Best history movie questions of all time

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Amistad picture

Question: In the last scene of the film the ship appeared to me to be sailing in a westerly direction (sun sets in the west). Wouldn't the ship need to go east from USA to sail to Sierra Leone?

Maureen

Chosen answer: It's likely that the scene was set in the morning, meaning they would be going east.

Greg Dwyer
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The Passion of the Christ picture

Question: Does anyone know the significance of the Romans clubbing the feet of the two thieves crucifed at Golgotha? And why they did not do this to Jesus? I know there's an explanation for this somewhere in the gospels but I can't find it.

Jeanne Perrotta

Chosen answer: When someone is crucified, they die from suffocation because when the arms are stretched out that far wide and you can't move your legs it is close to impossible to breathe. The platform that their feet were nailed to would serve, for a while, a way to boost your body up enough to be able to take small breaths in and out. Eventually when they were tired of waiting for you to die they would break your legs so you couldn't boost yourself up enough to breathe well and you would asphyxiate quicker. When the storm came after Jesus died, they broke the legs of the 2 thieves, but did not break Jesus's legs. The prophecy stated that the Messiah would die with no broken bones.

princesskelli
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Troy picture

Question: What does Agamemnon yell right before the Greeks charge in the first battle?

Answer: He doesn't yell any words, just an expression of anguish over his brothers death.

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Black Hawk Down picture

Question: Why did the film makers portray Sgt. Eversmann as the main character/hero of the story? I've read the book and his involvement was minimal.

Answer: The answer to this question is quite simple. Whenever any book is put on to the screen things must be glorified in order to catch the eye of a film goer. In movies like this one, heroes, brave men, and down right bad ass characters are what people need to see. If the movie was just like the book, there would be just a whole bunch of equally important characters, which is something very rarely seen in movies. So in short they made sgt Eversmann a main character simply because the movie needed one.

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The Founder picture

Question: Two questions are puzzling me. 1. Considering the tactics that Ray used to take control of McDonald's from the brothers, couldn't it be said that he cheated and conned the brothers out of their restaurant? 2. When Ray visits Mac in the hospital, he offers him a blank check to which the brothers agree. Why would they agree to such a thing instead of fighting to get their restaurant back?

Answer: 1. Yes, he pretty much cheated them out of their restaurant, royalties, intellectual property, etc. 2. Ray elaborates on this towards the end of the film when is on the phone with them. He's generated so much revenue from his real estate venture that he can afford to tie them up in court for years and drown them in legal fees if they decided to sue him for breach of contract. This is why they decide to surrender the company and everything that came with it in exchange for $1 million each and 1% perpetuity, the latter of which they never received.

Phaneron Premium member
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The Finest Hours picture

Question: Aside from the fact that 32 survivors were rescued, how many were there before the storm and how many died by the end of the movie?

Answer: 64.

Answer: The Pendleton had a crew of 41. 9 were lost during the rescue.

Bishop73
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King Arthur picture

Question: What does the Saxon who rallies the troops actually yell? He yells it twice: once, after Cerdic meets with Arthur in front of the wall and gives the order to "prepare the men for battle", and then a second time when Cerdic gives the signal after the only survivor of the first "wave" comes back through the wall. (And I don't mean his cry of "battle formation.").

Answer: You sure? Might be Old Saxon.

Answer: He yells 'Schlachtet den feind!' (In very, very bad "German") - 'slaughter the enemy!'. And his army seems to yell: "Schlachtung! Schlachtung! Schlachtung..." - "Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter..."

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300 picture

Question: Could someone please explain the goat in Xerxes' 'sex room' (for lack of a better word). The scene before Xerxes offers the hunchback Ephialtes everything, this scene begins with a shot of a goat with human hands playing an instrument and (I believe) smoking something. Does Xerxes have a goat fetish or something? Could someone kindly explain this for me.

Answer: The scene is meant to show that Xerxes has exotic creatures/slaves from every corner of the world. In the reality of the film, a goat-headed musician would certainly qualify.

Jason Hoffman
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Schindler's List picture

Question: Does anyone know the name of the song which is playing on the radio in the beginning of the movie, when Schindler is getting dressed for the party?

Answer: "Gloomy Sunday".

Kimberly Klaus
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Jesus Christ Superstar picture

Question: At the very end when they show the sun setting over the hill, you can see something/someone moving across the screen, just under the ground. Is this done to symbolize something, or was it a sort of camera problem?

