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Movie History

June 2024
1min read

In reading Mr. Carnes’s article I was reminded of the film The Great Waldo Pepper , featuring Robert Redford in the title role. Near the end of the film Waldo meets his former German opponent in Hollywood, as they have both been hired as stunt pilots in a war movie. Waldo and his associate complain to the director that veterans of the Great War will notice they are flying over mountainous Southern California instead of Flanders. The director listens to their complaints and remarks, “The world is full of technical experts. I am an artist.”

Along the same lines, Frances FitzGerald’s unsettlement by “references to Montagnards in pan-flat Cambodia” in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now conflicts with both the map’s description of the Vietnam/Cambodian border above the twelfth parallel and my personal experience of rappeling out of Cambodia along the banks of the Song Be River in late June of 1970 with a unit of the 7th Air Cavalry. Film is an art form that uses history as parts of a collage.

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