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The "Torment a Historian" movie playlist thread

Orius

Adventurer
Just to get some life in here, let's post a list of movies that are supposed to be historical, but get so much wrong a historian would have a stroke. No fantasy or anything set in the real world that requires A Wizard Did It, these should all be movies that are supposed to take place sometime in the past of the real world. Stick with inaccuracy, out-of-place political correctness, and just plain anachronism.

We'll start off with 10,000 B.C. Let's see, Ice Age animals alongside pyramids. Yup, our historian should be feeling some high blood pressure right about now. :p

Let's advance the timeline to The Scorpion King. It depicts no known period of antiquity, but what the hell, it's fun.

Since we're about tormenting the historian here, let's take a break from some fun romps and move onto a movie that takes itself more seriously -- King Arthur. Yup, bills itself as historically accurate, but the subject matter is nearly unrecognizable.

And finally, before I turn the thread over to the other regulars, A Knight's Tale must be mentioned. After all, what could our historian love more than a bunch of peasants singing "We Will Rock You" at a 14th century jousting match?
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'll see your 10,000 B.C and raise you to One Million Years B.C.
  1. Fur bikinis
  2. Normal- no- HOT humans
  3. Humans vs dinosaurs

And for having a black Viking, horned helms, modern haircuts, non-Native American Native Americans, I add The Norseman.
 
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Relique du Madde

First Post
300 assuming that there was no unreliable narrator.

I mean seriously, 50 foot tall elephants, 12 foot tall Persians, scores of mutants, and no mention of the 5000- 8000 of additional Greek troops that fought along side the Spartans?*




*Though it should be noted that 1000 to 1500 Greeks fought to their deaths at the last day of battle.
 
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Joker

First Post
300 assuming that there was no unreliable narrator.

I mean seriously, 50 foot tall elephants, 12 foot tall Persians, scores of mutants, and no mention of the 5000- 8000 of additional Greek troops that fought along side the Spartans?*




*Though it should be noted that 1000 to 1500 Greeks fought to their deaths at the last day of battle.

It should also be noted that the movie 300 like the graphic novel it was based on has never made any claim to being historically accurate unlike the aforementioned King Arthur.

300 is more like a very dramatized and stylized retelling of an old inspiring battle. Just like in a folktale there is some embellishment.
 
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Joker

First Post
Pearl Harbor made some stuff up.

Gladiator took some liberties with characters and events.

While maybe not the most insulting use of dramatic license, the movie U-571 depicting Americans capturing the Enigma machine instead of the British is pretty bad.

Then there's the Patriot, Braveheart, JFK, Marie Antoinette and Celine Dion music during the time of the Titanic? I don't think so.

Also, The Life of Brian is so rife with inaccuracies I have a feeling the makers weren't taking the subject matter seriously.

I don't particularly have a problem with filmmakers making stuff up to dramatize a story as long as it works. Unless the movie is directed towards children like Pocahontas. That sort of Mighty Whitey cinema makes me wanna push over an old lady.
 


Joker

First Post
There really is no such thing as a completely accurate movie set in a historical era since all directors change some things.

True, but there's a difference with taking a few liberties for dramatic purposes and showing the Macedonian cavalry riding velociraptors while trying to outflank the Persian Droid Army during the Battle of the Granicus and saying 'I swear to God, true story'.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
True, but there's a difference with taking a few liberties for dramatic purposes and showing the Macedonian cavalry riding velociraptors while trying to outflank the Persian Droid Army during the Battle of the Granicus and saying 'I swear to God, true story'.

"And our Star Destroyers will blot out the sun!!!"

"Then we shall fight in the shade...with our energy-lances!!!"
 


Joker

First Post
Just a thought- we're off to a good start: we should use this thread to make a sci/fant treatment of some historical account of a famous war and pitch the script to Uwe Boll.

I think you're on to something. His last film, Rampage, wasn't half bad.

Warner Brothers proudly presents:

300 Spartan Revenants

"During the First World War, Nazi archeologists uncover the resting place of the 300 Spartan soldiers and their King Alexander the Great who gave their lives in defense of their land. Through Nazi transmorgification technology they are brought back to life.
Madness? THIS. IS. DEUTSCHLAND!"

Your turn.
 



Orius

Adventurer
300 assuming that there was no unreliable narrator.

There's a good case for 300, though it's hard to tell how much of that movie is supposed to be actual events and how much of it is Dilios pulling stuff out of his ass.

There really is no such thing as a completely accurate movie set in a historical era since all directors change some things.

Yes, but this is less about small dramatical changes or minor inaccuracies or anachronisms that only someone with a degree in history is going to notice. This is about stuff blatant enough for Joe Blow who slept through all his history classes in school to notice.
 

Dragonwriter

First Post
Also, The Life of Brian is so rife with inaccuracies I have a feeling the makers weren't taking the subject matter seriously.

I hope this is sarcasm or humor... Because if you take Monty Python seriously, there is no hope for you. ;)

But I can't think of any movies to add to the list, though I will agree with most of the ones proposed/mentioned/mocked so far.

Except the Uwe Boll idea. I know we'd need a low-cost director, but we can do better... And yet, I am drawing a blank. :erm:
 

Morkul

First Post
one of my favorite films: Amadeus. Tom Hulce's portrayal of Mozart is considered inaccurate. makes me laugh though. also, Salieri knocking him off is purely speculative...

Michael Collins also strays from historical fact. whats-her-face being in it doesnt help either...
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
... let's take a break from some fun romps and move onto a movie that takes itself more seriously -- King Arthur. Yup, bills itself as historically accurate, but the subject matter is nearly unrecognizable.

Yes, well, given the irony of claiming historical accuracy when the titular character did not exist in history, it seems to me that any disappointment is purely the viewer's fault.
 

Relique du Madde

First Post
Yes, well, given the irony of claiming historical accuracy when the titular character did not exist in history, it seems to me that any disappointment is purely the viewer's fault.

Technically speaking some historians think that King Arthur was based on one if not several people who lived up until the 6th century.. However, the Holy Grail was entirely fictionalized and meant to represent the conversion of the pagan lands to Christianity.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Technically speaking some historians think that King Arthur was based on one if not several people who lived up until the 6th century..

Depends on which version you read - he may also include some folks after the 6th century as well. When the guy may be built out of a dozen others across half a millennium or more, you can't get historical accuracy in one presentation.

However, the Holy Grail was entirely fictionalized and meant to represent the conversion of the pagan lands to Christianity.

The grail isn't so simple - like Arthur himself, it is an amalgam of legends, with some new material added. It has roots back into pre-Christian Celtic mythology.
 



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