A Fact-Check for the Four-Color World

Sunday, July 30, 2006

History in the Movies

I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl tonight, in preparation for going to see Dead Man's Chest in the theater. I found myself a little curious about the "Pirates' Code" that the film referenced several times, and did a little online searching to see whether there was any truth to it.

My searching turned me onto the History in the Movies website. It's run by an Illinois history professor, and answers various questions about the historical details of period films.

One answer that makes me feel better is from the movie Ray. In the film, it's said that Georgia banned Ray Charles from playing in the state from 1962 until 1979, at which time the legislature apologized. There are even images of newspaper headlines about the ban. But when the Augusta Chronicle did some research, it turned out that no such ban ever existed. Even the headlines were fabricated. As a Georgian, I'm glad that bit of our state history turned out to be fictional.