I discovered an article today in TIME magazine in which they made a list of 10 historically misleading movies. As was to be expected quite a few of the movies are war movies. The whole article was spurred by the movie The King’s Speech which is also among the 10.
I will only concentrate on the war movies they name and give a brief summary why they chose to include them.
The Patriot (2000)
They critizied that The Patriot portrays British soldiers as evil. Another point was the fact that Benjamin Martin whose character was a mix of different real charcters, was shown as a family man while Swamp Fox who was one of the real characters was no family man and actively persecuted Cherokee Indians. Further more the movie showed a total ignorance of slavery and whitewashing of history. They consider it to be pure American propaganda.
Robin Hood (2010)
Robin Hood tried to transform myth into history. Although it was correct to transform Richard Lionheart into a bloodthirsty monarch, the accuracy ended there.
This movie has, according to the TIME Magazine, too many inaccuracies to be named. How about the kilts? Scotsmen in the 13th century didn’t wear belted plaid. Gibson’s Wallace is born poor, the real Wallace was a nobleman. And why is he wielding a Chinese weapon? Wallace never met Princess Isabella and certainly did not impregnate her. At the time the movie took place she was only 9 years old anyway.
Sparta was not a free city-state at all but on the contrary known for mistreatment and exploitation of its slaves. The Persians were not as debauched as they are shown and their monarch wasn’t a circus freak.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Pearl Harbor was mostly criticized for the rearranging of chronological events and its sappy simplistic nationalism.
Yeah well, not so surprising after all. At least I didn’t have the feeling any of the ones mentioned were very accurate or at least not in every element.
What strikes me is the title of the post and its explanation. They actually imply that people learn their history through the watching of movies.
For those of you who are curious about the other movies, here are the non-war movie ones: The Far Horizon, 10 000 BC, JFK, The King’s Speech, Shakespeare in Love.