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The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Drops Again in Ratings

lizzie_borden_chronicles

UPDATE:  Meant to include this notice of the 3rd consecutive drop in ratings after the 3rd Episode.   Wanna bet the Series ends up 0 for 8?

As predicted. Ratings drop is deeper than I expected. Maybe I won’t have to do a Go Fund Me campaign after all. I am/was thinking of raising money for ads in Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter beseeching Lifetime Movie Channel execs not to pick up a second season.

After the 3rd Episode, there’s THIS  I predict Sunday night (April 26, 2015) will be another drop.

I wonder how Christina Ricci is feeling about it now?   Maybe like this:

aa“I’m so tired of dragging this phuckin’ thing around.”

(Chrstina Ricci after Take 22)

Let’s hope for a continued downward spiral.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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REVIEW – CHRISTINA RICCI AND THE LIZZIE BORDEN CHRONICLES

LBC

On April 2, three days before the Lizzie Borden Chronicles aired, I posted this on my Facebook “Lizzie Borden Chat Page”:

“The Lizzie Borden Chronicles is the new Sharknado. It will have as much to do with the post Trial life of Lizzie Borden as Sharknado has to do with marine biology. Yet their common denominator is ratings. And high ratings create sequels. They are both comedic, tongue in cheek, fraught with blood and guts and appeal to those that favor this genre.

shark

“I concede the Chronicles may have a little entertainment edge because of its campy soundtrack and the sexual component of Christina Ricci’s portrayal of the much maligned Lizzie Borden. I plan to watch it, not only to credibly critique afterwards but hope to see Ricci fly through the air above Fall River, chain saw in hand, slicing off the bell towers of all those long abandoned mills– with Nine Inch Nails playing in the background of course. It could happen.”

******************************

I didn’t get around to watching it until late Monday afternoon, and posting a Review has not been a priority in my life.  Even when Deborah Allard-Dion, resident writer of all things Lizzie for the Fall River Herald, contacted me for what I thought I could not bring myself to respond right away.  However, I now post my impressions.

Nielson ratings showed it to garner only 1.1 million viewers – pretty much at the bottom of the heep for the week’s ratings of shows ending on that Sunday night.

The first two episodes were sent out to TV critics to review and after last Sunday’s (April 5, 2015) airing of the first episode, the general consensus is that it should get the axe.  The Hollywood Reporter calls it “unexceptional trash”.

Introducing real name characters who died prior to the 1892 murders (William Almy) and yet are resurrected as some avaristic business partner who “wants it all”.  So far fetched I moaned out loud “Kill me quick, Bill.”

I didn’t expect Christina to play the role of Lizzie Borden with the nuances of a Meryl Streep but I also did not expect her to go so far off the rails.  It was like Anna Nichol Smith’s stupor meets Baby Jane Hudson’s vengeance. Her portrayal reminded of Dorothy Parker’s famous one-liner review of Tallulah Bankhead, “Her acting ran the gamut of A to B.” 

We can at least feel sorry for the real life Anna Nichol Smith and the fictional Baby Jane.  We can even find a way to rationalize T.V. “Dexter’s” acts has having some social redemption.  But with Ricci’s Lizzie?  Not so much.  She plays her as  totally self-serving for the sake of self preservation.  Not an attractive quality we  want to see in our Villains.

And the music?   More appropriate would have been Miley Cyrus’ “I came in like a Wrecking Ball”.   What?  No money budgeted for Billboard Top 100 royalties? Seems the budget was blown on costumes, that big orange house (supposedly “Mapelcroft”) and all the TV promos to generate excitement for the first episode.

Casting name/face actors, i.e., Jonathan Banks fresh off Breaking Bad and appearing regularly on Better Call Saul, is just a ploy to get people to watch.  He’s probably gonna be killed before Episode 3.

There was no rhythm or pace to sustain any suspense or intrigue – more like Scattershot and Soundblaster, symbolically making our eyes and ears bleed.

I doubt it will make much of an impact on driving tourism to Fall River or the B&B certainly not like the notoriety of ghost-hunting and paranormal investigations shows have done in the past. Had they used Fall River backgrounds/locations or even 92 Second Street exteriors as POV’s it would have enticed viewers and resonated because it would be showing the actual location. People like to visit places, occupy the same space in a different time, where actual history or something infamous took place.  They like to ooooh and awww and be simultaneously thrilled and reflective about being there.  But I imagine there may be people going up and down Second Street in Fall River looking for a blue and white house. or driving up and down French Street looking for an orange mansion.

