Talk:Black Hawk Down (film)

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The "plot" section of this page reads as though it were written by a 12 year old. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to Be Bold and fix it!--SeaphotoTalk 05:48, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

This is one of my favorite films, I've watched it many times. Altho the characterizations are sketchy, Eversmann is one focal character worth mentioning but his promotion is mentioned out of the blue, the sentence was a non sequiter. What's important about his role in the film is how well he acquitted himself in the field despite his lack of experience, in contrast to Blackburn, and how much or how little experience matters, as well as attitude, and luck (illustrated by the desk clerk's (Grimes) path in the film). I wonder if people who talk about racism noticed the contrast between Eversmann's respect for the "skinnies" and Blackburn's eagerness to jump into battle. As for the battle itself, I didn't add a lot of detail but I think it was necessary to clarify the sequence of events, which could be a little confusing for a casual viewer. A great many men risked their lives not just to recover wounded men but to recover the bodies, as in, "No one gets left behind." In fact that might be worth adding in itself, since it spooked some of the men and could be considered foreshadowing. We are still well within the limits for the length of the plot, so I hope you won't treat my edits as vandalism. If you have a problem Jacobite we can talk about it here. Thanks! Beadmatrix (talk) 07:26, 16 May 2012 (UTC)Beadmatrix

Regardless of how many times you have watched this film, you should not concern yourself with how much you like it. The write-up for this film really does come off as having been written by a moon-struck child, rather than a critical and reasonable observer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

This is just garbage. The film was bad enough, why does this entry need to make it worse?! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 8 January 2014 (UTC)


I changed the image to one relating to the film. Saopaulo1 18:38, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Criticisms POV[edit]

"The film neglects the wider political context in which the battle took place thereby reducing it to a simple story of good vs evil.The truth is more complex."

This seems fairly POV. I haven't seen the film, but I'm pretty sure it was meant to be from the soldier's perspective, where political context wasn't a huge deal. We shouldn't have that in here at all unless a reviewer has said it somewhere. -LtNOWIS 03:00, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

The following text in the article also appears on the imdb page for this movie:

The massive shoot of the "target building insert" sequence was intended to be among the first sequences shot in principal photography, due to its complex nature. However, negotiations to borrow four Black Hawk helicopters from the United States military were so arduous that an agreement was not reached until a month after shooting had commenced. Director Ridley Scott had prepared a rental of four Hueys from Germany that were ready to be painted black and work as substitutes in the event an agreement with the US Department of Defense could not be reached. Fortunately, the US Government was eventually satisfied that the film would portray the incident in a positive light, and shipped the helicopters to the location in two C-5 Galaxy transports. Ridley Scott says this was very fortunate for the film, since the title is "Black Hawk Down" and Hueys have no resemblance to Black Hawks.

Unneded repetitions[edit]

The Making of the film section unnecessarily repeats many of the points from the Trivia section. Should the "making of" be deleted and merged with trivia? --Mikael Grizzly

No. It should be the other way around. Ideally, wikipedia articles should not contain Trivia sections. ~ Flooch 12:27, 19 May 2006 (UTC)


  • Tom Hardy - SPC. Lance Twombly (as Thomas Hardy)
  • Tom Guiry - SSG. Ed Yurek (as Thomas Guiry)
why leave this ("as Thomas...") on the page ?Rob1bureau
This was because they were credited under a different name in the context of the film.

Controversies and inaccuracies section[edit]

Some of the paragraphs seem to be either misinterpritations, or need fact sources. Some we're either creative liberties I'm sure, or someone's own belife of X matter. Despite factual problems it's also very POV oriented.

--ShortShadow 02:25, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Have previous editors seem the same film that I did? Some critics view the film as blatant propaganda on behalf of the US, or favoring military intervention in general (although the film and book clearly depict the intervention as basically humanitarian and military intervention without sufficient force as a disaster in the making). - oh boy, that's so POV that it hurts. I saw the movie; it is propaganda of the US Armed Forces and has no evidence at all of "basically humanitarian" acts or intents. It does show us things (quite literally) through the POV of the American soldiers and therefore does indeed make an appeal for more military force in said interventions. However, it does fail entirely in even attempting to show us that a "disaster" would follow from the alternatives; if anything it is evidence that military intervention may very well be by definition a disaster in and of itself. Luis Dantas 14:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the section could use some clearing up. I am happy to work with anyone on it. As far as your comments go... The whole plot is that US forces are in the area to help distribute aid and Aidid's militia wants to stop US forces so Aidid can have all the power and food. How is that not evidence of "basically humanitarian" intent? It's not a rhetorical question, I just think I don't fully understand your issue with the article.Monkeyman334 17:06, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
My issues have much more with the movie plot itself, actually. It works under the assumption that superior firepower is a need for overcoming such militias, which I find rather naive and misleading. To the best of my understanding such displays of firepower only manage to make the other side all the more ruthless and desperate in its attempts to acquire comparable advantages. It is very hard indeed to see such juggernaut forces as "humanitarian aid"; their first and foremost effect is to intimidate and create panic. And that panic hinders any moral brakes that people may have. Luis Dantas 06:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I see what you're saying. That the problem wasn't necessarily lack of force. That there were other ways to solve the problem then blowing stuff up (and when that fails, blowing more stuff up). However, I think the plot and the article don't contradict that. The problem claimed in the movie and the article is the US decided to use force, but didn't use enough to handle situations when they got bad. The problem could have been solved without force, but if we commit forces, we need to commit enough to really get the job done.Monkeyman334 18:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Of course, we all remember that whatever we may personally think, our opinions are unequivocally inappropriate for inclusion in any article at any time. Find the opinion in a reputable journal, book, or publication, or leave it be. The number of interpretations of any event are not infinite, but they are very large, and they cannot all be included. 04:57, 22 July 2007 (UTC) (talk) 02:18, 3 December 2008 (UTC)Should there not be some mention of the fictionalized nature of many of the combat incidents depicted in the movie. For examples, the nightime ambush and destruction of the Somali heavy gun and its crew by the returning lost patrol or the depiction of Pilot Durant mowing down dozens of Somalis with his MP5K sub-machinegun, when in reality, that weapon jammed continually.

Information that needs to be added.[edit]

I am not so good at the whole editing thing, but I have some information that needs to be added to this article. The helicopters (and soldiers flying them) were from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). I looked all over the place, but this didn't seem to be included anywhere. In fact, the only divisions mentioned were the ones that were involved in the rescue. I would appreciate it someone a little more technologically savvy would add this to the article!

