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Factitious True Stories


CaveGirl
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While watching last night the History Channel's documentary on D.B. Cooper [aka Dan Cooper] I was reminded of the movie starring Treat Williams in the 1980's, called "The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper" which also starred Robert Duvall.

 

Now the fact that there really are no facts for sure, about the identity of the hijacker/bandit makes it for once okay that Hollywood fabricated almost all elements in the story. In this film, the Cooper alias is about a guy who has it all planned to have his girlfriend meet and pick him up in the woods after he receives the $200,000.00 and has performed his historic jump. Of course in this instance the weather looks a lot better than in the real jump, and the timing is off, but other than that who knows what really happened.

 

So I can forgive Hollywood for making it basically up whole cloth. What is not forgivable is how more often films will totally sugarcoat a biopic about someone famous, and pretend the details have any relationship to real life. Now if it was just about changing someone's hair color or how old they were when they first entered grade school, I'd not care but when one makes Michelangelo have a girlfriend in "The Agony and the Ecstasy" one knows why he was having so much agony.

 

Other films that are pretty ridiculous would be things like "Song of Norway" and such, but I'll let you tell me which films about real life persons you find to be the most inane and full of lies.

 

By the way, I can highly recommend the History Channel's two day documentary called "D.B. Cooper: Case Closed?" as it was incredibly well done and suspenseful and had lots of interesting footage and real life interviews with people who were there. 

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"Factitious true stories" sounds as if it could be about some of the stories my KIDS would tell in order to try and keep out of trouble for some dumb stunt.  :D

 

Anyway, I know what you mean.  But in regards to Cooper, ANYTHING past the time he jumped out of the plane is mere speculation.  Since his body, OR the money has never been found, it's all up in the air and also up for grabs.  Present any story you want.  Who's gonna prove you're WRONG?

 

 

Sepiatone

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"Factitious true stories" sounds as if it could be about some of the stories my KIDS would tell in order to try and keep out of trouble for some dumb stunt.  :D

 

Anyway, I know what you mean.  But in regards to Cooper, ANYTHING past the time he jumped out of the plane is mere speculation.  Since his body, OR the money has never been found, it's all up in the air and also up for grabs.  Present any story you want.  Who's gonna prove you're WRONG?

 

 

Sepiatone

Darling, isn't that what I said?

 

That this was one time when Hollywood could speculate all they wanted, since no real facts are known about him.

 

Now I've read many supposed facts, like that he took his name from a comic book character, and possibly worked for the airline or that he had a grudge against them OR the military and wanted to show them up. This documentary even cast out the possibility that Cooper was a woman who'd have a sex change. Fascinating really!

 

But like I said, I accept any off the wall theories on D.B. since we don't even know his [or her!] real name but I don't accept silly dressing up of legends just to make the movie more interesting.

 

I mean, if the person being depicted wasn't somewhat interesting, why are they making a film about them anyway.

 

Now see what you've done, Sepia you've gotten me all riled up.

 

By the way, you did not come up with an entry. For shame, tsk tsk! I will give you one more chance. You could at least have mentioned "Fear Strikes Out" the Jimmy Piersall story, as played by Tony Perkins who basically threw the ball like a girl and embarrassed Piersall for years!

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Some of the most dreadful examples:

 

"The Babe Ruth Story" (1948)--One of the Worst  biopics I've ever seen.  William Bendix can't swing a bat believably or pitch.  Film drowns in its' own tears, while the viewer chokes with laughter/disbelief.  Example--Ruth finds a hurt dog.  He takes it to a Human hospital--were there no veterinarians in the 1920's?  He seems unacquainted with the notion that animals might have their own doctors/hospitals.

 

"Words and Music" (1948)--The songs are fine, almost everything in between them is fiction (Lorenz Hart did have a complex about being short).

 

"Night and Day" (1946)--The music is good, the stuff between songs is made up.  Cary Grant looks unhappy all through this biopic of Cole Porter (he relaxes when he sings "You're The Top" with Ginny Simms).

