Hollywood tends to take dramatic liberties when depicting historical events or figures. And with good reason.
At least during prep-pandemic times, moviegoers paid to go see movies on the big screen to be entertained, not lectured.
In some cases, a baddie's real life story contradicted with what was shown on screen.
This is purely conjecture, but some scripts introduce conflict without detailed exposition of a bad guy to avoid slow pacing.
So when it comes to historical villains and their accurate level of malevolence, it's complicated.
With Hollywood being just one example where a notorious "bad guy" was misinterpreted, Redditor Elytra__Firm wanted to explore more by asking:
"More so sports history, but the film Cinderella Man portrayed boxer Max Baer as a murderous psychopath who gladly killed two fighters in the ring. In reality, he was personally devastated by these deaths. In the one he was most directly responsible for, he ended up giving his winnings from his next few fights to the fighters family."
"Despite what was portrayed in Amadeus, and though in reality they were musical rivals, Antonio Salieri was actually friends with Wolfgang Mozart. In fact, years after Mozart's death, Salieri assisted with and helped finance his son Franz Xaver's musical education as a tribute to his late friend."
The Truth About Billy The Kid
"Billy the Kid wasn't a good guy by any means, but was a victim of negative propaganda by the press at the time. He was orphaned in his early teens and fell in with the wrong crowd."
"After a brief run in with the law (I think he was lookout for a small robbery, wasn't even part of the main crew) he didn't want to wait around 6 months or a year for a judge to make their way to the tiny little town, so he escaped jail and ran. What teenager would act differently? He ran to Arizona looking for work."
"In Arizona he found work, but was still one of the youngest there. A bully in a bar picked on him for weeks until Billy got fed up and shot him. On the run again he goes back to New Mexico."
"In New Mexico he resorts to stealing to be able to survive. He steals some horses from a prominent rancher. Instead of prosecuting him, the rancher hires him. Billy is thrilled, and works hard. He is happy because he has a legit job again."
"The rancher had a corrupt as sh*t rival who had the local law in his pocket (he was related to the sheriff). The rival rancher killed Billy's boss in the street. Billy and his fellow cowboys that loved their boss decided this was not OK, and the Lincoln County War started. Billy is the only one of the men on his side of the war to have been in every battle."
"Eventually, Billy felt he had accomplished his revenge mission, so he settled down with his best gal. Problem was, she was Mexican, and he was white. His girlfriend's brother didn't like Billy being with his sister, so he tipped off the law as to where Billy was hiding."
"The Lincoln county sheriff showed up in the middle of the night and shot Billy in the back."
"There is a lot more to it. For example, when Billy was in Lincoln County jail, he talked to the New Mexico Territory Governor. The Governor promised him a complete pardon if he'd be a witness in the trials of the people from the corrupt rancher. Billy agreed and testified. The governor then went back on his promise and left Billy to rot. So Billy killed the jailers and fled again. (That governor was too busy getting an ambassadorship and writing the book Ben Hur to keep his promises)"
Machiavelli Was No Saint, But...
"Machiavelli would be shocked and saddened to know his name is synonymous with tyranny and pure evil. Guy was a staunch supporter of Republics and a savvy politician."
"There are people surprised that his statue is up in Florence and shocked to see they actually admire him. When you learn more about him he's far more interesting then his historical reputation would have you believe."
Darius III and Xerxes
"Darius III and Xerxes. They're portrayed badly because of Alexander the Great and also the movie 300."
"Yeah, in reality their Kingdom was actually fairly progressive, when taking over lands, local leaders and religions were allowed to remain however advisory members were sent in to help update settlements with better economic and civic organizations and so on. Really they weren't that bad of a Kingdom (for that time periods standards) and the reason they fought the Greeks was because classically Greek cities had tried to rebel with the support of Greek mainland city states, which prompted war."
"History isn't so black and white as Hollywood wants it to be."
The Concerned Roman
"That Roman that gave Jesus vinegar to drink. Turns out that the roman military gave their soldiers a water/vinegar mix to drink as it was good for refilling salt levels after sweating. That means all the roman did was give jesus a sip of his own drink, not force him to drink vinegar as punishment/insult."
"While we're on the topic, Pontius Pilate. The dude actually thought Jesus was innocent, and tried everything in his power to punish him without outright killing him, to satisfy the high priests and the crowds they turned against Jesus. His only real sin was that he sold out Jesus to save his own skin, but only after nothing else worked."
