What does Hollywood have against the British?


What an arsehole
Short Bussed
Oscar-winning Argo joins the long list of films to bash Britain by bending the truth to suit Hollywood

What does Hollywood have against the British? Once again on Oscar night, Tinsel Town gave warmly to us with one hand — while cynically taking away with the other.

The good news is that at least nine Britons will fly back across the Atlantic with coveted golden statues.

But the bad news is that Argo — the movie that won Best Film — is yet another piece of Hollywood’s Brit-bashing junk history that casts us in a poor light.

The film, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, tells the story of how the Canadian government and the CIA managed to rescue six American diplomats from the clutches of the Iranian students who occupied the U.S. embassy during the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Although the movie is a cracker — tense and terrifying — like so much that comes out Hollywood,

Argo plays fast and loose with the facts. And unsurprisingly, the Brits are given a real pasting. For, according to the Affleck version of the rescue mission, the six embassy staff were refused refuge by British diplomats. ‘Brits turned them away,’ says a senior CIA character in the film.

You can imagine the outraged comments over industrial buckets of popcorn in movie theatres from Alabama to Alaska. ‘Goddamn Limeys! So that’s what we get for bailing them out during World War II.’

The truth, however, could not be more different. The British did give their American colleagues sanctuary. Far from being cowards, the Brits were heroes. Many of the British diplomats then stationed in Iran are still alive — and they’re fuming.

‘When I first heard about this film, I was really quite annoyed,’ says Sir John Graham, 86, who was our man in Tehran at the time of the crisis. Sir John is understandably concerned that Argo will become accepted as the definitive history of what happened. He may have a point.

Remember U-571 — the U-boat thriller set in World War II — which saw the Yanks, and not the British and the Poles, capture an Enigma coding machine and turn the course of the war? Or how about the abysmal piece of faux-history that was Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, which depicted the British as the rapacious, murderous oppressors of the noble and romantic Scots?

Who can forget Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg’s World War II epic, that effectively presented D-Day as an exclusively American effort?

The sad irony is that what really happened in Tehran in 1979 is just as thrilling as Argo, if not more so — and it involved astonishing British pluck.

When the American Embassy was overrun by armed students on November 4, 1979, five members of staff managed to escape by a side exit. The remaining 55 embassy staff were to be held captive for a further 444 days.

The most senior member of the escaped group was Robert Anders, who worked in the visa department. He decided the best place to find refuge was the British Embassy.

The group made its way through the bustling streets, only to find the British embassy was also surrounded by an angry mob.

Thinking on his feet, Anders quickly took the group back to his flat and from there tried to contact anybody who might help rescue them.

After a tense night, a call came through from the British embassy informing the five terrified Americans that it could give them refuge in its residential compound, which was known as Gulhak.

As Argo neglects to mention, this was an exceedingly brave offer. Both the British embassy and residential compounds were under serious threat. After what had happened to the Americans, the British understandably feared an attack on their own staff.

The Iranian revolutionaries had dubbed Britain the ‘Little Satan’, and for our officials to shelter diplomats from the ‘Great Satan’ (America) meant running a huge risk.

The caller told Anders that a British car would come for them later that morning. The Americans sat and waited . . . and waited.

What the five anxious Americans could not have known was that the British rescuers had got lost.
Diplomats Martin Williams and Gordon Pirrie spent hours fruitlessly negotiating the thronging streets in, of all cars, an orange 1976 Austin Maxi one of them had driven to Tehran all the way from England. But they were unable to find Anders’s flat.

At around 5pm, the Americans called the British embassy, only to be told by a diplomat that the Iranians were ‘coming over the walls’.

Indeed they were. For as the city grew dark, an army of students invaded the embassy compound. They broke into offices and houses, smashing windows and doors.

Among those who witnessed the attack was Imelda Miers, wife of the British Political Counsellor, David Miers. That night, Lady Miers was in her house with her son, Thomas, who was aged just seven.

‘My little boy was terrified, and so was I,’ she recalls. ‘We hid in my bedroom, but then I decided that was not a great place to hide, in case they set fire to the house.’

Lady Miers left her room, hiding Thomas under her coat. She was soon accosted by six students, all clutching Kalashnikovs, one of whom she swore could be no older than 12.

‘I thought they were going to shoot me,’ she says, ‘but when I realised that they weren’t, I grew angry with them, and asked them if their mothers knew they were out!’ Along with the other British embassy staff and their wives and children, Lady Miers and Thomas were taken to a single building where they were held captive.

