7 True Story Movies That Left Out The Real Horrific Ending

These movies aren't based on a true story - they're based on PART of a true story.

Unbroken Movie
Universal Pictures

Movies that are "based on a true story" are notorious for manipulating the truth in order to make the cinematic experience more entertaining and pacy.

Every time one of these movies comes out, we see articles describing what they got right and what they got wrong, interviews with the film's subjects (who often give completely different accounts compared to what we saw in the cinema), and even news stories detailing how the onscreen events actually went down.

That's not to say they're all complete lies, but true story movies aren't exactly trying to be documentaries, and in addition to the content of these films being factually questionable, they also have a tendency to leave certain things out entirely, as is often the case when it comes to their endings.

Over the last several decades, some true story movies have rolled their credits at a point which completely ignores the darker, real-life ending of the story. Instead, these movies went with finales that are a lot more optimistic and happy, brushing the ugly truth to one side and making their stories feel almost incomplete.

7. Hinkley's Water Is Still Poisonous - Erin Brockovich

Unbroken Movie
Columbia Pictures

Erin Brockovich follows Oscar-winner Julia Roberts as the title character, a determined single mother who discovers that the groundwater in a small American town - Hinkley, California - is contaminated with chromium, and that the company responsible for this has been trying to cover it up.

The film ends with Brockovich exposing the truth, forcing the company to pay a settlement of $333 million, which is to be shared among the affected residents of the town. Brockovich herself gets a $2 million bonus for her efforts, ending the movie on a triumphant and victorious note. But in reality, things turned out to be a lot less peachy.

This is because there are still plenty of chromium fears surrounding the town's water. In 2010, Hinkley resident Carmela Gonzalez found an increase in chromium-6 in her water supply, with further testing revealing that the original, underground chromium plume had actually grown in the years since Brockovich's 1996 legal victory.

Even worse, the town itself has gradually shrunk over the last two decades. In 2015, it lost its only gas station and post office, and things are looking so dire for Hinkley that The New York Times even described the place as a "ghost town" in 2016. As it turns out, winning a load of money doesn't suddenly make everything better!

In this post: 
First Posted On: 

Video editor and writer WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.