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Movies Based on an Actual True Story

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From con men to survivalists and rock stars, the best stories of the cinema are true tales

We all know of big blockbuster films based on true stories, such as Titanic or Schindler's List. There are many other movies based on real life stories that may be less well-known but are no less compelling. The following are just a few examples.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Although this isn't one of Leonardo DiCaprio's biggest movies, he does a great job portraying Frank Abagnale, a con man who adopted different identities with absolute precision. You will enjoy watching him as he gets deeper and deeper into his cons in order to avoid detection. Catch Me If You Can would seem ridiculously implausible if it weren't true — but it is.

Into The Wild (2007)

Based on a true story, Into The Wild is the gripping tale of one young man's attempt to leave behind the trappings of civilization in favour of a simpler life of honesty and self-sustainability. This fascinating film dramatizes the real life story of Christopher McCandless, who gave up everything he had and simply walked alone one day into the Alaskan wilderness.

My Left Foot (1989)

The true story of Irish writer Christy Brown is told in this fine drama. Convincingly portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, Brown was initially considered to be incapable in a day and age when his affliction, cerebral palsy, was greatly misunderstood. My Left Foot is an uplifting story of a man's triumph over a universe that says he can't, but Christy Brown shows us that he can.

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind is a biographical film centring on the life of Princeton mathematician John Nash. This film chronicles Nash's genius, as well as his lifelong struggle with mental illness. Starring Russell Crowe in one of his most unforgettable roles, this film leaves you feeling for Nash's difficulties and cheering for his ability to harness his own thinking, which ultimately allows him to live a semblance of a normal life.

The Doors (1991)

Oliver Stone's The Doors tells us the story of one of the most beloved rock bands of the 1960s. The film focuses on the charismatic lead singer, Jim Morrison, played by Val Kilmer. The movie is filled with the music of the band as performed by Kilmer and others; the actor bears an uncanny resemblance, both visually and vocally, to the late singer. This is an interesting look at the 1960s and showcases the good, the bad and the ugly of the era.

Enjoying a film that has a basis in reality gives it an added dimension of plausibility that makes it even more exciting to watch. This list is just a small sampling of true-life-inspired movies; there are many other great titles available. As long as there are movies, we can be sure that some of the best will be true tales like these.

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