Hate the portrayal of Celts in Hollywood

Sep 2017
737
United States
#41
I don't care what the excuse is, I just think it looks stupid and would rather see men with spears in a battle line.

The Russian film Waterloo is extremely accurate and much of it is a full-scale reproduction. However, most accurate military movies came out almost 50 years ago - or more (remember, 1970 was 48 years ago!) That has absolutely no bearing on the present crop of troglodytic pond scum, half-wits and career doggerel bards that populate The Great Satan aka Hollywood. Almost everyone who ever made a decent movie in American cinema is dead, and that ratio is not likely to change any time soon.
I agree, I much rather would see real Hoplite warfare. I just wanted to provide a shred of defense, that's all!

I think a few decent-to-good films come out every year. Now, many of them aren't the genre of history necessarily, though that's not to say they don't have anything to offer in the realm of social studies.

Honestly, though, a film could have all the inaccuracies it could fit, but if it portrayed armor as actually functional, then I think I would enjoy it. Even media that is generally realistic enough but shows a sword stabbing through mail drives me bonkers. Excalibur, for all its pretty glaring flaws, at least had the swords bounce off the armor.
 
Sep 2017
737
United States
#42
The were many historical inaccuracies with the Patriot, but the worst is the filmmakers deciding to make Mel Gibson's character an affluent Southern planter who not only does not own slaves, but employs free black laborers that he treats as his social equals. This was done purely to make the protagonist palatable for modern audiences who thankfully find white supremacy and slavery abhorrent. Nevertheless the protagonist of the film is a 21st Century man in period clothing and not an authentic portrayal of an 18th Century South Carolinian planter.

It was a bizarre writing decision. If the filmmakers didn't want to highlight the hypocrisy of planters crying out for liberty while keeping other Americans in chains, they should have had the protagonist be someone from a much less affluent background, or from a colony other than South Carolina where slavery was much less common...Vermont for instance, which abolished slavery in 1777.
It's also funny, that in one scene, the British are shown to be manipulative and conniving recruiting black soldiers. Then, IN THE SAME WAY, the Americans are shown to be generous and compassionate by recruiting black soldiers. It's ridiculous!

Before I even knew of all the other inaccuracies, I never cared to watch because of "dumb dumb bright Redcoats march around like stupid-heads while smart and crafty Minutemen shoot from behind trees at idiot British". I'm willing to accept some pretty poor representations of warfare, as long as it gets the general feel of the period right (for example, in Gladiator, I thought the opening scene showing Roman combined arms was well enough done despite the terrible trend of paper armor being there). But countless people I know believe that Europeans were stupid for fighting in formation with muskets and that Americans pioneered modern infantry tactics.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#43
I don't care what the excuse is, I just think it looks stupid and would rather see men with spears in a battle line.

The Russian film Waterloo is extremely accurate and much of it is a full-scale reproduction. However, most accurate military movies came out almost 50 years ago - or more (remember, 1970 was 48 years ago!) That has absolutely no bearing on the present crop of troglodytic pond scum, half-wits and career doggerel bards that populate The Great Satan aka Hollywood. Almost everyone who ever made a decent movie in American cinema is dead, and that ratio is not likely to change any time soon.


I agree completely. However, (in my case) not sure if that's due to insightful analysis or to the prejudices of age and the vagaries of memory.--All my favourite directors are dead, and have not been replaced by Ridley Scott or the great hauteur, Quentin Tarantino. There are a few, but very few.


Haven't seen the Russian waterloo, but have heard about its brilliance for years. I'll see if i can get hold of a copy. Amazing what old/obscure films and music that can be found on Ebay, at little cost.

There is a saying "nostalgia ain't what it used to be" My corollary is "and it never was"
 
Nov 2018
105
Idaho
#44
Honestly, though, a film could have all the inaccuracies it could fit, but if it portrayed armor as actually functional, then I think I would enjoy it. Even media that is generally realistic enough but shows a sword stabbing through mail drives me bonkers. Excalibur, for all its pretty glaring flaws, at least had the swords bounce off the armor.
I could say the same of role-playing games. I cannot tell you in how many medieval games it is possible to brute force through steel plate armor with a sword, which shows whoever wrote the rules either does not know what he is doing or does not care (both is usually the case). I don't care if your Samson himself, you're not putting an arming sword through intact Gothic plate.

This is not to say there aren't ways to get around plate with particular designs of swords, but actually punching through it should be virtually impossible unless the person in question is Spider-Man.
 
Sep 2017
737
United States
#45
I could say the same of role-playing games. I cannot tell you in how many medieval games it is possible to brute force through steel plate armor with a sword, which shows whoever wrote the rules either does not know what he is doing or does not care (both is usually the case). I don't care if your Samson himself, you're not putting an arming sword through intact Gothic plate.

This is not to say there aren't ways to get around plate with particular designs of swords, but actually punching through it should be virtually impossible unless the person in question is Spider-Man.
That's what I love about games like Mount and Blade and Total War (not that they are at all accurate but not the point haha).

Swords will do almost negligible damage to even mail in M&B most of the time.

TW units armed with sword have extremely low armor-piercing damage too (though the individual animations don't show it), except for a few concessions like falxes.
 
