aviateur
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Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:07 pm

Below is a copy of my most recent "Ask the Pilot" blog post. I'm pasting it here to make sure I've got the details correct, and to see if I've missed any.



SO I WATCHED "ARGO", the Academy Award-winning Ben Affleck movie about the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran.

Those of us of a certain age remember the hostage crisis quite well. Until September 11th, nothing in post-World War Two American history garnered more media attention and public discussion, save perhaps for the Vietnam War.

I thought the movie started strong but ended weakly. The closing sequence, especially, was contrived and overwrought -- not to mention historically inaccurate.

But it's the airplane scenes that we're here to talk about:

The Boeing 747 is one of the movie's stars. The iconic jet makes numerous appearances in the period colors of British Airways, Iran Air, and -- at the end, during that ridiculous escape scene -- Swissair.

The 747 is the Empire State Building of jetliners. It's no longer the biggest or the flashiest, but it's still the grandest and most historically significant. And any movie set in the 70s, particularly one focused on what was such a huge international story, come on, if there's gonna be an airplane, it HAS TO BE a 747!

I'm reminded of the line from that old Nick Lowe song...

"Seven forty seven put him in that condition,
Flyin' back from a peace keeping mission..."

Anyway, I don't know if the British Airways jet that brought CIA agent Tony Mendez into Tehran really was a 747. I don't know if the Swissair plane that carried the six Americans to freedom really was a 747. But either way, I'm glad the filmmakers chose one. That's not the sort of artistic license that irks me.

What irks me is that these airplane scenes were, quite clearly, digitalized fakes. Even a child could see this. The shot of the BA flight descending into Mehrabad airport looked like something an eighth grader had put together on his iPad. It was so goofily phony that it was hard not to laugh out loud.

The Swissair scenes, in the film's closing minutes, were no better. What a waste. There's the 747, front and center of one of the coolest moments of the past 40 years. Except that it's rendered in a sort of CGI-lite. There's one shot, of the plane's left wing, where they didn't even pretend to make it real. The intake of the number one engine is just a two-dimensional black circle. As the kids say, WTF?

Oh, and by the way, the entire airplane is wrong. What you see in "Argo" is a -300 series 747, with the extended upper deck and traditional (no winglets) wing. Swissair did operate the 747-300 for a time. The trouble is, it didn't take delivery of the first one until 1983, four years after the events portrayed in the film.

As the movie comes to a close, we see the superimposed jet accelerating down the runway, chased along by a phalanx of Iranian military vehicles and police cars. These cars and trucks miraculously keep pace until the nose gear begins to lift. I'm unaware of any jeeps or police sedans able to drive 170 miles-per-hour, but who knows what secret weapons the Iranians had in 1979.

Yawn.

You mean to tell me that with the millions of dollars lavished on the production of a major film, that Affleck and company couldn't have gotten hold of an actual 747 (the correct -200 variant) for a couple of simple runway scenes? Are you kidding? Several 747-200s are still flying, and I'm sure the owners (cargo companies mostly) would have been happy to lease one out for a few days. Dozens more are mothballed in the deserts of California and Arizona, within driving distance of Hollywood, any one of which could have been painted up in the appropriate colors.

Speaking of which...

Earlier on, I was impressed that they got the period livery for British Airways exactly right, including the typeface used in airport signage. There's also a very quick shot of the tail section of an Iran Air 747. Here too, though don't see it for more than a second, the livery is correct.

But then, with Swissair, they blow it. The colors shown, with the black and brown striping and the full red tail, weren't used until 1980. They've got the wrong plane AND the wrong paint job.

Here is a Swissair 747 of the correct make, in the correct livery
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Swissair/Boeing-747-257B/1494204/L/

Here is what they used.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Swissair/Boeing-747-357M/1883197/L

Not to nitpick, but there's also an earlier scene that shows a Boeing 737 taking off in silhouette. It's a model that didn't exist at the time. This, maybe, is forgivable. The rest is not.

