Fortress (2012) R

This film mistakenly gives the impression that all of our bomber crews in WWII were a bunch of foul-mouthed moonshiners that could barely stay sober enough to fly a plane.  Somehow they mysteriously turn into heroes anyway.  The main character, the flight officer, is harassed relentlessly for being a t-totaller and told that he cannot be an effective pilot until he gets the respect of his men by getting blottoed.  The battle scenes were made entirely with CGI; no real planes were used.  At times, you can even see planes pass through one another.  Even the main B-17 featured in the film was just a wooden model.  That’s about the quality of the acting as well.  As with most military films, mistakes were made with uniforms and equipment.  The funniest one is when the flight crew is shown wearing all of their high altitude cold weather gear while still on the ground in the scorching Sahara.  The dialog is distinctly anachronistic with several modernisms used like “moral compass”.  The film has non-stop, gratuitous profanity.  I counted: no longer than 30 seconds elapse without a cuss word.  No historical background is given for the bombing campaign whatsoever.  The CD box arrogantly proclaims that the “battles were fought on the ground.  The war was won in the sky.”  I think that the ground soldiers might take a tiny bit of exception to that statement.  This film completely glosses over the historical debate over the effectiveness and morality of carpet-bombing.  The effect of the bombing on Italian civilians and the ambiguities of the involvement of Italians in the war are left out entirely.  Definitely skip this movie; it is of no value to your students.

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