Iconic Movies That Are Based On True Stories

There are a lot of movies in Hollywood that are based on true stories. These stories might have sparked the director’s interest, or might have caught the attention of the media for it to be made into a movie. More often, when films are based on real-life stories, they become more impactful on the viewers. They make an impact on the actors as well because they are the ones who’ve played the role. Sometimes, they’ve played the character for too long that they end up adopting the same outlook.

Sometimes we watch a movie not realizing it is based on a true story. Below is a short roundup of iconic, credit-worthy movies that are based on true stories.

1.The Pursuit of Happyness

Life may be full of ups and downs, but it isn’t true that there is no rainbow after the rain. The Pursuit of Happyness, a film that stars Will Smith, shows the story of a man who managed to get through all the difficulties in life by working hard and by looking for that happy place. His hard-work became his investments and he eventually became successful. This is the real-life story of Chris Gardener, who went through similar battles as Smith did in the movie and is now a successful businessman.

2.The Perfect Storm

This movie that focused on a meteorological disaster told the story of a hurricane that happened in 1991. Everything that happened in the movie might have looked like fiction but it was actually based on the non-fictional book of Sebastian Junger that told the story of the Andrea Gail, the fishing vessel lost at sea. The storm probably bankrupted a lot of insurance companies because the damages cost over $200 million.

The movie was a big hit as it touched the hearts of many by portraying the tragic event very well.


Set in the time of World War II, Dunkirk showed the evacuation of soldiers in, well, the coastal areas of Dunkirk. The story is based on the happenings of the war as soldiers suffered and helped each other hand in hand in battle. The movie directed by Christopher Nolan received a lot of recognition for its cinematography and music. It was considered to be a masterpiece.


The biographical sports film Rudy was, to a huge degree, based on the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. The famous footballer went through struggles, physically and financially, which affected his capabilities of joining the football team during his college years. He also didn’t do well due to his dyslexia.

Ruettiger was eventually drafted to the NFL and played with the Kansas City Chiefs. This movie inspired many and is something you should watch if you are feeling unmotivated and down.

5.The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red October is a story from the Cold War era. This story is based on Tom Clancy’s book in 1984. A Soviet naval captain was planning to harm a US submarine that contained American officers but his plans were ruined by an American CIA agent. Due to this, the war between the two very powerful countries was prevented.

6.A Nightmare on Elm Street

This horror film might have scared a lot of its viewers, but this movie is actually based on a true story. 18 Laotian refugees died in mysterious circumstances after reportedly seeing a nightmare. This story published in the newspaper inspired the director Wes Craven to create the film A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The reality of the refugees still remains a mystery to many and we can only hope this doesn’t scare any of us. To his credit, Wes Craven created an iconic piece of film from a report he read in the paper.

7.Black Hawk Down

Most war movies are based on real-life events. Black Hawk Down is the story of how the US Military captured Mohamed Farrah Aidid, irked as they were about his moral bankruptcy in the region, and how the mission got bungled up, resulting in the death and capture of American soldiers.

This event was written in a book by journalist Mark Bowden who covered the incident.