Michael Collins Film

johnfás

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Trying to work out a list of innacuracies in the Michael Collins film, give me some help!

So far I have

- In the film Collins leads the treaty delegation - this was actually Griffith as far as I'm aware

- Car bombs didn't exist back then!
 


johnfás

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:p Its more to point out all the bits for my girlfriends little sister who insists on using it instead of her text book!
 

pjb07

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i dont think he was at the GPO although i could be wrong.

he is portayed as important then and he wasnt.

the whole kitty story is pointless from a historical point of view.

it is biased

my old history teacher hates it!!!!
 

johnfás

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My history teacher hated it too! I could watch the whole thing and work them all out but im not bothered, wiki only gives half them, cos if i remeber, theres LOADS

I do think he was in the GPO though
 

badinage

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johnfás said:
- Car bombs didn't exist back then!
Incidentally, the first recorded car bomb was on Wall Street on September 16th 1920. Though it was technically a wagon, not a car, it killed 38 people. I think it was just a bomb in wagon though, as opposed to a bomb which would explode when a car was moved or the ignition switched on.

As for other inaccuracies, the placing of an armoured car on the pitch at Croke Park which fired into the crowd is a pretty shocking one - that vehicle was in a laneway approaching the stadium, and fired over the heads of the stampeding crowd as they fled the stadium.

Broy's death is another huge one.
 

Doylers

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Heres a few:

During the Easter Rising scenes, Collins is shown wearing the uniform of a full Lieutenant in the Irish Volunteers. While there is a photo of him in his Volunteers uniform as a Lieutenant, by the Easter Rising he had been promoted to Captain, where he served as aide de camp to Joseph Plunkett, who is conspicuously absent.

Eamonn De Valera is shown surrendering with the General Post Office garrison after the Easter Rising. However, he was actually Commandant of the garrison at Bolland's Mills, which surrendered after the GPO upon receiving orders to stand down. He was never at the GPO during the Rising.

During the Easter Rising scenes, the Volunteers and Citizen Army are shown marching out of the General Post Office to surrender. However, the day before the surrender, they had retreated from the burning GPO to another building down the road, and surrendered from there.

In the opening scene of the 1916 rising, the film shows a street in front of the G.P.O. There is no street in front of the G.P.O. It about 100 metres to the right of the building.
 

Trojanhorse

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Off the top of my head- The Brits didnt drive a tank into Croker.

Griffith was the leader of the delegation to London.
 

rockofcashel

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It potrayed him as a hero, when actually he was a bit of a boll**s

(actually, no he was ok, just winding TH up :wink: , she's a bit of a Collins fetishist)
 

Doylers

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A few bad ones here:

One of the sailing vessels pictured in the background as Collins, Boland, and Kitty Kiernan walk along the pier in the Dun Laoghaire Harbour is a Dublin Bay Sailing Club Mermaid. This class of 3-man racing dinghy was designed in 1932, 9 years after Collins' death.

Collins' personal car has the registration "15 D1" which is the format of registration adopted in the Republic of Ireland in 1987.

During the raid on Four Courts, over the shoulder of the leftmost soldier a 1980s-vintage bus can be seen.

During the "Croke Park" scene in Bray, the DART lines are visible in the background.
 

returning officer

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The one that always got on my nerves was the one about the escape from Lincoln Prison (but I am going from memory myself here, so am open to correction on the details)

In the film, Collins breaks the key in the lock (true) and then curses (he probably did) but for some unexplained reason Alan Rickman castigates him for cursing. Once out, they then proceed down the road with Rickmans (6ft+) dressed as a prostitute. ie from ridiculous to the absurd.

Whereas according to Tim Pat Coogan biogroaphy of Dev, it was Dev who expressed the "ejaqulation" at the delay in opening the door and Harry Boland who dressed as the tart.

Some inaccuracies where done for time reasons this one is so minor nad has no reason other than to build on the character mis-representation.
 

Podolski

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Collins movie inaccuracies

the portrayal of Harry Boland as a coward is disgraceful.

Julia Roberts woeful interpretation of a Longford accent.
 

Limerick Lad

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It's just a film not an historical documentary maybe someday someone will make a movie "De Valera" and he can be the hero in that snooze-fest.
 

QuizMaster

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Kitty Kiernan never said "Which of you two gunslingers is going to ask me to dance".
(I'm guessing).

That Castle civil servant who let Collins in to have a look at the records, he wasn't beaten up, tortured or killed. He got away with it. Though I suppose that scene was representative of a lot of times that sort of thing really did happen.
 

Trojanhorse

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rockofcashel said:
It potrayed him as a hero, when actually he was a bit of a boll**s

(actually, no he was ok, just winding TH up :wink: , she's a bit of a Collins fetishist)
Now now Roc :wink:


Harry Boland didnt die the way it was protrayed in the film...he actually was shot in the Grand Hotel in Skerries and died a few days later from bad wound to the stomach in Vincent's Hospital....not down a sewer drain as in the film.

Also he had more than Ned Broy working for him in the castle it was group of people. He never saw the files in Dublin Castle but rather the files in Pearse St Barracks.
Ned Broy went on to own a furriers after the WoI and wasnt killed
 

Twin Towers

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Trojanhorse said:
Ned Broy went on to own a furriers after the WoI and wasnt killed
Looks like moviemistakes has its own mistake then:

"However, the real Ned Broy lived well into the 1940s, and went on to become chief of the Dublin Metropolitan Police."
 

