17 Classic Movies That Are Based On Real Life Stories

Hollywood has made thousands of movies based on real incidents, many of which touched our heart. Everyone loves movies that are based on true stories because it means we can say things like, ‘What a great movie and it’s based on a true story!’ For some reasons, we like it when we know these things have happened in real life at some point and that helps us to inject a little hope into our lives.

Life can be complex at times, but these 17 classic movies based on real-life stories left the audiences awe-struck around the globe:

1. A Beautiful Mind

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A Beautiful Mind, a 2001 American biographical drama, is a true story based on the life of John Forbes Nash, a real mathematical genius and his struggle to greatness. Full of twists and turns that you don’t expect, this movie went on to win four Academy Awards. Russell Crowe played a brilliant role in portraying John Nash.
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2. Ray

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Based on the life story of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, Ray is 2004 American musical biographical film on the incredible performer. Played beautifully by Jamie Foxx, Ray Charles was brought to life on the big screen during this movie and his fans learned a lot about him. Most of these facts were not commonly know to his fans. Foxx became only the second actor in history to win all the five major lead actor awards for the same performance.
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3. Raging Bull

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Raging Bull, 1980 American biographical black and white sports drama stars Robert De Niro as the famous Italian-American boxer, Jake LaMotta. In 1941, the boxing career of Jake LaMotta was on the rise. Aggressive and unstoppable in the ring, LaMotta treated his family and friends the same way, which ultimately led to the demise of his career.
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4. Catch Me If You Can

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks are major characters in this 2002 American biographical crime drama story based on the life of Frank Abagnale Jr, who was successful at stealing millions of dollars acting as a Pan American pilot, a doctor, a legal prosecutor and eventually helped the CBI to track other forgers. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this film was a huge success and the real Abagnale reacted positively to it.

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5. Moneyball

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Moneyball is an American 2011 biographical sports drama based on the 2002 season of Oakland Athletics’ baseball team. This movie stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane who was the manager for the Oakland A’s and needed to figure out how to start winning. The team turned around their losing streak and went on to a twenty game winning streak.
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6. 8 Mile

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The 2012 American hip-hop biopic film is a true story of a young white rapper Jimmy Smith Jr. and his rise from ‘B-Rabbit’ to ‘Eminem’. The Vibes magazine called this film a ‘hip-hop movie’ masterpiece. We all know what happened to Eminem after the movie. He went on to become a successful rapper and popular among young men around the globe.
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7. Erin Brockovich

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Julia Roberts plays Erin Brockovich in the 2000 biographical film which is the dramatization of the true story. This woman gained worldwide recognition when she brought justice to a small town in California, whose residents were being poisoned by their own drinking water. Roberts played the role of a lawyer who fought with a huge corporation to bring justice and this role fetched her an Oscar.
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8. Remember The Titans

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The story depicts the life of an African-American football coach Herman Boone, portrayed by Denzel Washington and his coaching experience at T.C. Williams High School in Washington D.C. The struggle of connecting the youths and creating a racially diverse team makes it a dramatic and heartwarming story. Eventually, the boys unite and the team goes on to succeed.
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9. The Imitation Game

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The highest grossing independent film of 2014, The Imitation Game is the real life story of the cryptanalyst Alan Turing who was hired by the British Government to decrypt German intelligence codes during World War II. The film was nominated for and received numerous awards with Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing particularly admired by the audience.
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10. Apollo 13

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Apollo 13, the story of NASA’s 1970 moon landing-turned-rescue mission, depicts astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Jack Swigert ( Kevin Bacon) and Fred Haise aboard Apollo 13 for America’s third Moon landing mission but an explosion turned the mission into a struggle to get home safely. Apart from getting nominated for awards, Apollo 13 grossed over $355 million worldwide during its theatrical releases.
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11. Schindler’s List

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Directed by Steven Spielberg, this 1993 American historical period drama is based on a true story of Oskar Schindler during the World War II who transformed from a corrupt businessman to a concerned, responsible employer. He saved lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees by employing them in his factories. Many people consider Schindler’s List the film that Spielberg was born to make. Often listed among one of the greatest Hollywood movies ever made, this movie won seven Academy Awards out of twelve nominations.
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12. The Great Debaters

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Based on a true story, The Great Debaters revolves around the efforts of coach Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) at historically black Wiley College to compete with the whites in America during the 1930s. The Wiley team eventually succeeds where they are able to debate Harvard University and defeat them. The key line of dialog, used several times in the movie is “An unjust law is no law at all”.
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13. 127 Hours

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127 Hours, a biographical survival drama film, tells the story of real-life canyoneer Aron Ralston, who was trapped by a boulder in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. The film, based on Ralston’s memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place was well received by the audience and was nominated for six Academy awards.
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14. All The President’s Men

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All The President’s Men, a 1976 American political thriller is more than just a movie. It’s a painstakingly accurate recounting of two journalists, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein bumpy path to uncover the ugly truth of the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post.
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15. Goodfellas

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Based on the life story of the famous New York gangster Henry Hill and his friends during the time period, Goodfellas is considered as one of the greatest movies of all time. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the movie is considered as the second best in the gangster genre after The Godfather.
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16. The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same title, The Wolf Of Wall Street is the story of a stockbroker and his rise to making millions of dollars through illegal trade, eventually engaging in rampant corruption that led to his downfall. Leonardo Di Caprio starred as Belfort and this movie was recognized by numerous other awards ceremonies, as well as guilds and critics’ associations.
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17. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

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Based on a true story from Japan, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a moving film about loyalty and the rare bond that formed between a college professor parker Wilson (Richard Gere) and a young Akita puppy. This immensly beautiful and powerful film is so much more than just a relationship between a man and his dog.
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A great movie doesn’t always need an intriguing storyline, high action scenes, beautiful cinematography and over the top comedy.

Sometimes all it needs is a true story.

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