The Things Hollywood Gets Wrong About the Military

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Military actions and life have long been a subject for the film industry. Virtually every war in which American troops were involved, and many in which they were not, have been given the Hollywood treatment. In most film and television presentations, much of what Hollywood portrayed of military life was and is simply wrong. One reason for the errors is the absence of military experience among the writers. Military advisors, usually retired, often support filmmakers, and official support of the military is also fairly common, but only if the script is approved by the service involved. Often such approval is withheld, as in the film Crimson Tide. The Navy disapproved of the storyline and script, and refused to cooperate in making the film.

Similarly, the US Army denied support for the 1975 epic film, Apocalypse Now. Other films, such as John Wayne’s The Green Berets, received enthusiastic support from the military, but still got several things wrong in its depiction of military life. The abrupt transfer of a Marine to the Army Special Forces shown in the film is just one example. Film editors, directors, and producers are focused on entertainment and the bottom line, rather than strict adherence to reality. Here are ten things Hollywood gets wrong about the military, and why.


This is an encore of one of our previous lists, as presented by our YouTube host Simon Whistler. Read the full list!


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