It's in there already.
The Directors enlisted the help of the US Army, and all Black Hawks and Little Birds used during the filming were from the 160th SOAR, (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) and most of the pilots were involved in the actual battle on 3/4 October 1993.
--Habap 20:33, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I saw that it was already in the article, but more attention should be paid this fact than to mention it in the production notes.

Why should it be emphasized more? How could it be emphasized more? Where would you put it? Keep in mind that you can also edit the article as you see fit. --Habap 18:31, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Aaah, valid point. I am in the infancy of my WikiEditing, and am not sure exactly how it should be changed. My point in posting this here was only a suggestion, to be followed through by someone a little more knowledgeable in both the correct format for the appriate edit, and in the actual subject itself. Lawilkin 17:45, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, welcome aboard. Always good to have a new editor. If you have an interest in military history, check out Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history. The folks on the project try to work together to improve military history articles (and create new ones!) Feel free to ask questions of anyone on the team. I'm also willing to provide personal assistance as needed. I've only been on for a year, so am vaguely new myself.
In regards to where it could go.... I can't see including that in the opening paragraph, or the section on Plot or Controversies and inaccuracies, which puts us at... Background and production, where it is. So, I'm stuck as to how we would emphasize it more.
The bigger question for me is why emphasize it more? It doesn't determine whether one can understand the movie or the real story behind the movie. This is not to deny their valor or importance in that operation or others, but in reference to the movie, it's not a major piece of information. --Habap 18:55, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

I understand what you mean about its relevance to the movie. After a little research and a little "epiphany" of common sense, I realized that there is an actual article devoted to the Battle of Mogadishu. Which leads me to another concern: is it necessary to include an entire history on this movie page of the events in the battle when there is already a page of the actual events? Should these things be included in the movie article? Because it is possible that information relavent to the movie may be added to the page for the battle but not the movie page, thereby leaving the movie page not as accurate. I guess this might just be food for thought, or it is an issue that should be addressed if it hasn't been already! Lawilkin 20:30, 20 July 2006 (UTC)


The film also portrays the delays in the rescue mobilization of UN forces as stemming at least in part from spite on the part of those forces at not being informed about the mission, suggesting they were willing to let US soldiers die for petty politics. Bowden's book can be interpreted as arguing that the delay was more due to inadequate contingency planning on the part of all parties involved.

My understanding (don't have references, sorry) is the film conveys the idea that it was petty politics quite strongly. But the reality of the situation was it was largely because the Americans decided to heard of on a mission without properly telling anyone. You can't blame the Pakistanis and Malaysias for not doing proper contigency planning when they weren't properly informed of the plans. How would the Pakistanis and Malaysians (and perhaps US 10 Mountain divison?) be expected to do contigency planning when they weren't informed of what the plans were? It would seem to me that it's common sense if you people to be able to quickly respond when the shit hits the fan, you need to tell them what your planning and hopefully work through a contingency plan beforehand not suddenly given them a call later and tell them your in deep shit and need their help and expect them to come up with a plan in 1 minute. Given the lack of this consultation and planning, my understanding is the Malaysian, Pakistanis and others had to spend time coming up with the rescue mission rather then implementing a pre-existing contigency plan as would occur in an ideal situation. Presemuably, heading off like cowboys (like the earlier US mission perhaps did) was more likely to result in another blood bath so they spent the time to come up with a well planed rescue mission which they apparently implemented with a resonable degree of success Nil Einne 19:58, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree that simply wasn't the case, and that is extremly POV, and very factually questionable. For starters the it's highly unlikely the 10th Mt. Devision was alreday on standby, it's very costly and expensive to contiously be in that state. The idea of that scene was to convey because they weren't informed about the raid, they weren't ready to go out that quickly, and that they needed time to assemble and get ready. It never was about conveying polotics, both Bowden and Nolan stated that in the DVD commentary. Secondly, everything you are saying you are saying in hindsight. Obviously now they would have some sort of back-up plan, but you have no proof with you that there was a back up plan. The raid was expected to last only 30 minutes they would get in and get out. Not to mention these are some of the most well trained soldiers in the United States. It was unlikely they would anticipate disaster because it never happend before. --ShortShadow 17:03, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Somalis in the film[edit]

The recent addition on the lack of Somalis in the film is interesting, but I'm not sure what should go into the article about it. I can imagine it would have been rather difficult to get enough actual Somalis to serve as extras without going to Somalia. I'm not sure that would have been possible, even if the Somalis aren't the faceless bad guys of the film. Some things might have been done to humanize them, but it was based on the book, which I imagine didn't draw on extensive interviews of Somalis who participated in the battle. --Habap 04:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

The film has a very American point-of-view, depicting Somalis as anonymous enemies or "zombies". This was clearly evident in the original "spoiler", that was de-POVed a year ago. This was a serious mistake. We should restore the original tone of the spoiler, with its description of "American heroism". -- Petri Krohn 00:18, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I was interested in seeing the caption at end of the film... it reminded me of what Frankie Boyle said in a comedy sketch: "A bomb went off in Kandahar today, killing two British servicemen, three UN relief workers and a whole bunch of Pakis." (talk) 23:51, 2 December 2011 (UTC)


I removed some info regarding the "omission" of khat involvement from the film. Actually, Tom Sizemore's character briefly mentions khat being used and at the time when it is already afternoon. He says this soon after the mission briefing and when he is asked 'what's the matter'.ResurgamII 01:58, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, thanks.Monkeyman334 23:15, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

"Absence of Somalis" and other Controversies[edit]

  • There was only one actor in the movie that was actually Somali, the other actors were not nor did they resemble Somalis and the basic Somali linguistics were missing

^ Whoever added that gave a misleading source which was only a list of the cast/crew of the film. Identifying who's actually Somali from that source is beyond me, unless you're relying on the sounds of the names (to find out the nationality).

I've watched the "On the Set" special features of the Black Hawk Down DVD, and the extras who play Somalis are only labeled as extras, nothing more. Unless this very short section of claims, especially the 'linguistics part' which is original research, can be verified it should be removed immediately. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ResurgamII (talkcontribs) 04:09, 31 January 2007 (UTC).ResurgamII 04:09, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I don't why someone would expect extras to actually be the people they are playing. I heard the Ben-Hur extras weren't actually Romans...Monkeyman334 18:07, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Monkeyman334. I'll remove it as it is a totally pointless section without verification. Anyone who disagrees discuss it here please. ResurgamII 18:17, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Some critics view the film as blatant propaganda on behalf of the US, or favoring military intervention in general (although the film and book clearly depict the intervention as basically humanitarian and military intervention without sufficient force as a disaster in the making). Unlike Scott's earlier film G.I. Jane, Black Hawk Down received the full cooperation of the US military and he allowed the military a veto over every aspect of the film in order to receive this level of military involvement. Some argue that this resulted in a biased finished product, although it is not clear whether the U.S. military asked Scott to modify or censor the film in any way and the military hierarchy and political decision-making process are not portrayed in a positive light.

