Filmed on location on the Western Front

I was able to get into one of the scarce (sold out) showings of “They Shall Not Grow Old” yesterday and just absolutely loved it. Peter Jackson– who it turns out is a big WWI nerd and has access to Great War-era artillery pieces (“as one does”) was given access to 100 hours of WWI footage in the Imperial War Museum’s archives, 600 hours of oral history interviews with 120 Commonwealth military veterans from the Western Front done in the 1950s and 60s, and took four years of coming through them all to compile the feature documentary.

The twist is, he balanced and corrected the film (some were too dark, some overexposed, and due to the nature of hand-cranked field cameras of the era was wildly either too fast or too slow) then correctly colorized the selected scenes and made them 3D. While the bulk of the voices you hear are from the Tommies themselves– all now speaking from beyond the grave– others are regional dialect-correct actors dubbing in dialog discerned by professional lip readers from the silent pictures.

It really was amazing, making you both laugh and cry alternatively. I left the theatre humming “Mademoiselle from Armentieres.”

It was a top-notch film, as much military art as history, and if you get a chance to see it, please make the effort. If it were up to me, all high school students, especially in the UK, would have to watch it.


About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

2 responses to “Filmed on location on the Western Front”

  1. FTB1(SS) says :

    Can’t wait to see it, but I am afraid that it will not be until the DVD/Streaming version is out. Alas. The hazards of living in the sticks.

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