I watched a TV documenary made by the Canadian Broadcasting Company
about the movie "Argo", which supposedly documents what happened during
the 1979 Hostage crisis in Iran.
Those of you who are old enough to remember know that in 1979, religious
radicals overthrew the government of Iran. They stormed the US embassy
in Tehran and took twenty-something American diplomats hostage. Six
American diplomats and agents were spirited off to the Canadian embassy
in Tehran where they remained hidden until Canadian officials put a plan
together to get them out of the country. Canada made up fake passports
and ID for each of the hostages, and made up a story that they were a
film crew out to scout a location in Iran to film a science fiction
movie to be called "Argo".
The film has caused a bit of sarcastic humour here in Canada because it
plays down the Canadian role in the crisis, and plays up the American
role to the point where it depicts the whole "Canadian Caper" as it came
to be called as being planned and executed by Americans, with Canada
merely providing the embassy where it all took place.
Former President Jimmy Carter, while at Queens University in Toronto
receiving an honorary doctorate degree for his charity work commented on
the film. He said he was disappointed to see that all of the heroic and
imaginative things done by Canadians to get the American diplomats out
of Iran were left out, and they were largely replaced by even more
heroic and imaginative, albeit fictitious, things being done by the
supposedly "American" actors. He said he received updates every day on
what was happening in Iran with the hostages, and it went down exactly
as the news reports of the time said it did.
Ben Affleck, who plays the hero in the story who hatches the plan to get
the US diplomats out, and supposedly organizes and executes the whole
caper responded to reporters asking him about the storyline by saying:
"Don't learn your history from the movies."
C'mon guys. We really helped you guys out back in '79. Don't gloss
over our role and claim all the credit for yourselves.
Looks like the new war might be in Syria.
I wonder if the US public rmember the WMDs lies last time.
Will they wait until it's verified?
Heigh ho. A new war. More poor American boys will die while the rich in
America get richer.
Hey, I heard that the US government is reneging on all the bribes it offered
to the young recruits for Iraq war.
ie, they won't get to go to college after all.
Next, they'll be closing the vets hospitals.
Movies about history should merely be considered "teasers" for finding out
what really happened. There must be a site for movies that diverge from
There are an awful lot of one-off's about various movies but only this site
seems to have tackled more than one:
and they take on "Mississipi Burning, A Beautiful Mind, Remember the Titans,
The Last King of Scotland, Hoosiers, Frost/Nixon."
Other sites have complaints about "Gladiator, Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt
There is a book, however:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
The comments mention dozens of movies that have had minor to major "fixes"
made to them.
Carter was a pretty awful President because of a number of shortcomings,
particularly his poor understanding of how "sausage (law) is made."
Ironically the failed hostage rescue attempt may have resulted in something
that really needed doing - the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act:
that literally forced inter-service cooperation and interoperability between
the Army, Navy and the Air Force:
<<The Goldwater-Nichols Act was an attempt to fix problems caused by
inter-service rivalry, which had emerged during the Vietnam War, contributed
to the catastrophic failure of the Iranian hostage rescue mission in 1980,
and which were still evident in the invasion of Grenada in 1983.>>
So, even a dopey President like Carter could end up doing some good by
setting the stage for ending (ha, ha - maybe "lessening" is the right word)
inter-service rivalry and improving cooperation during joint missions. If
nothing else, it made sure that Army, Navy and Air Force radios could "talk"
to each other. Mostly.
I expect EVERY movie director trying to make a movie based on actual
history takes liberties with that history to make his movie a bit more
exciting and dramatic.
In the movie Apollo 13, there is a scene where the actors playing Jack
Swagert and Fred Haise get into an arguement about "whose fault it was"
that the explosion happened in the liquid oxygen tank. All three
astronauts objected to that scene being in the movie because it never
In an interview after the movie was released, the Commander of Apollo
13, Jim Lovell, said there was never any finger pointing amongst the
crew over what happened. He said that astronauts most often tend to be
former test pilots, and test pilots have to be able to keep their focus
when things go topsy turvey. By that time NASA moon missions had become
fairly common place in the public's mind, but all of the astronauts knew
how complex the Saturn V rocket, the Command Module and the LEM were and
that anything going seriously wrong with any system on any of those
pieces of equipment could lead to disaster. So, when they realized that
the mission was going to be scrubbed in favour of getting the astronauts
back alive, they simply resolved to keep their focus on getting back to
the Earth so as to make the best of the situation they had been dealt.
Ron Howard left the argument scene in the movie despite the astronauts
objections simply because he felt it would add excitement and drama to
On Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:52:31 PM UTC-7, nestork wrote:
You're overlooking that a terrifyingly large segment of the film-going public actually thinks that "exciting and dramatic" movie is true!!! They will never read, in book or on-line the real history behind the corrupted film version.
I don't see that as being in the public interest, or helpful in children's education.
"Higgs Boson" email@example.com> wrote in message
No, but I am more concerned with what the *voting* public thinks is true
that is not. Death panels, economic myths like "tax cuts pay for
themselves" and so much more nonsense that is passed among "true believers"
like that Nazi screed SM recently posted. <sigh>
Shakespeare was a practitioner of rewriting history. Richard III's
reputation is only lately being restored after Will savaged it to curry
favor with the then current Tudor monarchy.
<<Of course, Shakespeare's depiction of Richard III is about as historically
accurate as any period film Hollywood ever produced-dramatized to a point
just past recognition. But on the other side, there are the Ricardians, who
see the much-maligned king as a victim of Tudor propaganda.>>
So even before movies, it was popular to rewrite history both for the
history books and for historical fiction.
Not sure how that's ever going to get corrected or if it should be. You can
tell pretty quickly if someone's studied actual history or whether they've
absorbed pseudo-history from the movies. Separates the wheat from the
But Bush had a Republican majority during most of his tenure (6 out of 8
years) right? Praises to whoever spoke out from within the ranks,
but the bottom line is that a Republican president and a Republican
congress ran up the credit card balance a *lot*. Medicare Part B
being a case in point.
Lest anybody think I like the Democrats any better, I would say that
most members of both parties are just politicians pandering to an
increasingly ignorant and decadent populace and bought-sold by large
Some of them may have cared about the country early in their careers and
a few may still care but, overwhelmingly, these guys live to get
My opinion is that the USA has passed it's prime and is headed to Hell
in a hand basket. But, like the Titanic, it's just soooo huge that
it's inertia/momentum will carry it along for quite awhile - albeit on a
A major breakthrough in solar energy capture or a mutation in some
as-yet-unheard-of virus or E. coli might change the game at any time
but, for the here-and-now, we're on the long slide down.
But I'll be dead and forgotten before the fecal matter really hits the
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