Movies Based On True Stories That Are Mostly False – Part 3

Posted on 9 Oct 00:00

Entertainment is a recurring need for humans. movies are among the greatest forms of entertainment worldwide. They have significant impacts on humans because of various aspects, including images, music, and other essential things that invoke feelings. Different scenes in movies evoke emotions differently. It is common to laugh hysterically, and become as emotional as to cry at the same movie. Movies can significantly affect humans, positively or negatively. A movie can be based on a true story and include a great deal of both imagination and creativity. According to most movie buffs, the most important thing in a movie is performance. This assertion implies that it is not important to know whether a movie based on real life events is mostly false.

1. '300' (2006)

This one of the most loved and appreciated movies of our time. One cannot list the top ten classic movies without '300'. Though the movie was designed to reflect a comic series by the same name, and was founded on, both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars. However, it is a transposed history version. It mimics a movie by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley (with the same name), released in 1998. The movie's plot is based on King Leonidas, a Spartans leader in the conquest against the Persians' God-king Xerxes, and written by Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, and Michael B. Gordon. A captured Spartan is spared and sent to Corinth to talk about the Persians' victory and power. However, the Athenian leader does not give slightest consideration to the report. In response, he directed that the Athenian fleet be controlled by Sparta. The rulers in Sparta does not consent to the idea of committing their entire military. The Athenian leader leaves first with an army of only 300 strong people. Acknowledging that time constraints will not allow them to seek reinforcements and that with the northern access, Greece can easily swarm the country before it pronounces a clear stand. He makes a heroic decision to fight to the last mane. This move was expected to buy sufficient time. Importantly, they proved that the Spartans were deservedly the fiercest and the most-disciplined fighters.

Director: Zack Synder

Cast: Gerard Butler (Leonidas I, a king of the Greek city-state of Sparta), Lena Headey Queen Gorgo, Queen of Sparta), David Wenham, Dominic West, Rodrigo Santoro, and Michael Fassbender.

Inaccuracies: Most parts of the movie were false. For instance, the bearded Xerxes wasn’t any where close to the battle, neither was he a sexually obstruse god-king with pet panthers. In reality, the 300 Spartans were not the only ones sent. A total of 700 Thespians and 400 Spartans fought in support of the Spartans. At no point were they alone.

2. Argo (2012)

This is a thriller based on events that occurred between 1979 and 1981, The Iranian Hostage Crisis. The movie narrates a bizarre story regarding the evacuation of the American workers from Iran after the hijacking of the US embassy by Iranian protesters.

The movie begins with an overview of the occurrences that led to the ousting of the Mohammad Rezah Shah Pahlavi and the subsequent Iranian revolution. The US Embassy encircled by the armed protesters is shown. Inside the embassy, the staffers are agitatedly grating and burning documents.

The visas office was the only structure in the compound with an open way to the street. Within the office, Bob Anders courageously gathers other employees, getting out to the streets. While they were turned away by the British embassy, A Canadian Ambassador warmly received them. In the US, the president's chief of staff is informed of the events and starts looking for ways of evacuating the Americans. They come up with the guise of making a movie. The script for the movie was developed as an evacuation strategy, the Americans were given false characters as a Canadian movie maker and staff.

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Ben Affleck (Tony Mendez), Bryan Cranston (Jack O'Donnell), Alan Arkin (Lester Siegel), and John Goodman (John Chambers).

Awards and Nominations: The movie won three awards, including Best Picture.

Inaccuracies: Though the movie was based on real-life events, it is mostly fiction. In a series of tweets in 2014, the CIA showed the dissimilarities between Argo and the real events during the Iranian hostage crisis. Tony Mendez was depicted as a film producer to evacuate the US diplomats from Iran. However, he was not the only one sent. Two more CIA generals with experience in exfiltration and forgery used their extensive knowledge and skills to safely evacuate the six diplomats. Also, the mission in the movie ends in the final second, which is far from the truth. According to the CIA tweet, the approval was given by the president, the team was flown to Tehran, the details substantiated by the policymakers in Washington DC and Ottawa.

3. Rudy (1993)

Rudy is one of the greatest sports films in the movie industry. It was written by Angelo Pizzo. The movie is based on the story of a young man who cannot allow anything to stop him from achieving his dreams.

Rudy has always been perceived to be too small to feature in college football. Nevertheless, the boy remains determined to beat the odds and at least play for Notre Dame. He was brought up in the steel mill town, where most individuals  end up working. Several problems made it quite challenging for Rudy to achieve his dream. For instance, his performance wasn't up to the mark, he had poor athletic skills and had a small body compared to other players. Nevertheless, he had the urge and a great spirit that helps him feature on the team.

Director:  David Anspaugh

Cast: Sean Astin (Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger), Ned Beatty (Daniel Ruettiger, Sr.), Charles S. Dutton (Fortune), Lili Taylor (Sherry), and Robert Prosky (Rev. John J. Cavanaugh).

Awards and Nominations:  Rudy won two awards and one nomination, including the young artist award and outstanding family picture motion.

