brothers.
How often can you say both a Frenchman and a German are right about something? - 2cents* emails to point out this delightful bit of *shadenfreude*: A war of words has broken out in Europe between Francois Hollande's socialist party in F...
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