A Case For Prince John
"The bad guy from Robin Hood was basically the steward of a kingdom his beloved brother haddn't even set foot on. While Richard the Lionheart was faffing about in the Crusades, John was running the kingdom and turning it into something that could sustain itself. While he was doing that, his useless brother gets his a** kidnapped so John has to raise taxes (cue Robin Hood) to bring back the 'rightful' king the people loved so much."
"So basically, Prince John runs England for his brother and people love his brother for it. Then said brother gets kidnapped so John Raises taxes to get him 'back' and becomes the bad guy in the eyes of the lords (and by extension the people) who want their rightful king back."
"The man eventually does become the rightful king, only to have all the lords hate him for the crime of investing money into the kingdom, as a result he signs the Magna Carta, limiting royal power."
"that said he wasnt a saint. The man did have a hand in the collapse of Norman France and wasted a lot of money and men trying reclaim the region. I'm not trying to say he was a 'good guy' per se, just not the bad guy for what people hate him for."
The Woman And Her Scalding Coffee
"A more modern example is the lady that famously sued McDonalds for their coffee being too hot in 1994. That lawsuit gets treated as an example of how oversaturated America is with litigation over small things. As it turns out, however, her situation was extremely justified. She suffered third degree burns that required skin grafting and had permanent disfigurement. Her labia fused together. Needless to say, McDonalds was serving their coffee far too hot and the case very well may have prevented future similar incidents."
"Edit: To the people saying it's her fault for spilling her coffee, here's a picture of her injuries (NSFW and NSFL). Does anybody really deserve those injuries for the simple mistake of spilling their coffee? Would you really expect third degree burns if you spilled coffee on yourself?"
"The Roman emperor Gaius Caesar, better known as Caligula."
"Hell of a smear campaign his enemies did. Most likely brought upon himself because of his intolerance to the Senates' corruption and/or lack of effectiveness. The crazy stories? Most likely made up or were wilful misrepresentation of something Caligula said. The story about him making his horse consul because he was 'crazy?' Misrepresentation of him mocking the senate by telling them his horse could do a better job."
Laws exist to maintain order. However, they do not prevent crimes from actually happening, and before any punishments are made, the damage is already done.
Curious to hear about some of the more creepy indiscretions people get away with, Redditor Flytechofficial asked:
"What is perfectly legal, but creepy as hell?"
These things that happen in public restrooms can be considered criminal.
Respecting Splash Zones
"Using the urinal next to me when there were plenty of other choices."
Nightmare For The Pee-Shy
"hanging out in a public bathroom timing how long people pee."
"I swear to God. I did a lot of work in hospitals for a while, big f'king hospitals with tons of bathrooms all over the place. For some God damned reason, regardless of what time or bathroom I selected to take a sh*t in not 30 seconds after I sat down a janitor would knock on the door to clean the bathroom. It's not as if it was one janitor, just some random janitor would inevitably need to clean whatever bathroom I was in as soon as I got comfy. It's like I was being stalked by the janitors."
"So now I'm trying to take a sh*t knowing full well there's somebody out there actively timing how long it takes."
"I was drunk in a casino and went to use the washroom. The floors in there were a polished marble or something. Sitting on the toilet, pants down, my stall neighbour made eye contact with me on the reflective floor tile."
The following examples involving minors have no legal repercussions.
Kids For Show
"Child Beauty pageants."
"Technically, you can stand on the sidewalk and stare into someone's house through a window. It's not illegal as long as you stay off of their property, but it's really freaking creepy."
Keeping Tabs On Someone's Age
"A national newspaper having a countdown for when a child actress becomes 'legal' for sex."
"Answers to questions that will surely come. ....Yes. The Sun (UK). Emma Watson."
The Young Subjects
"When I was a child, we had a creepy horrible neighbor that would harass my family constantly. One of the things he did was stand at the corner of his yard and videotape me playing in a pool with my friends (we were around 8). My parents called the police but were told that it's legal if he's on his property."
These perfectly harmless examples can give you goosebumps.
"Hanging your doll collection from the trees in your yard using string made from human hair."
"I believe the act of cannibalism itself is legal so long as you didn't murder anyone to do it. If your homie gives you his arm to gnaw on, it's fair game."
"Facing the wrong way in an elevator."
