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A Constant Goof in Movies Set in the Past is ...

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It seems to me that a number of period films made in the sixties (like old westerns) had "hip" current 60's music soundtracks.

 

Like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

 

The "abba dabba" singers were selling their "abba dabba" songs in dozens of 1960s records back then. I thought that music was way out of place in that film.

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... that the women do not look at all like women of that particular period, but look instead like women of the decade when the movie was made.

In INTOLERANCE and the BEN-HUR of Niblo the women don't really look like women of past history, but instead like flappers who are dressed up for a costume party. Similarly, in THE BLUE MAX Ursula Andress wears hairdos and makeup of the 1960s, not of the time of WWI.

This goof also happens with men to a lesser extent. How many Westerns of the 1950s do you remember in which the men clearly wear 1950s' style crew cuts?

 

One myth is the classic western showdown aka the walk down.  There was only one documented case which was with Wild Bill Hitchcock.

 

duel.jpg

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One myth is the classic western showdown aka the walk down.  There was only one documented case which was with Wild Bill Hitchcock.

 

duel.jpg

 

 

 

Let me tell you how or why that became a trend in movies.

 

It has to do with several Supreme Court decisions, going back into the 20th and 19th Centuries.

 

Seems that if you pull a gun and shoot and kill a guy before he has time to pull his gun, then you are guilty of murder.

 

But, if he draws first, and you are fast enough to draw second and then quickly shoot and kill him, before he shoots you, then you ARE NOT guilty of murder. You are DEFENDING YOURSELF, which is a legal right in this country.

 

This old rule of the Supreme Court still applies out here in several of the old Western states, and in many other states too, so that if you shoot and kill someone who is aiming a weapon at you (if he aims at you first, and then you draw your gun and shoot him, to save your own life), then you ARE NOT ARRESTED and NOT GUILTY of murder, since you are defending yourself.

 

So, this basic theme is why the movies and TV shows developed and over-used the myth of the fast draw in the middle of main street, and that is why Matt Dillon always let the villain draw first.

 

See this..... It is carefully edited, but the bad guy tries to draw first, then there is a quick edit to give the illusion that Matt draws second but faster and shoots the bad guy, in self defense.

 

 

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Gene Hackman gave a more realistic explanation that being faster within itself is not better in "Unforgiven"

 

 

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There was some major TV show I saw in the 1960s which made the point that the draws and shootings in Westerns had become so fast, the accuracy of the shots suffered.

 

This show made a point about some little-known old time sheriff or policeman who always shot slow so he could aim, and he always held his gun with both hands, while the bad guys were shooting rapidly at him, using one hand, and missing every shot.

 

Ironically, this TV show started the TV and movie trend of hero sheriffs and cops holding their gun with BOTH HANDS, and that was a big trend in the 1970s and 80s Westerns and police and detective movies. :)

 

Evidently there was some old-time sheriff who was the first to yell "FREEZE" and that became a TV and movie trend for the next 30 years! :)

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Really?!

 

Why, I had NO idea that K lan members ever wore plumber's helpers on their heads?!!!

 

birth.jpg

 

(...ya see, THIS is why I love this place...ya learn somethin' new every single day!)

 

Oh? How many CLAN photos from 1865 have you seen?

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The "Tiki Kid" has handgun experience?

 

Not my idea....but because MrTeek is in law enforcement, he owns a few guns. Kept in a combination safe of course. He bought her a BB rifle at 11 and instructed her at the shooting range by 14 to familiarize her with handling real guns. 

 

Thankfully, she isn't interested in guns in the least (me neither)

But knowing what I know about both shooting & riding, I'm always amazed anyone ever hit ANYthing back in the "old west".

 

There is a new organized sport of shooting balloons at close range from horseback that looks kind of fun; 

 

applegatetrail_peacemakers_tim2_nwhf11.j

 

But like anything, playing cowboy on a controlled course with modern weapons is a very different thing than being in a real situation with real outlaws on rocky footing with less than perfect weapons.

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It seems to me that a number of period films made in the sixties (like old westerns) had "hip" current 60's music soundtracks. That may have been a good idea when the films were first released but watching them today it seems really ridiculous.

 

THANK YOU, although in fairness that practice wasn't much more cringeworthy than the way High Noon began the trend of opening Westerns with some of the sappiest ballads ever known to man or beast. 

 

OTOH not even "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darling" could match the shudder factor of the soundtracks of The Graduate and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Those albums should've been made honorary guest entrants in Bill Veeck's Disco Demolition Night. :)

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It seems to me that a number of period films made in the sixties (like old westerns) had "hip" current 60's music soundtracks. That may have been a good idea when the films were first released but watching them today it seems really ridiculous.

In other words, music from the '60s, from the perspective 0f 2014, s u c k s?

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It seems to me that a number of period films made in the sixties (like old westerns) had "hip" current 60's music soundtracks. That may have been a good idea when the films were first released but watching them today it seems really ridiculous.

 

THANK YOU, although in fairness that practice wasn't much more cringeworthy than the way High Noon began the trend of opening Westerns with some of the sappiest ballads ever known to man or beast. 

 

OTOH not even "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darling" could match the shudder factor of the soundtracks of The Graduate and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Those albums should've been made honorary guest entrants in Bill Veeck's Disco Demolition Night. :)

Soundtracks are supposed to complement the story and add to the enjoyment of the movie.  So sometimes it is better to have one that is appropriate to the time being made vs. the period of the movie.

As for the soundtrack of The Graduate, it is great, very well done and very appropriate to the movie.  The music was timely for both the year it was made and now for the period of the movie.  BTW, it was an actual soundtrack as the songs were written for the movie and then made into albums.  Big selling albums that really cemented Simon and Garfunkel's status.

