There are hundreds of movies based on true stories- some that are made direct to DVD or for TV and others that are released in theaters. The list below names the top movies (in my opinion) that are based on true stories. Not only are they rated by just how widely known they are, but just how close they stick to the actual occurrence of events.
4. Titanic: 1997, directed by James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson and Kate Winslet as Rose Bukater.
Having won 11 of the 14 Oscar nominations, this movie has gone on to have the greatest domestic gross of all times- second only to Avatar. It is number 83 on AFI’s greatest movies list and 6 on AFI’s top 10 “Epic” films. 1,514 people died onboard the Titanic on April 15, 1912, leaving 709 survivors.
While the movie isn’t a full on recount of events that happened to “Jack” and “Rose,” the movie’s premise still took place in real life. Although the main characters of the movie are fictional, most of the characters and events are real and actually happened. For example, Kathy Bates’ character of Margaret “Molly” Brown was a real life person aboard the Titanic that is well known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” since she navigated a survivor boat- in real life and in the movie. Victor Garber portrays Thomas Andrews, the builder of the Titanic, and Bernard Hill’s portrayal of Captain Edward John Smith was also true- although many historians question how he died. Joseph Bruce Ismay (the guy who told the Captain to go faster) is also within the film and John Jacob Astor IV is seen within the film dying at the water rushing into the broken glass domes- he was actually crushed by the ship’s exterior. The violinist and band onboard are also real, believing to have died playing to comfort the passengers. The only problem is that within the movie they played “Nearer My God, to Thee” whilst in real life they played “Songe d’Automne.”
Cameron wanted the Titanic model he used to be exactly the same as the actual Titanic, but he had problems with the grand staircase, since people in 1912 were relatively shorter compared to people in 1997, so the staircase had to be built larger than it was. The diamond necklace story was also made up, and Murdock (the guard who shot two people before he shot himself) in fact did not take bribes nor shoot anyone- he actually guided people into the boats and threw lawn chairs overboard so the people in the water could float on them. He died drowning, and when his family had seen Titanic and its “evil” view of Murdock, they contacted Cameron and he gave an apology and donated $8000 to the Murdock fund. All the wreckage scenes were real as well as there being a car on the real Titanic, and just like Rose had said, only 6 people were found among the survivors, being found from Lifeboat 14 (that scene, in reality with crewmember Harold Lowe).
In all, although the characters were made up, Cameron did a great job depicting the life of the passengers aboard the ship- showing the relation between the poor passengers and the actual crew members or the first class passengers overall.