Posts Tagged ‘Fury’

Fury: a Second World War film that takes no prisoners

October 21st, 2014

More than 15 years on, most people still believe Saving Private Ryan to be an accurate portrayal of D-Day. In fact, there are many inaccuracies. The anti-invasion obstacles, known as “Rommel’s asparagus”, are the wrong way round. The beach is far too narrow – Omaha is vast at low tide, which was when the slaughter depicted took place. Tom Hanks and his platoon are in the Rangers, but in reality, these men didn’t land at Vierville at 6.30am, with the first wave, but nearly an hour later, at 7.27am, and only Company C suffered significant casualties.

Furthermore, the focus on the Americans reinforced the impression that D-Day was predominantly a US show, when nothing could have been further from the truth.

The British and Canadians lost similar numbers of men; Omaha, it was true, was the bloodiest landing beach, but the airborne troops suffered even more casualties than depicted.

But does it matter that film and TV offer an exaggerated version of events? On one level, no, if it ensures there is continued interest in the subject and reminds us of the astonishing sacrifice made. However, it is important to distinguish between fact and fiction.

So what of Fury, the latest Hollywood contribution to the genre? David Ayer, the writer and director, has made it clear that he wanted to portray the closing weeks of the war with a new sense of realism. To a historian, that is a challenge and a half.

Before the opening shot, writing appears on the screen telling us that the Americans were equipped with tanks that had inferior guns and armour to those of the Germans. This is a breathtaking generalisation, and conforms to a ridiculous myth, still widely accepted, that the Germans had better kit than the Allies. Most German tanks were still Panzer Mk IVs, which were not at all superior. The 76mm gun used by the M4A3E8 Sherman, as featured in the film, had a velocity equal to that of the legendary 88mm German gun with which Tigers were equipped. The British 17-pounder was even more lethal. What’s more, by April 1945, the British had the Comet and the Americans the Pershing, both superior to those much-feared German beasts.

Generally, the tank commanders are too old, not least Brad Pitt, at 50; and also Jason Isaacs (51), who plays an infantry captain; the average age of a US company commander by then was 21.

Yet despite these quibbles, the film is a reassuring return to old Hollywood form and ticks many of the established pre-Ryan rules. Pitt is one of the world’s biggest stars and that’s what war films need. The final scene is utterly gripping, brilliantly recreated and the kind of shoot-out that almost certainly would never have happened – why would a lone tank stick its neck out in such a way when the entire Allied armies were just a mile or so behind? But this scenario, again, sits well with the genre.

Fury takes gritty violent realism to new levels, while the detail is absolutely spot on, right down to Isaacs’s captured Luftwaffe coat – a nice touch. The claustrophobia of the tank is brilliantly conveyed, as are all the action sequences, including an effective recreation of a combined armour and infantry attack, and a sensational shoot-out with a Tiger. Certainly, war is violent and hell in Ayer’s film, and those who felt squeamish watching Saving Private Ryan might find some of the graphic violence hard to stomach.

But it is a terrific portrayal of a horrific time. It conforms to all the age-old rules of war films, yet is groundbreaking in its action. These scenes symbolise the terrible sacrifice of the greatest generation. And most importantly of all, it reminds us, vividly, gut-wrenchingly, that the Second World War was a truly catastrophic event that took place not long ago, right here on our doorstep.

Films such as Fury ensure that is a fact we will never forget.


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Fury: all you need to know about life in a tank

October 18th, 2014

As da Vinci explained to his sceptical patron Ludovico Sforza at the time, “I can build armoured cars, safe and unassailable, which will enter the closed ranks of the enemy with their artillery and no company of soldiers is so great that it will not break through them. And behind these our infantry will be able to follow quite unharmed and without any opposition.”

Sforza remained unconvinced, and it would be more than 400 years before anyone else gave it a try. Then, in 1911, a design for a tracked, armoured vehicle was submitted to the British War Office by an Australian civil engineer named Lancelot de Mole. And instantly rejected – until the Royal Navy, in the shape of the First Lord of the Admiralty at the time, Winston Churchill, formed the Landships Committee to investigate whether these newfangled machines could break the deadlock of the First World War.

And the result was the British Mark I – an odd-looking rhomboidal monster designed to repel machine-gun fire and crush German defences ahead of the infantry. It first saw battle at the Somme, on September 15 1916.

