Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Pirates of Tripoli movie poster
A Pause in the Revolution -
The Hollywood Academy Award Oscars took place a week after the start of the revolution in Triopli, and temporarily knocked the story off the front page.
Here's a poster from one of the movies made about the Barbary Pirate wars, a swashbuckling theme that was also promoted in the 1950 film "Tripoli," which is really about the attack and capture of the eastern port city of Darmah.
I noticed that Hollywood was also getting ready to make a new film called "Tripoli," apparently on the same subject, staring Kahnue Reeves, but that it has not begun filming yet. There was a similar problem with the movie "Master and Commander," which is set in the same time period (1804) and gives a fairly accurate account of the action between warships of the era. Although "Master and Commander" was originally supposed to be a battle between an American and pirate ship, they changed it to British and French ships to be more politically and historically incorrect.
Other films of interest of the same type and time period include "Damn the Defiant," about a British warship that commits mutiny, but reconsiders in time to save the fleet when attacked by the French. Then there's Gregory Peck as "Hornblower," a classic tale that captures the feeling and styles of the day.
As for North Africa, wars have been fought there for centuries, and then they made the movies. Cartridge was at what is now Tunisia, where the New Arab Revolution began, and home to Hannibal, who attacked Rome by land, over the alps with an army and elephants.
In the movie "Ben Hur," the Roman Centurian reflects on a great 2-day battle fought on the coast of Libya, and today there are many Roman ruins, including the Arch in the old city, entire cities along the coast, and incredible mosaics that are covered over and the uncovered by the shifting sands.
"El Cid" is a grand film made of the epic poem of the wars between Spain and the Moors of North Africa in another century.
World War II made North Africa famous as the early battles of the war were fought, with the Germans backing up the Italians who had taken over Tripoli decades earlier.
When Romel came in to Tripoli by ship with his army of tanks, he plotted his strategy right there at the harbor warfs (see photos of Rommel at Tripoli)and then they made the movies "Romel," the "Desert Fox," "Saraha" (With Boggart as US tank commander) and "Patton."
After the US lost the first battle to Rommel, Patton was brought in to straighten things out, and as seen in the movie, George C. Scott takes a ride in his jeep to some Roman ruins and reflects on the great battles that were fought there that changed history.
And now they're already made documentary films about the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisa, and the continuation of the revolution in Egypt, and someday they will make a movie about the Revolution in Libya, but we still have to wait and see how it plays out.
We know how it begins, we just don't know how it ends.