I don't understand why flubs like these are so annoyingly common in movies. When it comes to cars, consumer products, hairstyles and clothes, Hollywood goes through considerable pain and expense to get their period details right, even the smallest details that the average viewer wouldn't necessarily notice or care about. But with airplanes and airlines, these standards don't apply, even when the airplane is center stage.



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Goldenshield
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:13 pm

Seeing as the airport scenes were filmed at ONT, and that they couldn't readily get a 747-100, let alone a Swissair 747-100, I give them a pass. I give them bonus points for shooting in the old terminal and at the old Lockheed area at ONT.
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting AVIATEUR (Thread starter):

Maybe you're taking it WAY too seriously?   
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aviateur
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:18 pm

For what it's worth, it would have been a -200, not a -100, I believe. Is this correct?
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EricR
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:22 pm

The main plot of Argo was about helping 6 people escape from Iran. It was not about airplanes. Therefore, the studio is not going to waste an enormous amount of time researching airplane specs for this film.
 
aviateur
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:26 pm

Quoting EricR (Reply 4):
The main plot of Argo was about helping 6 people escape from Iran. It was not about airplanes. Therefore, the studio is not going to waste an enormous amount of time researching airplane specs for this film.

Huh? By that standard, why would any filmmaker bother to get any period details correct? But they do, of course, and they should. The art of movies would be trash without such efforts.

Why are planes so often exempt, is what I'm asking?
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zotan
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:31 pm

I think planes are so often exempt because most people really don't care if they are using a -200, -300, or even an A380. The -300 was close enough.
 
LJ
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:37 pm

Quoting EricR (Reply 4):
The main plot of Argo was about helping 6 people escape from Iran. It was not about airplanes. Therefore, the studio is not going to waste an enormous amount of time researching airplane specs for this film.

Not entirely correct. Some directors take a lot of effort to ensure their props are correct. The aircraft or vehicles used are part of that. If you look at the list of gopfs for Argo you wonder how this can be an Oscar winning film...

Quoting AVIATEUR (Thread starter):
Below is a copy of my most recent "Ask the Pilot" blog post. I'm pasting it here to make sure I've got the details correct, and to see if I've missed any.

If you look on IMDB you'll see they made more avaiation related mistakes in that movie. All but the type are already listed on IMDB as goofs. However, I think you should mentioned the thing with the 747-300 as well as it adds to the already long list of goofs for this movie.

BTW it seems they really screwed up with the Swissair 747. Wrong type, wrong livery and a registration which belonged to a DC-9.....
 
phxa340
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:39 pm

Quoting AVIATEUR (Reply 5):

Because .0001% of the viewing public dont care about what plane they are looking at. They paid to see "Argo" not a 747-100.
 
CalebWilliams
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:46 pm

Next you're going to tell me that the events of "Flight" weren't 100% correct.  
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aviateur
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:49 pm

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 8):
Because .0001% of the viewing public dont care about what plane they are looking at. They paid to see "Argo" not a 747-100.

Okay, that is totally missing the point. Again, by that standard, why would filmmakers bother to get other period details correct, even seemingly insignificant ones? But they do, and they should. That's part of the art of movie-making.
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:03 pm

The dancing scenes in Amadeus were completely out of period, with moves that were not even invented yet. It won an Oscar too.

Anyway, the movie wasn't about getting 6 people out. It was about Hollywoods involvement in getting them out. From what I understand the least fictionalized part was the Hollywood part. The Canadians did far more than they got credit for. And the end of the movie simply never happened (other than the phone call confirming Argo existed). But that's Hollywood.
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ikramerica
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:04 pm

Anyway the 1980 livery is way better.  
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:25 pm

Double post. Please delete.

[Edited 2013-03-01 12:27:05]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:26 pm

Quoting AVIATEUR (Thread starter):
I don't understand why flubs like these are so annoyingly common in movies. When it comes to cars, consumer products, hairstyles and clothes, Hollywood goes through considerable pain and expense to get their period details right, even the smallest details that the average viewer wouldn't necessarily notice or care about. But with airplanes and airlines, these standards don't apply, even when the airplane is center stage.

