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Y. Perez




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Movies.. Facts or always Fiction.         Reply with quote

This thread is following Johan K idea..

Johan K wrote:
If most movies are rubbish on their historical side, lets turn the question around: Are there any historically 'correct' movies out there that are still entertaining as a movie?


So, can you name historically accurate movies in terms of setting/atmosphere/props/cloathing etc..
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Josh Wilson




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Lion in Winter (Anthony Hopkins version) is pretty good

The version of Robin Hood with Uma Thurman as Marion is pretty good too.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Master and commander: The far side of the world" is fairly accurate, in my opinion. Not without it's flaws - like good doctor operating on himself for one, but overall...
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Mike Capanelli




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"The Duelists" is pretty awesome from a historical perspective. There's still mistakes but I'll be dammed if I can see 'em. Arn; The Knight Templar was pretty good as well. There was enough right, at least to me, to make the wrong superficial.
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Glennan Carnie




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although it could be considered more a historical fantasy, Anonymous does a very good job of capturing the look and feel of Elizabethan London. The costumes, in particular, are worthy of note.
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Johan K




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heh, seems you beat me to it Y. Perez, thanks for putting it up! Seems I'm not the only one asking this question...
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Thomas R.




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The movie "Arn, der Kreuzritter" (danish: Arn - Tempelriddaren) has a quite authentic look to me. There was a longer version of the story made as a series, too.

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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rob Roy with Liam Neeson was fairly accurate, in terms of clothing, arms, attitudes, etc. It had some questionable elements (Neeson's philabeg with removeable plaid is one), but overall, a good job.

The Vikings with Kirk Douglas actually does a pretty good job with accurate Viking clothing, weapons, ships, even horses! It's a level of detail not matched since, IMO. Sadly, not so good with the "English" arms and armor.

Beowulf and Grendel -- okay, this Gerard Butler film comes somewhat close, but the clothing is still a bit drab and dull. Arms and armor are spot on (questionable use of leather armor parts, though).

Centurion has some of the best depictions of early 2nd-century Roman arms and armor I've seen in a fictional movie -- except the spears (should be pila but from what I gather there were some safety concerns? Not sure how that computes). And again, drab, dull clothing. Too much slate grey. And the Pictish arms and clothing were... typical Hollywood barbarian.

Fall of the Roman Empire actually has a bit of research, and some of the best depictions of later 2nd-century Roman arms and armor, including some unique but accurate helmets that haven't been seen in movies since. Clothing generally decent, at least it's not all drab grey and brown.

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Phil D.




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I liked the Warlord w/Charlston Heston...he even went all out w/the haircut.
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Ralph Grinly




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alfred the Great, with David Hemmings ( would love to see that out on DVD)

The Last Valley, with Omar Sharif, Micheal Caine.

And *the" classic - The Seven Samurai
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Ralph Grinly




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alfred the Great, with David Hemmings ( would love to see that out on DVD)

The Last Valley, with Omar Sharif, Micheal Caine.

And *the" classic - The Seven Samurai
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The movies you all mentioned are ones I have seen and I agree that they are great. Oddly enough, one of the best movies I have seen - a long time ago and recently as well - is a Disney Classic. Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue was released in 1954, showing on TV about a year or so later, I think, which is when I first saw it. I bought a copy recently and watched it again. One thing that is particularly striking is the attempt by Disney to make the clothing and weapons as authentic as possible. The place where they did fall down a bit was the muskets being carried by the Argyl and Sutherland Highlanders who played the redcoats. They were breech loaders. I also saw what appeared to be a Moroccan musket in the hands of one of the HIghlanders. But, over all it was pretty well done and I enjoyed it then and now as well.

I liked the 1995 version too but just wish they had stuck with real belted plaids rather than the two piece variety. Also, almost nobody in the movie - on the Macgregor side - was wearing a bonnet. Headgear was ubiquitous in those days and needed too.

Some producers do try to get it right but some fail miserably. I remember being put off by the 1974 version of The Three Musketeers when one of the characters was seen carrying a 19th c. percussion deringer pistol.

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Y. Perez




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan K wrote:
Heh, seems you beat me to it Y. Perez, thanks for putting it up! Seems I'm not the only one asking this question...


Nope you're not Cool . I always try to catch some history behind medieval movies. Not much luck so far.

Phil D. wrote:
I liked the Warlord w/Charlston Heston...he even went all out w/the haircut.


Thats one movie I would love to watch. Many reviews praised it for its accuracy in terms of setting. Do you know where I can find it? Netflix doesn't have it and there's no good torrents.

I like the Seventh Seal. Not so much for the props/cloathing but for the themes of existentialism that goes well with the 14th century psyche.

Arn The Knight Templar/Alfred the Great. I guess I have to edit my queue list.
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Ken Speed




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My opinion is that in most instances when movies get it right its probably because the bean counters weren't paying as close attention to the bottom line as the financial backers wanted. Movies are made to make money not to satisfy the esoteric interests of people passionately interested in armor or swords or saddlery or the the War of 1812 or classical ballet.

