10 Insane Movies You Didn't Know Were Based On True Stories

The truth really can be stranger than fiction.

The Conjuring
Warner Bros.

We go to the movies in search of that which we don't get from our own day-to-day life. A brief but satisfying taste of something different; that hint of a new and interesting experience that a good story can deliver.

There is, of course, a particular potency to this effect when we learn that the story in question is actually true, or at least in part based on real life events. Stories that can sometimes seem far too strange or implausible to be believed become all the more compelling once we're told they have a basis in fact.

Biopics have long been popular, with countless movies based around the life stories of prominent real word figures both alive and dead, plus a great many films based around celebrated or notorious chapters from history.

However, there are also plenty of films out there which sneak a real life story onto the screen without audiences ever knowing it actually happened.

As the old saying goes, sometimes the truth is far stranger than fiction - and in some instances, the movies aren't quite so astonishing as the true stories on which they're based.

10. Jaws

The Conjuring
Universal Pictures

The plot of Steven Spielberg's seminal 1975 blockbuster is, like Peter Benchley's 1974 novel before it, a work of fiction, but real events and characters did play a key role in inspiring the story.

First off, two events mentioned in the film are based in fact. When Roy Schieder's Chief Brody first implores Murray Hamilton's Mayor of Amity to let him close the beaches, he cites a 1916 shark attack in New Jersey which left five dead. This really happened, although it's thought to have been the work of a bull shark rather than a great white.

Then there's Robert Shaw's famous speech about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. This is also true; the torpedoed ship did indeed sink off the coast of Japan in 1945, leaving the few survivors struggling to survive in shark-infested waters for five days.

Finally, Shaw's Quint himself is believed to have been modelled on an actual shark hunter, Frank Mundus of Montauk, New York, who became a legend after catching a 4,500 pound great white in 1964, and is said to have been just as keen on the booze as his fictional counterpart.

Though Benchley denied basing Quint on Mundus, the author knew the shark hunter well, and had spent time out at sea with him prior to writing Jaws.

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Ben Bussey hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.