8 Dumbest Mistakes in Historical Movies

Image credit: Legion-Media

Movies about the past, sinning with historical inaccuracies.

1. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

The biographical film with Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen about Queen Elizabeth I of England received two Oscar and four BAFTA nominations, but it was not without inaccuracies. The majority of mistakes are due to mix-ups in dates. For example, in the film, Elizabeth chooses her suitors in 1595, but in reality, she was over fifty by then and marriage was no longer an option. Moreover, you could find Ivan the Terrible among the contenders for the queen's hand, who in reality had died a year earlier.

And the portrait of Ivan, shown to Elizabeth, was painted by Vasnetsov only in 1897.

2. Alexander (2004)

Like most films set in distant eras, Oliver Stone's film about the conquests of Alexander the Great could not avoid historical inaccuracies.

The most significant one was that for the role of the legendary commander's horse, Bucephalus, a horse of a Friesian breed was chosen. It originated only in the XVI century, hundreds of years after the events of the film.

3. Troy (2004)

Not only does Troy differ greatly from Homer's Iliad, on which the movie is based, but it also has many really annoying mistakes, some of which were simply overlooked by the filmmakers.

For example, in one of the scenes, you can see the very real plane above Achilles' head.

Or the umbrellas with metal spokes under which Paris and Helen shelter from the sun that were invented much later. But so did the coins placed on the eyes of the dead heroes or the llamas, which were introduced into Europe after Columbus' discovery of America. By the way, that didn't prevent Troy from getting nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, which is also full of historical inaccuracies.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Of course, you can’t call Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl a proper historical movie, but even here you can find some interesting mistakes. The film is set in the early eighteenth century, but the drop gallows used in the film did not come into use until the nineteenth century.

There is also a textbook example of a mistake when you could see a crew member in a white T-shirt, cowboy hat and sunglasses walking among the pirates in one of the scenes.

5. Gladiator (2000)

The title of record-breaking amount of historical inaccuracies in a film holds Ridley Scott's epic drama starring Russell Crowe as a gladiator who challenges the cruel emperor Commodus. You can find anachronisms like the “Fire” command to the archers that appeared only after the invention of gunpowder weapons.

Or something more simple like a gas tank installed in a chariot.

6. Titanic (1997)

Without a doubt, James Cameron's team did a huge job creating one of the most recognizable films in the world that still amazes audiences decades later. However, there are a number of unfortunate anachronisms in the movie, which have no impact on the narrative, and therefore are probably just omissions.

For example, the hymn sung at the service in the ship's chapel would not be written until twenty-five years later. Or the Freudian theory cited by Rose was not known at the time of the Titanic disaster. Or the ten-cent coin with the image of FDR that Rose uses would not be in circulation until 1946.

7. Braveheart (1995)

Of course, the reason we love Mel Gibson's war drama is not for its historical accuracy. But when it comes to a real historical figure – in this case, Scottish folk hero William Wallace – such mistakes are inexcusable. They significantly altered Wallace's own story. In reality, his relatives were murdered when he was 21, not 10, and the love affair between Wallace and Princess Isabella was just impossible since she was only five at that time. In addition to that, they have also made a number of anachronisms and cultural inconsistencies.

The kilts worn by the film's characters do not appear until the 16th century, at least 200 years after the events of the film, and the blue paint that the fighters had on their faces in reality was used by Celtic and not Scottish warriors.

8. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Apparently, the brave archaeologist Indiana Jones crossed paths with a guest from the future.

Even though the events of the movie are set in 1936, you could clearly see a man wearing jeans and a T-shirt in the background in one of the scenes.

In addition to the typical mistakes, we can also find omissions that slipped the attention of the filmmakers. For example, there is a world map with Thailand in it, which at the time was called Siam and did not get its current name until 1939. Indiana Jones also manages to look into the future of the aviation industry when in the escape scene from the airship, the heroes encounter German airplanes, which were the trainer Pilatus P-2 that could not be in use until 1945.