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Thread: 10 most historically inaccurate movies

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default 10 most historically inaccurate movies

    Yahoo! Movies Presents: The 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

    We all accept that movies stretch the truth in the interest of building drama. The following ten flicks, however, treat the truth like it was Silly Putty -- pulling and twisting it until it's unrecognizable.
    10,000 B.C.
    Director Roland Emmerich is usually a stickler for realism (see: sending a computer virus via Macintosh to aliens in Independence Day). So we hate to inform him that woolly mammoths were not, in fact, used to build pyramids. Heck, woolly mammoths weren't even found in the desert. They wouldn't need to be woolly if that were the case. And there weren't any pyramids in Egypt until 2,500 B.C or so.
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    Gladiator
    Emperor Commodus was not the sniveling sister-obsessed creep portrayed in the movie. A violent alcoholic, sure, but not so whiny. He ruled ably for over a decade rather than ineptly for a couple months. He also didn't kill his father, Marcus Aurelius, who actually died of chickenpox. And instead of being killed in the gladatorial arena, he was murdered in his bathtub.
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    300
    Though this paean to ancient moral codes and modern physical training is based on the real Battle of Thermopylae, the film takes many stylistic liberties. The most obvious one being Persian king Xerxes was not an 8-foot-tall Cirque du Soleil reject. The Spartan council was made up of men over the age of 60, with no one as young as Theron (played by 37-year-old Dominic West). And the warriors of Sparta went into battle wearing bronze armor, not just leather Speedos.
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    The Last Samurai
    The Japanese in the late 19th century did hire foreign advisers to modernize their army, but they were mostly French, not American. Ken Watanabe's character was based on the real Saigo Takamori who committed ritual suicide, or "seppuku," in defeat rather than in a volley of Gatling gun fire. Also, it's doubtful that a 40-something alcoholic Civil War vet, even one with great hair, would master the chopsticks much less the samurai sword.
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    Apocalypto
    This one movie has given entire Anthropology departments migranes. Sure the Maya did have the odd human sacrifice but not to Kulkulkan, the Sun God, and only high-ranking captives taken in battle were killed. The conquistadors arriving at the end of the film made for unlikely saviors: an estimated 90% of indigenous American population was killed by smallpox from the infected Spanish pigs.
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    Memoirs of a Geisha
    The geisha coming-of-age, called "mizuage," was really more of a makeover, where she changed her hairstyle and clothes. It didn't involve her getting... intimate with a client. In the climatic scene where Sayuri wows Gion patrons with her dancing prowess, her routine - which involves some platforms shoes, fake snow, and a strobe light - seems more like a Studio 54 drag show that anything in pre-war Kyoto.
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    Braveheart
    Let's forget the fact that kilts weren't worn in Scotland until about 300 years after William Wallace's day and just do some simple math. According to the movie, Wallace's blue-eyed charm at the Battle of Falkirk was so overpowering, he seduced King Edward II's wife, Isabella of France, and the result of their affair was Edward III. But according to the history books, Isabella was three years old at the time of Falkirk, and Edward III was born seven years after Wallace died.
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    Elizabeth: The Golden Age
    In 1585, when the movie takes place, Queen Elizabeth was 52 years old - Cate Blanchett was 36 when she shot the film - and was not being courted by suitors like Ivan the Terrible (who was dead by then). And though the movie has her rallying the troops at Tilbury astride a white steed in full armor with a sword, in fact she rode side saddle, carrying a baton. She was more of a regal majorette than Joan of Arc.
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    The Patriot
    Revolutionary War figure Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion was the basis for Mel Gibson's character, but he wasn't the forward-thinking family man they show in the flick. He was a slave owner who didn't get married (to his cousin) until after the war was over. Historians also say that he actively persecuted and murdered native Cherokees. Plus, the climatic Battle of Guilford Court House where he vanquishes his British nemesis? In reality, the Americans lost that one.
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    <LI class=last> 2001: A Space Odyssey
    According to this film, in year 2001 we would have had manned voyages to Jupiter, a battle of wits with a sentient computer, and a quantum leap in human evolution. Instead we got the Mir Space Station falling from the sky, Windows XP, and Freddy Got Fingered. Apparently the lesson here is that sometimes it's better when the movies get the facts all wrong.
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  2. #2
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    Another Movie should have been added to this list.

    The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
    After watching a documentary with survivors telling their stories about the Burma Death Railway and bridge building I can understand how they hated this movie. So many thousands men, women and children died at the hands of the Japanese during the building of these structures. Just another Hollywood Epic Movie with alot of untruths to it.

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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    I don't think you can count 2001. It was fiction, not based on fact considering 2001 hadn't occurred yet.
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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    ^but for all intents and purposes, it WAS historically innacurate, none of those things DID happen in 2001.
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Elite Member Ravenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louiswinthorpe111 View Post
    I don't think you can count 2001. It was fiction, not based on fact considering 2001 hadn't occurred yet.
    I agree, it was silly to include that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie Normos View Post
    ^but for all intents and purposes, it WAS historically innacurate, none of those things DID happen in 2001.
    It couldn't have become historically inaccurate until 2002 At the time it was made, it was a projection of the future, not a reflection of anything historical.

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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    ^touche.
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i don't know why there was so much bitching about the historical inaccuracy of '300' - it's the movie version of a graphic novel, it's not supposed to be a historical movie.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    But the graphic novel is based off a story by Herodotus. Depending on what you read Herodotus may or may not have written accurate accounts of the events in "The Histories".

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    ^^ OT but is that Sean the sheep.. i love Sean )
    Alicia Silverstone: "I think that the film Clueless was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness."

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    I think most movies about true events are inaccurate.
    Otherwise they'd be documentaries (well, even some
    documentaries are historically inaccurate )

    I know Warren did at least 2 movies about true people
    that were historically flawed: Bonnie & Clyde and Bugsy.

    Heck, even movie adaptions from books of fiction are
    inaccurate and do not translate 1-1 from their origin....
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth View Post
    ^^ OT but is that Sean the sheep.. i love Sean )
    Yeah, it's Shaun the Sheep! I used to watch the show on YouTube, but I think most of the eps. got pulled!

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Stuff like this bothers me a little. I really like history, and while I understand taking a little license here & there, I would like things to be as accurate as possible.
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    ^ITA. There's nothing wrong with keeping it historically accurate. They can keep it real while still adding suspense.
    Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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    300 is based on a legend from the viewpoint that this is how the it would be told to children, etc around the campfire. This is why the Persians were monsters and everyone was physically perfect and no one pointed out the Spartans had slaves themselves and wore body armour. 300 was about the Legend of Thermoplyae, not the history.
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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolem View Post
    But the graphic novel is based off a story by Herodotus. Depending on what you read Herodotus may or may not have written accurate accounts of the events in "The Histories".
    Frank Miller has said multiple times that he wasn't going for historical accuracy when he wrote 300. He knew that the Spartans wore lots of armor when fighting in battle. He knows the history; he just wanted to tell a different story.

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