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Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied Italy: Jacques Tourneur's "The Flame and the Arrow"

9 July 2015 5:51 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Even when based on actual events, classical Hollywood movies never strive for painstaking factual accuracy. This is best exemplified by the ever-present legal disclaimer “The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used in this work are fictitious, and any resemblance to the name, character and history of any real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental,” which appears not only in horror, sci-fi or musical extravaganzas, but also in biopics and historical reconstructions. In the latter two cases, the contradiction is only apparent. While using the above disclaimer (or variations thereof) to protect themselves from defamation lawsuits, the studios openly acknowledge what any person of common sense knows already: in the filmmaking business, dramatization and other poetic licenses are essential to tell and sell exciting stories to an audience, since reality is too boring and complex for an evening's entertainment. In other words, a commercial film is not a »

- Michael Guarneri

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