10 Movies Everyone Thinks Are Based On A True Story (But Aren't)

Despite what it tells you, Fargo is totally made up.

Fargo Frances McDormand
Gramercy Pictures

Why bother coming up with something original when there are so many fascinating and incredible true stories out there? More are being made every day, after all.

It's been proven time and time again that audiences love a movie based on true events, because on some primal level it allows us to connect with the characters and situation in an elevated way, well aware that what we're seeing more-or-less happened.

And while it's no secret that many Hollywood movies use the "based on a true story" claim in the loosest sense possible, there are also films that everyone just assumes must be based on real events.

In some cases the film clearly intended to deceive viewers and convince them that what they're seeing actually happened, while in others audiences simply assumed for themselves that the story felt "too real" to be fiction.

These 10 movies weren't even loosely inspired by a real series of events - they were straight-up cobbled together from scratch by a writer who, more often than not, didn't actively correct the belief that their story actually happened. And honestly, can you blame them?...

10. The Shawshank Redemption

Fargo Frances McDormand
Columbia Pictures

Some movies just have a heft to them that makes us assume they're at least loosely based on true events, and that's absolutely the case with The Shawshank Redemption.

The iconic prison drama, in which falsely imprisoned banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) eventually manages to tunnel his way to freedom, has a "stranger than fiction" quality to it that smacks of real-life inspiration.

Many have evidently taken that for granted, despite the fact that the movie is adapted from Stephen King's 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which has no rooting in reality whatsoever.

As much as we'd all like to believe that such an astonishing tale of triumph over adversity came from real life, and that the iconic cast of characters were people who actually lived, it was instead all spawned from the mind of one of our finest authors.

The Shawshank Redemption's prestige clout and just-believable-enough story certainly make it feel like a ripped-from-the-headlines biopic, but alas, it's entirely original.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.