Top 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies Ever Made

The movies on this list are said to be based on true events and stories, but their directors have taken extreme liberties while making them in order to make them more entertaining to watch. Now, this does not mean these movies are bad, far from it in fact, only that they did not stay true to history. Let's rank the most historically inaccurate movies ever made. Of course, this list will exclude any movies based on legends.
The Top Ten
1 10,000 B.C.

Historians say 10,000 B.C. is the most historically inaccurate movie ever. That alone should warrant this movie's place on this list.

This movie showcases many inventions and concepts that were created much later, like the use of steel, which actually came in 1800 B.C., and cities, thousands of years before agriculture was even a thing. Not to mention the use of mammoths to build monuments.

Even that picture looks pretty inaccurate. That spear looks more like a ceremonial spear than one that would be used in actual combat. Also, that saber-toothed tiger is ridiculously large.

2 Pocahontas

Disney loves to embellish stories, and understandably so, but the stories from which they base their movies often tell a much different story, like Pocahontas.

For starters, Pocahontas and John Smith are depicted as adults in this film, but Pocahontas was only 10 years old when the European ship reached the New World. In real life, the two were never in a love relationship, and the real Pocahontas was married off to an Englishman, renamed Rebecca, and died at the age of 22.

It's crazy how different reality and the movie are, but it's better that way. Disney movies are mostly watched by kids, so of course, it's not going to be as sad as the real thing.

3 300

In real life, King Leonidas and his small army of Spartans did fight against a much higher number of Persians, except there were actually 7,000 Spartan soldiers and not the mere 300 people have been led to believe.

Another historical inaccuracy in this film is the clothes the soldiers wore. In real life, they would have covered their chests with armor instead of leaving it wide open for attack (and for everyone to gaze upon their six packs). Elephants were also not used on the battlefield.

The way Spartan society is represented in the film is also not historically accurate overall.

4 The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai's premise is historically accurate. Japan was undergoing major cultural changes during the late 1860s, and the Emperor was indeed regarded as a "living God."

The story between the characters, however, is fabricated, Americanized, and couldn't be further from the truth. For starters, Tom Cruise's character, Nathan Algren, is based on a real French officer named Jules Brunet who served the Tokugawa shogunate during the Boshin War in Japan, and Japan never had Americans as war consultants.

The movie also doesn't portray the rebellion correctly, as most samurai did not rebel, and it wasn't "right vs wrong," as many of the samurai who rebelled wanted to preserve their privileged way of life.

5 Gladiator

Gladiator is a very entertaining movie, but it is filled with historical inaccuracies, like the idea that an emperor could have given imperial power to an army general, which is completely unthinkable.

The relationship between the emperor and his son Commodus is also not accurately depicted because the real Commodus never killed his father to take the throne and was actually co-ruler with his father until the latter's death.

Speaking of death, the real Commodus wasn't killed by Russell Crowe's Maximus but was instead murdered in his bath 12 years after his ascension to the throne.

6 Braveheart

Braveheart is a very good movie which follows William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

It is full of historical inaccuracies such as a heavily altered timeline as well as inaccurate battle scenes, as the film depicts armies haphazardly running into the enemy rather than actual tactical warfare. The movie also sees the Scotsmen wearing their famous kilts, just 300 years too early.

Seriously, how did this movie get an Oscar? Good film, but so inaccurate!

7 Pearl Harbor

The fact that Japan did attack Pearl Harbor in the Second World War is pretty much the only thing this movie gets right in terms of accuracy. The rest is dramatized.

If you know anything about what happened in Pearl Harbor beyond "Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in the Second World War," you know that this movie is ridiculously inaccurate.

Come on, you can't expect Michael Bay to know what historical accuracy is. The guy can barely make a decent movie.

8 The Birth of a Nation

This should honestly be in the number one spot on this list.

9 U-571

As an action movie, this movie is pretty good, but not as a history lesson. The movie follows American soldiers during WW2 as they board the German submarine U-571 to get their hands on the Germans' Enigma cipher machine.

For starters, the U-571 was never captured. Secondly, these events happened months before the Americans joined the war, meaning they had absolutely nothing to do with this. In real life, this was a British operation.

Yay! More Americans getting their paws everywhere and rewriting history...

10 Hitler: The Rise of Evil
The Contenders
11 Troy
12 The Greatest Showman
13 Anastasia
14 Hans Christian Andersen (1952)
15 Titanic
16 The Patriot

Another very good movie starring Mel Gibson, which is also full of historical inaccuracies, the biggest one being the way the British soldiers are portrayed.

The British are nothing more than cruel, murderous villains, something that is far from the truth and only adds drama.

Good movie, but if they didn't make the British look evil, it would have been boring to watch.

17 The Great Escape

I haven't seen the movie, but I have heard what some of the survivors had to say about it. The "Great Escape" was a hubristic failure led by "the tallyho brigade," that led to the deaths of at least 50 men, and it didn't have the slightest effect on the war effort.

18 Argo

Many liberties were taken in the making of this movie, something many people who were involved in the real-life events have pointed out themselves.

The premise of the movie, in which the CIA establishes a fake movie production, complete with a full script and ads in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, in order to rescue six Americans stranded in post-revolutionary Iran, is very much true.

The most criticized part of the film is how they represent the involvement of Canada in saving the lives of the six Americans. Canada did in fact play a huge role in saving them and received all the credit afterwards, but the movie completely downplays it.

The worst part is the movie's climax, which sees the six Americans go to the airport in order to escape Iran. They face many obstacles and almost get caught in the movie, the opposite of what happened in real life as their escape actually went smoothly.

19 Alexander
20 Shakespeare in Love
21 Holmes and Watson
22 Apocalypto

The way the Mayans are portrayed in this movie is pretty much entirely wrong. Most of the things they do in the film, like performing sacrifices, were more akin to what the Aztecs did.

Mayans were actually a rather peaceful group of people.

23 The Private Life of Henry VIII

The film inaccurately depicts Henry marrying Jane Seymour on the same day Boleyn was beheaded. In reality, Henry only obtained permission to remarry that day, marrying Seymour much later.

This movie was so wrong. Quite frustrating.

24 The Scarlet Empress
25 Marie Antoinette
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