Black Hawk Down (2001)

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    There are 4 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by The Ringo Kid.

    • Black Hawk Down (2001)



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      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Action/war drama based on the best-selling book detailing a near-disastrous mission
      in Somalia on October 3, 1993.
      On this date nearly 100 U.S. Army Rangers, commanded by Capt. Mike Steele,
      were dropped by helicopter deep into the capital city of Mogadishu
      to capture two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord.
      This lead to a large and drawn-out firefight between the Rangers and hundreds
      of Somali gunmen, leading to the destruction of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters.
      This film focuses on the heroic efforts of various Rangers to get to the downed black hawks,
      centering on Sgt. Eversmann, leading the Ranger unit Chalk Four
      to the first black hawk crash site, Warrant Officer Durant who was captured
      after being the only survivor of the second black hawk crash,
      as well as many others who were involved.
      Written by Matthew Patay: revised by Brady Schloz

      Full Cast
      Josh Hartnett ... Eversmann
      Ewan McGregor ... Grimes
      Tom Sizemore ... McKnight
      Eric Bana ... Hoot
      William Fichtner ... Sanderson
      Ewen Bremner ... Nelson
      Sam Shepard ... Garrison
      Gabriel Casseus ... Kurth
      Kim Coates ... Wex
      Hugh Dancy ... Schmid
      Ron Eldard ... Durant

      Ioan Gruffudd ... Beales
      Tom Guiry ... Yurek (as Thomas Guiry)
      Charlie Hofheimer ... Smith
      Danny Hoch ... Pilla
      Jason Isaacs ... Steele
      Zeljko Ivanek ... Harrell
      Glenn Morshower ... Matthews
      Jeremy Piven ... Wolcott
      Brendan Sexton III ... Kowalewski
      Johnny Strong ... Shughart
      Richard Tyson ... Busch
      Brian Van Holt ... Struecker
      Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Gordon
      Steven Ford ... Cribbs
      Ian Virgo ... Waddell
      Tom Hardy ... Twombly (as Thomas Hardy)
      Gregory Sporleder ... Galentine
      Carmine Giovinazzo ... Goodale
      Chris Beetem ... Joyce
      Tac Fitzgerald ... Thomas
      Matthew Marsden ... Sizemore
      Orlando Bloom ... Blackburn
      Kent Linville ... Othic
      Enrique Murciano ... Ruiz
      Michael Roof ... Maddox
      George Harris ... Atto
      Razaaq Adoti ... Mo'alim
      Treva Etienne ... Firimbi
      Abdibashir Mohamed Hersi ... Somali Spy
      Pavel Vokoun ... Briley
      Dan Woods ... Fales
      Ty Burrell ... Wilkinson
      Boyd Kestner ... Goffena
      Jason Hildebrandt ... Jollata
      Kofi Amankwah ... Somali Kid
      Joshua Quarcoo ... Somali Kid
      Johann Myers ... Somali Father
      Lee Geohagen ... Somali Son with Gun
      Giannina Facio ... Stephanie Shughart (uncredited)
      Corey Johnson ... U.S. Medic (uncredited)
      Norman Campbell Rees ... Ranger (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Mark Bowden (book)
      Ken Nolan (screenplay)

      Jerry Bruckheimer .... producer
      Harry Humphries .... associate producer
      Branko Lustig .... executive producer
      Terry Needham .... associate producer
      Chad Oman .... executive producer
      Pat Sandston .... associate producer
      Ridley Scott .... producer
      Mike Stenson .... executive producer
      Simon West .... executive producer

      Original Music
      Hans Zimmer

      Slawomir Idziak

      All Black Hawks and Little Birds used during the filming were from the 160th SOAR, (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) and most of the pilots were involved in the actual battle on 3/4 October 1993. A lot of the extra Rangers in the film were current Rangers, serving with the 3/75 Ranger Regiment

      The photo of a wife and child that one of the soldiers is looking at is actually a photo of Eric Bana's wife and child. The props department forgot to take a photo of a wife and child with them, so asked Bana's wife and child who were traveling with him if they could use a photo of them in the movie.

