…a deadly mixture.
I love movies, and I love history. Ergo: one would think I love historical movies.
Well, not all of them.
Sometimes, Hollywood gets it right, but rarely. Some parts of history just don’t play well on the big screen, so the directors, writers, and producers take liberties, and stretch a tad to make the story more interesting.
That’s ok, if, they say so UP front.
But, none ever do.
Let’s start with The Ten Commandments. Hate to ruin it for you, but Cecil B. got it wrong. According to the historical account of The BIBLE, Psalm 136:13-15 says “…To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever; And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever; But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever”
Many scholars will argue that Pharoah did not die, and that such an historical person would get a better mention in the Bible. Exodus doesn’t say implicitly that Pharoah died, but Psalms does…so, I’m goin’ with that.
Young Victoria. Ok, I love this movie, however, Prince Albert didn’t take a bullet for Queen Victoria. An insane man took two shots at her while she and Albert were riding in a carriage. The film shows Albert moving in front of Victoria and getting shot in the arm. Didn’t happen. The scriptwriter, Julian Fellowes has admitted that the injury has been added to the film for dramatic effect. James Oxford, the man who took the two shots said, “Oh, I know to the contrary; for when I fired the first pistol, Albert was about to jump from the carriage and put his foot out, but when he saw me present the second pistol, he immediately drew back.” The Times, 12 June 1840, page 6.
Sorry, they were in love, but Albert was no fool!
Gladiator. This is hard for me, because I L to the O to VE this movie! Emperor Commodus wasn’t the total douche he’s made out to be in the film. Violent and alcholic for sure, but he was a functional one at least. He ruled the empire for 10 years before dying in his bathub. He didn’t die in the arena, and he wasn’t the creepy “sister’s boy” they made him out to be. Oh yes, he didn’t kill his father either. Daddy died of chickenpox.
300. Yeah, they were all that ripped. NOT! When the battle of Thermopylae took place, the council of Sparta had an average age of 60, and none of them were in their 30s. Xerxes was a normal Persian, not a circus freak who was eight feet tall. And BTW, no one wore leather banana hammocks into battle, they wore breastplates and armor.
Braveheart. We’ll start with the kilts. They didn’t show UP for about 300 years after William Wallace. In the movie, Mel Gibson aka William Wallace, seduces Edward II’s Queen. Isabella of France, who would eventually become Edward II’s Queen, was about three at the time of the battle. Ewwwww! So the story line of Edward III being Wallace’s son…not possible, Edward III was born seven years after Wallace died. But, Isabella was only 14. Again, Ewwww!
Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Total crap. Kate Blanchett was 36 when the movie was made, Elizabeth I was 52 when the movie was ‘set’. Ivan the Terrible didn’t try to woo her to Russia as his queen, because Ivan was ALREADY DEAD!!! And that ridiculous scene where she’s riding the white stallion waving a sword…NO! She rode side-saddle and carried a baton. Add some white boots and pom-poms, and she’d have been a drum major…what the heck, most of them are queens anyway! She was spoiled, pampered, and vain, she wasn’t a warrior.
The Patriot. Not to pick on Mel, but again…mucho wrongo in this film. Francis Marion, “The Swamp Fox” is the basis for the story. A Revolutionary War hero, Marion was the scourge of the British and the hero of South Carolina…sort of. He was a slave holder, and not the progressive idealist Gibson portrayed. He didn’t lose two sons in the war. The main reason, he didn’t have any children at that time!!! He did eventually get married, to his first cousin, after the war. Like they say, “inbreeding is the new black”!
As to the part where someone reads the poster to Occam declaring that slaves will be freed if they fight. Well, A. The British did that, not George Washington, and B. when GW took command of the army, he banned the enlistment of “Negroes, both slave and free” because of the manpower shortage back on the plantation. Later on, because of the manpower shortage on the battle field, “free Negroes” were allowed to fight. Think about it, slaves fighting in a republican army intent on its own freedom from the enslaving motherland…hmmmm. and C. soldiers were recruited by the states, there was no federal army.
As to the battle of Guilford, where Mel’s all heroic and such…the Continental army got their asses handed to them by the Redcoats.
And there are more, Louis XVI wasn’t afraid of sex as portrayed in Marie Antionette, he couldn’t have sex, he has phimosis – look it UP, or ask Mackenzie, she’s a doctor. And, there’s no proof that Saleri killed Mozart as indicated in Amadeus. Wolfie was a booze hound, and probably drank himself to death.
And then, there was Coco and Igor, which was a total fabrication…but I loved it anyway!
So, the next time you go, check the facts, hit the net, or send me an email.
I’m sure I’m steamed UP about it already!