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The Scarlet Ink

Movies You Didn’t Know Were True Stories

There is a large amount of movies out there that are just so far fetched that you might not believe anything near this could happen in real life, but occasionally one of those movies turns out to be based on a true story. Some movies are not very well advertised as “based on a true story”and it ip easy to miss unless you’ve seen them, while some are more on the fictional side while still being a “true” story. The most surprising thing is the number of “true story” movies depicting an extremely famous person or event that just are not popular to the general public

Movies not widely known to be based on a true story:

The Revenant (2015)

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

This movie mostly follows the “more on the fictional side”, however Hugh Glass was a real person who really did survive a bear attack and was left alone in the wilderness. The only thing making the movie fictional is that there are really no details about Glass’ adventure because it wasn’t documented, obviously. This causes the movie to make up a lot of characters and events and scatter them between the true parts of the story.

Goodfellas (1990)

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mafia, covering his relationship with his wife Karen and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito.

As popular as this movie is, unless you’ve seen it, it’s hard to know that it’s based on a true story. It is not widely advertised as being based on a true story, but more based on the book Wiseguy, which itself is based on a true story. Also, Henry Hill is not a commonly known person, nor is any other character in the movie.

Braveheart (1995)

The story of the thirteenth century Scottish hero William Wallace as he leads his countrymen to rebel against King Edward I of England’s tyranny.

This movie is so epic and far fetched that you don’t leave it thinking that it is true, and for the most part, that’s correct. However, the story of William Wallace is a real thing that is just not taught in most history classes. Just like The Revenant, it is not a very well documented event so the movie is forced to make up most of its story. The biggest inaccuracies are that William Wallace himself wasn’t the one known as Braveheart and he actually was the son of a nobleman, not a poor farmer.


Unpopular movies about people you know:


At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

“At Eternity’s Gate tells the story of Vincent van Gogh’s final years in the south of France leading up to his death. While based on known details of the artist’s biography, director Julian Schnabel filled in the details to draw an even richer portrait of the artist’s life.”-Time Magazine

The fact that this movie is about one of the most famous painters to ever live and is a true story about a very interesting time in his life makes you wonder how this is not a more well known movie. Including a cast of Willem Dafoe, who was nominated at the Oscars for best actor, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, and Mads Mikkelsen, this movie has relatively high ratings.  The movie is more of an “impressionist portrait” than an actual biopic as Dafoe put it.

Steve Jobs (2015)


“Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.”- IMDb

Directed by Danny Boyle, this is the second biopic of Steve Jobs that was made in 2 years, the first not being as highly acclaimed. As 2013’s Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher, this movie stars Michael Fassbender who was nominated at the Oscars for best actor and Kate Winslet who also was nominated for best supporting actress. The film also got award buzz for its screenplay and editing.

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