James Brown Biopic: Should Life Stories Really Include Fabricated Incidents?

August 6, 2014 4:18 PM

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There is a scene in James Brown biopic Get On Up where the singer walks into a meeting and accidentally discharges a shotgun. The incident is fabricated. It is true that on September 24, 1988, Brown walked into his offices at Executive Park, Augusta, with a shotgun in his hand. But the gun was never fired. According to FBI files. it wasn't loaded and it didn't even work.

Why have the filmmakers invented this gunshot? It seems to serve little purpose other than to set up a weak joke; Brown looks at the hole he has blasted in the ceiling and mutters one of his legendary recording studio vocal tics: "Good God!" The moment would feel more at home in an SNL skit.

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