The Hollywood History of the World: From One Million Years B.C. to Apocalypse Now

George MacDonald Fraser, Author, MacDonald George Fraser, Author
George MacDonald Fraser, Author, MacDonald George Fraser, Author Beech Tree Paperback Book $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07520-0
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Where history is concerned, Hollywood has often altered facts to suit filmmaking purposes, but filmmakers have sometimes been faithful to history as well. Examining seven admittedly idiosyncratic ``ages,'' the author here juxtaposes what ``actually happened'' with illustrated examples of the Hollywood treatment. Looking at the Ancient World, he examines One Million Years BC , The Ten Commandments , Cleopatra and Quo Vadis , among others. For the chapter titled ``Knights and Barbarians'' he extols The Vikings , which ``ought to be shown regularly to schoolchildren as a fine image of the distant past'' and in ``Tudors and Sea Dogs'' praises Captain Blood for its truthful attention to the ethics of buccaneering. In ``Romance and Royalty'' Fraser laments the fact that Charles II, who led a perfectly filmic life, has never been adequately treated on celluloid. In the chapter on the British Empire he pays a backhanded compliment to Charge of the Light Brigade : ``the script, holding nothing sacred, has plundered Indian Mutiny history at one pointand got it right.'' The Pilgrims, the Civil War, the old West, the roaring '20s, WW I and II and Vietnam are also examined in this arbitrary and opinionated, irreverent and immensely enjoyable study. Fraser is also the author of the Flashman series of (accurate) historical novels. Photos. (September)
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