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 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 03:15 am
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Rebel Yell
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There were some postings in another thread about historical accuracy of films and tv, so I thought it might be fun for us to post our favorite "Hollywood History Flubs". I'll start...

"They Died With Their Boots On"....So many notable gems, but these are my two favorite scenes. The first is the depiction of Custer fighting Stuart at Hanover on 03 July when he actually fighting at Gettysburg that day. Hanover was several days earlier as I recall. The next is the totally inaccurate (but still thrilling) Last Stand sequence. The best scene is Custer (dashingly played by Errol Flynn) as the the last man standing, sabre in hand. I do believe that the 7th Cavalry did not carry sabres that day.

Anyone care to join in??? :D

 

 



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 05:58 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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In my opinion, "Gettysburg had a flub.....Longstreet's beard looked like a dead cat was glued to Tom Berringer's chin!



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 06:06 pm
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Rebel Yell
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Good catch, Albert...however I thought that Jeb Stuart's beard in "Gods and Generals" was even worse. :shock: Thanks for responding...



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 07:06 pm
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javal1
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Interestingly enough, just received a review copy of Gary Gallagher's new book "Causes Won, Lost & Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War". Going to try to crack it open tonight.



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 09:06 pm
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susansweet
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I thought Jeb Stuart's beard looked like one of those shop push broom .  It drove me crazy to look at . 

the white panel truck zooming though the shot cracked me up.

If you want to play what's wrong in a movie watch Santa Fe trail and keep count. 

I'll give you the first one .  Custer as a classmate of Stuart!!!!. 

Susan



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 10:45 pm
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Kernow-Ox
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Hollywood's historical blunders? Well, there's the whole of 'U571' for starters.

As for 'Gettysburg', when I'm not laughing at the beards (as if I can talk) I find Martin Sheen's portrayal of Bobby Lee very unconvincing. The glazed look in his eyes seems to suggest part Father Christmas, part stoner, and part Old Testament prophet.



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 01:35 am
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Rebel Yell
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Santa Fe Trail...now that did have some goodies...like Custer marrying Jefferson Davis' daughter...as well as being at Harpers Ferry during John Brown's Raid...But at least they got the part right about Stuart delivering Lee's surrender demand.



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 02:24 am
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susansweet
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Did you notice how big the building was inside at Harper's Ferry. It was  about three times as large inside as it was outside.   Also the trees and landscape were soooo back lot southern California.  Not like the land at Harper's Ferry at all.  My friend and I were cracking up at the landscape.  We have seen it in many westerns filmed in the same spots. 

Susan

 

P.S. The daughter that Custer marries in the movie didn't even exist .  A made up daughter. 



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 02:56 am
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ole
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An exception to Rebel Yell's post: Jeb Stuart's beard in "Gods and Generals" was not so egregious as his beard in "Gettysburg." It was still silly on the twerp that wore it, but it did look like a prop man found a reasonably fresh dead cat to contribute it.

Most of what I remember about Gettysburg was the silly little hat perched atop Martin Sheen's head. And Jeff Daniels' speech. And ....... Nevermind. The recollections are too painful. But I still watch it over and over and over again. Maybe it's the background music? Maybe it's our "rats"?

ole



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 03:00 am
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ole
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By the way, were y'all aware that the burning scenery in "GWTW" was the gate from "King Kong"?

ole



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 04:19 am
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kj3553
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By the way, were y'all aware that the burning scenery in "GWTW" was the gate from "King Kong"?

ole

And here I thought I was the only person who knew that. )(90



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 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 03:29 pm
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connyankee
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I think we'd all be better off by commenting on those films which we think are the most historically accurate.  It would certainly shorten the list.  I really miss shows like the History Channel's "Movies In Time," where some of the fiction vs fact was discussed along with viewing the movie.  My favorite in this regard was Zulu (1964) and, maybe even better, Zulu Dawn (1979), the Battle of Isandlwana .  The History Channel also did a nice commentary piece called "Rork's Drift: Against All Odds." 

Two films that I consider to be almost totally inaccurate are "The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)," and "The Patriot (2000)."  There's not enough space here to list all of the flaws.  It's no wonder that a lot of folks view of history is what it is because of Hollywood.

connyankee



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 03:38 pm
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Crazy Delawares
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Well folks, the one thing we all have to remember when they "create" a history movie is...the bottom line is the almighty dollar! The movie makers think true history does not sell. That's why there is no third movie in the "Killer Angels" trilogy. Money, money, money! It's unfortunate.