Richard Behrens, author of the smartly written series Lizzie Borden Girl Detective, commented about thegIRL dETECTIVE program with this added post script:  “P.S. You are trying to tell me that the police searched the Borden house and didn’t find the dead baby in the basement? And when they searched the barn looking for Billy Borden, they didn’t climb up the ladder to the second floor? There were gaps in the plot logic you could park your car in.”

The Serious Issue of Why I’m So Against This Series

The primary reason I dislike this series is not so much for its lack or even a feeble attempt at any historical accuracy whatsoever, but the irreputable harm the Lifetime Channel has already done to the factual Lizzie Borden.  Now another new generation who Tweet more than they read believe the characterization of Lizzie Borden – to a considerable extent anyway – as is portrayed.

All those goofy legends and misinformation have been further imbedded in the uneducated viewing public’s mind. As Michael Martins said, the FRHS will be further challenged in correcting the misconceptions and false perceptions of the case – as will the staff at the B&B. As to the LB Chronicles as entertainment value – I enjoyed Sharknado more. As to any artistic quality of the series, I think American Horror Story and Bates Motel do a better job.

Lizzie has long been portrayed as a one dimensional psycho sociopath wielding a bloody axe.  She has been cemented in the minds of the general public via that inaccurate quatrain; she has been depicted in hundreds of online images so far removed from the actual Lizzie when there is an abundance of easily accessible sources from which to learn the truth about this woman.  Lifetime Movie Channel and the Lizzie Borden Chronicles can only add fodder to further regurgitations of gross misiniformation.

I want people to know the real Lizzie Borden and the best book on that subject is the Fall River Historical Society’s Parallel Lives – A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River.

I want the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum to stay in business, not just because its the best bang for the buck of any B&B, but because people can occupy the same space where Lizzie lived and reflect upon how her life at the time she lived there.  The furniture and fixtures are immaculately maintained and so closely resemble how the rooms were in Lizzie’s time that it invites your imagination to transport yourself to that era.

I would love for people to explore the Fall River Historical Society about the world Lizzie lived in and her town’s history.  They have the world’s largest collection of Lizzie Borden related material, including objects of evidence presented at her Trial. The  staff will now have to exert an even greater effort in correcting all the “wrongs” shown in the Lizzie Borden Chronicles to all those that call and visit with their questions based on what they’ve seen in the series.

On Sunday evening last, same day the Chronicles aired, person(s) unknown defaced the Andrew J. Borden monument.  While understandable outrage has been expressed, no one has remarked on the subliminal symmetry represented here.  By that I mean here you have a grotesque “artistic” expression plastered over the “Borden family”.  The same could be said for the series, in my opinion.

graffiti

Below is the monument a few days after the story broke in the Fall River Herald News. ” Blast Off Surface Restoration, a Fall River company that specializes in coating removal, including headstone cleaning.  Company owner Jeremy Larkin cleaned up the Borden monument at no cost to Oak Grove Cemetery” reported Deborah Allard Dion..

graffiti2

If this were a forgiving review I would like to think of the cleaning of the monument as further symbolism — sort of  like wiping the slate clean of a dismal Episode 1, giving us hope for Episode 2..    Not likely.  Not very likely at all.


 

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Much Out of Whack With The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

DSCN4562

Get a jar and label it “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles – Things That Could Not Have POSSIBLY Happened After Her Trial.” The first nugget to put in that jar is illustrated above from my Historic Timeline book.  The fact William Almy portrayed by John Heard in tonight’s airing of The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (I live on the Pacific Coast so it hasn’t been broadcast yet) died in 1885, Lizzie could NOT HAVE POSSIBLY had any relations, business or otherwise, with him in her post-Trial life.  That’s just for starters.  When historical fiction touted as “what could have happened” transcends all possibilities of actually happening it not only trips the light fantastic it fantastically falls on its face.

I expect this series to be campy, cheesy, titillating, musically creative, fraught with gross misinformation, and absolutely nothing to do with Lizzie Borden at ANY point of her life.

It’s traditional for production companies and networks to give out copies of early episodes to TV critics so they can get a jump on writing their reviews.  This has been done in the case of the LBC and critics are repeatedly using phrases such as “female serial killer”, “crazed murderess”, “axe murderess” and the like.  The common thread of many of the reviews is the transparency that the writers themselves know very little of the case.  Worse yet, they write with a false knowledge of previous misinformation that they regurgitate as fact.  I have found only one review with any merit and that is Caitlin Gallager’s piece posted today.  It SHOULD BE READ and can be read HERE.