^ Not a big deal, but weasel words([1]) should be cleaned up. ResurgamII 18:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Not only that, but whomever wrote that appears to insinuate that the film is compromised, "it is not clear whether the U.S. military asked Scott to modify or censor the film..." Puh-lease! Insinuations do NOT belong in an encyclopedia. That it is controversial is worth leaving, but the rest could be chucked in my opinion. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 19:10, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


The paragraph that starts "The film also takes creative license when it comes to Sgt. Eversmann's role in the battle" is more of a typical change made in order to make the movie better, and wasn't a part of "propaganda" nor was it a controversial change (the paragraph doesn't claim it is either) could the paragraph be moved to the production notes or some more appropriate place? Monkeyman334 16:24, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes please. More weasel wording there. ResurgamII 01:38, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Ioan Gruffudd Cameo[edit]

I watched this film at least five times (including extended version), still have no idea where he appears.--Mato Rei 17:51, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

He plays Lt. Beales, the guy who has the epileptic seizure. ResurgamII 01:37, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh yeah, now you remind me of the character. A little bit hard to recognize him without moustache, huh? Thank you. --Mato Rei 05:33, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Pakistani Involvement[edit]

Pakistanis may have been accurately represented for their role as US-soldier rescurers, but Pakistan was leading military involvement there before the US even showed up. So I think the comment there is appropriate, no movie was every made about them. Monkeyman334 14:37, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Pakistan is distant geographically and wouldn't endanger Mecca, see location of Saudi Arabia and learn more about their people and plight with Iran. That's like saying the 300 Spartans movie "Phalanx" was used when it is a pretty obviously remembered Blitzkrieg, proven ineffective when scouts contact hostile forces. See: Drones, this is not Osama — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Box office[edit]

Article stated that the movie ranked 154th on its opening day (possibly true, the dollar amount is correct, it was only on four screen on opening day.) For its first weekend of wide release it made $28M USD, but this only places it at 24th in box office for the weekend? What were the other 23 films being screen in theatres that weekend (for a minimum US box office total of $644 million in that weekend) Or is that for the year? Or is that a comparision of opening weekends? I'm not up to tracking down the info, so I trimmed it down to just dollar amounts and if someone else wants to get the right citations, please do. Zotdragon 19:16, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

What notable things did hoot do in the event

'Other Production'[edit]

Is there anyway to turn this section into a 'non-list' writing? It's very difficult to ready bullet by bullet, like some sort of random info. Maybe someone can fix this in their spare time. Let me also add that it is also overly long.ResurgamII 20:06, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Black hawk down poster.jpg[edit]

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Image:Black hawk down poster.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in Wikipedia articles constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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Fact error?[edit]

"...Mohammed Farah Aidid was killed on August 1, 1996 during a battle with the militia of his rival and former ally Osman Ali Atto..."

I just recently watched the movie again and, according to the movie, Warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid was killed in Mogadishu on 2 August 1996, not 1 August 1996. The exact text from the movie was: "Major General William F. Garrison accepted full responsibility for the outcome of the raid. On August 2, 1996, warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid was killed in Mogadishu. The following day, General Garrison retired."

Now I don't know if the movie is wrong or the warlord's death is wrong, but it should be looked in to. Fiver2552 03:05, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

The movie is wrong he died on the 1st(ForeverDEAD 20:09, 15 September 2007 (UTC))

Do you have a source for that? Just your word isn't really enough, I'm afraid. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 19:16, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

It wasn't a phosphorous grenade that exploded. It was the radio on his back. I'm going to go ahead and change it. (talk) 14:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)


Perhaps some mention of the Hans Zimmer soundtrack? Just an idea. 21:36, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Kilo 64[edit]

In the movie Hoot was talking to a superior officer callsign Kilo 64 never shown in the movie , but i read some where that kilo64 was pilot of super61 , can any one confirm this ?--Max Mayr 06:54, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I haven't watched the film - or read the book - in several years. But best I recall (from the book) the "kilo" callsigns were command elements. Probably not a pilot, but a controller or commander in a helo. The communications connectivity seemed to be that ground forces contacted the helo's, who relayed to base (when necessary), who answered back thru the helo's to ground elements. In fact, the delay caused by relays is specifically mentioned in the book....anyway, I'd bet you'll find the answer in the book rather than the movie. Engr105th (talk) 08:52, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
KILO 6-4 represents a command element not present in the movie itself, the general thought is that KILO 6-4 is a Delta Force commander and Hoot was going through his command rather then that of the Rangers SWATJester Son of the Defender 09:18, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Controversies section[edit]

I readded the section which was inexplicible removed by User talk:Russell731 here [2]. While this section needs work (weasel words and it can probably be trimmed), it is mostly sourced so it's removal was even more unacceptable particularly considering the large trivia section most of which is unsourced. If someone wants to re-write it from scrtach, feel free but please actually do it. Don't remove a section and then don't re-write it. Nil Einne 00:53, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Very good point! It does need serious editing as the weasel words are nauseating. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 19:19, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
"Some people think that..." Again another horrible criticism/controversies section that really stinks of POV. Even if the language is trimmmed a bit and sources are provided to the John Doe opinions, the whole section is way too long. And does it have to be the second paragraph in the article? Medico80 17:01, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Bob Dylan's song used in the trailer[edit]

Bob Dylan's song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" was used in the first version of the movie trailer. This changed when the next version of the trailer got released. 18:33, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Blackhwdnphoto.jpg[edit]

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Image:Blackhwdnphoto.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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BetacommandBot 20:41, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Plot section too long[edit]

There's a tag at the top of the page saying the plot is too long. It's not just that, either. It reads like a narrative, very unencyclopedic ("on that fateful day"). I'm in the process of rewriting it to what I believe to be an appropriate length, then if consensus is that it should be longer, it can be gradually built up from there. Briefplan (talk) 11:54, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Phew, that was difficult. My edit got reverted by a bot mistaking it for vandalism, so I had to do it in stages. All done now though. Briefplan (talk) 13:28, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Other production information[edit]

The "Other production information" section is getting ridiculous. Most if not all the information in it is unencyclopedic. I would just remove it, but I think it would upset a few people who have contributed. But I really don't think it should be there. Can we have a few opinions? Briefplan (talk) 11:29, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Ok, nobody has responded, so I will just delete the section. In order to follow the ideal of improve rather than delete, here are a few of the bullet points which I think are notable enough to be integrated back into the article, but only if they can be worked into the text. A couple of them can't fit in the article the way it is currently structured, but they might fit in future sections.

  • Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Ewan Bremner, William Fichtner and Kim Coates all previously worked together in another war film: Pearl Harbor (2001). (Done. Briefplan (talk) 03:03, 3 January 2008 (UTC))
  • Some of the scenes on the monitors behind Major General Garrison are actual images that were taken from the Orion reconnaissance aircraft that was orbiting over Mogadishu during the battle.

That's all in my opinion, but it's not a hard and fast list. I'll maybe have a go at writing a couple of them in. Briefplan (talk) 02:27, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Which Oscars Ceremony?[edit]

The film won 2 awards in the 2001 Oscars, and was nominated for several others. However the article suggests, on casual reading, the awards/nominations were made for the 2002 Oscars. Given Oscars are awarded in (the March of) a given year for films released in the previous year, what's the correct nomenclature for an Oscar? Is it the year the statue was awarded or the respective award year? The back of the DVD sleeve for this film suggests the latter, since it states '... this Oscar - winning movie (2001-Film Editing and Sound) ...'Fizzackerly (talk) 14:14, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

According to IMDB (, the year is 2002. The intro section said it won the awards "in 2001", which is definitely false, so I've fixed that.Briefplan (talk) 17:30, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The intro section pre your edit was correct. The Oscar was awarded for the best Film Editing and Sound in 2001, the year of the film's release and therefore the relevant year for Oscar nomination & award consideration. The award was given in 2002 since awards ceremonies are in the year following release. Therefore if you were to write "The Oscar was awarded, for the best Film Editing and Sound, in 2002" then that would also be correct. The addition of commas as parenthesis makes all the difference.
None-the-less my original question still stands, namely what's the correct nomenclature for an Oscar, year of awards ceremony or year of film release? Like I said, whoever published the UK version of the 3 disc special edition DVD thought it was the latter, so I'm reckoning it's the latter, hence the revert. (talk) 13:44, 23 January 2008 (UTC) Fizzackerly (talk) 13:45, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

No "Controversies" or "Critical Reception" section?[edit]

Wow, talk about a whitewash. Does Ridley Scott have a full-time staffer blanking material from this article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Daily Princetonian[edit]

There is an edit war over the accusation of racism directed at this movie in The Daily Princetonian. Whether this publication is notable enough to warrant the inclusion of the accusation, I am not sure. I suggest the two parties discuss it here and everyone else joins in. Personally, I think the newspaper is a bit insignificant and its inclusion here is a little odd. Bretonbanquet (talk) 20:41, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

A report has been filed here as to the reliable source argument. A quick search shows the DP has been successfully used as a RS in AfD arguments. Tool2Die4 (talk) 20:45, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
The accusation is very contentious and may need further sources to back it up. or at least some balance to the argument. Bretonbanquet (talk) 20:52, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

My views on why this is not an acceptable source:

  • Wikipedia says references should be drawn from mainstream newspapers. The Daily Princetonion is a college paper with a circulation of just a few thousand. Are all college newspapers with low circulations reliable sources?
  • The citation is being used to level a charge of racism at the film (an extreme POV) that isn't supported by the mainstream press or reviews in mainstream magazines.
  • A legitmate encyclopedia would not use an article in a college newspaper to uphold such an extreme point of view, so I don't think Wikipedia should either.

That's the basis for my opinion anyway. The source isn't even reporting a fact, it's presenting a very extreme and subjective POV by a college student. There is no evidence of this view being shared on any substantial level in the criticism community. Betty Logan (talk) 20:58, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually I just updated the page to reflect the charge of racism thrown out by the New York Times review. Tool2Die4 (talk) 21:02, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Here is an account of organized protests based on the supposed racism in the film. This could probably included in the Controversy section. Tool2Die4 (talk) 21:33, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Yet another touching on the racism issue. Tool2Die4 (talk) 21:34, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
An interview with Bruckheimer defending against the allegations of racism, this time leveled from a reviewer at Entertainment Weekly. Tool2Die4 (talk) 21:40, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
If there are decent sources, then it's prudent to remove the significantly less notable DP. Bretonbanquet (talk) 21:42, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Now that it's been sufficiently established that the racism charge is one that's widely-held (and thus not "an extreme POV"), I couldn't agree more. Now the question is to what extent to add in all these sources I just found. As an aside, I'd still be interested to see what consensus is reached over at the RS noticeboard regarding the student newspaper. Tool2Die4 (talk) 21:51, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

An administrator has chimed in at the aforementioned Reliable Source report, and stated that the DP qualifies as a reliable source (as are many "school newspapers"). He went on to state that doesn't extend to opinions (which is what the edit involves), but the host of links I provided above more than settles any sort of "fringe theory" argument. Sounds like this has been wrapped up with a nice little bow, just in time for Christmas! Tool2Die4 (talk) 21:57, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Third Opinion[edit]

A request was made for a 3rd opinion on this topic. I hope my thoughts can be helpful.

For a source to be considered reliable, there should be an expectation that its providing incorrect information would lead to negative consequences. A normal news journal or TV organisation will usually have staff who earn their living by working for such an organisation - write a very poor article and such a journalist might possibly expect their boss to want a discussion, or even a change in employment status. A person employed by a university who acts contrary to the institution's rules equally expects negative consequences. Someone employed by a company who gives unauthorised and incorrect information to the public expects trouble. A person working for a voluntary organisation or NGO would normally be a member because it's a cause in which they believed and will usually remain associated long-term - being thrown out is rarely desired.

A college newspaper staffed by students is inevitably a highly transient organisation. I understand the DP is independent of Princeton University, and thus the university would have very limited sanctions against its published articles. This is different to those school newspapers which have a formal association with the school. The students acting as journalists will normally do so on the side, with studies at the university taking the focus of their time. The consequences of writing a bad article are limited - one can still carry on with the degree course. The readership will have a high churn rate - perhaps 30% or more per year by virtue of university enrollments. Further, existing enrolled students would expect the editorial team and their policy to change on a far more regular basis (perhaps every semester) compared to other newspapers or media organisations.

