DVD Release DateBest Unexpected Betrayals in Historical Films: A Surprising Twist of 2023

Best Unexpected Betrayals in Historical Films: A Surprising Twist of 2023

Best Unexpected Betrayals in Historical Films: A Surprising Twist of 2023

Historical films have a magical ability to captivate audiences with their stunning visuals and dramatization of momentous moments. Whether it’s a breathtaking war epic or a fascinating biographical tale, these movies have the ability to both entertain and enlighten. While some films in this genre strive for absolute accuracy, others boldly take artistic freedoms to make the story even more thrilling.

Throughout the annals of time, the act of betrayal has been a recurring and captivating theme. People have always been willing to double-cross others for a multitude of reasons, and the consequences have reverberated throughout history. This captivating list delves into the most jaw-dropping betrayals in historical movies that left the audience gasping in disbelief. While historians might have had an inkling of these surprising twists, the general public was caught completely off guard. It’s fascinating to note that certain films, such as the epic Gladiator and the inspiring Braveheart, may be set in historical times but deviate significantly from the actual events, offering unexpected surprises for everyone to revel in.

1. Robert The Bruce Fights Against The Scottish In ‘Braveheart’

Robert The Bruce Fights Against The Scottish In 'Braveheart'
In Braveheart, the character William Wallace finds himself thrust into a leadership role as he takes up arms against the English. His growing army earns him respect and even knighthood. However, on the other side of the conflict is Robert the Bruce, who represents Scotland and would become its king if Wallace succeeds in his fight for independence. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse during the Battle of Falkirk, resulting in the devastating loss of Wallace’s forces.

During the battle, two Scottish noblemen named Mornay and Lochlan choose to side with the English and refuse to provide their forces. They pay a price for their betrayal later on, but it’s not the most significant act of treachery depicted in the film. Wallace engages in a fierce fight with an armored man, only to discover that it is none other than Robert the Bruce. This betrayal deeply affects Wallace in the movie.

However, in reality, this particular betrayal did not occur, and after the Battle of Falkirk, Wallace actually went into a self-imposed kind of exile. The majority of his forces were wiped out in the one-sided battle, which led to Wallace being somewhat despised by many Scots. It was seven years later when he was captured, betrayed by a different Scottish noble named Sir John Menteith. Menteith handed Wallace over to England, resulting in his trial for treason and subsequent execution. Regrettably, the gruesome end that Wallace meets in Braveheart reflects the true events of his life.

2. Maximus’s Family Is Executed When Commodus Takes Power In ‘Gladiator’

Maximus's Family Is Executed When Commodus Takes Power In 'Gladiator'
Gladiator tells the captivating story of General Maximus Decimus Meridius, a fictional character created for the film. He is portrayed as the “commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius.” The movie excellently represents the historical backdrop of Rome, and the characters of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus are well portrayed. Maximus, although a fictional creation, is a highly engaging protagonist, despite his tragic circumstances.

The film begins with an awe-inspiring scene where Maximus triumphs over an army of Germanic warriors, earning the admiration and love of his emperor. However, Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius, resents Maximus’s close relationship with his father and refuses to step aside to make way for a return to a republic. In an act driven by pure hatred, Commodus kills his own father, becoming the new emperor. His first order as emperor is to have Maximus killed.

The true betrayal occurs when Quintus, Maximus’s closest ally and commander of the Praetorian Guard, betrays him. Maximus is unjustly sentenced to execution but miraculously survives. He later discovers that his family farm has been ravaged, and his beloved wife and son have been mercilessly murdered.

3. Brutus Turns On His Friend And Helps Slay Him In ‘Julius Caesar’

Brutus Turns On His Friend And Helps Slay Him In 'Julius Caesar'
Okay, let’s dive into this one. We all know the story of Julius Caesar, right? It’s pretty famous, especially if you’ve studied Roman history at some point. But here’s the thing – not everyone knows what actually happened to the guy. Enter 1953’s Julius Caesar, the first film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play. It stays pretty close to history, although Shakespeare did take some creative liberties. But hey, who doesn’t love a good movie that’s both educational and entertaining?

The film kicks off after Caesar’s triumphant victory over one of Pompey’s sons. The people absolutely adore him, but the Senate isn’t so sure about this immensely powerful and popular figure. They start worrying that Caesar might just become a tyrant. So, a group of Senators, including Caesar’s buddy Brutus, come up with a plan to assassinate him. Yeah, it’s a bit unsettling to see Brutus, one of Caesar’s closest friends and allies, involved in this scheme.

Fast forward to the Ides of March, and the conspirators put their plan into action. They all gather on the Senate floor and take turns stabbing Caesar. Brutus, being the last to do so, delivers the final blow. It’s here that Caesar realizes his friend has betrayed him, and his last words are the famous “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?).

So there you have it – a brief rundown of the plot in this classic film. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re into Roman history or just enjoy a good historical drama.

