“In sickness and in health,” is just one of the many vows you make when you tie the knot. This husband knew only too well what that vow meant when he found out his wife was sick. He knew he had to do everything he possibly could to help her, and this image of him in Target quickly went viral.
One Simple Tweet
On December 22, 2018, Lilit Marcus shared a photo with her followers on Twitter captioned, “Here is a photo I took at my Target yesterday and can’t stop thinking about.” It was a photo of a man wearing a sign on his back which explained that he needed a kidney for his wife, along with her blood type. The world was shaken when they realized this loving husband was probably walking everywhere with the sign on his back, in the hopes someone might donate their kidney to his wife.
The man in the photo was later discovered to be Raymond Thompson, who had met his wife back in 2000. Back in 2016, they received the heartbreaking news that she had kidney disease. In order to try and find her a suitable donor, Raymond had been wearing the sign when going about his daily chores – including shopping at Target! People were quick to respond to the Tweet, with plenty of people kindly offering Raymond’s wife their kidney.
Not The First
However, this isn’t the first time that people have tried to find a donor in such a clever way. Robert Leibowitz wore a t-shirt asking for a kidney donor while walking around Disney World. The post was shared on Facebook and racked up thousands of shares and comments. When Lilit Marcus’ tweet about Raymond Thompson went viral, plenty of people also jumped on the thread to share their own images of people asking for kidney donations.
Donating an organ is such an incredible thing to do and, as this story shows, it’s not done often enough. Hopefully, Raymond and his wife found a suitable donor through that simple sign on his back.
How Historically Accurate Were Some of These “Historical” Films?
In Hollywood’s search for the next blockbuster hit, studios and directors will often turn to the amazing events of human history for inspiration. Many audiences, sometimes without realizing, will internalize these movies as authentic portrayals of the historic figure or moment that they are covering. But more often than not, directors will take a little creative license with these films, often changing things to make for a more compelling film. These are the list of films both authentic and bogus.
Pearl Harbor – So Many Inaccuracies
There are many great things about Michael Bay’s 2001 film Pearl Harbor. The cast, the sets, even the action itself is gripping, keeping audiences at the edge of their seats as they watched a portrayal of the devastating bombing that brought America into the Second World War.
But historians pointed out that much of the film was not representative of the actual attack, particularly the scene where Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnet’s characters single-handedly resist a Japanese raid.
12 Years A Slave – Accurate
As hard as it is for many Americans to admit, 12 Years A Slave was described as a harrowing account of the brutality of America’s former system of slavery.
Steve McQueen’s award-winning film refused to pull punches, instead putting audiences in the shoes of Solomon Northup, as he was taken from his home and forced to work on a Southern plantation. This brutally honest portrayal is the reason why the film was so popular, and a landmark historical film.
Apocalypto – Not So Much Unfortunately
Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto borrows from many aspects of indigenous culture that existed in what is now Central America and Mexico. While all the characters in the film are actually speaking the Mayan language, the film is representative of other indigenous cultures, particularly the Aztecs.
While the film does have some brutal scenes depicting human sacrifice, this practice was not particularly common in Mayan culture. Additionally, the arrival of the Spaniards did not occur until 400 years after the civilization disappeared.
Tora! Tora! Tora! – Actually Yes
Unlike the film Pearl Harbor, which was more interested in creating engaging characters and focusing on the action, Tora! Tora! Tora! presents a more rounded depiction of Pearl Harbor and the events leading up to the attack.
The film chose to look at both sides of the battle, rather than only the American perspective, and humanized the Japanese soldiers, something rarely seen in American cinema. Additionally, the film pointed out the mistakes the American military made leading to the attack.
10,000 BC – Not At All
There’s so much historically inaccurate with this movie, where to begin? First off, an early scene shows one of the first human city-states using wooly mammoths as a way to move bricks to build the pyramids.
While there is much debate between historians as to how exactly the pyramids were constructed, there is no evidence that shows that early humans domesticated wooly mammoths to help with the back-breaking work. Oh, and those pyramids wouldn’t be built for another 8,000 years.
The Last Emperor – Fairly Accurate
Making a movie about a historically vague time period is a challenge in and of itself. But Bernardo Bertolucci stepped up, creating a film that is both very exciting, engaging, and historically accurate for the most part.