      Despite the fact that Ken Nolan is the only credited writer there were others that contributed uncredited. Sam Shepard wrote a some pages of dialogue, but they were not used; Eric Roth wrote crucial speeches for Josh Hartnett and Eric Bana to deliver in the closing minutes; Steven Zaillian made a dialogue-driven rewrite; and Stephen Gaghan did one rewrite early on in the development. Nolan was the writer on the set for four months, and worked on the script for over two years. Prior to WGA arbitration, promotional materials for the film (such as theatrical posters) credited the screenplay to both Ken Nolan and Steven Zaillian. This was later changed to award sole credit to Ken Nolan.

      Disney passed on distributing this film because of its violent R rating. Its eventual distributor, Revolution, is run by ex-Disney studios chairman Joe Roth.

      This project was originally the idea of director Simon West who urged producer Jerry Bruckheimer to obtain the rights of the book with a view to directing it himself. However, West abandoned the project to direct Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

      Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Ewen Bremner, William Fichtner and Kim Coates all previously worked together in another movie about war, Pearl Harbor.

      Twenty soldiers lost their lives during the raid. The epilogue lists 19. Eighteen of the soldiers who died were Rangers and Delta operators. There was also two soldiers, PFC James Martin from 2-14 Infantry, and Sgt. Cornell Houston of the 41st Engineer Battalion which was attached to the 2-14, 10th Mountain Division, who died during the battles of 3/4 October. The combined task force of 2-14 along with members of the 41st Engineer Battalion were the Army unit sent in to rescue the Rangers. As well, Matt Rierson, who is also in the list, died two days after the battle when Somali mortar-men bombarded the base (as they always did every evening, usually to no effect). A Malaysian and a Pakistani soldier who were part of the rescue convoy were also killed in the fighting.

      Department of Defense gave the producer a platoon of Army Rangers who did the fast rope scenes

      Some of the scenes on the monitors behind Major General Garrison are actual satellite images of the battle.

      40 of the actors who were portraying Rangers were sent to Fort Benning to attend a two week crash course in becoming Rangers, 15 of the actors portraying Delta Operators were sent to Ft. Bragg and were given a two week Commando Course by members of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group. Ron Eldard went to Fort Campbell and was given a lecture by several Little Bird and Black Hawk pilots, including Mike Durant, about flying and the battle.

      On the last day of their week long Army Ranger orientation at Fort Benning, the actors who portrayed the Rangers received a letter which had been anonymously slipped under their door. The letter thanked them for all their hard work, and asked them to "tell our story true", signed with the names of the Rangers who died in the Mogadishu firefight.

      The massive shoot of the "target building insert" sequence was intended to be among the first sequences shot in principal photography, due to its complex nature. However, negotiations to borrow four Black Hawk helicopters from the United States military were so arduous that an agreement was not reached until a month after shooting had commenced. Director Ridley Scott had prepared a rental of four Hueys from Germany that were ready to be painted black and work as substitutes in the event an agreement with the US Department of Defense could not be reached. Fortunately, the US Government was eventually satisfied that the film would portray the incident in a positive light, and shipped the helicopters to the location in two C-5 Galaxy transports. Ridley Scott says this was very fortunate for the film, since the title is Black Hawk Down and Hueys have no resemblance to Black Hawks.

      Two of the Black Hawk helicopters used in the film were named the Armageddon (film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer) and the Gladiator (directed by Ridley Scott). Bruckheimer believed this to be a sign of good luck.

      The scene where a U.S. soldiers falls out of the truck in the convoy was an outtake, but director Ridley Scott felt that it was funny and should be left in the movie.

      The film features soldiers wearing helmets with their last names on them. Although this was an inaccuracy, Ridley Scott felt it was necessary to have the helmets to help the audience to distinguish between the characters because they all look the same once the uniforms are on.

      Specialist Grimes, portrayed by Ewan McGregor, is a fictional character, though given his administrative position and penchant for coffee, he is unabashedly based on the real-life Ranger clerk Spc John Stebbins, who was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the battle. However, Stebbins was convicted in 2000 for child molestation and is currently serving a 30-year jail term. As a result, the Pentagon apparently pressured screenwriters to alter his name in the film, although a spokeswoman for the movie defended the change as "a creative decision made by the producers."

      As the soldiers prepare to take off Wolcott plays a version of Voodoo Child (slight return) in the helicopter. This version was performed by Stevie Ray Vaughan who died in a helicopter crash.

      The movie opens with a quote from Plato: "Only the dead have seen an end to war." An earlier cut of the movie opened with a quote from T.S. Eliot: "All our ignorance brings us closer to death."

