How is this not a "based on a true story" movie? Thread of historical narratives ripe for exploitation

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I find these little nuggets all the time and I'm like, how is this not a movie? Collect such things here.

Helga Estby, a 36-year-old from Spokane, Washington, and her 18-year-old daughter Clara walked from Spokane to New York City in 1896, setting off on May 5, 1896, passing through 14 states along the way, and arriving at the latter on Christmas Eve. She did so in response to a $10,000 challenge from a sponsor given to any woman who would walk across the United States. She brought with her a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and a curling iron. She wanted the money in order to save her family's 160-acre (65 ha) farm. She did not receive it.

El Tomboto, Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:15 (six years ago) link

thomas sankara biopic

imago, Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:16 (six years ago) link

Immediate Follower (NA), Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:19 (six years ago) link

otm but there was a documentary

imago, Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:24 (six years ago) link

JoeStork, Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:51 (six years ago) link

The Nachthexen

(rocketcat) (kingfish), Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:52 (six years ago) link

this story has appeared in movies a few times but not really any good or notable ones. the "last battalion" stuff could be a great climax.

ryan, Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:55 (six years ago) link

LOST battalion, that is

ryan, Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:56 (six years ago) link

I feel like this dude was made for a disastrous Terry Gilliam production:

He achieved notoriety by a series of eccentric journeys: for example, he travelled from London to Queenborough in a paper boat with two stockfish tied to canes for oars, described in "The Praise of Hemp-Seed",[3] which was re-enacted in 2006.[4] From his journey to Scotland in 1618, on which he took no money, Taylor published his Pennyless Pilgrimage. (Ben Jonson walked to Scotland in the same year.)[5]

Taylor is one of the few credited early authors of a palindrome: in 1614, he wrote "Lewd did I live, & evil I did dwel." He wrote a poem about Thomas Parr, a man who supposedly lived to the age of 152. He was also the author of a constructed language called Barmoodan.[6]

Many of Taylor's works were published by subscription; i.e., he would propose a book, ask for contributors, and write it when he had enough subscribers to undertake the printing costs. He had more than sixteen hundred subscribers to The Pennylesse Pilgrimage; or, the Moneylesse Perambulation of John Taylor, alias the Kings Magesties Water-Poet; How He TRAVAILED on Foot from London to Edenborough in Scotland, Not Carrying any Money To or Fro, Neither Begging, Borrowing, or Asking Meate, Drinke, or Lodging., published in 1618. Those who defaulted on the subscription were chided the following year in a scathing brochure entitled A Kicksey Winsey, or, A Lerry Come-Twang, which he issued in the following year.

JoeStork, Sunday, 27 November 2016 18:10 (six years ago) link

― Immediate Follower (NA), Sunday, November 27, 2016 11:19 AM (three days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this new article ( mentions an impending biopic starring colin firth

na (NA), Wednesday, 30 November 2016 18:38 (six years ago) link

Yup, can't wait for that.

And speaking of the Crowhurst documentary, if I could suggest:

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 30 November 2016 18:43 (six years ago) link

And here's a story from earlier in the year about the biopic with Firth

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 30 November 2016 18:44 (six years ago) link

thanks. sounds like a pretty straight biopic, my dream would be something more experimental/impressionistic. but colin firth is a good choice for crowhurst.

na (NA), Wednesday, 30 November 2016 18:52 (six years ago) link

Yeah it'll be interesting to see how they handle the end of the journey.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 30 November 2016 18:58 (six years ago) link

my dream would be something more experimental/impressionistic.

there was a stage opera that was basically this -- done in the 90s

sarahell, Wednesday, 30 November 2016 20:33 (six years ago) link

true stories don't have superheroes who punch people. none of these will get movies.

Einstein, Kazanga, Sitar (abanana), Thursday, 1 December 2016 23:18 (six years ago) link

nearly every horror movie or TV show about witch trials is guilty of this. there is actual historical terror, murder, and horror that could be portrayed if they were to film things from the perspective of the accused. instead we get media that continues to regurgitate the same old devil worshipper tropes once used to condemn people.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 2 December 2016 00:21 (six years ago) link

i know, i know, it's not as easy to write compelling and realistic villains. easier to just CGI in a pentagram and creepily play some off-key nursery rhymes.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 2 December 2016 00:23 (six years ago) link

Trenchant: The Movie

Dave Plaintive rapper with classical training (imago), Friday, 2 December 2016 00:25 (six years ago) link

Is there a film of the William Paterson exploratory voyages to the Cape iin the future South Africa in the 1780s. He went off expecting to be funded by Mary Eleanor Strathmore who had a keen interest in horticulture and exotic plants.
He wound up being the 2nd European to be exploring the area and saw things nobody had previously seen.
I say he started off thinking he was being financed by her but she wound up being conned into marriage by the apparently fatally wounded Andrew Robinson Stoney who conned her out of controlling her own finances and treated her horrendously. He was the original person that Thackeray based Barry Lyndon on though he seems to be far less sympathetic than at least the Kubrick version of him.

