Best biography movie factual errors of all time

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Girl with a Pearl Earring picture

Factual error: When Griet is introduced to the camera obscura, far too much light is projected onto Vermeer's and Griet's faces. Camera obscuras don't make their own light; rather the image produced on the viewing screen is always dull.

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Spartacus picture

Factual error: The weaponry of the Romans and their use is wrong (as they are in all Hollywood movies playing in the Ancient Mediterranean that I know): Instead of one spear, each legionary would carry two weighted javelins, called Pila (singular: Pilum), which had a long narrow iron head. The purpose of these were to throw them at the enemy before melee; if they did not kill their targets, the pila would get stuck in their shields. The head shaft would bend, making the pila useless for 'return' to their original owners, and with the added weight of the javelin, the enemies' shields were rendered useless as well. Following this, the Romans attacked with short swords (the Gladii; singular Gladius).

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Lucy picture

Factual error: The final episode of "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" when Lucy meets Ernie Kovacs, marks the finality for Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, and Fred and Ethel Mertz. By this time the shows weren't filmed before a live audience the way it's depicted in the movie. The producers of the show abandoned the live audience earlier than the final shows.

megamii
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Sunrise at Campobello picture

Factual error: In the scene where nickels fall on newspapers announcing that Roosevelt beat Hoover, at least one of them appears to be a Jefferson. The election occurred in 1932. The first Jefferson nickel was minted in 1938.

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Cinderella Man picture

Factual error: In the scene prior to the Braddock/Baer fight, when Jim's wife Mae comes into the locker room and gives him the heartfelt spiel about being behind him in this fight after all, she leaves the room and as she leaves Jim, Russell Crowe, is standing there in a white "wife beater" tank top. It is a new one with a screened on tag by either Fruit of the Loom or Hanes. Screened-on tag tees didn't come about until the last few years.

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Alexander picture

Factual error: Just before old Ptolemy starts telling his story of Alexander, at the very beginning of the movie, we see a shot of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. It's fully operational, which is a mistake because the building was finished during the reign of Ptolemy's son, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, some years after the first Ptolemy's death.

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Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story picture

Factual error: During the scene where Bruce leaves his girlfriend's parents home, it's raining. He leaves in a huff on his motorcycle and you can clearly hear the sound of screeching rubber on the pavement. Peeling out and making this sound would not have been possible in a rainstorm.

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I'm Not There. picture

Factual error: The phone at the Peacocks house is too modern for the time - the cord going into the handset had a clip in cord versus being attached directly to the piece.

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Gods and Monsters picture

Factual error: The supposedly Great War vintage gas mask James Whale finds and later gets Clayton to wear is in fact a British style introduced in the 1930's, and the specific variation shown was not made except during WW2. In addition, during the flashbacks to WW1, various pieces of WW2 equipment crop up (e.g. helmets with spring-loaded canvas covered chin straps instead of leather chin straps, and WW2 British pattern gas mask bags).

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Walk the Line picture

Factual error: Towards the beginning of the film, the Cashes receive a notice about their rent. It's the 1950's and the address has a ZIP code. ZIP codes were not introduced until 1963.

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Get Rich or Die Tryin' picture

Factual error: In the movie, Marcus is out of high school, probably in his late teens, early 20's. Going by 50 cent's age, this would probably put the movie back in the mid 90's. When he flashes back, he's younger, put it in the late 80's. Well, in one sequence when he's young, he's playing with friends and has on red and white low Air Jordan 2's on. These were not made in this color until 2004. Same in another sequence when he's talking to Majestic while eating fast food, he's wearing some white and green Air Jordan 4's, which also didn't come out til 2004, which in fact is when the movie was filmed.

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The Buddy Holly Story picture

Factual error: When Buddy and the musicians tour bus is towed to the Clear Lake Auditorium for the final concert before the fatal air crash, the canopy states that the concert is on the 3rd of February. The fatal accident that took Buddy, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens occurred at 1am on 3rd February 1959 so the canopy should have read 2nd February.

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Lady Jane picture

Factual error: The film strongly implies that John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, keeps his head (literally) by converting to Catholicism. In fact, he was executed well before Lady Jane Grey was.

meburste
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MacArthur picture

Factual error: Just after the start of the Korean War, McArthur places a map of Korea on the hood of a jeep to explain to a subordinate general his plans to invade Inchon. The map shows the boundary of North and South Korea not along the 38th parallel, which was the border at the time (1950), but along today's DMZ - not established until the Korean armistice was signed in 1953.

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King of Kings picture

Factual error: At the end of the film, Mary Magdalene approaches Jesus just as he has arisen from his tomb, at first shocked that he has arisen. As Jesus is talking to her and motioning with his hands, it is plainly clear that he has no nail marks/stigmata, when he should have. (See John 20: 24-29, where-in the resurrected Jesus shows "Doubting Thomas" the nail prints in his hands.)

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Music Within picture

Factual error: When Richard asks Art his opinion of his book, a copy of "Haymarket Scrapbook" is on a shelf. This book was first published in 1986, yet Richard's book will be published in 1981. (01:03:00)

johnrosa
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Mrs. Brown picture

Factual error: The queen's maid tells Brown that the queen is currently reading 'Lord Tennyson.' That would be difficult in 1864, as Tennyson did not accept a peerage until the early 1880s.

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Warm Springs picture

Factual error: The song "I Won't Dance" was not written until the early-'30s, at least six years after the time it was shown being used in the film. However, it is still performed in the dining room scene.

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The Express picture

Factual error: There are Velcro straps holding the pads on the blocking sled, and there is an end zone goal post with one base. Both of these items did not exist until the late 60s.

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The Danish Girl picture

Factual error: Einar walks away from his wife in Paris to go to a peep show, then there is suddenly a scene where he walks the streets of Copenhagen. It's clear that the marble church of Copenhagen is in the shot.

Mark Barner
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