      The sequence of events portrayed near the end of the movie, where some of the US Rangers were forced to run, unprotected, behind the rescue convoy did, indeed, happen. This unfortunate turn of events was named by the soldiers after the battle as "The Mogadishu Mile".

      Ben Foster had to drop out of the role as Cpl. James 'Jamie' Smith due to a serious injury sustained during basic training.

      The donkey that Sergeant Ed Yurek briefly pets was almost not able to be in the film because of budget cuts. In fact, during the rewriting and reediting of the script Ken Nolan, the screenwriter found a note by Ridley Scott saying, "I miss the donkey". The donkey was eventually kept.

      Some of the radio chatter in the movie was taken from actual radio transmissions made during the battle.

      Ridley Scott offered Russell Crowe the role of Sgt. Norm 'Hoot' Hooten, the Delta squad leader. However, Crowe had to turn down the role due to scheduling conflicts with 'Ron Howard''s A Beautiful Mind. Crowe, a huge fan of the film Chopper, strongly recommended Eric Bana for the role, in his place.

      When Orlando Bloom auditioned for the role, he informed the casting directors that he knew what it was like to break his back (as he had done so only a couple of years before when climbing out on a drain pipe from a friend's flat). His character in this movie breaks his back after falling from the helicopter.

      A large number of the actors who played American soldiers are actually from different countries. The list includes: Ewan McGregor (Scottish), Eric Bana (Australian), Kim Coates (Canadian), Ioan Gruffudd (Welsh), Ewen Bremner (Scottish), Jason Isaacs (English), Zeljko Ivanek (Slovenian), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish), Tom Hardy (English), Matthew Marsden (English) and Orlando Bloom (English).

      None of the film was made in Somalia but in the similar looking cities of Rabat and Sale in Morocco. No Somali actors are included in the cast. Somalia then and today remains a dangerous and unstable country.

      Mark Bowden, a staff reporter on the Philadelphia Inquirer, first detailed the disastrous 1993 Mogadishu raid in a serialized, 29-part story that appeared in the paper during November and December 1997. This was expanded into a book the following year.

      In order to keep the film at a manageable length, 100 key characters in the book were condensed down to 39.

      When screenwriter Ken Nolan first read Mark Bowden's book, he was so determined to work on the film version that he called up the studio and said "I'll do anything, I'll wash Jerry Bruckheimer's car".

      Ridley Scott had to drop his original ending as he found it too pedantic and boring.

      This is the first collaboration between Ridley Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer. The producer however has worked with Scott's brother Tony Scott on several occasions, notably Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II.

      The documentary The Essence of Combat: Making 'Black Hawk Down' that appears on the DVD is actually longer than the film itself.

      Although this was released to a wave of patriotic fervor, it was actually completed long before the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

      Eric Bana's US film debut. He found the experience to be an ultra-realistic one and said he frequently forgot that they were only making a movie.

      18 US soldiers died in the incident depicted in the film. The number of Somalis who died during the battle has been estimated between 500 and 2,000.

      Originally slated to open on March 1 2002. However, following successful test screenings in October 2001, that release was bumped up to January with special screenings arranged in December to help the film qualify for Academy Award consideration.

      Unlike Ridley Scott's previous film G.I. Jane, this production received the full co-operation of the US military.

      18 hours of combat is compressed into less than 3 hours of screen time.

      While Ridley Scott was wrapping up post-production on Hannibal, pre-production and location scouting were already underway for this film.

      Members of the Royal Moroccan Army played Somali militia men.

      The opening sequence which depicts numerous starving Somali actually utilizes rubber bodies to represent the dying Africans. Some of the "bodies" had a hose inserted into them through which air was pumped to simulate the appearance of breathing.

      Josh Hartnett was cast largely at the suggestion of Jerry Bruckheimer who had just worked with him on Pearl Harbor. Hartnett was not overly keen on appearing in another blockbuster so soon after his film with Michael Bay but the strength of the material and the opportunity of working with Ridley Scott soon persuaded him otherwise.

      A lot of the dust seen swirling around underneath the Black Hawks was computer generated. Real dust would have been too prevalent and would have obscured the action so the ground was dampened before filming to reduce the amount of dust.

      The Black Hawk going down, spiraling as it crashlands, was achieved largely through real, skilful flying of the helicopter, with some CGI augmentation. The minute it hits the ground, however, the whole thing becomes computer generated.

