10 Historical Movie Fails That Show the Past Wrong
The genre of a historical movies assumes a maximum dive into another epoch. That’s why seeing dates and costume inaccuracies, as well as factual mistakes, makes the viewer feel dissatisfied. Some of those inaccuracies might be noticed by avid history-mongers only, while others might even be noticed by amateurs.
Bright Side compiled a list of movies that appeal to our inner history junkie but that are also aggravating because they contain some pretty big mistakes.
1. Pearl Harbor
It was inappropriate to not wear stockings outside in the middle of the last century and there was almost no woman that would dare to do so. Even during the war years, when this staple of a woman’s wardrobe became scarce, they were still able to get it. But, the characters in this movie are happily showing off their naked legs.
2. Elizabeth: The Golden Age
The events in the movie took place in 1585 when Elizabeth was over 50. But in the movie, we see a 36-year-old Cate Blanchett with no special makeup to make her appear older. But this is a small detail if we compare it to the fact that in this movie the Queen is considering Ivan the Terrible, a Russian tsar, as one of the candidates for being her husband. But realistically by that time, the tsar had already passed away.
A legendary horse Bucephalus stayed throughout history together with its owner — the conqueror Alexander the Great, and that’s why it’s no surprise that there was so much attention paid to it in the movie. But there turned out to be one mistake — a spectacular Friesian horse has been chosen for this role, but this breed didn’t actually exist before the 16th century, which is almost 1,000 years later than the events depicted in this movie.
4. Pride & Prejudice
In another on-screen version of the famous novel by Jane Austen, the heroine dedicates a lot of time to taking outside walks, which was in full accordance with the novel and the epoch. But, during those walks she wears Wellington boots that appeared about half a century after the publication of the book.
5. Gone With the Wind
Though this movie is considered a classic of cinematography, it’s still not perfect from the point of matching the epoch. For example, the streets of Atlanta are lit with electrical lamps but the American Civil War took place from 1861-1865, while Thomas Edison didn’t invent the incandescent light bulb until 1879.
During his first conversation with Rose, Jack mentions that he once went fishing on Lake Wissota in his hometown of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. But that lake wasn’t created until 1917 — 6 years after the sinking of the Titanic.
7. Saving Private Ryan
In the movie that takes place during the Second World War, there is a scene where a wounded Captain Miller is shooting enemy soldiers with a motorbike in the background. But the experts managed to find out that, first, it was not a German motorcycle but the Russian Ural M63 and, second, this model didn’t appear until 1963 — 20 years after those events.
This movie is teeming with historical mistakes — like inaccurate dates and events. The blue face paint was actually used by ancient Celtic warriors, not Scottish warriors of the 13th century. Additionally, the love story between the main character William Wallace and Queen Isabella couldn’t have taken place in reality.
At the moment of Wallace’s capital punishment (in the year 1305), the Queen was only 10 years old and she gave birth to her first son, the future King Edward III, in 1312 — 7 years after the death of Mel Gibson’s character. But the worst in this movie is the kilt, which didn’t come into use until 200 years later.
This movie is another leader in historical inaccuracies. Here are just a few of them:
- the siege on Troy lasted for 10 years instead of the several weeks that were shown in the movie;
- neither Agamemnon nor Menelaus died in Troy: the first one was killed by his wife after he returned home, the second hero died naturally of old age — many years after the siege;
- in the movie the Achaeans arrived in Troy on Trireme ships, which people didn’t start using until 600 years later. The helmets and shields of the warriors belong to another epoch as well;
- the eyes of dead people are covered with coins in the movie, and coins didn’t exist in those times;
Perhaps, the most awkward mistake in Troy is Paris’s and Helena’s umbrella with metal spokes, as well as, the appearance of south-American llamas.
This movie is the leader in terms of the number of historical mistakes. For example:
- Commodus didn’t kill his father — Marcus Aurelius; he also didn’t die on the stage but was killed by a murderer;
- the hero Russell Crowe played has the title of General, but this title didn’t exist in the Roman legion. It first appeared in France in the 16th century;
- in the movie, German shepherds are used in the war with Germans, but today this breed is less than 150 years old;
- archers are given the command ’Fire,’ which appeared with the invention of guns and Europe didn’t start using it until the Middle Ages;
- the sign on the sword MARCUS AURELIUS FECIT should look like MARCVS AVRELIVS FECIT, because the letter U didn’t appear in Latin until the Middle Ages.
All of these inaccuracies can be explained by the fact that the authors sacrificed historical veracity for spectacular views and an effective plot. But what should we do with a jet plane, boots, gas cylinders on a chariot, and traces of tractors in the fields that appeared in some of the frames?
Which other mistakes have you spotted in historical movies? Please tell us about them in the comments!
Preview photo credit Pride & Prejudice / Universal Pictures