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.
6. The Silence of the Lambs: 1990, directed by Jonathon Demme, starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling and Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill.
The Silence of the Lambs is claimed to be a masterpiece- the only horror movie to have won a Oscar for best picture (and only two horror movies have ever been nominated) and one of the three movies to win an Oscar “grand slam;” best picture, actor, actress, director and screenplay. And the best part? It was based on a book that was written by a guy who knew a cop who arrested 3 murderers! (That sentence makes sense if you read it with enthusiasm).
Thomas Harris wrote the novel The Silence of the Lambs after he attended a banquet in honor of special FBI agent John Edward Douglas. At the banquet, Harris learned that Douglas had arrested the three serial killers Ted Bundy, Gary Heidnik and Ed Gein.
In a four year span (1974-1978), Ted Bundy has killed more than 30 people (that we know of) in seven states. In order to lure his victims, he would impersonate a police officer, but usually pretended to be hurt or have car problems (need help) in very public areas. In these situations, the victim would allow him into the car and he would take over once they passed into an isolated place. Most of his victims were women and he would even behead some of them to keep as souvenirs in his house. He was sent to prison 2 times and escaped 2 times, before finally being imprisoned in Florida, where he confessed after 10 years of speculation and was electrocuted.
The idea of keeping the victims stuck within the basement came from Gary Heidnik who killed 6 women (again, as far as we know), who would torture them in his basement. In January of 1987, he had five women in his basement, and as a form of punishment, he would dig a 4 foot deep pit and placed heavy weights on the top. One of the women had died, so he cut up her limbs and stored them in the freezer, labeled as dog food. He then cooked her ribs and baked her head in the oven. The police arrived after neighbors complained of an odor, to which Heidnik replied that he was cooking a roast and it burned since he fell asleep. He once filled the pit with water and placed a woman with chains inside the pit. He electrocuted her and hid her body in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. At his trials, he even claimed that the women were there when he moved in.
Ed Gein is probably the most famous serial killer to make movies, since Norman Bates (Psycho), Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and of course, Buffalo Bill. One day, Gein’s boss had gone missing, and Gein was suspected to know his whereabouts. When the police went to search his house, they found: 4 noses, bones, 9 masks made out of human skin, bowls made out of human skulls, 10 scalped heads, and other clothing made out of human parts. He also had human furniture, including lamp shades and chair covers made out of human skin, skulls on his bed posts and over 10 heads within his home. They later found Gein’s boss decapitated, hanging upside down with her skin laid out.
These three serial killers ended up being Buffalo Bill, Douglas ended up being Jack Crawford, and no one really knows who Hannibal Lecter is based on, but many theorize that he is based on various serial killers as well. So. . .what’d we learn today? When someone offers you liver and fava beans, be afraid.