We all know that most movies are make believe. Even those that are based on reality, often bend the truth slightly in order to tell a great story and to keep audiences interested in what’s going on. The reason for this? Artistic License. Sometimes real life is boring, that’s why we watch movies. That magical phrase gives Hollywood writers and directors freedom with reality in order to produce a great movie that entertains fans, plus makes a lot of money of course. It’s not like we go to the movies in order to see real life, we go to be entertained, but some movies have gotten a bit out of hand.
However, although it’s fine for Hollywood to fill their movies with make believe and fanciful stories, they sometimes cross the line and use the same “truths” so much that people actually start to believe they are real. So many movies do the same thing that it starts to take over and the reality of what happens in real life seems to become the fiction. Some of the things that happen in almost every major motion picture just, well, aren’t realistic at all. But it’s just a movie, right? With this list we look at 15 myths that movies keep using, so much so that most people believe they are real.
15. Hibernation For Space Travel
We start our list with a movie trope that we all know isn’t true but movies use it so much that some people out there think that it is actually fact rather than science fiction. In fact, you will be surprised at just how many people believe that “hibernated sleep” is a reality.
During the early movies of science fiction and in particular any movie that involved space travel, the writers went into great detail about how it’s possible for people to travel great distances in space. Pages of dialogue were dedicated to explaining “light speed” and “hibernation.” However, these days movies use hibernation or “suspended animation” so much that they never explain it anymore and it has just become part of the norm in science fiction movies. If you’re watching a science fiction movie, reality has to be suspended anyway, but even in movies as recent as Passengers, they feature “hibernation” pods in their space craft.
14. “Hacking” Is Only Done By Criminals
As with our previous entry in which “hibernated sleep” has become all too common within science fiction movies, another trope that movies constantly use is that computer hackers are all criminals. Most movies have computer hackers that are either trying to steal something, like break into a bank or a company, or they are trying to bring down society or the government because they are doing something that the hackers don’t agree with.
While this does happen, and computer hacking, along with many other cyber crimes, are illegal, it’s also true that most computer hackers are legitimate businessmen. Hackers are employed by many businesses, companies, and even governments to look for weak spots in their systems and to strengthen them. Most of the world of hacking is done by normal people that just want to work, and they tend to get paid a lot of money for it.
13. Hiding Behind Anything Will Stop Bullets
Next we come to a “truth” that every action movie uses again and again and again. In most action movies there will be a scene in which people are being shot at; bullets flying all over the place and people falling down dead, obviously because of all the bullets. However, the hero of the movie is surprisingly unharmed as he, or she, dives behind a car or a door or even a wooden counter. The bullets are still flying and even machine guns have been brought into the mix.
However, the hero is still unharmed as they cower behind their protection. The reality of the situation is that bullets penetrate pretty much anything. Hiding behind something like a wooden table or even a car wouldn’t help you survive a barrage of bullets and anyone wouldn’t survive more than a few minutes in a situation like that.
12. Cops Have To Read You Your Rights Immediately
Next we come to one of the most overused tropes in all of movies and one that is definitely not true. If you have seen any movie or TV show that involves the police or the law, then there is always a scene in which the police officers arrest a criminal and then read them their Miranda Rights; “You have the right to remain silent etc etc…” What also happens a lot in movies is that if the cops don’t read you your rights as soon as they have you in handcuffs, then the criminals can get off on a technicality.
However, in reality none of those things are true. The police officers don’t read you your rights as soon as they arrest you. In fact they don’t do it until you are already in custody and about to be questioned. That way they have an official record of it and no one can exploit this movie loophole.
11. You Have To Wait At Least 24 Hours To Report Someone Missing
Sticking with the law and criminal genre for our next entry, pretty much every movie that has a missing person in their story will also say that you have to wait at least twenty four hours before you can report it to the police. The proceeding scenes then show an agonizing wait as the people involved panic and worry about their missing loved ones.
In reality there is no way that any of that is true. The simple fact is that as soon as you suspect someone is missing, especially if you think it’s under criminal circumstances or signs of foul play, then you tell the police as soon as possible. Obviously what the police do next is up to the situation and possibly the age of the missing person. For example, the police will act immediately if it’s a missing child but may not be so positive with their actions if it’s a fully grown adult. But the fact remains, if someone is missing, report it straight away.
10. You Need The Criminal To Stay On The Phone To Trace It
For our next entry, we delve back into the world of movie law enforcement. Just as with our previous two entries, another overused movie trope is tracing calls. We’ve all seen these kinds of movies in which the police talk to a criminal on the phone and they have to keep them on the phone for as long as possible so they can trace their location. But of course, just at the vital moment, the criminal hangs up and the police have lost all trace of his location.
Although this notion makes for a very dramatic and suspenseful scene, in reality it’s completely false. The fact is that as soon as the police answer the phone, they know exactly where you are. This is even more true in today’s technological society. With cell phones all fitted with tracking devices, the police will always know where you are within seconds.
9. Bottles Will Smash If You Hit Someone Over The Head
Next we come to the movie bar brawl. In these kinds of movies, something, or someone, kicks off in a bar and a big battle royale starts. Chairs flying everywhere, fists finding faces, people and objects smashing through the windows and basically all hell breaks loose. In order for people to get the upper hand in these situations, someone will grab a beer bottle and smash it over someone’s head.
