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12 Famous Movies We Didn’t Know Were Based on True Stories


Movies based on real events not only affect the viewers but the actors, as well. The star of The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith, was so affected by his character’s personality and lifestyle that even when the shooting of the movie was over, whenever his son asked for juice, he would reply, “We can’t afford it, son.”

Here at Bright Side, we’ve created a list of films that were inspired by life itself.

12. The Aviator

The movie portrays the life of Howard Hughes, an aviation pioneer and director of Hell’s Angels. Hughes became a successful film producer during the time period of 1927-1947 but also had to go through severe periods of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Leonardo DiCaprio played the role of Hughes in the movie quite efficiently. The movie is an adaptation of the book The Secret Life by Charles Higham.

11. A Nightmare on Elm Street

The movie scared many of us but turns out it wasn’t just a movie. Wes Craven, the director of the movie, got the idea from a real story he read in the newspaper about 18 Laotian refugees who died in a mysterious manner after supposedly seeing a nightmare.

10. The Hunt for Red October

The American thriller The Hunt for Red October starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin is based on Tom Clancy’s 1984 bestselling novel by the same name. The story from the Cold War era is about a Soviet naval captain who wants to harm the US ships and their officers. However, his plans are foiled by one of the American CIA agents who must present proof to the US Navy before both of the countries become involved in an actual war.

9. Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda has been called Africa’s Schindler’s List by many. The movie is based on true events that occurred in Rwanda in 1994. It depicts how hotelier Paul Rusesabagina saves the lives of a family and thousands of refugees by giving them shelter in the besieged Hôtel des Mille Collines. Hotel Rwanda talks about how politics plays with the lives of common men and how genocide and violence can cause permanent damage to humankind.

8. Rudy

This movie was a huge hit and had its viewers glued to their seats in excitement throughout the entire film. It is based on the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. He was both financially and physically incapable of being on the football team of his college and he was also diagnosed with dyslexia. However, his determination was intact and he went on to become a famous footballer. The movie was ranked as the 54th-most inspiring film of all time in the American Film Insitute 100 Years series.

7. Black Hawk Down

The 1993 raid by US military in Mogadishu was done to capture Mohamed Farrah Aidid. This event was covered by journalist Mark Bowden, who later wrote a book about it. The movie Black Hawk Down is an adaptation of the book that was based on true events. Released in 2001, it won many accolades and awards.

6. The Pursuit of Happyness

If you thought all success stories shown in movies are just fictional stories, you must watch The Pursuit of Happyness. The film is about a man who manages to get through difficult times and reaches the top thanks to hard work. This man in real life is Chris Gardener who went on to become a successful businessman.

5. Beautiful Boy

This movie has been released in October 2018 based on the memoirs Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff and Tweak and Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. The main theme of the flick is how a father handles the drug addiction of his son.

4. The Perfect Storm

This might come as a surprise but The Perfect Storm is based on true events. It is not just a basic biological disaster movie coming out of someone’s imagination but it’s actually a story of a commercial fishing vessel, Andrea Gail, that was lost at sea after being caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991.

3. Deepwater Horizon

Another tale of a biological disaster, Deepwater Horizon, tells the unfortunate story of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The accident occurred due to a miscalculation in the cement job that led to major malfunctioning and, ultimately, the disaster. Many lives were lost in this incidence, and few who managed to jump into the water were saved by the rescue team.

2. Dunkirk

This 2017 movie was received quite well by viewers across the world. It is about the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II from 3 perspectives: land, sea, and air. Dunkirk is a cinematic wonder, where thrill and excitement have been created through music and large setups.

1. The Imitation Game

Popularly known as Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch played the lead in the movie The Imitation Game. The story is based on the life of computer scientist Alan Turing, who tried to crack the enigma code that the Nazis used to provide security for their radio messages during World War II. Turing, a self-dependent man, considers his colleagues inferior to him. The movie is about how he overcomes the mathematical and social issues to crack the code.

Do you know of more movies that you couldn’t believe were based on true stories? Share with us in the comments below.

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