To make millions, Hollywood sells its audiences lots of lies. One of the most prominent lie that every moviegoer is bound to see is the tag line, “based on a true story.” While some elements of the tall tale might be true, movies based on a true story mostly use a cut and paste method in order to sell a story that audiences are sure to love. Since Hollywood’s version of events are never really the whole truth, most audiences have learned to take their media consumption with a grain of salt. However, there are some lies that Hollywood has told, over and over again. These lies are told so repeatedly, that many of them are now being considered a fact. Some of these lies perpetuate historical myths, while others involve a myth about a famous unsinkable ship. So for your enjoyment, below is a list of 7 lies that Hollywood continues to tell us.
7. Napoleon Was Short
In practically every movie, Napoleon Bonaparte is usually played by a short actor and sometimes even a dwarf. Napoleon’s height has become so famous that Napoleon even had a complex named after him, the Napoleon Complex, or the Short Man Syndrome. This complex means that to compensate for a small stature, a short man such as Napoleon will act aggressive and domineering. For a long time, Napoleon I was thought to be a measly 5 ft 2 in. However, recent studies suggest that the Emperor was actually 5ft 6 in, meaning that his height was perfectly average for the time.
6. Flaming Arrows Were A Constant Presence On The Medieval Battlefield
In movies depicting battles during the medieval times, one weapon that is constantly present is the flaming arrow. In reality, the flaming arrow was not very common, because they were so dangerous. Since medieval towns were filled with straw and wood, the likeliness of everything going up in flames during a battle with flaming arrows was strong. In fact, the only time that medieval warriors used flaming arrows was when they were intentionally trying to burn down an enemy town. Hollywood has taken this form of battle to the extreme, probably because a flaming arrow looks much more epic on a big screen than a regular arrow.
5. There Were Only 300 Spartans At Thermopylae
Even though the idea of there being a vastly outnumbered group of Spartans at the battle of Thermopylae made for a great movie, it’s pretty far from the truth. In actuality, there were initially 5,000 troops at the battle. This figure dwindled down after some of the army retreated, but the remaining troops are thought to total around 3,000, and not 300. The story of 300 warriors fighting heroically against the Persian army is actually a myth that was used to boost morale after the defeat by the Persians.
4. The Trigger Happy Wild West
The typical Western movie contains a duel bar fights, and lots of gunshots. Since most Westerns contain these important components that make up a Western movie, most people think that the Wild West was a place where just about everything was settled with a gun. However, this myth is very far from true. In reality, even rough frontier towns had very few shooting incidents, especially when compared to the sheer number of deaths featured in the typical Western film. In addition, famous stories like that of Jesse James and Billy the Kid are famous because outlaws such as these were so rare. So it turns out that the Wild West wasn’t as sinister as Hollywood has made it out to be.
3. We Only Use 10% Of Our Brain
Hollywood has continued to perpetuate the myth that we only use 10 % of our brain through movies like Lucy and Limitless. Although these movies might be exciting to watch, the science behind them is incredibly flawed. The idea that we only use 10% of our brain is an urban legend that has been wrongly attributed to people like Albert Einstein. However, according to neurologist Barry Gordon, “we use virtually every part of our brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time.” In fact, if any part of our brain were slightly damaged, the effects would be profound. So it turns out that movies that perpetuate this myth are just doing so to score some big bucks while giving the audience a thrill.
2. Girls Can Do Anything In Heels
Almost every female super hero outfit involves a pair of high heels. For the average female, kicking butt while wearing five-inch heels seems entirely unreasonable, but for the average female superhero, it seems to be no problem at all. These super heroes spend their days chasing down bad guys, getting into fights and saving the world from imminent peril, without even complaining about their sure to be soar feet. In addition, just about every female action stars wears heels while she is performing all her badass moves. For most girls, even walking to the office in heels can be a challenge. However, Female superheroes and action stars make performing even the most physical tasks in heels, look incredibly easy.
1. The Titanic Was Unsinkable
James Cameron’s film Titanic is one of the most heart-wrenching love stories of all time. However, one of the main dramatic points in the movie is entirely made up. When the Titanic is sinking at the end of the movie, the event seems all the more tragic because the Titanic was the unsinkable ship, However, the White Star Line never actually said that the Titanic was the unsinkable ship. Although they boasted about the new and exciting technology that the ship contained, the company never claimed that the ship was unsinkable. This myth was made up in order to increase the drama of the sinking of the Titanic. The myth is so prominent that many people still believe that the White Star Line claimed that the Titanic was unsinkable before tragedy struck, however, the unsinkable Titanic is just a bit of movie magic.
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