Portrayal of History in Film

Discuss historical events and information concerning any culture, time, or location in our world (or even the frontier beyond).

Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby little_lu_bu22 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:33 am

anybody seen the movie shenendai or something. it was made in like the 60s its got gregory peck. not really a war movie but its set during the civil war about a father whose son is mistaken for a soldier and sent to a prison camp and the dad and his sons go out looking for him. i thought it was a good movie.

and the lost battalion and glory are two of my favorite movies ever.

another good one was all quiet on the western front and enemy at the gates.
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Shen Ai » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:34 pm

One of the most unbiased films based on history was probably Letters from Iwo Jima. It was excellent, moving and a true treat to watch.
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:52 pm

Some concern/mockery in the press that Sony is handing out study guides to American schools on Shakespeare. Or rather how, like in Sony new film Anonymous, it couldn't possibly have been Shakespeare who wrote that stuff and it was probably the Earl of Oxford.

It's one thing to make a film that is blatantly not factual. As long as the film is fun. On the other hand, spreading conspiracy theories to schools?
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Shen Ai » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:45 am

little_lu_bu22 wrote:anybody seen the movie shenendai or something. it was made in like the 60s its got gregory peck. not really a war movie but its set during the civil war about a father whose son is mistaken for a soldier and sent to a prison camp and the dad and his sons go out looking for him. i thought it was a good movie.

and the lost battalion and glory are two of my favorite movies ever.

another good one was all quiet on the western front and enemy at the gates.


Keys to the Kingdom with old Mr. Peck was good.
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:18 pm

Struck me how odd that one of Shakespeare's lesser known history plays: Richard II (though people remember certain lines) has also had a similar impact to Richard III in shaping how the country views the events and the King of the time, we see the Shakespeare man and not the history man.

Excellent play, just surprised at how deep the cultural impact is.
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Shen Ai » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:11 pm

I've always meant to watch the Richard III movie, the 1955 version I think. I've never had the chance though.
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:43 am

I liked this article, by the historian who reviews film's historical accuracy (tends to be amusing) for the guardian, about if Oscar contenders need to be accurate.
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby musashika » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:37 pm

Morg - and some others - Blackhawk Down was far from a realistic portrayal of events. The beleaguered US forces were not heroically rescued by US troops. They were rescued by Malaysian troops.

The US film showing their capture of a German U-boat in mid Atlantic at night and an ENIGMA coding machine on board is another lie. It was Royal Navy sailors who accomplished that amazing feat.

The US routinely steals others' glory and makes it theirs. As an ex British soldier who has seen action, glory-stealers make me sick. Men, whatever their nationality, should be recognised for their actions - not parasitically abused and stripped by money making screenwriters who have never served but only look after their desire for wealth and fame. Hollywood is about entertainment, but I think they should not mix history and fiction. Human beings have a thing called imagination and that should be the sole source of our entertainment - not mixing our fact with their glory-stealing fiction.

Credibility is measure by the risks one is willing to take and they take no risks at all and those who took the risks should not have their credibility stolen by money men who gave nothing of themselves in service but only seek personal wealth and fame.
If any battle action I was in were to be hijacked in this way I would sue their God damned pants off. Phony ex soldiers pretending to be real ex soldiers are being confronted more and more by real ex soldiers who are sick and insulted by the glory-stealers. Happily, you tubes may be viewed to watch their embarrassment and discomfiture when confronted by the realMc Coy. :(
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:52 pm

I guess this depends how far you go. Take my favourite author, Bernard Cornwall, he regularly takes the achievements of historical figures and attributes them to his fictional characters. Personally I have no issue with that, especially as he always passes the credit back in his historical notes.

Is that different to those films? I guess a few differences that come to my mind are that the people affected are long dead, it's not a nation taking credit for something a different one did and the lack of a historical note rectifying the story.
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Re: Portrayal of History in Film

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:55 pm

I keep meaning to say, welcome to the forum musashika :)

Don't forget the Polish role in Enigma, they seem to always get sidelined in war films.

Hollywood's treatment of history can be annoying but Hollywood is following an ancient tradition that goes on today across the world. Other countries film studio's also play loose with history, novels do, plays do. Shakespeare history plays are not 100% accurate by any means. A lot of people come to this forum for three kingdoms, an era they got introduced to by either historically inaccurate games or the novel which swaps kills, invents characters, changes people's personalities. Hollywood just gets called on it more then others.

Why do entertainers do it? Narrative purposes sometimes, sometimes making a story cohesive, knowing what their audience want, blind patriotism, a certain angle they are going for, issues of their own time.

Is it wrong? Unless heading into libel, not legally. Morally? Probably but it is equally wrong to screw over someone who has been dead thousands of years as it is those living and people are very inconsistent at what they object to. I enjoy films and shows based on ye olden history and I wouldn't want to lose that, there will be moments where I think it goes too far or think the changes were bad narratively. So despite being wrong to play with someone's life story, I will watch and enjoy.
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