Movies based on true stories have a special draw. Viewers love to see a dramatization of true events, but sometimes we are led to believe that EVERYTHING that happened in the “true story” was included.
Realistically, a lot of detail has to be cut out to keep the movies to a reasonable length. And sometimes these details can change the entire tone of the story.
Take 1997 Anastasia, for example. In real life, Duchess Anastasia Romanov did not get the fairytale ending of her cartoon counterpart.
The end of the film shows Anastasia leaving with her love, Dimitris, and living happily ever after, once she is finally reunited with her family.
However, as you probably know, the real story of Anastasia Romanov is quite different. She was executed in 1918 by Bolshevik revolutionaries, along with her three sisters, younger brother and parents, after her father, Nicholas II, was forced to abdicate.
And if you think back to 1997 Titanic wasn’t full of drama and tragedy, there are some even more gruesome details that were left out of the movie.
While the film focuses on the fictional character of Rose, approximately 1,500 real people died in the tragedy. Many of these bodies were never recovered, but one it was recovered was by Scottish violinist John Law Humes.
Two weeks after the sinking, Humes – who was on board as his last show before going home to his pregnant fiancee – was actually charged for alterations to his musician outfit by the company that hired him to work on Titanic. Even knowing his tragic fate, they sent the bill to his next of kin.
decade of the 2000s Remember the Titans tells the true story of Coach Herman Boone, a high school football coach who led a fledgling high school team to victory. In the film’s epilogue, we learn that he went on to coach the team “for another five years.”
However, the true story that inspired this heartwarming film has a much darker ending, which explains why he stopped coaching: In 1979, Boone was fired over allegations of verbal and physical abuse of students.
And in 2014, Boone said he wouldn’t change anything he did: “I don’t know if anything should change, because what I thought we did, we did for the benefit of humanity.”
The film’s plot relies heavily on Oher’s footballing knowledge and the skills he developed during his time at the Tuohy family home.
However, Oher was not thrilled with his portrayal in the film, writing in his 2014 memoir, “I felt like it portrayed me as dumb, instead of a kid who never had consistent academic instruction and ended up thriving once he got it.”
In the 2000s Erin Brockovichthe main character struggles to uncover the truth about the residents of Hinckley, California, after their water supply is contaminated with chromium — just like the real person the story is based on.
But the Julia Roberts movie leaves the happy ending to a legal victory, while the story unfortunately didn’t end there for the real-life residents of the California town.
In 2010, the original, underground chromium plume was found to have continued to grow — a decade and a half after the IRL test.
of 2012 Argoa critically acclaimed film starring Ben Affleck, was based on a 1979 political incident in which hostages were rescued during the Iran hostage crisis under the guise of a movie being made.
The film hails the CIA for leading the charge to get the hostages home, but that wasn’t the case.
Jimmy Carter – who was president during the actual events – praised the film as “wonderful” but also noted that it was historically inaccurate, crediting the Canadian ambassador for making it all possible.
Director Ron Howard cleaned up John Nash Jr.’s story in 2001 A beautiful mind.
The film examines the life of the schizophrenic mathematician and his romance with a female student, which is characterized as his true love affair.
Among the omitted details about the Nobel laureate’s life were his relationships (with men and with the mother of his child), his career (in defense, but not the Pentagon), and his divorce.
As an example, the character of Lettie Lutz, known as the “Bearded Lady”, was based on Annie Jones. The movie suggested that the “freaks” lived happily together as one big, beautiful family — but that wasn’t the case.
Ending up in Barnum’s circus as “the baby Essay” — reportedly earning as much as $150 a week as a child — she broke away at some point in her adult life to stand up for the rights of circus performers.
decade of 1965 The sound of music it largely omits what else was going on in Austria in 1938 – the rise of the Nazis.
There were also three more von Trapp children than the film depicted. Also, they all had different names than in the movie, and Maria was only the teacher for ONE of the kids, not all of them.
While Pocahontas did marry an Englishman (John Rolfe), it was not John Smith, who was about 17 years her senior when they crossed paths.
Oh, and John Smith wasn’t a nice guy at all. “Smith’s diplomacy often devolved into violent taking of food and destruction of villages,” destroying the once friendly relationship between the English and the Powhatan Indians in Jamestown, Virginia.
It has been argued that the film’s depiction of Jewish slaves was historically inaccurate as their circumstances did not connect with the idea of slavery in the modern world – which is not to say that slavery and forced labor did not exist in the area of the time.
Many Egyptians have also noted inaccuracies in the size and location of landmarks around Egypt in the fictional shot.
And finally: The 1998 Disney cartoon Mulan it also changed some details of the story, but with the 2020 live-action remake, the studio made strides towards the true story.
First, Mulan fought the Rouran invaders, not the Hunns, as she did in the animated version. She is believed to have served between 10 and 15 years in the army before turning down a government position and retiring to her village, where she revealed her true identity.
Different tellings of the story give a different ending. In some, Mulan’s father dies before she returns to him. In others, he has been captured or even killed himself. And in some, historians argue that the story is actually a culmination of folklore, and not based on fact at all.
What other “based on a true story” movies only tell part of the story, leaving out some of the dark truth? Let’s discuss it in the comments.