Not only did Bertolucci and his team base the costumes and sets off of known imagery from the time, but the cutthroat politics within the emperor’s palace serve as an accurate representation of what it likely would have been like at the time.
Cool Runnings – Not Historically Accurate
The film Cool Runnings is a portrayal of Jamaica’s first-ever participation in the Winter Olympics, a magnificent achievement for the tropical island nation. That, however, is where the historical accuracies end.
While in the movie the Jamaican team was given a cool reception by the other competing nations, the fact was Jamaica’s participation was celebrated worldwide as a terrific achievement by the country. Additionally, Jamaica actually finished 24th out of the 26 teams that competed in the games.
Schindler’s List – Stayed Historically True
Arguably one of the most powerful films by famed director Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List takes an on-the-ground approach to one of humanity’s darkest moments. The film revolves around Oscar Schindler, an actual historic figure who, after watching the horrors of the Holocaust unfold around him, eventually employs numerous condemned Jews to work for him to save their lives.
Many survivors from the actual real-life Schindler’s List praised the film upon release for keeping true to the story.
The Last Samurai – Was Misleading
While the US was the first Western nation to begin trading with the Japanese, and some Western mercenaries did serve in their army, there is no record of their ever being an American who was given the rank of samurai.
Another historical inaccuracy is when Tom Cruise’s character, a retired Civil War veteran, teaches the Japanese soldiers how to fire muskets. Although by that point guns had already been a familiar weapon to the Japanese for more than 200 years.
Apollo 13 – Yup It’s Real
For someone who hadn’t heard the real story of Apollo 13, it might be pretty easy to assume that this was just a fascinating sci-fi adventure of a nightmarish situation of the crew, sent to explore the surface of the moon, who runs out of oxygen and has to make an emergency dash back to Earth.
The truth is that director Ron Howard was determined to make the film as historically accurate as possible. Seems it definitely was a good choice.
Gladiator – Good Film, Bad History
While ranked as an all-time favorite for many movie fans, Gladiator certainly takes a few artistic liberties when it comes to the historical accuracy of many of its characters. For one, there never was a General Maximus, rather he was inspired by numerous figures from Roman history.
For another, Commodus was not as villainous as the movie depicted him to be. His father actually died from chickenpox and, as an Emperor, he was actually beloved by his people.
Spotlight – Stayed True to History
A winner of an Academy Award for Best Picture, Spotlight is a truly fascinating look into the world of investigative journalism. The film focuses on a team of journalists who were able to successfully uncover the scandalous abuse at the hands of the Catholic church.
Those journalists were later awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. While most of the film is quite historically accurate, one left out part is that they continued with follow up pieces for two years.
Braveheart – Also Not Historically Accurate
Back when Mel Gibson was considered to be one of the biggest names in Hollywood he starred in and directed the critically acclaimed film Braveheart. While a recipient of numerous awards (including an Oscar for Best Picture) the film didn’t stay completely true to the story of William Wallace.
For one thing, the real Wallace never actually had an affair with Isabelle of France. More than that though, he was never called Braveheart, that title went to Robert the Bruce.
The Lion in Winter – Accurate
Far from being just another Hollywood spin on reality, 1968’s The Lion in Winter was actually well researched. Although there was definitely that little bit of movie glamour on the way characters spoke and dressed, the film bore an accurate representation to life in medieval Europe.
One particular way it stayed true to reality was in its depiction of the complex political apparatus that was a constant difficulty for Richard the Lionheart to deal with during his era of ruling.
Shakespeare In Love – Raises Questions
There has long been a debate amongst historians regarding if the illustrious playwright himself was even a real person. We are speaking of course about William Shakespeare, who may have been an actual historical figure or may have been a pen name for someone else.
This makes it difficult to determine if the movie, Shakespeare in Love, could have actually happened. The story is set in an alternate reality where Romeo and Juliet was based on events from his life.
Zodiac – Actually Stays Surprisingly Accurate
It’s not easy to make a crime mystery reflect the tedious and mundane work that often goes hand in hand with good detective work but Zodiac makes a solid effort. Not only did David Fincher create a well-received and critically acclaimed film, but it is one that is based on an actual real life character.