A greater percentage of the population will recognize and relate to period products, cars, hairstyles, clothes etc. than airplanes. People will remember days when they wore certain clothes, drove certain cars, did their hair a certain way and used certain products more than they'll remember that they took a 747-200 instead of a 747-300. Most people don't even know multiple 747 variants exist! Heck, to the majority all large airliners are "jumbo jets!"

Hollywood spends more time and effort on period accuracies to which the audience will relate. Airline enthusiast are the minority.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:28 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 13):
Most people don't even know multiple 747 variants exist! Heck, to the majority all large airliners are "jumbo jets!"

In a real-life example, there was a guy on Airline! (US) that was wondering why they were going on a "tiny" 737 instead of a jumbo jet---between LAX and PHX.
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:29 pm

I'm with the OP, what would you think if Titantic were filmed on a Carnival ship, after all the story is boy meets girl, the boat is just a backdrop.
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:30 pm

I'm with Aviateur. When you spend that kind of money on a movie, it's a small thing to have someone look up details of such a highly visible item. Though I did like the Star Wars toys in the kid's bedroom! :+)

BTW: in the Sherlock episode where they introduce Irene Adler, Sherlock figures out a set of numbers to be a BA flight from LHR to BWI....on a 747. D'OH! Great show, but that error stood out to me.

Jim
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:32 pm

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 16):
what would you think if Titantic were filmed on a Carnival ship, after all the story is boy meets girl, the boat is just a backdrop.

A majority of it was filmed on the Queen Mary, which was built 20 years after the Titanic.
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brooklynchris13
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:32 pm

(Sigh). I commend the crew of Argo for getting it as close as they possibly could within reason. My other career (besides being a plane buff) is in the Fire Service. Since 1995, I have watched movie after movie, show after show, get nearly everything about the fire service wrong, or at least pretty wrong. I have learned to just enjoy it when they get a small detail right, or, even more importantly, when they get the "feeling" right. There is a reason they aren't called documentaries-- but, rather, pieces of entertainment. I, for one, was amazingly entertained by Argo, and Flight, and, even Top Gun and its F5 MiGs. Its all part of the show. Sometimes, knowing too much, can be a bad thing. Now, does that mean we shouldnt try to learn, of course not. And does that mean we shouldnt giggle to our aviation friends about an upside down mad-dog with winglets? nah, its all part of the fun too. As the first respondent said... Its not that serious.
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:35 pm

SwissAIR did fly some 747-200 on their flights to JFK before the 743's. ZRH to JFK and ZRH-GVA-JFK were flown daily with 747-200 before the 743's.
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:36 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 13):
Hollywood spends more time and effort on period accuracies to which the audience will relate. Airline enthusiast are a huge minority.

Unfortunately this doesn't apply to Argo. Haven't seen so apparant goofs in a movie (and by this I don't mean the aviation related ones only). The aviation related ones probably the least annoying (though teh movie lost its remaining credibility in the scene where the Iranians chased the 747). If you take the trouble in getting the livery of the BA aircraft correct, how much extra work is it to get your final scene accurate or credible.

BTW I wonder how the Iranian remake will look like (if it ever comes).
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:40 pm

SwissAIR did fly some 747-200 on their flights to JFK before the 743's. ZRH to JFK and ZRH-GVA-JFK were flown daily with 747-200 before the 743's.
 
B2468
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:53 pm

I agree that most moviegoers aren't going to give a hoot or a holler about aircraft details...most people don't care if the aircraft was a -300 if it should have been a -200, or whether the reg belonged on a DC9...I think most of the people in the world who care about and notice that stuff are right here on A.net.

