Historians say film ‘distorts’ Crusades

Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott was savaged by senior British academics yesterday over his forthcoming film, which they say “distorts” the history of the Crusades to portray Arabs in a favorable light.

The $135 million film, which stars Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson, is described by the makers as being “historically accurate” and designed to be “a fascinating history lesson.”

However, academics — including Britain’s leading authority on the Crusades, Jonathan Riley-Smith — attacked the plot of “Kingdom of Heaven,” describing it As “rubbish,” “ridiculous,” “complete fiction” and “dangerous to Arab relations.”

It should also be noted that “Braveheart” was not an accurate portrayal of Scottish history, many events in “The Patriot” did not actually take place, and the many films of John Wayne distorted the realities of the Texas War for Independence, the Civil War, the Indian wars, the Lincoln County land war, World War Two, and Vietnam.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jen says:

    No! Say it ain’t so.