For these 2 reasons - both the absence of significant penalty for articles that could be ill-considered, and the highly transient nature of the editorial team and their policy, I would have difficulty treating a the DP as a reliable source. Pmbma (talk) 22:10, 24 December 2008 (UTC)Pmbma

As a member of the Daily Princetonian, I'll confirm Pmbma's assessment that we are independent of the university, and the editorial department basically has the freedom to write what they want (within reasonable bounds). I think this is less a question of WP:RS (the claim in the article is correct – the author obviously wrote that rhetorical question), but rather whether this really constitutes something that should be included in the article. It's one thing to include the opinions of professional film critics and bloggers and quite another thing to include a student opinion piece from a college newspaper. This is a visible result of the controversy the article mentions? Not really. It's a single student taking the time of out his likely very busy schedule (we go to Princeton after all :D) to write a piece on a film he had strong opinions on. I don't ever recall a case in which a college opinion piece was considered something that constituted significant reception (for anything past campus-centric affairs). — sephiroth bcr (converse) 22:43, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
There seem to be several sources, and I would think the DP could be included as one of them. I would think the reception of the movie and allegations of racism/ different perceptions would certainly be notable. I recall reading that viewers in Somalia clapped when the helicopters got shot down. So I think different perceptions of the film, like perceptions of the foreign policy actions itself, are varied and should be included as notable. ChildofMidnight (talk) 00:25, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
You've ignored Pmbma's and my points completely. It's not a matter of whether covering this controversial aspect is important, it's whether an opinion piece in the Daily Princetonian constitutes an item of critical coverage, which it really doesn't. — sephiroth bcr (converse) 10:19, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


Well there seems to be support for this citation to remain and be removed. All the relevant points have been made, and we should perhaps just vote on it and go with the majority. At least then the issue will be resolved one way or the other - at least then a sole party hasn't got a legitimate basis to alter it if a vote has been taken:

  • REMOVE Betty Logan (talk) 15:01, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Remove the DP source, and add in the other sources I found above. It's been quite clearly established that the DP is a reliable source, but the presence of all the other "more notable" sources make it easier to be removed. Tool2Die4 (talk) 15:42, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Remove the DP source and make the same point using other more reliable / mainstream sources instead Pmbma (talk) 16:10, 25 December 2008 (UTC)Pmbma

I have removed the DP citation now. The racism charge is made by a NYTimes and Entertainment Weekly critics with a response by Jerry Bruckheimer. If this isn't satisfactory please discuss any further changes you would like to be made here. I personally feel NYT and EW are adequate and reputable sources so hopefully this will suffice. Betty Logan (talk) 06:08, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I readded, please do not act unilaterally agaisnt the above consensus. It has been thoroughly established that there is no issue with the source any other reasons need explaination. Nicholas Guyatt is a noted author, journalist and professor of American History. He has written many works on the subject of US foreign policy, including several books and articles in both The Nation, New Humanist, London Review of Books and Journal of American Studies. A google scholar search shows his works are widely cited in other journals. His expertise on this particular subject makes his opinion of far more important than an entertainment magazine. --neon white talk 03:15, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
The consensus was to replace the quote. You are acting against it unilaterally. If you want to reverse the decision you will have to make you case here and see if the other editors agree with you. Respected film critics are more relevant in terms of film criticism.Betty Logan (talk) 05:08, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I remind you that asserting a false consensus is considered poor etiquette, the above conversation and at the reliable sources noticeboard conclusively prove that this is considered a reliable sources and there are no other reasons stated for removing this info appear to have been discussed. An expert on foreign policy is certainly a relevant opinion and as there is no restriction set and how many opinions are allowed in an article, in fact WP:NPOV suggests that all opinions should be represented rather than a few personal favourites. If you can find a policy or guidelines that forbids this addition then please provide it here. I also think it is worth a reminder that an editor does not have to justify the addition of info to the encyclopedia as long as it is well sourced, as a collaborative project it is encouraged. It is the removal of sourced info that you will have to be justified. --neon white talk 06:02, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
The article was disputed and the outcome was to replace the quote with one from a more clearly recogised expert from a more widely recognised source, rather than an obscure academic. A resolution was achieved and you are going against the outcome of that. You need a consensus to add anything to an article and you clearly don't have one. If you wish to restart the debate fair enough, the outcome might be different but as it stands now the consensus is to remove the quote and replace it. Betty Logan (talk) 06:11, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
No, there was no such outcome here. Please stop asserting this false consensus, your decision alone is not a consensus and the discussion above including the third opinion clearly shows that the source is considered fine. The info is clearly relevent to the article and reliably sourced the only stated objection was ignorant of the fact that this was not written by a Princeton student but by a well published author and journalist on foreign policy. I have explained this quite thoroughly above. You do not need a consensus to add anything to an article, wikipedia is an open project. Please review and update your understanding of the project and it's core policies and rules. Please do not continue to assert a false consensus and personal rules or you will become a disruptive editor. --neon white talk 14:15, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Opinion pieces by college students simply don't stack up to the sources that were found and added to the article the first time this issue came up. Crotchety Old Man (talk) 14:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
There was clearly discontent over the DP source and the consensus was to find sources that were agreeable to all editors involved. The three editors involved in the dispute all agreed to a new set of sources and everyone else was happy to go along with them. Consensus is Wikipedia's fundamental model for editorial decision-making. A decision over the content of the article was ultimately made and agreed upon. After all it's not as if the allegation itself was dropped, just backed up by major publications that are far for widely respected, and one of them including a response by the film's producer. Betty Logan (talk) 16:54, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Philadelphia Weekly[edit]

With regards to the current warring [3], while I accept the anon is breaking the rules I can't help but feel he has a point. Is the "Philadelphia Weekly" a reliable source (having read its Wiki entry I am slightly dubious", and is it even necessary when we have citations from much stronger sources voicing more or less the same criticisms? Even if it is a legitimate inclusion do we really need to include a big chunk of the review into the article? It seems to devalue the collective strength of the sources without adding anything new to the criticism. Betty Logan (talk) 17:45, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

