Best Biographical Movies - Part 8

Posted on 1 Jul 00:00

Well-done biographical movies generally receive wide critical acclaim and in many cases win awards. This article includes some of the best of biographical films available.

1.  7 Plus Seven (1970)

Plot: This is a movie that features director, Michael Apted, as he conducts interviews with 14 British-born children. The children have had to wait for seven years to be interviewed again (from the time they were 7 years old), and the end of the wait has finally come. The interviews focus on the changes that have occurred over the seven years. The British-born kids have grown into adolescents with fully changed perspectives of life. Compared to the prequel, the interview in this movie takes place in a more relaxed setting on a lawn. The kids are not as welcoming and forthcoming as 7 years ago. They struggle with internal feelings and how to rise above them.  This film depicts what teens actually face during their adolescent stages.

Director:  Michael Apted.

Main Cast: 'Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield and John Brisby.

Commercial Performance: Unknown.

Awards and Nominations: At the 2006 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, the film won the Best Documentary Award.

2.  That’s Entertainment (1974)

Plot: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced this film during its 50th anniversary celebrating the studio. It features stars from stage and screen as they host a nostalgic party with the theme of a throwback to 100 MGM musicals. In the movie, more than 100 classic clips are compiled from most of MGM's most popular song-and-dance numbers featuring a variety of popular characters, including MGM favorites Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Clark Gable, Donald O'Connor, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, and Liza Minnelli.

Director: Jack Haley Jr.

Main Cast: Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Elizabeth Taylor.

Commercial Performance: 'That's Entertainment' was a great commercial success. Its production budget was $3.1 million. It grossed $19.2 million, making it one of the most successful biographical movies in the film industry.

Awards and Nominations: During the American Cinema Editors' Festival held in the USA in 19775, the movie won the Eddie Award for Best Edited Documentary (for Bud Friedgen and David E. Blewitt). The film also won the KFCCC Award during the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards held in 1975.

3.  Hitman Hart: Wrestling Shadows (1998)

Plot: This film centers on the character Bret Hart (Hitman Hart). In the movie, he recounts his life and how his career started. He also talks about how he joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and his current situation. He also talks about the highs and lows he has had to go through in his career and discusses the wrestling professional from a wrestler's perspective.

Director: Paul Jay.

Main Cast: Bret Hart (Hitman Hart), Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, Stu Hart (father), Owen Hart (brother) , and Davey Boy Smith.

Commercial Performance: Unknown.

Awards and Nominations: At the time of its production, 'Hitman Hart: Wrestling Shadows' was critically acclaimed. To date, the film has won a total of seven awards. During the 1999 Banff Film Festival, the movie won the Banff Rockie Award for Best Sports Program. The 1999 Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards saw John Hutton win the CFC Award for Best Cinematography in Documentary. The film also won two awards during the 1999 Columbus International Film & Video Festival, the Chris Award, and the Bronze Plaque Award.

4.  Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room (2005)

Plot: 'Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room' highlights one of the biggest business scandals in America. Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, two Fortune reporters, base the film's script on the 2003 best-selling Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room and create the screenplay for the film. At the center of the film is the fall of the Enron Corporation, a prime example of a modern fall due to corruption.

Director:  Alex Gibney.

Main Cast: Andrew Fastow, Jeffrey Skilling, Kenneth Lay, and Gray Davis, all as themselves.

Commercial Performance: This movie is one of the most successful biopic films. The movie was produced on a budget of $700,000, it grossed $4.9 million.

Awards and Nominations: During the Independent Spirit Awards Festival, the film won the Best Documentary Feature Award. It also won the Best Documentary Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. During the 78th Academy Awards in 2006, the movie received the Best Documentary Feature nomination.

5.  Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)

Plot: 'Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures' is a documentary movie that features the life of filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick. In the movie, the viewer is enlightened on what it takes to make a film. This film has a total runtime of 2 hours and 22 minutes; with fifteen-minute chapters, each detailing a particular aspect of filmmaking. The film also chronicles Stanley’s childhood and life.

Director: Jan Harlan and narrated by Tom Cruise.

Main Cast: Stanley Kubrick, Tom Cruise (narrator), Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Sydney Pollack are among the successful directors that form part of the film's cast.

Commercial Performance: Unknown.

Awards and Nominations: During the 2012 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Film held in the USA, the movie won the award for Best DVD Collection. It also won the OFTA Film Award for Best Documentary Picture during the 2012 Online Film & Television Association Awards.

6.  Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)

Plot: 'Like its prequels, 'Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory' features the West Memphis Three court trials. These are teenagers who are guilty of killing and sexually mutilating three pre-adolescent boys in 1993. Since 1994, the trio has been claiming innocence. In this film, the viewer see the three plead innocent, an Alford plea.

Director: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky.

Main Cast: Jessie Misskelley Jr., Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin as themselves.

Commercial Performance:  Unknown.

Awards and Nominations:  This film was critically acclaimed and received three nominations. The Academy Awards gave the film an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature, while the Primetime Emmy Awards nominated the film for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.

7.  Imagine: John Lennon- The Definitive Film Portrait (1988)

Plot: In the form of interviews, Lennon narrates his life, his interactions with his two wives Ono and Cynthia, his producer, and the personal assistant that was assisting him and Ono. Lennon also chronicles the time he lived with Mimi, the aunt, and how he related with his mother, who died when Lennon was a teenager.

Director: Andrew Solt.

Main Cast: John Lennon, Jane Forth, Dick Cavett, and Desire de Freitas, all as themselves.          

Commercial Performance: This film’s budget was $6.5 million, making it one of the most expensive biopic movies. Its gross box office is unknown.

Awards and Nominations: None.


Biographical movies are significant and aid one in getting the gist of a situation or a person. They are created with a relatively higher level of accuracy. This article has focused on seven more of the best biographical films produced.

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