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08-10-2018, 09:10 AM   #1
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How the movies get it wrong

Some time ago, I watched the truly terribly movie An American Haunting. The movie is set mostly around the year 1817.

It's bracketed by modern-day events, and at the end of the movie, a character looks at a series of photos of her ancestors. Taken not long after the events in 1817. All of them smiling.

Has anyone else seen a movie with such blatant disregard for photographic history? If so, what was it?

08-10-2018, 09:19 AM   #2
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1817 predates photographic portraiture by a couple of decades.
08-10-2018, 09:25 AM   #3
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Historical and technical accuracy has never been of much concern with Hollywood script writers.
08-10-2018, 10:02 AM   #4
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As long as it doesn't take away from the story who cares? It's all about storytelling. The film was not billed as a documentary was it?

08-10-2018, 10:02 AM   #5
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Don't let the facts interfere with a good story.
08-10-2018, 10:21 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Yeah, but it was a terrible story. This was just one problem with it.
08-10-2018, 10:51 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I'm all for the creative licence thing but similarly in Sci Fi movies I wish they would least pretend there is a vacuum in space.
08-10-2018, 12:05 PM   #8
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I recommend the Alan Alda movie SWEET LIBERTY for a funny look at what Hollywood does to history.

08-10-2018, 12:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photogoof Quote
Some time ago, I watched the truly terribly movie An American Haunting. The movie is set mostly around the year 1817.

It's bracketed by modern-day events, and at the end of the movie, a character looks at a series of photos of her ancestors. Taken not long after the events in 1817. All of them smiling.

Has anyone else seen a movie with such blatant disregard for photographic history? If so, what was it?
Maybe they reversed the polarity on the pictures to improve resolution???
08-10-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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Movies written in haste with no research tend to be the worst. Unfortunately, most people don't know that portraits like that didn't exist in 1817 so to the majority of the public, it doesn't matter.
08-10-2018, 12:44 PM   #11
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Many scientists wish that movies would break the laws of physics three times or less. We all have to live with disappointment. Sadly, ignorant people will insist something is true because they saw it in a movie.
08-10-2018, 01:11 PM   #12
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Movies are also very bad when it comes to firearms. One of the worst in this regard was Die Hard with the non-existent ceramic Glock 7. Die Hard 2 was even worse, but that is a long story.

Saving Private Ryan was a good movie but two details spoil it. The opening scene with the bullets whizzing through the water. Looks good on screen but real bullets don't do that. The worst was the line about the P51 tankbusters! The P51 Mustang was never used for ground attack in WWII. Every aviation nerd knows that, but it was the only plane they could find to use in the movie. So they came up with that corny line.

Regarding photography, there are more irritations. Why does any old SLR camera have to make a motor drive sound in movies? Even if it doesn't actually have one. How much film does the photographic hero go through with all that clicking going on? And why does he keep making wild adjustments to the focus?
08-10-2018, 01:28 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote

Regarding photography, there are more irritations. Why does any old SLR camera have to make a motor drive sound in movies? Even if it doesn't actually have one. How much film does the photographic hero go through with all that clicking going on? And why does he keep making wild adjustments to the focus?
I always fiddle with the focus (even with autofocus) and make motor drive sounds so that people think I'm a professional. Try this with an old 110 and nobody will get within 50 feet of you. I never get photobombed!
08-10-2018, 01:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
Why does any old SLR camera have to make a motor drive sound in movies? Even if it doesn't actually have one. How much film does the photographic hero go through with all that clicking going on? And why does he keep making wild adjustments to the focus?
I was just thinking about that earlier. No motor drive, but it sounds like there is one. And Our Hero never runs out of film. Then there are the movies with extras who are supposed to be photojournalists, but don't know how to hold a camera. And don't even get me started on scenes where someone puts a photo in the developer, watches the image come up, then turns on the lights while it's still in the developer.
08-10-2018, 02:19 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
The P51 Mustang was never used for ground attack in WWII. Every aviation nerd knows that
Never is bad word to use.

United Kingdom operational service.

Beyond Pointblank.

Post-World War II.
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