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10 Popular Movies You Never Knew Were Based Off A True Story

Nothing tugs at the heart strings quite like watching a dramatic movie, only to find out that the film was based off a true story.

Sometimes, directors make an effort to loop in their audiences on the reality of the film. But other times, we could watch a movie over and over without ever knowing it was based off of real life!

Here are 10 movies you probably didn’t know were based off a true story:

1. The Notebook

This iconic, heartbreaking love story is based on the true story of the love between Nicolas Spark’s wife’s grandparents. I still cry so hard every time I watch this movie. I can’t believe someone lived it!

2. Balto

Balto is an animated film about a pup who works on a sled team that helps deliver medicine in Alaska. He was a real dog, and he really did help save lives back in the 1920s!

The Balto movie cover

3. The Sound of Music

The story of The Sound of Music is based off a memoir that details the lives of the Von Trapp family. While there are a few differences between the film and musical and reality, a lot of the story rings true to the memoir.

4. Schindler’s List

This famous Steven Spielberg film was based on the true story of Oskar Schindler. This businessman from Germany really did help save hundreds of lives during the Holocaust.

5. Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can is a movie and musical about a con artist who pulls off a wide variety of personas. This film was based on the autobiography of Frank Abagnale (see below). However, there’s a little bit of question about the truthfulness of Frank’s book. That being said, it’s either a true story or he really is a great con artist. Either way, there’s some truth to it!

Frank Abagnale
This image is from Wikimedia Commons.

6. The Big Short

This 2015 film about the 2008 economic crisis in America is based off a true story written by Michael Lewis.

7. Footloose

This classic movie musical from the 1980s was based off the true story of Elmore City Oklahoma. The high school seniors wanted a prom, and the city had an ordinance. Thus Footloose was born!

8. The Pursuit of Happyness

This movie tells the tale of a homeless man who becomes an entrepreneur. The role is played by Will Smith, and the story is based on the life of Chris Gardner (see below).

Chris Gardner
This image is from Wikimedia Commons.

9. Chicago

The Chicago film and musical were actually based off a true play that was written in the 1920s. Names were changed between the play and the film, but the plotline has a lot of similarities.

10. Girl, Interrupted

This emotional film is based off the real story of Susanna Kaysen’s stay in a psychiatric ward. The film is based off her memoir which has the same name.

The featured images for this post are from here and here.

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