Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Based on a True Story

Yes, the title may attract some funny looks, but it happens to apply to 2 class assignments, 1 I did in high school and another I did in my history class here at Gateway. Yeah, even though I'm going for Graphic Design, basic education classes are required, so I chose World History, since I'm a history buff and I find it infinitely fascinating. In high school, in my U.S. History class, our final assignment was to choose a movie that was based on a true story, whether it was based on a real person, event or time. I wanted to do the movie Casino, which was based on the story of Frank 'Lefty' Rosenthal, a famous Italian mobster. The teacher, Mrs. Janet O'Neill, said kindly that she wouldn't feel very comfortable with a movie about the Italian mob so I asked her if I could do my assignment on the topic of Prohibition, and she asked if there were any movies about that, and I told her that the movie The Untouchables was, and she gave me the green light go on it!! And this year, in my history class, I had to do the same thing, only this teacher didn't care about what or who we chose, just as long as we did it. So I did my project on the story of Ned Kelly, who was a famous Australian outlaw who lived in colonial Australia. Here are some movies that are based on a true story and the event/person it's based on:

  • The Johnstown Flood. Based on the story of the flood that killed hundreds in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I think that's what it was about, not much info was given.


  • Cleopatra. Retelling of the story of the Egyptian queen


  • Pride of the Yankees. Actor Gary Cooper plays NY Yankee player Lou Gehrig


  • Yankee Doodle Dandy. Based on the story of George M. Cohan, an actor, singer, dancer, songwriter, producer, theatre owner and choreographer who is known as the Man that Owns Broadway


  • Dillinger. Actor Lawrence Tierney plays John Dillinger, a Chicago outlaw who was gunned down by Melvin Purviss, an FBI agent who shot him out outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago


  • A Place in the Sun. Chester Gillette was executed for drowning pregnant girlfriend


  • Houdini. Tony Curtis plays the ill-fated magician during his final days


  • The Dam Busters. Based on a story of raids against German dams in WWII required creation of "bouncing bombs"


  • A Night to Remember. Based on the story by Walter Lord


  • Sink the Bismarck! German battleship escapes British armada before being bombed and sent to the bottom of the ocean in May 1941


  • Judgement at Nuremberg. Spencer Tracy plays a judge at a trial for Nazi war criminals


  • The Birdman of Alcatraz. Burt Lancaster plays Robert Shroud, aka, The Birdman of Alcatraz.


  • The Miracle Worker. Based on the story of blind and deaf woman Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan


  • The Great Escape. Based on a group of Allied prisoners attempting a mass, 175 person breakout of Stalag Luft III


  • The Sound of Music. Based on the story of the Von Trapp family, with Julie Andrews as a nun who leaves her Austria convent to go and be with a Naval officer and his 7 children


  • Bonnie and Clyde. Based on the story of real life outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow


  • In Cold Blood. Based on the murder of the Clutter family in 1959, also the subject of Truman Capote's book of the same name.


  • The Boston Strangler. Tony Curtis plays Albert de Salvo, who was known for the Green Man Rapes and suspected of murdering 13 women between 1962-1964


  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Based on the story of 2 actual outlaws who fled the west for Bolivia


  • Patton-Based on the story of US General George Patton
  • Tora!Tora!Tora!-Japanese for attack, it is basically another telling of the story of the Japanese Pearl Harbor bombing, told from the Japanese point of view
  • Ned Kelly-Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger portrays the famous Australian outlaw
He looks more like the real Ned Kelly than Heath Ledger does!


  • Brian's Song- based on the story of Chicago Bears football player Brian Piccolo
  • The French Connection- based on the story of drug smuggling from Marseille to New York City in the 1970s


  • Dillinger- based on the story of 1930s Chicago gangster John Dillinger
  • Serpico- based on the story of New York policeman Frank Serpico, who fought against corruption in the NYPD


  • Dog Day Afternoon- based on the story of bank robber John Wojtowicz, which actor Al Pacino, who played him said was only 30% true.


