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Has history been romanticized by hollywood?

  1. mintinfo profile image74
    mintinfoposted 5 years ago

    Has history been romanticized by hollywood?

    I was watching the movie Spartacus starring Kirk Douglas and thinking "what percentage of truth is there in this movie and how much is it responsible for shaping the average persons perception of history?" How much do you believe in the hollywood versions of historic events?


  2. brianrock profile image87
    brianrockposted 5 years ago

    Movies definitely help shape people's perception of history. I forget the name of the book, but I've read social studies education research involving discussions with people about their perceptions of modern American history. Many of the students based their knowledge of events like Vietnam on pop culture (i.e. Forrest Gump).

    Some movies are more accurate than others, but all movies are on some level works of fiction. Even the most painstakingly researched movies contain historical inaccuracies (see "Lincoln" and the scene were Connecticut's Representatives vote against the 13th Amendment). Others simply perpetuate stereotypes (see the scholarly debate over "Gone With the Wind" and its depiction of southern society).

    The problem isn't so much that these movies blur the lines between truth and fiction, but that people don't bother to dig deeper into the story. I enjoy movies based on historical events, but I usually tend to do some reading afterwards to investigate certain elements of the story. Of course, I'm a history teacher, and I doubt most people do the same.

    One final, random note. Last week, a student asked if we could watch "Django Unchained" in class. Cause, you know, that's historically accurate.

    I said no.

    1. mintinfo profile image74
      mintinfoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      As a Black person I know many people who say they woule have never allowed themselves to be enslaved. Glossed perception is what I call it. I saw Django and although the setting and conditions had a high level of accuracy the story was very unlikely.

    2. profile image0
      Old Empresarioposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Great answer; and I totally agree

  3. Thomas Swan profile image96
    Thomas Swanposted 5 years ago

    There is plenty of "artistic license" but there has been for thousands of years. Go back to the Iliad, the Odyssey, Gilgamesh, and the Bible, and you'll find persistent dramatizations of history by artists and authors. Cinema is an artistic medium. History books are for history! Anyone looking for history in the cinema is looking in the wrong place. That's their fault, and not the fault of the movie makers.

  4. nanderson500 profile image84
    nanderson500posted 5 years ago

    Definitely. Movies are almost always more concerned about providing entertainment than being historically accurate. Even movies like Goodfellas, which make a genuine attempt to be true to the source material, tend to be partially fictionalized.

  5. Missing Link profile image79
    Missing Linkposted 5 years ago

    There is much romantization in Hollywood movies.  From time to time they get near to the truth or to how it really went down or as to how it really was.  Mostly though there is much license taken.

    In terms of so called real history---it depends on whose perspective you are getting it from.  In terms of conflict  between countries for example, accounts will invariably differ; one side will say this is what happened and the other side will say this is what happened.

    You can even go to a personal level---say a squabble between a man and a woman---a he said she said kind of thing.

    So, there are varying levels or degrees of closeness to truth or of accuracy.  In general, I do not believe Hollywood is a good barometer of historical accuracy.

  6. Mazzy Bolero profile image80
    Mazzy Boleroposted 5 years ago

    It's all fake!  I can appreciate the need to tell a good story, and I can accept a degree of dramatic exaggeration, but when the facts are significantly altered, it spoils my enjoyment.  If the movie is purported to be about historical events, I want to see the real story dramatized, even if it's a particular version or viewpoint, but not a blatant piece of fiction.

    Many people only know history from what they see in movies and they really believe that what they see is what happened.  They end up with a very skewed view of history.  If a movie is not based on historical fact, they should say something like "inspired by historical events" rather than leading audiences to think they are seeing something closely resembling the facts.