AB's Based on a True Story, Biography, & Documentary Movies:

by abcj-2 | created - 13 Nov 2011 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

These are the movies based on a true story or biographies or documentaries that I've seen so far. This will remain in progress. Random order with favorites at top of list.

Also, I'm aware many of these are embellished, but how good would these films be be without some creative license? Enjoy:)

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1. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 840,845 | Gross: $75.60M

2. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama

88 Metascore

The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 562,098 | Gross: $138.80M

3. Little Women (1949)

Approved | 122 min | Drama, Family, Romance

A group of sisters experience life's difficulties and its pleasures while growing up in nineteenth-century America.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien, Elizabeth Taylor

Votes: 5,339

4. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm, Phyllis Boyens-Liptak

Votes: 14,330 | Gross: $67.18M

5. The Sound of Music (1965)

G | 172 min | Biography, Drama, Family

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn

Votes: 168,715 | Gross: $163.21M

6. Almost Famous (2000)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand

Votes: 225,483 | Gross: $32.53M

7. Young Bess (1953)

Approved | 112 min | Biography, Drama, History

The early life of Elizabeth I, from her childhood until her accession to the throne of England in 1558.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Charles Laughton

Votes: 1,219

8. Finding Neverland (2004)

PG | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Family

67 Metascore

The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell

Votes: 185,453 | Gross: $51.68M

9. Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

PG | 145 min | Biography, Drama, History

Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

Director: Charles Jarrott | Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas, Anthony Quayle

Votes: 5,832

10. Shadowlands (1993)

PG | 131 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

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.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Julian Fellowes, Roddy Maude-Roxby

Votes: 14,651 | Gross: $25.84M

11. Miss Potter (2006)

PG | 88 min | Biography, Drama

57 Metascore

The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children's book, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", and her struggle for love, happiness and success.

Director: Chris Noonan | Stars: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson, Barbara Flynn

Votes: 25,593 | Gross: $2.98M

12. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen

Votes: 651,320 | Gross: $164.62M

13. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 121,561 | Gross: $75.33M

14. Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

R | 102 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

Votes: 96,326 | Gross: $66.66M

15. Into the Wild (2007)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 494,030 | Gross: $18.35M

16. The Girl in White (1952)

92 min | Biography, Drama

The first female doctor in New York City comes up against prejudice from male counterparts who feel threatened by her skills. Eventually, though, they come to respect her and romance ... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges | Stars: June Allyson, Arthur Kennedy, Gary Merrill, Mildred Dunnock

Votes: 221

17. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox

Votes: 197,048 | Gross: $52.77M

18. The Duchess (2008)

PG-13 | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

62 Metascore

A chronicle of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Director: Saul Dibb | Stars: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 68,756 | Gross: $13.82M

19. Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Passed | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith

Votes: 3,076

20. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 240,947 | Gross: $76.27M

21. The Last Station (2009)

R | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy's struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things.

Director: Michael Hoffman | Stars: Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti

Votes: 16,364 | Gross: $6.62M

22. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

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.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 224,974 | Gross: $44.82M

23. Walk the Line (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Music

72 Metascore

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick

Votes: 203,411 | Gross: $119.52M

24. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 84,076 | Gross: $61.70M

25. Gypsy (1962)

Approved | 143 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

Based on the Broadway hit about the life and times of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her aggressive stage mother, Mama Rose.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Paul Wallace

Votes: 4,696 | Gross: $13.01M

26. Cinderella Man (2005)

PG-13 | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

69 Metascore

The story of James Braddock, a supposedly washed-up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Craig Bierko, Paul Giamatti

Votes: 160,358 | Gross: $61.65M

27. The Queen (2006)

PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings

Votes: 93,910 | Gross: $56.44M

28. Miss Austen Regrets (2008 TV Movie)

TV-G | 90 min | Biography, Drama

In the later years of her life, as she's approaching the age of forty, the novelist Jane Austen helps her niece find a husband.

Director: Jeremy Lovering | Stars: Samuel Roukin, Olivia Williams, Greta Scacchi, Imogen Poots

Votes: 2,606

29. Anna and the King of Siam (1946)

Approved | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

In 1862, a young Englishwoman becomes royal tutor in Siam and befriends the King.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Irene Dunne, Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 1,878

30. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 176,304 | Gross: $115.65M

31. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

Approved | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

The story of the life and career of famed baseball player Lou Gehrig.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth, Walter Brennan

Votes: 8,619

32. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 838,890 | Gross: $46.84M

33. Gods and Monsters (1998)

R | 105 min | Biography, Drama

74 Metascore

The last days of Frankenstein (1931) Director James Whale are explored.

Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich

Votes: 26,498 | Gross: $6.39M

34. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporary composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 314,501 | Gross: $51.97M

35. The Glenn Miller Story (1954)

Approved | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Biography of bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake

Votes: 6,881

36. Mrs Brown (1997)

PG | 101 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

When Queen Victoria's husband dies, she finds solace in her trusted servant, Mr. Brown, but their relationship also brings scandal and turmoil.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher

Votes: 12,068 | Gross: $9.22M

37. Rudy (1993)

PG | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

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.

Director: David Anspaugh | Stars: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty, Greta Lind

Votes: 47,297 | Gross: $22.75M

38. Becoming Jane (2007)

PG | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Director: Julian Jarrold | Stars: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell

Votes: 51,726 | Gross: $18.67M

39. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 107,840 | Gross: $30.00M

40. The Young Victoria (2009)

PG | 105 min | Biography, Drama, History

64 Metascore

A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 51,191 | Gross: $11.00M

41. The Singing Nun (1966)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Family

Young and inexperienced Sister Ann has just arrived at her next posting at Samaritan House, a Dominican order located in a disreputable neighborhood of Ghent, Belgium. Sister Ann is ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban, Greer Garson, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 986

42. Blossoms in the Dust (1941)

Approved | 99 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

After losing her young son, Edna Gladney opposes the unfair laws discriminating against children whose parents are unknown, and opens an orphanage for those children.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Felix Bressart, Marsha Hunt

Votes: 1,436

43. Marie Antoinette (1938)

Passed | 149 min | Biography, Drama, History

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier | Stars: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore, Robert Morley

Votes: 2,332

44. The Insider (1999)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora

Votes: 144,184 | Gross: $28.97M

45. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 150,348 | Gross: $3.90M

46. Lust for Life (1956)

Approved | 122 min | Biography, Drama

The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, George Cukor | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown

Votes: 8,727

47. American Gangster (2007)

R | 157 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin

Votes: 350,540 | Gross: $130.16M

48. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,002,314 | Gross: $96.07M

49. Sunrise at Campobello (1960)

Not Rated | 144 min | Biography, Drama

In 1921, unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt contracts poliomyelitis and, with the help of his wife Eleanor Roosevelt and close friend Louis Howe, battles his newfound disability.

Director: Vincent J. Donehue | Stars: Ralph Bellamy, Greer Garson, Hume Cronyn, Jean Hagen

Votes: 929