Movies to make your high school history teacher cry

Via Popehat, Yahoo!’s list of the Ten Most Historically Inaccurate MoviesPopehat notes that Mel Gibson is a big player in three of the ten.

There are a lot more to add to the list, I think — pick your favorite Zorro movie, for example.  Or think of the fog at the airport in “Casablanca.”  Especially if one starts picking historical nits in pictures that don’t pretend to portray historical events, the list grows quickly.   Has anyone vetted the years of the song in the soundtrack for “Forrest Gump?”

This list at hangs 11 inaccurate films.  It’s snarkier and much more profane, probably not safe for work or school.  There is a lot of overlap.

Which movies have been left off the lists, other than all of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies

13 Responses to Movies to make your high school history teacher cry

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Did somebody mention this on Bloust?

    Some movies do contain useful content — “October Skies” is good, I tihnk. I’d like to use “It’s a Wonderful Life” for discussions of banking, the role of the Fed, and the history of banking from about 1920 to 1950. “Casablanca’s” bar scene, with the Germans requesting “Deutchland Uber Alles” and the French responding with “La Marseillese” provides a dramatic rendering of nationalism. “12 Angry Men” is a good movie for civics, and argumentation.

    If there were time, “7 Years in Tibet” might be a good movie to show right now.

    And for disappointed Mel Gibson fans, I wonder whether “My Year of Living Dangerously” couldn’t be salvaged for U.S. relations in Southeast Asia. Other than “The Killing Fields,” there aren’t a lot of Vietnam era movies one could trust.


  2. Steve Gary says:

    What would lead anyone to believe that these movies contain actual historical content? They are all basically for entertainment value only.

    Free Teacher Websites & communities


  3. Debbie P says:

    Mel Gibson in three of the 10…that says it all…never liked him anyway :)


  4. […] Ed Darrell over at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub points us towards both Cracked list of 11 Movies Saved by Historical Inaccuracy (in which we learn that Mel […]


  5. QrazyQat says:

    You could find it on any of a number of sites (, etc) but I just typed casablanca fog into Google and looked around. The one I used was this site. Over at another you can find the average number of days with fog (81/yr avg over 9 years). It’s sort of funny (only because it’s trivial) because I notice this is often assumed to be odd; the idea that it just couldn’t have fog. I mean, it’s the desert or something, right? The fact that it’s a seaport never occurs to people? I used to live on the California coast and we had mucho fogs even during the long dry season; it’s what you’d expect.
    The problem is that sometimes it isn’t trivial, and then it’s less funny.


  6. penelope says:

    I keep wishing I could do a whole elective of “show a film and let the students pick out the anachronisms and inaccuracies” complete with a history-spork style final project. Learning, fun and snark! Who could ask for more?


  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Great point, and good research QQ — what’s your weather source, just out of curiosity?


  8. QrazyQat says:

    I think you have to ask whether the movie claims to be in some way historically accurate. For instance, the recent biopics of Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. The Cash movie was, from what I know, pretty accurate; the Charles movie conventiently left out a whole lotta women. That’s where the Gibson movies are galling; he typically promotes these things as being accurate, and they’re far from it.

    So fog at the airport on an early morning in Casablanca? No problem for me. In fact, I note that the weather report reads:

    Casablanca, Morocco
    Mer 26 Mar 2008
    Night Info: Fog Late
    27 Mar 2008
    AM Fog
    29 Mar 2008
    Night Info: Foggy
    30 Mar 2008
    Day Info: AM Fog / PM Clouds
    Night Info: Foggy


  9. Rebecca says:

    There shouldn’t be any tears. Showing a film clip and letting students pick out the anachronisms and inaccuracies is a great lesson.


  10. bernarda says:

    There far too many, but I will mention “Enigma” about breaking the German codes in WWII. The credit was given to an American mathematician instead of Alan Turing.


  11. sharon says:

    Seen this? Always gives me a laugh anyway.


  12. eyeingtenure says:

    I think it would be easier to list all the movies that are reasonably historically accurate. My list so far:



  13. everydayman says:

    Better leave those chainsaw massacres where they are .. haha ..

    Nice post man. Got me awake for hours reading ..



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