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 04:24 pm
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Rebel Yell
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Good point, Connyank...why not?? I feel the the 2004 production of "The Alamo" was pretty much as historically accurate as possible while still having to be "entertaining". While there were some flaws with the set, primarily the location of the Long Barrack, the story was well told and is the best portrayal of the events of 23 Feb-6 March 1836.

The principle characters were, IMHO, accurately depicted. Bowie's illness, Travis' divorce, the conflict between Bowie and Travis, even the location of the Texan 18-pound cannon were correct. The final assault occurred in the dark, early morning hours (instead if in broad daylight as other films portray it) and captures the ferocity of the attack as experienced from both sides.

As far as Crockett is concerned, I think that Billy Bob Thornton's portrayal of him was pretty much right on the money (at least from what I've read about the man). And, while the subject of Crockett's death has been and will be hotly debated, there is evidence that some Alamo defenders were executed after the battle. Even if the film is not completely accurate on this point, it could have happened and it does portray Crockett coming to terms with himself as a real person and the legend of him created fed to the American public during his lifetime.

 



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 05:26 pm
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susansweet
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Rebel Yell thank you!!!  I loved this movie the Alamo with Billy Bob.  I thought the characters were well done and the battle outstanding.  I went to the Alamo that spring after I saw the movie and everywhere I went people bashed the movie.  I think it was because the HEROES of the Alamo were played as real human beings.  I remember talking to one person that said the actor that played Travis was way too young.  I told the person that actually the man was a year older than Travis was when he died (I believe , I am talking from memory here ).  I thought Billy Bob was perfect as Crockett.  Much better than (gasp dare I say it ) John Wayne.  I saw the Wayne movie I think six times one summer when I was visiting a small town in Idaho where the theatre was owned by friends of my parents and we helped out for a week.   All the main characters in that verison were older men. 

Of course growing up on Fess Parker/Disney  Davy Crockett I had to erase many misconceptions I was taught in the early tv show. 

One of the other details I loved in the newer Alamo was the including of men like Juan Segein and other  native Texans .  

All in all I thing this was a good movie.

 

 



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 06:48 pm
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Rebel Yell
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Susan, thank YOU so much and you're very welcome. I too remember Disney's "Davy Crockett" and also John Wayne's version of "The Alamo". I also had as many the Davy Crockett accouterments as I could get, including coonskin cap, musket, pajamas and (fake) bearskin rug that I wore out from sleeping on it.

For all the historical faults of these older films, what they did do was ignite the flame of my curiosity to learn as much as I could about the actual event. Once I began reading everything I could get my hands on and began learning the "true facts", I began to study other historical events (primarily the Civil War) and it opened up a whole new world to me.

I, too, have heard and read much bashing of the 2004 "Alamo" and while some criticisms may have been valid, I have to say that the movie brought those events to life for me and I recommend it for anyone who has an interest for "The Alamo". :D



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 07:18 pm
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fedreb
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Susan, John Wayne may have looked too old to play Crockett but he was 53 playing Crockett at 49, not half as bad as a 73 year old Robert Duvall playing R.E.Lee at 54 (G&G)



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 08:50 pm
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ole
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Thanks for bringing that up, fedreb. Always thought that Duvall was a poor Lee. Looked like death warmed over. The backers probably needed a name, and Duvall was handy.

ole



 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 08:58 pm
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susansweet
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Fedreb guess I was thinking of Laurence Harvey playing Travis. I just looked him up he was 33 when he played Travis who was 26 and Widmark was 46 when he played Bowie who was 40.  Guess when your  16 everyone looked old and now when I saw the new verision everyone looks young .  hee hee .

Susan


 

I have watched many a movie growing up and even now that has led me to find out more and study different periods of history.  This is most true of Western history one of my longest studied and most favorite periods of American history.  Unlike traveling days to get to battlefields and many miles I grew up in the West and between family trips to Idaho and Oklahoma when I was a kid I saw a great deal of it.  I also spend many Saturday morning watching the old B westerns on TV.

Last edited on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 09:05 pm by susansweet



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