Not Quite "Based on a True Story"

As RikWriter saidThe Deluxe DVD Edition of BlackHawk Down contains an audio commentary from several of the soldiers that fought in the battle. Listening to that it is quite clear that the movie is quite faithful to the actual events. They do point out what innaccuracies the movie had but overall the depiction of the battle was faithful. One example I recall them pointing out is the Delta operator in the film being shown thrown from a vehicle and killed. In the film he is blown in half from the explosion and is still alive for a short time in that condition. The Delta soldier on the commentary noted that didn’t happen. The man was wounded in an explosion and did die from his wounds the next day I believe. The nature of his death in the film was not true though.
I’d recommend that DVD to anyone who is interested in the battle. It gives you a good idea of the realism that the film did capture.

Sorry I’m evidently having problems with this infernal computer machine.

I meant to say As Rikwriter said the movie is quite realistic… Then talk about the DVD…


That sounds like a great idea for Black Hawk Down. Do the soldiers actually comment on the events throughout the entire film? I would like to see that. My father has the DVD, I might gank it from him the weekend…

BTW, as far as Hidalgo goes… who really cares if it is based on a true story or not… I can understand the endurance horse riders getting upset… so if you are an endurance horse rider, then get upset. But if this movie is going to be a good popcorn flick, then why would anyone else care? I will be there to see it regardless of how true it is. Viggo is good, horses rock, and it looks entertaining… IMO.

There are far more than “a few nitpicks” for Braveheart. Much of the stuff that’s vital to the plot is incorrect.

Let’s see … for starters, William Wallace did not do the nasty with a future Queen of England. (And in point of fact the woman in question was only 13 years old at the time of Wallace’s death; she didn’t have her first child until seven years after Wallace’s execution.)

Edward I did not in fact toss people off of castle walls (though he did exile one of his son’s friends … and possibly lovers … from the kingdom.)

Edward I outlived Wallace by a couple of years, instead of dramatically dying before he did.

There’s no evidence that a “right of first night” ever existed in England or Scotland. (For that matter, there isn’t any good evidence that such a right was ever practiced anywhere in Europe, either.)

And there’s tons of more minor stuff…

The movie confuses Robert the Bruce with his father by assigning the older man the younger man’s traditional leprosy. (As an aside, modern day historians doubt the disease was leprosy in any case.)

Wallace was minor nobility, a son of a knight, not a poor dirt farmer. He certainly wouldn’t have been working on his house all by himself, as shown in the movie.

Wallace did not suddenly and spontaneously invent the tactic of using long pikes to deter cavalry. :rolleyes:

The Irish did not team up with the Scots (quite the opposite).

The battle of Stirling Bridge lacks one small component that was essential to the course of the historical battle–namely, the bridge.

Etc. etc. You could go on for weeks.

Normally getting the history wrong in a movie set so far in the past doesn’t matter much. For example, nobody much cares whether Gladiator is based on fact or pure fiction. But given the amount of political hoopla Braveheart engendered, its claims to being a historical account have to be taken much more seriously.

Thank God. I never looked it up to see how much of that movie was true, but it sure scared the crap out of me.

Jim Morris said they did pretty good with The Rookie. They did stretch the truth a bit, of course, but it seems the only thing that absolutely did not happen was the speed limit radar gun.

Not to mention, that they operated a ski resort in Stowe Vermont for years…my grandmother knew her=) and yupers, she was a cast iron byatch.


Anna and the King of Siam , The King and I and Anna and the King are three movies based on a “true story” that never happened. (There really was an Anna Owens [not “Leonowens”, but “Owens” in real life] and she really did work as a tutor at the Siamese court of King Mongkut, but the rest is hogwash- any relationship she had with the king [who was a generation older than the actors who have played him and had spent most of his life in a Buddhist monastery] was very formal and very occasional- he had ample foreign born advisors and unlike the king in the book and the movies he did not kill concubines who left him.)

Although he did in fact [or she reported]
chain one of his wives in a courtyard by her ankle with no shelter, and let their child by her roam around in the courtyard…and the burning of tuptim and her lover and a few other fairly unsavory actions a european would find horrible. of course, not our culture, not comprehensible to us in a manner of speaking. [i happen to have a first addition of her book ‘the english governess at the siamese court’ got it when i bid on a box of books to get a first of ‘wizard of oz’=)]