Bright Side

10 Movies That Are Based on Real Events Where the Creators Hid Important Details From the Viewers

Cinema is a magical world where there is not always a place for reality. It’s easy to make mistakes, even while creating documentaries. What if these gaps in narration are not mistakes, but tricks that prompt viewers to pay attention to something important?

We at Bright Side love movies with deep meaning, so we selected for you 10 of them based on real events that you’ll surely want to watch one more time.

1. Battle of the Sexes (2017)

This is a sports comedy and drama based on the real Battle of the Sexes — a legendary tennis match between tennis champion Bobby Riggs and one of the leading professional tennis players of that time, Billie Jean King.

  • The directors really exaggerated the intensity of the passions at this event: in reality, it was like any ordinary match.
  • Bobby said he had underestimated his opponent and trained less than usual. In the movie, however, Bobby almost didn’t prepare for the upcoming match because he was overconfident, almost like a real-life version of The Tortoise and the Hare. Needless to say, he was extremely surprised to see Billie’s strength and skill.
  • Here is an interesting fact: throughout the movie, men mostly look to the left, and women look to the right, which is supposed to symbolize female progressiveness and men’s shortsightedness.

2. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

This plot of Saving Mr. Banks is based on a true story. Once, Walt Disney promised his daughters that he’d turn their favorite book — the fairytale Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, into a movie. However, he didn’t manage to do it until more than 20 years later and one of the reasons was the author’s stubbornness.

  • Walt’s character smokes in the movie much less than he did in reality. Perhaps the creators had to specifically use this inaccuracy to not focus viewers’ attention on the unhealthy habits of the person who created the most famous kids’ brand in history.
  • In reality, Walt Disney, who finally got an opportunity to make the movie, didn’t listen to the author’s notes, having said, “that ship had already sailed.” Thus, he prohibited making any corrections to the animated part of the movie, even though it was still possible at that stage. We will never know whether he did it for his own reasons or out of retaliation and stubbornness, but the movie doesn’t show this moment intentionally.

3. The Imitation Game (2014)

This is a story about the British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped to de-code the German coding machine “Enigma” during the Second World War.

  • The Enigma code decryption device shown in the movie was recreated from the original drawing created by Turing. But it was intentionally made bigger and some mechanical parts of it were open so they could be seen better.
  • Mark Strong, who played the role of Major General Stewart Menzies, was wearing a real blue striped suit from those times. It was done to make him stand out among other characters in Bletchley Park.

  • John Cairncross and Alan Turing never met each other in real life, even though they were working in the same place.

4. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Vocalist Freddie Mercury challenges the stereotypes of his time in order to become one of the most outstanding artists on the planet in this film.

  • In the movie, Freddie sings the song “Love of My Life” to his manager and lover Paul Prenter while at the farm. However, in reality, when he recorded this song, Paul and Freddie were not working together, which means Prenter simply couldn’t have been beside him at that moment.
  • Before Live Aid (that took place in the summer of 1985) the real Freddie didn’t know that he was HIV-positive and it is believed that he learned about his disease somewhere between 1986 and 1987. In the movie, not only did he know about it, but he also told his band.
  • When the band got back together in the movie, Freddie apologized for his leave and the mistakes he made. He agreed to do anything in order to return. In reality, the band got together several times, even after Freddie started his solo career. In fact, Queen has never broken up.

5. A Long Way Home (2016)

Dev Patel, who played the role of Saroo (on the right) and the real Saroo Brierley

The story, also known as Lion, is about Saroo, a 5-year-old boy from the slums, who got lost. Thanks to some miracle, he managed to survive and found his new home in Australia. 25 years later, Saroo comes back to find his family.

