Reel History, In Defense of Hollywood: An Analysis

Essay by TaplockCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2009

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Reel History, In Defense of Hollywood: An analysisIt is not surprising nowadays to see or read criticisms about the commercialist nature of Hollywood films. It is undeniable that there are some Hollywood producers who are willing to compromise certain historical facts just to get more tickets sold at the box office.

In fact, it has often been said that many a professional historians have frequently voiced their objections to Hollywood’s tampering with facts, events, dates, and personages in hundreds of titles, often inventing dialogue and situations and employing such sweeping artistic license that a moving picture depicting a significant episode becomes just another soap opera reduced to falsehoods and platitudes. For instance, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, one academic suggests: here is an example of faulty research because, among other items, the reports of the D-Day deaths of Private Ryan’s brothers simply could not have reached the Pentagon in two days.

Or how about the “FDR rising from the wheel chair scene” in Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor? By historical measure, these scenes could not have been possible. Let alone believable.

As an entertainment entity, Robert Fyne of Kean University, has noted that the Hollywood motion picture industry—certainly one of the nation’s strongest employers— cannot escape the daily criticism hurled against its many weekly releases by newspaper and magazine reviewers, outraged parents, disgruntled consumers, and religious fanatics who carp incessantly about the disproportionate amount of sex, violence, debauchery, mayhem, and sadism found in contemporary photodramas. He makes a litany of various questions being thrown the silver cinema’s way such as why must a movie contain, these critics whine, such inappropriate themes and untoward scenes? Who dreams up such vulgar and scatological ideas? How much longer will it take before these production companies see the light, reform themselves, and render more befitting...