How convenient that Betty shows up. It's all starting to make sense. Crotchety Old Man (talk) 17:52, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
This article is on my watchlist. The fact none of the involved warring parties have attempted to resolve the dispute through discussion says more about you than me. Betty Logan (talk) 18:04, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Good points Betty. I've discussed this further with Crothety Old Man & Walter on my talk page. According to WP:QS, a questionable source is: "Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional in nature, or which rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves. (See below.) Questionable sources are generally unsuitable as a basis for citing contentious claims about third parties." That Philadelphia Weekly article that Walter has cited is a film review from a rag which itself admits ( that it is "your local guide to Philly's alternative news, reviews, opinion, ..." As a guide to Philadelphia's alternative opinion, it is therefore definitely an opinion piece, and should only be used to cite material about itself. The quote from the film critic also contains the word "niggers" in it and WP:PROFANITY states that "Words and images that would be considered offensive, profane, or obscene by typical Wikipedia readers should be used if and only if their omission would cause the article to be less informative, relevant, or accurate, and no equally suitable alternatives are available", so it's pretty clear on that as well. (talk) 18:07, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
My suggestion is that you seek further clarification in regards to the Philadepelphia Weekly being a 'reliable source' at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard. My personal view is that it is on the very edge - it's a "viewspaper" but it does have a substantial circulation. The "Reliable Sources" guidelines do however indicate a preference for sources within the mainstream media though. I think in light of the fact we have two much stronger and credible sources voicing the same accusation we don't need the this further addition. Even if there is a ruling in favour of including it the section needs to be trimmed down to just outlining the main accusation, because we didn't include massive chunks from the NY Times or Entertainment Weekly reviews. Betty Logan (talk) 18:16, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Well I tried to compromise by indicating that the author of that piece also took exception to what he felt was the racist nature of the movie, but the other editors insisted on including the full quote, slur and all. This opinion piece is not any more authoritative than the Entertainment Weekly writer's article much less that of the New York Times critic. If anything, it is less reputable and therefore ought to be at the very least reduced to a sentence or two if mentioned at all. (talk) 18:30, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
For one thing, you're not even agreeing among yourselves, giving different reasons on why you think this excerpt should be taken out. Make up your minds, decide whether it's only the "nigger" sentence that is controversial or the whole text, and then we'll be able to have a rational discussion.
"I think in light of the fact we have two much stronger and credible sources voicing the same accusation we don't need the this further addition." All of them are sensibly different accusations (even if they all boil down to accusations of racism or xenophobia) and they complement one another quite well, even with the last one included among them. There is no redundancy here if that's what you mean. Look for other excuses, please. Walter Sobchak0 (talk) 20:25, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, there is complete agreement that there is undue weight [4] on the opinion of the writer of that alternative film review, and that the racial epithets, personal insults, etc. featured in that article are inappropriate for Wikipedia, especially considering Wikipedia's policies against profanity (as I've already pointed out [5] to you). Those are not "excuses" but actual rules; see the comments below [6] and this post [7] on the reliable sources noticeboard. (talk) 21:36, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I think it reads much better now. It certainly wasn't necessary to include text from the review just as we didn't for the NY Times - anyone who cares that much can follow the reference. As for the source itself, I think it is on the very edge of being a reliable source - it is certainly more valid than a college newspaper on the basis that it has a substantial circulation and hires professional writers so my feeling is that it would probably be given the benefit of the doubt on the "Reliable Sources" noticeboard, so hopefully Walter will find the current version acceptable. Betty Logan (talk) 23:20, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
The article was much better until Crotchety Old Man came around again and repeated the same thing he did yesterday, which is basically to just reverse my edit without attempting to discuss anything. He has called my adding back the actual consensus version as "vandalism", although even the people at the reliable sources noticeboard understand that that passage from the article contains really offensive material & was accorded undue space in this Wikipedia article. He has just placed a message on my talk page warning me that I am in an "edit war" and to stop it, yet he hasn't even shown up once here to discuss the matter over with anyone. I can't even contact him on his talk page either because there is no "edit this page" button; there is just a "view source" one! (talk) 23:44, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
My talk page is protected from sockpuppets editing it. And I thank you for the admission of sockpuppetry. The joy of dynamic IPs. Crotchety Old Man (talk) 23:47, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
You are full of it. My IP changed because I switched off my computer since yesterday. Now answer this question if you can: Why haven't you even tried to communicate? Even Walter has attempted to do so, and he was the one that added this material to begin with; all you've done is add it right back, automatically and with no discussion at all. Check out this link on the reliable sources noticeboard [8] -- all the editors there also agree that there was undue emphasis placed on and space devoted to this opinion piece with personal; one of them was even careful to point out that the material is offensive as well. Have you even read this paragraph in full??? (talk) 00:07, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

OK, let's try to arrive to a civilized consensus:[edit]

How about this:

" Sean Burns, film critic for Philadelphia Weekly, wrote the following:

... Black Hawk Down begins to resemble Starship Troopers, only without all the klutzy satirical aspirations--and with black people instead of alien bugs.

That's where we run into the real trouble. I have no idea if Ridley Scott is a racist (though judging from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s scenes in Pearl Harbor I'm certain Jerry Bruckheimer is), but Black Hawk Down often plays like Birth of a Nation: The Next Generation.


I think it complements the other quotes without being redundant, I think it is pertinent to add it and I believe that the fact its source is "alternative" is quite a shallow argument to bring about -- and one that would just obliterate most other quotes by film critics of other sources, such as Village Voice or Ozu's film reviews.

I know it explicitly accuses Bruckenheimer of being a racist, but you see, racism isn't just an abstract phenomenon going on in the stratosphere, but something done and thought by people with names and surnames. It is a bold attempt by the author to make a point, and I stand by it. Walter Sobchak0 (talk) 15:37, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

The problem here is that neither Elvis Mitchell or Gleiberman accused Jerry Bruckheimer personally of being racist in their reviews, just the film. The accusation of the film being racist is notable by virtue the subject was raised by several respected film critics. The personal accusation here is made just by one film reviewer so I don't see how it is noteworthy. If you can find other reliable sources where Jerry Bruckheimer is accused of being racist then it can be considered for inclusion. Betty Logan (talk) 04:38, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Never mind, I just hadn't seen the complete final edit as it is. It includes a link to Burns' article, so that's fine with me. Calling PW alternative would probably warrant a source (I know there is one, but other readers might not), but that's not important anyway.Walter Sobchak0 (talk) 19:17, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Z Magazine[edit]

In the Charges of racism section, it says "Soon after Black Hawk Down's release, several organizations, including the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in California, called for its boycott and denounced what they felt was its brutal and dehumanizing depiction of Somalis." While true (at least according to the cited article), unless I missed it, the cited article doesn't actually say anything about racism. This might be a case of WP:OR and WP:SYN to include this information in a section about alleged racism. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:01, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

This issue is related to the above dispute. If you look at the changes you will notice this section was retitled "Charges of racism": [9]. There are many things wrong with the edits over the last 24 hours. I fully agree that accusing someone of misrepresenting a particularly nationality does not automatically constitute a 'charge of racism'. Betty Logan (talk) 02:36, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that passage has nothing to do with racism. The same could be said for the paragraphs below it pertaining to the actor Brendan Sexton (which are more about cultural insensitivity and perceived jingoism than anything else) and the paragraph on the poor representation of Somalia's culture, its people, etc. There are only three parts of that section mislabeled "Charges of racism" that actually deal with racism, and those are the passages by the film critics. Even if we ignore that the Philadelphia Weekly film review relies heavily on "alternative" personal opinions, I don't see how it can remain (at least in its present form) since, among other things, it..
-- labels the film's producer Jerry Bruckheimer as a racist but without an iota of proof much less explication of this, which altogether is libelous: "I have no idea if Ridley Scott is a racist (though judging from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s scenes in Pearl Harbor I'm certain Jerry Bruckheimer is)...",
-- uses the n-word for no apparent reason other than to get a rise out of the reader,
-- describes the movie as a "snuff" film for the same attention-seeking purpose as just described and again with no real qualification.
Just looking at the title of the film review itself is enough to reveal the tenor of that article [10]: Ridley Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer's latest is racist crap. I therefore don't think this is the kind of article we should be quoting from, much less at length. (talk) 05:27, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Did Owen Gleiberman accuse Black Hawk Down of racism?[edit]

