41 votes

Did Neil Armstrong really do this on the Moon?

There is no evidence to show he did this, but it's not implausible. I've read a number of historical accounts of NASA through the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo era, as well as biographies of many ...
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  • 49.1k
38 votes

Did Churchill really talk to people on the London Underground?

It's an invention for the movie: TheWrap put the question to “Darkest Hour” screenwriter Anthony McCarten, who not only wrote the screenplay but has published a companion history book about the ...
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  • 44.7k
36 votes
Accepted

Did Neil Armstrong really do this on the Moon?

This is addressed explicitly in the biography First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, by James R. Hansen, which the film is based on, and whose author is presumably the Jim mentioned in wcullen's ...
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  • 476
33 votes
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Is Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk historically inaccurate in portraying absence of the Indian army?

TL;DR Indian soldiers were stuck in the Dunkirk too. And the Royal Indian Army Corps was not only present on the beach, but also involved in transporting supplies to terrains that were not easy to ...
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  • 56.9k
31 votes

Is the bird killing in The Prestige based on historical reality?

It is based on a real trick, but the sources I provided do not conclusively state if any birds in these acts were ever killed. Only rumors and at least one inquiry, resulting in no substantial proof. ...
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  • 21.9k
27 votes
Accepted

Is the bird killing in The Prestige based on historical reality?

I did a little research on this question and it appears that the trick MIGHT kill the canary, or might not, but inevitably did result in a lot of bird deaths. Here is the notice: The vanishing bird ...
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  • 10.3k
27 votes
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Why is Havana covered in 5-digit numbers in Our Man in Havana?

These are lottery numbers. The location above is, as per Graham Greene's novel: “…the square at the top of Lamparilla Street… swallowed up among the pimps and lottery sellers of the Havana noon.” ...
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25 votes
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Did John Glenn really ask for that?

From IMDB.com trivia section: While John Glenn did specifically request that Katherine Johnson review all of the numbers for the Friendship 7 mission before he would agree to go through with it, he ...
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  • 441
24 votes
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Did Oskar Schindler really lament not having saved more Jews?

According to David M. Crowe’s book Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activities and the True Story Behind The List... NO. Among the key revelations in Crowe’s book: Oskar ...
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  • 128k
24 votes

Did Neil Armstrong really do this on the Moon?

Possibly Apparently screenwriter Josh Singer asked Armstrong's sister, June Hoffman, whether her brother had left something for Karen on the moon. June's response: "Oh, I dearly hope so." &...
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  • 589
24 votes

Did Neil Armstrong really do this on the Moon?

Armstrong never spoke about this publicly. Jay Barbree's biography Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014) says, on p. 272 of the paperback edition, In the lunar dust, Neil and ...
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23 votes
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What is the connection between Ragnar from Vikings and Ragnar from The Last Kingdom?

There's no direct connection Note: This post is spoiler-heavy, and using spoiler tags would make it rather cumbersome. If you don't wish to find spoilers, this probably isn't the answer for you. ...
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  • 345
20 votes
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Did the Battle of Iwo Jima really happen on black soil?

Did the Battle of Iwo Jima really happen on black soil Yes Iwo Jima is an island of the Japanese Volcano Islands chain south of the Ogasawara Islands and together with them form the Ogasawara ...
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  • 128k
19 votes

Is HBO's Chernobyl accurate about the sequence of instructions causing reactor stall?

The HBO show depicts events very close to the official soviet version of accident which was presented at IAEA meeting in Vienna in 1986 with Legasov as the head of the soviet delegation and which was ...
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  • 356
18 votes
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Were gladiators forced to fight in historical reenactments, as they did in "Gladiator"?

Yes. It is even believed that the Coliseum in Rome was filled with water at times to re-enact sea battles. From the Wiki: The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 ...
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18 votes

Deliberate miscalibration of shells in Schindler's List -- did this happen in real life?

As a personal opinion, I'd say he wanted people not to be treated abhorrently, or killed for no reason other than their faith or ethnicity. The war he could do little about; his factory & its ...
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  • 44.3k
15 votes
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What is the historic origin of these Indian burial grounds?

According to Atlas Obscura: First of all, it’s important to note that the Indian Burial Ground, which is sometimes abbreviated to IBG, is a trope, and not a real thing. Pre-Columbian peoples ...
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  • 44.7k
14 votes
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Who is the employee that Steve Jobs fired?

This scene was meant to put a spotlight on Jobs' darker side, but the event never really happened. In a fact check, this scene was specifically mentioned: Take the movie's font scene. At an all-...
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13 votes

Have there been any movies about or with realistic ninjas?

You are 100% correct. According to this excellent article on Kotaku, pretty much everything most people assume about ninjas—black pajamas, throwing stars, swords, etc…—is utter nonsense. The ...
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  • 5,028
13 votes
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Why was the Hollywood sign destroyed?

I assume you are referring to this scene Was the sign also destroyed in real life during 1980? Yes...and No. It's not destroyed, rather it had fallen in to a state of disrepair. In 1949, the ...
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  • 128k
12 votes
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Straight Outta Compton - claims of police abuse

Whether the police brutality/harassment scenes in the movie were embellished for creative licensing or not, the fact remains that police corruption, racism and brutality ran rampant in predominantly ...
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12 votes
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How true-to-life was 'Joyeux Noel'?

There is a nice article about this There are very interesting facts about this: Perhaps the biggest misconception about the Christmas Truce of 1914 is that it was limited to the days around ...
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12 votes

Why would U boats even try to torpedo a Fletcher-class destroyer?

It may have been rare, but it happened. Wikipedia lists 5 Destroyers torpedoed by German U-Boats. I don't see a claim of 'unrealistic' can stand up in the face of confirmed proof.
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  • 44.3k
11 votes
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How did the machine work before this realisation?

Basically, it wouldn't. The original Turing Machine (Or Christopher as it was named) was never programmed to identify words: it was programmed to identify consistencies. The enigma code wasn't ...
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11 votes
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How accurate is Sully?

The movie is mostly accurate except the negative villain-like portrayal of NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). The movie is based on Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. It is a ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Joey wearing pants - is it realistic?

Absolutely. There's very little writing on the subject, which in itself could be considered evidence that it wasn't so outrageous, but we do have a lot of photographs of frontierswomen wearing ...
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  • 15.1k
10 votes
Accepted

Did Hugo Cabret and other characters really exist?

The characters information I am able gather are: The character of Hugo is entirely fictional. Georges Méliès's had two wives, first wife Eugénie, who was married to Méliès during the time he made ...
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  • 115k
10 votes
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Did Mark Zuckerberg answer a question in similar circumstances to this?

According to this blog post by the professor who is depicted in that scene: in fact there is a scene where I'm shown teaching the Operating Systems course (in a commanding performance by Brian ...
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  • 44.7k
10 votes

Why do cars in movies set in earlier eras always look brand new?

Because the owners of the cars keep them like that. I will base my answer on three sources: Barn Find Hunter series by Hagerty on YouTube. In one of the episodes, Tom Cotter visits a collector ...
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