I was most amused once when I watched a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti western and noticed that smoke from firing his revolver exited the barrel BEFORE the hammer fell! Spaghetti westerns were, of course, notorious for their inaccuracies and it became part of the fun of watching them.

It seems that you can go to the movie and enjoy the show and forget about absolute verisimilitude or if you want your version of total accuracy you can read a book and equip your characters and armies in whatever way you wish. However it also appears to be true that there is still an awful lot about the past we really don't know all that much about so in some cases our understanding may well be erroneous.
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Raman A




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 9:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't seen the full movie yet but from the clips I've watched Alatriste is pretty authentic, though I think its heavily biased towards the Spanish because its a Spanish movie.

European made movies in European settings tend to be a lot more authentic, I suppose because they actually care about their heritage. Hollywood just gets some prop swords and generic old-looking clothes and calls it a day. However, on the flip-side the True Grit 2010 remake was exceptionally authentic.

Older Japanese period movies, especially Akira Kurosawa ones, tend to be fairly authentic as well for probably the same reason of caring more about their historical heritage. Also, Japan was "medieval" until relatively recently (compared to Europe), so it seems like they have stronger ties to their older cultures. Kurosawa and actors like Toshiro Mifune grew up practicing kendo so they were familiar with japanese swordsmanship, and as a result the fight scenes in those movies are generally fast, visceral, and realistic.
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Ryan S.




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 10:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a professor who said there was a difference between historical accuracy and authenticity. For example, Kingdom of Heaven was not very accurate, Balian of Ibelin was not a blacksmith etc. But clothes and fighting techniques etc. were suppose to be correct for that time. There perhaps is another sort of accuracy in catching the relative tone of the people and time. Ridley Scott said gave that as his reasoning as having there be a truce instead of a time of relative peace.

That being said I don't think some of the movies mentioned are very accurate at all. Rob Roy was not very accurate. Its been a while since I have seen it, and I learned a lot about the time period since. Rob Roy liked to duel, and that manners of the time would have demanded him to accept any challenge from another gentleman. Also, he has no hat or bonnet. If I remember correctly, their Graces the Dukes are addressed as your lordship, instead of your grace. Rob Roy of course would never use the name MacGregor in front of his enemies or in front of his benefactor the Duke of Argyle. Rob Roy used his mother's name, Campbell, on which he based his requests for patronage for the Duke of Arglye, the name MacGregor being outlawed throughout his life. He actually was a full fledged outlaw for many years and made money both stealing cattle and running a protection racket, leading a band of caterans.
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Glennan Carnie




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan S. wrote:
I had a professor who said there was a difference between historical accuracy and authenticity. For example, Kingdom of Heaven was not very accurate, Balian of Ibelin was not a blacksmith etc. But clothes and fighting techniques etc. were suppose to be correct for that time.


Unfortunately, the clothing and fighting techniques were all over the place, too. Leather trousers were not worn in the 12th Century; and I'm pretty sure hand-and-a-half swords were a long way in the future at that point


But that didn't stop me enjoying the film (well, the Director's Cut, anyway)
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T. Arndt




PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glennan Carnie wrote:
Unfortunately, the clothing and fighting techniques were all over the place, too. Leather trousers were not worn in the 12th Century; and I'm pretty sure hand-and-a-half swords were a long way in the future at that point...

Agreed, and it is a shame the mounted combat omitted lances. I tried not to laugh when Balian and his men made their charge, not a lance amongst them.

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William P




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PostPosted: Fri 11 May, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

one fairly good series was HBO's rome the scene of the battle of phillipi good although now that i look at it, the costume (aka helmet and armour design) could be better i thnk though.
and then theres also the russian movie, alexander nevesky battle of the neva (no, not the 1938 movie)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdyZKx57sNc
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Federico Tyrawskyj




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PostPosted: Fri 11 May, 2012 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Raman A wrote:
I haven't seen the full movie yet but from the clips I've watched Alatriste is pretty authentic, though I think its heavily biased towards the Spanish because its a Spanish movie.

European made movies in European settings tend to be a lot more authentic, I suppose because they actually care about their heritage. Hollywood just gets some prop swords and generic old-looking clothes and calls it a day. However, on the flip-side the True Grit 2010 remake was exceptionally authentic.

Older Japanese period movies, especially Akira Kurosawa ones, tend to be fairly authentic as well for probably the same reason of caring more about their historical heritage. Also, Japan was "medieval" until relatively recently (compared to Europe), so it seems like they have stronger ties to their older cultures. Kurosawa and actors like Toshiro Mifune grew up practicing kendo so they were familiar with japanese swordsmanship, and as a result the fight scenes in those movies are generally fast, visceral, and realistic.


I've seen Alatriste, twice. Excellent movie, and it seems fairly historical. Some entertaining fighting scenes as well.
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