 

"Valentino" (1951), (1977)--The 1951 film starring Anthony Dexter is merely bad.  The 1977 Ken Russell film makes a sick joke of Valentino--gruesomely bad.

 

"Song of Love" (1947)-- Katharine Hepburn as Clara Schumann has innumerable brats to look after, while Robert Walker as Robert Schumann sleepwalks through the film like a zombie.  Nice music, but film lasts Forever!

 

"Cleopatra" (1963)--Overlong, overhyped,  a $35 million dollar brightly colored sleeping pill.  Richard Burton put me to sleep the first 4-5 times I tried to watch the Entire film.  Even memories of "Le Scandale" (Taylor and Burton had an affair during filming and eventually divorced their spouses to be with each other) and the occasional snicker/snort/laugh couldn't keep me awake.

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Some of the most dreadful examples:

 

"The Babe Ruth Story" (1948)--One of the Worst  biopics I've ever seen.  William Bendix can't swing a bat believably or pitch.  Film drowns in its' own tears, while the viewer chokes with laughter/disbelief.  Example--Ruth finds a hurt dog.  He takes it to a Human hospital--were there no veterinarians in the 1920's?  He seems unacquainted with the notion that animals might have their own doctors/hospitals.

 

"Words and Music" (1948)--The songs are fine, almost everything in between them is fiction (Lorenz Hart did have a complex about being short).

 

"Night and Day" (1946)--The music is good, the stuff between songs is made up.  Cary Grant looks unhappy all through this biopic of Cole Porter (he relaxes when he sings "You're The Top" with Ginny Simms).

 

"Valentino" (1951), (1977)--The 1951 film starring Anthony Dexter is merely bad.  The 1977 Ken Russell film makes a sick joke of Valentino--gruesomely bad.

 

"Song of Love" (1947)-- Katharine Hepburn as Clara Schumann has innumerable brats to look after, while Robert Walker as Robert Schumann sleepwalks through the film like a zombie.  Nice music, but film lasts Forever!

 

"Cleopatra" (1963)--Overlong, overhyped,  a $35 million dollar brightly colored sleeping pill.  Richard Burton put me to sleep the first 4-5 times I tried to watch the Entire film.  Even memories of "Le Scandale" (Taylor and Burton had an affair during filming and eventually divorced their spouses to be with each other) and the occasional snicker/snort/laugh couldn't keep me awake.

I've seen "The Babe Ruth Story" and am trying to remember if the Bambino pointed into the stands to hit the home run for the sick kid?

 

"Words and Music" had nothing about Hart's drinking problem!

 

"Night and Day" of course has Cole being in love with a woman when we all know he was in love with Monty Wooley instead.

 

"Valentino" is pretty funny in both versions though I will say Dexter did look like him.

 

"Song of Love"  I have tried to forget since Hepburn was giving me heartburn while watching.

 

"Cleopatra" is the only one I kind of like. I know it's ridiculous but gotta love all those outfits and jewelry that Liz is sporting plus the great eye make-up.

 

Thanks for a wonderful list!

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After Tim Burton's "Ed Wood"--which looked like it'd been written in five minutes off of the four-page Medved Golden Turkeys writeup, like a fourth-grader cribbing his report off of Wikipedia--Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski thought they now had an instant template for Insert Cult-Biography Here by the time they got to "Man on the Moon" and "People vs. Larry Flynt".

 

They hadn't written the all-out fictitious crock-pot that was the Anthony Hopkins Hitchcock (2012), but you could tell enough of the Scott-and-Larry tropes were in place for the genre to hit a low point.

 

(And thanks to obscure cheap PD movies showing up on Amazon Prime, I finally got a look at the Donald O'Connor The Buster Keaton Story (1957).  Ye gods.  

At least Buster was still alive to call it a mess, and Donald wasn't happy about it either.)

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Some of the most dreadful examples:

 

"The Babe Ruth Story" (1948)--One of the Worst  biopics I've ever seen.  William Bendix can't swing a bat believably or pitch.  Film drowns in its' own tears, while the viewer chokes with laughter/disbelief.  Example--Ruth finds a hurt dog.  He takes it to a Human hospital--were there no veterinarians in the 1920's?  He seems unacquainted with the notion that animals might have their own doctors/hospitals.

