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In making fact-based films, how much liberty is it OK to take in the name of entertainment?

11 Comments

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With the agreements people related to to the facts, there are not any restrictions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hollywood already does this play on words with the difference between "Based on", "Adapted from", and "Inspired by" - they all mean something different.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We are lucky if even the documentaries stick to the facts, no way I'd expect a "based on a true story" to be even close to the truth. Unfortunately, most people don't distinguish between fictional stories and facts anymore, so the fictional Hollywood treatment becomes the version of history people believe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It depends on how important the facts are. If its a Freddie Mercury biopic, it doesn't matter. If its a historical film, it should not sanitize or mislead, although many films do exactly this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If its a Freddie Mercury biopic, it doesn't matter.

Dunno about that. Whilst I thought Rami Malek was brilliant, the timeline was out of synch and his revelation about his illness just didn't happen like that. I feel the producers could have been a wee bit more honest, in that case.

Overall, I don't mind, though, if films are based on events. What gets me riled is that people believe these hagiographies about certain historical figures that not only leave out their flaws but re-invent the person.

Pearl Harbour was a ludicrous laugh, mind. The film, not the tragic event, obviously.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Minor alterations to tell a story within 2 hours I can accept, but not wholesale changes in history. Films such as Braveheart, The Patriot for example, play fast and loose with historical fact to suit the story the directors want to tell: Braveheart for example presented a woad covered William Wallace who was as far from historical fact as you could get. The Patriot presented acts allegedly committed by British forces in America which were mostly based on either lies or from events in wars elsewhere involving neither Britain or America... as for U571 - by the time the Americans got their hands on an enigma machine the codes had already been broken by the British boffins at Bletchley Park.

Hollyweird is notorious for twisting the facts in order to please the masses in the Good Ol' Yoo Ess of Ay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As little as possible. Fact is often stranger than fiction, and more interesting than some history flick tainted by some directors sensitivities, bias or sways. People can handle the truth more than they are given credit for, and actual historical context gives us a more sophisticated view of today!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pearl Harbour was a ludicrous laugh, mind. The film, not the tragic event, obviously.

Except for the stupid love triangle, most of the events in the film actually happened, albeit some of them to different people. Doris Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr's character) really was a cook that jumped on antiaircraft guns with no training, two AAC pilots did manage to get into the air during the attack (just not Affleck and Damon) and obviously the Doolittle raid really happened. While it's not great, it's not that bad of a film.

For fact based films, as long as the majority of the narrative is accurate, I can forgive omitting or combining characters for the sake of the film. I understand that at the end of the day, the studio still has to put out an entertaining film that will fill theater seats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just wished there was a fact based film about the USS Liberty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Michael Moore has taken some pretty extensive liberty in the making of some of his documentaries.

Apollo 13, on the other hand, was a pretty accurate portrayal of that stupendous achievement ( bringing back all the astronauts alive and well. )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Michael Moore has taken some pretty extensive liberty in the making of some of his documentaries.

Such as?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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