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Historical Accuracy in Movies
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Posted 5/24/07
Well I’ve been studying a lot of things and have come to be surprised. Many misconceptions have formed in our modern society, specially here in America, because of the movies.

For example, and this is one I would never fall for, a lot of morons think that Leonidas was a movie character from 300. When in fact he was a real king who really died in Thermopylae. (Which means Hot Gates incase any of the movie fans are confused. Thermo=hot, Pylae=gates. It was given this name because the hot springs in its area.) Well, the movie actually has a lot of quotes and historical accuracies, though some obvious fabrications and entirely made up events…

(SPOILER ALERT)

Giant elephants, the political side of the story, the ephors being lepers, The Immortals being anything other than cloak clad queers, Xerxes general appearance, the man thongs, the rhino, the tree of dead people…The quisling being a hunch back Spartan, and countless other things. Of course it was still a great movie in my opinion, and based off a comic book not history so… (Then again it was also very accurate in it’s description of the phalanx formation; moreover, it had nearly every famous Spartan one liner ever recorder. “Then we shall fight in the shade” “Madness? THIS IS SPARTA” “There is plenty of water and earth down there” (He threw the messenger in a well, not an endless pit of death.) “That’s because Spartan women are the only ones who give birth to real men.” (This one was actually Laconic women, not Spartan, but Laconia=southern half of the Peloponnesus= the territory that Sparta controlled.) And countless others…

(END OF SPOILER)

However, there are a couple of things that I fell for too..

For example: Did you know that in the gladiatorial arena a thumbs down meant spare the gladiator? The idea that thumbs up meant live, down death, was created by Hollywood. In truth the sign of death was a close fist thrust forward, or a thumb stabbed against the neck…

So what are some common misconceptions that you know of created by Hollywood and other movie industries?
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Posted 5/24/07
Ooh, where do I start?

I shan't bother with frequently-mauled films for having abnormally high numbers of historical inaccuracies and factual errors that gave birth to current misconceptions, such as Braveheart, Dance With the Wolves, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, Mississippi Burning, U-571, The Patriot, and Malcolm X.

Here's a link to an article that might interest you:

MTV generation's 'black holes of history' blamed on Hollywood

"HISTORY may be written by the victors but it is being adapted for the MTV generation by Hollywood and the media.

Widespread misconceptions, prejudice and outright ignorance about major events of the past six decades have been revealed in a major study of undergraduates in the UK, USA and Germany.

The Scottish academic who carried out the work says factually inaccurate movies and biased news reporting is skewing young people’s grasp of recent history.
"

For the rest of the news item: http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1341782003

Meanwhile I'll scurry off to write up a list of my own.
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Posted 5/24/07
Let's see...
Hildalgo was supposed to be somewhat inaccurate.

Luckily, many movies are based on biographies and stuff. Like Schindler's List and Raging Bull.
Posted 5/24/07
Fiction books have the same problem.

If things labelled 'non-fiction' can be inaccurate, then how far can you trust fiction? Even if you know that what you are viewing or reading is false, it still leaves some impression on you. I just avoid movies and fiction dealing with factual topics altogether. (I say 'factual' because it's not just history that gets rewritten, but also things like hobbies/sports/arts/technology. How many times do you hear technical mumbo-jumbo in 'futuristic' movies? Or something like professional ballet school as the setting... They all give you misconceptions.)
Posted 5/24/07
no...i go research something i believe to be wrong after the movie is over
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Posted 5/24/07
^ of course! Dr. Jones Jr. can tel you more about them.
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Posted 5/24/07
Oh Jack! Oh Rose! Oh Jack! Oh Rose! Oh... you know where I'm going with this one...

I was young so I believed that there were real people like that but then... I read books and got heartbrokened... not really but meh
Posted 5/24/07

SeraphAlford wrote:

Well I’ve been studying a lot of things and have come to be surprised. Many misconceptions have formed in our modern society, specially here in America, because of the movies.