 

"Words and Music" (1948)--The songs are fine, almost everything in between them is fiction (Lorenz Hart did have a complex about being short).

 

"Night and Day" (1946)--The music is good, the stuff between songs is made up.  Cary Grant looks unhappy all through this biopic of Cole Porter (he relaxes when he sings "You're The Top" with Ginny Simms).

 

"Valentino" (1951), (1977)--The 1951 film starring Anthony Dexter is merely bad.  The 1977 Ken Russell film makes a sick joke of Valentino--gruesomely bad.

 

"Song of Love" (1947)-- Katharine Hepburn as Clara Schumann has innumerable brats to look after, while Robert Walker as Robert Schumann sleepwalks through the film like a zombie.  Nice music, but film lasts Forever!

 

"Cleopatra" (1963)--Overlong, overhyped,  a $35 million dollar brightly colored sleeping pill.  Richard Burton put me to sleep the first 4-5 times I tried to watch the Entire film.  Even memories of "Le Scandale" (Taylor and Burton had an affair during filming and eventually divorced their spouses to be with each other) and the occasional snicker/snort/laugh couldn't keep me awake.

 

Slight correction, 293, Paul Henried was Schumann, Walker was Brahms.

 

But while I'm here, compliments to you for your fine and timely recall with regard to questions like this. Impressive. There are a couple others I could single out who are really good at this.

=

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I watched bits and pieces of Orphans of the Storm. Who

knew that not only did Robespierre introduce Bolshevism

before the word ever existed, but he was also the original

pussyfooter. He also looks to be about ten or fifteen years

older than his actual age. No biggie, it's only a movie.

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I watched bits and pieces of Orphans of the Storm. Who

knew that not only did Robespierre introduce Bolshevism

before the word ever existed, but he was also the original

pussyfooter. He also looks to be about ten or fifteen years

older than his actual age. No biggie, it's only a movie.

 

That was an old movie. History hadn't been invented yet.

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I watched bits and pieces of Orphans of the Storm. Who

knew that not only did Robespierre introduce Bolshevism

before the word ever existed, but he was also the original

pussyfooter. He also looks to be about ten or fifteen years

older than his actual age. No biggie, it's only a movie.

 

 

My Dear Vautrin--

 

Do I have to remind you that Orphans of the Storm is a DW Griffith movie. Griffith's most famous movie Birth of a Nation, lacks historical veracity, but it did very well at the box office. Compared to Birth of a Nation, Orphans of the Storm is historically sound.LMREO

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I couldn't agree more with filmlover about the badness of the Ken Russell Valentino. If a director keeps making the same mistakes over and over, does that make him an auteur?

 

The most interesting or enjoyable thing about Valentino is that it includes a lesbian affair played by two of Warren Beatty's ex-girlfriends.

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lafitte--Thanks for the correction--"Song of Love" was a real sleeping pill--I'm not surprised I mixed up actors.

 

I have spent Way too much time watching movies since I was a preteen;  my unofficial college major was movies (being a lifelong insomniac helped greatly, LOL).  The worse the movie,the stronger impression it made/makes.

 

Your posts are a pleasure to read.

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Okay, and not to start somethin' around here again, but in a particular Oliver Stone movie that probably should and would have been better titled "The Jim Garrison Story" and not the initials of a 1960s era assassinated President, Stone plays awfully fast and loose with a whole lot of facts in his film.

 

(...it's still pretty entertaining however...in a cartoonish sort'a way, that is)

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I couldn't agree more with filmlover about the badness of the Ken Russell Valentino. If a director keeps making the same mistakes over and over, does that make him an auteur?

 

The most interesting or enjoyable thing about Valentino is that it includes a lesbian affair played by two of Warren Beatty's ex-girlfriends.

 

You forgot Russell's LISZTOMANIA .

 

And DARG:  Stone didn't play "fast and loose" with any facts.  It was largely based on the text in Jim Garrison's book, which did all the "fast and loose" stuff.  And he often admitted to basing the movie's presentation method on COSTA GAVRA'S movie Z.

