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Eastwood keeps it a little too real in ‘Flags’
Boston Herald ^ | 10/19/06

Posted on 10/19/2006 8:30:57 AM PDT by Valin

It is Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry”-esque directing approach - not the star-studded cast - that “Flags of Our Fathers” actor Barry Pepper credits for the oh-so-real on-screen re-enactment of World War II’s bloody Battle of Iwo Jima.

“Eastwood didn’t rehearse anything,” Sgt. Michael Strank’s alter-ego told the Track. “So we didn’t know when these massive explosions were going to be sending a ton of sand in the air or where the weapons were going to be fired.”

Battered from a blast, the startled stars would voice their surprise to Eastwood after a take. But Pepper said the Oscar winner would “just smile and say, ‘Well your look was accordingly perfect.’ ”

“That was exactly what he had in mind to get these incredibly accurate emotions of these young, 18- or 19-year-old kids scared and out of their element,” said Pepper, who also appeared in “Saving Private Ryan.”

And if an actor sustained an injury during a scene, Pepper said you had to bite the bullet and get stitched up later.

“He doesn’t wait for anybody to have their actor weeny moment,” the war movie veteran laughed. “He just expects that you are a mature actor and you can get through the film. If you don’t, then you are just left in the dust because he can pretty much take you or leave you. He’ll shoot the movie without you!”

Pepper witnessed Eastwood’s tough love first-hand when a “squib-hit” blew up in his face, bloodying his lip.

“A medic came up to me after the shot and told me I had to go to the hospital,” he recalled. “But I went up to Eastwood and said, ‘I’m not leaving because I know you - and you’ll shoot the day without me! I won’t be in the movie!’ He laughed and said, ‘Good, because it’s a long way from your heart.’ ”

Then the 76-year-old icon reached over and plucked a 1-inch copper wire that had piercedPepper’s lip adding, “But, you might want to take this out first.”

Yikes! Was Eastwood channeling Gen. Patton???

“Flags of Our Fathers” tells the story of the six men who raised the second flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford and Adam Beach portray the three survivors who are shipped back home and whisked off on a propaganda tour to raise money for the war effort.

“Flags of Our Fathers” opens in theaters tomorrow.

TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: flagsofourfathers
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To: OKSooner
The Battle of the Bulge, for example...

Band of Brothers did a pretty good job on that segment.

41 posted on 10/19/2006 9:19:01 AM PDT by Protagoras (Billy only tried to kill Bin Laden, he actually succeeded with Ron Brown and Vince Foster.)
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To: L98Fiero
Ira Hayes, A Pima Indian from Arizona was one of the 6 Marines that raised the flag on Mount Suribaci February 23, 1945. I was surprised not to see his name among those that were called survivors. Johnny Cash even sang about him.
42 posted on 10/19/2006 9:20:36 AM PDT by NY Attitude (You are responsible for your safety until the arrival of Law Enforcement Officers!)
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To: OKSooner

Need to remake "Battleground"

43 posted on 10/19/2006 9:22:26 AM PDT by wordsofearnest (Zachary Taylor s/h finished the job.)
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To: Valin

Now that's what I call method acting!

44 posted on 10/19/2006 9:22:32 AM PDT by Eepsy
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To: 50sDad
Good morning.

The VA shrink thinks I'm crazy to play shooters, but the bottom line is that they help me sleep. I stop for awhile and I start to get twitchy and have difficulty sleeping again.

A side effect is that they helped me recover from a stroke because of the need to manipulate the keys despite my paralysis , and the need to engage the brain in problem solving under stress. I'll never recover completely, but I can rack the slide on my pistols and hunt virtual Nazis and Commies, so I can live with it.

There were moments in the Games 'Vietcong', 'Men Of Valor' and 'Brothers in Arms' that made me sweat, but I was very calm and relaxed after I had figured out how to survive. I assume that I'll figure out the psychology involved someday.

Michael Frazier
45 posted on 10/19/2006 9:25:21 AM PDT by brazzaville (no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: SkyPilot

well, I think she needed to be spanked.

46 posted on 10/19/2006 9:26:33 AM PDT by rahbert
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To: tx_eggman
Reading the history of these events, as seen by the other side can be quite enlightening

Here's an excellent history of the Battle of Midway, as seen by Japanese Naval Aviators who were there.

47 posted on 10/19/2006 9:26:51 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: dfwgator; Snoopers-868th

I agree, although I have to admit I have always thought that a grand scale four hour movie that showed the Battle for Guadalcanal, complete with air battles and sea battles would be a great tribute to the men who fought in the Pacific.

