The Wipers Times

The Wipers Times

DVD - 2014
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It's 1916 and British Captain Fred Roberts and his detachment discover an abandoned printing press in the ruins of Ypres, Belgium. Roberts has an idea, he will produce a newspaper to raise the spirits of his soldiers, taking their minds off 'the attentions of Messrs Hun and Co.' They call it The Wipers Times, after the army slang for Ypres, and fill it with spoofs, jokes, and subversive comedy. A hit with the troops on the Western Front, it also incurs the wrath of top brass who want it banned.
Publisher: [United States] : PBS Distribution, 2014.
ISBN: 9781627890311
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (90 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.
video file, DVD video, region 1, rda
digital, optical, stereo, rda
Alternative Title: Wipers Times (Motion picture)

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tomato May 24, 2016

Quite good.

c
COURIER3
Dec 10, 2015

Kinda dull at times. Interesting true story.

f
firefly5
Dec 03, 2015

Not my sense of humour!

j
JackPurcell
Oct 03, 2015

The best WWI movie I've ever seen.

g
greenacres
Aug 21, 2015

It's as if Monty Python and Woody Allen got together. Some humour, some serious bits...well done. Just watch it.

b
bobbles1
Jun 19, 2015

The Brits (and especially the English) are deeply ambivalent about their class system, they love it and hate it at the same time but can neither change it nor escape it. This is a great movie that shows how they fight a war effectively, obediently and bravely while all the time defiantly and skeptically resisting the brass in control. The results are great fun, good humour and close affection among the troops of all ranks and classes at the sharp end. Michael Palin from Monty Python is the General who agrees the war is a crazy waste, but passes on the orders transferring surviving troops between hellish battlefields. Well dun lad! By the way, I'm from Derby and had close relatives in the Sherwood Foresters in both wars, so it meant a lot to me, even though I didn't hear the Derby accent in the movie which was odd since nearly all the troops would have been raised from the Derby area. But ne'er mind ay.

m
ms_mustard
Mar 24, 2015

almost didn't watch this because it's a war movie - but this is amusing, laugh-out-loud funny and astonishing that these men were able to do this while in the trenches.

r
rslade
Mar 03, 2015

Odd, funny, and somehow inspiring.

g
GuyN
Feb 21, 2015

Epically understated exploration of WWI from the trenches enlivened by truly British wit. It's all there, the mud, the constant artillery fire, the gas, the brass, the "Big Push", and the drudgery of trench life, but it is all very human in scale somehow in this movie. War is skewered with surgical wit rather than sledgehammered with gasoline explosions and gore. You will laugh and you will despair, if you are British enough...

i
IV27HUjg
Jan 03, 2015

Use subtitles or you will likely miss all the wonderful linguistic double play on words. True story. A bitter sweet take on humor of WWI, mainly British (IMO) dark, but not as dark as used during the era. The US film take on the Korean War, 'MASH' similarities. It was so horrid in destruction that humor was necessary to live the daily torment. Excellent cast, enunciation exact. I've never been able to pronounce Ypres = Epp. Not enough Michael Palin to suit me. Not as 'silly' as Blackadder.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Nov 22, 2014

You've seen the horrors of war. Now prepare for the horrors of peace. You were an army of occupation. Now you're going to be an army of no occupation.

j
jimg2000
Nov 22, 2014

Fred to wife: You know what the basis for this war is? Mud. And sticking through the mud at various places you can see pieces of towns. And out there are the trenches.
=======
on military term dud:
Duds, there are two kinds - a shell on impact failing to explode is called a dud. These are unhappily less plentiful on the other kind of dud. The kind that draws a large salary and explodes for no reason far behind the fighting area.

j
jimg2000
Nov 22, 2014

-Please, tell me it isn't all poetry. Fine. It isn't all poetry.
-That's a lie. It is all poetry.
- Damn and blast. Alert the medical orderlies, Jack.
-There's been a serious outbreak of poet-itus.
-Subalterns are being seen with notebook in one hand,

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DanniOcean Sep 09, 2014

Although this year marks 100 years since the beginning of The Great War, you might be hard-pressed to recall many films about WWI – at least, recent ones. There was War Horse, based on the children’s novel, and the alternate-universe “what-if” film War of the Worlds: Goliath, but it seems WWI has got the short end of the stick when it comes to being immortalized on the silver screen in recent years (perhaps because America, home of Hollywood, did not enter the Great War until 1917, but that is just speculation).

So it was a lovely surprise to come across The Wipers Times, based on the true story of a small British regiment of men who began and managed to sustain a tongue-in-cheek newspaper from 1916 to the end of the war.

Commander Roberts and his team use their dry wit to keep sane in the insanity of the front lines. When they stumble upon a printing press while salvaging timber in the bombed-out town of Ypres, Belgium, they decide – for their own distraction and the morale of the troops – to begin a newspaper to report on “the real war”, filled with satirical advertisements and articles that proves popular with the soldiers and quite unpopular with the brass. These articles are closer to the truth of war, they feel, than the “reports from the front” written by war correspondents in cushy city offices for The Times and Daily Mail in London,

Through postings from Ypres (pronounced “wipers” by the British) to the deadly battles at the Somme and back again, The Wipers Times is an excellent story – illustrating the heroism of men without glorifying war, mixing the political machinations of the war machine with the theatrical interludes of the “editorial staff” of the Wipers Times. The dialogue is quick but thoughtful, and the wit so dry it serves as counterpoint to the knee-deep mud of the Somme. The Wipers Times is an exceptional film of about a tiny piece of The Great War – one that might have been forgotten. Lest we do, it can be found on the shelves of the Stratford Public Library.

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