However, Argo won an Oscar, and a film that wins an award at that level should show excellence in all aspects of production, including historical accuracy in aviation. If the director/production crew don't/can't put forth the effort to be as accurate as possible, they shouldn't win Oscars.

Of course, there are limits, and I understand that...okay maybe there was only a -300 available to the production crew...circumstances beyond their control may have prevented them from using a -200, and that's understandable, but the Swissair livery should have been correct.

I think most of the fault may lay with the Oscar committee; high level awards shouldn't go to films where there were obvious shortcuts. Truly talented film artists can tell a compelling story while adhering to accuracy.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 2):
Maybe you're taking it WAY too seriously?

If Argo were a "B" movie, I'd say you are right, but it won an Oscar...eh, maybe some of us do take it too seriously.

::End of armchair film snob rant::
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:57 pm

Quoting AVIATEUR (Reply 5):
Huh? By that standard, why would any filmmaker bother to get any period details correct? But they do, of course, and they should. The art of movies would be trash without such efforts.

Well, the film industry has seldom worried about airplane accuracy. For years, the standard gear retraction footage was of a B-52, no matter what airplane was shown at the gate.

One of the worst violations I can remember was in an episode of the $6 Million Man. He took off in an F-104, did aerobatics in an F-4 and landed in an F-5 ( not be exactly the right airplanes but you catch my drift).
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cf105arrow
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:06 pm

Quoting B2468 (Reply 23):
However, Argo won an Oscar, and a film that wins an award at that level should show excellence in all aspects of production, including historical accuracy in aviation. If the director/production crew don't/can't put forth the effort to be as accurate as possible, they shouldn't win Oscars.

I understand your point but then again the main historical facts in the movie are innacurate. They just did a movie that would appeal to the american public so they can sell more tickets and cash in on it.
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:21 pm

Quoting CF105Arrow (Reply 25):
I understand your point but then again the main historical facts in the movie are innacurate. They just did a movie that would appeal to the american public so they can sell more tickets and cash in on it.

Well, you have a point, as well, and there are a lot of historical details that I won't comment on, since I am not very knowledgeable about them. However, there were just some things that did not strike me as "Oscar Quality". The incorrect Swissair livery just seemed like a sloppy error, and the CGI also just did not seem top-notch, which I would expect in an Oscar-winning film. The CGI kind of reminded me of the CGI L1011 from "The Langoliers". The CGI in "Langoliers" wasn't great, but then again, I don't recall it winning major awards.

Overall, I didn't think "Argo" was bad...in fact I found it interesting...I suppose my biggest beef is that I don't think it is Oscar-quality.

But, the Academy didn't ask me (or any of us, for that matter) what I thought.
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:27 pm

Quoting B2468 (Reply 26):
But, the Academy didn't ask me (or any of us, for that matter) what I thought.

I guess the patriotic nature of the plot rather than the quality of the film made it oscar material for the Academy!
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:43 pm

I think you can get too hung-up on detail here. The production team went a long way to get the details right, but there is a limit to how far you're going to go with historical accuracies, and budget would be the overriding factor. I've no doubt that had they used the correct aircraft someone, somewhere would point out any minor errors in the livery, or somesuch other detail. There's only so far you can go with these things, unless you have a lot of time and an unlimited budget.

I find it hard to fathom that the OP would be so concerned about the type of 747 used in the film, when he's not bothered in the slightest that BA probably didn't use 747s on the route at all at the time. I know they used 707s in the '60s and '70s which was a stop-over on the Sydney route at the time. Hard to believe now, but one of the legs was actually TLV-THR (before 1979, of course!). Tristars were also later used, via Larnaca I think.

Far more important is the slur on the Brits, who, it is claimed, refused to help the Americans. That couldn't be further from the truth: the Americans asked the British Ambassador to help, but he was in London at the time. He instructed his secretary in Tehran to start looking for the Americans, which he did, managing to drive around Tehran in his imported Austin Maxi till he found them, then brought them to a safe house where his wife cooked pasta for them, until they could be delivered to the Canadians.