For those viewers who have Googled Lizzie Borden or The Lizzie Borden Chronicles and landed on this blog, I’m going to post excerpts from my Timeline blog book to help put things in focus.   It was created to provide significant events in Lizzie’s life, but also the history of Fall River and significant events regionally, nationally and world wide.  It is within this focus we get a good view of what was happening in the town and in the world in which she lived. As you watch The Sharknado Chronicles, excuse me – the Lizzie Borden Chronicles – keep in mind what could NOT possibly have happened.

I still maintain the series should have been called The Lizzie Schwartz Chronicles, but who ever heard that inaccurate quatrain “Lizzie Scwartz took an axe….”  Hence, Lifetime’s pimping out of Lizzie Borden. DSCN4561DSCN4546 DSCN4551 DSCN4553DSCN4554 DSCN4559

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The above is nearly 200 pages and loaded with essays and blog posts mostly based on historical fact and a generous serving of my special brand of humor.  Available at the Fall River Historical Society Gift Shop. I’ll have more nuggets after I have a chance to view the first episode myself – but after Mad Men.   But hey, I’m confident you’re gonna need a bigger jar.  😉

 

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Lizzie Borden Chronicles vs. Mad Men Final Episodes

Both MAD MEN-THE FINAL EPISODES and THE LIZZIE BORDEN CHRONICLES debut Sunday night, April 5th at 10: pm (Eastern and Pacific).   Who will win the Ratings Race? Which will you be watching Sunday night and which will you DVR?

NBC and the Lifetime Movie Channel hope you’ll be watching their premieres.  Frankly, neither are my taste.  I’m still mourning the end of Downton Abbey and still taking my meds on finding out next season will be its last.  But I digress.  For what I think, see below these promo banners. LBC MM FE I think Elizabeth Moss would have made a better (acting-wise) and more authentic Lizzie Borden.  And I think Christina Hendricks would have been a much sexier Lizzie than Christina Ricci’s sexo-comedic portrayal of her. MM Peggy MM

Clearly, Christina Ricci’s career got an adrenalin surge when Lifetime selected this compelling case, pimping out the enigmatic Lizzie Borden and transforming her into a gross caricature – a post pubescent sociopath.

I don’t care that The Lizzie Borden Chronicles is not based on historical fact   I don’t care that it proposes to only portray what “might have happened” after her Trial.  The damage is done.  And I’ll be writing about all that later.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 3, 2015 in lifetime movie channel

 

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Swansea Cousin Confirms Lizzie Borden Was “Odd”

In my FIVE DECADES of researching the Borden case, Fall River, the Gardners of Swansea, etc. etc. etc. I have never, ever come across validation of this rumor. Now it is confirmed….Lizzie Borden really was an odd duck.

newspaper-1

I suspect Christina Ricci’s portrayal of Lizzie Borden will be prolific in such manners of behavior as illustrated in the above article – not to mention somewhat validated by the video clip of the Lizzie Borden Chronicles shown below.

 

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Adapting JFK and Lizzie Borden – Quality vs. Schlock

Franco

I’m excited about this adaptation of Stephen King’s “11/22/63”  novel which I read last summer.  Adapted from a very creative, imaginative and riveting novel on the President Kennedy assassination typical, of King’s superlative writing, this 9 part mini series  (no premiere date yet set) should also prove to be inventive, creative, well produced, and directed (Bridget Carpenter)..  And the acting chops of James Franco makes it even more exciting to me.  So far this adaptation has all the ear marks of being of high quality.

Here we have a fictionalized account of a real life historical event that was front page news the world over.  An event so catastrophic to our country and had significant impacts the world over.  We all knew or now know of John F. Kennedy, his family, his background. Television gave us a visual play by play of his assassination.  Taking this historical event and adapting it onto a relatively new format shown on Hulu, we anticipate the liberties that will be taken but don’t much mind because the adapted plot is already cleverly contrived and promises to be well executed and produced.

Christina_Ricci_Lizzie_Borden_axe

With the “Lizzie Borden Chronlcles” we already have more than just a glimpse of what to expect from this “fictionalized”  8-part mini-series of what “could have” happened to Lizzie post Trial premiering in April.  We already know the manner in which Lizzie is presented – young, psychotic, over-sexed…..  Oh well.   Most of what constitutes this mess could be forgiven if it were a solid, quality piece of television drama.  But it is not.  Nor will it be.  Adaptation of the basic story already sold out artistic excellence for ratings.