  • Helter Skelter- based on the story of the Tate/LaBianca murders in 1969 by Charles Manson and his "family"


  • Coal Miner's Daughter- Actress Sissy Spacek portrays Loretta Lynn
  • The Elephant Man-Story of Joseph Merrick, aka, the Elephant Man
  • Raging Bull- story of famous boxer Jake LaMotta
  • Gandhi- based on the story of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Hoosiers- based on the story of Milan High School, winner of the 1953-1954 Indiana State H.S. basketball championship despite the school only having 160 students
  • Cry, Freedom- based on the story of South African anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko

  • La Bamba- based on the story of Ritchie Valens, thte first noted Latino rock star

  • The Untouchables- based on the story of Elliot Ness and his gang of Prohibition agents and their 1930s crackdown on gangster Al Capone

  • Mississippi Burning- based on the investigation made by the FBI into the 1964 slaying of 3 civil rights workers


  • Goodfellas- based on the story "Wiseguy" buy Nicholas Pileggi, on the story of Henry Hill, an Irish-Sicilian member of the New York mob

  • Schindler's List- based on the person Oskar Schindler, who saved over 1,000 Jews from certain death in the Holocaust, and he said his only regret was that he couldn't save more

  • Cool Runnings- based on the story of the first Jamaican bobsled team to go to the Winter Olympics
  • Ed Wood- based on the story of schlock director Ed Wood, played by Johnny Depp.

  • Braveheart- based on the story of Scottish rebel William Wallace
  • Casino- based on a fictional story by Nicholas Pileggi about the last mob-run casino in Vegas, the Tangiers
  • Ghosts of Mississippi- based on the event of civil rights activist Medgar Ever's murder in his own driveway and the 1994 3rd re-trial of KKK member Byron de La Beckwith
  • Donnie Brasco- based on the life of Joseph D. Pistone, aka 'Donnie Brasco' who infiltrated the Bonanno mob family in New York for 6 years in the 1970s

  • Rosewood- based on a horrific lynch mob attack on a black community in 1923
  • Selena- based on the life of Tejano musician Selena Quintanilla-Perez

  • Titanic- based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic
  • Patch Adams- based on a doctor of the same name who was a doctor, clown, social activist
  • Boys Don't Cry- based on the life of Brandon Teena, who was born Teena Renae Brandon. He underwent a sex change operation to become a boy and he was raped and murdered

  • The Pirates of Silicon Valley- based on the lives of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and their rivalry


  • Men of Honor- based on the life of Carl Brashear, the US Navy's first black diver
  • Remember the Titans- based on the story of T.C. Williams High School's white and black integrated football team in 1971
  • Ali- based on the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali
  • Blow- based on the life of cocaine smuggling legend George Jung

  • Pearl Harbor- based on the story of the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raids
  • From Hell- based on the story of Inspector Fred Abberline, and his investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel in London

  • Catch Me If You Can- based on the life of con artist Frank Abagnale
  • Dahmer- based on the life of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer

  • Ned Kelly- Heath Ledger portrays the famous Australian outlaw
Heath Ledger as Ned Kelly
The REAL Ned Kelly

  • Hotel Rwanda- based on the story of the Rwandan Genocide
  • Finding Neverland- based on the life of J.M. Barrie, best known for writing the story Peter Pan

  • Capote- based on the life of author Truman Capote, who researches the murder of the Clutter family and befriends Perry Smith, one of the killers

  • The Zodiac- based on the story of the Zodiac killer, who terrorized San Francisco's Bay Area in the 1960s
  • The Black Dahlia- based on the murder of actress Elizabeth Short
  • Hollywoodland- based on the suspicious murder of Superman actor George Reeves
  • Lonely Hearts- based on the investigation by homicide detective Elmer C. Robinson into the so-called Lonely Hearts Killers
  • Take the Lead- based on the life of Pierre Dulaine, who taught high school dropouts how to ball room dance to raise their self respect and confidence

  • An American Crime- based on the torture and murder of Sylvia Maria Likens
  • The Killing of John Lennon- based on the life of killer Mark David Chapman's plan to kill John Lennon
  • Valkyrie- based on the life of Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his attempt to kill Adolf Hitler

  • The Blind Side- based on the life of Michael Oher, a black teen taken in by a white football loving family and raised by them who goes on to become a famous football player
  • Coco Before Chanel- the life of fashion designer Coco Chanel before she gets famous
  • Notorious- based on the life of rapper Biggie Smalls before he was murdered
  • Public Enemies- based on the life of Melvin Purviss, and the FBI's attempt to capture John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during the 1930s
  • Bonded by Blood- based on Italian mob activity in the US

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