When I started writing this post – I had an idea to encompass all historical fiction films. But, as I was thinking about all of the options out there – I realized that maybe I should break it down into the really good ones and bad ones. The really good ones educate you and take you back in time for a couple of hours to relive some significant moment that shaped our past. The bad ones can still be super entertaining but rewrite history in a way that is essentially a lie.
I think most of you know that I worked on Titanic. At the time, I was a set person, not part of the creative team. I will say that Jim Cameron was a stickler for everything being as accurate to the period and the event as possible. One time, he called one of the men’s costumers to set to scream at him about the fact that an able bodied seaman did not have his hat on in the lifeboat when he was obviously wearing it in one of the actual photos from the rescue. Of course, he also took a hat off of Kate Winslet that she was to wear in a tea scene just because he didn’t like it. He actually threw the hat off the ship set into the water and screamed that he never wanted to see it again. So, there Rose sat at tea – the only lady with no hat on. Yes, her character was rebellious and might not wear a hat, but our etiquette advisor wasn’t happy about it none the less.
Anyway, I digress, these are a couple of what I think are the best historic films.
Das Boot(1981) – although it’s quite a long film, it’s really one of the best at depicting the tedium and anxiety of war. It’s a German film about a German submarine during WW2. There are no American movie stars saving the day – so it feels almost like a documentary. It’s based on a book by war correspondent, Lothar-Gunther Buchheim about his time on U-96 documenting everyday life on the sub.
Spotlight(2015) – This film about the Spotlight division from The Boston Globe breaking the news about child sexual abuse by Catholic priests was the critical darling and won multiple awards for the year it was released. Set more recently in the early 2000’s, the story is sensational enough that the film doesn’t need to be bogged down with a lot of character fluff and ironic scenery porn. It feels authentic and real and pretty much sticks close to the facts of the story. The cast includes a lot of heavy hitters including Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, Jason Robards, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo. If you haven’t seen it yet – I highly recommend it.
So, Deadsplintalorians – what are some really good historical films you would recommend? Next week – we’ll be delving into bad and inaccurate movies you love to hate. As always, thanks for your support!
The answer to last week’s poll is B) One Tree Hill – those kids were so awful I only lasted a couple of seasons out of nine. And, yes the showrunner ended up being a creepy sexual harasser – but truthfully that had nothing to do with how entitled and crappy most of the main actors were. Sophia Bush was really the only one that didn’t turn into a dick.
This week’s poll: