Exceptional Biographical Films

A list of biographical films that I've seen and enjoyed over the years.

Click here for the movies you've seen/not seen from this list.

Check out my other lists:
- The Movie Buff List
- War films
- Psycho-Thrillers
- Horror films
- Science-Fiction Films
- Top 50 Directors ...other lists here.
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1.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. (110 mins.)
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
“ Based on the record of the trial of Joan of Arc, a folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. ” - aquascape
 
2.
Queen Christina (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves. (99 mins.)
 
3.
The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon. (97 mins.)
Director: Alexander Korda
 
4.
The Scarlet Empress (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress... (104 mins.)
“ Loosely based on the life of Catherine the Great. ” - aquascape
 
5.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti... (132 mins.)
Director: Frank Lloyd
“ Based on the same novel about the mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh, commanding officer of the Bounty in 1789. ” - aquascape
 
6.
The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., famed producer of extravagant stage revues, are portrayed. (176 mins.)
“ Loosely based on the life of Florenz Ziegfeld from his show business beginnings to his death, showcasing a series of spectacular musical productions. ” - aquascape
 
7.
The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair. (116 mins.)
“ It depicts his friendship with noted painter Paul Cézanne, and his rise to fame through his prolific writing, with particular focus on his involvement in the Dreyfus affair. ” - aquascape
 
8.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case. (100 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ Partly fictionalized biography about the early life of President Abraham Lincoln. ” - aquascape
 
9.
Sergeant York (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A hillbilly sharpshooter drafted in WW1 despite his claim to be a pacifist, who ends up becoming a war hero. (134 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ Based on the life of Alvin York, the most-decorated American soldier of World War I. ” - aquascape
 
10.
The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the life and career of the famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig. (128 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
“ Mostly based on the New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig, with several Yankee teammates playing themselves such as Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, or Bill Dickey. ” - aquascape
 
11.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan. (126 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ It depicts the life of George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owns Broadway". ” - aquascape
 
12.
Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people. (103 mins.)
“ Based on the Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan IV Vasilyevich, also known as Ivan The Terrible. ” - aquascape
 
13.
Viva Zapata! (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century. (113 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
“ The movie is a fictionalized account of the life of Mexican Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900s, to his death. ” - aquascape
 
14.
Lust for Life (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh. (122 mins.)
“ Based on the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin. ” - aquascape
 
15.
A Man Escaped (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A French Resistance fighter named François Leterrier attempts to escape a Nazi occupied prison while he awaits a death sentence. (99 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
“ Based on the memoirs of André Devigny, a prisoner of war held at Fort Montluc during World War II. ” - aquascape
 
16.
The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends, is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. (180 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
17.
Spartacus (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic. (248 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ It describes the life story of the rebellious slave Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile War. ” - aquascape
 
18.
El Cid (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors. (182 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
19.
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes. (186 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
“ The film was inspired by the Judges' Trial before the Nuremberg Military Tribunal in 1947, where four of the defendants were sentenced to life in prison. ” - aquascape
 
20.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. (216 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ Based on the life of British Army officer T. E. Lawrence depicting his experiences in Arabia during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council. ” - aquascape
 
21.
Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert. (147 mins.)
 
22.
The Miracle Worker (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate. (106 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ Based on Helen Keller's autobiography The Story of My Life. ” - aquascape
 
23.
Cleopatra (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Historical epic. The triumphs and tragedy of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra. (192 mins.)
 
24.
Zulu (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift. (138 mins.)
Director: Cy Endfield
“ It depicts the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War where 150 British soldiers, many of which were sick and wounded as patients at that field hospital, successfully held off an army of 4000 Zulu warriors. ” - aquascape
 
25.
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A "typical" day in the life of The Beatles, including many of their famous songs. (87 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ Starring The Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. ” - aquascape
 
26.
Becket (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas à Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the king's. (148 mins.)
Director: Peter Glenville
“ It is a depiction of the conflict between Thomas Becket and King Henry II of England leading to Becket's assassination in 1170. ” - aquascape
 
27.
The Sound of Music (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower. (174 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
“ Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, the stepmother and matriarch of the Trapp Family Singers. ” - aquascape
 
28.
Andrei Rublev (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer. (205 mins.)
“ Loosely based on the life of Andrei Rublev, the great 15th century Russian icon painter. ” - aquascape
 
29.
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government. (121 mins.)
“ Based on occurrences during the Algerian War (1954–62) against The French Government in North Africa, the most prominent being the titular Battle of Algiers. ” - aquascape
 
