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When they just get it wrong historically.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ron1973, May 9, 2018.

  1. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I'm watching Quantum Leap a few months ago with my brother in law. I don't remember the exact episode, though I'm sure I could google it. Sam Beckett is in charge of a radio station being shut down for playing rock and roll. Everything is going fine until they show a close up of a record he is playing. It's on the "Collectable" label. Ugh! That's a reissue label from the 80's and 90's. So you go to all this work to make a mockup of a 50's radio station and you miss out on THAT kind of a detail?

    So...what can you nice folks add to the discussion? Something just got put in completely wrong historical wise and it sticks out like a sore thumb. Discuss!

    Btw, what if Captain Jonathan Archer is really Sam Beckett on a leap and he just doesn't realize it? :lol:
     
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  2. Sky King

    Sky King Stunt Coordinator

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    The one that first comes to mind for me was a movie based on MLK.
    The scene opens with a street scene with the caption, "spring 1954." Only problem, was that there was a 1955 Ford being shown. That car didn't debut until the fall of 1954.
     
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  3. dana martin

    dana martin Producer

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    that would be one hell of a movie
     
  4. 4 May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Using rerecordings of the songs pisses me off more.

    It happens a lot with country artists who went to Curb later in their careers. For example, Some show I can't remember right now used the 80s version of Roger Miller's Chug A Lug instead of the period appropriate Mercury version.

    And wasn't the version of The Twist in that same QL episode a rerecorded version because the original masters were held hostage for decades?
     
  5. atfree

    atfree Producer
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    I tend to not care about these things unless what I'm watching is a serious historical docudrama. I have a nephew who is big weapons guy, he can tell you every weapon used in every conflict since the American Revolution (or so it seems). I can't watch any war movie or period drama with him around or it's a constant "(laughter), that's silly. Everyone knows the Allies didn't use X rifle during the Battle of Anzio, they exclusively used the Y rifle with Z modifications". I have to either leave the room or have another drink (or three). Generally, I just avoid having movies on when he's visiting. Although once I watched my blu-ray of The Battle of the Bulge just to see his head explode.
     
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  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    When I'm knowledgeable enough about a topic to spot an error like that, I give myself a 'no-prize' for knowing more than other people so I guess I like those kinds of mistakes in a weird way. :) I do appreciate it when a show like Mad Men or The Deuce make a real effort to be historically accurate with their movies, music and TV shows though because I feel like they care as much as I would.
     
  7. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I never really look for that type of stuff. I'm bothered enough by general continuity issues...
     
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  8. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Modern-period food/beverage containers bugged me often (particularly in That '70s Show). If they can't get those sorts of things right, I'd rather they have their stuff in a bowl. Seeing a modern Funyuns bag, for instance, really takes me right out of the show.

    Of course, back in the day, the generic food packages (where a brand name was covered up/altered slightly) used to annoy me, too. I figured better not to show it at all!
     
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  9. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Sounds like you could use a nice, smooth Morley cigarette to calm you down!

    That's the flipside of the generic TV brands... sometimes, they become well known across multiple shows and you'd rather see them used than a real brand so you can say "Well, the X-Files, Buffy, Breaking Bad, Friends, and Warehouse 13 all somehow exist in the same universe, because Morleys!".

    ,,,kinda like John Munch.
     
  10. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Fresh off the Boat had an episode recently where Jessica said "to VCR it," referring to a TV show she wanted to record and watch later, the same way one says "to DVR it" today. How embarrassingly anachronistic for something of relatively recent memory that would have been well within the frame of reference of almost any adult viewer. Back then we said "tape it" or "record it," but at no time ever did I ever hear anyone say "VCR it."

    Based on the time frame, probably. It's the same reason John Waters had to settle for re-recordings of Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp in the original Hairspray: Allen Klein, head of ABKCO records who managed The Beatles after Brian Epstein's death, owned the former Cameo-Parkway catalog and wouldn't budge for years and years. For anyone.
     
  11. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    M*A*S*H* got historical details wrong frequently. At one point, when we see Radar's comic collection, there are a number of Marvel comics titles from the 60s. In another episode he tries to ask a nurse to come see the movie showing at the camp and its a Godzilla movie (there were none until 1956 in the US). Henry get his discharge under the points system which didn't exist in the Korean War.
     
