Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nigger!

"Nigger!" That word signalled the success of the World War Two dam-busting operation, a great feat of arms commemorated yesterday and made immortal in the classic film Dam Busters.

Nigger, as many of you may know, was the name of 617 Squadron Leader Guy Gibson's dog, the popular squadron mascot killed by a car the morning of the successful raid -- named apparently to reflect his colour, Nigger Brown, the contemporary British use of the word -- and his name was chosen as the triumphant codeword to signal the mission's success in breaching the Mohne and Eder dams in Germany's industrial Ruhr valley.

I doubt that the word will be used in Peter Jackson's remake -- "the word Nigger is not ideal for the modern world," said film backer David Frost -- but it's delicious to consider the trouble it would cause if it was. After all, if it's not considered too PC to remind the Germans they lost the war...

UPDATE: Whoops. Jackson denied involvement in the remake the day after the Mail on Sunday published the story. Spokesman for Peter Jackson, Matthew Dravitzki explained: "We denied the story at the time but they've run with it anyway. It's just one of those continuing speculative things. Because of Peter's involvement in aviation and his involvement with the Aviation Heritage Centre in Omaka, people just tend to assume we are involved in an aviation movie. It is not the case. Peter will not be directing a remake of The Dam Busters." Bugger.

LINKS: Nigger - Wikipedia
Operation Chastise - Wikipedia
Jackson working on Dam Busters remake - Stuff

TAGS: History-Twentieth_Century, Films, Heroes, War

1 Comments:

Anonymous Spitting Llama said...

And here I am in blissful ignorance that Peter Jackson was even going to make a movie about it. I think the interior of a Lancaster might be very suited to his style; dunno why but I think he can pull this one off. Glad to see that they're taking this type of story and making it into a(nother) movie, would be good to see Douglas Bader or other heroes of my boyhood reading similarly brought to the front.

And the dog's name should stay. He was called Nigger and so it should be for all eternity. Can't go changing that, now can you? Might as well change all references to Jesus in the Bible to Bob because people consider Jesus H Christ to be a profanity!

5/17/2006 11:01:00 am  

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