Camouflage in movies

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Camouflage In Film and Television

The purpose of this section is to illustrate some of the different camouflage patterns that have been invented, created, or appropriated for a specific film or television series. Some patterns have been inspired by existing or historical designs, whilst others were created specifically for the film or series.

  • Where Eagles Dare (1968)

A 1968 movie starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. It was believed for a long time that the splinter pattern worn by some of the actors in the movie was in fact a special variation of the WW2 German splinter pattern never issued during the war - but they were in fact specially made for the film. Wehrmacht-Awards Forum discussion of this pattern

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Thanks to Remy Spezzano for the permission to use these photos

According to a source the above photos was in fact a pre-production jacket with colours differing from those used in the movie. Below is a photo of a copy of those used in the movie showing the colours:

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  • Patton (1970)

A scene in the film depicting German troops in North Africa shows an interesting camouflage design being used for tents. The design resembles no German wartime camouflage, and was either produced specifically for the film or may have some from Spain where much of the film was shot. Colors resemble those of the Belgian jigsaw pattern.

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  • The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

A 1976 movie starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, and Robert Duvall. The splinter pattern worn by the German paratroopers should be the same as that used in Where Eagles Dare.

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  • A Bridge Too Far (1977)

For some reason, the makers of A Bridge Too Far chose to have German SS camouflage uniforms made out of legitimate 1950s era German Army reversible "amoeba" pattern camouflage shelter material. The pattern has little relationship with any German wartime camouflage, but was perhaps cheaper or more easier to obtain at the time than reprinted fabric in an authentic pattern.

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  • Ответный ход (Russia - 1981)

The Russian film Otvetnyy khod (Return Move) incorporated both original Soviet-designed camouflage uniforms, as well as what appears to be a pattern created specifically for the film. The pattern has brown tones, but does not correspond to the TTsKO design introduced to the Soviet system during that year.

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  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

A camouflage pattern was created for the rebel forces that landed on the Moon of Endor in this film.

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  • Red Dawn (1984), Rambo III (1988), and The 4th War (1990)

First appearing in the 1984 film starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, where Soviet troops invade the USA, this camouflage design was worn by the Soviet paratroopers in the movie. It is believed the pattern was modeled on what few photographs of Soviet troops had emerged from the USSR at that time, most likely the KLMK "stair step" pattern. The same camouflage pattern was later used in the third installment of the Sylvester Stallone "Rambo" franchise, again for Soviet troops, and reputedly has made sporadic appearances in other films over the years as well, including "The 4th War" with Jurgen Prochnow. Even in 2014, this design was recycled and utilized in the Hungarian WW2 film Drága Elza.

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Photo from www.wargearweb.org

Apparently several copies of this pattern was made, one reversing to white with a pattern of green pine leaves

  • Rambo: First Blood Part II

A duck hunter style camouflage was used to outfit actors playing Soviet military personnel in this film. The costuming on these characters was quite inaccurate, so it is difficult to say where the idea for using this particular camouflage design came from.

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  • Aliens (1986)

Created for the James Cameron film "Aliens" (starring Sigourney Weaver), the camouflage pattern below was worn by the Colonial Marines. It is very reminiscent of ERDL pattern and may have been created using the same drawings.

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  • Street Fighter (1994)

A woodland style camouflage created for the 1994 Jean-Claude Van Damme film.

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  • Die Another Day (2002)

North Korean adversaries in this film are seen wearing specially-made costumes in this blotch pattern camouflage design. The pattern appears to be based on an original North Korean camouflage design.

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  • Children of Men (2006)

A digital camouflage design was created specifically for this film.

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  • Fringe (TV series - 2008-2013)

The Fox TV series "Fringe" occasionally featured a commercially available "urban digital" camouflage pattern in its episodes.

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  • Avatar (2009)

2009 movie directed by James Cameron.

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  • G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra (2009)

Featured this camouflage pattern with GI Joe logo incorporated into the design.

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