That said, I cannot imagine how they could make a movie of the bloodbath of Iwo Jima. I know a large portion (maybe most, for all I know) deals with the guy on the war bond drive, but I am curious.

48 posted on 10/19/2006 9:27:02 AM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: WV Mountain Mama

Seriously though, I hope they wore ear-plugs. There are indeed, important OSHA guidelines about that.

49 posted on 10/19/2006 9:30:52 AM PDT by unspun (What do you think? Please think, before you answer.)
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To: rlmorel

Agree Guadalcanal. "Guadalcanal Diary" was too sanitized (although about the best you'd get in that day and age).

50 posted on 10/19/2006 9:43:29 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath (In the shuffling madness)
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To: OKSooner
The Battle of the Bulge, for example... mean Henry Fonda didn't personally stop the Wehrmacht with a buch of gasoline cans? Who knew?

51 posted on 10/19/2006 9:44:23 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Or Quint from Jaws didn't lead the assault?

52 posted on 10/19/2006 9:45:13 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Locomotive Breath

There's 'Helmet for my Pillow', by Robert Leckie.

53 posted on 10/19/2006 9:53:31 AM PDT by real saxophonist (The fact that you play tuba doesn't make you any less lethal. -USMC bandsman in Iraq)
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To: Cecily

...The Marines are lookin' for a few good men......Unfortunately, you ain't it

54 posted on 10/19/2006 9:53:55 AM PDT by Lekker 1 (("...the world will be...eleven degrees colder by the year 2000" -- K. Watt, Earth Day, 1970)
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To: ErnBatavia

He played Roger Maris in Billy Crystal's "61*". Did a hell of a job! {So did Tom Jayne who played the Mick. And had to learn how to swing a bat -righty and lefty].

55 posted on 10/19/2006 9:54:20 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: Locomotive Breath
Supposedly from the Japanese soldier perspective.

In war -- Eastwood offers us a timely reminder -- who is just and unjust depends on where you're watching from. And to further the point, his next movie, Letters From Iwo Jima, tells the story from the perspective of the Japanese.

I got it from this review (Flags of Our Fathers-Print the Legend-Eastwood strips away myths surrounding Greatest Generation). I'm skeptical of this project and think a lot of the pitch about it is a lie.

I am not old enough to have seen this photo's effect on the war, morale, and everything else firsthand. But I have seen the original contact print of the image (made on the ship, before Joe Rosenthal had even seen it, someone else developed the roll, had the image passed by the censor, and mailed it home) About 2" square. I've also seen a print Joe Rosenthal made large enough to fill a wall.

It is a powerful image. But it does not say "mission accomplished, the war is over". It does not say "these 6 guys were the only ones who fought the battle". It does not say "this image isn't real because this is not the first flag". These are the criticisms from the left and in the ad campaign.

It shows American troops pulling together. It shows our flag, our standard, rising. It is a sign of victory. Victory that comes with a price, a toll taken on our soldiers (those who died AND those who survived). It was not a staged image (Joe erred when he said "yes" in an early interview, he was referring to a separate image of the men posing in front of the flag).

I could handle a film about Iwo Jima, I don't like the PR that this photo was false, that the men were exploited, and that pro-America propaganda is bad.

We are told that the photo doesn't tell the real story. Compare the photos leaked from Abu Ghraib with the photo of the men who as political prisoners under Saddam had their hands amputated at Abu Ghraib but under American liberation, had prosthetics attached, and they shook hands with President Bush. Torture means something. Something the "blame America first" media tries to distort.

If the Japanese were justified, then WWII was a lie. I do not accept that premise. History is written by the victors and there are countless documented attrocites committed by the Japanese (medical experiments that rivaled the Nazis, enslaved Korean comfort women who were repeatedly raped, tortured POW...).

56 posted on 10/19/2006 10:03:58 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: real saxophonist
Thank's for the tip. I've not read that - looks like a good'un. One more added to the reading list.

But I really meant movies. "Diary" was both, of course.
57 posted on 10/19/2006 10:03:59 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath (In the shuffling madness)
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To: Lekker 1

That movie is hilarious. Clint vs. Mario van Peebles, the chain of command, et al.

58 posted on 10/19/2006 10:05:42 AM PDT by Cecily (`)
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To: tx_eggman

...Die for Allah. Die for the Reich... it's all the same thing.

But we have learned that such a dedicated mindset does not require the erradication of all who ONCE held those views.

I have hope for the world and do believe peace is possible.

59 posted on 10/19/2006 10:07:13 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: Valin

Good thing Eastwood didn't do that to terrorists.

He'd be in jail.

60 posted on 10/19/2006 10:10:12 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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