Not sure this is really a WW2 topic but ...

November 8th, 2014  

Topic: Not sure this is really a WW2 topic but ...

Dadís Army remake doesn't need Catherine Zeta Jones - they're Hollywoodising a great English classic

Paul Routledge protests at the introduction of a femme fatale hot-shot journalist into the saga of the World War Two Home Guard

HARRUMPH! As the officer in charge of the platoon, why was I not consulted?

The new blockbuster remake of Dadís Army is being filmed in Yorkshire, with the resort of Bridlington cast as fictional Warmington-on-Sea.
A very fine choice if you ask me, as the producers should have done.
But speaking as Captain Mainwaringís long-standing (and much-sitting) double, I must protest at the Hollywoodisation of this great English classic.
Dadsí Army is a saga of the Home Guard in World War Two. Itís all about men. Men occasionally making fools of themselves, I grant you, but men all the same. The clue is in the title.
Itís not the Womenís Land Army or the Fanys. Itís Dads, stupid boy!
So why introduce a femme fatale, in the (admittedly shapely) shape of Catherine Zeta Jones, playing a hot-shot journalist who is sent to write about my platoon?


I canít imagine what my wife Elizabeth would say. It would certainly not be very complimentary, and she would never consent to be filmed.
During the war, the secret work of the Home Guard was off-limits to the Press, and rightly so. The very idea of a lady reporter traipsing about while we are on manoeuvres is preposterous.
Why, she might even be a German spy, a Mata-Hari in disguise.
Do we want the Germans to know about the vital contribution of my very brave men to the war effort?
No! Donít tell her, Pike!


I must also question the wisdom of casting Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson. I have enough to deal with with this effete, drawling public schoolboy at the bank without having to put up with a lookalike and talkalike in a film.
Mr Michael Gambon playing Godfrey is a different kettle of poisson, as our Free French comrades would say. He has a distinguished record in the theatre, and probably did his National Service.

He would be an adornment to the platoon, just so long as he leaves his sister Dollyís cucumber sandwiches at home.
I come now to the matter of Mr Jones. Not Corporal Jones, but Mr Toby Jones, cast in the exacting role of myself.
Donít quite like the cut of his jib. I rather doubt he understands the serious nature of military responsibility.

Being an officer isnít just a matter of twirling a stick and giving orders, yíknow. Itís about natural authority, and gaining the respect of the men.
My appointment as captain (even though I made it myself) confirms that I have those qualities in abundance.
This should be clearly apparent to Mr Tom Courtenay, of Hull, who plays Corporal Jones. Failing that, ďpermission to speakĒ will not be granted.
I think that just about settles the matter. Any complaints from the ranks should be addressed to Mainwaring (Capt, retíd), Officersí Mess, Home Guard, Keighley.
Stand at ease!
November 9th, 2014  
I'm unsure about the film, remakes are not usually as good as the original.

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