But while the tank’s impact was arguably minimal in the Great War, its influence would last decades, instilling a new doctrine of armoured warfare that broke the static nature of the First World War’s fighting, and instead advocated 19th-century-style military strategies such as manoeuvring, bold incursions and “decisive battle” outcomes.

As a consequence, the Second World War would be dominated in part by names such as Sherman, A9 Cruiser or the German Tiger I. In 1942, these hulking, unwieldy metal chariots of Montgomery and Rommel would clash at El Alamein in North Africa, in a battle around which, arguably, the entire Second World War hinged (as Churchill himself said: “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.”). The tank’s importance was further driven home after the invasion of Normandy in 1944, when the American General George S Patton pushed the armoured convoy of his Third Army through France and into Nazi Germany itself.


Dominant: a Sherman tank at City Hall in Paris during The Liberation of Paris, August 1944 Photo: Rex

And it’s this final push by the Allied tanks that now forms the basis of new film Fury. Out this week, it stars Brad Pitt as “Wardaddy”, a battle-hardened US Army sergeant in the 2nd Armored Division who commands a Sherman tank called “Fury”. As the Allies make their final push into Nazi Germany in April 1945, Wardaddy must lead his Fury and its crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines.

The film claims meticulous technical accuracy; the screenwriter-director David Ayer took advice from the Tank Museum, and even borrowed two of its functioning tanks (the Sherman that features as “Fury”, plus the world’s last operational German Tiger I) for filming in the Oxfordshire countryside. Thus, with perhaps more authenticity than ever before, audiences can see what life was like inside a Second World War Sherman tank – with all the noise, heat, grinding metal, and proximity to danger that involved.

But now, almost 70 years later, how do these experiences relate to modern tank warfare, and what is different?

“The life of a tank crew hasn’t really changed,” says Major? Simon Worth, commander of CYCLOPS Squadron at the Royal Tank Regiment. “We are fortunate that there are technological advances that make certain tasks easier but what we do, and how we do it, has endured, really. And the aspects that made our job difficult in the Second World War still make it tricky now.”

The UK’s current main battle tank is the FV4034 Challenger 2 – a £4.2?million behemoth originally designed and built by Vickers Defence Systems (now known as BAE Systems) in 1998. Weighing more than 70 tons when fully laden with armaments, it’s more than double the Sherman’s 30.3 tons – but that doesn’t mean it has any room for creature comforts.

“The crew compartment where we sit is better designed,” says Major Worth, “but it’s still four fully grown men sharing a space barely 15?ft x 10?ft and only about 6?ft high.” Inside this space the men have to stow rations, equipment and clothes, with every spare bit of space crammed with ammunition. “Although there’s one important design improvement in the turret – a boiling vessel,” says Major Worth. “So we can make a cup of tea in the middle of a battle. What could be more British than that?”

Indeed, as Wardaddy explains to a young recruit who joins his crew, “This is home.” And this is perhaps where tank warfare was, and is, unique among the different creeds of military service, as duty often requires small crews to spend days – even weeks – isolated from support in enemy territory.

The tank Major Worth fought in was part of tours in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2008-9. “When they invaded Iraq, the tank crews were in theatre for a long time,” he says. “They spent a lot of time living off the vehicles in exactly the same way as they would have done in the Second World War and the Cold War.

“And you do ‘live off’ the vehicle – it’s almost like we’re organic to the platform. We’re completely reliant on it. We live in it, on it, from it; it supplies the water we drink and the means to heat that water, which is essential in terms of food preparation. So we take care of it, so it can take care of us.” This emotional attachment to one’s vehicle is important, says Major Nick Ridgway.

Meticulous technical accuracy: a still from Fury

Now second in command of the Royal Tank Regiment, he was originally a troop leader commanding three tanks during Operation Telic – the code name for the build-up and invasion of Iraq in 2003. “I remember we met some Americans just before we crossed the border into Iraq,” he says, “and the Americans were in tanks that hadn’t actually been on land in 10 years. They just picked them up from a boat that had been sailing around the Arabian Sea. And they found it almost impossible to comprehend that my tank, Flanders, was the tank I’d had in Germany, and trained in on ranges, for three years.

“They just couldn’t understand the emotional connection that my crew and I had with the tank. She really is the fifth member of the crew.”