4. Alan Turing Is Convicted Of Gross Indecency Despite Breaking Enemy Codes In ‘The Imitation Game’

Alan Turing Is Convicted Of Gross Indecency Despite Breaking Enemy Codes In 'The Imitation Game'
Alan Turing, a largely unrecognized hero of World War II, played a pivotal role in developing a machine capable of breaking the notorious Nazi Enigma Machine encryption. While he had a team supporting him, Turing led the project and is hailed as the father of artificial intelligence and theoretical computer science. In fact, if you’re reading this on any digital device, you owe a debt of gratitude to Turing.

The movie “The Imitation Game” sheds light on Turing’s life, particularly his relentless pursuit of cracking Enigma’s encryption. The film also reveals his homosexuality, which, in the United Kingdom, remained illegal until 1967. Sadly, even after the war, Turing’s contributions went unrecognized as his work remained classified, leading him to lead a quiet existence.

In 1952, Turing’s life took a devastating turn when his home was invaded and authorities discovered his sexual orientation. He faced a trial, was convicted of gross indecency, and was given a choice between chemical castration and imprisonment. It is truly heartbreaking to think that the very government he had fought so hard to protect turned against him in such a cruel manner. Turing must have felt an immense sense of betrayal during those dark times.

Following a year of compulsory hormone therapy, Turing tragically took his own life. It wasn’t until 59 years after his suicide that Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous Royal Pardon, recognizing the injustice inflicted upon him.

Alan Turing’s story serves as a reminder of the often unacknowledged contributions of individuals who shape our world. His remarkable intellect and groundbreaking work in cryptography and computer science continue to leave a lasting impact, making him a true pioneer in the field.

5. Henry Turns On His ‘Family’ In ‘Goodfellas’

Henry Turns On His 'Family' In 'Goodfellas'
Goodfellas kicks off with a chilling scene where a bunch of guys brutally kill a man stashed in their car trunk. The camera then zooms in on Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), and he narrates, saying, ‘Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.’ The movie follows Henry’s journey as he grows up and reveals how he manages to infiltrate the Mafia, becoming a key player in various heists. Through his narration, he speaks highly of his friends and ‘co-workers,’ as he was captivated by the allure of their lifestyle.

As the film nears its end, Henry gets involved in the drug trade, which is strictly forbidden by the Mafia. This leads to him falling out of favor with his fellow mobsters, and when he is eventually caught, he takes an unthinkable action. Henry betrays everyone he holds dear to save himself, becoming an informant. In the final act, he points fingers at the head of the Mafia and his former friend in court, securing immunity from prosecution. The movie concludes with Henry living in witness protection, where he shares, ‘I’m just an ordinary nobody… getting to spend the rest of my life like a nobody.’

In reality, Hill’s time in witness protection was cut short after a mere two years, as he ended up blowing his cover.

6. Edward Teller Testifies Against Oppenheimer In ‘Oppenheimer’

Edward Teller Testifies Against Oppenheimer In 'Oppenheimer'
Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, delves into the remarkable journey of the physicist himself, as he played a pivotal role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. However, the film also sheds light on the aftermath of Oppenheimer’s involvement in the Manhattan Project, where he faced unjust investigations into his loyalty, resulting in his alienation and marginalization. This unfortunate turn of events took place amidst the era of McCarthyism, when intellectuals, particularly those associated with Communist or Socialist groups, were subjected to intense scrutiny.

During a hearing to review Oppenheimer’s security clearance, his former colleagues, including Edward Teller, testified against him, delivering a shocking blow that caught many off guard, although those familiar with the proceedings may not have been entirely surprised. In the real-life testimony, Teller expressed his preference for individuals whom he better understood and consequently trusted to safeguard the country’s vital interests. The film portrays Teller uttering similar sentiments, with some additional remarks. This pivotal moment in Teller’s life caused a rift within the scientific community, as many turned their backs on him for betraying Oppenheimer.

7. Frank Sheeran Executes His Friend Jimmy Hoffa In ‘The Irishman’

Frank Sheeran Executes His Friend Jimmy Hoffa In 'The Irishman'
The Irishman is about Frank Sheeran, a truck driver-turned-hitman for the Mafia. It all starts in the 1950s in Philadelphia when Frank starts hanging out with the mob. It begins small, like it always does. As he moves up in the organization, he takes on some dirty work and carries out several hits. Soon enough, he meets and becomes friends with Jimmy Hoffa, the head of the Teamsters and another guy connected to the Mafia.

Sheeran and Hoffa become really close, and Sheeran ends up becoming his bodyguard. Time goes by, and Hoffa gets convicted of jury tampering, but then President Nixon steps in and commutes his sentence in 1971. Hoffa then tries to regain his power and position within the Teamsters, which puts him at odds with the mob. Sheeran is told to talk to Hoffa and warn him about going against the Mafia, and that’s exactly what he does.