Although he was in London at the time, the ambassador Sir John Graham today suspects the students who attacked the British embassy were looking for the Americans. ‘They claimed they were after arms,’ says Sir John, ‘but I don’t think that was true.’

Meanwhile, Williams and Pirrie had finally found Anders and his group after hours of driving around the backstreets of Tehran. The Americans were taken in an edgy drive to the as-yet-untouched British residential compound.

‘The Americans were very nervous,’ Williams recalls, ‘and they kept trying to duck down, which in my view would only look suspicious.’

Happily, they arrived at Gulhak undetected and received a warm welcome.

As the CIA officer Antonio Mendez, who helped to mount the eventual rescue, recalls in his book, Argo: ‘The British were kind hosts, and offered them a house of their own, fed them a warm meal, even prepared cocktails.’

So much for Affleck’s suggestion that the British ‘turned away’ the Americans. Martin Williams’s wife Sue cooked that meal and the Americans went to bed. But while they slept, the Iranian students were approaching Gulhak.

Fired up with the success of storming the British embassy, they were now ready to seize the residential compound.

Standing at the gate was a Pakistani guard in his 50s called Iskander Khan, who brilliantly convinced the students the compound was empty — and they went away. ‘We and the Americans had a very lucky escape,’ says Martin Williams. ‘We were very grateful to Iskander Khan.’

The following morning it was decided the Americans would have to move on for their own safety. Anders and his group were told that they would have to go, as Gulhak was clearly not secure.

According to the account written by Antonio Mendez, the Americans felt they were ‘being kicked out’ by the British, but Williams says this is not the case, as the reasons for leaving Gulhak were ‘self-evident’.

For a few days the five Americans were placed in an empty house belonging to a U.S. official, where they were joined by a colleague who had also escaped from the embassy and had been in hiding.

This group of six was eventually saved by the rescue mission organised by the Canadians and the CIA. After the rescue, the story remained secret, kept in classified files.

However, the diplomatic community knew the British — and others — had done their bit. A recently-released State Department Briefing Memorandum from February 6, 1980, states that the British embassy was involved in the rescue of the Americans.

Many of the British embassy staff from that time have seen Argo. ‘It does not bear all that much relation to the facts,’ observes Sir David Miers drily. ‘It is not a true story.’

Ben Affleck has acknowledged the film casts Britain in a bad light. ‘But I was setting up a situation where you needed to get a sense that these six people had nowhere else to go. It does not mean to diminish anyone,’ he said.

Such a defence cuts little ice with Sir John Graham. ‘I can’t see why the film-makers couldn’t have acknowledged that we and others did actually help the diplomats,’ he says. ‘It wouldn’t have ruined the drama at all.’

Former President Jimmy Carter has come out and said that the movie is completely false, and that the operation was pulled off by the Canadians with some assistance of the CIA, not by the CIA with the assistance of the Canadians the way it's presented. But what else can you expect from American historical movies, heaven forbid they're not the heroes! Sad thing is the Americans only know their history from what they see in the movies.

Relations between the US and the UK rapidly going down the toilet


Short Bussed
:rage: You damn limey's weren't the only one's unfairly slandered in the name of box office $$$

British and New Zealand roles

Upon its wide release in October 2012, the film was criticized for its claim that the New Zealand and British diplomats had turned away the American refugees in Tehran. Diplomats from New Zealand had proved quite helpful; one drove the Americans to the airport[41], and organised a place for them to hide if they had to change places.[42] The British hosted the Americans initially, but the location was not safe and all considered the Canadian ambassador's residence to be the better location. British diplomats also assisted other Americans beyond the six.[43] Bob Anders, the U.S. consular agent played in the film by Tate Donovan, said, "They put their lives on the line for us. We were all at risk. I hope no one in Britain will be offended by what's said in the film. The British were good to us and we're forever grateful."[44]

naw, we don't really give a fuck down here. :p


I don't know about movies of british and US, but rock music... UK is much better than US in my opinion

The UK contribution beyond metal: Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Grim Reaper, Raven, Satan, Saxon, Uriah Heep, Whitesnake, Deff Lepard, Venom, Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, etc. .. It also comes within all rock areas:
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Dee Purple, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Alien Fri Fiend, The Cure, Joy Division, New Order, Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, The Cult, Dead Can Dance, Fields of the Nephilim, Interpol, The Sisters of Mercy, Franz Ferdinand, Smiths, etc.
In the scenario punk: Sex Pistols, Exploited, Discharge, Anti-Nowhere League, Blitzkrieg, Buzzcocks, The Clash, etc.