Another typical example of inappropriate casting
I couldn’t let your characterisation of the ideal Javert as “lean and hungry” pass without making mention of Philip Quast, whose stage musical Javert is often considered the best:LA replies:
The problem is that so many people are overweight or obese nowadays that overweightness has become a new norm. I’m reminded of the 2003 Civil War movie Gods and Generals in which the Confederate troops charging out of the woods at the battle of Chancellorsville were porky, big-gutted, forty-ish men, totally unlike the thin-as-rail young men we see in Civil War photographs. I wondered at the time, why couldn’t the movie-makers, whose stated intention was to have as much historical verisimilitude as possible, have found some slimmer and younger re-enactors at least for the front rank of the charging soldiers? And a possible answer is that overweightness has become so much a norm today that it didn’t occur to anyone that overweight Civil War soldiers looked wrong.
Beefy Confederate re-enactors charging at Chancellorsville.
I found your observation of the overweight reenactors quite astute. My great grandfather was one of those Confederate soldiers who actually did charge out of the woods at the real battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. We have an old photo of him and two of his comrades, taken in uniform in 1861. They are all relatively slender young men in their early twenties (My great grandfather was twenty years old at the time). My younger brother used to do a lot of Civil War reenacting and it does take quite a bit of money for equipment, travel expenses and such. I think that’s why reenactors are usually quite a bit older than than the actual soldiers were. As for the overweight thing, I really can’t talk, but at age 60+ maybe I’m entitled to a bit of a paunch.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 26, 2012 12:46 PM | Send