      Ewen Bremner partially lost his hearing because of all the gunfire. He did recover however.

      The set was constantly bothered by stray dogs running into shot. Ridley Scott kept them in because he liked the authentic feel of their presence. 8 dogs were adopted by various members of the production and were eventually brought back to the US with them.

      Share thisWriter Ken Nolan's first experience of a movie set.

      There was no effort made to cast actors who looked like their real life counterparts.

      One of the favorite films of George W. Bush.

      Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the main target, died August 2, 1996. General William Garrison retired from the army the next day.

      Brendan Sexton III (Kowalewski) was unhappy working on the film because it conflicted with his leftist views on U.S. foreign policy in general and specifically with regard to U.S. actions in Somalia (both before and during the 1992-93 peacekeeping operations there). He told after the film opened that he and another actor improvised a scene with anti-imperialist materials, but it was all cut from the film before it was released.

      The nickname given to the Somalis by the Rangers, "Skinnies," does not actually refer to the famine and rampant malnutrition in Somalia. It is the nickname given to an alien race in Robert A. Heinlein's novel, Starship Troopers, which was a popular book passed around the battalion, and is on the required reading list at West Point. The Rangers felt that their culture was so strange, that they seemed to be from another planet. The "Skinnies" do not appear in the film version of Starship Troopers

      In the DVD commentary the veterans of the battle state that the presence of 'technicals' (pick-up trucks fitted with heavy weapons on the back used by the Somali militias) was invented by the filmmakers and that they didn't see any during fighting. However, in his autobiography Navy SEAL Howard Wasadin who won the Silver Star and Purple Heart as part of Colonel McKnight's ground convoy, states he did see such vehicles armed with machine-guns darting in and out of alleyways and firing on the US forces.

      Plato never quoted "Only the dead have seen the end of war." It is attributed to Plato, but actually written by George Santayana in his book 'The Life of Reason.' It was first misquoted in one of retired general Douglas MacArthur's farewell speeches and then crept into popular use.

      Tom Hardy's first feature film.

      Director Trademark
      Ridley Scott: [ceiling fan] There is a large ceiling fan in the scene where Garrison interviews Mohammed Atto.

      The sunglasses worn by SFC Hooten (Eric Bana) are Oakley Juliets. Throughout the film Oakley is one of the very few brand names mentioned (when Pilla is impersonating Capt. Steele - "If Delta wants to wear Oakleys, that's their business...I don't wanna see them on again, hooah..?"). The company does have a Standard Issue range that is intended for military use and the brand itself is highly popular with servicemen. The appearance of Hoots sunglasses is chronologically incorrect though, the events depicted in the film took place in 1993 and Oakley did not start marketing the specific sunglasses he wears until 1999.

      While flying into Mogadishu one soldier holds a paperback edition of John Grisham's novel The Client. In October 1993, this book was only available in hardcover; the paperback was not published until March 1994.

      While Second Lieutenant John Beales is having an epileptic seizure, Days of the New's "Die Born" is being played by the soldiers in the background. This album was not released until 2001.

      At the start of the film, most of the pilots were shown with SPH-4A/B flight helmets, but a few are wearing newer HGU-56/P helmets. The movie takes place in October 1993, but the Army did not begin fielding the HGU-56's until 1995.

      In several scenes, such as in the lunch line when Steele is getting onto Hoot about his weapon, it is possible to see the knobs on the carry handles, revealing them to be M4A1s. These were not developed until 1994.

      Just after the task force takes off from the airfield, they pass over a kid with a cell phone who call's the militia leader to warn him. The militia leader is told, "Ma-alint" which has come to mean "Rangers" in the language of modern Somalia. But that is really an abbreviation of "Ma-alinti Rangers" which is a National Holiday in Somalia celebrated on the anniversary of the battle, October 3rd. The phrase did not exist until the year after the battle.

      Audio/visual unsynchronised
      When Mr. Atto leaves Mogadishu in the Land Rover convoy, the last Rover clearly squeals its tires on a dusty dirt road.

      Numerous times in the film when any helicopter lands, we hear the familiar chirp-chirp-chirp sound. This is characteristic only of the famous Bell H-13G (the MASH chopper), and then only of the rubber drive belt disengaging from the rotor column.

      While evacuating prisoners, McKnight's voice is very obviously overdubbed, as Tom Sizemore's mouth appears to be saying something completely different from what is heard.

