I had to stop the movie and send an enraged email to another wannabe screenwriter about the injustice of life. Such historical inaccuracy*, and in a superhero movie, no less!
And it basically ruined the film for me. I mean there were other problems, and it wasn't GREAT to begin with, but whenever I think of Batman Begins I am going to think of that line and the very LITTLE bit of work required to fix it.
And it ALSO keeps popping into my brain at random moments. I can be writing something or watching something or doing WHATEVER and suddenly I'm back there in front of my TV screaming at Michael Caine about his CLEAR lack of respect for American history. I know from experience that there is literally no activity that could guarantee succor from this. If there were women around who wanted to have sex with me I could be sitting in front of a beautiful nude human female, about to engage in coital activities, and there it would be.
"What are you thinking about?"
"No, no. Not in a gay way. It's just...he SEEMS bright. Most of the movies he's in are smart. Didn't he figure out there was a problem? I mean I know he's British and all, but he must know SOME American history, right?"
"What?" *She starts to dress.*
"No, I mean it's not fair to blame Bale. He probably doesn't know. But there WERE Americans involved. And this is VERY BASIC knowledge of 1800s society we're talking about. It's grade school stuff. Did they not care? Did nobody want to mention it? Did they know and just think it SOUNDS better this way? I mean what went on here? This was a $100 million production. How could they not fact check this stuff? How could they let it slip through?"
"I think I'm going to go."
"Okay. Yeah. Wait. Weren't you naked?"
*Gotham City is New York, and thus ALREADY IN the North, and the Underground Railroad wasn't really operational during the Civil War, since slaves would just flee towards Union Lines. Towards the beginning of the war they were sometimes sent back to their masters, but eventually the Union Army realized that they could exploit the escaped slaves as cheap labor helping to build fortifications and do laundry and cook and the like, and many were hired on to help around the camp. Anyway sending them back South just ended up aiding the confederacy, so that was a dumb plan to begin with. The point of the line is that this cave has a history of being used for clandestine justice, but with a few changes it can be made accurate. "Your grandfather was part of the underground railroad and used this cave to help hide slaves on their way to Canada before the Civil War." BAM! Same EXACT impact, but now it makes SENSE.