Inaccuracies: Though the movie is interesting and inspirational and based on a true story, a number of false things were added. Rudy worked extra hard because of the love he had for the school. The boy was rewarded by featuring in the team and was carried off the field as an honor. However, the head coach, Dan Devine, was not forced by the players through a dramatic jersey ceremony as in the movie. He had a plan of including him in the team right from the beginning of the season. Furthermore, Rudy's name was not chanted by the crowd to push for his inclusion in the game, as shown in the film.

4.  The Theory of Everything (2014)

The 'Theory of Everything' is a movie that is based on the relationship between Stephen Hawking, a physicist, and his wife, Jane Wilde.

Hawking was diagnosed with a fatal illness and had only 2 more years to live. In this condition, much was not expected from him. Nevertheless, the love from a colleague student, Jane Wilde, galvanized Hawking. Apart from being a successor of Einstein, he was blessed with three children. Later on, when the illness got the best of him, weaknesses that put their relationship to the test were exposed. This significantly changed their lives.

Director:  David Anspaugh

Cast:  Eddie Redmayne (Stephen Hawking), Felicity Jones (Jane Hawking), Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, Christian McKay, Harry Lloyd, and David Thewlis.

Awards and Nominations: The movie was awarded 10 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominations and won Outstanding British Film, Best Leading Actor, and adapted screenplay. Furthermore, it also four had Golden Globe Award nominations and won the Best Actor, apart from receiving 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations.

Inaccuracies:  Some parts of the movie were false. According to Time Magazine, it is challenging to determine the extent to which the movie was true. The magazine asserted that Hawking may have watched Jane’s 2007 memoir 'Traveling to Infinity' and considered it true. His personal life could not be fully described by an emotional movie. A lot of less savory aspects of his life were not covered in the movie. Although the movie cannot be categorized as untrue, it is incomplete as far as Stephen Hawking's life is concerned.

5.  Cool Runnings (1993)

This is a movie that is based on the four Jamaicans who formed the nation’s first bobsled team expected to feature in the 1988 Winter Olympics. The movie was written by three people, including Lynn Siefert, Tommy Swerdlow, and Michael Goldberg.

The team enlist a discredited former Olympic gold winner to train them. Upon reaching Canada, other teams perceive them as outsiders, feeling that they will embarrass the sport.

Director: Jon Turteltaub.

CastJohn Candy, Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba.  This movie obtained a lot of positive reviews.

Inaccuracies:  The best parts of the movie were not true. One of the real team members, specifically Dudley "Tal" Stokes, were not sprinters. Before being Olympians, these guys were soldiers. Also, they were not perceived as outcasts in the competition as the movie shows. Other athletes and officials affectionately welcomed them. The movie also does not show the team participating in the two-man bobsled trials, yet they performed much better. Moreover, the Caribbean's had other teams as well, specifically the Netherlands Antilles, which had a two-man team.

6.  Elizabeth the Golden Age (2007)

Elizabeth, the Golden Age, was released in 2007. The movie is based on the circumstances surrounding the queen, who endures a number of crises, including court intrigues, assassination plans, and romantic displeasures. With a strong commitment to restoring England to Roman Catholicism, Spain's king opted to dispatch his armada. It was vital for the queen to battle her love for the charming mariner Sir Walter Raleigh and simply watch as he and her handmaiden get much closer.

Director:  Shekhar Kapur.

Cast: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth I, Queen of England), Geoffrey Rush (Sir Francis Walsingham), Clive Owen (Sir Walter Raleigh), Jordi Mollà (King Philip of Spain), Abbie Cornish (Elizabeth Throckmorton), Samantha Morton, Rhys Ifans, Eddie Redmayne Tom Hollander.

Awards and Nominations: The movie won the Best Costume award while Cate was nominated for the Best Actress.

Inaccuracies:  Some parts of this movie are not true. In reality, the plan to kill the queen was done away with at the initial stages.  Also, Sir Walter Raleigh did not also feature in the fight against the Spanish armada as shown in the movie at this point, he had fallen out of the queen's favor. Raleigh introducing the potato to the court is also false.

7.  The Greatest Showman (2017)

The greatest showman movie is about the experiences of P.T. Barnum, a great entertainer with a modest background. As an entertainer, he longed for upper society’s crust acceptance. With the desire for innovation and success, he successfully opens a wax museum. He then turns his attention to live acts and achieves great success.

Director:   Michael Gracey.

Cast:  Hugh Jackman (P.T Barnum), Zac Efron (Phillip Carlyle, Barnum's business partner), Michelle Williams (Charity Hallett-Barnum, the wife of P. T. Barnum), Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya.

Inaccuracies:  The movie does not portray Joice Heith (she was an African-American woman who was exhibited by P.T. Barnum with the false claim that she was the 161-year-old nursing mammy of George Washington). In reality, he attempted to earn money off of her corpse. Barnum founded his career on fraud.


Movies are an essential aspect of entertainment. While most movies are based on real-life events, a number of them are fictionalized with false and unrealistic events. Understandably, some of these false aspects are added to spice up the movie. Some people may take seriously the scenes in the movies. Though meant for entertainment, great lessons can be drawn from movies. This means it is vital to differentiate real events from what is false in movies, if possible.

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