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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not running the movie down. A picture does not get nominated for ten Oscars and win seven, including Best Picture and Best Director, if it's a turkey. But the three art directors who shared its Oscar for Best Art Direction - Color did make a couple of glaring mistakes.

For instance, in the attack on Aqaba, the Turks were shown with an M1919 Browning light machine gun, which is a couple of years out of period. The Arabs are shown using Webley Mark VI revolvers, which might be difficult to explain but not impossible. The Webley had been in use since 1887, after all. But the biggest error was every Arab of Lawrence's tribesmen running around with an Enfield No. 1 Mark III. In 1916, the battle rifle of the British Army was the Mark III Enfield, and it was not made available to units of British-held territories in accordance with the policy that the armies of the Imperial lands not be as well equipped as the British Army. Where would the thousands of Arab warriors have acquired the thousands of "Old Smellies" they were shown using in the movie?

I think the director and his art directors were taken in by the perception put on paper by George MacDonald Fraser years later in McAuslan In The Rough, in a scene circa 1946:

Every day or so a little caravan would come through, straight out of the Middle Ages, with its swathed drivers and jingling bells and veiled outriders each with his Lee Enfield cradles across his knee and his crossed cartridge belts. (What the wild men of the world will do when the last Lee Enfield wears out, I can't imagine; clumsy and old-fashioned it may be, but it will go on shooting straight when all the repeaters are rusty and forgotten.)

It just does not seem correct to me. I could see the Arabs armed with Turkish Mausers they took off dead Turks they had been fighting for decades along with a few jezail muskets for flavor, but not SMLEs. Of course, to a director used to a British Army armed with the L1A1 version of the FN-FAL, which had succeeded the Enfield No. 1 Mark IV of World War II, the Mark IIIs would look positively quaint and thus suitable for arming the Arab irregulars; they could just be encouraged to bring their own guns to the locations. And for the scenes shot in Spain (which is most of the movie), it's easier to fetch SMLEs from the UK than Turkish Mausers from anywhere. That does not make it right, however.
 

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I've never understood why Hollywood felt the need to add unnecessary BS when actual fact is often more amazing.

I've NEVER seen the Fast and Furious franchise, none of it, after seeing an ad for the first one..

Vin Diesel's " character " says his Dad died in turn 2 of a Pro Stock race.. There's no turn 2 in a chuffing drag race, genious.

John Wayne being 10 or so years ahead of the actual release date of the lever action he carries in Rio Bravo, eh I can let that slide I guess. James Bond taking out a helicopter at a range of what looks like 75 or 100 yards with a 9mm?

Hmmm...

Or when he saunters through a compound being fired upon by guys with AR's and HK's and he be like: pew, pew, pew, pew with his Walther one shot per henchman and down.

Yeah OK mate..

Or old Harry. What sorta load you fire outa that Model 29, Sir?

It's a lite speshul, gives less recoil, like a 357 with wadcutters.

Well. Errrr, why not use like, a 357 and not tote that leg of lamb around?

RIFLEMAN. If only for that PITA kid with his PAW! PAW!!!
 

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I've never understood why Hollywood felt the need to add unnecessary BS when actual fact is often more amazing.

...James Bond taking out a helicopter at a range of what looks like 75 or 100 yards with a 9mm?
I always get a chuckle from the character Tilly Masterson attempting to use an AR7 survival rifle to assassinate Goldfinger from a cliff 100 yards above him. LOL! An AR7!? You couldn't hit a barn door from 10 yards with an AR7. But it was black and with a threaded break-down barrel it sure looked like a super-duper assassin's rifle.

Not to disparage the AR7 (I own one myself) but c'mon man!!
 

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I always get a chuckle from the character Tilly Masterson attempting to use an AR7 survival rifle to assassinate Goldfinger from a cliff 100 yards above him. LOL! An AR7!? You couldn't hit a barn door from 10 yards with an AR7. But it was black and with a threaded break-down barrel it sure looked like a super-duper assassin's rifle.

Not to disparage the AR7 (I own one myself) but c'mon man!!
I agree, the monogrammed case seemed a bit of a stretch as well.

And you're exactly right, it " looked the part "
 

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I'm not running the movie down. A picture does not get nominated for ten Oscars and win seven, including Best Picture and Best Director, if it's a turkey. But the three art directors who shared its Oscar for Best Art Direction - Color did make a couple of glaring mistakes.

