Are movies about history a bad thing?

View Poll Results :Are movies about history a bad thing?
Yes 1 5.00%
sometimes 9 45.00%
no 10 50.00%
don't care 0 0%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

July 26th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country

Topic: Are movies about history a bad thing?

I am making this thread from what someone said in the "bloodiest battle in America's history" thread. A comment was made about people learning history via movies.

My question is...

Are movies about history a bad thing?
July 26th, 2005  
If its accurate, no not at all.
July 26th, 2005  
For many people it seems to be their only insight into history, which causes a problem on accuracy. If the film has been made for entertainment then history is distorted for the sake of the story line, if the film sticks to the historical facts then it might not do to well at the box office. You only have to look at the last Pearl Harbour film to see just how history had been changed to suit the box office.
July 26th, 2005  
My feeling is that movies about history are only bad if that is the ONLY way that people are learning about history. Movies tend to overplay the drama of events or even sacrifice the facts in favor of drama. A very good example of this is the movie Braveheart. While it's a very good film and makes the Scots look good (we don't need a movie to look good though...), it's just plain not very factual. For one thing, the Battle of Stirling Bridge, ought to have a friggin Bridge! I very much enjoyed the movie the first time I saw it but now I cannot watch it because the history is soooo screwed up. If it's a movie like Tora Tora Tora, or The Longest Day (yeah I know they weren't totally accurate either) or the like then it's cool, but Pearl Harbor and Braveheart were not historically responsible IMHO. My wife just rented Alamo - so I don't know about that one yet... I guess my answer really is - It depends on the movie...
July 26th, 2005  
Yes and no.

What has to be remembered is that movies are generally for entertainment purposes. Whatever the historical topic being covered is about, must often be "tweaked" to add that entertainment value - and it must fit in the time allowed slot.

History itself is subjective - and movies about history even more so. Often times, you're not always getting the facts, but someone's view of the facts. This is also true in books, which is why as a generally rule, you always try to read different authors and accounts.

I do not believe one can use movies as a true tool for learning history, but I do believe movies can be used to inspire someone to seek out more knowledge concerning past events.
July 26th, 2005  

Topic: Answer/Reply.

I selceted No in the poll but I think I should have selected Sometimes.
Movies about history are great if they are true, otherwise it ought to be said that it is not historically factual. However, if a movie is made about something that happened in history, it ought to be factual. I'm not big on Hollywood though, too many liberal's and that's why they think it's fine to put out a history movie that is not factual. Alot of things that come from liberal's are not true or at least not the reality that the rest of us live in.
That's the way it seems to me anyway.
July 26th, 2005  
Whispering Death
Obviously there are some movies that have a negative impact on learning history... someone who rents "Farenheit 9/11" in 100 years to learn about the tragic day will be sorely undone.

But most of the time they're a positive thing. Most millitary historian types got into history from watching "The Longest Day" and such as kids and began asking the questions, that is extremely brave did it really happen? etc. etc.
August 14th, 2005  
For centuries, it hasn't been uncommon for retiring generals to write about the campaigns they fought in. Their works ranged from highly accurate recordings of history to blatant self promotional works of fiction. Why did people read these? As much for entertainment as anything else I presume.

The interesting thing, for me, is that these works always come under the microscope at some stage by historians, journalists or just ordinary people trying to uncover the truth behind certain events. The fiction gets tested and doesn't stack up. We may not always agree on the causes, the right or wrong, etc (which makes history so interesting) but we are not too bad at getting the actual events accurate.

For my mind, if it takes a movie with a liberal dose of fiction to get people interested in discovering more about history - so be it.
August 20th, 2005  
so long as they are true to the facts as much as possible, then movies of history are good, but when they become to much fiction they're bad. people begin to think what Hollywood made up is perfectly true and they talk aobut it believing that it's fact. other people start believing what they are told by the first person, and then more and more people dont know the truth and the true history becomes unknown to most people after awhile.
August 22nd, 2005  
Yes,yes,yes. No movie can be made, stay factual, and draw enough money to make it profitable. Documentaries are made for the reason of tracking history and one needs to look closely at who makes those. There must be drama, some comedy, and extravagant special effects or it will turn out to be a yawner.