Hollywood has a wide variety of ways to come up with ideas to make movies. Some stories were made specifically to create movies and some have been remade or modified from best-selling novels or some popular TV series adapted into movies.

But one of the most popular and most successful categories is the movies that are based on real events or experiences. Or using real personal biographies, that choose from famous, successful, or well-known people that have ever created dreadful heroism events. But movies are businesses that have a high investment.

If telling the truth, it shouldn’t be quite fun. The scriptwriter had to use finesse to adjust some minor parts to make the story look more interesting and appealing, and that resulted in earning money from movies and the Studio would also get profit. In this article, we pick up 9 famous movies based on real historical figures and reveal: The creator has modified, cut or added any parts to the actual story.

1.A Beautiful Mind(2001)

Director: Ronald William “Ron” Howard

Main Cast: Russell Ira Crowe,Jennifer Lynn Connelly,Paul Bettany

Budget: $ 58 million

Income: $ 316 million 



    The movie played by Russell, this film has achieved earning and awarding success with four Oscars from eight nominations. Russell is nominated for an Academy Award-nominated actor after a year earlier, he won the male lead Oscar from Gladiator (2000). In this story, Russell plays the math genius, John Forbes, Nobel Prize holder. The script for John Forbes Nash’s identity has greatly distorted his real identity.  For the enjoyment of the film. For example, John never spoke on the day he received the Nobel Prize. But in the movie there is a scene where he speaks, John never works with the Department of Defense, etc. Nevertheless, Akiva J. Goldsman’s screenplay was still able to win an Oscar. 


    John Forbes Nash Jr. (Russell Crow) the main character attended Princeton University to study mathematics. Later, Nash received a research and teaching position at the M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) that he had longed for. He wants to do something that is bigger than teaching. His wishes were met by mysterious William Parker who accepted him into a top-secret job in decoding the secret of the enemy.

After that, he found the new thing called love with Alicia. They got married without telling each other about dangerous projects that he did with William Parker. As the danger begins to take effect, Nash acts stealthy, psychedelic, and eventually, he gets lost in the false world.  The diagnosis said he had a mental disorder. Alicia is in pain with her husband’s condition. The sweet love of both of them disappeared and it seems that every day something new and bad happens, but Alicia continues to make the sacrifices for him. Nash was inspired by love and faith to fight a terrible disease that people think is incurable and only gets worse.

Nash had more common goals but difficult to accomplish. He continues to be haunted by a need for math theory still making him dizzy, he was determined to find his normalcy with great determination. He continued his work, and in 1994 he received the Nobel Prize, at that time for his clear work on the theory of systemic equilibrium it became the most influential idea of the twenties and laid the foundation of new economics.

2.The Pianist(2002)

Director: Roman Rajmund Polański

Main Cast: Adrien Brody,Emilia Rose Elizabeth Fox,Edmund Stoppard

Budget: $ 35 million

Income: $ 120 million 

            The movie tells the story of Vladislaw Spilmann, a skilled pianist.  The film tells the story of Vladislaw’s memories, in fact he was born in Warsaw, Poland and lived there all his life.  But the movie that we saw was filmed in Krakow, Poland as well.  The reason for having to film in Krakow is because, during World War II, Hitler destroyed the Warsaw ghetto and most of the buildings are already gone. The Roman director chose to use the Old Town in Krakow to look as similar to Warsaw as possible based on the drawings of Italian artist Canaletto where he wrote several atmospheric landscapes in Warsaw.


          During World War II in 1939, Władysław Szpilman was playing the piano for a radio station in Warsaw, Germany bombing a radio station area he had to escape.  Upon returning home, he discovered that his family was preparing for war along with the hope of hearing that Britain and France have declared war on the Nazis. In 1940, all Jews in Wausau had to live together in a detention zone. One day, Nazi soldiers entered the residence and picked out young Jews who were included with Wladyslaw’s brothers and sisters.

Later, the Jewish family was forcibly taken to a train station. Wladyslaw met his younger brother and sister here again without knowing that they may not be able to meet again for a long time  Nazi soldiers ordered all Jews to get on the train including his family at that moment his friend who is police came in and helped him out. After that, Wladyslaw relied on one of the buildings as a hiding place. One day a Nazi soldier entered the building. A Nazi soldier met with Wladyslaw his named Wilhelm Hosenfeld who was a German officer with a different mindset. He has given help to Wladyslaw. When the war was over, the Germans were defeated, Wladyslaw was trying to find the officer, according to the man who found it but when he got there he found nothing.

