Insane Stories Behind These Famous Films


The film and the book are both based on the true story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team that used the evidence-based approach and analytic sabermetric system in order to assemble a successful team with the help of their general manager Billy Beane, portrayed by Brad Pitt.

The Terminal

Catch Me If You Can

Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Frank Abagnale, who in real life became an expert imposter, check forger, and confidence trickster, all before the age of 22. He also managed to escape police custody twice before 22. Abagnale successfully impersonated a physician, pilot, lawyer, and a U.S.

Bureau of Prisons agent. After finally being caught and serving time in prison, he was able to start working for the FBI as consultant and lecturer. Abagnale also runs a financial fraud consultancy firm.

The Founder

Big Eyes

The 2014 film Big Eyes chronicles the life of artist Margaret Keane, who is known for her work that portrayed subjects with exceptionally large eyes. Her drawings and paintings are mostly of women, children, and animals and incorporate mixed media.

Hers is an incredible story due to the fact that her husband Walter Keane began taking credit for her work throughout the 1960’s until she announced on a radio show that she was the real artist behind the work. She sued her then ex-husband and was finally given the recognition for her work after winning the case.


The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, which chronicled Belfort’s life story. After being found guilty of committing fraud as well as several other crimes related to stock-market manipulation, Belfort was sentenced to prison and served a 22 month sentence before being released.

After his time spent in jail, Belfort decided to write about his story and thus wrote two memoirs: The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street. He also works as a motivational speaker now.


Black Mass

Johnny Depp starred in Black Mass as Whitey Bulger, a former organized crime boss who was in charge of the Boston-based Winter Hill Gang. Bulger controlled the majority of the organized crime in South Boston but was challenged by a rival gang, the North End Angiulo Brothers. The FBI claims that Bulger worked as an informant for them, but he had consistently denied this.

The FBI frequently turned a blind eye to his organization’s crimes in exchange for information about the Italian-American crime family Patriarca. He was eventually arrested at age 81 and is serving life in jail for his crimes.

Deepwater Horizon


Goodfellas is a fictional version of the story of New York city mobster Henry Hill and his association with the Lucchese crime family. He worked with them between the years 1955 and 1980, until he became an informant to the FBI in 1980. His testimonies allowed the FBI to capture and secure some 50 convictions.

Several of these included key figures of the mob, which include Paul Vario and James Burke. The film is based on the book called Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family.


Walk The Line

In Walk The Line, Joaquin Phoenix portrays legendary singer Johnny Cash. Cash rose to stardom right at the beginning of the rock n’ roll craze of the late 1940’s and early 50’s. Although he was already married, while on tour he met singer June Carter and fell in love with her.

The two would go on to perform together as Cash continued to pursue her. He began to struggle with substance abuse, and eventually it began to affect his personal and professional life.

Gangs of New York


The RMS Titanic is the famous ship immortalized in the film of the same name. The ship hit an iceberg during its maiden voyage that was meant to go from Southampton to New York City. There were 2224 crew members and passengers on board the ship when it set sail, and of those, 1500 people died due to the shipwreck.

The disaster is considered to be one of the deadliest of any peacetime maritime accidents. Many of the characters portrayed in the film were based on real people that were aboard the ship.

War Dogs

The Revenant

The Revenant is a 2015 film based on the true life of Hugh Glass who was a hunter, frontiersman, trader, and explorer who was mauled by a grizzly bear and then left behind by his companions.

Although his story has been disputed due to the lack of written evidence, the story is that he crawled his way over 200 miles to South Dakota and has become somewhat of a legend.

Donnie Brasco

Apollo 13

Apollo 13 was the third manned mission meant to land on the moon and the seventh overall manned mission in the Apollo space program. It was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in April 1970. However, the mission did not make it to the moon since an oxygen tank explosion led to a crippled Service Module.

This meant that the crew experienced loss of cabin heat, a water shortage, and limited power. Despite this, the crew managed to survive and return home safely.

Schindler’s List


Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a film based on the true story of the dog Haciko. Hachiko was an Akita who was born in Odate, Akita Perfecture in Japan. He is known and remembered for his unwavering loyalty to his owner, even after his owner passed away.

The dog remained faithful to the owner even nine years after his passing. He is often referred to as “chuken Hachiko,” which translates to “faithful dog Hachi.” He became a symbol of faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity and is continued to be remembered today.

The Pianist

The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl tells the story of Lili Elbe, who was a transgender Danish woman and known as one of the first identifiable recipients of gender reassignment surgery ever. She officially transitioned in 1930 after she was born Einar Magnus Andreas Wegener. She began going by the name “Lili” and publicly introduced herself as Einar’s sister before successfully completing the surgery.

Before her transitioning, she was a successful artist and painter. She was married to a woman before her transition.

12 Years A Slave

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, who was a computer scientist, mathematician, and cryptanalyst who is best known for decrypting German intelligence codes during World War II for the British government. He also designed several different methods of speeding up the breaking of ciphers.