Adapted stories, i.e., adaptations of real life events and people from history or contemporary times is as old as the early performances at the Globe Theater in Queen Elizabeth the First’s  time.  But in judging the quality of such productions we must factor in the writing, the directing, the acting – the entire production.  What separates a “good adaptation” from schlock is the end product of all these things.

CRITICIZING WHAT IS DEEMED TO BE SCHLOCK IS LESS ABOUT THE DEVIATION OR ABSENCE OF FACT THAN IT IS ABOUT A POORLY PRODUCED – ON ALL LEVELS – ADAPTATION OF AN HISTORIC EVENT OR PERSON(S).  

And any past community college drama teacher (yes, you, Stefani Koorey) – should know that.  Then again, perhaps Ms. Koorey didn’t  teach her students to differentiate between the two.

As to her assertion that it will make people want to read more about Lizzie Borden – I can only say:  “Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter” hasn’t exactly caused a rush of tourists to Gettysburg nor increased interest in our 16th President.

“Lizzie Borden Had An Axe” was a schlock production giving us every reason to believe (not to mention the previews, writer, director and producers) that the new adaptation,  “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” will be as well. By contrast, there’s a reason why The Walking Dead is the #1 TV show in the country.

Judging from the cast, director, writer, and  producers of “11-22-63”, we can be much more hopeful.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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An Assessment of the Lizzie Borden film by other experts who know the facts

Poor Lee-ann Wilber, manager of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast.  She and her staff are left with the mop up duties due to all the misinformation and urban legends contained in the Lifetime Movie Channel’s Lizzie Borden Took An Axe, starring Chrsitina Ricci.

As I predicted, awful production has only served to perpetuate the myths and untruths about Miss Borden and the case itself.  Too bad the LMN’s target audience are breeders more than readers.

“Lizzie Borden film:  A Hatchet Job” – by Deborah Allard, Fall River Herald News, interviewed local Lizzie Borden affcionados and moi.  Read it HERE.

Richard Behrens, who authored Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective – a clever and astute non-fiction book, posted this on a chat forum – and I completely agree:

“There must have been a corporate meeting at Lifetime where they planned everything exactly because they were aiming for a specific audience. If the women wore hats, the 20-something Twilight fans would think it’s old fashioned. If they used period music, they won’t download the soundtrack from iTunes. If they cast a teenager-looking actress, the teenagers in the audience will assume she is a teenager. If they show stuff about Fall River and the textile mills, they’ll flip the channels to another station. If they don’t show Lizzie hacking up bodies, the movie will be boring. In short, no ambiguity, no subtlety, no grown-up issues. Let’s make a movie about a 32 year old woman who is really a trouble teenager who wants to smash open people’s skulls like they do in the zombie and vampire movies.”

 

  • Historians: ‘Lizzie Borden’ film a hatchet job

  • “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

– See more at: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140127/NEWS/140126634/?tag=2#sthash.vNKjppF5.dpuf

  • emailprint 0
  • Lifetime's "Lizzie Borden Took An Ax" on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

     Zoom

    Submitted PhotoLifetime’s “Lizzie Borden Took An Ax” on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

    »  RELATED CONTENT
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  • Deborah Allard
    Herald News Staff Reporter

    Posted Jan. 27, 2014 @ 7:24 pm
    Updated at 7:28 PM

    FALL RIVER — The reviews are in.

    “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

    Local historians and Lizzie experts hated the rock music, Lizzie Borden’s wardrobe and the absence of several main characters.

    Leonard Rebello, a local historian and the author of “Lizzie Borden: Past & Present,” said it was “difficult to watch.”

    “It leaves myths and legends for a new generation,” Rebello said.

    The biggest historical inaccuracy, according to Rebello, was when officials performed an autopsy on Andrew and Abby Borden on the dining room table, after the couple had been bludgeoned to death by an ax (actually, a hatchet).

    “That did not happen at all,” Rebello said.

    The autopsies were completed in the house, but Rebello said they were performed on undertaker boards. Andrew Borden was in the living room, and Abby Borden in the dining room.

    There were other historical errors, as well, such as when Lizzie Borden burned her dress in a cauldron outside for all to see.

    Rebello said it was hard to watch after spending six years researching the facts of the Borden murders and case.

    “Overall, it was not very well done,” Rebello said.

    The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, the actual site of the Borden murders at 92 Second St., is in “damage control” mode, according to curator and manager Lee Ann Wilber.

