Perhaps the biggest Hollywood production until now was Cecil B. DeMille’s The Crusades (1935), a pious romance that impressed future Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser so much that he allowed DeMille to use the Egyptian army as extras in his remake of The Ten Commandments.
The folks who brought you Pearl Harbor are now bringing you Black Hawk Down, and despite the fact that both war movies feature Josh Hartnett and Tom Sizemore in key military roles, the films are very different.
Where Pearl Harbor was full of saccharine romance, nostalgic production design and eye-popping special effects, Black Hawk Down is a decidedly grim and realistic account of a botched military operation that resulted in the deaths of 18 Americans and more than 1,000 Somalis eight years ago. Where Pearl Harbor was widely dismissed for its commercialism, Black Hawk Down tries very hard to earn respect. This is the film producer Jerry Bruckheimer hopes will be remembered at Oscar time.