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CaveGirl

Bogus Biopics

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Let's start with "Anna and the King of Siam" which thought wonderful due to Irene Dunne being in it, is still fictionalized beyond belief. The life of Anna Leonowen as a Victorian lady begins with falsehoods about her name, her heritage, her travels, her education and on and on, ending with the supposed romantic issues with Mongkut. Though all these details have been panned over the years, the story still resonates and is enjoyable, even more so in the musical version. So as a fictional tale, they both are fine but as a true history, both are pretty much invalid.


Name a biopic which is full of bologna and blather, but you still think makes a great movie.

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Walk the Line, with great performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as Johnny Cash and June Carter, and great music (they both did their own singing) but I suspect the movie exaggerated on how much a prick his dad was (I understand they did have a difficult relationship but not to the extreme where he wished him gone instead of the 'good' brother).

Also the movie also leaves out certain details....the fact that Johnny went on to cheat on June with her sister!

Still like the movie and to its credit it doesn't attempt to whitewash his life (it does go into detail about his drug addiction and arrest) like some other biopics do.

Hoffa....now that is a movie that tries to make a misunderstood hero out of a thoroughly corrupt man. I wonder where DeVito got his 'facts' on Jimmy Hoffa anyway.

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Very insightful take, Beth and I have actually not seen this film so will look forward to it, with your knowledgeable input about it in the back of my mind. Thanks!

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"Marie Antoinette" (1938) - Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power -

MGM's attempt to turn Marie Antoinette into a tragic heroine is laughable -

but it is such a sumptous production - that you seduced for two and a half hours. 

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Sissi.  The romantic plot is insipid and silly, but damn if it isn't a gorgeous movie to watch.

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50 minutes ago, rayban said:

"Marie Antoinette" (1938) - Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power -

MGM's attempt to turn Marie Antoinette into a tragic heroine is laughable -

but it is such a sumptous production - that you seduced for two and a half hours. 

Great choice.   I just watched this when TCM showed it the other day,  and yea,  one actually feels sorry for let-them-eat-cake Marie!   

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On 12/18/2017 at 5:16 PM, Bethluvsfilms said:

Hoffa....now that is a movie that tries to make a misunderstood hero out of a thoroughly corrupt man. I wonder where DeVito got his 'facts' on Jimmy Hoffa anyway.

Yep.  Right down to the restaurant he was abducted from.  The Machus Red Fox was a FAR more upscale eatery than the greasy spoon that was used in the movie.  You'd have NEVER seen any "hit men in truck driver's clothing" in it. ;)

Sepiatone

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7 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Yep.  Right down to the restaurant he was abducted from.  The Machus Red Fox was a FAR more upscale eatery than the greasy spoon that was used in the movie.  You'd have NEVER seen any "hit men in truck driver's clothing" in it. ;)

Sepiatone

And Danny DeVito's character is entirely made up, too.

The recent biopic on Stephen Hawking left out much about his second wife.  The one we now know beat him.  The movie could not have been made without her approval.  A good movie about some guy named Stephen Hawking, but the last third is essentially fiction.

And I can't bring myself to see Houdini with Tony Curtis.  People tell me it's Curtis' best performance.  But according to historians, the title character is the exact opposite of what Houdini actually was.

 

Edited by karlofffan
Corrected grammar

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As discussed at the Ruby Keeler thread,  The Jolson Story has some fictional content:

"Some of the plot details were fictionalized. There is no evidence that Jolson ever appeared as a child singer, and he was brought up by his sister, not his mother (who had died). Jolson actually had three managers, who were combined into the Will Demarest character, "Steve Martin". Ruby Keeler refused to allow her name to be used, so the writers used an alias, "Julie Benson".

 

 

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

What other kind of biopic is there?

Biopics are not done for historical veracity or to be taken for erudite  documentaries,; they are done to make money by entertaining an audience.

If a smidgen of Truth remains in any Hollywood biopic, it's a miracle.