His decryptions played major roles in crucial moments against the Nazis, for example the Battle of the Atlantic. His death remains a mystery until this day, and there have been several theories and speculations regarding what actually happened.

American Gangster

The Pursuit of Happyness

The 2005 film featuring Will Smith and his son Jayden Smith is based on the memoir of Chris Gardner, which chronicled his struggles of being homeless while raising his son on his own. While working at an unpaid stock brokerage training position, Gardner had no home.

After working tirelessly he found success, found a home, and went on to become one of the most successful futures traders in the business.

The Devil Wears Prada


Everest recounts the incredible story of Beck Weathers’ survival of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which is based on his 2000 memoir, Left for Dead: My Journey Home From Everest. Weathers was one of eight people being guided through Mount Everest in May 1996.

He had recently had radial keratotomy surgery and early on into the trip he became blinded by the high altitude and ultraviolet radiation in the mountains. After being left behind and a blizzard striking the area, he managed to survive despite extreme weather conditions and was finally evacuated back home.

Hacksaw Ridge


Natalie Portman portrays former first lady Jackie Kennedy in the film Jackie, which tells the story of her life following the assassination of her husband, John F. Kennedy. The film is based off an interview she gave with Life magazine in Hyannis Port by Theodore H. White.

Jackie stayed at the White House for two weeks following the event and also requested from newly inaugurated Lyndon B. Johnson that the space center in Florida would be renamed the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

McFarland, USA

The Bling Ring

The Bling Ring is a film based on an article entitled “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” that told the story of the real Bling Ring, a crime ring that consisted of eight teenagers that burgled the homes of many celebrities between the months of October 2008 and August 2009. They managed to steal around $3 million worth of cash and personal belongings, including clothing and jewelry.

Some of the celebrities that were targeted were Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, Megan Fox, and Lindsay Lohan.

Beauty and the Beast

American Hustle

The film American Hustle is based on the real life events that took place in the FBI ABSCAM (Abdul Scam) operation in the late 70’s and 80’s. It told the story of how the Feds used a real con man to help them track down which public officials were willing to allow a Arab sheikh (who was a fake set up by the Feds themselves) to bribe them into giving him a fast-track citizenship as well as other illegal favors.

19 people, including several congressman, a mayor, and a senator were convicted in the case.



Charlize Theron portrayed Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster. Wuornos was a former prostitute turned serial killer who was eventually executed for murdering six men throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Wuornos claimed that the men had either sexually abused her or attempted to do so while she was working as an escort and that she was only acting in self defense. Wuronos was living with her girlfriend Tyria Moore when she was arrested in their home in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Hidden Figures

United 93

Back in 2001, tragedy struck in New York that affected people all over the world, leaving everybody shaken to their core. The film documents United Airlines Flight 93, one of the flights hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists as a part of the September 11 attacks.

Paul Greengrass, the director of the film, used any available information to create this film, including stories from surviving family members, cockpit recordings, and a few other sources. This flight was the only one that didn’t reach the hijackers’ target as a result of passengers regaining control of the aircraft.

Dallas Buyers Club

Captain Phillips

“Captain Phillips” is based on a real survival story. In 2009, Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage by a group of pirates led by Abduwali Muse in the Indian Ocean – the first successful pirate hijacking under the American flag in 200 years.

After the release of the film, many crew members accused the film of being inaccurate, stating that it portrays Phillips to have been more heroic than he actually was. After the seizure, the president directly addressed the crew members, but the footage was never showed in the film.

The Impossible

Into The Wild

Produced and directed by Sean Penn, “Into The Wild” tells the story of Christopher McCandless – an American hiker and traveler who went all across North America and spent a long time in the wild territories of Alaska in the early 90s. Upon arrival, McCandless embarked on the Stampede Trail with barely any supplies, hoping to embrace the wild and learn to survive with items given to him by nature.

Four months later, his decomposing body, weighing a mere 66 lbs, was found by hunters; the assumption is that he died of starvation, but the exact details were never uncovered.

Bridge Of Spies

Escape From Alcatraz

The film depicts the June 1962 escape from Alcatraz – the only successful escape from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in history. Inmates Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris, made papier-mâché replicas of their heads and put them in their beds before escaping the building via the deserted utility corridor.

Critics have often pointed out that even though the film made it seem like the escape was successful, it was never confirmed that the escapees survived; evidence, however, suggests that it’s possible that they did in fact make it out alive.

Erin Brockovich

The People vs. O.J. Simpson

The People vs. O.J. Simpson recounts the story of the famous criminal trial O.J.

Simpson faced for the murder of his wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. After Simpson became a person of interest, and failed to turn himself in to the authorities, he was a part of a famously televised car chase, which even interrupted coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals. After he was arrested, he was put on trial in what is considered the “Trial of the Century.” Simpson was found “not guilty” of the murders. Robert Kardashian was one of his lawyers.