10 Movie Endings Spoiled By History

Biopics and historical flicks are mighty appealing for filmmakers and stars, but it's hard to create drama when the audience knows the ending. Here are 10 that tried to make it work, with varying results. [via premiere]

Plot: Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (played with eye-patched aplomb by Tom Cruise) and some of his army buddies take a crack at killing Hitler.
History Says: Epic fail, as the kids say. Hitler killed himself.
Execution:Valkyrie isn't really as bad as some of the critics are saying, but its schizoid history/action/thriller jumble doesn't quite satisfy the blow-'em'-up crowd.

Plot: A posh playboy talk show hosts puts his money literally where his mouth is when he scores a series of interviews with Tricky Dick Nixon.
History Says: It happened, and we have the tapes to prove it.
Execution: The story takes some liberties with the characters, especially Frost's background – he was actually quite experienced in interviewing heads of state and covering more serious topics before the Nixon interviews.

Plot: Two young folks have a torrid love affair while traveling on the Titanic, punctuated by nude modeling and the worst Celine Dion song ever.
History Says: The "unsinkable" Titanic hit a giant iceberg, and over 1,500 people met their untimely and unpleasant demise.
Execution: It's almost like director James Cameron did this film to prove a point. "Give me any topic and I'll make it a blockbuster!" "How about the Titanic?" "Sure, whatever." He acknowledges how it sank in the first part of the movie and made it a love story. The dynamic duo of Kate and Leo had packed audiences (and Oscar voters) swooning so by the time the iceberg hits you're actually nervous for how it all turns out.

Star Wars Episodes I, II, III
Plot: The prequels to the original trilogy try to fill in the blanks in the Star Wars mythology.
History Says: I am your father!
Execution: True Star Wars fans generally abhorred everything about the modern takes on their beloved trilogy, from Jar Jar Binks to that crappy makeup on Darth Maul. We slept on the sidewalks for this?! (Patton Oswalt's stand-up routine nails it. Warning: Language NSFW.)

United 93
Plot: United 93 was one of four hijacked planes on 9/11; the passengers decided to kick ass and take names.
History Says: Tragically, the plane still crashed, killing all onboard.
Execution: If you're able to sit through this movie without hyperventilating, let us know how it is.

The Passion of the Christ/Courtesy of Fox

The Passion of the Christ
Plot: An excruciatingly detailed depiction of the last 12 hours of Jesus's life, according to Mel Gibson.
History Says: Depends on who you ask, but we all have a general idea of what went down.
Execution:Passion was critically reviled, but it raked in the box office bucks due to grassroots support from churches and horror aficionados captivated by the endless river of blood and gore.

Pearl Harbor
Plot: A big-budget actioner courtesy of Michael Bay, featuring romance, explosions, and heart-rending friendships leading up to and during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
History Says: Pearl Harbor was bombed in what was possibly the most tragic day in American history.
Execution:The Observer called it "Titanic with bombs." Historians, war buffs and regular hard-working Americans have picked it apart for inaccuracies or for turning a tragedy into a mindless action flick. The song in Team America, "The End of An Act," sums up our feelings perfectly.

The Doors
Plot: Director Oliver Stone chronicles the self-destruction of the legendary band and its drug-addled lead singer, Jim Morrison.
History Says: Morrison wrote poetry, wore tight pants, screwed a lot of groupies, did a lot of drugs, fought with his band mates, and died young.
Execution: Not at a bad trip. The remaining Doors have criticized the movie and pointed out many inaccuracies but Kilmer turned out to be a great choice as The Lizard King. He sang some of the songs on the soundtrack and definitely lit some fires in the pants of fans.

Sid and Nancy
Plot: Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen screw, fight, try and kill each other, do a lot of drugs, and eventually die.
History Says: Nancy was killed, no one really knows Sid's role in her death, Sid died of an overdose.
Execution: Sid and Nancy has become the romantic date movie of the nihilist set, and one of Gary Oldman's most iconic roles to date. Keep your eyes peeled for Courtney Love's cameo, too.

Gerard Butler in 300

300/Courtesy of Warner Home Video

Plot: 300 soldiers, who can get away with fighting in capes and loin clothes because they're in really good enough shape, hold off an army of millions
History Says: The Battle of Thermopylae, where a small group of Spartans led King Leonidas fought off the massive Persian army for seven days.
Execution: This movie is about kicking ass in style. The fact that it's based in truth doesn't matter.

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