Skip History Class; 25 Darn Accurate Films About Past Events

Dreamworks’ version of Cortéz | fictionmachine.com

Telling the story of history comes down to perspective. From the Spanish POV, Hernán Cortés was the great conquistador who expanded the Spanish Empire. To today’s Mexican people, even those whose bodies pulse with Spanish blood, Cortés was not such a good guy. The lens for determining accuracy is when enough movie-goers and historians nod in agreement at the same time. That said, there’s always at least one person who will cry out, “that’s not exactly how it went.” In fact, as I type these words, I know that someone will say the same about this very blog. On balance, these are 25 of the films which did History a solid in the accuracy department, even if they told the story from an opposing perspective. Are there others? Yup.

25. The Lion In the Winter (1968)

This movie is about medieval times, which makes it hard to refute considering the accounts we have of those times are mostly captured in text. Evening news is a modern phenomenon. Still, to the best of our knowledge, “The Lion in Winter,” directed by James Goldman, captures the complexities of Richard the Lionhearted. Goldman serves more than the large stones of the story, serving up the interfamilial conflicts suffered in his life while trying to balance the responsibilities of the Crown.

24. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

Did you see “Pearl Harbor?” This isn’t that movie. Michael Bay made a stimulating movie when he directed “Pearl Harbor,” but historians will tell you that “Tora! Tora! Tora!” is more accurate. There were three directors: Richard Fleisher, Toshio Masuda, and Kinji Fukasaku, for this movie. They told the story from more than one side, giving the audience a better sense of how the events came to pass, with less of the lets-get-the-bad-guys, which films tend to portray today.


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