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article image'Foxcatcher' the film: Differentiating between fact vs. fiction Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 12, 2015 in Entertainment
"Foxcatcher" was nominated for five Academy Awards this year, and it was praised for its acting performances, however, there were many inaccuracies.
With the help of Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz, whom the movie is based on, he chatted with Digital Journal to clarify many of the fictional events that were depicted in the film, as opposed to the events that were mentioned in Schultz' actual book of the same name.
Eccentric millionaire John du Pont (played by Steve Carell in the film) and Mark Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) were never friends, as opposed to the film, nor did he ever show him any wrestling moves, nor did he meet him that night in his "gallery" room. "Sexual references are all fiction," Schultz said, prior to adding that du Pont was a eunuch. "There were no mats in du Pont's house. There is no room called the gallery. He never woke me up in the middle of the night to go over moves. I never showed him any moves or even drilled moves with him," Schultz explained. "I can't think of calling du Pont my friend in any context."
In the beginning of the film Schultz was only introduced as an Olympic Champion from 1984, however, it fails to mention Schultz' World Championship win in 1985. As a result, Schultz was the sole Olympic champion to take home victory in the 1985 World Championships.
A major chronological inaccuracy was that the Schultz brothers (Dave and Mark) were never on Foxcatcher Farms at the same life. Dave Schultz (played by Mark Ruffalo) had moved on the Farms one year after Mark has left. Also, Dave's murder occurred in 1996, eight years after Mark had left Foxcatcher Farms, and the reason for du Pont's motive is misleading, since it has nothing to do with Mark's departure.
In reality, du Pont never slapped Mark in the face. Had he done so, du Pont would have not been pleased with the consequences.
Also, upon viewing the film, one may think that Schultz lost half of his matches, when in reality he won approximately 95 percent of them. "I lost six matches as a high school junior year when I started the sport. I lost two matches in my senior year when I won the California state championships. I lost eight matches during my freshman year in college, and three matches in my sophomore year, two matches my junior year, and I was undefeated my senior year winning my last 44 matches. Then, I was undefeated in America for five years," he elaborated, prior to admitting that he was on six world and Olympic teams. "I had a lot of freestyle matches in smaller tournaments in America and never lost."
Olympians Dave Schultz and Mark Schultz
Olympians Dave Schultz and Mark Schultz
Courtesy of Mark Schultz
While the movie depicts du Pont sitting on Mark's corner, that only happened once, during a Bulgarian dual, which Mark had lost and vowed to never let him sit in his corner again. du Pont did not sit in Mark's corner at the 1988 Olympic Games either.
The movie ends right before showing Mark's greatest victory in UFC IX, where he bested Gary Goodridge.
Most importantly, Schultz clarifies the biggest misconception about the sport of wrestling. "Most people that have never wrestled simply don't understand the sport or are somehow intimidated by wrestlers and don't like them calling them 'gay' and rolling around on the ground. I've lived with that misconception my entire life," he said.
The Olympic gold medalist and best-selling author concluded, "Scoring and winning against the best in the world is by pushing yourself to the limits of your own pain tolerance and exhaustion every day so you can drive your opponents to exhaustion first. You must learn complexed scoring techniques to inflict more pain than they can inflict on you. It's incredibly exhausting, brutal, and chaotic to force the best in the world to the ground, control them, outsmart them, turn them belly up, making them submit to your will, and pin them. Execution must be harder, faster, more often, and first. It's 90 percent conditioning and 10 percent technique. It's the most difficult sport in the world. Only those who've wrestled know what it's like and only those who've wrestled against the best in the world know what it takes to be the best in the world. It's the complete opposite of pleasure. There is nothing gentle or pleasurable about it."
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