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Hollywood romanticising

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Hollywood romanticising

Or how John Wayne won World War 2 single handed!!
For a number of years, I have been an intermittent correspondent to the Daily Mail question and answer column. Having had eight or nine questions published ranging from diverse subjects as "Why isn't nuclear waste loaded on to a spacecraft and fired directly at the sun?" or "If a family car (such as a Ford Mondeo) were raced against a 1930's Brooklands type racing car, who would win?" or "Where or what is Cloud Cockoo Land?" most have received answers (some from scientists) The Mondeo/Brooklands quoted did not.
Most of this is done in a lighted hearted manner of course.
The latest published recently was a question about the movie "Titanic" the original question was somewhat shortened by the column editor to:
"Would Jack Dawson (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Titanic), a steerage-class passenger, have been allowed on the ship’s deck, where he prevented the suicide attempt of Rose (Kate Winslet)?"
The rather lengthy answer is reproduced here:
"Would Jack have been allowed up on deck on the “Titanic” ? The short answer is yes – as long as he kept to the 3rd class (ie steerage) promenade deck. Class divisions were rigidly enforced on passenger ships of the time and a steerage passenger attempting to enter second class or first class areas would soon be stopped by members of the ship’s company, always assuming that he had not been prevented from accessing other classes by a locked gate or grill.
  The film, though, is a “Princess and the Pauper” story set against the backdrop of the “Titanic” disaster and a lot of liberties were taken as regards the ship’s layout, just so that Jack and Rose could develop their relationship. Jack, for example, first sees Rose on what is supposedly the first class promenade deck (along which Rose later runs to the stern to make her suicide attempt). The ship‘s blueprints, though, show that this was in fact the second class promenade deck, the first class external promenade being one deck higher, with no ladder linkage to second class. On the night of her suicide attempt, though, Rose manages to leave the supposed first class promenade deck through an unlocked gate, down through the steerage promenade area and aft to the poop deck, without being seen by a single member of ship’s company. This would have been impossible, for all properly run ships had a lifebuoy sentry on the poop deck, whose task was to watch for people or objects falling overboard from the ship’s stern, as well as observing shipping astern. On the night of the collision, the lifebuoy sentry was Quartermaster Rowe, who later fired the distress rockets from the bridge. Even if Rose had got as far as the poop deck without being stopped, which is unlikely, the sentry would have intervened and prevented her from climbing over the rail.
  One of the more comical liberties taken concerned Jack and Rose’s flight from Cal’s manservant and ending up first in an engine room and then inside a car in a hold. They take the lift to B Deck, go through a door and find a hatch through which the reflection of flames on the deck below can be seen. This would locate the machinery spaces on C Deck, whereas they were on the Tank Top Deck – two decks below G Deck ! As for their then moving on from the engine room to the No. 2 hold, where the cars are known to have been stowed, they would have had to pass through up to six fully-manned boiler rooms, work their way past boilers and through fairly small watertight doors, pass under the motor hold via the fireman’s passage, then go up to C Deck and then go down again to the hold via third class/crew accommodation. According to the film, they moved from the engine room to the motor hold very quickly and nobody even tried to stop them.
  There are other anomalies, such as the master-at-arms not only handcuffing Jack to a pillar while the ship was sinking and handing over responsibility for guarding him to another passenger. Possibly the worst was the depicting of First Officer Murdoch as shooting himself, whereas surviving eyewitnesses saw him doing his job right up to the moment the ship went down. “Titanic” might be an entertaining film with excellent special effects, but the on-screen ship is very different from the real one and should not be taken too seriously"

So my question to you is; do you know of any other similar distortions of true stories by Hollywood?
At the risk of being labeled unpatriotic (I'm not) I've recently been reading the informed history of the Dam Busters WW2 raid, In truth there is little resemblance between the actual events leading up to and to the raid, and those portrayed in the (British produced) film.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Hollywood romanticising

The worse Hollywood untruth is their film about the submarine that captured the German Enigma encryption machine . The Hollywood version has a USN submarine doing it when in fact it was a RN submarine.
And although I lik the band of Brothers film - it just seems to portray the US forces winning the war almost alone and they just portray our paras as fools.
There's a new Dam busters film being made - and although it should be a lot better with Computer Graphics etc - one wonders how it will portray the crews
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

And the recent example of their involvement in D Day without mentioning the Brits.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

thought that was the toads frogs French
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

We're talking about Hollywood's portrayal of the event in such movies as 'Saving Private Ryan'.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

that wasnt recent it was 11 years ago
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

Still relevant to the question. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

Not sure that "recent" was mentioned. The date for the Dambusters film varies from 1952, 54, 55 depending which account you read.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

Quote from: artmo
And the recent example of their involvement in D Day without mentioning the Brits.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

Many of the British war films that followed quite soon after the second world war were "romanticised" in a quite different way to the American disregard for anybody else's efforts. Many were produced with pressure to have a post-war feel-good factor.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

As a genre, the early westerns were a long way of reality and highly romanticised. However the wholesale genocide and displacement of the native Americans would not have made good viewing I suppose.
Having said that I love the old cowboy films, I liked John Wayne the best as a cowboy not in the war films.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

Quote from: pierre_pierre
Quote from: artmo
And the recent example of their involvement in D Day without mentioning the Brits.


My use of the word 'recent' referred to last week's event in France not the movie.  I was answering Petlew's original post.  Do try and keep up in the back Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,543
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

On a purely commercial note, producers require an American bias to attract US audiences and a return on their investment.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

Quote from: artmo
I was answering Petlew's original post.  Do try and keep up in the back Wink

Careful artmo, you'll be accused of staying on-topic. Now you wouldn't want a reputation like that now would you!!
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hollywood romanticising

well in the distant past the driver was in the back