The phrase "attention to detail" takes on an entirely different significance within the context of a war film.
Depending on the intent of a picture, the balancing act between authenticity and sensitivity is crucial to honor the legacies of the numerous combatants who fought and died in the conflicts depicted. A detailed and credible immersion adds an unshakable sense of realism to the enterprise, enhancing the proceedings' emotional impact and leaving an indelible impression on the viewer.
Several directors have taken the notion of historical accuracy to astounding new levels within their films - designing their sets, costumes and general aesthetic with laser beam precision, lending a whole new layer of authenticity to their project.
From examples of lesser-known military etiquette all the way to obscure weaponry characteristics, here are those tiny war movie details that illustrate just how far productions can go to immerse the viewer in a given setting.
10. Eldridge's Tabasco Sauce - The Hurt Locker
Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker received critical acclaim for its ultra-intense portrayal of a soldier's wartime existence and the deep psychological toll that armed conflict exacts on those involved.
The Hurt Locker's combat and bomb disposal sequences feature a spectacular level of attention to detail, reflecting the production's consultation with real-life military experts. The attire, weaponry and equipment used by Jeremy Renner and Co. are all rooted in that of real US ordnance and equipment from the Iraq War, subtly underlining the film's emphasis on the individual soldier's experience as opposed to the broader complexities of the conflict.
One of Bigelow's more intricate touches can be seen attached to the name tag of Brian Geraghty's Specialist Owen Eldridge. Upon close inspection, Eldridge is shown to have a small bottle of Tabasco sauce strapped to the front of his uniform. It's such a bizarre inclusion amongst the camouflaged gear and high-tech armaments that it seems like a blatant mistake.
However, a little digging reveals a long and storied history between the US military and the hot sauce. Tabasco has long been used by soldiers in order to spice up bland MRE rations - it's even chronologically accurate. The sauce has been included in field packs since 1990, 14 years before The Hurt Locker takes place.