30.
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage. (120 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
“ Based on the true story of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Chancellor of England, who refused to endorse King Henry VIII's wish to divorce his ageing wife Catherine of Aragon, who could not bear him a son, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, the sister of his former mistress. ” - aquascape
 
31.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, robbing cars and banks. (111 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ Based on the life and exploits of outlaws Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. ” - aquascape
 
32.
The Boston Strangler (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt. (116 mins.)
 
33.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close. (110 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ Based loosely on fact, the film tells the story of Wild West outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker, known to history as Butch Cassidy and his partner Harry Longabaugh, the "Sundance Kid" as they migrate to Bolivia while on the run from the law in search of a more successful criminal career. ” - aquascape
 
34.
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
“ Based on the life and actions of U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. ” - aquascape
 
35.
Michael the Brave (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
At the end of the 16th century Wallachian ruler Prince Michael the Brave overcame the adversity of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires to unite Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania into one country. (203 mins.)
“ Based on the life of the Wallachian ruler Mihai Viteazu, and his will to unite the two Romanian principalities (Wallachia and Moldavia, and also the Principality of Transylvania) in one country. ” - aquascape
 
36.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado. (93 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
“ The story follows the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. ” - aquascape
 
37.
Papillon (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape. (151 mins.)
“ Based on the memoir by French convicted felon and fugitive Henri Charrière, describing his escape from a penal colony in French Guiana. ” - aquascape
 
38.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons--his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
“ The film is about an aging Pat Garrett, hired as a lawman by a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid. ” - aquascape
 
39.
Serpico (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him. (130 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ Based on the true story of New York City policeman Frank Serpico, who went undercover to expose the corruption of his fellow officers, after being pushed to the brink at first by their distrust and later by the threats and intimidation they leveled against him. ” - aquascape
 
40.
Lenny (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the Establishment as too obscene for the public. (111 mins.)
Director: Bob Fosse
“ Based on the life of comedian Lenny Bruce. ” - aquascape
 
41.
The Mirror (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation. (108 mins.)
“ Loosely autobiographical, blending childhood memories, newsreel footage and poems by his Arseny Tarkovsky. ” - aquascape
 
42.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus. (125 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ The film was inspired by P.F. Kluge's article "The Boys in the Bank", which tells a similar story of the robbery of a Brooklyn bank by John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturile on August 22, 1972. ” - aquascape
 
43.
All the President's Men (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation. (138 mins.)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
“ Based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post. ” - aquascape
 
44.
Midnight Express (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Billy Hayes, an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison. (121 mins.)
Director: Alan Parker
“ Based on the experiences of Billy Hayes as a young American who was sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey to the US. ” - aquascape
 
45.
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world. (112 mins.)
Director: Donald Siegel
“ It dramatizes possibly the only successful escape attempt from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island. ” - aquascape
 
46.
Raging Bull (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it. (129 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Based on the life of Jake LaMotta, an Italian American middleweight boxer and his struggling relationship with his wife and family. ” - aquascape
 
47.
Breaker Morant (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers. (107 mins.)
Director: Bruce Beresford
“ Based on the court martial of Harry "Breaker" Morant. ” - aquascape
 
48.
The Elephant Man (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity. (124 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London who was exhibited as a human curiosity named the Elephant Man. ” - aquascape
 
49.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics. (125 mins.)
Director: Hugh Hudson
“ A fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice. ” - aquascape
 
50.
Reds (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States. (195 mins.)
Director: Warren Beatty
“ It centers on the life and career of John Reed, the revolutionary communist, journalist, and writer who chronicled the Russian Revolution in his book Ten Days that Shook the World. ” - aquascape
 
51.
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. (158 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
“ Based on rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman known as Fitzcarraldo in Peru, who has to pull a steamship over a steep hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. ” - aquascape
 
52.
Gandhi (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed. (191 mins.)
“ Based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. ” - aquascape
 
53.
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed. (123 mins.)
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
“ Based on Laurens van der Post's experiences during World War II as a prisoner of war as depicted in his works The Seed and the Sower (1963) and The Night of the New Moon (1970). ” - aquascape
 
54.
The Right Stuff (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program. (193 mins.)
Director: Philip Kaufman
“ Adapted from Tom Wolfe's 1979 book The Right Stuff about the test pilots who were involved in high-speed aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force Base as well as those selected to be astronauts for Project Mercury, the United States' first attempt at manned spaceflight. ” - aquascape
 
55.
Amadeus (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum. (160 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ Very loosely based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but mainly from composer Antonio Salieri's point of view who ultimately recognizes the genius of Mozart. ” - aquascape
 