I recently treated myself by going to a movie theater after what seemed like a long hiatus for much of the year.
Streaming blockbuster movies from home, while convenient, has never made as much of an impact when compared to the moviegoing experience.
But after my recent trip to our local AMC, I'm beginning to think watching entertainment from the comfort of my quiet home is a much better option.
I forgot that a good majority of audience members are disrespectful and pretty much ignore all the rules—including no texting or talking during the movie.
The normal volume conversations and the number of lit screens from people's smartphone's in my peripheral vision throughout the movie were huge distractions.
Maybe as I'm getting older, my patience has worn thin, or I happened to have a particularly unpleasant experience. But seriously, how can anyone enjoy going to the movies when people are constantly updating their status inside a darkened auditorium?
It should illegal. Rant over.
Shaking hands... what's up with that?
Could this social custom be going out of style given that we're all in the middle of a global pandemic and have become hyperaware of all the germs around us?
And not just that, but just how nasty people are? Why would you want to shake hands with them?
People shared their opinions after Redditor alebenchhe asked the online community,
"What social customs do we need to retire?"
"Making couples feel obligated to have giant, fancy, weddings."
If someone wants that, then more power to them.
But there are indeed people out there who spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to have weddings to please their families... only to divorce later.
"If I take a day..."
"Rest being seen as lazy. If I take a day off of work simply to sleep in and rest at home instead of having to have some sort of big plans or destination it shouldn't be seen as anything less."
"Having to purchase..."
"Having to purchase gifts for extended family that you cannot afford because it is Christmas or another holiday."
Yeah, let's stop that. Not all of us are made of money!
"Though it looks like this custom is fading away during the pandemic...but how about we stop glorifying us "being model employees by showing up to work even while sick?"
I was at a retailer for 14 years, and I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I used to see managers and supervisors dragging themselves to work while sick to please their superiors. In January 2020, I ended up getting the flu from a co-worker that decided it would impress the store manager if she still showed up while sick with the flu.
That culture went away REAL quick when we started getting COVID cases in the store I was at...and I too ended up getting a mild case of COVID. I've called out any time in the past when I felt sick...and I will continue to do so as I normally did."
"I don't create..."
"Worshipping celebrities. I don't get it and it seems to just create tons of problems."
The celebrity worshipping culture, at least in the United States, is insane, and sets people up with rather unrealistic expectations.
"This goes along..."
"That because someone is"family", you should force yourself to spend time with them and be "nice and respectful", no matter what kind of person they are or how they treat you.
This goes along with the enabling acceptance of "that's just how they are" rather than condemning poor behavior choices."
Yes, let's normalize cutting out toxic people from our lives. We'll thank ourselves later.
"Expensive funerals. The funeral industry is insane."
"Discussing salary with co-workers should no longer be taboo."
That's how they get you––it's in your employer's best interest to keep you in the dark, and it's wrong. Many people out there are not aware of their rights in the workplace.
"Giving greeting cards..."
"Giving greeting cards for every single event imaginable. Why pay $5 to give someone a piece of paper that will get thrown out the next day? I'd rather you give me $5 and skip the card."
It's a wild world we live in and social customs can and do change. Life now won't look the same twenty years from now for instance––perhaps for the better? Who knows?
Oh, and sorry, but can we go back to the topic of shaking hands? Let's not do that. Just wanted to be extra clear.
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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I have a paralyzing fear of death. If I could I would live forever. Have you ever seen the movie "Death Becomes Her?" I would give every penny for that potion. And I wouldn't be all crazy like them.
Live well forever and be happy? It's possible. Even though life is nuts and scary, you're still here. What if there is nothing after the final breath? I don't want to just not exist, while everybody else just gets to keep on dancing.
In my hopes I see a Heaven with ice cream and vodka. So I'm going to hold onto that until eternal life is an option. Let's hear from the gallery...
Redditor u/St3fan34 wanted to discuss life after life, by asking:
What do you think really happens after death?
I feel like if there is nothing after life, it just invalidates life. But maybe I'm just dramatic. I hope there is peace. Thoughts?
Leftoversblack and white two funerals GIFGiphy
"Your family fights for your belongings."
"When we die, the whole world as seen by us, dies together with us."
"Yes it does. As does the entire universe. Only when we are alive can we experience the passage of time. The instant we die the entire universe will experience heat death and cease to be. It my take a million eons but since we can no longer experience time it will be relatively instantaneous."
