MALE_1: If you've ever stay to the end of
MALE_1: an Avengers movie to see post-credit scene,
MALE_1: you might have noticed a few choice words
MALE_1: come up before the end of the credits.
MALE_1: [MUSIC] This is a work of fiction.
MALE_1: Any similarities to actual persons living or dead,
MALE_1: or actual events is purely coincidental.
MALE_1: [MUSIC] It's definitely not
MALE_1: the first time you've ever seen it,
MALE_1: it also appears in Star Wars,
MALE_1: and humorously in 500 Days of Summer,
MALE_1: and even more humorously at the beginning
MALE_1: of every episode of South Park.
MALE_1: Well, the gap between fiction and fact maybe why for
MALE_1: big blockbusters that involve superheroes or life savers,
MALE_1: the lines can get pretty blurry for other examples.
MALE_1: But then there are movies like Raging Bull
MALE_1: which was based on boxer Jake LaMotta's life.
MALE_1: It's an adaption of his memoir,
MALE_1: sure accounts of his life,
MALE_1: and Jake LaMotta himself is
MALE_1: credited as a consultant on the film.
MALE_1: Arguably, this film isn't at all divorced from reality,
MALE_1: yet it still had this disclaimer.
MALE_2: Of course, today these disclaimers are everywhere.
MALE_2: We have become numb to them,
MALE_2: but each one of them had a spark.
MALE_1: Hot Coffee has a warning because of a 1992 lawsuit.
MALE_1: The Miranda warning is read because of a 1966 case.
MALE_1: But in this case,
MALE_1: we can credit the addition of
MALE_1: this disclaimer to Rasputin.
MALE_1: [MUSIC] To understand the story,
MALE_1: first you must get to know the characters.
MALE_1: Grigori Rasputin born a peasant,
MALE_1: he became a self-proclaimed holy man,
MALE_1: and people believed him because he
MALE_1: was just so charismatic.
MALE_1: He became good friends with
MALE_1: the Russian Czar and Czarina because of
MALE_1: his magical ability to heal their son by prayer.
MALE_1: This afforded him great power over Russian politics and
MALE_1: made him a much loved and much hated man.
MALE_1: Much loved by women, particularly the Czarina,
MALE_1: whom he may have had an affair with
MALE_1: and hated by many people in Russia who
MALE_1: saw right through his bullshit, [NOISE] Felix Yusupov.
MALE_1: An extremely wealthy aristocrat,
MALE_1: Felix was a Russian prince.
MALE_1: He was married to Princess Irina of Russia,
MALE_1: niece of the previous Russian Czar.
MALE_1: He was also the leader of a group of noblemen that
MALE_1: hated Rasputin and wanted to see him murdered.
MALE_1: The story goes like this. [MUSIC]
MALE_2: And bear in mind that this
MALE_2: is up for debate as it's mostly
MALE_2: based off of Yusupov
MALE_2: first hand accounts as detailed in his memoir.
MALE_2: So it might be a little bit biased,
MALE_2: but not many details are known about
MALE_2: the actual events besides this.
MALE_1: [MUSIC] In December of 1916,
MALE_1: Yusupov invites Rasputin to his house.
MALE_1: He feeds Rasputin three poisoned cakes
MALE_1: while making awkward small talk.
MALE_1: You know, the way you do when you're waiting on
MALE_1: the man you poisoned to kill over and die,
MALE_1: except Rasputin doesn't kill over and die.
MALE_1: If anything, he looks healthier than he did before.
MALE_1: He asks for some wine to wash down the cake and even
MALE_1: after drinking three poisoned glasses,
MALE_1: he was still standing as though nothing had happened.
MALE_1: So Yusupov grabs gun so he could kill this man properly.
MALE_1: Rasputin is shot three times
MALE_1: [MUSIC] with one of the bullets landing in his head,
MALE_1: killing him for good.
MALE_1: His body is dumped in a local river but
MALE_1: his blood is found on
MALE_1: the back steps of the Yusupov residents.
MALE_1: So that ties Yusupov directly to the crime.
MALE_1: Though the Czar's were close with Rasputin,
MALE_1: they took mercy on Yusupov sentencing him
MALE_1: not to death but to be exiled from Russia.
MALE_1: Yusupov moves to Paris penniless.
MALE_1: So he decides to write a memoir of his life,
MALE_1: detailing the way he carried out the murder of Rasputin.
MALE_2: Which I must say is quite a lot of hubris.
MALE_2: It's one thing to murder somebody,
MALE_2: but then to publicly admit that you did it
MALE_2: with detail in a book you're selling,
MALE_2: I wish I had that kind of confidence.