There's no cite for this claim, and the Entertainment Weekly's movie review was by Lisa Schwarzbaum[11] and the DVD review was by Erin Richter.[12] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:52, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

The Gliberman comments come from the The O'Reilly factor reference where Gliberman's criticisms are put to Jerry Bruckheimer. Betty Logan (talk) 03:17, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I saw that, but sometimes interviewers can make mistakes. Can we find the actual source where Gliberman makes this comment? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:07, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I guess it's out there somewhere. If it can't be traced though then it should perhaps be stressed that the accusation was attributed to him in an interview he wasn't present at, that's how it works in acadaemia if you are not referencing someone directly. Betty Logan (talk) 05:10, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, without corroborating sources, I tend to think that maybe we should remove it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:09, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Whether Gleiberman made the accusation or not is irrelevant. You don't need a corroborating source for what occurred in the programme itself. It just needs to be clarified that the accusation wasn't made directly by Gleiberman, it was attributed to him on the programme. Betty Logan (talk) 20:16, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I've had a go a re-writing the paragraph to make it clearer Gliberman that didn't make the accusation in person. I think the important part of that sentence is Jerry Bruckheimer's response rather than the accusation itself, so if you're still uncomfortable with it then I suggest removing Gliberman's name but keeping Bruckheimer's response. Betty Logan (talk) 23:03, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

General issues regarding controversies[edit]

Although I've proofed the section and removed the subheads, I have not removed any statements as currently represented, despite some dodgy sourcing. This is not to be taken as condoning the section as it exists now.

Most films are not shot where they are set, don't capture the look or feel of the places and people to suit those who live there, and star actors who do not share their characters' ethnicity. Most people portrayed on the screen feel the film does not do justice to the reality, with reactions from dismissiveness to humiliation to deep-seated resentment.

To the general issue, show me the war film that doesn't condense characters and oversimplify details. How many war films present both sides as noble human beings? Even when one side could be said to be "right", does that mean all its soldiers were fine and upstanding individuals? There are complexities in war that could never possibly be examined in a film that also has to tell a story in two hours. That some films do a better job than others is one of the facts of moviemaking and could be said about films on any subject.

None of this is to say that the accusations are wrong, and in fact I have not seen the film. I'm simply raising the logical point that every article on a film based on a true story could have a section where people point out all the things that the film got wrong (often intentionally, as dramatic license or budgetary and screen-time constraints). There is also a degree to which all films could be (and in some circles are) called racist, homophobic, sexist, etc., because they focus on the experience of that society's straight men. Notice I don't say American men, because the same phenomenon exists in other cultures. That we note this at Wikipedia when it is notably and reliably sourced is reasonable. But to give it undue weight is against reason, perspective, and Wiki's own guidelines.

I would point out that one of the articles currently referenced for that section includes this:

The reality of the Somali character is captured in this movie," said Mohamed Ali Abdi, who had been living at Bar Ubah junction, where the battle took place. "But there is not a single word of the Somali language, no Somali music, nothing of our culture. This is absurd, but still they reproduced our sandy streets and battered buildings and the crazy way Somalis just kept on fighting"... (T)he young Somali men in the audience jumped up and cheered after an American helicopter was hit by Somali gunmen and crashed. "The movie is good but overdramatized," said Warsameh Abdi (a random young man in Somalia who had just watched the film)... Although the young men cheered whenever an American was hit, there was no reaction from the audience when a Somali character went down.

I point this out to counter the point made by the Philadelphia alternative newspaper's writer that Americans cheered at American "successes" in the film. The young Somali man seemed to understand and accept the limitations of the film better than these critics, and didn't get in the way of them enjoying it, even if Somali audience response was the mirror image of a Western audience response. Is either side right to cheer? This isn't a basketball game. Personally, I'd say no. Then again, there is a long history of war movies being made to rally public nationalism. I'm sure it's due in part to the way the films are made and in part to the fact that the majority of us are raised to be blindly nationalistic regardless of what we're shown. Why am I sure? Because both sides cheer this movie. That gives me no comfort. In fact, it seems like part of the problem. But to write this section of the article like the other half of this truth doesn't exist is to miss the point. Nationalism is racist, to some degree, no matter what your nation, and particularly in issues of war, international casualties and attacks on your own soil; war films just bring that point home. Something tells me those reviewers might well be saying the same things if they watched any of a number of war films generally considered classics today. Then again, they could simply review the news... Abrazame (talk) 07:52, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

To be honest, I just read through the entire New York Times review[13], and there's only one paragraph on alleged racism. The same article also talks about Ridley Scott's talents as a filmmaker in terms of creating moods through pictorials, the "vibrating melancholy" of Hans Zimmer's musical score, etc.. Are we cherry-picking two sentences out of a review to manufacture a controversy? Is there even much of a controversy to begin with? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:24, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
The NY Times review has certainly been "cherry picked", but ultimately the accusation is in there and it's a good source. Is it notable enough to be commented upon in the article? Well it's probably not everyday a producer is invited to respond to criticisms that his film is racist, but Bruckheimer was and did respond, and the NY Times review does go some way to justifying that there was a view among some critics that the film had a racist tone. I actually disagree with the criticism - is using non-Somali black actors to portray Somalis any different from American and British actors using cod German accents to portray Nazis? Is it racist for an American film to depict the conflict from an American point of view? Personally I think the balance at the moment is about right. I'd just like to see the article settle down if I'm honest. Betty Logan (talk) 19:58, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

It seems reasonable to remove that "controversy" regarding the fact that the film does not accurately portray Somali culture. Having seen the movie multiple times, I am not aware of any instance where the movie attempts to portray Somali culture. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that the movie could have portrayed any number of elements, tangential the story it tells. The movie could have attempted to portray the nature of trade in the Bakara Market or the ins and outs of the local populations love of soccer. Since it does not attempt to portray those things, saying that it does not "accurately portray" them is not a criticism. The movie portrays the battle. There are many things that are not portrayed in the battle. To present this lack of portrayal as a criticism is, in my view, invalid on its face. - Gwopy 03:41, 2 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gwopy (talkcontribs)

