Peter Jackson takes on the Dambusters

OK, saying that I learned about Peter Jackson by seeing Bad Taste at Melbourne’s Valhalla Cinema pretty much dates me (and another blogger who would say this was some serious name dropping as well).  Anyway, I should also add that films like the Dambusters were normal Sunday fare as well, which also places me in another time and place.  Anyway, it seems that Peter is about to embark on the Old Classic Film, The Dambusters, about Operation Chastise, which was the Operation that destroyed the Dams on Germany’s Ruhr Valley and resulted in some serious civilian casualties.  Of course,  Such activity has been stopped by the addition of Article 56 of the Protocol I amendment to the Geneva Conventions in 1977 which outlawed attacks on dams “if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population”.

But, that was a serious aside.

The famous dog whose name can no longer be uttered in polite society, or public.

The famous dog whose name can no longer be uttered in polite society, or public.

Although, not only is bombing dams démodée, but so is a certain word used in the classic film which was the name for Wingco Gibson’s dog and the code word that the Möhne Dam was breached.  It’s a stereotype that the RAF crowd still name their black labs this, although I think this is a dangerous act in urban areas, or even just public places.  I wouldn’t have the bad taste (fitting) to call my dog this.  Although, I did call my black lab the name of the Cream of Wheat man when we were deep in forests or otherwise extremely far from civilisation (his real name was Andy for Andropolus Hercules DeBaskervilles) [1].

That said, it’s interesting how remakes come out.  I was seriously disappointed by the recent remake of Terry Nation’s Survivors (which also sets me in Time and Place).  I would have liked to see the series updated, but the remake missed a lot of the more important issues raised in the first series.  Also, remakes of foreign films can often miss the important cultural aspects, but that’s another point.

In this case, the original Dambusters reflected post-War British culture in a time when many of those who fought it were still alive.  In some ways the original is dated by being a product of its time, but that is a very important aspect to the originals importance.  Even if it uses words which are now taboo.

Addendum:
This news story sounds interesting.  It also seems that the dog’s name will be changed in the remake.  Of course, You can go to RAF Scampton and see the dog’s grave and there he is with his name, and it’s an important part of both the actual Operation and the classic film.
It also appears that Stephen Fry is writing the updated film script.  While I admit to being a fan, I am not sure how well he could handle this task.  Although, the one area where he is being taken out of cultural and historic context is due more to political correctness than Fry’s intelligence.

[1] I learned this bit of information when we were in an antique store.

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