The Museum of Hoaxes
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Eras: 0-1699 1700s 1800-1868 1869-1913 1914-1949 1950-1976 1977-1989 1990s 2000s
The Hoax Archive — A collection of the most notorious deceptions throughout history
Movie Hoaxes
Hitler’s Silly Dance, 1940. On June 21, 1940, Hitler accepted the surrender of the French government at a ceremony in Compiegne, France. He melodramatically insisted on receiving France's surrender in the same railroad car in which Germany had signed the 1918 armistice that had ended World War One. After Hitler accepted France's surrender, he stepped backwards slightly, as if in shock. But this isn't what audiences in the Allied countries saw who watched the movie-reel of... Continue…
Robert Archer, aka Tanis Chandler, 1944. (left) Robert Archer in The Desert Song(right) Tanis ChandlerTanis Chandler was a 20-year-old woman working as a teletypist in a Hollywood brokerage office, but dreaming of becoming a movie star. However, she was having trouble getting any roles, so she decided to try another strategy. There was a shortage of male actors in 1943 because of the war, so Tanis figured she might have better luck if she were a man. She put on a pair of pants and... Continue…
Casablanca Rejected, 1982. Too much dialogue, not enough exposition, weak story line Casablanca is arguably the most famous movie in the history of film. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1943, and was voted as one of the top three American films ever made by the American Film Institute. It's a movie that everyone in the film industry should instantly be able to recognize. But in 1982 freelance writer Chuck Ross asked himself this question: Would contemporary... Continue…
Alien Autopsy, 1995. Ever since the rumored crash of a flying saucer near Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947, UFO theorists had speculated that the body of an extraterrestrial had been collected from the wreckage and autopsied. In May 1995, British music and video producer Ray Santilli announced he had acquired footage of such an autopsy. A broad coalition of expert ridiculed the footage as an obvious hoax. Physicians pointed out that the surgeons shown in the... Continue…
The Blair Witch Project, 1999. In 1999 The Blair Witch Project became a multimillion-dollar box-office sensation. Much of this success owed to a clever marketing scheme centering around a website, The premise of the site (and the movie) was that in 1994 three student filmmakers had disappeared in the woods near Burkitsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary about the local legend of the Blair Witch. Supposedly the Blair Witch was Elly Kedward, a woman... Continue…
Dave Manning, 2001. No matter how bad the movies of Columbia Pictures were, there was always one reviewer sure to heap praise on them — David Manning of the Ridgefield Press. For instance, while other reviewers skewered Hollow Man, Manning declared it, "One helluva scary ride! The summer's best special effects." The sophomoric comedy The Animal impressed him as "another winner," and he singled out Heath Ledger of A Knight's Tale as "this year's hottest new... Continue…

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  • All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.