"It's one of the great wonders of life: What will it be like to go to sleep and never wake up? And if you think long enough about that, something will happen to you. You will find out, among other things, that it will pose the next question to you: What was it like to wake up after never having gone to sleep? That was when you were born. You see, you can't have an experience of nothing. Nature abhors a vacuum. ~Alan Watts"
"When I was much younger, I had a dream where I died. Not a typical dream, not a romanticized dream. It was a dream where I was an archer in a medieval battle. About 5 minutes into the battle, chaos was all around me, and I watched an opposing archer aim and loose an arrow straight into my left eye."
"I remember the sensation of impact, ringing in my ears, and falling to the ground. I remember the warmth of the blood on my face. The feeling of life leaving my body, and the sense of worry evaporating into warmth and peace as the world left behind me."
"I remember waking up shortly after thinking that the feeling and reality of that experience was so vivid and so detailed that it must have been an experience from a previous incarnation hundreds of years ago. From that moment on, I've never feared the actual process of death. I feel like I've experienced it many times before."
EraseComputer Reaction GIFGiphy
"I think one of your best friends delete's your browsing history."
If you love me... rule number one... HIDE THE EVIDENCE!!! Let that be heard far and wide. And dreams, always so intertwined aren't they?
Before & AfterHappy Baby GIFGiphy
"Exactly the same as before you were born."
"We clean the bed and assign it to another patient."
"The REAL reason why nurses are so dark. 90 year old man in hospice got hit by a car on his way to get fitted for his funeral tuxedo, and didn't have a DNR. Kept him alive for four hours, and now it's time to document everything that was done to save his life because there will inevitably be a lawsuit from a family member who has had four years to say goodbye but somehow didn't get to."
I don't know what they mean or how to utilize them. I'm a Buddhist (but a gamer first and foremost) so it's cool you guys made those connections This totally makes up for r/movies continuously banning me."
"I've answered this one before but here it is again. Either two things happen after you die: you either go somewhere or it's oblivion. If it is oblivion, then we're just going back to the same place before we were born and there's nothing wrong with that. We were there for billions or trillions of years, possibly infinity."
"You lose that concept of time since your brain doesn't work anymore so you don't even know it's over. It's not nothing because nothing would be something and that means that you are aware, which you can not be if you're dead. If we do go somewhere, then that's something no one understands because no one has ever come back to tell us."
"Those stories of people coming back after they "died" and "saw stuff" weren't really dead. Their hearts stopped but their brains were still working. If the Universe continues to recycle itself infinitely, then there's a chance we will be reborn or continuously reborn but have no memory of our previous selves."
"When I was a kid I drowned while on holiday with my family, a giant fat man jumped in the pool on top of me and no one noticed till I was on the bottom of the pool. I remember the feeling of my lungs being on fire, then shivering then as everything was going dark a strange sense of peace and I was ok with it, No panic or terror then it went black."
"I was resuscitated at the side of the pool a few minutes later. I remember nothing from the black to being "alive" again. I was around 7 when it happened and since then I've been strangely at peace with the fact that one day I will die and slip into the dark void of nothingness. Hope that helps."
Popcorn?500 days of summer cinema GIFGiphy
"You wake up in a chair in a cinema and learn that the other are past lives of you and you're about to watch your next life very soon on the big screen."
The truth is none of us know the truth. We live everyday with the afterlife being a gamble. And that seems like it's going to have to be enough.
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The pressure to fit in when you're a young person is no joke. It seems like, daily, your emotional and physical safety hinges on you passing as "cool"--whatever that means. "Cool" can mean different things for different people. But when it comes to the things the "popular" kids think is cool--it might actually be destructive or dangerous.
But thankfully, just like trends, what is "cool" and what is not is also liable to change with time. And as generations move on and on, the landscape of what is "cool" changes. Some of the awful things that were cool when we were younger are no longer cool.
And that's probably for the best.
"What are you glad isn't 'cool' anymore?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Hole In The Ozone Above My Head
"Perms and aerosol hair spray. In the 80s you rarely had one without the other."
"I had permed hair from the age of 5 until college. And the wall in my bathroom that was opposite the mirror had a thick layer of hair spray permanently covering it."-ShallowLily
Mustache You A Question
"There was also that sub-trend of drawing a mustache on your finger and put it underneath your nose to do some sort of quirky selfie."