For example, and this is one I would never fall for, a lot of morons think that Leonidas was a movie character from 300. When in fact he was a real king who really died in Thermopylae. (Which means Hot Gates incase any of the movie fans are confused. Thermo=hot, Pylae=gates. It was given this name because the hot springs in its area.) Well, the movie actually has a lot of quotes and historical accuracies, though some obvious fabrications and entirely made up events…

(SPOILER ALERT)

Giant elephants, the political side of the story, the ephors being lepers, The Immortals being anything other than cloak clad queers, Xerxes general appearance, the man thongs, the rhino, the tree of dead people…The quisling being a hunch back Spartan, and countless other things. Of course it was still a great movie in my opinion, and based off a comic book not history so… (Then again it was also very accurate in it’s description of the phalanx formation; moreover, it had nearly every famous Spartan one liner ever recorder. “Then we shall fight in the shade” “Madness? THIS IS SPARTA” “There is plenty of water and earth down there” (He threw the messenger in a well, not an endless pit of death.) “That’s because Spartan women are the only ones who give birth to real men.” (This one was actually Laconic women, not Spartan, but Laconia=southern half of the Peloponnesus= the territory that Sparta controlled.) And countless others…



dude i think Xerxes really did have elephants, ill check my Thermopylae book by Paul Cartledge. im pretty sure there was no mention of a rhino and there probably was no rhino, but the persians did control north africa so they could quite possibly have had elephants and rhinos. There really were the Immortals, led by Hydarnes. they were only as monsters by the greeks because they didnt like them(they really were just asian.)there was nothing wrong with the ephors,save their corruption but then again Mr. Cartledge points out the greeks were notorious for taking bribes. and there were no man thongs, the greeks were always decked out in a breastplate and perhaps a kilt-like thing. Ephialtes wasnt a hunchback that was a metaphor for his internal twisted and corrupted moral, he really was an ordinary spartan who was traitorous. the word ephialti in greek is now the actual word in greek for traitor. as for what the lakonic woman said, paul points out that was the general idea in sparta so it could have been a spartan woman.thats why women were mostly equal in spartan society, a big difference from the rest of greece. all im saying is i agree with most of what you said but im just pointing out some of what ive read and i might be wrong ill have to check again.
Posted 5/24/07
i don't use movies as a historical reference so no.
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Posted 5/24/07

skygod333 wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:

Well I’ve been studying a lot of things and have come to be surprised. Many misconceptions have formed in our modern society, specially here in America, because of the movies.

For example, and this is one I would never fall for, a lot of morons think that Leonidas was a movie character from 300. When in fact he was a real king who really died in Thermopylae. (Which means Hot Gates incase any of the movie fans are confused. Thermo=hot, Pylae=gates. It was given this name because the hot springs in its area.) Well, the movie actually has a lot of quotes and historical accuracies, though some obvious fabrications and entirely made up events…

(SPOILER ALERT)

Giant elephants, the political side of the story, the ephors being lepers, The Immortals being anything other than cloak clad queers, Xerxes general appearance, the man thongs, the rhino, the tree of dead people…The quisling being a hunch back Spartan, and countless other things. Of course it was still a great movie in my opinion, and based off a comic book not history so… (Then again it was also very accurate in it’s description of the phalanx formation; moreover, it had nearly every famous Spartan one liner ever recorder. “Then we shall fight in the shade” “Madness? THIS IS SPARTA” “There is plenty of water and earth down there” (He threw the messenger in a well, not an endless pit of death.) “That’s because Spartan women are the only ones who give birth to real men.” (This one was actually Laconic women, not Spartan, but Laconia=southern half of the Peloponnesus= the territory that Sparta controlled.) And countless others…



dude i think Xerxes really did have elephants, ill check my Thermopylae book by Paul Cartledge. im pretty sure there was no mention of a rhino and there probably was no rhino, but the persians did control north africa so they could quite possibly have had elephants and rhinos. There really were the Immortals, led by Hydarnes. they were only as monsters by the greeks because they didnt like them(they really were just asian.)there was nothing wrong with the ephors,save their corruption but then again Mr. Cartledge points out the greeks were notorious for taking bribes. and there were no man thongs, the greeks were always decked out in a breastplate and perhaps a kilt-like thing. Ephialtes wasnt a hunchback that was a metaphor for his internal twisted and corrupted moral, he really was an ordinary spartan who was traitorous. the word ephialti in greek is now the actual word in greek for traitor. as for what the lakonic woman said, paul points out that was the general idea in sparta so it could have been a spartan woman.thats why women were mostly equal in spartan society, a big difference from the rest of greece. all im saying is i agree with most of what you said but im just pointing out some of what ive read and i might be wrong ill have to check again.


First off… Nice Hoplite. Second, I’m sure he did. He was a Persian ruler, they loved Elephants. But in the movie he pulled out the friking monsters from LOTR. Reached right down into Middle Earth and plucked their 5000,0000 feet rears up. I’ve ridden an Elephant, and they ain’t a tenth of a tenth that size…

The Spartans actually wore red cloaks into battle. The armored hoplites wore bronze breastplates that flared out into skirts, and had bronze shin straps. Their shield was not called the hoplon (as people often mistake. Hoplon actually means ‘stuff‘. Hoplite comes from when Hoplites were first founded. They were required to supply their own equipment and thus their were clad in motley attires. So their gear was in fact stuff.) but it was a great round and wooden shield with a plate of bronze across it. They armed themselves with thrusting spears and slashing swords.

Ephialtes’ character doesn’t need a metaphor. His name -is- the metaphor. Look it up.

As far as the Greeks calling them monsters, I believe you are mistaken. The Greeks started using their word for Immortals to describe The Immortals. Which is why we called them immortal. However, the only reason they did this was because the immortals kept a constant number. Whenever one would die another would take his place. It gave the illusion that they would never die….

As far as Spartan women being equal, that’s something I like to think. But, it’s false. Spartan women were treated superior to their Greek sisters, and above men from other places, but bellow Spartan men. (Except the tremblers. And helots, but they were not in any way considered Spartiate or even Spartan for that matter. Note a Spartiate is an honorable Spartan. A man who dies in battle, or a woman who dies while giving birth to children for example.)

The Spartan women were renowned for their beauty and strength. They were the only Greek females who had an education funded by the polis. None the less, men were above them. Herodotus said that women ran Sparta, but he was exaggerating. He often does this. In fact, he’s been known to bluntly lie. “Gold digging ants” “The king carried home from the center of the sea by dolphins,” and countless other tall tales. Still, his history is the best look we have into ancient Greece…

Forgive my brief spout of off showing, but I’m a Sparta buff!

catex wrote:

Ooh, where do I start?

I shan't bother with frequently-mauled films for having abnormally high numbers of historical inaccuracies and factual errors that gave birth to current misconceptions, such as Braveheart, Dance With the Wolves, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, Mississippi Burning, U-571, The Patriot, and Malcolm X.

Here's a link to an article that might interest you:

MTV generation's 'black holes of history' blamed on Hollywood

"HISTORY may be written by the victors but it is being adapted for the MTV generation by Hollywood and the media.

Widespread misconceptions, prejudice and outright ignorance about major events of the past six decades have been revealed in a major study of undergraduates in the UK, USA and Germany.

The Scottish academic who carried out the work says factually inaccurate movies and biased news reporting is skewing young people’s grasp of recent history.
"

For the rest of the news item: http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1341782003

Meanwhile I'll scurry off to write up a list of my own.


Thanks for the link!

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Posted 5/24/07
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Posted 5/24/07
...OK ok ok back on 300...did anybody else thing Xerxes looked like RuPaul???Hmmm?

i sure the hell did.

it was like too wong foo : 300 style
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33 / F / 名古屋市...そろそろ
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Posted 5/24/07
i have a history and anthropology degree... so i notice a lot of things in historical movies that bother me all the time...
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Posted 5/24/07
I thought the southpark renovation of 300 was fucked up especially the female really deep voice Xerxes....

Anyway, most inacurate thing I really saw in 300 was possibly that NOBODY got hit in the head with a fucking arrow....I was disappointed, that was the movies number 1 flaw for me
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Posted 7/31/09
Well here's one.

Anatasia by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Don't get me wrong. I still liked the movie
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