Help support TMP

"Which movies got history right?" Topic

56 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Historical Media Message Board

Back to the Napoleonic Media Message Board

Action Log

21 Jul 2017 4:08 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from 18th Century Media board
  • Removed from 19th Century Discussion board
  • Removed from 19th Century Media board
  • Removed from 18th Century Discussion board
  • Removed from WWII Media board
  • Removed from WWII Discussion board
  • Removed from WWII Land Gallery board
  • Removed from American Revolution board
  • Removed from ACW Discussion board
  • Removed from ACW Media board
  • Removed from Historical Wargaming board
  • Crossposted to Historical Media board

16 Feb 2018 8:27 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

2,934 hits since 18 Jul 2017
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 11:37 a.m. PST

Here's the list.


What would you add. What would you take away.

ZULU? Waterloo? Zulu Dawn?

Rich Bliss19 Jul 2017 11:45 a.m. PST


Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 11:47 a.m. PST

Good one, forgot about Glory.

nvdoyle19 Jul 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

" Audiences were much more interested in buying into the supposed simplicity of the time and were quick to gravitate toward any movie that showed a sterling young cowboy doing battle with a dastardly outlaw."

Another writer who hasn't actually seen many Westerns.

"…the guerrilla nature of the Russian war effort."

Or read much military history.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

Glory did not get history correct. The regiment was made up of Free Blacks not ex slaves

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

All Quiet on the Western Front – the original film.

Huscarle19 Jul 2017 1:24 p.m. PST

Saraband for Dead Lovers
The 300 Spartans

The following WWII films always seemed fairly accurate to me…but I expect someone will correct me grin

The Longest day
The Battle of Britain
The Cruel Sea
Sink the Bismarck
The Battle of the River Plate

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 1:25 p.m. PST

Who cares, if they are well made and fun? – better if they are making an attempt at following history.

My choice is Gettysburg.

Winston Smith19 Jul 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

He should have vetted his list on TMP first.

Do you take off points for fat middle aged reenactors? Or bad beards?

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 2:08 p.m. PST

No, just points off for using an American flag pole as a spear.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 2:15 p.m. PST

'Master and Commander'; still the best.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

What about "Enemy at the Gates"?

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 2:51 p.m. PST

Love the heck out of Sink the Bismarck, but Tovey's tenacity and Lutjens' fanaticism were 'questionable'.

Battles themselves? Can't comment.


Edit: Wow! I just noticed it said of Lion In Winter 'Richard the Lionheart was surrounded by enemies and problems during this era, and this movie does an incredible job of conveying just how important his decision to name an heir would be. '

Too bad it was Henry II's decision,and Richard the eventual heir! Have to question the authors judgement on 'getting history right.'

Still want to do a Becket/Lion in Winter movie jam.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 4:08 p.m. PST

Old Yeller….especially the ending….

CFeicht Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 5:11 p.m. PST

The Patriot (snicker)

shirleylyn19 Jul 2017 5:55 p.m. PST


Except Doc's famous line was " Blaze away! You're a daisy if you do."

Jeigheff19 Jul 2017 6:11 p.m. PST

According to a historical account I read shortly after "Glory" was released, the movie's portrayal of the final assault on Battery Wagner was erroneous. I believe I read this account in "Civil War Times Illustrated" or a similar periodical.

In the actual battle, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment was mauled in the assault, which says nothing to detract from the valor of the regiment. But it was a white zouave regiment (from Pennsylvania?) that made its way into the fort and eventually engaged the Confederates in close combat.

This is a grim, sad topic. I'm not enjoying writing these things about "Glory." But as is so often the case with movies, liberties are taken.

Interestingly enough, there's a brief scene in "Glory" where the Union staff is surveying Battery Wagner and considering its strategic options. Some zouaves stand on guard. Maybe it was unintentional on the part of the film's producers, but it's just a hint of the true story.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 6:20 p.m. PST

I believe at the end of the movie Glory it is pointed out that there were other white units involved in the attack. I am willing to give them a pass.

From the article:

"There's no such thing as an entirely historically accurate film."

