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Thread: 10 biographically inaccurate movies

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default 10 biographically inaccurate movies

    Biographical Inaccuracies - Photo Gallery on Yahoo! Movies

    "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story," has long been the mantra of filmmakers when crafting a biopic. And who could blame them? The average life is messy, has too many characters, and usually fails to have a Hollywood ending. So screenwriters massage the details -- dropping a first wife here, losing an unflattering habit there -- to make their character appealing enough for the ticket-paying masses. But it's a slippery slope -- a fudged fact can quickly slide into outright fiction. In honor of W. coming out this weekend, check out some of cinema's more factually-challenged biopics.



    A BEAUTIFUL MIND

    This movie, based on a book by Sylvia Nasar, glossed over some of the less savory moments of Nash's life: he fathered a son out of wedlock, was arrested in a Santa Monica men's room on "moral charges," and made numerous un-P.C. remarks over the years about various minority groups. More flagrantly, the hallucinations Nash suffered in real life were entirely auditory, not visual. And Nash's big, weepy Nobel Prize acceptance speech at the end? He never gave one.




    RAY


    According to the Oscar-winning movie "Ray," Ray Charles was traumatized by a childhood tragedy and the resulting guilt pushed him into drug addiction. The movie ends with Ray kicking the habit and living happily ever after with his wife Della. While he did give up heroin, he continued to consume prodigious amounts of gin and marijuana until just before his death. And Ray and Della were divorced in 1976. Plus, he was never banned from playing in Georgia as the film claims.



    HOUDINI

    To be fair, figuring out what was fact and what was fiction in Houdini's actual biography wasn't always easy. Even though he was born in Hungary, Houdini claimed in interviews to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin. Of course, this film -- starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh -- didn't help matters much. The film states that his family name was Schwartz when in fact it was Weisz. The relationship between his Jewish mother and non-Jewish wife was portrayed as harmonious, when in real life it was definitely not. And in the movie, his death was caused by failing to escape from a Chinese Water Torture Cell following an injury with a prop sword. In reality, Houdini died of a burst appendix after being punched in the stomach.


    THE HURRICANE

    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was an African-American boxer who was jailed for murder and eventually released after a couple appeals. That's about all that's factually true about this film. Carter didn't leave the military with service ribbons, but instead was kicked out after getting court-martialed. He didn't lose the boxing match with Joey Giardello because of bigoted judges; he lost it because Giardello cleaned his clock. And Della Pesca, the racist detective with a serious grudge against Carter, was completely and utterly made-up.

    AMADEUS

    The play and then movie about Salieri and Mozart has been so popular that it's more or less eclipsed the real history. In fact, their relationship was largely marked by mutual respect and a general lack of murderous intent. They wrote a cantata together, and Salieri even tutored Mozart's son Franz Xaver Wolfgang in music.


    MONGOL

    Though by no means the most inaccurate Genghis Khan movie out there -- John Wayne's unbelievably bad The Conqueror has that distinction -- Sergei Bodrov's "Mongol" does have its fair share of problems. The biggest one being that Khan is seen to be a dedicated and devoted husband to his wife Borte. And though his first wife was indeed an important figure in his life, he was hardly a paragon of monogamous virtue: Roughly 8% of all men in Asia are descendants from Khan.

    YOUNG MR. LINCOLN

    Abraham Lincoln is Mr. America, the savior of the Union. And this movie doesn't even try to depict him realistically, treating him instead as pretty much the second coming. The court case that's at the center of the story is a hodge-podge of real cases Lincoln tried and pure fiction. But the most striking thing in this movie about the Great Emancipator is that slavery, that massive elephant in the room for early American history, is never even mentioned.

    THE DOORS

    While most Hollywood biopics paper over some of their leads' less attractive qualities, "The Doors" has been accused of sensationalizing Jim Morrison's many faults. Then again, this is a movie directed by Oliver Stone who is famous for stretching the truth to the snapping point for a good story. All of the surviving band members criticized Stone for turning Morrison into a boorish, perpetually drunk, stark-raving loony jerk. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek called the movie "Too sensationalistic. Too jivey."

    NIGHT AND DAY

    Cole Porter wrote some of the snappiest tunes of the 20th century. In this film adaptation of his life, Cary Grant portrays him as a veteran of the French army and as a suave ladies' man. Though Porter had a closet full of military outfits, he never fought in anyone's army. And while Porter was indisputably suave, the ladies were not his primary interest. The 2004 movie De-Lovely was a little more truthful about Porter's life and marriage to Linda Lee Thomas, but she was really 8 years older than him, not significantly younger like in that film.

    YOUNG EINSTEIN

    Though it's hard to begrudge a movie directed by anyone named Yahoo Serious, historians have been fairly clear that Albert Einstein wasn't born in Tasmania, didn't discover rock music, and didn't split the "Tasmanian beer atom" -- whatever that is -- with a chisel.

    We could have added dozens of movies to this list like
    Alexander, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Song of Norway, Walk the Line, Cleopatra, Factory Girl and many, many others were runners-up. What do you think should be on the list?

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Well, Warren made a few: Bonnie & Clyde, Bugsy, Reds. They all took some creative liberties with the truth.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    A BEAUTIFUL MIND

    This movie, based on a book by Sylvia Nasar, glossed over some of the less savory moments of Nash's life: he fathered a son out of wedlock, was arrested in a Santa Monica men's room on "moral charges," and made numerous un-P.C. remarks over the years about various minority groups. More flagrantly, the hallucinations Nash suffered in real life were entirely auditory, not visual. And Nash's big, weepy Nobel Prize acceptance speech at the end? He never gave one.
    THANK YOU. I fucking HATE This movie.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Only 10? Are you kidding me? GIve me half an hour to look some details up....

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    They should've had Cleopatra on that list. But at least they mentioned it.

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    They made a biopic of Jean Harlow entitled simply 'Harlow" which was just about as wrong as it could be.
    ----------------------------
    There will be times you might leap before you look
    There'll be times you'll like the cover and that's precisely why you'll love the book
    Do it anyway

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    HWBL, I love Bonnie and Clyde! A movie that good is allowed to take liberties.
    Fabulous!

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkIsTheWord View Post
    HWBL, I love Bonnie and Clyde! A movie that good is allowed to take liberties.
    Hehe, yeah it's nice entertainment. But I just got the 40th anniversary DVD and on it is a documentary on the real Bonnie & Clyde and boy, they took A LOT of liberties. But then, director Arthur Penn said the movie is more about the myth of Bonnie & Clyde (the one that the public concocted itself from all the newspaper stories and tales that made it from town to town, than from their actual bios).

    How about Braveheart?
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Political beliefs aside, how biographically correct is W?

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    Isn't this where artistic license comes into play?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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