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The 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies

OK, history buffs, time to vent out all your indignation at the mind-boggling liberties Hollywood takes with its "historical" films. Yahoo! Movies has put together a rather witty list of the 10 most historically inaccurate movies, and seeing these films ballasted for the laughable inaccuracies is actually more entertaining than some of the movies themselves.

I feel validated by the inclusion of Elizabeth: The Golden Age which was simply ridiculous, and I laughed out loud at the comment on The Last Samurai: "It's doubtful that a 40-something alcoholic Civil War vet, even one with great hair, would master the chopsticks much less the samurai sword." Ha!

Also, might I point out that Mel Gibson stars in two of the movies, and another one of them is Apocalypto. Three out of 10, Gibson. Well done! To see the full list, which appears to be in no particular order,


Yahoo! Movies' 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies:
10,000 B.C.
The Last Samurai
Memoirs of a Geisha
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
The Patriot
2001: A Space Odyssey

Well, what do you think? Would these films, more than any others, "make your high school history teacher cry"?


Join The Conversation
Tims4cfe Tims4cfe 6 years
If movie makers don't want to be constrained by reality, they shouldn't use real people and real events in their films. They do so because most of these films wouldn't attract an audience without the appeal of 'real' people and events. Forget art -- it's all about money.
legend2142 legend2142 9 years
There are so many other movies that belong on this list. Let's see, JFK, Troy, Alexander, anything by Michael Moore.
legend2142 legend2142 9 years
I would like to know if anyone else thinks it is strange that there are no Oliver Stone movies on this list? Just a thought but he has made some of the most historically inaccurate films ever and in at least one interview complained that historical movies are hard because you are hamstrung by the facts. If you've seen his movies you know he wasn't too hamstrung.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
yes, those are some good picks...especially Braveheart. My social studies teacher got so mad about that one.
emmebeth emmebeth 9 years
Its not like these movies are Titanic- the effort it took to make that movie so accurate cost James Cameron his marriage. Now that's research....
emmebeth emmebeth 9 years
I can't even watch the previews for 10,000 BC! Half of the buildings they show in the previews alone weren't built until thousands of years later.
animatedpunk animatedpunk 9 years
Well, as for 300, it was based on Frank Miller's graphic novel..... so I guess it'd be better to say that the graphic novel had historical inaccuracies =) MANY of the shots are taken directly from the graphic novel. Aaaaanyways, it's a really great movie... verryyyyy entertaining! It really gets your adrenaline pumping. this was a fun list (although I love Gladiator too! and I agree with elizabelle that Troy should have been included)
emilyblondie emilyblondie 9 years
Haha. Even without this list, I knew a few of them were way off. When I saw the 10000 B.C. trailer with woolly mammoths and the pyramids, I could not stop laughing. I'm studying ancient Egypt in history class right now, and the pyramids were built around 2500 B.C. And the converse in Marie Antoinette. :) The actual movie was ok, but I have to admit that I loved the shoe montage!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Yea, 10,000 BC should win hands down. One of the worst movies EVER! I actually laughed through most of it, it was so ridiculous.
ASpoonfulofSugar ASpoonfulofSugar 9 years
Historically accurate or not, I love all three of the Mel movies. Apocalypto had me on the edge of my seat. Also love Gladiator--one of the best movies ever! :)
littlemissme littlemissme 9 years
I don't think Marie Antoinette was supposed to be completely accurate...I mean they put a pair of Converse in it!
menthadict menthadict 9 years
I didn't think Memoirs of a Geisha was that bad in terms of historical accuracy, to be honest.
ylatan ylatan 9 years
mel gibson in general makes me cringe.
Jillz1128 Jillz1128 9 years
Ha....I love some of these movies...
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
Most of the movies were purely for entertainment (like 300 and The Patriot). I wouldn't go to these movies just for a history lesson. I actually liked Marie Antoinette, it was kind of slow but overall it was good.
verily verily 9 years
Too funny: 2001... I'm sure that one was tongue-in-cheek. While 300 is by no means accurate, it sure was an entertaining piece of mindless eye candy!
verde verde 9 years
2001 A Space Odyssey? That was science fiction... a big mistake to include it in this list.
juju4 juju4 9 years
When I watched Marie Antionette, I just watched the last half in fast forward. It was all about the pretty pictures anyway...the clothes, Versaille, etc. None of the dialogue mattered!
snapsh0t snapsh0t 9 years
I'm not really bothered by 300. It's more about style than substance - I'm sure they weren't really going all-out for historical accuracy.
em113 em113 9 years
ha my early african american history teacher played us a clip from the patriot to show how ridiculous it was.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
JenBrett, MA was also horrible if you wanted the history. It is good for clothes, shoes, and color.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Thanks for this post. I almost walked out of the theater for Elizabeth: The Golden Age. I was excited about this movie and it was not accurate. Braveheart, I won't even go there. I can't believe Wallace was portrayed that way and not to even think about "the Bruce".
JenBrett JenBrett 9 years
Anyone else find it funny how many of those are Mel Gibson movies? I haven't seen Marie Antoinette, mostly b/c I think Sophia Coppola is an over rated hack, but that's another Yahoo poll.
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