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Last edited by Frank Sanello
September 2, 2011 | History

Reel v. real 1 editions

Cover of: Reel v. real | Frank Sanello
About the Book

According to the author, a more accurate subtitle for Reel v. Real would be How Hollywood INACCURATELY Turns Fact into Fiction.

In order to tell a good story rather than make a documentary, fiction filmmakers, directors and writers, often play fast and loose with the historical record.

Sometimes current mores require changes. What was accepted in the past, like child brides, would be unthinkable today in the wake of ongoing crimes committed by child predators/molesters.

Most often, however, box-office considerations determine what accurate historical information ends up on the cutting room floor.

Just one of the many historical bloopers Frank Sanello reveals in Reel v. Real:

In Mel Gibson's Celts in Kilts epic, Braveheart, a major plot point involves his affair with the Princess of Wales, who bears his baby because her husband, the future Edward II, was exclusively homosexual and ignored his wife.

In reality, the Princess of Wales, sister of the king of France, was only six years old at the time the actual story takes place. Deceptive but it allowed the screenwriter to create a scene where the princess tells her sadistic father-in-law, King Edward I, who is paralyzed by a stroke and can't speak, that the child she is carrying is Mel Gibson's William Wallace's, not his son's. The king twitches violently when the princess whispers in his ear,

"It is Wallace's child who will bear your name and inherit your crown!"

The best scene in the movie and made entirely out of unholy cloth.

But as many directors of historical films plead the 11th Amendment: "We're not making a documentary here!"

Frank Sanello, author

1 edition First published in 2003

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Cover of: Reel v. real
Reel v. real: how Hollywood turns fact into fiction
2003, Taylor Trade Pub.
in English - 1st Taylor Trade Pub. ed.


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September 2, 2011 Edited by Frank Sanello I added several paragraph to the "What's it about?" box
April 28, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Linked existing covers to the work.
February 5, 2010 Edited by WorkBot add more information to works
December 10, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page