Apart from that, and the ridiculous overdramatised escape (completely wrong) at the end, it was a great film. Despite its flaws, it deserved the Oscar IMHO.
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:44 pm

Reality in the movies can be a relative thing. I recall back in the '60s being blown away by Ken Adam's B-52 set in "Dr Strangelove." Ultra-realistic -- or at least ultra-realistic LOOKING since the film makers got no cooperation from the Air Force -- at a time when most movie flight decks had the head and elbow room of the average kitchen and virtually no instrumentation.

"Fate is the Hunter" suffered badly from this latter problem plus a totally fake airplane, but when I got to the end of the movie I said to my (very young) self: Wow, now that's got to be the way accidents happen in the real world; not some grizzled flight engineer saying She'll make it, Skipper, if that crankshaft in #3 holds together and John Wayne says Well, Hank, you see to it she holds together, and they take off and, of course, over the middle of the Atlantic #3 bursts into flame and John pulls off an unbelievable ditching and everybody but one token victim survives.
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:50 pm

Swissair did not fly the 747 to THR, not in 1983 not in 1980. A DC-8 operated SR 363 on the day of the escape.
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aviateur
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:56 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 28):
The production team went a long way to get the details right, but there is a limit to how far you're going to go with historical accuracies, and budget would be the overriding factor. .


This is false. They had a choice of using the correct airplane (make and livery), or the incorrect airplane. Either one was going to take the same amount of effort.

[Edited 2013-03-01 13:56:58]
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Dalmd88
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:05 pm

The actual aircraft that they flew out on was this one.
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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Eduard Marmet



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aviateur
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:34 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 28):
I find it hard to fathom that the OP would be so concerned about the type of 747 used in the film, when he's not bothered in the slightest that BA probably didn't use 747s on the route at all at the time.

That's a good point actually. I have to plead guilty, I guess.

I'm cheating a bit. It's really not fair that I can give them a pass for using a 747 in the first place, yet be offended by which variant was depicted. Here I am complaining because they used the wrong kind of the wrong plane.

Still though, if you're going to show a plane at all, at least show one that actually existed at the time. Not bothering to do so is laziness. The choice of going with a 747 instead of a DC-8 can at least be argued on dramatic merits. Using a model that didn't exist yet is simply incoherent.


PS
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Viscount724
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:43 pm

Quoting AVIATEUR (Thread starter):
I don't understand why flubs like these are so annoyingly common in movies

Why should they make more of an effort to be accurate on something that not 1 in 1000 people who watch the movie will ever be aware of when much of the rest of the movie is a total work of fiction?
 
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:03 pm

Quoting AVIATEUR (Reply 33):
Still though, if you're going to show a plane at all, at least show one that actually existed at the time. Not bothering to do so is laziness.

A 747 was around at the time. Perhaps they researched only enough to come to that conclusion. How are they supposed to know to go further and pick the right variant? Again, most people probably don't know that different variants of the same aircraft exist!

But then again, they also could have said "close 'nuff" since the majority of the audience wouldn't know one way or another!
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:15 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 28):
The production team went a long way to get the details right, but there is a limit to how far you're going to go with historical accuracies, and budget would be the overriding factor.

Not necessarily. Makers of The Baader Meinhof Complex, a movie about the infamous leftist terrorist group made an exceptional effort (by Hollywood standards) to accurately depict the events to the extent that e.g. license plates of cars were identical to those involved (not to mention correct make and color) in actual events. They simply did their homework and made a decent research in archives. Budget of the movie was "mere" $20 million.

[Edited 2013-03-01 15:28:30]
 
steve6666
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:25 pm

If I remember correctly, Jarhead featured a TWA 747-400 or -300 which I thought was an interesting innovation...
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:46 pm

Quoting B2468 (Reply 23):
However, Argo won an Oscar, and a film that wins an award at that level should show excellence in all aspects of production, including historical accuracy in aviation. If the director/production crew don't/can't put forth the effort to be as accurate as possible, they shouldn't win Oscars.

