8 Intense Real-Life Stories Behind Famous Movies

Wait, so The Shining is based on Stephen King's real-life haunting?!

Warner Bros.

There's nothing that makes a film more appealing than that sweet 'based on a true story' tagline, and filmmakers know it. Whether it's morbid interest in the darker parts of life or the terrifying tantalisation of a scary story, cinema's best efforts often lie in the movies that have a grounding in reality - however bizarre that reality might be.

These collected films push what's possible to the very limits, taking us on a ride through physical impossibilities as well as outrageous situations that seem all too crazy to have actually happened in 'real life', yet by some circumstance, they actually did. And they've been backed up by stories from the people that lived it.

Fact is stranger than fiction, life imitates art, and the truth is a powerful thing: these are the films that prove it.

8. Apollo 13


Tom Hanks and co's trip into space in 1995 is a stressful one to say the least. Depicting NASA's third moon-landing mission as it goes awry, three astronauts are thrust into peril when an oxygen tank explodes and compromises the mission, as well as their ability to return to earth safely. "Houtson, we have a problem" doesn't really feel like it cuts it when you're stranded in space in what's essentially a floating metal coffin, but I digress.

Unsurprisingly, Ron Howard's space docudrama earned a whopping nine oscar nominations, bagging two of them in the process for its intense depiction of both space and 3 men's fight for survival outside of our atmosphere. And it was largely a truthful rendition of what actually happened, a rare thing in the world of 'True Story' filmmaking.

Apollo 13
Universal Pictures

Whilst some artistic license was taken to make the film more compact and entertaining, the narrative is exactly what it says on the tin: three men really were stuck in space trying to figure out how to get home without burning up, and they just about managed it.

It's one of the most stressful and intense stories of scientific history, and the famed 'successful failure' that allowed NASA to learn how to actually put us on the moon.

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