Historically inaccurate movies

With the opening of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which basically throws up double middle fingers at historical accuracy, it’s always a good time to revisit other movies that did the same, although without the intention of Tarantino.

Amongst the list compiled by the Times Online, are three Mel Gibson movies: Braveheart, The Patriot, and Apocalypto. Surely he should be arrested for crimes against history, no?

2 Braveheart, 1995

Not only was the Scottish hero William Wallace gruesomely executed in 1305, having been captured by the English at Falkirk, but seven centuries later his memory was exhumed, smeared with blue face paint and mutilated by Mel Gibson. Wallace was not the poor villager the film depicts, but a landowner and minor knight. The litany of fibs extends from Wallace’s love interest (Queen Isabella would have been about two-years-old at the time) to his kilt – a garment not developed for another three centuries. The historian Sharon L. Krossa likens it to “a film about Colonial America showing the colonial men wearing 20th century business suits.”

Still a good movie though.

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