how important is historical accuracy to you

Dec 2015
I mean in movies\tv shows\mini series or books that is bases on history, How important to you is it that they are historical accurate or as historical accurate as possible ?

Personally for me its important that they are as historical accurate as possible. I mean i don`t expect it to be 100% accurate but i do think it should at least be 70-80% historically accurate.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
The most important thing with any movie is that it is entertaining. Historical accuracy is only ever a secondary consideration.

Gladiator is mostly pure fantasy, but I enjoyed it anyway. Gods & Generals was fairly accurate as historical films go, if a bit tainted by a Lost Cause lens, but was a complete snooze fest.

That said a lack of historical accuracy can lower a film's entertainment value, but it really depends on the movie.
Jun 2015
The Former British Empire
It's pretty important to me, but I do have some wiggle room. Like the comment above, I love Gladiator. It depends...


Forum Staff
May 2013
Albuquerque, NM
We humans love our stories, and usually we differentiate between fiction and non-fiction. I believe that even the most speculative and fantastic fiction is rooted in human experience and expectation. Even when the characters within a story are aliens, animals, or rocks, they feel and and express themselves in terms we think we understand. If a story strays too far from our experience, we say it lacks "credibility" and toss it aside for something more familiar.

After millennia telling of storytelling, we've examined closely what captures an audience and transports them to a recognizable world, but a world that is understandable and that provides "answers" to the audiences questions and interest in the nature of human lives.

So it isn't surprising that many stories are drawn from our history, though often the history is lost in the need to provide a good story. History in the modern sense puts the premium on facts, even when they are disputable. There is also a tendency to think that academic history MUST be dry and filled with minutia that we don't care personally about. Dr. A loves the scholarship of Dr. B, and their grad students fight for seats in their lectures, but the non-academic couldn't be coerced into reading a single chapter no matter how great the research nor how deep the understanding of an event can be taken.

We took a lifelong Quaker to see Coriolanus at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. It was Jona's first ever theatrical event. Getting him to a seat in the auditorium was probably easier than if we were taking him to a house of ill repute, but not by very much. He sat throught the first Act with his arms folded, a grim expression on his face as his piety was assaulted by play acting. He began to loosen up during the Second Act, and then his emotions came out in a torrent. He leaped to his feet and with broad gestures tried urgently to get the title character's attention. "Look out", he shouted, "They're looking to kill ye!" For Jonas the facts surrounding Coriolanus were immaterial, but he had finally late in life discovered history that wasn't theological.

Most of us haven't led our lives as narrowly confined as Jonas, but we still confuse stories intended for entertainment with scholarly agreement as to the general facts. Good writing and technical skill in how gripping stories are told is more important than accuracy for most plays, film and television. The power of images moving through a simplified world, finding and overcoming a succession of threats and challenges that rise dramatically to a climax, and following the crescendo, and end that sends the audience home talking and thinking about the story and its meaning, are captivating. History is, of course, not so neat. The dialog of the moment can seldom match the speeches a good writer can craft in a few days. Motivations are usually more complex, and often unconscious to the actors who are actually involved.

Time for Natalie's bloodtests taken a few days before each Chemotherapy session. This will have to do, but it needs that essential of all writing ... editing, revision, editing, editing etc.
May 2015
If a production is marketed as a historical one I am very nit-picky about historical accuracy and realism. Every major error makes me cringe a bit.
Oct 2015
Northwest Territories, USA
It is the nature of the movie industry to entertain by telling a story that interests the audience. Movies don't have to be particularly historically accurate and should be viewed as largely fiction.

Like writing a textbook or a biography, producing a documentary film requires it to be factually correct.

Unfortunately, too many people get their history lessons from movies and dismiss documentaries as boring. I did enjoy Mel Brooks' "History of the World", however!
Apr 2015
That is the reason for the disclaimer "based on a true story ".

The key word here is "based". Any WW2 movie will show the Nazis as the aggressors. But whether a particular SS officer actually did what is depicted on the movie is of course, fiction.
The problem is that many people cannot separate one from another, and you can hear people say "Nazis ate baby's hearts, I know because I saw it in the movie: Return of the Nazi Vampires ".
Aug 2016
Very good example of accuracy is "Alexander" : many dialogues and situations are documented (like Persian princess mistook Hefaistion and Alexander and he responds "he is Alexander, too" - this "joke" puzzled me a little bit as not very funny but later I checked that the situation happened ).
I liked also Mel Gibson's attempts to create movies spoken in original ancient languages.


Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
Hollywood has a job to do and it is what it is. Hardly ever true to history exactly, or scripts of great books, the effect is the same.

But if a film inspires someone to go and read about it, maybe that's all a bonus?