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The Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies
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Impediment
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The Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

Here's a fun subject.

Click here for the full article.

10) 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.

9) 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 gladiatorial arena, he was murdered in his bathtub.

8) 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.

7) 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.

6) Apocalypto

This one movie has given entire Anthropology departments migraines. 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 their infected livestock.

5) 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 climactic scene where Sayuri wows Gion patrons with her dancing prowess, her routine - which involves some platform shoes, fake snow, and a strobe light - seems more like a Studio 54 drag show than anything in pre-war Kyoto.

4) 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.

3) 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.

2) 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 thrilling Battle of Guilford Court House where he vanquishes his British nemesis? In reality, the Americans lost that one.

1) 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.

Sound pretty accurate to me. Any comments?


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Old Post Aug 2nd, 2008 11:13 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Impediment
Here's a fun subject.

Click here for the full article.

10) 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.

9) 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 gladiatorial arena, he was murdered in his bathtub.

8) 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.

7) 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.

6) Apocalypto

This one movie has given entire Anthropology departments migraines. 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 their infected livestock.

5) 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 climactic scene where Sayuri wows Gion patrons with her dancing prowess, her routine - which involves some platform shoes, fake snow, and a strobe light - seems more like a Studio 54 drag show than anything in pre-war Kyoto.

4) 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.

3) 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.

2) 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 thrilling Battle of Guilford Court House where he vanquishes his British nemesis? In reality, the Americans lost that one.

1) 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.

Sound pretty accurate to me. Any comments?


300 was based on miller's adaptation, not the actual history, so...

others seem right on the money, though...

screw accuracy, though, i want to be entertained. if i wanted facts, i'd watch the discovery channel...

Last edited by -Pr- on Aug 2nd, 2008 at 11:19 PM

Old Post Aug 2nd, 2008 11:16 PM
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Mr. Rhythmic
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Man, that list is all wrong.


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Old Post Aug 2nd, 2008 11:37 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Raoul
screw accuracy, though, i want to be entertained. if i wanted facts, i'd watch the discovery channel...


These days the Discovery channel is more like a Roland Emmerich movie than an actual ventue for watching anything akin to fact.

Old Post Aug 2nd, 2008 11:54 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Devil King
These days the Discovery channel is more like a Roland Emmerich movie than an actual ventue for watching anything akin to fact.


i haven't watched discovery in about three years... good times, they were... sad

Old Post Aug 3rd, 2008 12:47 AM
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You might enjoy this site:

http://www.cracked.com/


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cracked it awesome.


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Re: The Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Impediment

....

1) 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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Old Post Aug 3rd, 2008 02:52 AM
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MildPossession
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When I see how much time people put into going on about FICTIONAL movies like this, I just think Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Enjoy the movie.


If it's a non fiction film and all the research is wrong, then that's a different matter.

stick out tongue

Old Post Aug 3rd, 2008 04:11 PM
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jinXed by JaNx
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Re: The Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Impediment


8) 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.



But a lack of the greek navy and a few thousand additional warriors gets a pass?


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Re: Re: The Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

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Originally posted by ragesRemorse
But a lack of the greek navy and a few thousand additional warriors gets a pass?


Not to mention that there was anything historically inaccurate about a huge Ogre and a few hundred persian-goblin-ninjas... oh yeah, and don't forget about the huge mutated rabid Rhinos. confused


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Re: Re: Re: The Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

i'll never understand why people keep complaining about the innaccuracies of 300...the whole point of the portrayal of the persians is a visual metaphor...the story is from the spartan viewpoint...the spartans viewed the persian forces as invading monsters....hence the film portrayed them physically as monsters....

nobody complains about the more subtle ways it is done...for example the giant red eyed wolf...when in reality it was probably just a normal wolf


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10,000 B.C. should be number one.


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Old Post Aug 3rd, 2008 11:22 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
i'll never understand why people keep complaining about the innaccuracies of 300...the whole point of the portrayal of the persians is a visual metaphor...the story is from the spartan viewpoint...the spartans viewed the persian forces as invading monsters....hence the film portrayed them physically as monsters....

nobody complains about the more subtle ways it is done...for example the giant red eyed wolf...when in reality it was probably just a normal wolf


Well anybody who went to go see 300 and expected to see even a remotely historically accurate movie is an idiot in the first place.


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Old Post Aug 3rd, 2008 11:48 PM
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Mr. Rhythmic
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Quiero Mota
10,000 B.C. should be number one.


I'm pretty sure "1 Million Years BC" was worse.


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Old Post Aug 4th, 2008 01:36 AM
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Bardock42
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I don't really think 10 000 BC or 2001 A Space Odyssey should be on that list at all. Nor 300 really.


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Terminator should be on that list then skynet has'nt taken control of the planet stick out tongue stick out tongue

Old Post Aug 4th, 2008 01:54 PM
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Last edited by Impediment on Apr 24th, 2011 at 03:40 PM

Old Post Aug 4th, 2008 04:47 PM
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Quiero Mota

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1915's The Birth of a Nation should be somewhere in the top five.


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Old Post Aug 4th, 2008 07:20 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Blinky
Not to mention that there was anything historically inaccurate about a huge Ogre and a few hundred persian-goblin-ninjas... oh yeah, and don't forget about the huge mutated rabid Rhinos. confused


You serious? confused


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