|Cat. Number:||BBCV 6523|
|Running Time:||112 mins. approx.|
|Release Date:||28 December 1998|
Bravo Two Zero explodes onto video this December, starring Sean Bean as the former SAS Sergeant Andy McNab in a tale of remarkable endurance and heroism based on McNab's best-selling book. Transmitted on BBC-1 in January 1999, the video includes an exclusive interview with McNab.
Bravo Two Zero is the true story of the most highly decorated British patrol since the Boer war - an eight man SAS team inserted behind Iraqi lines during the Gulf War in January 1991. Their mission was to take out the scud missiles which Saddam Hussein had aimed at the heart of Tel Aviv, as well as to sever strategic communication lines between Baghdad and North West Iraq. Commanded by Sergeant Andy McNab, the call sign of this top secret mission was Bravo Two Zero.
Of the eight who went out, only five returned. Dropped into "scud alley" carrying 210-pound packs, McNab and his men soon found themselves surrounded by two divisions of Iraqi troops - a total of 3,200 men. Unable to communicate by radio, the weather was cold enough to freeze diesel fuel, and they had been spotted. Their only chance of survival was to fight their way to the Syrian border 110 miles away across the Euphrates river to freedom. The story of Bravo Two Zero includes the no-holds-barred detail of McNab's capture by the Iraqis, and the harrowing torture they inflicted on him and two of his patrol.
"I am delighted that the film has been made so faithful to the book," says McNab, who also acted as the film's military adviser, providing proper weapons and mind-set training to the actors who play the patrol members. In the exclusive twenty minute interview featured on the video, he talks frankly on anonymity, success, violence, the issues facing a soldier, 'shoot to kill', and the Bravo Two Zero mission - including the task, contact with the Iraqis, his capture, interrogation and release.
"The intention was never to have a traditional war film," continues McNab. "We wanted to show that these are normal people with normal lives - they do what they do is because they are professional soldiers. Many of the film offers I received just wanted Bravo Two Zero for the title which would be used for certain agendas or as a star vehicle for an actor. I didn't want that for the sake of the families of the men who died. In fact, the BBC offered the least amount of money to make the film, but what they wanted to produce was a truthful re-enactment of the story."
Troy Kennedy Martin worked alongside McNab on the script, and then filming began in the desert in South Africa. "I was basically there every day on set as a consultant," comments McNab. "I advised the Director and trained the actors so it looked like they'd been handling these sort of weapons for years, and helped with getting hold of the equipment and uniforms and making the weapons look used."
McNab worked closely with Sean Bean who he thought was perfect for the role. "Portraying a real character is challenging in that you really want to get it right," adds Bean. "Every line of every scene has real meaning because of the nature of the project. It was very exciting."
Principal photography on the project began in South Africa's Northern Cape province. Filming continued on location for four weeks in and around the desert near the small town of Uppington, for three weeks in the country's commercial capital of Johannesburg, and for three days round and just outside London.
Bravo Two Zero stars British actors Sean Bean (Patriot Games, GoldenEye), Steve Nicolson, Rick Warden, Richard Graham, Kevin Collins, Ian Curtis, Jamie Bartlett, Robert Hobbs and Ron Senior Jnr. Apart from the main SAS roles and some parts played by real Iraqi soldiers, all other characters were played by South Africans.
Co-produced with Distant Horizon and Videovision Entertainment, Bravo Two Zero is directed by Tom Clegg (Sharpe, Sweeney ll) and produced by Anant Singh (Sarafina!, Cry, the Beloved Country, Face) for Distant Horizon, with Ruth Caleb as producer for the BBC (Trip Trap and Pat and Margaret, and Executive Producer of Respectable Trade).
The TV/video tie-in edition of Bravo
Two Zero is published by Corgi on 7 January 1999. Andy McNab's
first novel, Remote Control, is also now available in Corgi paperback.
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