Fincher went so far as to recreate the little details from the era – including what victims and real-life characters were wearing during actual events.
300 – More Fun Than Fact
While the story of the 300 Spartans defending against a vast force of 300,000 Persians is one that has been passed down through history, many details are often left out. That is no different from this film, focusing solely on the Spartans and not even mentioning the additional 7,000 Greek soldiers who also fought beside them in real life.
Additionally, while the rhinos and elephants being ridden into battle made for more dramatic scenes, it was not something that happened.
Das Boot – Shows Submarine Life
Rather than glamorize submarine warfare, 1981’s Das Boot focused on the real-life, stressful, and claustrophobic living conditions of being inside a military submarine for weeks at a time.
Director Wolfgang Peterson’s use of expert cinematography was praised by critics for giving the audience the feeling of being inside of a real working submarine with too many sailors and not enough space. Additionally, the sailors featured in the film were based on actual people who fought and served inside submarines.
Gangs Of New York – Somewhat
Martin Scorcese is a man dedicated to the historical portrayal of his beloved New York City. While much of his film, Gangs of New York, is accurate, the premise behind the story seems to be mostly fabricated.
There was no actual Bill the Butcher, played by Daniel Day Lewis, rather he seems to have been loosely based on a man named William Poole. Although that seems to be imagined, the events inside Civil War torn New York were actually historically accurate.
Titanic – Wasn’t A History Lesson
While the set and some of the events surrounding the Titanic’s maiden, and only voyage, were historically accurate, the story was completely fabricated. Of course, it’s safe to say that historically accurate characters were not James Cameron’s primary focus, but rather creating a film that audiences would enjoy.
That being said, Jack and Rose were not real people, and due to their class differences would likely have never met. Of course, it’s fun to imagine love can make anything happen.
Gettysburg – A Historically Accurate Representation
The Battle of Gettysburg was both a turning point in the American Civil War and one of the most devastating battles in American military history. In tribute to this terrible yet momentous moment in history, director Ronald F. Maxwell wanted to create a film that was as detailed as possible.
Rather than just pick one side of the battle and show their perspective, Maxwell took the extra step of showing both sides of the conflict, and how they found themselves at Gettysburg.
The Patriot – Took Some Liberties
While based on historical events and moments, The Patriot took a liberal approach to its “factually” based film. For starters, the main character of Benjamin Martin is actually based on four separate individuals.
Additionally, many criticized Gibson’s unbalanced way of showing the two sides of the fight, with the British being only cruel and barbaric and the American’s being noble defenders of freedom. Spike Lee also took issue with the film completely omitting the significance of slavery in the film.
Argo – Was Mainly Historically Inaccurate
Argo certainly deserves praise. It is well written and featured some superb acting according to critics. In addition to its critical acclaim, the film also won the Academy Award for Best Picture with special attention being given to the main character played by Ben Affleck.
But the film shouldn’t be a substitute for a good history book. While there was a 1979 operation to rescue American hostages in Iran, the movie omitted several key features, particularly the crucial role that Canada played.
Master and Commander – Historically Accurate
Not everything in the film is taken straight from the pages of history, but the look and aesthetics of the movie are completely on point. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World focuses on the most minute details of everything from the ship, to the clothing, to the food, and even sounds to create a film that is both enjoyable and visually appealing.
While the story isn’t a historical recounting, everything else about the film is dead on.
U-571 – Not at All Accurate
This World War II era epic naval drama was so historically inaccurate that even an offended British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused the film of being “an affront to the real sailors.” His reason for being so angry at the film?
Well, the story the movie was retelling was about Operation Primrose, a German submarine captured by Allied soldiers. The problem was that in the movie the soldiers were doing the capturing were American when in reality they were British.
Saving Private Ryan – Historically Accurate
It’s tough to say that this film is totally historically accurate when most of the main plot is completely fabricated. But it was truly the first of its kind in the way it showed the gritty, horrifying, and confusing way a battlefield in World War II would have looked like.
