They always get their man but, according to Cpl. Pierre Belanger, spokesmountie for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the movies rarely get anything right about the force: "Our stereotype hasn't changed since the days of 'Rose Marie,' " he said, referring to the 1936 film that starred Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.
Latest perpetrator: Paramount's "The Untouchables," in which Prohibition Era cops join forces with the RCMP to foil rum runners at the border.
"If it was meant to be taken seriously," said Belanger, "I can only tell you that at the screening in Ottawa, the audience was laughing. Let's remember, there was no Prohibition in Canada. The RCMP wouldn't have been involved in an operation of the type depicted because there was, and is, nothing illegal about exporting alcohol.
"Furthermore, they show about two dozen Mounties charging the gangsters on horseback. We certainly didn't charge on horseback in the 1930s--we didn't even do it in the 1870s."
Belanger conceded that the Mountie uniforms looked authentic--but they were worn incorrectly. Oh, and "there's no such rank as captain in the RCMP."