Eventually, the Mafia decides they’ve had enough of Hoffa and orders Sheeran to kill him. It’s not an easy task since Sheeran and Hoffa are close friends. Sheeran could easily warn Hoffa instead of killing him. But in the end, Sheeran does the deed. He lures Hoffa into an empty house and shoots him up close, killing him instantly. After that, a couple of guys from the mob clean up the mess.

The Irishman is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses, which contains the deathbed confessions of the real Frank Sheeran, including his involvement in Hoffa’s disappearance. However, these confessions have yet to be confirmed, so the mystery of what happened to Hoffa remains.

8. Ephialtes Sells Out The Spartans In ‘300’

Ephialtes Sells Out The Spartans In '300'
The movie “300” tells the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 BCE. It was a clash between the Persian army and a small group of Spartan warriors, specifically 300 of them. However, it is important to note that there were actually many more Greek soldiers from different city-states, totaling around 4,400 men. Although this number is still considerably smaller than the massive Persian army of approximately 300,000 warriors.

It’s worth mentioning that the film takes significant liberties with the historical events and is intentionally exaggerated and unbelievable. Nonetheless, there are elements of truth woven into the narrative.

In the movie, there is a character named Ephialtes, a Spartan who desires to fight for his country despite having a physical deformity. He approaches King Leonidas, seeking permission to serve in the battle. However, the king explains that Ephialtes would be unable to effectively form a phalanx and protect his comrades due to his condition. Instead, Leonidas offers him the task of caring for the deceased soldiers. Ephialtes rejects this proposition and decides to defect, aligning himself with King Xerxes of Persia. Ephialtes betrays the Spartans by revealing a secret path that allows the Persians to outflank the Spartan lines, ultimately leading to their victory in the battle. Only one Spartan soldier survives to recount the tale.

Overall, while “300” may not be historically accurate, it incorporates some elements of truth within its fictionalized narrative.

9. Guy de Lusignan Sends Assassins To Take Out Balian In ‘Kingdom of Heaven’

Guy de Lusignan Sends Assassins To Take Out Balian In 'Kingdom of Heaven'
Kingdom of Heaven is an epic tale set during the Third Crusade, where we follow the journey of Balian of Ibelin, a real historical figure. Balian, driven by his desire for salvation, becomes a knight and sets off to the Holy Land. On his way to Jerusalem, he encounters various famous personalities like Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem, Raymond III of Tripoli, Muhammad ibn Hamed Isfahani, Raynald of Châtillon, and Guy de Lusignan, a French knight aspiring to be the king of Jerusalem.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. Guy de Lusignan, who is not exactly Balian’s biggest fan, becomes the King of Jerusalem in the latter part of the film. As soon as Guy takes the throne, he stirs up controversy by declaring war on the Muslims, releasing the notorious Raynald of Châtillon, who goes on to commit a heinous act by killing Saladin’s sister, and even attempting to have Balian assassinated. Mind you, Balian has been busy safeguarding the innocent and looking after his farm in Jerusalem.

Luckily, Balian manages to survive the assassination attempt, only to later witness Guy’s capture and the liberation of Jerusalem. This sets the stage for a final confrontation between Balian and Guy. They engage in a fierce battle, but despite besting Guy, Balian chooses to spare his life. In a poignant moment, Balian imparts these words to the former king of Jerusalem: “When you rise again – if you rise – rise a knight.

10. Apollodorus Lets Antony Believe Cleopatra Is Dead, Leading To His Suicide In ‘Cleopatra’

Apollodorus Lets Antony Believe Cleopatra Is Dead, Leading To His Suicide In 'Cleopatra'
Cleopatra tells the story of the famous queen and her relationship with Rome. It all starts with Julius Caesar lending a hand to Cleopatra in pursuing her ambitions. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when Caesar is assassinated by the Senate due to rumors suggesting his desire to become king. The Romans have always been skeptical of kings, having abolished their monarchy long ago. This leads to a civil war between Caesar’s supporters and the Senate, with Marc Antony leading the former.

Realizing the need for supplies from Egypt, Antony meets with Cleopatra to negotiate, and they end up forming a romantic bond. Eventually, the civil war comes to a head at the Battle of Actium, where Octavian’s fleet defeats the combined forces of Antony and Cleopatra. Antony then returns to Cleopatra’s palace, only to be betrayed by Apollodorus, who was also in love with Cleopatra. Apollodorus lies to Antony, claiming that Cleopatra is dead and entombed, which leads Antony to take his own life.

With Octavian and his army closing in, Cleopatra is left without anyone to rely on. Nevertheless, she is offered control of Egypt now that Antony is dead. Cleopatra agrees to accompany Octavian back to Rome, but secretly she has other plans. After Octavian departs, she takes her own life with the assistance of her servants. (Although historians are uncertain about the exact method Cleopatra used to end her life, it is widely accepted that she did indeed take her own life in response to these events.)

11. Ephialtes Sells Out The Spartans In ‘300’

Ephialtes Sells Out The Spartans In '300'