Even historian Rob Clitino praised the film saying, “Since its premiere in 1998, Saving Private Ryan has become a kind of exemplar…of what it means to generate realism in Hollywood,”
The Great Escape – Not True
This World War II film has arguably become one of America’s favorite war films in its portrayal of brave American soldiers in the face of insurmountable odds. However, many changes were made to the film in order to give it that wide appeal for Americans to enjoy.
There was an escape attempt but not by American soldiers, rather the planning and execution was done by Canadians. This detail didn’t matter to American audiences though, who still cheered throughout the film.
Lincoln – Right On The Money
If it’s not clear by now we’re big Steven Spielberg fans, for many reasons but not least of all is the director’s attention to historic detail. That certainly didn’t stop when it came to portraying America’s sixteenth President.
Lincoln has arguably become an American folk hero, but Spielberg wanted to humanize the man by showing him filled with the same doubts, fears, and regrets as he actually felt during that era. It is an undoubtedly historically honest and brave portrayal.
Enemy At The Gates – Inaccurate
Considered as one of the greatest snipers in warfare’s history, Enemy At The Gates follows a fictional story of a real man, Vasily Zaystev. It is difficult to ascertain exactly what this man did during his service, he was, after all, fighting during the age of Soviet propaganda making some of his extraordinary exploits questionable in their legitimacy.
He certainly wasn’t influential enough to single-handedly change the course of a battlem and his enemy, Major Erwin Konig, never existed.
Remember The Titans – Not True
There’s no doubt that the Disney classic Remember the Titans has a powerful emotional punch that is hard for viewers to forget. While it was partially based on a true story, many have suggested that the filmmakers blew things out of proportion in order to make a more engaging film at the expense of some of those who were actually involved.
While the school is real, former players, teachers, and parents have said that the racial tension was way overblown.
Marie Antoinette – Wasn’t Historically True
While France’s last queen certainly lived quite the life of extravagant wealth (much at the expense of the people of France at the time) the movie doesn’t explore the character much beyond her penchant for clothes and fine food.
In truth, Marie Antoinette was just as complicated as any other person, and while the movie is visually spectacular, many of the movie’s most luxurious extravagances, such as a colorful dress which is also completely edible, didn’t exist during that era.
All The President’s Men – True
All the President’s Men is a 1976 political thriller about two men, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who uncovered the Watergate scandal which had happened only a few years prior. With events so fresh in everyone’s mind, it’s no surprise that the film was able to historically depict the event and prior events leading up to it.
In addition, Woodward and Bernstein both wrote for the movie. Although the two weren’t getting along so they wrote two separate scripts.
Alexander – Close But No Dice
We’re going to be a bit of a stickler for details since there are a few things that were too hard to ignore. For one, the character’s usage of the words “Greek” and “Macedonian” interchangeably was incredibly inaccurate.
At the time, Greece was a collection of culturally independent city-states with Macedonia having conquered all of them. The other was the emphasis on Alexander’s sexuality, a big focus for the film, but wouldn’t have been considered an issue at the time.
A Night To Remember – Accurate
Although most likely haven’t heard of A Night To Remember after it was overshadowed by the more recent Titanic film, A Night To Remember serves as an arguably more accurate portrayal of the sinking of the Titanic.
While the film didn’t have the same set design as Cameron’s movie did, his film was more of a love story while A Night To Remember focuses on the historical event. In addition, passengers and crew served as technical advisors to the film.
The Revenant – Not 100% True
Hugh Glass was an Irish-American fur trapper and explorer who, after being attacked by a grizzly bear, was left for dead by his traveling companions. While the movie does get the major storylines right, it drifts off into Hollywood-style storytelling by the end of the movie.
For instance, at no point in his life did Glass get married. He also never got revenge on the people who abandoned him, rather, he showed them compassion and forgiveness instead.
Ironclad – Didn’t Even Come Close
Although this film was well received by critics and audiences alike, with particular homage being paid to lead actor Paul Giamatti’s portrayal of King John, the events in real life happened almost exactly the opposite way they were shown on screen.
For one, King John allowed the Templars special privileges, often exempting them from even having to pay taxes. Additionally, King John was welcoming to the group, allowing them to use London as their headquarters, even storing personal valuables there.