YOUR FORUM REMINDED ME OF TWO MOVIES I LOVE VERY MUCH BUT WHICH ARE SO INACCURATE AS TO BE LAUGHABLE--THE MASK OF ZORRO AND THE LEGEND OF ZORRO.
THE FIRST FEATURED HIS LORDSHIP SIR ANTHONY AS THE ORIGINAL ZORRO AND ANTONIO BANDERAS AS JOAQUIN MURRIETA'S YOUNGER BROTHER AND ZORRO'S PROTEGE.
Margaret-Anne, since the Zorro stories are fiction, what elements of the movies did you find inaccurate (besides the link of Murrieta to Zorro)?
This is the story of Joaquin Murrieta. Let's see if you guys, that are professional historians, know more about the topic.
Joaquin Murrieta (sometimes spelled Murieta or Murietta) (ca. 1829–July 25, 1853?), also called the Mexican or Chilean Robin Hood or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was a semi-legendary figure in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. He was either an infamous bandit or a Mexican patriot, depending on one's point of view.Murrieta was partly the inspiration for the fictional character of Zorro. His name has, for some political activists, symbolized resistance against Anglo-American economic and cultural domination in California. The "Association of Descendants of Joaquin Murrieta" is devoted to putting forth that Murrieta was not a "gringo eater," but instead that "He wanted to retrieve the part of Mexico that was lost at that time in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo."
Was Murrieta a Chilean?
Although Murrieta was considered to be Mexican and/or Chilean in biographical sources, there were a few reports of his maternal side are of Cherokee ancestry, a Native American people of part Anglo Protestant origins. Her family came to either Mexico or, questionably, Chile from the Southeastern United States have quickly adapted European customs such as private land ownership and a farm plantation system; and married into the Murrieta family thus to Spanish land nobility. Many scholars dispute the Murrieta-Cherokee ancestral connection, although some Cherokees have settled in Mexico (esp. Texas) and other parts of Latin America during the 19th century.
Origin of Zorro;
I know this-the supposed pickled head of Murrieta went up in the fire following the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco.
The original Zorro story (novel) had nothing to do with Murrieta.
The Murrieta story has several versions each with offshoots to different conclusions. Even though based on an historical character there is almost as much fiction in it as in Zorro.
And the Zorro era and the time of Murrieta are seperated by a number of years, despite what the later movie versions contend.
This is the version I like Anthony, from the California tourism site.
Although there is a vast body of California legend in which Joaquin Murrieta's name appears, very few verifiable facts exist about his life. Whatever the truth may or may not be, the legend of Joaquin Murrieta is an important part of the history of California. Many of the stories surrounding the name conflict with one another in the details, but the main elements are essentially similar.
According to legend, Joaquin Murrieta was born in Mexico and travelled to Saw Mill Flat (some say Shaw Flat), California at the height of the Gold Rush. His wife (some say girlfriend) was raped and killed by Anglo-American miners, his brother was wrongly hanged, and he himself was tied to a tree and severely whipped for a crime that he did not commit. Although there is scanty evidence to confirm that this actually happened to a man named Joaquin Murrieta, it is important to note that very similar things happened to many other Mexicans living in California at that time.
The legend continues with Joaquin tracking down and killing the five men who had raped and murdered his wife and then swearing that he would take revenge on all Americans. He formed a bandit group and began a life of robbery and murder that allegedly spanned the length and breadth of the Mother Lode Region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Murrieta's right hand man was Three Finger Jack (Manuel Garcia) who played a minor, if grisly, role in the Bear Flag revolt and is credited with numerous atrocious murders. Virtually every community in the Sierra foothills has one or more stories of Murrieta and Three Fingered Jack during the three years from 1850 to 1853.
The nature of Joaquin Murrieta's character depends on who is telling the story. Lawmen of the day considered him to be one of the worst banditos ever to appear in California. Many others saw him as a kind of Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Allegedly he had a vast and loyal following among Mexicans living in California who saw him as an avenger of the wrongs being committed against them by the newly arrived Anglo-American interlopers. All seem to agree that Murrieta and his band were accomplished cattle and horse thieves, inveterate robbers, and ruthless killers.
In July 1853 it was announced that, on order of California Governor Bigler, a specially formed company of State Rangers led by Captain Harry Love had killed both Joaquin Murrieta and Three Fingered Jack at Ponoche Pass in Tulare Valley. In order to prove their deaths, Murrieta was decapitated and three Fingered Jack's hand was amputated. These items were then placed in bottles, embalmed in alcohol, and taken back to the State Capitol where a reward was paid to Love. Official announcements were made proclaiming Murrieta's death and the gruesome bottles went on tour through the state.