Answer: According to Ted Neeley and Norman Jewison on the DVD commentary, the shepherd walking across the frame in the final shot of the film was never intended to be there, and just happened across the shot as they were filming. Because of the significance of a shepherd in the teachings of Christ, Jewison and the crew were struck profoundly by the timing of this shepherd crossing the field, and kept the shot. They got a perfect sunset, as well as a subtle depiction of the resurrection.

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Dunkirk picture

Question: Why did the spitfire pilot land on the beach at the end of the movie facing certain internment when he could have ditched and be taken back to Blighty?

Answer: After running out of fuel, he kept his craft aloft as long as he could so he could shoot down the enemy plane. He then landed when and where he safely could, which was on the beach but in enemy territory. Ditching a plane in water is dangerous and would have meant far less chance of survival.

raywest Premium member
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Apollo 13 picture

Question: Did the interior of the Apollo 13 spacecraft really become cold, and frosty as shown in the movie?

Answer: From what I have read, according to the real astronauts, it was not as cold in the capsule as was depicted in the film. The movie exaggerated that for dramatic effect.

raywest Premium member
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Hotel Rwanda picture

Question: Who was supplying the Hutu army?

Answer: French.

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon picture

Question: What is the significance of the very last shot? We see see Jen (Zhang Ziyi) flying into the clouds and then a mountain/forest shot, in which nothing happens, for about a second and then the credits roll.

Answer: It is an open question. Interpretation of the last scene is really left to the audience. But to those of you who completely missed the whole point of the jump, it refers to the "Legend of the Mountain" as told to Jen by Lo "Dark Cloud". He told her that if a person makes a wish and jumps from the mountain, the wish will be granted and, occasionally, the jumper's life will be spared. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is actually a fourth book in the series of five books. In the book, Jen survives the fall, but never returns to Lo, fearing her parents shame and prosecution. Popular opinion seems to be that Jen was in fact in love with Li Mu Bai and the jump was an attempt of escaping the live lover towards the dead one.

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United 93 picture

Question: In the beginning of the movie, why were the hijackers shaving their chests and genital areas? Is this some kind of religious ritual?

Answer: Muslims are supposed to remove their pubic and armpit hair at least every 40 days. It is part of being clean and they would want to be as clean as possible while committing an act on behalf of their religion.

Myridon
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Glory picture

Question: Is there a website, books or vhs/dvd that tells the entire documentary of Robert Shaw and the 54th Mass that the movie is based on?

SAZOO1975

Chosen answer: The History Channel has a DVD you can buy called, The Civil War Journal, one of the episodes is about the 54th Mass. http://store.aetv.com/html/product/index.jhtml?id=74565.

pross79
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Midway picture

Question: When is The Coral Sea Battle shown?

Answer: It's shown in the original 4 hour movie. Most of the scenes from the Coral Sea Battle are cut from this version and the battle is referenced, but never really shown.

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The Untouchables picture

Question: How accurate is the portrayal of the Untouchables, when it comes to names and numbers? Were there actually only four of them? Do Garcia, Connery and Smith play actual people or fictive ones?

Answer: It's about 50% truth and 50% fiction. Ness, Al Capone, and Frank Nitty are real, of course, but the characters played by Connery, Garcia, and Smith are fictional. Ness started out with 50 candidates for his 'Untouchables' force. This was whittled down to 15 finalists and from that he selected 9 agents (none of which has the same name as the characters played by Connery, Garcia, and Smith). It's true that Capone was convicted for tax evasion. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison, but received an early release because he was in the last stages of syphilis. He died shortly after being released from prison.

raywest Premium member
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Seabiscuit picture

Question: I could not figure out why Red borrowed $20.00. Could someone fill me in?

Answer: Red asked for $10 because he needed to see a dentist, and Howard gave him $20.

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The Man in the Iron Mask picture

Question: When Aramis is reading at the beginning, saying that bit about the storming of the Bastille and of records being found of the prisoner who was only known as "the man in the iron mask", was that actually true - about the prisoner number and/or the iron-masked man part?

Answer: It is partially true. Author Alexander Dumas based his character on records that were recovered about an unknown prisoner whose identity was kept secret by a black cloth that constantly covered his head. The facts gradually changed as a myth grew up around this account, and the cloth mask was eventually said to be iron. This person, who is believed to have been of high rank, was incarcerated in several prisons, including the Bastille. Dumas adapted the legend for his novel and made the unknown man the twin brother of King Louis XIV. However, the man's true identity has never been discovered. The movie has also distorted historical facts about the Bastille. It was originally built as a fortress during The Hundred Years War, and only later was it used as a prison. (It only held about 50 people.) When it was stormed by French peasants in 1789, there were only seven inmates, and it is believed the rioters were actually looking for ammunition rather than attempting to free prisoners.

raywest Premium member
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