Paterson returned to his base in the Cape expecting his finances to be straight only to find out that he wasn't covered, not yet knowing that Stoney had caused Strathmore to cut off payment so Paterson was left stranded until he could borrow money for a passage home. All the way through the voyage home he was expecting there to be some mistake that could be reasonably rectified. Only to get back to Holland still unable to get paid.

Paterson went on to joining the army and serving in in India, I think including some time as a governor before becoming the governor of New South Wales.
Since he was a significant figure in both South African and Australian history he may have had a film made in one of the 2 countries covering that period of exploration. I haven't come across anything. But have just come across him i relation to Mary Eleanor Strathmore/Bowes in the book Wedlock by Wendy Moore which I'm finding very interesting.

Stevolende, Saturday, 3 December 2016 22:31 (six years ago) link

Actually that's acting Governor of New South Wales since he was called in to take the place of William Bligh who'd just lost his job again after trying to sort out the rum trade. That's the same Bligh who'd been mutinied off the Bounty who'd gone on to a governing role in Australia only to be deposed again. Maybe he was just a lousy person to be an authority figure.

Stevolende, Saturday, 3 December 2016 22:37 (six years ago) link

He sounds worthy of a franchise imo

Paterson's Journeys
Paterson, FRS
The Paterson Nomenclature
Paterson: Commandant
Paterson: Governor

El Tomboto, Saturday, 3 December 2016 22:51 (six years ago) link

The actual story of Bowes/Strathmore and the horrors Mary Eleanor suffered goes a long way beyond Barry Lyndon. So could be a film in its own right.
Her mistreatment at his hands, successfully sought divorce and subsequent action would make a good film.
I don't think Lyndon goes much into the 8 years of hell the actual character inflicted on his wife. I think he's portrayed as an attractive rake not a sadistic shit like the real Stoney.

Stevolende, Sunday, 4 December 2016 08:20 (six years ago) link

Lyndon's rakishness ends sharply after the first act iirc.

Wes Brodicus, Sunday, 4 December 2016 10:01 (six years ago) link

I still don't think he's shown as remotely as sadistic as the real character. But Thackeray's book was written 50 years later expanded on an idea taken from stories he heard at one of the Bowes' children's place.

Wendy Moore says that previous biographies of Mary Eleanor Strathmore had all been written by men and had depicted her as vain and gullible. Moore went back and read through all the surviving correspondence relating to the case. It looks like Mary Eleanor was a great loss to society and science since she had a great intellect and a full education which was rare for an 18th Century woman.

She may have brought about the introduction of various South African flora that had not previously been discovered. But not sure what was lost there thanks to the mess that was made fo financing the series of expeditions that she'd commissioned Paterson to undertake.

I've really enjoyed this book Wedlock by Wendy Moore, quite horrifying.

Stevolende, Sunday, 4 December 2016 11:44 (six years ago) link

There are a few in that Robert Silverberg book on Scientific Hoaxes that might make good films too.
The Arctic explorer who lied about making an expedition to the North pole but probably didn't go onto the ice ca and just sent the winter at the last base camp, or the guy who he was in competition with him and whose supplies he coopted who [probably did make it to the North pole in 1909 alongside his black manservant and one eskimo, & the intrigue around Atlantis by the son of the guy who unearthed Troy, & various things around the Kensington Stone including tke possible 14th century Scandinavain exploratory trip as well as a supposedly backwoods farmer duping people by faking runes.

Stevolende, Sunday, 4 December 2016 12:45 (six years ago) link

Gary Powers story seems an obviousness one where a movie could be told. Beyond the cold war angle and the U2 being shot down and being held captive scenes, he got a lot of s**t for being considered a traitor for not killing himself and being taken alive. I always thought that was strange Kafkaesque situation. How he died is the ending.

A long bio movie on Andrew Jackson could be really interesting as he was a very complex character but I think there are too many hard truths in there for a mass of the US public to want to deal with.

earlnash, Sunday, 4 December 2016 13:04 (six years ago) link

Wilhelm Reich bio.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Sunday, 4 December 2016 13:24 (six years ago) link

I just bought one of those Reich bios last week too

Stevolende, Sunday, 4 December 2016 13:52 (six years ago) link

I'm reading him at the moment!

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Sunday, 4 December 2016 13:56 (six years ago) link

Gen Petraeus scandal, ideally directed by the Coen bros.

Roz, Sunday, 4 December 2016 14:12 (six years ago) link

A ridiculous con man taking over the US Presidency and people across the globe getting freaked out by it. No that's real life, guess the movie will follow in a few years if there's still anybody around to be an audience.

Though there 's already a few films based on that idea aren't there?

