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The Anachronism and Historical Goof Collection Thread

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  • The Anachronism and Historical Goof Collection Thread

    I just wanted to make a thread collecting all of the historical goofs of various movies. I have fun poking at the various mistakes.

    Where to start...

    Braveheart

    Most people are aware of the three goofs in Braveheart. The first more obvious goof is the Battle of Stirling Bridge missing a very important key landmark that gave the battle it's name: a bridge. The second lesser known goof is the appearance of the Scotsmen wearing kilts. The kilt was a symbol of clan identification formed in the 14-1500s, a little bit later than when Braveheart took place. The third goof is showing William Wallace using a schiltron defense against the cavalry. He didn't. It was Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn that utilized that particular cavalry killer tactic.

    The Good the Bad and the Ugly

    By setting this third Man With No Name movie during the Civil War, the entire movie in made an anachronism. The use of brass cartridges, gunbelts, bandoliers, Colt Peacemakers, and Clint Eastwood's use of the Winchester '76 in For a Few Dollars more, not to mention the machine gun in A Fistful of Dollars, are all out of place once the Civil War becomes the time period.

    Troy

    The recent movie based on the Iliad has some glaring flaws to it. First, the Trojans were of Hittite ethnicity e.g. they would not be worshipping the Greek pantheon. So no temple to Apollo. And their temple would not be placed outside of the city walls percisely because it would result in the temple being sacked during an invasion.

    Alexander

    Oliver Stone makes a Stirling-esqe mistake in his portrayal of the Battle of the Hydaspes River: no river. Also he shows Alexander being critically wounded at that battle. He wasn't. He was injured later while assaulting an Indian citadel on the return journey.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark

    During the truck chase sequence Indiana Jones finds himself clinging for life on the front of a Nazi transport. You can tell it is no Opel Blitz as he grabs onto a Chrysler hood ornament.

    Titanic

    During the church scene the congregation sings the hymn Eternal Father. The problem here is that they sing all four verses. Eternal Father was a Navy hymn originally. The two extra verses for those in peril in the air and on the land were added after World War I.

    Those are all I can think of off of the top of my head. I'll add more as I see and feel free to add your own.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    I've been to Stirling and attended a lecture on warfare of the time in Edinburgh. The battle was nothing like shown in the movie. The English crossed the bridge, realised their commander was still in bed, so went back over to wait for him. When they crossed the second time the horses got stuck in the mushy ground - fell over - wacka wacka go the Scots - bunch of drowning Englishmen. Hardly a heroic feat.

    What's really annoying is the statue outside of the Wallace monument is an lifesize+ replica of... Mel Gibson! The sculpter had undergone heart surgery and he said that the movie helped him find the strength to recover. I feel for the gent but wtf?..
    AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
    The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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    • #3
      Titanic:

      DeCaprio is turned away from Sunday Church service; this is, in fact, the one time all classes of passengers were permitted to mingle, as Church was open to all on board.

      DeCaprio's constant passages back and forth to First Class would not have taken place.

      Rich girl's presence in Third Class would not have been a joyful occasion, but likely one of bitterness and anger by the poor.

      The auto in the hold was not secured for sea.

      Raiders, etc.

      Nothing in the Indiana Jones films is historically accurate. Vehicles, aircraft, etc., are custom made for looks and stunts. Watch the drag-under-the-truck scene carefully and you will see the trench that allowed frame clearance for the stuntman.

      Hunt For Red October:

      While Ryan is aboard the carrier, he witnesses a crash of what is supposed to be a Tomcat. It is, in fact, a crash of a Korean war fighter, probably a Panther.

      Eastwood:

      He is famous for fanning his guns with incredible accuracy. In fact, that is among the least accurate methods of firing possible.

      Silverado:

      Glover allegedly carries a Sharpe's buffalo rifle, but fires it like a repeating Henry. Large caliber long range buffalo rifles used a falling block single shot mechanism. Each round was loaded by hand between shots. This is correctly shown in Valdez Is Coming.

      Top Gun:

      Cruise drives his motorcycle directly onto an active military runway during operations. However, since the entire movie is pretty much a contradiction, particularly the role of "Charlie", it probably doesn't matter.

      U-571:

      The British Royal Navy captured an Enigma Machine, not the Americans.

      Sahara:

      The entire film, and especially the car and the operating cannon on board the warship, not to mention the stunt with the cannonball, plus the ball's peculiar lack of penetrating power after passing through the windshield.

      Any and all explosions introduced as special effects to heighten drama. In fact, not much of the stuff Hollywoody likes to explode actually does in real life, and all the obligatory fireballs are just window dressing.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
        I just wanted to make a thread collecting all of the historical goofs of various movies. I have fun poking at the various mistakes.

        Where to start...

