by EDWARD CLINE:
Hollywood has rarely produced a trustworthy depiction of historical events. My own philosophy of historical fiction is that historic events should serve as background to the conflicts, aspirations, ambitions, betrayals and destiny of the principal characters in the story. Further, the plot in which these characters move – or, even better, when these characters move the plot itself – should not conflict with the historic events, but be in sync with those events. The principal conflicts should be between the characters, not between the story and history. I obeyed this rule while writing the Sparrowhawk series, and also my period detective novels.
Hollywood does not adhere to such rules. I don’t think it has even formulated them.
Thus we have such examples as the 1936 Charge of the Light Brigade, in which the sequence of events of the Indian Mutiny and the Crimean War was reversed (the war, 1853-1856; the mutiny, 1857). Otherwise it would have required Errol Flynn to survive the Charge and travel to India to rescue Olivia de Havilland from Surat Khan’s filthy clutches. History was tweaked, but not by much, to accommodate the plot. The lavish 1968 Tony Richardson version, however, was a plotless anti-war statement, complete with animated period political cartoons and caricatured Victorian figures. And, because it was an anti-war statement, it was gorier than its predecessor.
There are innumerable films and TV series grounded in history. I could write a book about the subject. I might do that, some day. What looms largest in my mind, however, and at the moment, is David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962). At the age of 17, when I first saw it shortly after its release, I was literally smitten by it. It got me to read up on World War One. Although I entertained doubts about its accuracy, it was a grand scale film, one of the last. My positive appraisal of it gradually diminished over the years, the more I learned about how and why the Allied campaign in the Middle East was conducted.
Clinching my final negative appraisal was Efraim Karsh’s August 9th, 2013 article, “Seven Pillars of Fiction,” originally published in the Wall Street Journal and reprinted by the Middle East Forum. It concluded that Lawrence was indeed a consummate charlatan, and that the “Arab Revolt” was a fiction invented by one ambitious Arab potentate and cashed in on by another, the Saudi “king,” Abdul Aziz ibn Saud. Saud sat out the war and did not participate in any of the warfare conducted against the Turks by Lawrence under the aegis of Hussein ibn Ali, the putative “Sharif of Mecca,” and Prince Faisal, one of his sons. Hussein also sought the title, “King of the Arabs.” I provide many more details of this pragmatic episode of “nation building” in my detective novel, The Black Stone.
It also led me to the conclusion that David Lean, one of the finest film directors to ever peer through a camera lens, was just another ingenuous dupe of the legend of Lawrence of Arabia. At the time, questioning the stature of T.E. Lawrence would have been treated as slanderous heresy. His film, which I still maintain is a magnificent example of what films could be, was inspired by and produced as a result of the success of Terence Rattigan’s 1960 play, Ross, which was closer to the truth in its depiction of Lawrence than was Lawrence of Arabia.
I’ve often written about Hollywood’s Leftist, anti-American crusade, and its penchant for obliging the sensibilities of offended Muslims in the past, for example, here, here, here, here, and most recently, here, about the Disney/ABC Family Group‘s capitulation to the demands of the Hamas-connected Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that it cancel a TV program, “Alice in Arabia.” Nick Provenzo wrote about the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in 2006, why Hollywood had little or nothing to say about it, and why Hollywood changed the villains from Muslims to “neo-fascists” in the production of Tom Clancy’s novel, The Sum of All Fears. Wikepedia has the “low-down” on why the villains’ identities were changed. The screenwriter, Dan Pyne, protesteth too much.
The Disney/ABC decision garnered little or no mention in the mainstream media, nor did the announcement that Disney/ABC would work with Muslim screenwriters to produce future programs that would not offend Muslim feelings or invite chares of blasphemy or “slandering” the good name of Islam. The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a Muslim Brotherhood front group, announced also that it would provide Disney/ABC with this “talent.”
That boils down to: MPAC wonks voluntarily installed by Disney/ABC as paid censors of its output. It means: Disney/ABC is willing to submit to Islamic Sharia law, and avoid any criticism of Islam, and the Muslim wonks will be there to ensure that Disney/ABC complies.
Hollywood is but one miserable wing of the “house” the Brotherhood and its Islamic terrorist allies wish to bring down and convert to their own brand of totalitarianism. Just as the Soviets infiltrated our government and our culture in the 1930’s, including Hollywood, just as Hollywood obeyed Washington and refrained from producing movies during World War II critical of our totalitarian ally, Josef Stalin’s Soviet Russia, Islam has made a key beachhead in Hollywood, to guide its Leftist denizens in the Sharia way.
Ultimately, it will not be the Brotherhood’s hands that will help to destroy America, but the pragmatic, amoral, manicured hands of Hollywood, busy “reimagining” it.
Read more: Family Security Matters