  • In the movie, Saroo is trying to buy a train ticket in the self-service terminal, but he fails. People standing in the line start to feel nervous and push the kid out of the way. In reality, this never happened, however, there was a more interesting situation that took place. For several weeks, Saroo was searching for his brother, believing him to be on the train that woke him up.
  • While walking along the street, Saroo meets the eyes of a boy sitting in a cafe on the opposite side of the road. The boy is eating soup and after having caught his glance, Saroo starts to imitate the boy’s movements by bringing an imaginary spoon up to his mouth. In real life, Saroo really did meet a boy on the street who actually took him to the police. There was no episode with a cafe and a spoon.
  • Having returned home after 25 years, Saroo can’t hold back his disappointment and hits a wall with his fist. In reality, he couldn’t find the strength to enter the house and was sadly watching things happening inside from the window.

6. The Big Short (2015)

This is the story about several people who predicted the world economic crisis in 2008 and earned a lot of money because of it.

  • Shipley and Geller come to their acquaintance Casey, who worked at the Wall Street Journal, in order to reveal a fraud that was going to create one of the biggest financial crises in history. But Casey refuses to publish the story or the facts about the upcoming event. In real life, these young men were really trying to warn a lot of people about the upcoming issue, but none of them were interested. However, the fact of whether they had real friends at the Wall Street Journal or not is still unknown.
  • The movie, in general, misses many details of this financial crisis, focusing on the short-sighted and corrupt businessmen from Wall Street, but they were not the only reason the crisis happened.

7. The King’s Speech (2010)

In this film, England’s Duke of York, Prince Albert, is getting ready to become King George VI. He reluctantly agrees to take the throne and also suffers from a strong stammer. The Duke receives help from Lionel, a speech therapist, who uses unorthodox methods in order to treat the affliction and fight the Duke’s fears.

  • During the first session with the speech therapist, Albert emotionally reacts to the methods the doctor uses and openly expresses his anger. In reality, Albert really did feel strong emotions during that session, but it was more a disappointment in himself rather than anger. The therapist’s notes say that everything went smoothly. In general, Albert and Lionel got along better than the movie suggested.
  • Albert gets congratulated by Churchill and other higher authorities and later goes to the balcony to read his speech to the gathered crowd. However, in real life, neither Churchill nor the other authorities were present at the event.

8. The Social Network (2010)

This is the story about the creation of Facebook — one of the most popular social media platforms.

  • At the beginning of the movie, Mark Zuckerberg is drinking in a bar with his girlfriend Erica (they break up further into the plot of the film). In real life, he was dating Priscilla Chan, who is now his wife. Erica appeared many times in the movie and affected Mark’s actions to some extent.

  • Saverin, one of the co-founders of the social network, returns home thoroughly wet. Mark was supposed to meet him at the airport but didn’t do it and this caused a conflict. But in real life, Mark met his colleague at the airport and he is, in general, punctual, as well as a man of his word.

9. Philomena (2013)

The actress Judi Dench who played the role of Philomena (to the left) and the real Philomena Lee

This is the story of an Irish woman named Philomena who gave birth to a son at a young age. Saying that their daughter was spoiled, her parents sent her to a monastery, while her son was put up for adoption with an American family. After she grew up, she tried to find her child, but her efforts were all in vain. That’s when the experienced journalist, Martin Sixsmith, became interested in her story.

  • The movie has a number of interconnected episodes that show only a part of the truth. For example, Philomena shares her thoughts with Martin at the airport on a novel she recently read. This and subsequent episodes suggest that they traveled together to Washington, which is not true. All subsequent similar moments are created only to smooth out the story. In fact, Philomena had practically no face-to-face contact with Martin.

10. Captain Phillips (2013)

Tom Hanks who played the role of the Captain (to the left) and the real Captain Richard Phillips

Somali pirates are trying to hijack the container ship MV Maersk Alabama off the coast of Africa in this film. The crew of the ship fights back and the conquerors have to retreat, but they end up taking the ship’s captain with them.

  • Phillips and his colleague Shane see a pirate ship on the radar, and the captain orders the team to prepare for danger. In real life, Phillips has never been a team player and moreover, he left his subordinates during the pirate attack.
  • In the episode where the pirates are threatening to kill someone, Phillips asks them to shoot him and to not touch the crew. This never happened in real life.

What mistakes and inaccuracies have you found in your favorite movies?