I don't think that there is even an Oscar category for what you are expecting here. There is an Oscar for best costume, best make-up and best visual effects, but not, unlike for other movie awards, a category for "best props". As far as I am aware, Argo did not win any Oscar in one of the categories that relate to any of those aspects.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 36):
Not necessarily. Makers of The Baader Meinhof Complex, a movie about the infamous leftist terrorist group made an exceptional effort (by Hollywood standards) to accurately depict the events to the extent that e.g. license plates of cars were identical to those involved (not to mention correct make and color) in actual events. They simply did their homework and made a decent research in archives. Budget of the movie was "mere" $20 million.

Well. getting some period number plates produced is way easier than mustering a Swissair DC8...
 
ikramerica
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:58 pm

Quoting B2468 (Reply 26):
However, there were just some things that did not strike me as "Oscar Quality".

Argo won best picture because it was a movie about Hollywood helping do something good, and they are all a bunch of narcissists here, so it gets extra points for that.

Ultimately, Argo was a story about a very uneventful rescue of 6 people who were stuck in a mansion (or actually, 2 mansions). The reality of the story, at least the in Iran part, was that after they got to the embassy, they hung around for like a week, were escorted to the airport, and left. No chase, no scouting locations, no detention at the airport. They did call the "production office" to make sure it existed, then let them leave the country.

So all the other stuff in the movie is there to take an amusing story and make it compelling. Director and screenplay did a good job there. But as a production, it was mediocre. It was not the best picture. I haven't seen them all yet to know which should have won, but as a production, it probably should have been the Batman movie. Not the best story or acting, but a well done movie on a level above Argo, Silver Linings, and Amour. Maybe Pi or ZDT were better movies, I don't know. Lincoln won for what it deserved: best actor.
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:34 am

Quoting dalmd88 (Reply 32):

From the picture's description:

HB-IDL (cn 46134/513) "Aargau"

"Aargau" would be pronounced something like "Argo" by an American.  


Back on topic: They could have obtained tons and tons of DC-8 footage, they could have applied the correct color scheme to the aircraft by CGI... when "Jurassic Park" featured life-like dinosaurs in 1993, a photo-realistic Swissair DC-8 could have been rendered by the CGI department.

What bother's me is that many things are done halfway right when the resources are there to do something perfectly. But as long as less than 1% of the moviegoers are aviation aficionados, they will save their $$$ where it will hurt the least.

Remember "Die Another Day", an aviation-related trainwreck in the form of a James Bond movie. It was the highest-grossing Bond movie up to and including the year 2002.


David
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:52 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 36):
events to the extent that e.g. license plates of cars were identical to those involved (not to mention correct make and color) in actual events. They simply did their homework and made a decent research in archives.
Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 40):
They could have obtained tons and tons of DC-8 footage, they could have applied the correct color scheme to the aircraft by CGI... when "Jurassic Park" featured life-like dinosaurs in 1993, a photo-realistic Swissair DC-8 could have been rendered by the CGI department.

If they can make the effort to get something as small an inconsequential as a cense plates right, they should at least make half an effort on something as large as an aircraft.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:58 am

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 38):
Well. getting some period number plates produced is way easier than mustering a Swissair DC8...

a) My point was the degree of attention to detail....  
b) If Mayday producers can be bothered to include accurate, computer generated/remastered images of airliners in their documentaries, why not Hollwood?
 
ytz
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:02 am

As a Canadian, I am more offended by the fact that:

1) The movie totally downplays the role that Canada, Ken Taylor and all the other Candian embassy staff made. The entire Canadian Parliamnent met in secret to authoritze passports for the Americans. La Presse had already figured out the plot but did not print it in the paper to allow the plan to follow through. None of this was depicted.

2) Ken Taylor was not even invited to the screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. He has publicly expressed his displeasure with the film and done so in person to Ben Affleck.