3.The Untouchables(2011)

Director: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano

Main Cast: François Cluzet, Omar Sy

Budget: $ 10 million

Income: $ 426 million

          The most successful French film in history, it sent Omarzi’s name to become the leading French star. The film was also a Hollywood remake under the name of the upside in 2017, a dramatic drama about the friendship of two men who were as different as the sky and the abyss. One is the former prisoner and one is the wayward billionaire who was crippled in an accident causing paralysis from the neck down to set up in a high-tech wheelchair all the time.

The film takes a dramatic shift in the story of the protagonist from the real person. In the movie, the wheelchair billionaire Philippe Pozzo di Borgo is a widow and his wife is lost in an accident.  But the true story is that his wife was seriously injured in the accident  And suffered from injuries for 3 years, so far left before her death.  The couple adopted two children.  But in the movie, it doesn’t mention these two adopted children. The ending of the movie is also different from the truth. Philippe moved to Morocco. Here, he meets a single mother with two daughters, who both fall in love and get married. In the movie, it tells the audience that his background is from Senegal but his real one is from Algeria.


         The story of the friendship between the two men is retaken in the past, Philippe was interviewing the candidate to be his moderator. Driss’ candidate had no ambition to be hired, he was there to get an autograph on a document showing that he was interviewed and rejected so that he would continue to receive benefits. The next day Driss returned and was greeted by Philippe’s assistant who told him he had received the job to be a caretaker living in the trial.

A friend of Finlipps revealed Driss ‘criminal record, which includes a six-month jail term for theft, Finlipps said he ignored Driss’ past because he was the only one who didn’t treat him with compassion. He would not shoot him as long as he worked properly. After that, Driss’ younger cousin Adama, who had a problem with the Madaris gang at Phillip’s mansion, claimed to have sent a letter. Hearing Philippe realizing Driss’ need to support his family and dismiss him from his job.

In the meantime, Philippe hired a handler to replace Driss, but he wasn’t happy with these. His morale was very low and he stopped taking care of himself. Bearded and looking sick, Driss took Philippe to the seaside, shaving and dressed in luxury, Philippe and Driss arrived at the restaurant with a beautiful sea view. Driss suddenly left the table and said he was lucky to be Philippe for a lunch date.Philip looked through the window and saw Driss outside with a smile. Driss said goodbye to Philippe and walked away.

4. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

Director : Don Siegel 

Main Cast: Clint Eastwood, Robert Brian Blossom, Patrick Mac’s hard to 

Budget: $ 8 million 

Income: $ 43 million

    Briefly, it is a story of Frank Morris, Clarence and John Anglin, 3 real prisoners who can break out of Alcatraz prison. Alcatraz prison is reputed to have the strongest protection of security. After they successfully escape, no one knows that the three were alive or not until a year later. Someone received an unidentified letter from John Anglin that confirmed that all three people are still alive. And due to the fact that the true story is already exciting and thrilling, therefore when converting into a movie it doesn’t need to add or distort anything for the real story much.

The movie was actually filmed at the Alcatraz prison, but with only minor adjustment. Because they imprison the real prisoner in zone B, but the movie was filmed in zone C. Nowadays, tourists who visit the Alcatraz prison can still see the holes that the three dug to escape, along with the papers that cover the holes. And artificial heads sculpture from plaster, kept for tourists to visit and see.


    The Alcatraz prison is considered as the toughest prison in America due to the fact that it was surrounded by  the sea in San Francisco, and all along no one could escape from this jail. But Frank Morris and friends could do it, he secretly kept a spoon to drill the concrete wall around the air-vent-pipe in his prison cell, along with handmade equipment that is made from a vacuum cleaner. The sound of drilling is covered with the sound of accordion rehearsal, and cardboards that are slowly pasted on the wall quietly. When the hole on the wall gets bigger and the soap that is applied to be additional equipment for unknotting.

Then after they found the right moment to escape they slowly passed through the hole and climbed up to the ceiling vents. While the jailer thought that the three were sleeping as usual when he was checking the prisoner periodically, since the three use paper mache masks to replace their head on the pillow and use hair scraps that are collected from the barbershop to stick it on, in order to deceive them. 

5. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Director: Lassie Hallstrom 

Main Cast: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Takawa 

Budget: $ 16 million

Income: $ 46 million

    Actually, this is the remake Hollywood version that is based on the Japanese version of Hachi-ko from 1987, which is likely to be closer to the real story than the remake one. When it came to the Hollywood version, they had to alter the main location from Tokyo to the United States for Richard Gere who took part to be the leading actor to play the role. Another point that has been modified is the cause of the main character’s death, in the real story, Professor Hidezaburo Ueno died after a brain hemorrhage. But in the movie, his cause of death is having a heart attack. Also, the movie has changed the source of Hachi, the main dog. Actually, the professor bought it from the dog store but in the movie it has been modified to look more pity, so the professor found the lost pity dog at the train station.

6. 127 Hours (2010)

Director: Danny Boyle 

Main Cast: James Francoist, Amber Tamblyn and Keibler, Kate Mara 

Budget: $ 18 million 

Income: $ 60 million


        A survival movie, that has been modified from the 127-hours book written by Aaron Ralston that records the moment of life and death in which he had to make a resolute decision to sacrifice his right arm to survive. Aaron Ralston confirmed that the story in the movie is really similar to his real experience. There are only some minor points that are not important that have been modified. For example, in the first scene, when Aaron meets two climbers, he teaches the techniques in climbing mountains in the real story but in the movie, Aaron takes them to see the hidden lake in the valley.

7. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) 

Director: Gabriel Muczino

Main cast: Will Smith, Thande Newton, Jeden Smith

Budget: $ 55 million

Income: $ 307 million

    Will Smith performed to be Chris Gardner who successfully became a stock trader. He stepped from a negative point. He strays and homeless with his 5-year-old son, who has his son Jaden Smith on the performance adorably with his dad. This movie became a legend of America. Exposing the way to conquer the poverty of a brilliant sellman, Chris Gardner who once had to carry the burden as the helm to guide his family out of poverty. Due to the harsh economic toxicity, too much to remedy  Chris’s wife left him and his 5-year-old son alone in a negative economy.

 Chris becomes a widow and stepdaughter who had to grit their teeth to fight severe poverty. He often had to hustle his little son to wander like a tramp with only 1 dollar in the pocket of money, but because of the fighting spirit. He fights to find higher-paying jobs for the well-being of my beloved son.

 One day, the road to happiness for 2 fathers and sons appeared. When Chris passed in front of the financial giant. He noticed why the people here had a happy smile. While he was all extremely difficult  Chris came up with a new idea that “He should work in finance.”So, Chris aims to become a “broker” at a prestigious brokerage firm.  He uses his brain to turn into a remarkable sales tactic.It became a tremendous amount of energy that led Chris to become one of the most successful celebs in American history.  It was a very good decision by Gabriel Muczino to bring the real father and son together. Therefore, the result was very good and can convey emotions to the audience deeply. 

8.Catch Me If You Can (2002) 

 Director: Steven Spilberg

 Main cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken

 Budget: $ 52 million

 Income: $ 352 million

      The film is based on the real-life of the gifted Frank W. Abagnale.  Whether it is a handsome face, intelligence and observance, and an excellent memory. But what makes this man the ultimate spoof is the effort and serious study.

Frank R. Bucknell Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) was in a very comfortable family.  In addition, the ability of his father (Christopher Walken) to influence others, amenable to their words. Suddenly, he suspected that his mother had faithless and came to the separation of his parents.When Frank has to choose who to live with.Frank ran away from home with his father’s checkbook and proceed to make fake checks, use both to raise money, sleep in hotels, buy stuff, apply to be a doctor and lawyer which the bank realized that it was a fake check. Make it known to the ears of the FBI, Carl Han Ratty (Tom Hanks) who wants to catch him back.  Even if others see it a little, but only Carl to see is a big deal that makes the chase funnier, based on the movie’s title, ‘Catch it if you can’.

9.I, Tonya (2017) 

Director: Craig Gillespie

Main cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Jenny

Income: $ 11 million

Outcome: $ 53 million

      This story was directed by Craig Gillespie and starred Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan,and Allison Jenny.

In I, Tonya plays the protagonist Tonya Harding, the moody female figure skater.  Inside the movie, she has an opponent in the Skate circles, Nancy Kerrigan, who always competes to be the first in the team. In real life, In January 1994, Tonya’s ex-husband assaulted Nancy Kerrigan, but Tanya stated that she did not involved with the assault case between her husband and Nancy.But she was accused of conspiracy and of concealing her husband’s wrongdoing. This offense resulted in her being boycotted from ice skating which her beloved career to end.

But in that movie,  the movie is quite deep in this story and expands more for the audience to hear the reasons from the Tonya side, make the surrounding characters to comment on this incident. Adding these details allow viewers to be involved with the content of the movie watched and analyzed according to Tonnya’s actions are correct to deserve it or not.