    She said she and her tour staff will be “setting everyone straight” for years to come, separating fact from fiction and rumor from truth.

    The film did spark a renewed interest in the Borden murder mystery. Wilber said the B&B has seen an increase in visitors all weekend. Each hourly tour on Sunday was attended by 15 to 20 curious visitors.

    Michael Martins, curator of the Fall River Historical Society, which displays the largest collection of Borden artifacts and crime scene items, was put off by the film.

    “The film was inaccurate in all aspects — from historical facts, to costuming and sets,” Martins said.

    Martins said the society has for years been at the forefront of researching the Borden story, uncovering new material and presenting that material to the public.

    Martins and assistant curator Dennis Binette recently published “Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden in Fall River,” which shed new light on Borden and the murders.

    “It is unfortunate that they chose not to utilize the resources available here,” Martins said. “Visitors repeatedly tell us that that is one of the things that sets the Historical Society apart — fact, not fiction.

– See more at: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140127/NEWS/140126634#sthash.qrUgGY3G.dpuf

    • Historians: ‘Lizzie Borden’ film a hatchet job

  • “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

  • emailprint 0
  • Lifetime's "Lizzie Borden Took An Ax" on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

     Zoom

    Submitted PhotoLifetime’s “Lizzie Borden Took An Ax” on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

    »  RELATED CONTENT
  • LINKS
  • Deborah Allard
    Herald News Staff Reporter

    Posted Jan. 27, 2014 @ 7:24 pm
    Updated at 7:28 PM

    FALL RIVER — The reviews are in.

    “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

    Local historians and Lizzie experts hated the rock music, Lizzie Borden’s wardrobe and the absence of several main characters.

    Leonard Rebello, a local historian and the author of “Lizzie Borden: Past & Present,” said it was “difficult to watch.”

    “It leaves myths and legends for a new generation,” Rebello said.

    The biggest historical inaccuracy, according to Rebello, was when officials performed an autopsy on Andrew and Abby Borden on the dining room table, after the couple had been bludgeoned to death by an ax (actually, a hatchet).

    “That did not happen at all,” Rebello said.

    The autopsies were completed in the house, but Rebello said they were performed on undertaker boards. Andrew Borden was in the living room, and Abby Borden in the dining room.

    There were other historical errors, as well, such as when Lizzie Borden burned her dress in a cauldron outside for all to see.

    Rebello said it was hard to watch after spending six years researching the facts of the Borden murders and case.

    “Overall, it was not very well done,” Rebello said.

    The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, the actual site of the Borden murders at 92 Second St., is in “damage control” mode, according to curator and manager Lee Ann Wilber.

    She said she and her tour staff will be “setting everyone straight” for years to come, separating fact from fiction and rumor from truth.

    The film did spark a renewed interest in the Borden murder mystery. Wilber said the B&B has seen an increase in visitors all weekend. Each hourly tour on Sunday was attended by 15 to 20 curious visitors.

    Michael Martins, curator of the Fall River Historical Society, which displays the largest collection of Borden artifacts and crime scene items, was put off by the film.

    “The film was inaccurate in all aspects — from historical facts, to costuming and sets,” Martins said.

    Martins said the society has for years been at the forefront of researching the Borden story, uncovering new material and presenting that material to the public.

    Martins and assistant curator Dennis Binette recently published “Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden in Fall River,” which shed new light on Borden and the murders.

    “It is unfortunate that they chose not to utilize the resources available here,” Martins said. “Visitors repeatedly tell us that that is one of the things that sets the Historical Society apart — fact, not fiction.

– See more at: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140127/NEWS/140126634#sthash.qrUgGY3G.dpuf

    • Historians: ‘Lizzie Borden’ film a hatchet job

  • “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

  • emailprint 0
  • Lifetime's "Lizzie Borden Took An Ax" on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

     Zoom

    Submitted PhotoLifetime’s “Lizzie Borden Took An Ax” on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

    »  RELATED CONTENT
  • LINKS
  • Deborah Allard
    Herald News Staff Reporter

    Posted Jan. 27, 2014 @ 7:24 pm
    Updated at 7:28 PM

    FALL RIVER — The reviews are in.

    “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

    Local historians and Lizzie experts hated the rock music, Lizzie Borden’s wardrobe and the absence of several main characters.

    Leonard Rebello, a local historian and the author of “Lizzie Borden: Past & Present,” said it was “difficult to watch.”

    “It leaves myths and legends for a new generation,” Rebello said.

