Utah Video Production Blog 29: Historically Inaccurate Things In Films

Some films based on historical events do really well at the box office. This doesn’t mean that everything portrayed in these films is always historically accurate. Here are some interesting things that we found to be inaccurate. 


Although it may be true that Pocahontas intervened to save John Smith’s life, she was only around 10 or 11 when she did so. This is contrary to how she is portrayed in the movie as she is portrayed as a teenager. It also is very unlikely that love blossomed between John Smith and Pocahontas as their relationship was most likely just a friendship.

Pearl Harbor: 

When the Japanese attack, Rafe and Danny quickly jump into their planes to shoot down the enemy. They end up surviving and are sent to bomb Tokyo. Historians have said that the portrayal of Rafe and Danny shooting down dozens of planes during the attack is not very accurate as the real U.S. pilots hit much fewer planes. Also, no fighter pilots would have been sent to to Tokyo to serve as bomber pilots.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

Indiana Jones rushes to Berlin in order to save his father’s diary from the Nazi’s public book burning. The issue here is that the movie takes place in 1938 while the mass book burning happened in 1933. 


There is a scene in the movie where Howard Hughes orders 10 chocolate chip cookies. The problem is that this scene takes place in 1928 while chocolate chip cookies weren’t invented until the 1930’s.


In the film, Emperor Marcus Aurelius doesn’t trust his son, Commodus, and instead taps Maximus (an esteemed general) to take over and return Rome to the old Republic. Historians disagree with the notion that Aurelius would have wanted a return to the old Republic. Also, Commodus was younger and more physically fit than depicted, married and didn’t commit patricide.

Saving Mr. Banks:

In this film, P.L. Travers travels to Los Angeles to speak with Walt Disney about giving him the rights to film Mary Poppins. This is inaccurate as Disney already had been given the rights to film the movie before Travers traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Disney.