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  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    At what point did Happy Days stop caring about even the most basic period details?
     
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  13. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    The young comic book geek in me recognized Radar clearly reading Avengers #60, a book from 1968, in the middle of the Korean War.

    I mean, technically, there wouldn't have been any Marvel comics in his collection, since Marvel didn't even exist yet. It would've still been Timely or Atlas. But who would know that outside of very few people?

    Ah, Allen B. Klein. Say no more. I know my Rolling Stones history.
     
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  14. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    I have seen a number of historical inaccuracies in shows like The Wonder Years, Quantum Leap, and yes, even Mad Men. While Mad Men was far and above more accurate than most period shows, these kind of things do indeed take me out of the show.

    That 70's Show is a particular thorn for me. The sets used for Red and Kitty's house are totally fake looking. It looks like they remolded their kitchen, living room and den (and probably the rest of the house) somewhere in 1972. No one making the kind of money that Red made could afford the extensive remodeling that is on display there. I won't even discuss the Pinciotti home. Then there was the use of more modern Star Wars toys, mentions of the Jane Fonda Workout Book and Air Supply (both of which were 1980s). The list goes on and on.

    I think when Happy Days started to be filmed in front of a live studio audience is when it really began abandon most of its historical accuracy. Granted, it was never all that period correct from the beginning, but at least in the first couple of years it was trying to look 50s. Once Arnold's burned down, just about all historical detail went out the window. I would have to say that somewhere in 1979 or early 1980 the show finally thew the history book in the trash for good.
     
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  15. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    Agreed that Mad Men spent more time on the details. Strangely, that's what took me out of that show. They would dwell on particular actions or TV shows for too long. Yes, people smoked more, and in public. But holding on the shots for so long makes me too aware of it. I got it. Move on.

    Haircuts and hairstyles draw me out of period pieces more often than not. Happy Days and M.A.S.H. I noticed even as a child.
     
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  16. John Karras

    John Karras Second Unit

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    For a hysterical example of a period drama that was riddled with endless historical inaccuracies, just watch any episode of "American Dreams" (NBC 2002-2005).
     
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  17. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I hear ya! I even get aggravated with radio stations who play the "new" versions. The other thing, and I'm hijacking my own thread here, is lip syncing. Sonny James was the absolute worst for it. Anytime I saw him on Hee Haw or Pop! Goes the Country, he was lip syncing to the studio version. Maybe it's just my OCD kicking on things like that, but it really bugs me. Btw, I'm a huge fan of Sonny, so it's not a knock on his music.
     
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  18. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Unless something is that blatantly obvious, I usually don't notice many historical/cultural inaccuracies,

    Most of the inaccuracies I notice are scientific or mathematical. The latter is stuff like equations on a blackboard/wall which don't make sense, or are completely out of context in a scene.
     
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  19. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Worse than that: the digital music channels on Xfinity. They show the album information for the original version of a song, play the rerecording instead. They say it's the ABC version of Freddy Fender's "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" from '74, but it's the 90s rerecording playing.
     
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  20. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    Let's face it. Period pieces are very, very difficult whether it's TV or movies. There is always something that gets in there that isn't accurate. It's less noticeable with productions that try very hard to be accurate but even the best efforts can have a few mistakes.

    Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City mini series was pretty much accurate with the exception of an incorrect Downy bottle in one scene.

    The first season Mad Men was accurate with the exception of a bedroom telephone. The connection of the cord to the handset was wrong. Someone on the production team must have noticed this because later scenes of the telephone were then filmed in a way so that you didn't see the handset cord connection.

    The Disco episode of Quantum Leap took place in 1976 but used footage that was from the film Earthquake which was 1974.

    I Have also experienced that a very accurate detail can pull me out of the film or show. For example, the film The Ice Storm takes place in 1973 and there was a scene with a Pringles can. The can was 100% accurate and I noticed it. It shocked me that the can was correct and thus pulled me out of the film.

    So maybe there is no way to win. Be too accurate and it can just as distracting as being blatantly inaccurate.
     
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