From a technical point of view, that kind of intimate knowledge is hugely important. In the Second World War, German Tiger tanks were thought of as mechanically superior, but still averaged 10 hours of maintenance for just one hour of driving. And while modern tanks are built to a higher standard, knowing your vehicle’s idiosyncrasies inside out is essential.

“We know our tank’s weaknesses, quirks, all the faults it’s going to have and how to solve them,” says Major Ridgway. “Sometimes all from a different engine noise.” This level of familiarity is also essential for what the military calls “small unit cohesion” – the mental and physical codependency that improves not just morale but efficiency and quick understanding in combat situations.

Hence, crews stay together for far longer than in other branches of the military, often training together for years on the same vehicle. The result – as with Brad Pitt’s paternal relationship with his crew in the film Fury – is an often familial dynamic inside the turret.

James Jeffries was a senior captain and tank commander in the Prince of Wales’ Royal Regiment during the second Gulf War in 2004. “It was an incredibly hard job,” he recalls, “and you’d go down without your crew. I made the big decisions, but the smaller and arguably more important decisions are made by the Operator – as well as the guy who loads the weapon, he’s really like the mum of the tank. He also made you food; he looked after you. And he’s the guy who’ll take the younger guys – the gunner and the driver – under his wing and make sure they’re looking after themselves.

“Everyone chipped in,” he remembers. “Only by sharing jobs could all of you survive doing this amazingly taxing job. You relied on these people.” Major Worth agrees. “There’s an informal formality, if that makes sense.”

Cosy: the interior of a Challenger 2 battle tank Photo: Corporal Si Longworth RLC

It also means that normal military etiquette isn’t always adhered to. “My gunner Turkish used to pin up pictures of his wife in lingerie all over the inside of the turret,” recalls James. “So when we engaged the insurgents in Iraq, it was from inside a turret covered in obscene polaroids of Turkish’s half naked wife. Which, no doubt, would have inflamed their fundamentalist ire even more.”

“There’s still hierarchy that is well understood by everyone, but there’s also a degree of familiarity and a relaxed approach that makes the whole thing crank,” Major Worth says. “Because you cannot operate in a box that size, that closely confined, with the kind of formality that, say, the infantry might use. There’s not much space for parade-ground formality.”

Former tank commander Chris Yates can attest to this. Before his tour in Basra in 2004, he was with his crew training on the vast prairies of Alberta, Canada, at the British Army Training Unit at Suffield (known as BATUS) – whose sub-zero temperatures all crews have to face. “One day my loader got out to change a filter on the engine,” he recalls. “He asked me to move the turret, and I did it too quickly – trapping his leg underneath and breaking it.

“After some morphine he recovered well, with a marked lack of bitterness towards me. Even when he lost the same leg some years later, to a Taliban IED, he remarked: ‘At least they got the leg you f—ed up, Sir.’?”

That tale aside, however, safety standards have improved since the Second World War. In making the Sherman tank so easy to manufacture (almost 50,000 were built between 1941 and 1945), sacrifices were made to the efficacy of its armour.

In his 1966 novel Flesh Wounds, the author and former tank commander David Holbrook recalled that the Sherman tank’s propensity to burn when hit by enemy shells led German troops to refer to them as “Tommy cookers”, while British and Canadian soldiers nicknamed it the “Ronson”, after the popular brand of cigarette lighter at the time with the advertising slogan “Lights up the first time, every time!”

In comparison, modern tanks are far safer. In one incident in 2003, a Challenger 2 of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards came under fire just outside of Basra, and lost its tracks when falling in a ditch. While the crew sheltered inside, waiting for recovery, the tank was hit directly by 14 rocket-propelled grenades from close range and a MILAN anti-tank missile. They left barely a dent; upon recovery, only the tank’s driver’s sight required repair, and the tank was back “running and gunning” just six hours later.

And it’s this mythical imperviousness that means tanks have had a formidable psychological effect on the battlefield for decades. In Fury, a young recruit fears the tank itself to begin with. And they summon the same residual apprehension in the modern era. Take, for example, when tanks arrived in Basra in March 2003.

“We’d managed this quite audacious punch into the heart of the city,” recalls Major Ridgway, “and ended up next to Shatt al-Arab river right by one of Saddam’s palaces. There, we had to wait for the infantry to catch up. And wait. And wait. It was 50C heat outside, and hotter inside the tank. And we were completely soaking wet – the sweat running down into your boots.