    The biggest historical inaccuracy, according to Rebello, was when officials performed an autopsy on Andrew and Abby Borden on the dining room table, after the couple had been bludgeoned to death by an ax (actually, a hatchet).

    “That did not happen at all,” Rebello said.

    The autopsies were completed in the house, but Rebello said they were performed on undertaker boards. Andrew Borden was in the living room, and Abby Borden in the dining room.

    There were other historical errors, as well, such as when Lizzie Borden burned her dress in a cauldron outside for all to see.

    Rebello said it was hard to watch after spending six years researching the facts of the Borden murders and case.

    “Overall, it was not very well done,” Rebello said.

    The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, the actual site of the Borden murders at 92 Second St., is in “damage control” mode, according to curator and manager Lee Ann Wilber.

    She said she and her tour staff will be “setting everyone straight” for years to come, separating fact from fiction and rumor from truth.

    The film did spark a renewed interest in the Borden murder mystery. Wilber said the B&B has seen an increase in visitors all weekend. Each hourly tour on Sunday was attended by 15 to 20 curious visitors.

    Michael Martins, curator of the Fall River Historical Society, which displays the largest collection of Borden artifacts and crime scene items, was put off by the film.

    “The film was inaccurate in all aspects — from historical facts, to costuming and sets,” Martins said.

    Martins said the society has for years been at the forefront of researching the Borden story, uncovering new material and presenting that material to the public.

    Martins and assistant curator Dennis Binette recently published “Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden in Fall River,” which shed new light on Borden and the murders.

    “It is unfortunate that they chose not to utilize the resources available here,” Martins said. “Visitors repeatedly tell us that that is one of the things that sets the Historical Society apart — fact, not fiction.

– See more at: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140127/NEWS/140126634#sthash.qrUgGY3G.dpuf

    • Historians: ‘Lizzie Borden’ film a hatchet job

  • “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

  • emailprint 0
  • Lifetime's "Lizzie Borden Took An Ax" on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

     Zoom

    Submitted PhotoLifetime’s “Lizzie Borden Took An Ax” on Jan. 25, starring Christina Ricci as the famous Fall River murder suspect.

    »  RELATED CONTENT
  • LINKS
  • Deborah Allard
    Herald News Staff Reporter

    Posted Jan. 27, 2014 @ 7:24 pm
    Updated at 7:28 PM

    FALL RIVER — The reviews are in.

    “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” at least when it comes to those who know the intricate details of the crime and case, presented glaring historical inaccuracies from start to finish.

    Local historians and Lizzie experts hated the rock music, Lizzie Borden’s wardrobe and the absence of several main characters.

    Leonard Rebello, a local historian and the author of “Lizzie Borden: Past & Present,” said it was “difficult to watch.”

    “It leaves myths and legends for a new generation,” Rebello said.

    The biggest historical inaccuracy, according to Rebello, was when officials performed an autopsy on Andrew and Abby Borden on the dining room table, after the couple had been bludgeoned to death by an ax (actually, a hatchet).

    “That did not happen at all,” Rebello said.

    The autopsies were completed in the house, but Rebello said they were performed on undertaker boards. Andrew Borden was in the living room, and Abby Borden in the dining room.

    There were other historical errors, as well, such as when Lizzie Borden burned her dress in a cauldron outside for all to see.

    Rebello said it was hard to watch after spending six years researching the facts of the Borden murders and case.

    “Overall, it was not very well done,” Rebello said.

    The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, the actual site of the Borden murders at 92 Second St., is in “damage control” mode, according to curator and manager Lee Ann Wilber.

    She said she and her tour staff will be “setting everyone straight” for years to come, separating fact from fiction and rumor from truth.

    The film did spark a renewed interest in the Borden murder mystery. Wilber said the B&B has seen an increase in visitors all weekend. Each hourly tour on Sunday was attended by 15 to 20 curious visitors.

    Michael Martins, curator of the Fall River Historical Society, which displays the largest collection of Borden artifacts and crime scene items, was put off by the film.

    “The film was inaccurate in all aspects — from historical facts, to costuming and sets,” Martins said.

    Martins said the society has for years been at the forefront of researching the Borden story, uncovering new material and presenting that material to the public.

    Martins and assistant curator Dennis Binette recently published “Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden in Fall River,” which shed new light on Borden and the murders.

    “It is unfortunate that they chose not to utilize the resources available here,” Martins said. “Visitors repeatedly tell us that that is one of the things that sets the Historical Society apart — fact, not fiction.

– See more at: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140127/NEWS/140126634#sthash.qrUgGY3G.dpuf

 

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