Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2006-05-21 02:38

"Nigger!" That word signalled the success of the World War Two dam-busting operation, a great feat of arms immortalised in the classic film Dam Busters, and commemorated this week across Britain.

Nigger, as many of you may know, was the name of 617 Squadron Leader Guy Gibson's dog, the popular squadron mascot killed by a car the morning of the successful raid -- named apparently to reflect his colour, Nigger Brown, the contemporary British use of the word -- and his name was chosen as the triumphant codeword to signal the mission's success in breaching the Mohne and Eder dams in Germany's industrial Ruhr valley.

I doubt that the word will be used in Peter Jackson's remake -- "the word Nigger is not ideal for the modern world," said film backer David Frost -- but it's delicious to consider the trouble it would cause if it was. After all, if it's not considered too PC to remind the Germans they lost the war...

UPDATE: Whoops. Jackson denied involvement in the remake the day after the Mail on Sunday published the story. Spokesman for Peter Jackson, Matthew Dravitzki explained: "We denied the story at the time but they've run with it anyway. It's just one of those continuing speculative things. Because of Peter's involvement in aviation and his involvement with the Aviation Heritage Centre in Omaka, people just tend to assume we are involved in an aviation movie. It is not the case. Peter will not be directing a remake of The Dam Busters." Bugger.

LINKS: Nigger - Wikipedia
Operation Chastise - Wikipedia
Jackson working on Dam Busters remake - Stuff

TAGS: History-Twentieth_Century, Films, Heroes, War

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 BBC did edit this word

Barry Jeenmaz's picture

 BBC did edit this word when they show it



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They could rename the dog

Ross Elliot's picture

They could rename the dog "Rainbow".

Baa-baa rainbow sheep
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Three bags full...


Kenny's picture

The last time I saw the film on the BBC, the word "nigger" was edited out. If my memory is correct, the dog was referred to as "boy".

Useless Trivia

JoeM's picture

The DAMBUSTERS is the film playing on the TV in the movie PINK FLOYD THE WALL, and a soldier can be heard talking about Nigger in the film (I think he dies?). Kinda surprised that wasn't edited out in the rerelease.

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