10 Historically Inaccurate Movies


"The Far Horizons"

A statue of Sacagawea and her son, Jean Baptiste, in Bismark, N.D.
A statue of Sacagawea and her son, Jean Baptiste, in Bismark, N.D.
AP Photo/Will Kincaid

Many of t­he movies we cover in this list share a common theme: They try to infuse sexual tension and a love story between historical people where no romance really existed. Interestingly, "The Far Horizons" (1955) does something very similar to "Pocahontas." It tries to create this tension between a Native American girl and a white explorer, both of whom are well-known in U.S. history. Something about this formula must carry some resonance with American audiences.

"The Far Horizons" is set about 200 years after "Pocahontas," but it's just as inaccurate. The movie centers on the famous expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who were sent by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the Louisiana Territory for the United States. If you're at all familiar with the story, you know that along the way, they encountered a very helpful woman from the Shoshone tribe named Sacagawea. In the movie, Sacagawea and Clark fall in love while traversing hostile territory and battling the jealous villain Toussaint Charbonneau.

The only problem is, the movie failed to mention an important historical point: Sacagawea was married to Charbonneau. The explorers hired Charbonneau, a French-Canadian trader, as an interpreter and agreed to let his pregnant wife tag along. She proved extremely helpful to the party but never — as far as historians know — made a move on William Clark.