Apr 2017
138
Bayreuth
#46
Notice the portrayal of Celts in the following films:

Braveheart
King Arthur
The Eagle
Brave

They all have in common that they have no tactics and strategies when fighting other opponents, are naked or semi-naked, and paint their bodies with very crude tattoos, as well as lacking in civilisation in comparison to other civilisations like the Romans. I can't be the only annoyed by this. It's as if Hollywood script writers knew nothing about Hallstatt and La Tene.
Yeah Braveheart – the 'Since 500 years nobody has defeated an armored cavalry'... 'We make spears'. 'We hit them highland style.'
Whole scenes with fire and traps they lured English scouts in in houses and valleys and what else not.

30 years later – Ecritor on History forum: They have no tactics and strategies...!

Seriously... how is that possible to miss?

And BRAVE... The gigantic battle scenes in Brave... or is there another Brave movie without a girl that does not want to marry and goes to a witch in a forest?
Next the ficiton novel The Eagle... That is the one with the sea-people...nuh?

When did you ever ran to a Roman statute that displayed Germanics or Celts and went: This is all inaccurate! Didn't you know anything about Hallstadt and LaTene?!! (What was by the way everywhere but not in Scotland - @celtophile people - you know exactly what I mean)

You did not know? They did exact the same stuff.

For your cinematic interest: On Bravheart is an audio-documentary by Mr.Gibson – he goes through all descions they made with sometimes explanation where they got this or that from and what is all fiction. It is for 30 years on every DVD and BR, where this guy goes: No they did not had kilt, we did that because...

Now take a guess how that looks to guys like me who know that – if you try to explain what they did all wrong... with theses why movie-makers are so incompetent specifically writers who spend month sometimes years with the topics they write about you see presented for 1,5 hours.
 
Sep 2017
737
United States
#48
Yeah Braveheart – the 'Since 500 years nobody has defeated an armored cavalry'... 'We make spears'. 'We hit them highland style.'
Whole scenes with fire and traps they lured English scouts in in houses and valleys and what else not.

30 years later – Ecritor on History forum: They have no tactics and strategies...!

Seriously... how is that possible to miss?

And BRAVE... The gigantic battle scenes in Brave... or is there another Brave movie without a girl that does not want to marry and goes to a witch in a forest?
Next the ficiton novel The Eagle... That is the one with the sea-people...nuh?

When did you ever ran to a Roman statute that displayed Germanics or Celts and went: This is all inaccurate! Didn't you know anything about Hallstadt and LaTene?!! (What was by the way everywhere but not in Scotland - @celtophile people - you know exactly what I mean)

You did not know? They did exact the same stuff.

For your cinematic interest: On Bravheart is an audio-documentary by Mr.Gibson – he goes through all descions they made with sometimes explanation where they got this or that from and what is all fiction. It is for 30 years on every DVD and BR, where this guy goes: No they did not had kilt, we did that because...

Now take a guess how that looks to guys like me who know that – if you try to explain what they did all wrong... with theses why movie-makers are so incompetent specifically writers who spend month sometimes years with the topics they write about you see presented for 1,5 hours.
It's quite naive to assume that Braveheart portrays accurate depictions of medieval warfare.

'500 years nobody has defeated armored cavalry". That is a simply not true statement. Stirling Bridge was a nice victory but nothing absolutely genius; just good use of terrain and spears.

Kilt-wearing Highlanders that are portrayed as practically fantasy barbarians are not accurate depictions of the warriors who fought under Wallace either. Most of them would look similar to contemporary European troops and have some degree of armor.

Hiding pikes under your legs for a surprise impalement isn't probably the most tactically sound idea. For one, they would be using well crafted long spears, not the primitive-looking wooden sticks they carry in the movie. Secondly, such a maneuver would require high speed and discipline; it would've been much simpler and more reliable to just open carry the pikes.

And the English in Braveheart are depicted just as tactically stupid too, so it isn't one sided in being a poor representation of medieval battles. In general, a few novel things (such as the pike trick) are put in movies to show the tactical expertise of one side without representing how tactical genius actually functions.

Never seen Brave, so I have nothing to say on it. It's an animated kids movie, though, so I'm sure any battle sequence is extremely simplistic and unrealistic, though not necessarily to its detriment (something like Brave isn't looking to represent warfare accurately so there is no point in them trying to).

The Eagle deals with the Picts, not the "sea people" (the semi-legendary peoples who supposedly brought on a Bronze Age collapse or something similar, before Rome was even a thing). The Picts literally jump over the Romans in one scene, which is unrealistic and stupid. Then again, the Romans use a testudo for melee, which is egregious as well. Nothing very accurate in this film either (at least its one where the Romans aren't just the big evil empire though).

Nobody said that Roman statues don't have bias, and that doesn't relate to the concept of warfare. If you want to point out bias there, look to writers like Tacitus who makes Watling Street sound like a few Romans utterly destroyed an absurd number of Britons.

The main actor making excuses doesn't equate to credible reasoning, and I doubt Mr. Gibson is very knowledgeable in medieval warfare. They likely chose kilts because its identifiably Scottish and it's not as interesting if the two sides in a battle look the same.

They largely write to provide entertainment and make money. Even if they have more historical goals in mind, they tend to focus more on the events and characterization to bring the period to life rather than offer a true view. Military history especially is ignored, even more so the farther back you go in time. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but there is no way you can argue a battle sequence in Braveheart is remotely realistic.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,440
appalacian Mtns
#50
AFAIK the fighting naked bit was a Pictish thing. It also wasn't used as a general combat thing but rather as a contest between 2 champions. As in "I'm so bad i don't need no stinking armour". It was also a way to intimidate you're opponent with your scary tattoos & muscular physique.