In the films Black Robe, The Crucible, The Patriot, The Alamo, and Cold Mountain, the authors created historical inaccuracies for the audience of the generation they were made for. This means they would change some details to fit their idea of what the people felt in that time in history, to grip the audience and give some insight to the characters. These inaccuracies also helped to develop a point, even though a few minor details were changed, the audience eventually saw the whole picture and knew the story.
In The Crucible, the director would have been hesitant to address the actual age of Abigail, 11, and John, 60, because the age difference of these two people being involved in a sexual relationship would have been so unacceptable. While the author certainly knew this was going on, it wouldn’t have been talked about in his day. This is why the director chose characters closer in age, to develop a point and show that those type of scandals had been occurring between younger women and older men since Puritan times, making the film also more realistic to its viewers.
One major example of these historical inaccuracies, which is also found in Re-Viewing the Past: The Crucible, is that he took the language taken directly from trial records, but would sometimes alter the lines, leaving the movie with a historical feel and providing proof of the satanic possession. For example, he changed the words in the Lord’s Prayer from “hollowed by the name” to “hallowed be thy name.
” These differences of the text and the movie aren’t negative, but just present more of an understanding of these historic events for the audience. The inaccuracies of these films do not harm my understanding of past events because they didn’t change the huge event in history that they were trying to give a picture of, they just altered minor details. If anything, the changes made by the directors helped me appreciate and get to know these historical figures even more.
While using the text to make the movie exactly right, word for word, would be good for students studying the subject, it wouldn’t show the emotion of the event occurring or how the people involved felt. In many cases, this is what helps people to understand what is going on better they would otherwise. While these movies are about historical events, they are still meant to entertain people, any small, left-out details could easily be found in history books; which should be used to learn or understand the past from the beginning.