The Analyser

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The whole film is littered with inaccuracies.

  • 1. Its account of the Easter Rising and its aftermath included Arthur Griffith. Griffith opposed the Rising and Sinn Féin had nothing to do with it. SF in 1916 was a small monarchist party. It only moved from monarchism to republicanism at its 1917 Ard Fheis (nearly splitting on the issue).

    2. Collins was a minor figure in the Rising, not a key one, though he was unimpressed by its organisation and decided that the next time things were organised he would ensure they would be organised correctly, not amateurishly. (He was unimpressed by Pearse, seeing him as a niave dreamer out of his depth, saying of him "I honestly doubt very much if I would have followed Pearse — not without some thought anyway.")

    3. Broy was not murdered by the British. He died many years after the war of independence, having served as Garda Commissioner.

    4. Collins was not de Valera's number 2. In the Irish Republic, the number 2 was Griffith, whom de Valera named as acting president while he was in the US.

    5. Collins was not "Minister for Intelligence". He was Minister for Finance.

    6. The bombing in the courtyard in Dublin Castle was a deliberate falsehood added to appeal to republican supporters in the US. Car bombs did not exist in Ireland at the time.

    7. Collins was not smuggled into Dublin Castle. He was smuggled into the Dublin Metropolitan Police offices where the files were kept.

    8. The modern day Clearys that it is suggested Kitty Kiernan visited to buy her wedding dress, actually did not exist then. What is now Clearys was then the Imperial Hotel.

    9. The geography of Dublin bore no relationship to the city created in the sets. There is no street, and never has been a street, directly across from and facing the GPO, much less a street with the Mansion House at the other end. (I was in the film. The sets were damn impressive. But it was surreal to stand outside the Mansion House watching Neeson and the rest film their arrest scene in its courtyard, and find that you were facing down a street to the GPO at the other end! One interesting insight. In the crowd scenes Jordan had Alan Rickman deliver de Valera's in retrospect monumentally misjudged 'rivers of blood' speech and asked the crowd to respond to it as if they had just heard it for the first time. 99% of the crowd booed it, with some who had never heard it before asking "Did he really say that?" Neil had to break the crowd up into parts and tell different segments how they should react. He could not film a scene where the entire crowd were hostile to the speech. The fact that everyone, including big de Valera fans, took offence at the speech shows how different attitudes today are to 1922. There is so little support for de Valera's stance compared to then, but then even de Valera himself admitted at the end of his life that not accepting the Treaty had been his biggest mistake.

    10. Collins was not the head of the Treaty delegation. That was Arthur Griffith.

    11. The film version of Kitty Kiernan bore no relationship whatsoever to the real woman. The real woman never held a gun much less threatened anyone with one.

    12. De Valera had no hand, act or part in Collins's death. That claim was a travesty of history.

    13. The surrender after the Rising occurred in Moore Street, not outside the GPO, and they were not assembled outside the Mansion House, which is in a completely different part of the city.

    14. The IRA did not split over partition and the Oath. Only one or two TDs raised the issue of partition as all sides thought the boundary commission would deliver a non-viable Northern Ireland and so force unity.

    15. Words Collins used to describe Connolly, whom he admired more than de Valera and certainly more than Pearse, were used instead to refer to de Valera.

    16. The film stated that the Irish Free State was formed at the start of 1922. It came into being at the end of the year.

    17. Harry Boland did not die in the manner suggested in the film.

    18. Collins's ambush did not occur like that, and he was not shot in the matter it showed, nor by the mythical person it showed.

That is just the tip of the iceburg of the errors and falsehoods.

Films by their nature have to take some dramatic licence with storylines to cram in and contextualise happenings. But that one had so much rubbish in it as to make it in effect useless as a source of any information other than that (a) someone called Michael Collins existed, (b) he was involved in the War of Independence, and (c) he was shot.

As source material however it is worthless and made many historians physically sick when they saw it, such were the blatant untruths. It is no more a real representation of the War of Independence and its main protagonists than Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins was an accurate representation of a real Victorian chimney sweep.
 

Cael

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The worst part of the film is showing Harry Boland being chased to his death down a sewer in a direct plagerism of the ending of the film "The Third Man" where the Orson Wells character Harry Lime is chased through a sewer to meet his doom. In fact Boland was assinated in his bed in exactly the same way as Collins delt with the Cairo Gang. Deeply tragic that Collins used this method on his best friend.

I always thought that Michael Collins would make a great tradegy. The story of a one time idealist and patriot who was corrupted by power and expediancy. I wonder if Beal na mBlath was not suicide on Collins part. He stood out in the middle of the road firing at men with rifles on high ground and with excellent cover. Nobody could be stupid enough to do this by accident. Perhaps when he looked around him and saw his new free state army full of ex British soldiers carrying out even worse autrocities against Irish patriots than they did under the direct orders of the English Crown his old patriotism caught hold of him and he prefered to die in combat with his old friends and comrades in his native Cork rather than die in bed in Dublin an old and rich British lacky.
 


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