Re: "The Patriot" - Dinnerbell Mel - Braveheart - etc

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Posted by Tom on June 09, 1999 at 19:47:04:

In Reply to: Re: posted by Tom on June 09, 1999 at 19:12:34:

I am warming up to this subject.

Now Dinnerbell Mel is making a movie loosly based on a real historical figure and that might be just the thing to get people off his back about staying true to the facts. No doubt his experiences with "Braveheart" convinced him to go the fictional route. By creating fictional characters and plot he can tell a story from an exciting chapter of history without being tied down by the history or attacked by it. Once again John Ford comes to mind because this was exactly what Ford did with the Custer story.

"Fort Apache," the greatest film of the cavalry trilogy, is Ford's retelling of the Custer myth although the names of Custer, Sitting Bull, or Little Big Horn are never mentioned. Ford working with a fictional story and characters was able to interpret the story the way he wanted to without being limited by the "true story." The result might be one of the more honest films on the Custer myth ever made unlike "They Died with Their Boots On" or "Little Big Man" which tell the viewer more about the periods they were made in than the history they pretend to portray.

The end of that film is classic. Duke Wayne's character, who had witnessed the courageous but arrogant Col. Thursday's (Henry Fonda) death, is talking to news reporters about the upcoming campaign against the Apaches. The conversation turns to a recent painting entitled "Thursday's Last Charge." The enraptured reporters describe the painting to the Duke, who knows that the painting is a complete farce of the actual event, yet he nods and says, "correct in every detail." Ford's axiom was when the legend becomes fact- print the legend. Movies tend to always print the legend and audiences have adored them for it.

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