"…It's because of those lesser films that it's so easy to appreciate the rare movies that actually get history right. While they may not always be perfect, they represent filmmakers' greatest attempts to make history come alive through fascinating characters, perfectly scouted locations, a sharp eye for details, and costumes ripped straight from the past."

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 7:19 p.m. PST

A Bridge Too Far

dmebust Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 7:34 p.m. PST

Pork Chop Hill

Winston Smith19 Jul 2017 8:03 p.m. PST

Please. Let's not grumble about "white units didn't get a fair shake in Glory."
The premise of the film is NOT about who took Fort Fisher.
The movie is not a Hollywood documentary about an obscure incident on the North Carolina coast, after Gettysburg.
It's about African Americans DEMANDING the right to fight and if necessary die for their freedom. Freedom is not a gift. If it's a gift it can be taken away. It's about fighting for freedom. Talking it from those who do not want you to have it.

nevinsrip19 Jul 2017 9:03 p.m. PST

Swamp Fox

piper90919 Jul 2017 9:38 p.m. PST

Winston, Winston…. it was Fort/Battery Wagner, not Fisher, and off Charleston harbor in SC, not NC. Tsk-tsk. Waggy finger. You must have been writing in great haste.

Heh! And we just watched Glory again this evening. A day late for the anniversary of the famous attack, but close enough.

piper90919 Jul 2017 9:43 p.m. PST

Jeanne la Pucelle: Les Batailles/Les Prisons (Joan of Arc) (the battle scenes are crap, but Joan of Arc has never been better depicted)
Champ d'Honneur (Franco-Prussian War)
A Midnight Clear (WWII)
Sophie Scholl (WWII)
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Irish war of independence/civil war)

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 12:07 a.m. PST

Given that Waterloo was made in 1970, it's actually quite good for its time. Yes, the Prussians, Dutch, Belgians etc. Are downplayed or completely gone. As well as other things. But it does give a pretty good blow by blow of the battle. There is nothing that is completely super wrong.(except maybe the total lack of any scenes from Placimont.)

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 1:45 a.m. PST

The Dam Busters and
First of the Few
Yangtze Incident.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 4:01 a.m. PST

The Siege of Jadotville seems pretty accurate to me

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 5:01 a.m. PST

Believe Days of Glory got it pretty much right and on a little known topic.

Letters From Iwo Jima.

boy wundyr x20 Jul 2017 6:44 a.m. PST

As usual those clickbait pages lock up my browser with ads, so I don't know if it's on the list, but I'll throw out Das Boot.

HANS GRUBER20 Jul 2017 7:01 a.m. PST

Tora Tora Tora

Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 7:07 a.m. PST

I like "Black Hawk Down"
I think it's pretty accurate.

Gunner Dunbar20 Jul 2017 7:11 a.m. PST

What about once were soldiers and young, Blackhawk down? Lone survivor?

Great War Ace20 Jul 2017 7:13 a.m. PST

The Beast beat me to it. Lion In Winter is about Henry, not Richard. Silly article anyway, made stupid by historical inaccuracy posing as accuracy………….

Great War Ace20 Jul 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

Heh, all these years I have conflated The Bunker and Downfall. Ganz and Hopkins resemble each other enough that I did not notice scenes from Downfall are not scenes from The Bunker. That would be, because I saw The Bunker once, back in '81, and never heard of Downfall until today.

Landorl20 Jul 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

13 Hours seems to have caught it pretty well.

Not a movie, but Band of Brothers.

Apollo 13 is a great choice for one. If you ever see the documentary and hear the recordings, it is amazing how accurate that they tried to get it.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 9:05 a.m. PST

Absolutely, 'Band of Brothers'. It is not a movie but all the detail seems correct even down to the way they speak. Even the Brits do not come out of it so bad.

1ngram20 Jul 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

Downfall. The landing scenes from Saving Private Ryan.

Bill N20 Jul 2017 10:00 a.m. PST

The movie is not a Hollywood documentary about an obscure incident on the North Carolina coast, after Gettysburg.
It's about African Americans DEMANDING the right to fight and if necessary die for their freedom. Freedom is not a gift. If it's a gift it can be taken away. It's about fighting for freedom. Talking it from those who do not want you to have it.