 

 

Sepiatone

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My Dear Vautrin--

 

Do I have to remind you that Orphans of the Storm is a DW Griffith movie. Griffith's most famous movie Birth of a Nation, lacks historical veracity, but it did very well at the box office. Compared to Birth of a Nation, Orphans of the Storm is historically sound.LMREO

Sure, we shouldn't expect historical accuracy from a movie, but

sometimes the presentation is so absurd it's difficult to ignore it.

Plus there may be people who actually believe movies tell it like

it was. C'mon, Robespierre was too busy with the Reign of Terror

to be listening outside people's doorways.

 

From what I remember, Stone pretty much swallowed Garrison's

lunacy wholesale, along with some other conspiracy books. He

might have backed away from this later on, but at the time I believe

he pretty much supported Garrison.

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Eric - - I'm a big fan the movie A Man of a Thousand Faces and I am an extreme fan of Lon Jr.

 

There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this movie except that last scene that you pointed out.

 

I agree with you that they took too much cinematic license here.

 

Lon Chaney was 150 percent against Creighton going into acting.

 

If memory serves me correct, he helped to set up his son in the Plumbing business, of all things.

 

After Lon Chaney died, Creighton started at the bottom and worked his way up in Hollywood. He started with being a stuntman in a lot of westerns and then he just did everything and anything.

 

He took on his father's name at the insistence of the studios. And I think he earned it too.

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Ooooh, I's got's a pretty bad one here, I think...

 

HARLOW (1965)

 

Carroll+baker+smokes.jpg

 

In this one, the story of Jean Harlow's life played by Carol Baker here, NOT ONLY makes up almost every person in Harlow's life and/or uses pseudonyms, fails to mention two of her three husbands AND changes the cause of her death, but ALSO features her and others sporting hairstyles, makeup and often wardrobe right out of the "Mad Men" early-'60s era and which were popular almost three decades after the original Platinum Blonde sex symbol had been laid to rest.

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Ooooh, I's got's a pretty bad one here, I think...

 

HARLOW (1965)

 

Carroll+baker+smokes.jpg

 

In this one, the story of Jean Harlow's life played by Carol Baker here, NOT ONLY makes up almost every person in Harlow's life and/or uses pseudonyms, fails to mention two of her three husbands AND changes the cause of her death, but ALSO features her and others sporting hairstyles, makeup and often wardrobe right out of the "Mad Men" early-'60s era and which were popular almost three decades after the original Platinum Blonde sex symbol had been laid to rest.

Dargo--

 

You hit the jackpot on this one-- totally fabricated except for the second husband, who allegedly committed suicide, Paul Bern.

 

BTW-- impotent MGM executive Paul Bern was marvelously played

by Peter Lawford--Oh, Yea!

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I guess you could also pile AMADEUS  on this pile.

 

MOZART and SALIERI really had no serious "rivalry" outside of good naturedly competing for various jobs and positions.  But musically, Mozart held Salieri in high regard and Salieri returned the admiration.  All that stuff in the play and movie, while entertaining, was based, and loosly, mostly on what today we call "urban legend".

 

 

Sepiatone

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Dargo--

 

You hit the jackpot on this one-- totally fabricated except for the second husband, who allegedly committed suicide, Paul Bern.

 

BTW-- impotent MGM executive Paul Bern was marvelously played

by Peter Lawford--Oh, Yea!

He sure didn't look like Paul Bern though, Princess.

 

Too bad Paul Giamatti [sp?] was not around then.

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Okay, and not to start somethin' around here again, but in a particular Oliver Stone movie that probably should and would have been better titled "The Jim Garrison Story" and not the initials of a 1960s era assassinated President, Stone plays awfully fast and loose with a whole lot of facts in his film.

 

(...it's still pretty entertaining however...in a cartoonish sort'a way, that is)

Dargo, speaking of Garrison I bet that you would totally enjoy reading the following book about sideline antics surrounding the assassination:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Marys-Monkey-Cancer-Causing-Assassination/dp/1937584593

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