For instance, in the attack on Aqaba, the Turks were shown with an M1919 Browning light machine gun, which is a couple of years out of period. The Arabs are shown using Webley Mark VI revolvers, which might be difficult to explain but not impossible. The Webley had been in use since 1887, after all. But the biggest error was every Arab of Lawrence's tribesmen running around with an Enfield No. 1 Mark III. In 1916, the battle rifle of the British Army was the Mark III Enfield, and it was not made available to units of British-held territories in accordance with the policy that the armies of the Imperial lands not be as well equipped as the British Army. Where would the thousands of Arab warriors have acquired the thousands of "Old Smellies" they were shown using in the movie?

I think the director and his art directors were taken in by the perception put on paper by George MacDonald Fraser years later in McAuslan In The Rough, in a scene circa 1946:

Every day or so a little caravan would come through, straight out of the Middle Ages, with its swathed drivers and jingling bells and veiled outriders each with his Lee Enfield cradles across his knee and his crossed cartridge belts. (What the wild men of the world will do when the last Lee Enfield wears out, I can't imagine; clumsy and old-fashioned it may be, but it will go on shooting straight when all the repeaters are rusty and forgotten.)

It just does not seem correct to me. I could see the Arabs armed with Turkish Mausers they took off dead Turks they had been fighting for decades along with a few jezail muskets for flavor, but not SMLEs. Of course, to a director used to a British Army armed with the L1A1 version of the FN-FAL, which had succeeded the Enfield No. 1 Mark IV of World War II, the Mark IIIs would look positively quaint and thus suitable for arming the Arab irregulars; they could just be encouraged to bring their own guns to the locations. And for the scenes shot in Spain (which is most of the movie), it's easier to fetch SMLEs from the UK than Turkish Mausers from anywhere. That does not make it right, however.
What about the million plus Egyptian Rolling blocks ......
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I always get a chuckle from the character Tilly Masterson attempting to use an AR7 survival rifle to assassinate Goldfinger from a cliff 100 yards above him. LOL! An AR7!? You couldn't hit a barn door from 10 yards with an AR7. But it was black and with a threaded break-down barrel it sure looked like a super-duper assassin's rifle.

Not to disparage the AR7 (I own one myself) but c'mon man!!
I seem to remember a claim when Goldfinger was released that it was chambered in 7.62x25 (an exotic cartridge in America during the Cold War) or some wildcat round custom-made for that "assassin's rifle." In 1964, the AR-7 had been on the market for just five years and was not widely known outside the camping and hiking community. United Artists could get away with making such a claim.
 

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I'm not running the movie down. A picture does not get nominated for ten Oscars and win seven, including Best Picture and Best Director, if it's a turkey. But the three art directors who shared its Oscar for Best Art Direction - Color did make a couple of glaring mistakes.

For instance, in the attack on Aqaba, the Turks were shown with an M1919 Browning light machine gun, which is a couple of years out of period. The Arabs are shown using Webley Mark VI revolvers, which might be difficult to explain but not impossible. The Webley had been in use since 1887, after all. But the biggest error was every Arab of Lawrence's tribesmen running around with an Enfield No. 1 Mark III. In 1916, the battle rifle of the British Army was the Mark III Enfield, and it was not made available to units of British-held territories in accordance with the policy that the armies of the Imperial lands not be as well equipped as the British Army. Where would the thousands of Arab warriors have acquired the thousands of "Old Smellies" they were shown using in the movie?

I think the director and his art directors were taken in by the perception put on paper by George MacDonald Fraser years later in McAuslan In The Rough, in a scene circa 1946:

Every day or so a little caravan would come through, straight out of the Middle Ages, with its swathed drivers and jingling bells and veiled outriders each with his Lee Enfield cradles across his knee and his crossed cartridge belts. (What the wild men of the world will do when the last Lee Enfield wears out, I can't imagine; clumsy and old-fashioned it may be, but it will go on shooting straight when all the repeaters are rusty and forgotten.)

It just does not seem correct to me. I could see the Arabs armed with Turkish Mausers they took off dead Turks they had been fighting for decades along with a few jezail muskets for flavor, but not SMLEs. Of course, to a director used to a British Army armed with the L1A1 version of the FN-FAL, which had succeeded the Enfield No. 1 Mark IV of World War II, the Mark IIIs would look positively quaint and thus suitable for arming the Arab irregulars; they could just be encouraged to bring their own guns to the locations. And for the scenes shot in Spain (which is most of the movie), it's easier to fetch SMLEs from the UK than Turkish Mausers from anywhere. That does not make it right, however.
The Enfields could have just been a stand-in for the MLE or the Lee Metford, a ton of those were in Arabia. From a distance they all look alike. A bigger problem was the M48 Mausers.
 