56.
The Killing Fields (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody "Year Zero" cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million "undesirable" civilians. (141 mins.)
Director: Roland Joffé
“ Based on the experiences of two journalists: Cambodian Dith Pran and American Sydney Schanberg. ” - aquascape
 
57.
Out of Africa (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter. (161 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
“ Based loosely on the autobiographical book Out of Africa written by Isak Dinesen (the pseudonym of Danish author Karen Blixen) ” - aquascape
 
58.
Mask (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A teenager with a massive facial skull deformity and biker gang mother attempt to live as normal a life as possible under the circumstances. (120 mins.)
“ Based on the life and early death of Roy L. "Rocky" Dennis, a boy who suffered from craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, an extremely rare disorder known commonly as lionitis due to the disfiguring cranial enlargements that it causes. ” - aquascape
 
59.
The Mission (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. (125 mins.)
Director: Roland Joffé
“ Based on events surrounding the Treaty of Madrid in 1750, in which Spain ceded part of Jesuit Paraguay to Portugal. ” - aquascape
 
60.
Salvador (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980. (122 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ The film tells the story of an American journalist covering the Salvadoran civil war who becomes entangled with both leftist guerrillas and the right wing military. ” - aquascape
 
61.
The Untouchables (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team. (119 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ Based on the memoirs of Eliot Ness, a federal agent in the Bureau of Prohibition, and his experiences in fighting crime in Chicago in the late 1920s and early 1930s with the help of a special team of agents handpicked for their incorruptibility, nicknamed the Untouchables. ” - aquascape
 
62.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An unorthodox and irreverent DJ begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam. (121 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
“ The story is loosely based on the experiences of AFRS radio DJ Adrian Cronauer. ” - aquascape
 
63.
Empire of the Sun (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II. (153 mins.)
“ Loosely based on the life of Jamie "Jim" Graham, a young boy who goes from living in a wealthy British family in Shanghai, to becoming a prisoner of war in Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center, a Japanese internment camp, during World War II. ” - aquascape
 
64.
Cry Freedom (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend the black activist Steve Biko. (157 mins.)
“ The film centres around the real-life events involving black activist Steve Biko and his friend Donald Woods, who initially finds him destructive, and attempts to understand his way of life. ” - aquascape
 
65.
The Last Emperor (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the final Emperor of China. (163 mins.)
“ Based on the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, depicting his experiences from his ascent to the throne as a small boy to his imprisonment and political rehabilitation by the Chinese Communist authorities. ” - aquascape
 
66.
Gorillas in the Mist (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who came to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them. (129 mins.)
Director: Michael Apted
“ Based on the true-life story of naturalist Dian Fossey and her work in Rwanda with Mountain Gorillas. ” - aquascape
 
67.
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept. (110 mins.)
 
68.
Mississippi Burning (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists. (128 mins.)
Director: Alan Parker
“ Loosely based on the FBI investigation into the real-life murders of three civil rights workers in the U.S. state of Mississippi in 1964. ” - aquascape
 
69.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for. (145 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ Based on the life of Ron Kovic, a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran who became an anti-war activist. ” - aquascape
 
70.
My Left Foot (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot. (103 mins.)
Director: Jim Sheridan
“ Based on the true story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral palsy, who could control only his left foot. ” - aquascape
 
71.
Glory (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates. (122 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
“ Based on the personal letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, and the novels Lay This Laurel, by Lincoln Kirstein, and One Gallant Rush, by Peter Burchard. ” - aquascape
 
72.
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ The film follows the rise and fall of Lucchese crime family associates Henry Hill and his friends over a period from 1955 to 1980. ” - aquascape
 
73.
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Embarrassed by his large nose, a romantic poet/soldier romances his cousin by proxy. (137 mins.)
“ Based on the 1897 play of the same name by Edmond Rostand, which fictionalizez his life. ” - aquascape
 
74.
Awakenings (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them. (121 mins.)
Director: Penny Marshall
“ Based on the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm Sayer who, in 1969, discovers beneficial effects of the then-new drug L-Dopa. ” - aquascape
 
75.
Bugsy (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of how Bugsy Siegel started Las Vegas. (136 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
 
76.
The Doors (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. (140 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ Based on the 1960s-1970s rock band of the same name which emphasizes the life of its lead singer, Jim Morrison. ” - aquascape
 
77.
JFK (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story. (189 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ Loosely based on the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged subsequent cover-up, through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison. ” - aquascape
 
78.
Malcolm X (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam. (202 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
“ Based on the African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. ” - aquascape
 
79.
Chaplin (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A film about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charles Chaplin. (143 mins.)
“ Based on the life of English comedian Charlie Chaplin. ” - aquascape
 
