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My 10 favourite “based on true story” movies.

with 11 comments

I don’t know about you.
But everytime when I realize that a movie is “based on a true story”, it makes me take the movie more seriously.
I would make it a point to go google how the real person looks like and then wikipedia the entire story.
Being a movie buff, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a few of these movies that I absolutely love.
I love all of these movies and if you’re looking for a good movie to watch, you might wanna consider these! :)

In no particular order of merit, here it goes:

American Gangster

Denzel Washington portrays Frank Lucas, a real-life gangster from Harlem
who smuggled heroin into the United States on American service planes returning from the Vietnam War.
Russell Crowe portrays Richie Roberts, a detective attempting to bring down Lucas’ drug empire.

Frank was particularly known for cutting out middlemen in the drug trade and
buying heroin directly from his source in the Golden Triangle.
Lucas boasted that he smuggled heroin using the coffins of dead American servicemen.

And the real Frank Lucas and detective Richie Roberts.
I remember that fur outfit on Frank Lucas was specially featured in the movie because it attracted too much attention.

The Pursuit of Happyness

The movie is about Chris Gardner, family man and a salesman who
invested all of his family savings on this bone density scanner machine.
He had problem selling away the huge quantities of machines,
causing he and his family to fall into a bad financial situation.
His wife left him subsequently, leaving him with his young son.

The movie is about how he fought his way from a homeless man to
become CEO of a successful stockbrokerage firm.
This movie is touching especially in the scenes when you see how Chris Gardner struggles to keep the family together.
His determination to “make it” for him and his son brings me to tears too.

And if you’re curious how the real Chris Gardner looks like, here he is:

The final scene shows Chris walking with his son down a street.
His son is telling him a joke, when a man in a suit walks past.
Chris looks back as the man continues on.
The man in the suit is none other than the real Chris Gardner. (I love cameos!)

The Cinderella Man

Cinderella Man is about James J. Braddock, an Irish-American boxer from New Jersey,
formerly a light heavyweight contender, who is forced to give up boxing after breaking his hand in the ring.
As the US enters The Great Depression, Braddock does hard manual labor to support his family.
Unfortunately, he cannot get work every day.
Due to some twist of fate, he returned to the ring to fight again and defeats heavyweight champion Max Baer.

To me, this movie is about pride and going against the odds.
But the feeling when you see him win the final match is freaking shiok. Hee!
And this is the real Cinderella Man James J. Braddock.

Catch Me If You Can

This movie is pure brilliance.
I love everything about this movie – Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Hanks and the crazy plot.
BUT, everything else becomes even crazier when you realized that it’s based on a true story!

This show is based on life of Frank Abagnale Jr., who before his 19th birthday,
successfully conned millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot,
a Georgia doctor and Louisiana attorney and parish prosecutor.
His primary crime was cheque forgery, becoming so skillful that
the FBI eventually turned to him for help in catching other cheque forgers.

The story is amazing because Frank was so young when he committed all that crime.
And the relationship between Frank and the FBI Agent (played by Tom Hanks) grew
from a police-and-thief relationship into friendship ultimately.
One of my favourite movies of all time.

Today, Frank is CEO of Abagnale & Associates, security consultants.

The Last King of Scotland

The Last King of Scotland tells the fictional story of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy),
a young Scottish doctor who travels to Uganda and
becomes the personal physician to the dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker).
The film is based on factual events of Amin’s rule.
The doctor was actually very trusted by Amin at the start of the show.
But Amin, who is always suspicious of the people around him, started losing trust in Garrigan.
Garrigan (who is quite a fucker in the show) had an affair with one of Amin’s wives and made her pregnant.
And Amin wants to kill him. Haha. Simple as that.

But the way they film the scene where Garrigan is being beaten up and tortured is pretty disturbing.

The show is pretty good, I’d give it 4 popcorns.
And to be honest, I think the most awesome part is Forest Whitaker’s awesome accent in the show!