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In other words, music from the '60s, from the perspective 0f 2014, s u c k s?

 

It's interesting when artist of the past gets the time period wrong because of ignorance.  One example is Leonardo DeVinci "The Last Supper" the reflects the Italian Renaissance  instead of the 30 AD Judea life style.

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In every movie I've seen about Cleopatra, she always speaks English.

That is an interesting question: what language did Cleopatra VII speak? It seems she knew several, but which one was her main language? Greek, since the house of Ptolemy was Greek?

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It's interesting when artist of the past gets the time period wrong because of ignorance.  One example is Leonardo DeVinci "The Last Supper" the reflects the Italian Renaissance  instead of the 30 AD Judea life style.

 

Yeah, and I hate when they show that picture on TV in the pan and scan format!

 

:)

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That is an interesting question: what language did Cleopatra VII speak? It seems she knew several, but which one was her main language? Greek, since the house of Ptolemy was Greek?

 

It is inconvenient for the Greeks. (referring to the English "Cleopatra" movie)

 

x240-SNy.jpg

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That is an interesting question: what language did Cleopatra VII speak? It seems she knew several, but which one was her main language? Greek, since the house of Ptolemy was Greek?

 

In her communications with Caesar and Antony would she have spoken Latin?

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That is an interesting question: what language did Cleopatra VII speak? It seems she knew several, but which one was her main language? Greek, since the house of Ptolemy was Greek?

In other words, in a movie, about a foreign person, they are supposed to speak their native language in the film? That would preclude American filmmakers from making films about any historical figure who didn't speak English.

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There was some major TV show I saw in the 1960s which made the point that the draws and shootings in Westerns had become so fast, the accuracy of the shots suffered.

 

This show made a point about some little-known old time sheriff or policeman who always shot slow so he could aim, and he always held his gun with both hands, while the bad guys were shooting rapidly at him, using one hand, and missing every shot.

 

Ironically, this TV show started the TV and movie trend of hero sheriffs and cops holding their gun with BOTH HANDS, and that was a big trend in the 1970s and 80s Westerns and police and detective movies. :)

 

Evidently there was some old-time sheriff who was the first to yell "FREEZE" and that became a TV and movie trend for the next 30 years! :)

Now if they could just work on today's "gangsta grip"...

fkceuc.jpg

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In other words, in a movie, about a foreign person, they are supposed to speak their native language in the film? That would preclude American filmmakers from making films about any historical figure who didn't speak English.

 

Your correct that it would make no sense for characters in movies made for the American (English), market to speak anything but English regardless of their actual native language.    Of course if there is very limited talk in a foreign language that can be handled with subtittles,   but one would have to be very clueless to not know why everyone is speaking English in a film where the characters wouldn't be speaking English.      

 

Also I don't think it works well when a film tries to be 'real' with a mix of English and too many subtitles or always using subtitles  (e.g. some war films did this).

 

It doesn't make the film more 'real' to me but instead it is a distraction.    Come on director;  I know those dudes on that Japanese war ship don't speak English in their day to day speech!   

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In other words, in a movie, about a foreign person, they are supposed to speak their native language in the film? That would preclude American filmmakers from making films about any historical figure who didn't speak English.

 

The point is that one must expect what people are calling goofs in movies set in the past, especially the ancient past where the characters did not  speak the language of the filmmakers or their intended audience. If they did speak the same language there would be significant differences in pronunciation, syntax, vocabulary. The English accent of Elizabeth I would not be he same accent heard from Elizabeth II or Vanessa Regrave or Julie Andrews. 

 

If movies were to be "true," in depictions of the ancient (and often the not so ancient) past they would also present people with very different standards of hygiene from those of tmodern movie audiences, particularly dental hygiene. 

Most movie audience members do not want to see rotten teeth in a close-up.

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Your correct that it would make no sense for characters in movies made for the American (English), market to speak anything but English regardless of their actual native language.    Of course if there is very limited talk in a foreign language that can be handled with subtittles,   but one would have to be very clueless to not know why everyone is speaking English in a film where the characters wouldn't be speaking English.      

 

Also I don't think it works well when a film tries to be 'real' with a mix of English and too many subtitles or always using subtitles  (e.g. some war films did this).

 

It doesn't make the film more 'real' to me but instead it is a distraction.    Come on director;  I know those dudes on that Japanese war ship don't speak English in their day to day speech!

 

h

 

I think a very good and laudable exception to this is Mel Gibson's APOCALIPTOS, also his THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

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In her communications with Caesar and Antony would she have spoken Latin?

In her communications with Caesar and Antony would she have spoken Latin?

In her communications with Caesar and Antony would she have spoken Latin?

Greek had been the lingua franca of a good part of the Mediterranean rim around this time. However, the Romans had a more dominating concept of empire building, imposing their language as well as culture, and even people, on their conquered territories. But at this time, they were relative newcomers to Egypt, so I would guess Greek would have been the way Cleopatra communicated with them.

 

Btw, whoever said that 60s makeup and hairstyles ruined many period films of that decade, the exception might be CLEOPATRA, as the hairstyles and makeup worn by Liz were ostensibly inspired by Egyptian art. This look, in turn, influenced what we now know as the "60s look".

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Btw, whoever said that 60s makeup and hairstyles ruined many period films of that decade, the exception might be CLEOPATRA, as the haorstyles and makeup worn by Liz were ostensibly inspired by Egyptian art. This look, in turn, influenced what we now know as the "60s look".

 

Yep, and Barbra here certainly bought into it...

 

screen-shot-2011-10-24-at-10-07-21.png

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Yep, and Barbra here certainly bought into it...

 

screen-shot-2011-10-24-at-10-07-21.png

As.did,.among many others,.Diana Ross, the other Supremes, h e l l, just about every female Motown artist of the time.

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