Author Topic: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever  (Read 9701 times)

Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« on: November 22, 2017, 05:29:49 PM »
I'll nominate from a long list of utterly cringeworthy portrayals of The Beatles - the two leads doing Lennon and McCartney in 2000's Two Of Us - Full Movie Here. The terrible cliche-sodden script, the voices/accents, the fact neither of them look anywhere close to who the fuck they're meant to be. "Everyone will finally see who was the REAL brains behind The Beatles!" "Beatle-Paul at the controls!" Abysmal.

It's so bad it's almost comedic, even The Beatles parody from Walk Hard is more accurate.



I mean at least someone playing Alexander The Great or Abraham Lincoln can sort of get away with any old shit because they're more far removed by historicity, but we've got aeons of observable footage and audio of both Lennon and McCartney and we get this shit-soup. Any others of real people being played just utterly wrong?

Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 06:06:29 PM »
Thandie Newton's Condoleezza Rice in W. was like a bad party turn.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 06:21:10 PM »
Both The Doors and Velvet Underground (incl. Andy Warhol) in Oliver Stone's The Doors. Encouraged me not to watch subsequent biopics of musicians (I'm sure the Hendrix and Miles ones are even worse).

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 06:33:39 PM »
It took me a while to work out why Rod Hull was managing the Sex Pistols in Sid and Nancy until I clicked that it was Malcolm McLaren they were going for.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 08:08:39 PM »
I don’t think anyone who’s played Nixon has ever looked even remotely like him. Even the cartoonish one in Watchmen.

Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 10:10:18 PM »
I don’t think anyone who’s played Nixon has ever looked even remotely like him. Even the cartoonish one in Watchmen.

Hopkins was pretty poor, his American accent in his first big movie Magic from the 70s was awful and it hasn't improved much.

The other one was DiCaprio Hoover, obviously he was too young and caked in make-up which is distracting and just highlights his voice being young sounding and wrong. The film is also very sympathetic to Hoover, who was a right cunt and blackmailing everyone he could, not to mention being completely compromised himself. I'm surprised those mythical drag photos the Mafia had of him have never come to light, supposing they were real.

Then there's Kevin Spacey's vanity movie Beyond The Sea, Spacey is in his mid-40s playing Darin who died at 37, but also playing him in his 20s..

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 10:59:41 PM »
2000's Two Of Us

It does remind us all that they were both Irish.  Nearly everyone forgets that.


Quote
I mean at least someone playing Alexander The Great or Abraham Lincoln can sort of get away with any old shit because they're more far removed by historicity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKxtQzwoHH8

Nearly everyone forgets he was American.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 12:34:40 AM »
Still on a Paul McCartney tip there was that recent-ish film 'Nowhere Boy' about the early life of John Lennon where the person they had playing a teenage Macca looked about five years old and fuck all like him. They had to actually have him saying "Hello, Paul McCartney here!" like a Kenny Everett character.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 03:18:14 AM »
There's another Beatles one, much worse than The Two Of Us.

Birth of The Beatles produced by Dick Clark, directed by Return of the Jedi's Richard Maquand and starring Nick Cotton as George, Mid-40s Marc Rley as John and the Nigel Havers as George Martin

There's a semi decent version here
https://youtu.be/HKQDLVIPmTo?t=5m41s
It's addictive

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2017, 09:15:55 AM »
There's another Beatles one, much worse than The Two Of Us.

Birth of The Beatles produced by Dick Clark, directed by Return of the Jedi's Richard Maquand and starring Nick Cotton as George, Mid-40s Marc Rley as John and the Nigel Havers as George Martin

There's a semi decent version here
https://youtu.be/HKQDLVIPmTo?t=5m41s
It's addictive

I love this film. John being old as fuck is all part of the charm. And...

(whilst sitting on a tomb with the name Eleanor Rigby on it)
"Things err geddin' bedder"
"Well...they carn't ged mooch werrse"

Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2017, 12:22:29 PM »
I'll nominate from a long list of utterly cringeworthy portrayals of The Beatles - the two leads doing Lennon and McCartney in 2000's Two Of Us - Full Movie Here. The terrible cliche-sodden script, the voices/accents, the fact neither of them look anywhere close to who the fuck they're meant to be. "Everyone will finally see who was the REAL brains behind The Beatles!" "Beatle-Paul at the controls!" Abysmal.