80.
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans. (195 mins.)
“ Based on the life of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. ” - aquascape
 
81.
Alive (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snow swept Andes are forced to use desperate measures to survive after a plane crash. (120 mins.)
Director: Frank Marshall
“ Based upon Piers Paul Read's 1974 book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, which details the story of a Uruguayan rugby team who were involved in the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed into the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972. ” - aquascape
 
82.
In the Name of the Father (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them. (133 mins.)
Director: Jim Sheridan
“ Based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, four people falsely convicted of the IRA's Guildford pub bombings which killed four off-duty British soldiers and a civilian. ” - aquascape
 
83.
Shadowlands (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S. (131 mins.)
“ It depicts the love-relationship between Oxford academic C. S. Lewis and American poet Joy Davidman, her tragic death from cancer, and how this challenged Lewis' Christian faith. ” - aquascape
 
84.
Tombstone (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating. (130 mins.)
“ Based on events relating to the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, along with the Earp Vendetta which followed it soon after in Tombstone, Arizona during the 1880s. ” - aquascape
 
85.
Rudy (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame. (114 mins.)
Director: David Anspaugh
 
86.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge. (99 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Based on the notorious 1954 Parker-Hulme murder case in Christchurch, New Zealand. ” - aquascape
 
87.
The Madness of King George (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced... (104 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Hytner
“ It tells the true story of George III's deteriorating mental health, and his equally declining relationship with his son, the Prince of Wales, particularly focusing on the period around the Regency Crisis of 1788. ” - aquascape
 
88.
Ed Wood (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support. (127 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ It tells the period in Ed Wood's life when he made his best-known films as well as his relationship with actor Bela Lugosi. ” - aquascape
 
89.
Quiz Show (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren, a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation. (133 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
“ The film chronicles the Twenty One quiz show scandals of the 1950s, the rise and fall of popular contestant Charles Van Doren after the rigged loss of Herb Stempel, and Congressional investigator Richard Goodwin's subsequent probe. ” - aquascape
 
90.
Immortal Beloved (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the... (121 mins.)
Director: Bernard Rose
“ The story follows Beethoven's secretary and first biographer Anton Schindler (Jeroen Krabbé) as he attempts to ascertain the true identity of the Unsterbliche Geliebte (Immortal Beloved) addressed in three letters found in the late composer's private papers. ” - aquascape
 
91.
Braveheart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. (178 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
“ Loosely based on the life of William Wallace, a 13th century Scottish warrior who gained recognition when he came to the forefront of the First War of Scottish Independence by opposing King Edward I of England. ” - aquascape
 
92.
Casino (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends, a mafia underboss and a casino owner, for a trophy wife over a gambling empire. (178 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ The film tells the story of Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a Jewish-American top gambling handicapper who is called by the Mob to oversee the day-to-day operations at the fictional Tangiers casino in Las Vegas. ” - aquascape
 
93.
Apollo 13 (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy. (140 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ The film dramatizes the 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission, is an adaptation of the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. ” - aquascape
 
94.
Nixon (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A biographical story of former U.S. president Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy to his eventual presidency which ended in shame. (192 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ It tells the story of the political and personal life of former US President Richard Nixon ” - aquascape
 
95.
Rob Roy (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1713 Scotland, Rob Roy MacGregor is wronged by a nobleman and his nephew, becomes an outlaw in search of revenge while fleeing the Redcoats, and faces charges of being a Jacobite. (139 mins.)
“ Based on the life of Robert Roy MacGregor, an 18th century Scottish historical figure who battles with feudal landowners in the Scottish Highlands. ” - aquascape
 
96.
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people. (129 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ Based on the rise of pornographic magazine publisher and editor Larry Flynt, and his subsequent clash with the law. ” - aquascape
 
97.
Shine (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim. (105 mins.)
Director: Scott Hicks
“ Based on the life of pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown and spent years in institutions. ” - aquascape
 
98.
Amistad (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt. (155 mins.)
“ Based on the true story of an uprising in 1839 by newly captured African slaves that took place aboard the ship La Amistad off the coast of Cuba, the subsequent voyage to the Northeastern United States, and the legal battle that followed their capture by a U.S. revenue cutter. ” - aquascape
 
99.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one. (127 mins.)
Director: Mike Newell
“ Based on the life of Joseph D. Pistone, an FBI agent who infiltrated the Bonanno crime family in New York City during the 1970s, under the alias "Donnie Brasco". ” - aquascape
 
100.
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China's takeover of Tibet. (136 mins.)
“ Based on Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer on his experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the Second World War, the interim period, and the Chinese People's Liberation Army's invasion of Tibet in 1950. ” - aquascape