“Eventually, we’d been closed down inside the tank for about eight hours when the infantry caught up. I remember opening the turret, and these people came up to the tank. They’d been watching us, and said, ‘We didn’t realise there was anyone in here! We thought you were robots!’ They genuinely thought it was an organism in its own right, not powered by human beings.”

And the same has been true throughout the tank’s history, says the Tank Museum’s David Willey. “In one sense you’re omnipotent and powerful,” he says. “You can see this psychological impact of this thing – it has a fear factor that is over and above its weapons systems. And that’s been true since the very first tanks.”

As such a potent symbol of might, it is unsurprising just how numerous tanks became post-Second World War. Over 84,000 Soviet T-34 tanks were built between 1940 and 1946, for example – and a figure only surpassed by its successor, the T-54/55, whose numbers passed over 100,000 in the Cold War years following – as thousands of tanks amassed on the north European plain in both West and East Germany, lined up for possible battle. When the Soviet Union crushed the Hungarian uprising in 1956 they did it by sending hundreds of tanks into Budapest. While in 1973, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israeli forces during the Yom Kippur War, over 3,000 tanks were involved.

Future tank warfare: DARPA’s concept image for the Ground-X tank

Yet wars in more geographically diverse locations – such as Vietnam and Afghanistan – have led to military experts questioning the tank’s future suitability on the battlefield. During the Eighties, the Ministry of Defence commissioned a paper considering whether the UK should replace its tanks with helicopters. In the end their use in supporting infantry in seizing territory was deemed too important but, since the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, Britain’s tank arsenal has fallen to 334 tanks across three brigades, including just 168 Challenger 2s.

And since the end of the Cold War, Nato has followed suit – where Germany was once host to 4,000 tanks, for example, the numbers are now a quarter of that. Now, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies there are 60,000 tanks in active service worldwide, with China boasting the most (about 7,450) and North Korea (3,500), Russia (3,300) and India (3,250) bringing up the rear.

“The death of the tank has been predicted really ever since they were invented,” says Willey. “At the end of the First World War, they were chopping up tanks down here in Bovington because they thought we’d never need to fight a war like that again. At the end of the Second World War they had a fear that tanks could be knocked out by one guy with a rocket-propelled grenade, so tank warfare was too risky. In the Eighties it was attack helicopters.”

Increasingly, however, it seems the nature of tank warfare itself is changing. Once, heavily armoured military vehicles would trundle into the very heart of battle and absorb enemy fire. However, in the future, the object wouldn’t be to avoid being hit, or avoid being penetrated by the shots that do hit – the objective would be to avoid detection in the first place.

Hence, perhaps, Britain’s recent £3.5?billion order for 589 Scout Specialist Vehicles. These lightly armoured, fast-moving tanks will be the Army’s “eyes and ears” on the battlefields of the future, according to the MoD – typifying a wider change in attitude among Western forces that tanks need to become less “heavy metal”, and more agile and flexible.

The new American Ground-X Vehicle is a case in point. Unveiled in August by DARPA, the US Department of Defence’s “mad science” division, the Ground-X tank is its vision of tank warfare in the future – a low-cost, four-wheeled, low-armoured vehicle designed to be lighter and faster than any previous tank, with a crew of just one or two soldiers who can operate the vehicle using touch screens after minimal training.

And then there’s Russia’s Platform M – developed by the Progress Scientific Research Technological Institute of Izhevsk, these are “ground drones” equipped with an AK-47 and four grenade launchers that can be used for gathering intelligence, eliminating targets, firepower support, and patrolling and guarding important sites. Russia plans to have them operational by 2018.

But if this is the future, then arguably the lifeblood of tanks across the past century – the crew themselves, and the intense relationships that develop inside the turret – could soon be a thing of the past.

“Which would be a shame,” says Willey. “There’s a lovely quote we have painted on the wall of the museum just as you’re leaving,” he says. “It’s from an elderly tank veteran, and it reads simply this: ‘I can’t remember many things these days, but I still remember the names of my tank crew.’”

Fury is released on October 22 and closes the BFI London Film Festival on October 19. Click here to watch exclusive live coverage of Fury’s red carpet premiere


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Brad Pitt on making Fury: ‘It was miserable – and we loved it’

October 14th, 2014

All the same, a sort of pack mentality had set in by the time filming began. “I’ll never forget that first day,” says Bernthal, a classically trained actor and former boxer. “In the screen test, I know it sounds crazy, but people were, like, exposing themselves and fighting. I remember some of the crew saying they were actually scared of us.”