It's so bad it's almost comedic, even The Beatles parody from Walk Hard is more accurate.



I mean at least someone playing Alexander The Great or Abraham Lincoln can sort of get away with any old shit because they're more far removed by historicity, but we've got aeons of observable footage and audio of both Lennon and McCartney and we get this shit-soup. Any others of real people being played just utterly wrong?
Jared Harris' Scouse is nowhere near as awful as his dad's. https://youtu.be/3_DnqoXxRPI?t=357

Kiwi comic/Worzel Gummidge Down Under star Peter Rowley's "Bernard Manning" in NZ-shot "Not Only but Always".


Feud: Bette and Joan got a lot wrong, esp. with Trog. Freddie Francis was a badly-accented 60something not a youthful-looking 50 year old, Bray studios portrayed as a Thamesside waterfront studio with a lot and all, not a mansion in leafy Berkshire. Sammy Davis jr., a Hammer fan visited Bray and was astonished to find it wasn't the big studio he imagined. They did have an extra with tache as "Bernard Kay".

Royal biopics are great at this. 1982's The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana, with Stewart Granger as Prince Philip and Olivia De Havilland as a way too young Queen Mum. One of the girls from Friday the 13th plays a character clearly supposed to be Camilla. Catherine Oxenberg is Diana. Weirdly, for a UK coproduction by Max Headroom people Chrysalis, it's mostly shot in the US, some bits are clearly UK, but it's clear they were only there for a few days. The rest is very anonymous places around upstate NY. Bar Christopher Baines as Charles and then Irish based ex-Hollywood starlet Dana Wynter as the Queen, a mostly US-based cast.

Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2017, 01:16:44 PM »
It irked me a few years back when Christopher Eccleston, age 46, played a 24 year old John Lennon despite not looking anywhere near close in age.

It was around the same time Michael Sheen was basically playing everyone who ever lived - he was good as Blair, ok as Williams and Frost, but my Dad absolutely hated him as Brian Clough.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2017, 03:11:40 PM »
I don’t think anyone who’s played Nixon has ever looked even remotely like him. Even the cartoonish one in Watchmen.

Philip Baker Hall in Secret Honor?

Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2017, 03:24:28 PM »
I love this film. John being old as fuck is all part of the charm. And...

(whilst sitting on a tomb with the name Eleanor Rigby on it)
"Things err geddin' bedder"
"Well...they carn't ged mooch werrse"

'Take 'em on, Ringo!' shouts John as they are faced with a hostile Cavern crowd following the dismissal of Pete Best. Ringo does a slow build up culminating in a drum roll. All is forgiven! Pete who?

Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 03:32:23 PM »
I'm shocked this hasn't come up yet.

2004's 'Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story', staring Flex Wheeler (and a shit ton of make up) as the titular character.

Here's everyone's favourite clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wUa8yWMgoE

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2017, 03:48:50 PM »
Robert Carlyle as Hitler in that ITV drama about his rise to power.

Genuinely fucking shit.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2017, 04:17:01 PM »
'Take 'em on, Ringo!' shouts John as they are faced with a hostile Cavern crowd following the dismissal of Pete Best. Ringo does a slow build up culminating in a drum roll. All is forgiven! Pete who?

My favourite bit is when Let It Be era John is shaking his fist at Macca after he sent that postcard, shouting, 'I'll get you McCartney!' in the voice of Kevin the teenager when he's pretending to be from Manchester.

Edit - whoops, that's from 'John & Yoko: A Love Story.m featuring Peter Capaldi as George Harrison.

I love a shit biopic, me.  Has there ever been a better piece of casting than Nurse Ratchett as Karen Carpenter's mum?  I think not.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 04:17:23 PM »
Robert Carlyle as Hitler in that ITV drama about his rise to power.

Genuinely fucking shit.

"SHE'S MY NIECE! WE GO TO THE OPERAH TOGEVVAAAAAAH!"

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2017, 04:53:30 PM »
"SHE'S MY NIECE! WE GO TO THE OPERAH TOGEVVAAAAAAH!"