Stevolende, Sunday, 4 December 2016 14:40 (six years ago) link


Neanderthal, Sunday, 4 December 2016 14:48 (six years ago) link

altho that was a democrat senator running for re-election

Neanderthal, Sunday, 4 December 2016 14:48 (six years ago) link

actually he wasn't a con man at all in that movie SCRATCH THAT EXAMPLE

Neanderthal, Sunday, 4 December 2016 14:51 (six years ago) link

Surprised no-one has made a film about John Brown (whose body lies a-moulderin' in the grave) in a long time.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Sunday, 18 December 2016 11:15 (six years ago) link

it's sad, his Jalopy had a hole in its tire.

Neanderthal, Sunday, 18 December 2016 14:18 (six years ago) link

Would love to see a movie about Alves dos Reis who pulled off one of the biggest frauds in history - the Portugal Bank Note Affair

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 23 December 2016 09:16 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

José de Gálvez y Gallardo, 1st Marquess of Sonora, OCIII (2 January 1720, Macharavialla, Spain – 17 June 1787, Aranjuez, Spain)[1] was a Spanish lawyer and Visitador generál (inspector general) in New Spain (1764–1772); later appointed to the Council of the Indies (1775–1787).[2]

The task of defending the northern border of New Spain was, it seems, somewhat stressful.

By mid-July, however, Gálvez's health had begun to deteriorate. The weight of his responsibilities, he believed, had taken a toll. Indeed, by autumn he had begun to show the first serious signs of mental collapse. At Pitic (present Hermosillo), while on campaign against the Seris, he had emerged from his tent at two o'clock in the morning to explain to a nearby officer that St. Francis of Assisi had sent a written communication explaining the incompetence of his military leaders. Galvez thereupon revealed his own plan to "destroy the Indians in three days simply by bringing 600 monkeys from Guatemala, dressing them like soldiers, and sending them against Cerro Prieto," the rebel stronghold. Galvez apparently continued to lose touch with reality, taking on the identity of prominent personages from Montezuma to the king of Sweden, and of religious figures including St. Joseph and God himself.

Hangover Ape (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 April 2019 18:22 (three years ago) link

bas jan ader.

dutch, born to calvinist minister parents in 1942. his father was executed by the nazis for helping jews when he was 2 years old.

became successful conceptual artist.

tried to cross the atlantic in the smallest boat ever. was lost at sea

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Friday, 5 April 2019 18:36 (three years ago) link

he also flunked out of art school, hitchhiked to morocco, filmed himself falling off the roof of his house and other stuff.

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Friday, 5 April 2019 18:40 (three years ago) link,_Countess_of_Strathmore_and_Kinghorne

There’s some extraordinary events in her life. She was an inspiration for The Countess Lyndon in Thackeray’s Barry Lyndon, filmed by Kubrick of course, though don’t think much of her life made it to the film.

Dan Worsley, Friday, 5 April 2019 19:49 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

The story of St. Guthlac has 'folk horror' written all over it:

Guthlac built a small oratory and cells in the side of a plundered barrow on the island. There he lived until his death on 11 April 714. Felix, writing within living memory of Guthlac, described his hermit's life:

Now there was in the said island a mound built of clods of earth which greedy comers to the waste had dug open, in the hope of finding treasure there; in the side of this there seemed to be a sort of cistern, and in this Guthlac the man of blessed memory began to dwell, after building a hut over it. From the time when he first inhabited this hermitage this was his unalterable rule of life: namely to wear neither wool nor linen garments nor any other sort of soft material, but he spent the whole of his solitary life wearing garments made of skins. So great indeed was the abstinence of his daily life that from the time when he began to inhabit the desert he ate no food of any kind except that after sunset he took a scrap of barley bread and a small cup of muddy water. For when the sun reached its western limits, then he thankfully tasted some little provision for the needs of this mortal life.

The 8th-century Latin Vita sancti Guthlaci, written by Felix, describes the entry of the demons into Guthlac's cell:[3][4]

They were ferocious in appearance, terrible in shape with great heads, long necks, thin faces, yellow complexions, filthy beards, shaggy ears, wild foreheads, fierce eyes, foul mouths, horses' teeth, throats vomiting flames, twisted jaws, thick lips, strident voices, singed hair, fat cheeks, pigeons breasts, scabby thighs, knotty knees, crooked legs, swollen ankles, splay feet, spreading mouths, raucous cries. For they grew so terrible to hear with their mighty shriekings that they filled almost the whole intervening space between earth and heaven with their discordant bellowings.

The Mandolinrainian (Old Lunch), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:05 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

The motherfucking Cadaver Synod

Marty J. Bilge (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 10 August 2021 17:42 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

This happened 114 years ago today

The chase as described is absolutely astonishing.

Dan Worsley, Monday, 23 January 2023 21:15 (one week ago) link

great article

na (NA), Monday, 23 January 2023 21:25 (one week ago) link


A Drunk Man Looks At Partick Thistle (Tom D.), Monday, 23 January 2023 21:56 (one week ago) link

Legit surprised that someone like Ken Russell never made an over-the-top biopic about painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté given who his patrons were.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 02:01 (one week ago) link

what about this dude

def jeftones (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 15:52 (one week ago) link

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