      While running the "Mogadishu Mile" at the very end, there is a close-up shot where a Delta unit lifts his rifle, it recoils against his shoulder, and we hear several shots, but he doesn't pull the trigger - his finger lies flat against the trigger guard

      When PFC Blackburn and SSG Eversmann first meet, PFC Blackburn's subtitles incorrectly show him as saying, "Yes sir, you want me to shoot?" when he actually says, "Yes sarn't, you want me to shoot?" The distinction between the two is very important as in the United States Army, Sergeants are never referred to as "Sir". Only commissioned officers are referred to as "Sir". "Sarn't" is a common shortening of "sergeant".

      In the Spanish and German versions, when Garrison and McKnight talk about Spectre gunships, the word "gunship" is translated as "helicopter."

      When Yurek runs to join Eversman at the first crash site, there are kicks of dust as bullets hit the ground as he runs for cover. The sound of bullets has been edited out however. Afterwards when Nelson runs the same route, there are no kicks of dust at all.

      Character error
      When a Ranger throws out a frag grenade, Sgt. Eversman warns his men by yelling "Grenade!" Proper designation would be to yell "Frag out!" as yelling "Grenade!" warns the men of an incoming grenade, not an outgoing one.

      When Eversmann's team proceeds to the first crash site, the supervisor reports: "Hostiles advancing parallel west your position." This would be misleading as the enemy is actually east of the team, according to the direction of the shadows as well as the fact that the scene takes place in the afternoon, well after 03:45 PM. It is questionable if the mission supervisor would use this kind of orientation, instead of rather saying something like "enemies at 9 o' clock".

      During the scene when the soldier has a seizure while watching TV, the soldiers around him hold him down and someone yells out to put something in his mouth. Both of these actions are wrong. You neither hold down or put anything in the mouth of someone having a seizure. The soldiers should know this as they all go through basic first aid in training.

      When Wolcott and Mike Durant are talking about the word "limo" Durant says it's not in the dictionary, but it is in the Official Scrabble Dictionary.

      In the satellite image, the helicopter hovering over the city is a Bell UH-1 "Huey" but in the regular aerial shots, it is a UH-60 Black Hawk.

      After Sgt. Busch crawls out of the first Black Hawk wreck, the goggles on his helmet disappear and reappear several times.

      When Sgt. Sanderson was lying prone and ordering one of his Delta soldiers to draw fire from some Somalis on a vehicle, he was waving his left arm. But when the camera switches to behind him, he is waving his right arm.

      When Hoot takes over the 0.50 caliber machine gun, his gloves disappear and reappear between cuts.

      When Blackburn is lying on the stretcher they put his legs straight. Next time we see his legs, up close they are clearly bent.

      The rifle disappears and reappears in Mike Durant's lap between cuts.

      The mini-guns and rocket launchers mounted on Little Bird disappear and reappear between shots (being replaced by flat benches) after it breaks formation when it is sent to Walcot's crash site.

      As Mike Durant's chopper is crashing, the gunners disappear and reappear between shots.

      The position of Mike Durant's Black Hawk in the satellite images after it crashes. This is presumably because one is the real satellite image. (several were used in making the movie)

      The appearance of Hoot's rifle changes throughout the movie, often between shots (this is especially noticeable when he is firing out of the window of the Humvee).

      In one shot, a Black Hawk helicopter is flying over the ocean; soldiers can been in its cabin with their legs hanging out over the sides. In the next the shot(s), the same helicopter cabin is empty.

      The position of Grimes and Blackburn at the shooting range.

      When Sgt. Struecker enters the lead Humvee in the three-vehicle column to return to base, he closes the door which is missing the glass in the window. In the next shot where Struecker is driving the Humvee, the glass has re-appeared.

      Cliff Wolcott's helmet model changes right after his helo is hit by an RPG. He wouldn't have switched helmets during a flight.

      After Blackburn falls, Eversmann ropes out of the helicopter. When he begins down the rope, another Ranger grabs the rope to descend after him. However, the long shot of the rope and the scene after Eversmann reaches the ground indicate no one was following him.

      When Chalk 4 are pinned down by a .50 caliber machine gun, a Little Bird is waiting above. In the shot from the top, it is a Bell Huey, then when it fires at the gunner it is a Little Bird again.

