Dr. Gina Weaver
12 December 2007
Hollywood and History: A Match Made in… Nowhere…
Hollywood, it is a name as timeless as it’s legacy.
It has given us film after film,
entertaining us, captivating us, appalling us, and exciting us; but educating us? No. Hollywood
does not exemplify historical accuracy in its films, television shows, and most definitely not in
As great as Hollywood is, it has a tough time staying true to facts without obvious
Often times, Hollywood distorts its facts to promote nationalism, additional profit,
and its own agenda in general. Hollywood embraces the phrase “based on a true story” because if
there is one thing Hollywood can do, it can turn even the most boring historical event into a
feature film complete with a hero, a hot girl, an off beat sidekick, and a villain.
As much as I
complain about historical inaccuracy in Hollywood, there are reasonable and fundamental
reasons that merit it’s exaggerations and amplifications.
Sometimes, Hollywood sacrifices
accuracy to promote nationalism in a very mild, watered down form of propaganda.
Hollywood’s writers love to add “facts” to preexisting histories.
This is how the “based on a true
story” phrases become most effective.
Other times though, Hollywood will take very cut and dry
historical event and purge it of most, if not all, of its accuracy and fill it with cliché storylines
and stereotypical characters.
While I do not argue that film is a comparable aid to history books,
I do argue that Hollywood film is not. This paper will address the fallacies of Hollywood’s
depiction of history from the eyes of historians, film critics, and the average everyday viewers,