16 of the Most Historically Inaccurate Movies Ever
Facts, schmacts! You won’t want to look to Hollywood for history trivia—here’s why.
Historians were mad at Sophia Coppola’s biopic in which Kirsten Dunst plays the French queen, arguing the film depicted the famous ruler as a shallow teenager in love with fashion and excess. The record rather shows the Antoinette as intelligent and politically savvy. And she probably never said her famous line: “Let them eat cake.” Learn about 15 movies you never knew were banned in the United States.
A Beautiful Mind
Russell Crowe plays the real-life math genius John Nash, but critics felt that the biopic didn’t accurately portray the actual man or his mental illness. Nash had schizophrenia, which manifested differently than the depiction in the film would indicate. The movie doesn’t accurately capture the complexities of Nash’s diagnosis or his treatment. Check out these 10 historical facts you’ll wish really weren’t true.
Michael Bay’s rousing, action-packed Pearl Harbor drove the experts crazy. Yes, there was an attack on Pearl Harbor, but the Japanese pilots did not target hospitals during their bombing raids as the movie depicts. One hospital was hit, but only one staff member died during the attack. Numerous other military details are glossed over in favor of boosting the star power and romance. Case in point: The movie showed Franklin D. Roosevelt climbing out of a wheelchair to prove “impossible” things can happen, but that evidently was totally made up by the script writers. For something more uplifting, check out these 12 best beach movies of all time.
Ever heard of Edward de Vere? There’s a theory that he actually wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays, and this makes Shakespeare scholars livid. The film’s premise, that de Vere wrote the plays to exert political control over the masses, is totally at odds with the facts of Shakespeare and his life, say historians. Don’t miss 8 of the most bizarre historical coincidences throughout history.
The Sound of Music
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Turns out that the actual Captain Von Trapp was a loving dad, not the militaristic meanie played by Christopher Plummer in the film. Another major detail that was switched around was the family’s great escape. They didn’t have to hike the Alps—that would’ve taken them to Nazi Germany, not Switzerland. They basically crossed into Italy over nearby railroad tracks in broad daylight—just in time too. The Austrian borders were sealed the next day.
Warner Bros. Pictures/Shutterstock
Granted, this film is basically science fiction, emphasis on fiction, but the historical inaccuracies still totally bugged audiences. The movie shows ships, industries, and weapons that didn’t come along until thousands of years later. No biggie. In real life there also weren’t woolly mammoths building pyramids (or any pyramids for that matter) in 10,000 BC. Learn the truth behind 51 other favorite facts you’ve always believed but are actually false.