      The black that is on Grimes face changes from fully black to half of his face black during the scene when he's giving coffee to Sanderson

      when CPT Steele calls out SFC Hooten to point out the safety of his weapon, it is obvious that when Hooten turns around, the right side of his rifle is facing outward but when Steele's finger is pointing at the safety lever, the left side of the rifle is facing outward

      After Pvt Blackburn falls out of the Black Hawk, SPC Grimes and Waddel are talking about why he is not firing yet. You see Sgt Eversmann and Schmid attending to Blackburn while Eversmann waves for Gallentine (the one with the radio phone) and he approaches and is kneeling by Blackburn in the background. In the next shot Gallentine again runs to and kneels by Blackburn.

      When the first Black Hawk is shot down, after it hits the ground you see its aileron at the rear without a pattern. The next time you see it (when the aircraft turns on its side) it has patterns on it.

      On their way to the first crash site, Eversmann's team members sneak around a house corner. A Somali opens fire with a heavy machine gun and a RPG is being shot, both hitting the house corner hard and debris is flying around. After a Little Bird has taken out the Somali, the team advances. In the following shots, the house corner shows no traces of the impacts.

      When the sharpshooter takes out the Land Rover carrying Atto, the vehicle changes from a Defender model to a Discovery in the close ups and distance shots.

      Just after Gordon is killed. Durant can be seen shooting Somalians with the MP5, with Gordan's M733 Carbine on his lap, which Shughart hasn't given him yet. This then disappears as the rifle is given to him and doesn't return to his lap until he runs out of ammunition.

      When Yurek gets separated from chalk 4 and runs into a school for cover a father and a son are seen firing into the door he just went through, which Yurek subsequently locks, then he walks across the room to the opposite side, opens the door and slips, the same son and father are there and the son unintentionally shoots the father. However the father and son would have had to go all the way around the building in the time Yurek crosses the room to be there.

      Randy Shughart uses semi automatic sniper rifle through whole movie. In one scene, approximately 30 seconds before Gary Gordon dies, we could see him firing from M16.

      Crew or equipment visible
      Dolly tracks are visible in opening shot.

      A white-shirted cameraman is visible, crouching over a camera in the back of a Humvee when it stops to let the old man past.

      When the city forces take over the second black hawk helicopter, a shot from the point of view of the wounded soldier reveals a camera and crane on the right-hand side of the screen.

      During the Mogadishu Mile, Rangers and Delta are being left behind by the UN. In the high shot where the vehicles go downhill then the soldiers appear, there are two crewmembers wearing blue shirts on the roof of the top right building.

      When Eversmann and his men are running back to the their base, he dodges some gun fire and squats behind an old car for cover. As he does so, his "mark" is visible on the road at the spot where he stops running and dodges behind the car.

      When Garrison says," Good luck boys, and be careful. No one gets left behind," briefly in the hangar you see two white shirted crew members and the camera.

      After Super6-1 goes down and an RPG is shot at the crew chief defending the position, the wire that the RPG is attached to is visible after passing through.

      After shooting the technical with his grenade launcher, Grimes (Ewan McGregor) dives into a little hole in the ground when Sanderson (William Fichtner) warns him of an incoming RPG. As he dives, you can see a camera crew visible on the left side of the screen.

      Errors in geography
      When the soldiers are waiting for the mission to get underway they are discussing the details while shooting baskets, in the background there is a group of farm houses set in a green field.

      In the first few scenes of the movie, Muslims are shown praying towards the east, proved by the sunrise they are facing. But the holy city of Mecca would be to the north, northwest of Somalia, not to the east as it is from in North America.

      When the boy runs to drop the telephone down to the militia leader, a bay can be seen in the background. The coast off Mogadishu is straight and there are no bays. Secondly, a cliff to the left is visible, as well as in the scenes with the helicopters flying towards the city; there are no seaside-cliffs near Mogadishu. This is a view of the filming location in Morocco.

      When Nelson, Twombly and Yurek are running down the street towards Eversmann's position, there are cars and buses driving past in the background in the high shot.

      In at least one scene depicting the US Base, and shows a C-130 Hercules transport in the background, you can see the country symbol on it (round and red) that shows it to be a Moroccan Air Force Hercules, which is where the movie was filmed.

      Factual errors
      The call to prayer in the beginning was called after the sun had risen. In Islam, there are no calls to prayer after sunrise until after noon.

