Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Is Birmingham’s History Mirrored in Cillian Murphy’s Peaky Blinders?

The acclaimed BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders dramatizes the exploits of a fictional 1920s Birmingham gang, taking inspiration from the real Peaky Blinders of the late 1800s. While the show creatively interprets history, it does portray some accurate historical details. The real Peaky Blinders emerged in Birmingham in the 1870s and faded away by the early 1900s. As historian Barbara Weinberger explained, they arose from “anti-Irish sentiments” and “gang warfare.” 

When Did the Real Gang Exist Versus Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders - Cillian Murphy
Peaky Blinders – Cillian Murphy

The show’s creator Steven Knight based it on his father’s stories of these immaculately dressed men. However, he set the show later, in the 1920s, with the Shelby family gang. So the real gang predated the show’s time period by several decades.

Though the Shelbys are fictional, real-life figures like Oswald Mosley and Winston Churchill appear. Mosley formed the British Union of Fascists in 1932, so the show’s 1929 date is early. Chaplain, from Birmingham, also guest stars despite the real gang being gone by Chaplin’s Hollywood years. These crossovers between history and fiction create an “intriguing revisionist history,” imagining how real people might have interacted with a powerful gang.

How Does the Show Fictionalize the Gang’s Story?

Peaky Blinders - Cillian Murphy
Peaky Blinders – Cillian Murphy

Most dramatically, the show makes the gang a close-knit crime family called the Shelbys. Real members had affiliations but weren’t blood relatives with a united code. Their crimes were petty compared to the show’s violence and political scheming. The name Peaky Blinders may have just referred to their hats pulled down over their eyes. Creative liberties around their motivations and influence heighten the drama versus strictly following history.

Peaky Blinders - Cillian Murphy
Peaky Blinders – Cillian Murphy

Ultimately the show marshals historical context like fashion and Irish discrimination to craft a compelling fictional story. Real figures and events add texture, but the gang itself is romanticized. As a period crime saga, it prioritizes entertainment over historical accuracy in adapting the real Peaky Blinders’ legend.

Enjoying our stories?
Share them with the world!

Quickly spread the word on social media with a click. Your support helps us grow and reach more like-minded folks. Thanks for sharing! 

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Follow us Here !!!

Gaming
Movies
TV Series