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Most accurate films on actual people or events

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Most accurate films on actual people or events

Old 01-28-11, 01:28 AM
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Most accurate films on actual people or events

I've been wondering this for a long time..but...what's the most accurate film on an actual event or a person?


This is kind of a loaded question obviously but it's something that bugged me.

I know Schindler's List isn't exactly accuarate but it's still a damn good film..but that's not the point. Is it even possible to make a film 100%? Probably not but....I think for the most part you can get close to it levels of dramatization must be taken at times for the sake of creating quality and etc. I just....can't honestly think of a film that makes me say....it's all true. Just...which are closer to that full truth?

Last edited by Solid Snake; 01-28-11 at 02:03 AM.
Old 01-28-11, 01:36 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Tora! Tora! Tora!
Old 01-28-11, 01:42 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
Tora! Tora! Tora!
see that's what I thought as well..but didn't want to say it. How accurate is it?
Old 01-28-11, 01:59 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

"Master & Commander" received strong praise from Naval historians for its accuracy, with a few minor issues (Nagel's flogging seemed tame, the idea of Jack trying to fight while rounding Cape Horn).
Old 01-28-11, 02:03 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

...you fail to understand what I ask, I think.
Old 01-28-11, 02:31 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Problem is, with most films based on actual events, like you said they take artistic license with some details. Timelines are condensed, and characters are merged or fabricated to make the movie exciting. That being said, I would think Leonardo Dicaprio as The Aviator was one of the more accurate. Even the current The King's Speech is another good example.
Old 01-28-11, 03:11 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Band of Brothers is pretty accurate, i'd imagine.
Old 01-28-11, 04:11 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Obviously, PEARL HARBOR
Old 01-28-11, 04:29 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

They say 'All the President's Men' hones pretty close to the actual events.
Old 01-28-11, 04:34 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
Obviously, PEARL HARBOR
Originally Posted by Roger Ebert
"Pearl Harbor" is a two-hour movie squeezed into three hours, about how on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle. Its centerpiece is 40 minutes of redundant special effects, surrounded by a love story of stunning banality.
Old 01-28-11, 08:10 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

I'd say Tora Tora Tora as well.

The biggest inaccuracy I think for any historical film is character's actions dialog. Except for a few quoted statements or specific actions, no one records what they did or said 99% of the time Maybe just some vague notes but movie makers have to make it up.

For example, WWII documents might say the D-Day commmaner stayed in a certain place & left for the harbor at a certain time. If a movie has a scene of him in there getting ready to leave talking to someone, that is totally made up.
Old 01-28-11, 09:04 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Titanic, for Cameron's fair depiction of First Officer William Murdoch

Last edited by MrSmearkase; 01-28-11 at 09:26 AM.
Old 01-28-11, 09:29 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Judging by what I've heard, the Matt Damon-starring "The Informant!" is a very accurate protrayal of a fascinating story. It's such a bizarre sequence of events that it has to be true.

"Patton" is supposedly extremely accurate at least in its portrayal of Patton himself and the events he was involved in. If anything, it pulled some punches from how brusque and borderline megalomanical the guy really was.

"A Man for All Seasons" sticks apparently extremely close to the actual life of Sir Thomas More. It's a great movie as well.

For documentaries, it's a bit of a cheat but I think PBS' "Triumph of the Nerds" mini-series shows exactly how the PC industry developed in a very insightful, comprehensive and accurate way. The fact that Cringely was able to get interviews with almost everyone important in the development of the industry (Gates, Jobs, Balmer, Wozniak, Ellison, Moore, Estridge (IBM), all of the people at Xerox PARC, the guys at Compaq, even the inventors of Visicalc and Tim Paterson who wrote Q-DOS etc) is pretty incredible. Even more amazing, he gets them to speak accurately and honestly about their successes and failings. It's probably my favorite documentary of all time.
Old 01-28-11, 10:03 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Judging by what I've heard, the Matt Damon-starring "The Informant!" is a very accurate protrayal of a fascinating story. It's such a bizarre sequence of events that it has to be true.

"Patton" is supposedly extremely accurate at least in its portrayal of Patton himself and the events he was involved in. If anything, it pulled some punches from how brusque and borderline megalomanical the guy really was.

"A Man for All Seasons" sticks apparently extremely close to the actual life of Sir Thomas More. It's a great movie as well.

For documentaries, it's a bit of a cheat but I think PBS' "Triumph of the Nerds" mini-series shows exactly how the PC industry developed in a very insightful, comprehensive and accurate way. The fact that Cringely was able to get interviews with almost everyone important in the development of the industry (Gates, Jobs, Balmer, Wozniak, Ellison, Moore, Estridge (IBM), all of the people at Xerox PARC, the guys at Compaq, even the inventors of Visicalc and Tim Paterson who wrote Q-DOS etc) is pretty incredible. Even more amazing, he gets them to speak accurately and honestly about their successes and failings. It's probably my favorite documentary of all time.
I've never heard of that documentary. I'm going to check it out. Pirates of Silicon Valley is actually one of my favorite movies. I'm fascinated by that whole Gates/Jobs saga. I definitely want to check out a real documentary about the whole thing.
Old 01-28-11, 10:14 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Judging by what I've heard, the Matt Damon-starring "The Informant!" is a very accurate protrayal of a fascinating story. It's such a bizarre sequence of events that it has to be true.