      When the muezzin (who recites Azan (Moslem call for prayer)) calls for the morning prayer on the minaret, we can see that the sun had already risen. Which means the time for morning prayer is already over. The muezzin should have recited the call for prayer at least an hour earlier (which is done all over in the Moslem countries).

      When the soldiers are firing the mini guns from the helicopters, the shells are falling out too slowly. A raining stream would fall out, not a small line of shells.

      Michael Durant is in the left hand seat of the helicopter, the traditional seat for the pilot. However, according to Durant, during the actual battle he was flying from the right hand seat.

      When Jamie Smith is hit, the bullet apparently severs hit femoral artery, as Eversmann and the medic later attempt to clamp it. However, the medic says to Eversmann when Smith is first hit, that "If he [Smith] doesn't get to a hospital in a half-hour, he's in trouble." With arterial bleeding, the victim is usually dead within 5-6 minutes after suffering the injury.

      Durant uses an MP5A5 when defending his helicopter. Pilots really used MP5K's, which are significantly smaller.

      Incorrectly regarded as goofs
      As with any "based on a true story" movie, especially one involving complex military operations, there are many ways in which the plot of the movie differs from the actual events. The exigencies of dramatic storytelling also require that certain practices and procedures are not accurately portrayed. Though, technically, these might be thought of as goofs, it's a movie, not a documentary.

      The uniforms worn are 3-color desert combat uniforms (DCU) with 6-color "chocolate chip" desert Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) helmet covers. This is correct. The new DCUs adopted in 1992 (after Desert Storm) had entered the supply chain by 1993 and had begun to be issued before the Somalia incident. Elite formations like the Rangers and Special Forces are usually the first to receive new equipment, and were so equipped in Mogadishu in October 1993. The reason they still wore the older camouflaged helmet covers was due to the fact that the covers had not been issued yet. It is has been historically quite common for US helmet covers and other camouflage accessories to lag behind in the distribution of new patterned uniforms.

      Cartridges and empty casings seen throughout the movie are not blanks. Cartridges and casings that are seen in some scenes are, in fact, "dummy" rounds. Dummy cartridges are generally "live" rounds with the gunpowder grains removed and a non-working primer installed. Blank rounds are characterized by the crimping of the casing where the projectile normally is and are painted on the end to distinguish them from live and dummy rounds. Blank rounds will "pop" when fired like actual live rounds unlike dummy rounds which don't have any powder at all.

      Revealing mistakes
      The .50 caliber machine guns on some of the Humvees are dummy guns whose barrels flop about as the vehicles drive over rough terrain, such as when Blackburn goes to the shooting range to meet Eversmann.

      When Gordon is defending the second crash site he switches from his sound-suppressed M4 sniper rifle to his Colt M1911A1 pistol. The first time he uses his 1911 pistol, he fires 7 shots rapidly to kill charging Somalians. The first shot locks the slide back but the next six are clearly added in because the shells don't fly out and the gun still fires despite the slide being locked back. The next six muzzle flashes must have been added in post-production.

      During the entire movie, when the soldier's are talking on the AN/PRC-119A radios they are able to talk and receive transmissions. However the radio is on "Stand By" and there is no RF cable attached to the antenna connector. So even if the radio was on they would not be able to talk on those radios.

      When Blackburn gives his Military I.D (which consists of only numbers) to Grimes, you can clearly see that when he types it into the database he uses the letter keys all over the keypad, and not the top line of number keys only.

      After the first Black Hawk has crashed, a lone soldier guarding the wreckage comes under fire by Somalis with RPGs. In a side-shot of one of the missiles flying past, you can see a wire in the air along its trajectory.

      When the two Delta snipers are approaching the second downed Black Hawk, a Somalian man in a white shirt is shown from behind. Clearly visible is a pack on his back. A few seconds later he is shot by one of the snipers in that exact spot. It's a blood pack.

      When Shughart and Gordon are defending Mike Durant's helicopter, at one point, Gordon shoots a Somali in a yellow shirt. After he is killed, Shughart shoots the same Somali a few seconds later.

      Before Sfc. Randy Shughart gives CWO Mike Durant his fallen comrade, MSgt. Gary Gordon's rifle, CWO Michael Durant is already seen with the rifle in his lap for one small scene (the last scene of him before Sfc. Randy Shughart gives him the rifle).