This was all the intention of Ayer, the film’s director. Ayer is a military veteran himself, having joined the US Navy when he was 18 and served for two years in a nuclear submarine. That experience inspired him to write his first screenplay, U-571, a film that was attacked in Britain for suggesting that the German Enigma coding machine was captured by an American submarine crew. In fact, it caused a minor diplomatic incident, with then prime minister Tony Blair calling it an “affront” to British sailors, and Bill Clinton writing a letter of apology for the movie’s inaccuracy.

This time, Ayer was determined to make his story as truthful as possible. “In Second World War dramas there can sometimes be a tendency to mythologise the experience of the soldier and mythologise the nature of the combat. Obviously the enemy was so horrible that we think that the fight itself was black and white, but it wasn’t, just like any war. War is always complex, war is always morally difficult, war forces individuals to make terrible choices.”

Ayer took a hands-on approach to every detail of the film, from the battered appearance of the uniforms – “every piece of dirt has been thought out”, says Owen Thornton, the film’s costume designer – to the weaponry.


Calling the shots: David Ayer and Brad Pitt on the set of Fury Photo: Giles Keyte

“He’s seriously a military junkie,” says Pitt. “The depth of detail in the film was staggering.” Ayer studied army signal corps photographs with a magnifying glass: “I think in my business, oftentimes people study other movies, and when you do that you can end up repeating the institutionalised traditions of a genre.”

The tanks were the most important piece of the puzzle: the Americans’ Sherman M4, known as the “Tommy-cooker” for its propensity to burst into flames on being hit, and the German Tiger, a tank which acquired an almost mythical status during the final years of the war. One British soldier wrote at the time that the Tiger, clad at the front with thick armour, and armed with an 88mm gun originally devised as an anti-aircraft weapon, provoked “hysterical fear” in his compatriots.

Only six Tigers survive from the war, and one of the best preserved is held at Bovington; indeed, the museum’s tank, Tiger 131, is still in running order. Perhaps Ayer’s greatest coup was to get this tank into his film. David Willey, curator at the Tank Museum, took some persuading to agree to lend one of their key exhibits to the film-makers.

“One of the things that impressed us was their willingness to bend our arm, as nicely as possible, to get the assets off us to make this film as accurate as they could make it,” he says. “These guys did it in such a way that we felt able to lend a very delicate vehicle, and they went to extraordinary lengths to accommodate it on set.” For the scenes of battling tanks, which are some of the movie’s most visceral, a replica Tiger was built, cut from steel a quarter-inch thick and placed on a smaller tank base, with the wheels and tracks added in post-production.

The Sherman M4E8, a late-war model with a high velocity 76mm gun, was another Bovington find.

The night before shooting the actors slept on top of the tank. “I think we all fell in love with the Fury,” says Ayer. “Normally when you call cut, the cast disappears. In this case they would just go inside the tank and hang out and spend time among themselves. I know it would be hard to get Brad out of it.”

Pitt agrees: “It wasn’t made for man or beast, truly,” he says. “There’s nothing ergonomical about it, and yet you find your little space of comfort. Very quickly it became home.” “I have shots of Brad just walking right up it like it’s a set of stairs,” says Ayer.

“Like a gazelle,” adds Pitt.

In the end, of course, it was the mass-produced Shermans (and British Cromwells and Russian T34s) that were victorious. Hulking and unforgiving, even in a museum setting they retain the power to shock. But after months of living with them, Ayer says, “you discover that these machines have a soul, in a way. And you can understand why tank crews fall in love with them. As we did.”

Fury is on general release from October 22, and closes the BFI London Film Festival on October 19. The red carpet premiere will be live-streamed from 6pm exclusively through telegraph.co.uk


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Fury, review: ‘astonishing’

October 11th, 2014

It’s April 1945, in the heart of Nazi Germany, and only when the figure is almost upon us do we realise he’s wearing the stiff field tunic and peaked cap, emblazoned with an eagle badge, of a German SS officer. Then, suddenly, from behind the wreckage of a vehicle, something pounces – another man, quick and wiry, who knocks the officer from his mount, pins him to the ground, and sinks a knife into his eye socket. We see the attacker’s face. It’s Brad Pitt. This is our introduction to the good guy.