MALE_2: Now, you may be asking yourself,
MALE_2: what does all this have to do with movies
MALE_2: and disclaimers about fact versus fiction.
MALE_2: Well, everything.
MALE_1: Flash forward 16 years and MGM
MALE_1: has just released Rasputin and the Empress,
MALE_1: a film all about Rasputin's life,
MALE_1: his many affairs and his death. [MUSIC]
MALE_3: [MUSIC] It has all the Barrymores in it,
MALE_3: not Drew Barrymore, but her grandfather and his siblings.
MALE_3: The film goes through the murder of Rasputin,
MALE_3: changing the names of the killers,
MALE_3: but very clearly intending to
MALE_3: tell the story of Felix Yusupov.
MALE_3: Yusupov did not like this.
MALE_3: He felt it was defamatory,
MALE_3: even though he takes full responsibility for killing
MALE_3: the guy by confessing to it in his memoir.
MALE_3: The thing about murdering someone is that no matter
MALE_3: how much you don't like how people describe he did it,
MALE_3: you can't make a case for libel,
MALE_3: or defamation because being
MALE_3: a murderer is already defamation of your name.
MALE_3: However, the film also included many scenes of
MALE_3: a woman who is married to Rasputin's murderer,
MALE_3: logical leap being that she was a stand-in for
MALE_3: Felix's real life wife, Irina.
MALE_3: In the movie, she gets hypnotized by Rasputin,
MALE_3: and in her trance-like state,
MALE_3: he takes advantage and rapes her.
MALE_3: [MUSIC] There was no truth to this.
MALE_3: Irina and Rasputin never actually met in real life,
MALE_3: and this scene was clearly a mistake on many levels.
MALE_3: But the scene did give the Yusupovs
MALE_3: alike to stand on in their defamation case,
MALE_3: not for Felix, but for his wife.
MALE_3: They were able to argue that
MALE_3: the film made Irina look like
MALE_3: she was unfit to be anyone's wife,
MALE_3: seeing as it implied that in real life,
MALE_3: she might have been unfaithful.
MALE_3: Worse yet, an MGM employee
MALE_3: brought this up during the process of making the film,
MALE_3: citing it as factually and accurate,
MALE_3: and suggesting that he could end up coming back to
MALE_3: haunt the studio in the form of a lawsuit.
MALE_3: Instead of listening to this employee,
MALE_3: the studio fired her.
MALE_3: And so Irina sued the studio and won.
MALE_3: Should have come about $125,000,
MALE_3: or when you account for inflation, about $29 million.
MALE_3: On top of that, the studio also had to take
MALE_3: the film out of circulation for decades,
MALE_3: and edit the scene out before being
MALE_3: able to show it ever again.
MALE_3: While on trial, one of the judges told MGM that
MALE_3: their biggest mistake was trying to
MALE_3: sell the film as a work, a fact.
MALE_3: They included a disclaimer that some of
MALE_3: the people depicted were still alive,
MALE_3: and therefore it was easy to make
MALE_3: logical guesses as to who was who.
MALE_3: The judge suggested that they might have been
MALE_3: saved if the opposite was stated,
MALE_3: that it wasn't an accurate portrayal
MALE_3: of any persons living,
MALE_3: or dead, and thus,
MALE_3: the disclaimer was born.
MALE_3: From then on, every studio knew not to make this mistake,
MALE_3: and so they started putting
MALE_3: this disclaimer on everything.
MALE_3: And that's still true even to this day.
MALE_3: Even when making movies about people who can do magic,
MALE_3: or shoe webs from their wrists.
MALE_3: But does the disclaimer really work in
MALE_3: situations where they're clearly
MALE_3: talking about a certain figure in history,
MALE_3: and marketing it as a biopic?
MALE_3: Lines can be kind of fuzzy.
MALE_3: In reality, this disclaimer is
MALE_3: just a bunch of words that state intentionality,
MALE_3: but that doesn't really make it legally binding.
MALE_3: And you can see this because even though
MALE_3: it appears in almost every film,
MALE_3: it hasn't protected every film from a lawsuit.
MALE_3: In the 1980s, there was a film called The Idolmaker,
MALE_3: which was loosely based on pop star Fabian's life,
MALE_3: but they didn't include him
MALE_3: in the process of making the film.
MALE_3: He took the studio to court and won,
MALE_3: making them formally apologize in two separate magazines,
MALE_3: and giving him seven percent of the film's earnings.
MALE_3: This disclaimer, while effective in many ways,
MALE_3: isn't a get out of jail free card.
MALE_3: So the next time you see
MALE_3: this disclaimer in one of your favorite films,
MALE_3: just know that you have the murder
MALE_3: of Rasputin to thank for it.
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