"Patton" is supposedly extremely accurate at least in its portrayal of Patton himself and the events he was involved in. If anything, it pulled some punches from how brusque and borderline megalomanical the guy really was.

"A Man for All Seasons" sticks apparently extremely close to the actual life of Sir Thomas More. It's a great movie as well.

For documentaries, it's a bit of a cheat but I think PBS' "Triumph of the Nerds" mini-series shows exactly how the PC industry developed in a very insightful, comprehensive and accurate way. The fact that Cringely was able to get interviews with almost everyone important in the development of the industry (Gates, Jobs, Balmer, Wozniak, Ellison, Moore, Estridge (IBM), all of the people at Xerox PARC, the guys at Compaq, even the inventors of Visicalc and Tim Paterson who wrote Q-DOS etc) is pretty incredible. Even more amazing, he gets them to speak accurately and honestly about their successes and failings. It's probably my favorite documentary of all time.
1 big mistake in Patton was in North Africa. Patton and Rommel never fought each other. Von Arnim was in command of the German forces at that point.

Der Untergang is my vote.
Old 01-28-11, 10:27 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

There are no accurate films, even documentaries are manipulated to tell a viewpoint or make things interesting. That's not to say some are more factual than others but somewhere in the pipeline there's editing being done to the facts. Growing up I took films as gospel in recreating true life stories. I remember how disappointed I felt when I realized Hollywood felt the truth got in the way of story telling.
Old 01-28-11, 10:43 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Apollo 13 was pretty accurate to the real scenario.
Old 01-28-11, 10:43 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
I remember how disappointed I felt when I realized Hollywood felt the truth got in the way of story telling.
Truth gets in the way of INTERESTING story telling. That's the problem.

I've always felt that a "based on a true story" movie isn't meant to give me a history lesson. If I'm really interested, I'll do my own research. It's meant to simply use something that really happened as a backdrop to make a movie.

It sounds silly, but it's like people getting their panties in a twist over changes from the Harry Potter books to the movies. If you want the book experience, read the book. I want to see a 2 hour movie based on the book. If they make changes, so what? I can still read the book.

Movies are meant to entertain first and foremost. Education is really really REALLY low on the list.
Old 01-28-11, 10:51 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Old 01-28-11, 11:09 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Originally Posted by Noonan View Post
Apollo 13 was pretty accurate to the real scenario.
But even there, there are cases where several people are combined into one character, and some events are overstated to make them more dramatic.

I'd definitely go with Tora, Tora, Tora.
Old 01-28-11, 11:12 AM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Solid Snake, I've got a book at home that's filled with great essays on this subject. I don't recall the name of it, but when I get home, I'll PM you with the title and author.

As someone who's done a lot of reading of history and seen a lot of movies that treat subjects I've read about, this is a subject of great interest to me. I get more dismayed the older I get about how often a fascinating true story gets shunted aside to put something fictional onscreen. Yet, at the same time, something distorted can make a better movie than something more closely accurate.

Example: movies about Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. I would say that the most accurate movie about this subject is TOMBSTONE (1993), the one with Kurt Russell as Earp and Val Kilmer as Doc. At least its first 3/4 is accurate. In the last half-hour, it embarks on a wild, revenge-driven killing spree that had no counterpart in real life. But everything up to that point hews closely to the historical record.
I recommend TOMBSTONE precisely for this reason and I must say I enjoyed the film on many levels. But the better films about the subject, from a cinematic standpoint, remain two highly fictionalized accounts--John Ford's MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946), starring Henry Fonda as Earp and Victor Mature as Doc, and John Sturges' GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957), starring Burt Lancaster as Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc. You should see all three films.

Another example: Once upon a time I sat down to watch THE BUCCANEER (1958), directed by Anthony Quinn and produced by Cecil B. De Mille. It's about the pirate Jean Lafitte (Yul Brynner) and his attempts to aid General Andrew Jackson (Charlton Heston) in his fight with the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. I found the film's subject matter fascinating and afterward I immediately went to my Encyclopedia Britannica (pre-Wikipedia) and looked up the various players until I found an account of the battle. To my surprise, what I read amounted to a synopsis of the film that I'd just seen. Granted, the film added a romance between Lafitte and the local Governor's daughter (Inger Stevens), but that seemed to be the only glaring departure from history.
Old 01-28-11, 12:38 PM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

Originally Posted by MrSmearkase View Post
Titanic, for Cameron's fair depiction of First Officer William Murdoch
It probably is Titanic. There was the exact same number of extras as there were real passangers. Each extra was given the name of a real passenger. They went to the company that made the carpets for the real ship and had them make the exact same carpet for the movie. Same with the dishes. A photo of the real grand staircase is identical to photo of the the one built for the movie. I believe they used the original ship's blueprints to build the sets. Subtract the story of the main characters and it's probably the closest movie to actually being there.
Old 01-28-11, 12:39 PM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

For All Mankind.
Old 01-28-11, 12:46 PM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088377/

A real-time recreation of the Wansee Conference, using the actual dialog (as known) spoken by the real participants.
Old 01-28-11, 12:48 PM
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Re: Most accurate films on actual people or events

The Ten Commandments

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