ELs removed from external links section[edit]

I removed the follwoing ELs because they seemed inappropriate per WP:EL, but they might be appropriate to work in as inline references, so here they are:

Novaseminary (talk) 16:34, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for placing them here! Erik (talk) 17:53, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Composite Characters / Real life identities[edit]

We need to find a reference for the real life identity of characters portrayed in the movie that are not in the credits. I'll check back in a while to see if any are added, but if they cannot be verified then the information should be deleted. SeaphotoTalk 21:47, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Sanderson was based on Paul Howe. Hoot's character is a composite of Hoot and another D-boy, I'm drawing a blank on his name at the moment. Grimes' character was based on a guy in almost every detail, but they had to change his name as the ranger he was based on is doing time for being a chomo. What's really sad is on Veteran's Day in the US, we have people deleting links to the real men who lived and died on that day as heroes because they think this is "just a movie", whereas those same editors edit other movie articles based on scripts with far less factual accuracy than BHD.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 07:33, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
This is a fictional film inspired by real-life events, but it is still a work of fiction. The character names should not be linked to the articles about the real people, giving the false impression they are one and the same. ---RepublicanJacobiteTheFortyFive 14:58, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
I disagree, then so is evey movie and TV show based on real people like Deadwood, Tombstone, Patton, etc. You want to take this to arbitration?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 17:45, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Losing money ?[edit]

Did this movie made any profits? I heard that a movie needs to gross three times its production costs in order to make any profits. The gross of this movie is less than twice the production costs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

The theatrical rentals equate to about 60% of the gross (after deducting the exhibitor's 40%) which would equate to about $103 million. First run TV-rights usually get 10% of the gross, so the overall earnings would be about $120 million by the end of the theatrical run. The budget was $92 million, and the marketing $25 million so the total cost was about $117 million, so the film broke even by the time it came off general release. All the earnings from DVD/blu-ray and second-run TV rights would be profit. Betty Logan (talk) 21:05, 12 November 2011 (UTC)


The plot section contains some details, that are not mentioned in the film or wrong. I guess they might originate from the Book

  • Durant is not meeting Aidid
  • The circumstances of Aidid's death are not mentioned
  • Eversman's chalk is not dropped wrong. They just have to carry Blackburn to the front of the building, as they have been dropped to guard the backside of the building.

--Murata (talk) 03:35, 4 January 2013 (UTC) You can see from the maps in the Mark Bowden book, Eversman's chalk is dropped in the wrong place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Philadelphia Inquirer[edit]

JesseRafe insists on including in the lede that Bowden's book was based on a series of article he wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer. I say that this information is appropriate for the article about the book, but there is no reason to mention it here, as this film is based on the book. I removed the information and he reverted, with no explanation given. Does anyone else have any opinions on this? ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 17:54, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Fairly disingenuous to say I offered no explanation when my edit summaries read "film based on book based on newspaper articles, clarified in lede" and "articles > book > movie, integral. He was an embedded reporter, that's where he got the story, not an embedded book-author", but sure, call it what you want.
Furthermore it's exceptionally common for all the source material to be mentioned, to wit Scarface (1983 film) "The film is a remake of the 1932 film of the same name, which in turn was based on the 1929 novel by Armitage Trail." or Sukiyaki Western Django "It also takes inspiration from the "Man with No Name" stock character variously used in the spaghetti western genre but most notably in the Dollars trilogy by Sergio Leone (initially inspired by Akira Kurosawa's jidaigeki film Yojimbo)" or Last Man Standing (film) "Last Man Standing is a credited a remake of the 1961 Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo, which Dashiell Hammett's novel Red Harvest was the inspiration. Kurosawa said that a major source for the plot of Yojimbo was the film noir classic The Glass Key (1942), an adaption of Hammett's 1931 novel of the same name" just off the top of my head of a few films that might have two degrees or more of "based on..." in their genealogies. JesseRafe (talk) 18:07, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Just in the course of other regular Wikipedia-browsing I come across another, Annie (2014 film) " It is a contemporary adaptation of the musical of the same name, which in turn is based upon the 1924 comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray." --This style is pervasive when works are 3rd-degree "based on". Not only that but informative, no reason to remove quality content. JesseRafe (talk) 21:32, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The basis of the book is still irrelevant to the film, and what those other articles say is also irrelevant. The film is based on the book, the book article can go into more detail about how it developed.
Oh, and the first time you reverted me, you offered no explanation, so I was not being disingenuous. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 15:04, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

History on the characters in real life[edit]

I was wondering if you could put the real life characters look into it if they where true, but add pages, Matt Eversmann, John Grimes, Danny McKnight, Shawn Nelson, Mike Kurth, Kurt Schmid, John Beales, Ed Yurek, Jamie Smith, Dominick Pilla, Richard Kowalewski, Lance Twombly and Scott Galentine, Casey Joyce, Todd Blackburn, and Lorenzo Ruiz, and John Maddox, as well, if they are true could you add them if possible if they do have history, also Clifton Wolcott we forgot, (talk) 20:40, 2 March 2014 (UTC)


No doubt this film was not an accurate representation of the situation in Somalia - for three good reasons: it was made ten years later, it was made for an American audience, and it was not made in Somalia. However the statement that "At one screening in Somalia, young men cheered whenever an American soldier's character was shot on screen" is irrelevant to the accuracy debate. It is no surprise that Somali's sympathise with their own people rather than invaders.Royalcourtier (talk) 09:26, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

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Cast list[edit]

The cast list is too long. It is very rare to see a film article with every cast member listed. In this case, most of these people are not even identifiable. I propose that the cast list be reduced to the 10 or so most notable people. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 13:46, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

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Film location - Israel?[edit]

The movie was mostly filmed in Morocco this is a known fact. In one of the scenes appear bottles of mineral water with the logo of an Israeli mineral water company, written both in English AND Hebrew. I doubt this is meant to be US military issue and I also doubt this logo is freely found in Morocco, especially with the Hebrew script. My conclusion is that this sequence was filmed in Israel in contrary to official filming locations. Could not find reliable sources to support this. Anyone knows?

Plot section needs editing[edit]

This has way too much detail about individual soldiers. The discussion needs more distance and summary - it is not supposed to replace the article Battle of Mogadishu.Parkwells (talk) 16:04, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Move journalism to book title[edit]

Agree that reference to Bowden's articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer should be moved to the article on the book, not the film. It's not the point here. He could be described as an embedded journalist, if there is a source for that.Parkwells (talk) 16:04, 15 September 2018 (UTC)