Fair Point…except the criteria for making this list is supposed to be whether they got the history right. By that standard Glory falls far short of the mark. Glory could have been an equally good movie if they had adhered more closely to history. Zulu is another example of this. The movie would not have suffered if they had portrayed Hook and Witt and the end of the action more accurately.

Mark 120 Jul 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

Hans said:

Tora Tora Tora

Mark 1 replied:

(I just LOVE that pic! Mommie, I wanna go play at HIS house!)

(aka: Mk 1)

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 12:07 p.m. PST

A Bridge Too Far did a fair job. But not as good a job as Theirs is the Glory, which included a cast of Arnhem veterans, including Johnny Frost.

donkey120 Jul 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

Not sure how historically accurate it is because I don't know the Korean War but I rate the Korean language film

Taegukgi (The Brotherhood of War)

For an unusual subject I also liked the Danish language film about the German invasion of Denmark

April 9th



Pizzagrenadier20 Jul 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

Has anyone seen Free State of Jones yet? I'm curious as to how that stands up to history. I heard that historian Eric Foner put the director through the wring on the historical bits, meeting with him often and making him read an almost PhD comp exam list of books about the period.

Delbruck20 Jul 2017 2:13 p.m. PST

Twelve O'clock High, although the movie may be more of a character study.

piper90920 Jul 2017 2:36 p.m. PST

In Cold Blood (1967); based on the true crime documented by Truman Capote's book, and filmed in many actual locations -- including the Clutter house -- only a few years after the events portrayed.

donkey120 Jul 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

Saw Free State of Jones the other day – it's on Amazon Prime (at least in the UK) at the moment if you have that.

I thought it looked pretty good – though to be honest I didn't realise that it was based on actual events until right at the end.



Cloudy20 Jul 2017 4:00 p.m. PST

I waited until Free State of Jones showed up on cable to watch it last week. I thought it was an interesting movie and well-worth watching once. I wouldn't have been sad if I had paid to see it in a theater- which would probbaly have been the best choice. However, not something that I would purchase or even watch again but still an interesting story if accurate.

Henry Martini20 Jul 2017 4:18 p.m. PST

Back in (I think) the nineties, there was an Italian mini-series about Garibaldi's 1860 Sicily/Naples campaign that made a reasonable effort to accurately track the course of the Battle of the Volturno, even if the budget restricted the size of the battle scenes.

Cacique Caribe20 Jul 2017 8:21 p.m. PST

Are we talking movies or historical documentaries here?

And even the so-called historical documentaries get the dates, sequence of events, uniforms, weapons, etc wrong more often than most people care to admit. :)


donkey121 Jul 2017 1:29 a.m. PST

Whilst I would love to see the correct equipment in films you have to recognise that in many cases they simply don't exist or are two precious/expensive to use.

So in a film what would you prefer to see

A fleet of real functioning M48 Pattons painted up in German colours


A fleet of CGI Panzer IVs, Vs and VIs


A film whose story that abstracts out the action thereby avoiding the need for the equipment



Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 2:04 a.m. PST

What about once were soldiers and young, Blackhawk down? Lone survivor?

Lone survivor. Had to divination from reality.

1. There was no big battle at the end. Also if it had been a battle. Those wounds the taliban got were way to small. They were shot by 25 and 30mm rounds. They wouldn't get tiny red spots on them. They would have been torn apart

2. Beretta payed the makers money so the SEALs would use berettas instead of the current SIG

The end of we were soldiers is also made up.

Black hawk down is very good. But there is a bit of equipment wrongness. The Delta Force people use a lot of equipment that wasn't made in 93. Their Aimpoints are to new.
Hoot uses sunglasses they didn't exist until 2000. And several Delta operators use the DOAV (Delta Operator Assault Vest) which didn't show up until 2000ish.

The movie also uses wrong people to play somalies, downplay the UN contribution (Pakistani and Maylasian soldiers died saving the Americans. )

Pages: 1 2