      After Gordon is killed in the 2nd crash, Shughart takes over. We see a shot of a Somali shooting Shughart. In the next shot Shughart is dead. After that we see him dropping the g3sas the second time and he is still sitting up.

      Factual errors
      When Mike Durant's crash site is overrun, Randy Shugart is shot 11 times with a Tokarev pistol which only holds eight rounds.

      Incorrectly regarded as goofs
      When Pilla gets shot, the first KIA, he lands on Thomas on his right shoulder and soaks his uniform in blood. In one scene when Streuker's column is ready to depart the base, it appears that Thomas's left arm (not his right) is covered in blood. However, this is due to the fact that the audience is looking through Sgt Streuker's point of view, who is watching Thomas through the mirror of his Humvee.

      Revealing mistakes
      When Eversmann goes to see Jamie Smith's body at the end of the movie, he says to Smith that he will go and talk to his "mom and pop" when he gets home. He then pats Smith's chest and Smith's eyes twitch showing that he isn't really dead.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Kénitra Airbase, Morocco
      Sale, Morocco
      Sidi Moussa, Rabat, Morocco

      Watch this Trailer

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Black Hawk Down (2001)

      Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American war film directed by Ridley Scott.
      It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden,
      which chronicles the events of the Battle of Mogadishu, a raid integral
      to the United States' effort to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

      The film features a large ensemble cast, including Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana,
      Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner
      and Sam Shepard.

      The film won two Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound at the 74th Academy Awards.
      The film was received positively by American film critics, but was strongly criticized by Somalis.

      User Review
      one of the best ACCURATE war movies
      3 March 2005 | by Daniel Berman (Miami, Florida)

      Unlike most of the war movies of our time, Black Hawk Down sticks to the facts about what happened in Mogadishu and doesn't romanticize the story. To support this observation, the viewer will notice that there is not really one main character. This shows that the film focuses more on what happened in Somalia instead of on the characters personality and/or struggles. Another important aspect of the film that makes it so great is the cinematography. Not only was the setting of the film accurate to the real thing, but the way that the movie was filmed is great because it seems like someone is running along the battle scene getting everything on tape. In addition, the film contains small aspects that one may not notice that are important to the situation in Mogadishu. For instance, the bullet shells that fell from the firing helicopter fell into one of the soldiers' vests, and he scrambled to get it out because of how hot it was. This small detail makes the movie that much more realistic. To conclude, Black Hawk Down is a great movie that is both an eye opener that sticks to the facts as well as a quality film. I recommend this movie to any war-film fan, as well as anyone that likes watching movies in general.
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Black Hawk Down (2001)

      I thought it was an excellent movie and always had a laugh that a good portion of the cast were not Americans. :lol: Still, they were very convincing as Amis. Same thing which happens on the TV series: The Walking Dead. The Sheriff (Rick) is from the UK just like the creep he's going up against (The Gov) is also from the UK. I wonder how many zombies are also from there?

      Anyway, back to BHD. Ive talked with a few Gents from the 10th Mountain Division when they were stationed at the CC Into Port for some reason, and they all seem to agree that the Ami General was a Pogue. I dunno why?
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Black Hawk Down (2001)

      The Ringo Kid wrote:

      I thought it was an excellent movie and always had a laugh that a good portion of the cast were not Americans. :lol: Still, they were very convincing as Amis. Same thing which happens on the TV series: The Walking Dead. The Sheriff (Rick) is from the UK just like the creep he's going up against (The Gov) is also from the UK. I wonder how many zombies are also from there?

      Anyway, back to BHD. Ive talked with a few Gents from the 10th Mountain Division when they were stationed at the CC Into Port for some reason, and they all seem to agree that the Ami General was a Pogue. I dunno why?

      This shares that same fact with Band of Brothers, Carl. Alot of the cast from that production were also non-American, English to be exact. In fact, actor Tom Hardy was in both productions.
    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Black Hawk Down (2001)

      WaynamoJim wrote:

      This shares that same fact with Band of Brothers, Carl. Alot of the cast from that production were also non-American, English to be exact. In fact, actor Tom Hardy was in both productions.

      I remember that too--especially the Gent who played the Commanding Officer, Dick Winters. I was in Switzerland at the time when they were filming the Battle of the Bulge sequences and remember seeing many of them interviewed on Swiss TV. I was staying with a friend in Rickenbach--not too far from where the filming was going on. We were going to go watch them film some but--his time off was cancelled so he had to return to work.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..