        Braveheart

        The third goof is showing William Wallace using a schiltron defense against the cavalry. He didn't. It was Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn that utilized that particular cavalry killer tactic.
        Actually Walacce did use the Schiltrons against the English Cavalry at the Battle of Falkirk. Before Longshanks took the field his knights charged the Scots and faultered against the Schiltrons. Longshanks took command of the field and recalled his Knight, penned the Scots in between his Army and the nearby woods the brought up his Archers.

        Anyway, Wallace was outgeneralled at Falkirk by Longshanks but did prove that Shiltrons were effective against Cavalry at the battle but also proved their flaw in being weak against Archers and static.
        Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence - Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery

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        • #5
          Any and all war movies in which the wrong historical footage is used, i.e., jet fighters in Korea shooting down Stukas.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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          • #6
            Glory

            54th Massachucetts attacking Fort Wagner with the ocean on their left instead of on their right. The flogging scene... whipping had been outlawed in U.S. military prior to the Civil War.

            Battle of the Bulge

            Is there anything in this movie that is accurate? Wrong tanks, not enough snow, the Ardennes forest with hardly any trees, ... sheesh!

            Raiders of the Lost Ark

            Anybody else notice that the German U-Boat never submerges? How convenient for Indy who was on the deck throughout the entire voyage.
            - John

            I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers. - William Tecumseh Sherman

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            • #7
              MM,

              you're mention of a Sharpes rifle being used by the Glover character is false. He even has a line in the movie, "have you ever seen what a Henry rifle will do in the hands of a man who knows how to use one."

              http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_s...ce-kasdan.html
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 40AcreMule View Post
                Glory

                54th Massachucetts attacking Fort Wagner with the ocean on their left instead of on their right. The flogging scene... whipping had been outlawed in U.S. military prior to the Civil War.

                Battle of the Bulge

                Is there anything in this movie that is accurate? Wrong tanks, not enough snow, the Ardennes forest with hardly any trees, ... sheesh!

                Raiders of the Lost Ark

                Anybody else notice that the German U-Boat never submerges? How convenient for Indy who was on the deck throughout the entire voyage.
                Yeah, but if they don't submerge, why doesn't the crew and captain remain at their "Surface Action" posts? And where does Indy hide, that they would not see him?
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                Comment


                • #9
                  High Noon: I love this classic, but there is a scene near the beginning in which Coop takes a Winchester rifle out of the gun rack in the sheriff's office - after which it is never see it again.
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 40AcreMule View Post
                    Raiders of the Lost Ark

                    Anybody else notice that the German U-Boat never submerges? How convenient for Indy who was on the deck throughout the entire voyage.
                    See here for the answer:
                    The periscope ride
                    This is the most well-known of the Indy cut scenes, by virtue of being the one most crucial to the plot. This scene explains how Indy survived his trip at sea attached to a submerged submarine. As the sub descends, he climbs up and grabs hold of its extended periscope. He then lashes himself to it with his whip for the long trip.
                    In the final film, the plot hole goes largely unnoticed. Most people seem to assume either that Indy snuck inside the sub or that it stayed on the ocean surface for the duration of the trip.
                    This cut scene did appear in the Marvel Comics adaptation. The few pictures that we have found prove that they indeed film part of this scene.
                    http://www.theraider.net/films/raide...ted_scenes.php I had the old Marvel comic & did indeed show him lashed to the periscope.
                    The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 40AcreMule View Post
                      Wrong tanks, not enough snow, the Ardennes forest with hardly any trees, ... sheesh!
                      There was snow? Those tanks looked like they were battling in Death Valley!
                      Last edited by Pirateship1982; 15 Jun 09, 17:04.
                      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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                      • #12
                        The Patriot takes Banastre Tarleton and turns him into Col Tavington, just so Mel Gibson can kill him at the end. Probably used it to protect the "it's a fictional story, we adapted to make it work" line.
                        www.alllinkshistory.blogspot.com - Finding the best articles and blogs about history on the net.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
                          There was snow?
                          A couple of flakes. If you blinked, you missed it.

                          However, there is one scene in BotB I like. When the German tankers sing the Panzer Lied for Robert Shaw. That's a real toe-tapper... errrr... foot stomper:

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi3Rh...eature=related
                          - John

                          I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers. - William Tecumseh Sherman

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lance Williams View Post
                            MM,

                            you're mention of a Sharpes rifle being used by the Glover character is false. He even has a line in the movie, "have you ever seen what a Henry rifle will do in the hands of a man who knows how to use one."

                            http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_s...ce-kasdan.html
                            Ouch!!
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
                              See here for the answer:
                              http://www.theraider.net/films/raide...ted_scenes.php I had the old Marvel comic & did indeed show him lashed to the periscope.
                              That would have been worse, since subs don't travel with the 'scope extended for long periods.
                              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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