In spite of the official proclamations, rumor quickly spread that Love had not killed Joaquin Murrieta but rather another man named Joaquin. Sightings of Joaquin were reported in various places and people who claimed to have known him declared that the head in the bottle was not his. One story has it that he retired to Mexico. Another has him reappearing in Hornitos, California, to reclaim a fortune in gold that he had buried there. Whatever the truth of the matter, there is no question but that his name has, for some political activists at least, symbolized resistance against Anglo-American economic and cultural domination in California.
Sort of the Billy the Kid of the early 1800's.
Growing up in California in the 1940's, Joaquin Murrieta's name was used as the "boogyman." We were told his ghost was out there, ready to grab children that were "bad."
He was credited (or blamed) for many many crimes. One man could not ever do all he was blamed for. Much like BTK and the James boys.
I think he was more legend than fact. I believe his "exploits" were done by a number of men, with the legend getting blamed. I am not even sure there really was a Joaquin Murrieta.
The movie Tombstone. Some Hollywood goof ups. There are a few scenes where the Earps are playing pool. Also the scene where Morgan gets shot. The pool table is well light by lights above the pool table. Tombstone didn't get electric lights until 1902, Morgan was shot in 1882. In the scene where Wyatt & Morgan are eating dinner when Virgil comes in wounded. Wyatt & Morgan clearly have broccoli on their plates. Broccoli wasn't popular in the U.S. until the 1920's. Just before the group heads down the street for the gunfight at the OK Corral, they are on the porch of the Marshal's office. The U.S. flag in the background behind Wyatt has too many stars on it. Just a few overlooked mistakes by Hollywood.
The movie is riddled with errors. Here are some more;
Here are a few more for you-Doc is playing a circa 1905 upright piano.Most of the kerosene light fixtures are late 1890's or early 1900s.A couple of the characters wear striped shirts with horizontally striped bibs- this was a style from the end of the 1880's.Take a close look at the faro table-the layout is incorrect;moreover, Curly's bet wouldn't have yielded the winnings he received.There's TONS more!
The one thing they did get right was the guns. Lee Silva was firearms consultant on the film. Lee is the go-to guy on everything Colt. When Colt historians have a question they can't answer, they call Lee. Wyatt's Buntline had the 10" bbl Lee's research has convinced him was the actual length of it. Colt custom-made 3 of them for the film & they all had 4-screw 'black powder' frames. Virgil was packing an S&W American, which he did pack. They apparently couldn't find a Colt M1877 in good enough working order that it would last the whole schedule without having to go to a gunsmith, so Doc packed a modern replica with a bird's head grip but without the DA spur. The shotguns were right, too--tho somehow Doc managed to get 3 rounds out of a double gun without reloading! According to Lake--who was working from the Flood MS, which Wyatt dictated to Flood--Doc only fired the shotgun once, thought he'd missed, & dropped it with a round still in it.
I've never been able to get hold of it, but William Bork interviewed 'Mary K. Cummins'--Mary Katherine Horoney, AKA 'Big Nose Kate'--when she was in the Arizona Pioneers' Home in the late '30s. She was an eyewitness from hers & Doc's room in Fly's boarding house. Her story of the fight was so different from what was in Lake's book that Bork was unable to sell the story.
Another interesting anachronism-the tarot cards the Earp women are consulting are late 20th century.They should have been using an Italian style deck.At the time I and others became very exasperated with some folks who made some of the decisions on that film!They were informed about details that were correct but decided otherwise.
They also did a lot of time-compression, but that's necessary in a film. Actually, Costner, in his film, made a much better Wyatt than Kurt Russell did. Earp was a cold fish, & the madder he got the colder he got. That's why he could stand his ground both at the OK Corral & at the Iron Springs fight. That's how Costner played him. Russell chewed the scenery almost as bad as Kirk Douglas used to. However, Val Kilmer was the best Doc Holliday ever. He stole the show as Doc.
The trouble with Costner's film was, it was either an hour too long or 3 hours too short. It either should have been a trilogy--2hrs before Tombstone, 2hrs at Tombstone, 2hrs after Tombstone--or it should have been just 2hrs at Tombstone.
The guy who played Holliday in Costner's film was totally wrong. Didn't look right, especially didn't dress right. Doc was a dandy. I understand why Kilmer wore the stuff he did at the OK Corral--they wanted the menacing look of 4 men in black--but actually that morning he was wearing a light grey suit with a light blue shirt & and a darker-grey overcoat rather than a cloak. I got that from Wally Clayton, at the time editor of the Tombstone Epitaph, who got it from Ben Traywick, who's pretty much the last word on the subject.