Sometimes there are legal reasons that they skirt the truth, but the fact of the matter is biopics fall under the category of literary license, as well as cinematic necessity--  if  the movie producers have the Legal Authority, they can just about take it any place they want to.

 If you want a good biography of a famous person today look at "Current Biography", for historical personnages or check out

"The Encyclopedia  Britannica" . These sources may not be too entertaining, but they tend to be factually documented.

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1 hour ago, Princess of Tap said:

Biopics are not done for historical veracity or to be taken for erudite  documentaries,; they are done to make money by entertaining an audience.

If a smidgen of Truth remains in any Hollywood biopic, it's a miracle.

Sometimes there are legal reasons that they skirt the truth, but the fact of the matter is biopics fall under the category of literary license, as well as cinematic necessity--  if  the movie producers have the Legal Authority, they can just about take it any place they want to.

 If you want a good biography of a famous person today look at "Current Biography", for historical personnages or check out

"The Encyclopedia  Britannica" . These sources may not be too entertaining, but they tend to be factually documented.

:lol:

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And those "Bogus Biopics" also tend to confound audiences that go see them to learn about the person they're about.  Like JESSE JAMES.

That guy seems to have lived as many different lives as there were movies made about him.  Which one was true or if any of them were is still speculation.

Sepiatone

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9 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

And those "Bogus Biopics" also tend to confound audiences that go see them to learn about the person they're about.  Like JESSE JAMES.

That guy seems to have lived as many different lives as there were movies made about him.  Which one was true or if any of them were is still speculation.

Sepiatone

And in Kansas City I've actually met guys who where direct descendants of Jesse James.

A few years ago the PBS did a terrific documentary series on Western Heroes and Villains. They did one on Jesse James that you might want to see. In Missouri he's a terrific tourist attraction.

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16 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Biopics are not done for historical veracity or to be taken for erudite  documentaries,; they are done to make money by entertaining an audience.

If a smidgen of Truth remains in any Hollywood biopic, it's a miracle.

Sometimes there are legal reasons that they skirt the truth, but the fact of the matter is biopics fall under the category of literary license, as well as cinematic necessity--  if  the movie producers have the Legal Authority, they can just about take it any place they want to.

 If you want a good biography of a famous person today look at "Current Biography", for historical personnages or check out

"The Encyclopedia  Britannica" . These sources may not be too entertaining, but they tend to be factually documented.

Yes they are done for entertainment, but back in the studio era the studios

were pushing them as true for the most part. Of course, some were more

accurate than others. This goes along with the saying Don't get your history

from movies. I just read a review of two new books about Hollywood--one

covered the contentious relationship between John Ford and John Wayne. Apparently

Ford told Wayne to walk and stop skipping like a fairy. :) The other was about

the fifty years friendship of Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. 

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

Yes they are done for entertainment, but back in the studio era the studios

were pushing them as true for the most part. Of course, some were more

accurate than others. This goes along with the saying Don't get your history

from movies. I just read a review of two new books about Hollywood--one

covered the contentious relationship between John Ford and John Wayne. Apparently

Ford told Wayne to walk and stop skipping like a fairy. :) The other was about

the fifty years friendship of Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. 

So right - - but the history textbooks left so much out when we were in school we didn't know very much either.

They Died with Their Boots on was such a fantastic movie that I grew up thinking Custer was a hero. And here Errol Flynn wasn't even an American,  but boy, he really put that one over-- with great help from Olivia to Haviland.

The America that I grew up in generally had the very sick popular  saying of : " The only good Indian is a dead Indian. "

I was in college when I read " Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and learned the truth. 

Until TVs Roots, there was no Hollywood history of any veracity on any level about black American slavery in the United States - -   the two main films that cover that time we're quite famous and erroneous in that area-- Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind.

Hollywood has always been selective and, indeed, cherry picking as to what historical subjects they cover and how they coverd them.

