War of 1812

Discussion in 'Writing' started by p kirkes, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. p kirkes
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    p kirkes VIP Member

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    I don't recall any modern movie that revolves around the war of 1812, the battle of Fort McHenry.

    I acknowledge my limitations about this event in American history save that's were and when Francis Scott Key penned the poem that became our national anthem.

    What I have in mind is to write a screen play of this war using a multi thread technique with the main characters being Francis Scott Key, the British Admiral commanding the fleet and the Commandant of Fort McHenry.

    The background will be of course the cause of the war, it's progress up to the battle for Baltimore and the military need to take Fort McHenry.

    Important supporting roles are the flag maker and her business, the lawyer that sent Mr. Key to the British, the black soldier that was killed in action and the bombardment crews of the British fleet and the American fort.

    The time period of the drama will be over a short time span, after the background for the war has been established. First, the arrest of the lawyer, the intercession of Mr. Key, the preparation of Fort McHenry, the need for a bigger flag, deciding it's dimensions and how it was constructed, the gathering of the British fleet and their associated logistics, the bomb ships (barges), their construction and armament. All the characters and threads of this drama will be coming together to meet in that fateful 24 hours.

    The drama will climax in the firing of the first ranging shells followed by a crescendo of bomb ships bombarding the fort, shell/bombs bursting, rocket and cannon firing and explosions in/on/above the fort. The dense smoke and Erie red flames from the fort, make the scene surreal. Shown will be the Americans cannon responding from the fort taking a toll (small) on the British fleet, maybe a misfire were a mortar blows up killing it's redcoat crew.

    The whole panoramic scene unfolds before Mr. Key and he is thus inspired to write, in stages as the night progresses, his poem until the dawn reveals that the American Fort's huge flag is still flying.

    Did you know that the British admiral had orders to withdraw his fleet if the flag was still flying at dawn?

    How cool would it be to have Mr. Key softly intone the words "our flag is still there" as he hurriedly scribbles them down on the page. Then in the next moment, the lookout on the mainmast of the British command ship of the Line yells down to the admiral "their flag is still there". And the British Admiral turning, echoing in disbelief "their flag is still there"? Then turning to his #2 gives the order to "withdraw the fleet".

    The movie ends with the guns ceasing fire, the smoke clearing, the ships of the fleet making visible turn abouts, the Fort's commandant climbing to the top of the forts parapet with Sabre in hand and "Old Glory" shot through, torn and a little shredded proudly waving in the background. Whew, what a movie that could be. Stand up and salute.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  2. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    "The Bucaneer" with Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte and Charleton Heston as Andrew Jackson centers on the Battle for New Orleans with the usual Hollyweird melodrama added. The battle actually took place after a peace agreement had been reached between the US and Britain.

    The War of 1812 is not high on the list of "Great Moments in American History" considering they British sacked Washington DC, burned the Capitol, and sent its inhabitants scampering into the countryside. We actually were getting our asses rather soundly kicked for the most part of the war.

    A movie about the Battle of Ft McHenry (I believe it is actually the Battle for Baltimore Harbor -- not sure) would be rather boring. British ships and Ft McHenry exchanging cannon-fire.
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    edited because I need to read before posting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Gunny, I believe you are thinking of the Battle of New Orleans, in 1815, where the armistace was signed, but not Jackson or his British counterparts?

    Often called the 'Second American Revolution,' the War of 1812 accomplished nothing tangible for either side. However, during this war, America came together as a country, one that really did hold together without major schisms for the next 30 years or so.

    * The American character coalesced as separate from Europe
    * The Congress was convinced to fund a peacetime military
    * It made 'permanent' the Revolution's outcome
    * It made the western boundaries more secure
     
  5. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Can you restate your first question? I thought that's what I said in regard to the Battle of New Orleans.

    I will defer to your response as far as the rest. The War of 1812 is one that was barely covered in school and I have had no real insterest in researching beyond that. I think I posted everything about it I know.

    Yul Brynner and Charleton Heston won it.:eusa_silenced:
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    You're right, I read too fast. My apologies and hope your 4th is great!
     
  7. BrianH
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    BrianH Senior Member

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    You'd have to be really careful making a movie about the war of 1812 to be really honest. It's a great Patriotic thought, but if you really want it to stick, you'll have to find a way to make it less boring for the millions of people who actually don't know history. Where as you and I might find it interesting, many will not, and unless it involves alot of battle scenes and intense combat, it simply won't fly with most of the public. One thing that really yanks my chain when it comes to movies, are movies with very little battle scenes, or very boring ones. Jar-head was a floating turd IMO...it was a Full Metal Jacket knock-off that had little to no fighting.
     
  8. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I agree that the war of 1812 accomplished little tangible results.

    I also agree that the intangible benefits were significant.
     
  9. Gungnir
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    Gungnir Member

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    Had President Adams not cut the Navy expansion (and Jefferson not followed through with the cut) would the War of 1812 have happened?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  10. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Good question.

    No idea.

    Perhaps it would have happened a LOT more on the open seas givemn that impressment was such a problem.

    there were a lot of unresolved tensions still left over from the Revolutionary war.

    British troops were still occupying some areas in American you know.

    The battle for fishing rights off the St Johns banks was very important, as well.

    Other things I've forgotten were pressing issues that were annoying both sides, too.

    I think we'd have gone war, personally regardless of our Navy.
     

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