Based on a True Story: Fact and Fantasy in 100 Favorite Movies
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Based on a True Story: Fact and Fantasy in 100 Favorite Movies

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Exposing the real stories behind 100 hit reality-based movies, this captivating resource offers interesting facts about some of the most well-respected and much-loved films. For both film buffs and casual moviegoers, this invaluable guide explores Hollywood's ardent and often uncomfortable relationship with the factual accounts it converts into fantasy. Illuminating films...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Chicago Review Press
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A. Bowdoin Van Riper
I write about film & history for a living, and I have shelves full of books about it. None of them, however, does what Based on a True Story does: clearly, succinctly explain where -- and how much -- a hundred well-known films diverge from the historical realities of the stories they’re based on.

The key phrase here is “well-known.” The films covered are heavily weighted toward recent, mainstream Hollywood productions and acknowledged classics: the kind of thing that fills most American film...more
Meagan Melgares
I really enjoyed this book, not because I'd seen every movie, but because it's interesting to think about the real life stories that we think we know are really changed in the telling. I never really considered that a lot of things in movies based on a true story are full of fiction. Several characters are smushed into one composite, random "inciting incidents" or motivations are given that never really happened, and timelines are completely switched around. Fascinating! The best part about this...more
Lesley
I would have liked this a lot more had the authors treated the subject in a less judgmental manner. It was sometimes hard to glean fact from the incessantly derisive commentary (the subject pretty much speaks for itself and is interesting enough without the unnecessary commentary that tended to be far too mean-spirited). I was expecting a "here's what really happened" and I got "here's why producers/directors/writers/actors are asshats when it comes to adapting true accounts to film" which, fair...more
Chris
Interesting facts about lots of current popular movies.
Grace
I read this a couple of years ago. And I had seen quite a few of the movies listed in the book. It was interesting to see how close the movies were to the fact. Or not. If I recall correctly, covered some made for TV movies as well.
Jacqueline
Short entries full of the most important facts of some of those "true to life." movies. I do wish the entries had been a little longer but they were interesting all the same.
Paula
Pretty cool to find out what is true and what is made up or added to a movie for dramatic effect when the movie is "based upon" a true story
Pineapple
A few entries were pretty weak (A fantasy movie about King Arthur, really?) but overall it was very interesting.
Rachy
I learned that Goodfellas is truer to its original story than Braveheart. Stupid Mel Gibson!
Bunny
Very interesting. And I have a whole bunch of new movies to watch.
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