"I remember some people actually tatooed it on their fingers and I'm wondering how it's going for them now."-Skeledenn
Mid Aughts Eat Your Heart Out
"Layering shirts over a ton of cami tank tops."
"At least, I hope this trend is dead, because I had to do it since every shirt was tissue-paper thin."
"Can we please go back to shirts being opaque please? I'm tired of having to wear 3 layers just so I don't look like I wore only my bra to work."-Empty-Masterpiece242
Can't you find yourself sighing from relief that some of these things are no longer "in"?
It Was Also The 90s
"The early 2000's make up trends consisting of Orange foundation, extremely pale pink lipstick and ruler-drawn extra thin eyebrows."
"Please God never bring this sh*t again..."-Sohiacci
A Language, Not A Picture
"You get people with tattoos like '無料' because they went to the tattoo artist and said 'I want a tattoo that says I'm free!'"
"And they got a tattoo that says 'I'm free'... meaning 'I don't cost anything.'"-ppardee
"Don't forget when Ariana XL got a tattoo of 七輪, which is made up of characters that mean seven and ring, but as a word refers to a small charcoal grill."-Sharpevil
The Axe Years
"Men drowning themselves in axe body spray. I remember jr. high and the hallways would reek and almost everyone re-upped at their lockers between classes."
"Axe might as well make an Arctic-marijuana scent because I think people only use it now to cover up smoke smell but it doesn't really work."-Trolling_turd
It's All Bacon
"The bacon everything craze from about 10 years ago. Bacon flavored or scented everything, and so many memes about how bacon was like the greatest thing in human history. Like, it's okay."-NYArtFan1
"The meal itself could be subpar but because they've added bacon to it they feel it's gourmet or something. The burger sucks but it's $20 because we've added bacon."-Duffmanlager
And now, looking back, you're probably wondering why these things had such a long shelf life in the first place.
Just Like Axe
"Love Spell from Victoria secret. Like seriously I hate it now. Growing up the girls that went to school with me would bathe themselves in it. Especially during things like prom, winter formals, and any other events the school had."
"I got made fun of because I would wear other smells like cucumber melon and sweet pea. Yes I realize sweet pea smells like old lady. However, anything else was better than smelling a sea of f**king love spell."
"It also got me brownie points with the teachers. The older ones liked the smell and the younger ones shared my opinion on it. One day after gym, I was changing clothes, had just put deodorant on, and was about to spray a little cucumber melon on."
"One of the girls that regularly picked on me decided that today was the day. She caught me off guard and sprayed love spell directly into my face while screaming 'There. Now you won't smell like old lady a**' and laughing. All the other girls was laughing too until they realized I was coughing and was having trouble breathing."
"She had literally sprayed it down my mouth and nose. One of the girls panicked and went and got the teacher. The teacher took me to the office and called my parents. By the time my parents got to the school I was fine but, they decided to send me home anyways."
"The next day letters was sent home to other parents letting them know that love spell was banned from school because it was triggering kids with asthma. I don't have asthma but, I guess the teachers seen the incident as the perfect time to finally get rid of the smell once and for all."
"To this day, if I smell a hint of love spell I instantly start gagging. So glade it's gone.😉😉"-RiseandRiseagain1814
It's Cool To Care Now
"Apathy. It used to be really cool to not be invested in anything, but it seems like social media has made having hobbies and passions easier to with other likeminded people."-The_Most_Superb
"Fortunately I chose a co-op internship program which helped set up my career, but I regret not joining many clubs/activities because doing things was considered uncool."
"I think 21 jump street laid it out perfectly. The older kids were so confused about the newer high school kids actually giving a sh*t. Too accurate!"-swerve408
The Landscape Of Who's In Control
"Honestly, I'll take all of these back if I never have to see another 'influencer' again. Sure, back in the day you had your Paris Hiltons and your Kim Kardashians but they were easily ignored and only took up a niche portion of culture."
"Now, influencers have basically dominated every aspect of pop culture. Videos game culture is so dominated by streaming and YouTubers that meeting someone who 'likes video games' means something completely different from, say, 2007 or so."-TheRedCap
Looking back, maybe we weren't as cool as we thought we were. Then again, why were we so concerned about our hair, our silly bands, or any of these other things that faded with time, as everything must?
The coolest thing we can do in the present is just be ourselves.