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I seem to remember a claim when Goldfinger was released that it was chambered in 7.62x25 (an exotic cartridge in America during the Cold War) or some wildcat round custom-made for that "assassin's rifle." In 1964, the AR-7 had been on the market for just five years and was not widely known outside the camping and hiking community. United Artists could get away with making such a claim.
I went back and took a look at the scene on utoob and had to laugh. They don't show her actually firing the gun but she misses and it impacts next to Bond. When it hits the ground gravel and rocks go everywhere! It scatters debris like a .30-30 round. LOL! And the report is like a .45! Pinewood Studios special effects. Also, at the time wasn't the AR7 made by ArmaLite (maybe Charter Arms?). Their quality and reliability back then was highly dubious.
 

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Hollywood does not care to be period correct. they are in bussness to make movies and money.
As evidenced every time a character uses a suppressor.
 

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TRUE STORY: We have supplied weapons and gear for several movies, and I would never openly advertise any of them because of what a hash the studios made out of them.

We supplied revolvers and holsters for a movie that took place entirely in the late 1850s and early 1860s. They wanted everything accurate to period. The prop master also bought a couple of modern holsters that he was going to modify. When the movie finally came out, both main characters were using 1873 SAAs they had gotten somewhere else, and the more modern holsters - completely unaltered. The background characters had accurate gear, but their costumes were all 1870s and 1880s. This movie was loosely based on a true story about Bass Reeves, and they got every detail wrong.

Another time we were contacted by a prop house. The lady on the phone wanted to know what guns we had would have been used in the 1800s. She wouldn't tell me what she was working on, or exactly when in the 1800s it was taking place, and I told her I needed her to be more specific for me to be able to help. Eventually she settled on the 1850s, but would not be more specific than that. She ended up buying a handful of Colt Navys. I tracked the company down and kept track of their projects. The movie finally came out, and it turned out to be about Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman, famously, carried a sawed off percussion shotgun because she suffered from myopia. Nope, not in this award-winning version of her life. Instead she carried an 1851.

The ones that actually get the details right tend to not actually be very good, or tend to be ultra-low budget.

One indy studio asked what the most commonly found revolver of the Civil War era was. I suggested a 1851 or 1860. They bought one 1860 Army, four belts, four holsters, and two Denix copies of the 1860. As far as I can tell, every character in this movie shared guns. This particular company was really particular about gun safety, though, and only let the actors use the Denix guns in closeup or when aiming at each other, and only shot live fire in wide shots that didn't show both actors. You could clearly see the Denix logo in several scenes.

That's just a sampling of the stories.

On the other hand, we also sell to a local studio/prop house/historical consultants. These guys are really good on military weapons and clothing, but come to me for "Old West." They know their stuff, and are constantly baffled by directors who have the correct gear available, historical consultants on set, and still decide to use the wrong thing because it "looks better on camera".
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I went back and took a look at the scene on utoob and had to laugh. Also, at the time wasn't the AR7 made by ArmaLite (maybe Charter Arms?). Their quality and reliability back then was highly dubious.
When Goldfinger was made, ArmaLite was still producing the AR-7 and it had a reputation for reliability. I own an ArmaLite done up in the Herter's "Tommy Gun" wood stock set, and it's fun to plink with. Charter Arms didn't acquire the rights until 1973, and it was at that point quality control went to hell. It wasn't until Henry acquired the license in 1997 that the AR-7 became a reliable firearm again. The one that lives in my personal emergency kit is a Henry, along with a scope to fit it carried in a separate tube.
 

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John Milius (sp?) was one of the few directors that was a firearms enthusiast and got the guns in his movies right.
Yeah, even when he couldn't get it right, he came darn close.

I don't think he is a gun guy, per se, but Wolfgang Peterson has always been a good one for accuracy in films. He doesn't just make sure details are accurate, he makes sure they are appropriately lived-in and used looking.

Peter Weir does a good job of accuracy in his movies.

Edward Zwick does good on the weapons and costuming front.
 

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When Goldfinger was made, ArmaLite was still producing the AR-7 and it had a reputation for reliability. I own an ArmaLite done up in the Herter's "Tommy Gun" wood stock set, and it's fun to plink with. Charter Arms didn't acquire the rights until 1973, and it was at that point quality control went to hell. It wasn't until Henry acquired the license in 1997 that the AR-7 became a reliable firearm again. The one that lives in my personal emergency kit is a Henry, along with a scope to fit it carried in a separate tube.
Yup. Mine is a Henry made AR-7 and lives in my go-bag. Although I do not have a scope for it.
 

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My two cents - I know I am coming waaay forward - it seems to me that Tom Selleck westerns, say from Quigley to Monte Walsh are/were historically accurate - I am sure someone can point out the wrongs, not so sure about the Sacketts and Shadow Riders.
 
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