Haha to be fair I haven't watched it in full since it was first aired over 10 years ago so I'm afraid I don't remember this line. I tried giving it a re-watch years later on Netflix but turned it off shortly after it shows him as a vagabond. When he just out of nowhere goes to another homeless person, "Shit being homeless innit? I tell you, it's the Jews' fault." (paraphrased) I realised how shit and contrived this Hitler portrayal was. Rather than showing him being a cunt through action it was full of out-of-the-blue comments like that as if the writers were like "He's not done/said anything racist for a while, better shoe-horn something in here."

Granted, that's the writer's fault more than Carlyle's, but I still think it's one of the worst roles Carlyle has ever played.

Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2017, 05:12:00 PM »
Chris Diamantopoulos as Robin Williams.

This one's great because there are the people playing the Happy Days cast to gawp at as well.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2017, 05:21:25 PM »
It irked me a few years back when Christopher Eccleston, age 46, played a 24 year old John Lennon despite not looking anywhere near close in age.

He didn't look anywhere near close to him at all.  Or sound anything like him.  He did an all-round v poor job.

Everyone seems to play the Beatles as if the only existing footage of them is the Yellow Submarine cartoon with the silly exaggerated voices.  "Dey doo doh don't dey doh."  "Yes that sounds like a real person - do it like that."

kidsick5000

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2017, 07:07:49 PM »
My favourite bit is when Let It Be era John is shaking his fist at Macca after he sent that postcard, shouting, 'I'll get you McCartney!' in the voice of Kevin the teenager when he's pretending to be from Manchester.

Edit - whoops, that's from 'John & Yoko: A Love Story.m featuring Peter Capaldi as George Harrison.

They've got access to Beatles' music. There's a lush lounge version of Strawberry Fields during the gallery scene where John and Yoko meet. Must have been before it got really expensive to license Beatles tunes.

And they do have someone from Liverpool to be John (Mark McGann of the notorious McGann brothers) who is actually pretty close in look. It's just a shame that it all descends into that "oh hello Paul McCartney of The Beatles" nonsense.

That and the incredible wig work.


"You tell me I play whatever you wan me to play senor Macca" - Jorges
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 07:21:40 PM by kidsick5000 »

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2017, 08:21:48 PM »
Chris Diamantopoulos as Robin Williams.

As I recall (I haven't seen it since it was first released), he didn't do too bad a job.  Just lacked in the body hair department.  But then I think the only person that could pull that off is Dan Hedaya.  And I suspect his Williams impression is probably shit.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2017, 10:58:49 PM »

"You tell me I play whatever you wan me to play senor Macca" - Jorges

Karma x infinity for that

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2017, 11:04:09 PM »
Controversial choice, but I'd add Bill Murray as Hunter S Thompson. He has his fans in that role, and it's by no means a poor performance, but I just can't see Thompson at all.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2017, 11:19:59 PM »
Controversial choice, but I'd add Bill Murray as Hunter S Thompson. He has his fans in that role, and it's by no means a poor performance, but I just can't see Thompson at all.

I do disagree with you, BUT Johnny Depp nailed that role in a way that Murray would never be able to. 

And it feels very odd writing that about Johnny Depp now...

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2017, 11:26:29 PM »


'My name's Johnny Cash. I'm basically a stupid bumbling idiot.'

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2017, 11:46:35 PM »
Assuming Jesus himself was an actual person as well, pretty much everyone playing every real person in every version of Jesus Christ Superstar is pretty terrible, in a strangely entertaining way (Jesus Christ Superstar is, I must admit, a guilty pleasure of mine).

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2017, 12:37:43 AM »
As I recall (I haven't seen it since it was first released), he didn't do too bad a job.  Just lacked in the body hair department.  But then I think the only person that could pull that off is Dan Hedaya.  And I suspect his Williams impression is probably shit.

From watching bits of that link, I think he does an excellent job.

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Re: Worst Portrayal Of Real People In Film Ever
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2017, 12:58:21 AM »
Kermit The Frog in a fright wig Charles Manson at 3:11 mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5taTzrv400

Oh, he's perfectly fine with the script and hair pieces he had to work with.