Because after all, their first goal is to make as much money as possible and you do that by getting as many people in the theaters as possible, who will easily go along with whatever you're putting out there. Truth has nothing to do with it.

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Kinda like a philosophy that paraphrases that line in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE:

"When the legend becomes truth, film the legend." ;)

Sepiatone

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7 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

So right - - but the history textbooks left so much out when we were in school we didn't know very much either.

They Died with Their Boots on was such a fantastic movie that I grew up thinking Custer was a hero. And here Errol Flynn wasn't even an American,  but boy, he really put that one over-- with great help from Olivia to Haviland.

The America that I grew up in generally had the very sick popular  saying of : " The only good Indian is a dead Indian. "

I was in college when I read " Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and learned the truth. 

Until TVs Roots, there was no Hollywood history of any veracity on any level about black American slavery in the United States - -   the two main films that cover that time we're quite famous and erroneous in that area-- Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind.

Hollywood has always been selective and, indeed, cherry picking as to what historical subjects they cover and how they coverd them.

Because after all, their first goal is to make as much money as possible and you do that by getting as many people in the theaters as possible, who will easily go along with whatever you're putting out there. Truth has nothing to do with it.

Yes, until fairly recently the darker side of U.S. history was not taught in high

school. I'm sure that has changed over the last few years. As I recall, the remark

about the only good Indian being a dead Indian goes back to General Philip Sheridan,

though I don't know if he said it in that succinct a form. 

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On 12/18/2017 at 7:21 PM, rayban said:

"Marie Antoinette" (1938) - Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power -

MGM's attempt to turn Marie Antoinette into a tragic heroine is laughable -

but it is such a sumptous production - that you seduced for two and a half hours. 

Tyrone is actually so much prettier than Norma. Love it! Thanks, Rayban.

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1 hour ago, mr6666 said:

NBC NewsVerified account @NBCNews 2h2 hours ago

 

Opinion essay | Harriet A. Washington: Hugh Jackman's P.T. Barnum erases the showman's violent racism http://nbcnews.to/2kZNh0Y  via @NBCNewsTHINK

DRsBL0eXcAAZz10.jpg

Another ugly " They Died with their Boots on and King and I" exposé.

A PhD dissertation from the University of Kansas gives the true story of Anna and the King and explains how the whole thing was a lie and actuality it was the exact opposite of how the English woman told the story.

"The Americanization of The King and I:  the Transformation of the English Governess into an American Legend by

Chalermsri Thuriyanonda Chantasingh, 1999.

The English woman, Anna Leonowens' Memoirs were fictionalized and made into a movie, Anna and the King, starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison.

English Broadway star Gertrude Lawrence commissioned Rodgers and Hammerstein to write a musical adaptation of the movie.

White supremacy being what was in those days no one questioned the English woman's accounts of the non-white Asian King.

The Thai Royal Family has disputed the veracity of The King and I and have complained about the ethnocentric racism in the work.

 

While it's very true that films like The King and I and Gone With the Wind are meant strictly for entertainment purposes and to make money, however sometimes a film can be so popular and gets so ingrained into the public psychic that it can actually cause harm to history and current day reality when it doesn't only lack veracity,  but is a bearfaced lie.

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The only honesty about the film was the eccentricities of King Mongkut.  And there's an interesting story concerning him....

He did once visit the United States, in the late 1860's, shortly before the end of his reign, and was taken to a performance of the New York Philharmonic orchestra.  After the concert, he was asked which piece of music he enjoyed the most.  His reply?

"I really liked the music they were playing when we first arrived.  We must have arrived late because they were already playing it when we walked in. " :D

He was obviously referring to the sound made while the orchestra was "warming up".  :lol:

Sepiatone

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A bunch of expletive-deleted whining about how the movies don't have the political view the critic wants.

Artists like to say that art should be "challenging" and "transgressive", but they hate when another artist creates work that challenges them, like Truffaut did to Godard with Day for Night.

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