As in Sam Peckinpah’s Cross of Iron (1977) and Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One (1980), any Hollywood gloss has been scoured away: the plot is raw, episodic and wholly unsentimental; a gruelling onward rumble from one brush with death to the next.

“We don’t murder, we kill,” says Lee Marvin’s hard-bitten sergeant in Fuller’s film; and it’s a distinction Pitt’s character all but reiterates here.

“I started this war killing Germans in Africa, then I killed Germans in France, and now I’m killing Germans in Germany,” he tells Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Fury’s driver and the team’s newest, youngest recruit. Ayer is interested in the way these men cope with killing, and plunges them into the kind of war that doesn’t get talked about during peacetime. There is no Private Ryan-like search-and-rescue mandate. It’s not clear that anyone here is worth saving.

Pitt’s performance has more in common with his stern, authoritarian father-figure in The Tree of Life than Inglourious Basterds’ gregarious Lt Aldo Raine: as well as Ellison, he has three more filthy mouthed young men (Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal) to keep in line, and the group dynamic is more familial than friendlike.

After an astonishing set-piece battle, gripping in its sheer orderliness – three Shermans against Panzers and machine guns hunkered down in a thicket, with Pitt calmly barking orders into the radio – Wardaddy forces Ellison to shoot a captured SS officer in the back, pressing the pistol into his hands, wrenching the trigger back under his fingers, twisting his head so he sees the man’s body drop to the dirt.

“Do your job,” Wardaddy roars at him. And that’s how the men justify their actions to each other: “best job I ever had,” they tell each other, half-laughing, half-commiserating, after every skirmish and ambush.

In the down-time between battles, Ayer lets the quieter moments run. In an unbearably tense sequence, Wardaddy and Ellison break into a house in a bombed-out village after spotting a young woman at the window, and there is an unspoken understanding between the four that meat, drink and beds will be shared in the search for mutual comfort.

There’s no glory in this moment, but it feels strange enough to be truthful – another encounter those back home could never hope to understand. Ayer’s film, with its fearsome, steam-hammer power, brings us as close to that understanding as cinema can.

Fury is released on October 22, and closes the BFI London Film Festival on October 19


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Fury: the making of Brad Pitt’s WW2 tank film

October 7th, 2014

Fury is the new Second World War drama from writer-director David Ayer (End of Watch), and this new behind-the-scenes preview offers a glimpse at the emotional side of the film.

The action-packed thriller follows Brad Pitt’s battle-hardened US army sergeant Wardaddy as he leads a five man tank crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines in Germany, 1945. This new featurette, Heart and Soul, highlights the paternal relationship that develops between Pitt’s character and his young gunner Norman, played by Logan Lerman (Noah).

Pitt’s co-stars also include Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, and former Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal, all playing members of his tank unit.

Ayer – who wrote and directed the Oscar-winning Training Day – says he set out to make “the ultimate tank movie”, helped by Dorset Tank Museum’s loan of the last working Tiger tank to the production. The tank was the first to be captured by the Allies, with Ayer deeming the Museum’s loan as a “special asset” to the authenticity of Fury.

It was recently announced that Fury will close this year’s BFI London Film Festival with its European premiere on October 19. Both Pitt and Ayer will be in attendance, the director explaining that the London premiere will be “something of a homecoming” as shooting of the film took place in both Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire.

Fury will be released in the UK on October 22. You can watch the trailer here.

WATCH: Fury: behind the scenes of ‘the ultimate tank movie’, starring Brad Pitt


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Fury: see the first poster for Brad Pitt’s WW2 thriller

June 24th, 2014

A battle-weary Brad Pitt is seen with his Sherman tank co-star in the first poster for his new film Fury.

Writer/director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) screened footage from Fury – describing it as a Second World War film “the likes of which we haven’t seen before” – at the E3 gaming convention in June, and received a rapturous response.

Fury follows a five man Sherman tank crew, led by Brad Pitt’s Sgt. Wardaddy, sent behind enemy lines in the last months of the Second World War. Ayer has shot the film on traditional film stock for a more realistic feel, and wherever possible used practical special effects instead of CGI. The cast also includes Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal.

Fury is released in the UK on October 24, and in the US on November 14.


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