This may look cool on the big screen but in reality, it’s pretty much impossible. The fact is that bottles, in particular beer bottles, are made from very thick and sturdy glass, for the simple reason that they don’t break when being transported. So the skull of a human would break long before the bottle did. Even smashing a bottle on a thick bar would take a few tries.
8. Chloroform Can Knock You Out Instantly And For Hours
We now look a bit more into the chemical side of the movies. In many movies, typically in horror or action movies, someone will come up behind someone else, put a chloroform covered cloth over the person’s mouth and that person will pass out instantly and for hours and hours. This makes for a very terrifying movie moment, and also a real timesaver when it comes to the pacing of movies.
However, in reality, this is not true at all. Yes, chloroform is very strong and in large doses it can knock people out, but even in large quantities, it still takes at least five minutes to start to kick in. In the movie scenes with the handkerchiefs, it would take time for the chloroform to work and won’t last very long either.
7. Quicksand Will Swallow You Whole
Our next entry has admittedly become a less seen notion in today’s movies, but years ago it seemed like every other movie had someone sinking in quicksand. The most famous scene of all is in The Neverending Story in which the main character’s horse struggles through quicksand and unfortunately gets sucked under and dies.
For many years people were terrified of quicksand and the dangers they hold. However, the fact is that quicksand isn’t really dangerous at all. The sand is denser than the human body so although you may get stuck, you couldn’t get sucked under. Also, these movies tell us not to struggle in quicksand and to stay still, which again isn’t true as moving creates air pockets that can free us.
6. Defibrillators Can Revive A Dead Person
This is a very common thing within medical movies and action ones too. We’ve all seen the heart monitors beep as a person flatlines. In comes a mad rush of people as they reach for the defibrillators pads and shock the patient’s heart. Nothing happens and the patient is dead but the doctor just won’t give up and tries the defibrillators again. Suddenly the patient wakes up and is saved as everyone rejoices.
Now for some reality: defibrillators are remarkable things and a shock from them really does save lives, but it only saves lives for those about to go into cardiac arrest. A defibrillator cannot restart a dead heart. Once you are dead, the defibrillator is of no use to anyone. After all, it’s not magic.
5. You Can Get Over A Severe Beating Instantly
We’ve mentioned many movies, mainly science fiction and action movies, that seem to delve into the very unrealistic but try to pass it off as reality. In the action drama, one thing that always happens is that people will get beaten, shot, stabbed and almost always, they are on the point of death but seemingly shrug it off.
We all know that when we are watching an action movie that reality is best left out of it; after all, watching a James Bond movie based in reality wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining, especially as he would have been shot dead in his very first outing. However, when movies claim to be realistic or gritty, they still have huge fight scenes which sees the heroes walk it off as if nothing ever happened.
4. You Can Talk In Space And Get A Response Instantly
In the science fiction genre of movies, communication is a huge and exciting part of the whole story. People, aliens, and other forms of life reach out from other parts of space, other planets and even from far off galaxies. This is seen a lot in movies, especially if someone is in trouble while out in the greatness of space. They call back to Earth to get help from the science bods, usually at NASA, and they save the day.
The communication between the two parties is astonishing as they are all able to have a conversation with each other as if they were all standing in the same room. There’s no lag or delay in their conversations, which in itself is ridiculous. The simple fact is that as soon as you’re up in the air, the delays start. So calling from somewhere like Mars, the delay would a lot longer. It would be at least twenty minutes from their side and twenty minutes on our side, so further into space would be even longer.
3. All Bombs Have Only Three Colored Wires
Next we come to one of the most used moments in pretty much all action movies. The art of detecting a good action movie is that there is great suspense, drama and a moment in which everyone’s life is in danger. One of the best ways to do this is with a bomb. We’ve all seen those moments in which the heroes of the movie is faced with a bomb and only has a few seconds to defuse it before it blows up and kills everyone.
After the hero has opened the bomb, they are faced with a choice; the choice is always three wires and three colors, but which one should they cut in order to save the day? The tension is mounting but reality is slipping away. The truth is that bombs come in all shapes and sizes. Some with wires, some without, some are liquid based, some are remote controlled, and some are very simplistic and don’t have wires at all let alone the famous three colored wires.
2. Laser Guns Can Be Seen
Now we come to the most common myth within the science fiction genre of movies. Whether it’s far out in space or just a futuristic movie set on Earth, they all contain laser guns, blasters, and all manner of light and laser based technology. With these weapons, a major light show follows as blasters light up the sky with their lasers and loud blasts echo around space.
This has become a staple of science fiction movies, so much so that science fiction movies would seem bland and even silly without them. But the fact is that if laser weapons were real then the lasers wouldn’t be visible. Light needs something to bounce off of in order to be seen and therefore a straight beam would be invisible. And as for blast sounds in space, well, that’s another false trope.
1. The Court Room
Our number one entry on our list of movie myths that people believe, all come in the courtroom. Throughout movie history, the courtroom has played host to many dramatic, suspenseful and exciting scenes, however, there are so many things that Hollywood gets wrong and would have you believe are real.
Firstly, there is the length of a trial. Many movies and TV shows seem to have everything wrapped up in days when in reality it can take weeks or even months to conclude. Then comes those famous outbursts at the final moments that win the case. The reality is that if lawyers shouted in court with every case, they wouldn’t work for very long. There is also the many technicalities that happen in movie courtrooms, usually involving some last minute revelation that gets the defendant off. Again, these don’t happen as cases are worked on for a long time before the case even gets into court, so every angle is covered.
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