Schindler’s List

The story is set during the World War II period.
Oskar Schindler, a German businessman saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees
during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories.
Although he is also a Nazi member,
he bribed Nazi officials with huge sums of money to keep his workers alive.
As the war ended, Oskar Schindler had to leave.
He packs a car in the night, and bids farewell to his workers.
They give him a letter explaining he is not a criminal to them, together with a ring secretly made from a worker’s gold dental bridge and engraved with a Talmudic quotation,
“Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.”

I LOVE the main theme for the movie composed by John Williams.

And Oskar Shindler himself:


Based on real life events in 1928 Los Angeles, the film stars Angelina Jolie as a woman
who is reunited with her missing son — only to realize he is an impostor.
She confronts the city authorities, who vilify her as an unfit mother and brand her delusional.
The dramatized incident was connected to the “Wineville Chicken Coop” kidnapping and murder case.
Changeling explores female disempowerment, political corruption,
child endangerment and the repercussions of violence.

And the real Christine Collins and her son, Walter.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

This movie freaks me out.
And the worse part is that it’s loosely based on a true story.
I read up about it the night I finished watching the movie, and it really did scare the shit out of me.

The story is about Emily Rose being possessed and
going through exorcism performed by a priest, Father Richard Moore.
After her death, Father Richard Moore was actually on trial for negligent homicide.
The movie is not exactly hardcore horror-horror kinda movie,
as there are also scenes of the priest telling Emily Rose’s story.

Oh well, still freaks the shit outta me.

The real Emily Rose is actually called Anneliese Michel.
She died in 1976, aged 23.

A Beautiful Mind

This is a story about John Forbes Nash, Jr., a Nobel Laureate in Economics.
The story begins in the early years of a young schizophrenic prodigy named John Nash.
Early in the movie, Nash begins developing paranoid schizophrenia and endures delusional episodes
while painfully watching the loss and burden his condition brings on his wife and friends.
The film fictionally portrayed his hallucinations as visual and auditory,
when in fact they were exclusively auditory.

Oh! My favourite scene in the movie is when Russell Crowe draws shapes by joining the stars in the sky.
So romantic. Hahaha.

Read about the actual facts about John Nash‘s schzophrenia here.


Milk is a film on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Bernard Milk,
who was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.
But he was later assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned
but wanted his job back.

Everything about this show was fabulous except the kiss scene between Sean Penn and James Franco. Haha!
Am sure my gay friends will love it though. Lol.

The real Harvey Bernard Milk (right):

I hope you enjoyed the blog post.
Till we meet again, enjoy your movies! :)

Written by SIXPEGS

July 27, 2010 at 11:50 am

11 Responses

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  1. great choice – am pretty sure you will enjoy berlin 36!



    July 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

  2. […] s i x p e g s » Blog Archive » My 10 favourite “based on true story” movies. […]

  3. nice selection!

    here’s another great “based on a true story” movie, also my ALL TIME favourite: Men of Honor. its about the story of the first black US navy diver. catch it if you can! :)


    July 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm

  4. go watch Erin Brockovich. you will love it!!


    July 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

  5. thanks guys! will catch the movies you guys recommended! i love being a movie buff! ;p


    August 2, 2010 at 12:58 am

  6. Thanks for sharing these beautiful movies.I ´ve watch all of them :) But i didnt know that American gangster is based on a real story.thanks.


    January 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

    • karima – heh! glad you like the post! :)


      January 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm

  7. Nice one. Take a look at La vie en rose. Life of Édith Piaf, very sad, but romantic.


    July 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm

  8. enrico – I love that movie too! Marion Cotillard’s acting is awesome in there!


    May 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  9. Like true sttories! Saw them all in that list)
    Thanks f The Last King of Scotland, going to whatch!

    Vera from Russia

    May 26, 2012 at 1:24 am

  10. Hi six pegs, brilliant choice of movies, you have very good taste in film. I hope to return the favour, try these films if you haven’t already:

    – The killing fields
    – American History X
    – Conviction (2010)
    – Captain Philips ( I realize it’s in the movies right now, but this film is worth watching in the cinema, it’s awesome!)

    Richard Francis

    November 18, 2013 at 8:54 am

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