Not getting the airplane's right or having police cars chase down a 747? That doesn't bother me as much as not giving sufficient credit to the man who really put his life on the line to get out nationals of another country.
 
vfw614
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:03 am

And the bottom line is...

...you can still win an Oscar and make 200m+ USD at the box office despite getting the aircraft wrong and upsetting the a.nutters crowd.

That is all that matters for the producers and the director. After all they were not after an Oscar in the documentary category. I guess when confronted with the complaint Ben Affleck would give the thread starter a confused look (like in "where are the guys with straitjackets"), then pull out his wallet, fork out 20 USD and tell him to buy a justplanes video.  
 
aviateur
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:06 am

Several movies feature key scenes that were filmed at airports. But the heck with 'Argo,' give me 1975's 'Dog Day Afternoon' any day. Now that's a movie. Plenty of drama and tension, with no goofy chase scenes or half-assed special effects.

I'm sure many of you have seen it: the final scene unfolds at Kennedy Airport, where bankrobber Al Pacino is captured and handcuffed against a cop car, his accomplice shot through the head. In the background is a noisily idling jetliner, which Pacino thought would be his getaway plane. The plane is a Convair CV-990, a now-extinct, four-engine jet that was an uncommon sight even in '75. It's shown in the colors of Modern Air, a real life charter carrier at the time.

(What a great name that was: Modern Air. Today we have nonsense like "AirTran.")

'Dog Day Afternoon' was one of few major motion pictures recorded with no music whatsoever. There's no soundtrack, no backing score. Yet that closing scene is all about sound. Airplane sound. The earsplitting whine of the Convair's early-generation engines, and the roar of unseen planes taking off.


They don't make 'em like that no more.


PS
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:06 am

As much as it upsets some of us, I think the fact that they got a Swissair 747 of some variant is something to celebrate. We notice all the flaws, but we won't notice things like cars... what if the cars in the movie were cars 4 years after the event? What if the AKs shown were manufactured in Bulgaria instead of __insert wherever Iranian AKs came from__. Most of yall wouldn't care if the cars were off, most would have no idea about the AKs (I'm a gun enthusiast and I have no idea.)

What if they were wearing a brand of clothes made a few years after? I can go on and on, but you get my point. If they wanted to please every little group and make everything perfect, they'd spend years and millions researching single scenes.

If we got an aviation nerd in Hollywood, I'm sure the planes in them might be 100% on, but the cars could be off pissing off cars.net or something.

I say be happy it wasn't a KLM 747 taking off and an MD-80 interior, then showing another outside view of a 737... I've seen that before...
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ikramerica
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:06 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 40):
What bother's me is that many things are done halfway right when the resources are there to do something perfectly. But as long as less than 1% of the moviegoers are aviation aficionados, they will save their $$$ where it will hurt the least.

It would have cost no more to fake a DC-8 rather than a 747. It's just Affleck, Clooney and the other "sexy producer" didn't really care. Nor did they care that Canada did most of the work, not the CIA. Or that the hostages were able to go outside, and were not confined indoors for the whole time.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:11 am

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 38):
I don't think that there is even an Oscar category for what you are expecting here. There is an Oscar for best costume, best make-up and best visual effects, but not, unlike for other movie awards, a category for "best props".

Sure there is, it's called "Best Production Design". The movie Lincoln won this year.
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vfw614
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RE: Argo Gets Its Planes Wrong

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:16 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
Quoting vfw614 (Reply 38):
I don't think that there is even an Oscar category for what you are expecting here. There is an Oscar for best costume, best make-up and best visual effects, but not, unlike for other movie awards, a category for "best props".

Sure there is, it's called "Best Production Design". The movie Lincoln won this year.

Thanks for clarifying this. So in order to rest this case, "Argo" did not get a nominaiton is that category, be it for the wrong planes or not:

Quote:
NOMINEES BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Anna Karenina, Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
Les Misérables, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
Life of Pi, Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Lincoln, Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

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