When you hear that a movie is based on a true story, your excitement for it increases exponentially. And why wouldn’t it, nothing makes for a better story than the reality. It is for this reason that trailers mention it. It’s a sure-fire way to get you hooked. The narrative becomes far more interesting and fast.

However, if you aren’t already aware, the phrase “based on a true story” is mostly a ploy. Hollywood has an old habit of romanticizing and sensationalizing the truth. A common advertising tool used to lure the audience and increase sales, this technique has been in practice for a long period of time and often times production houses take it too far. After all, one could add the phrase to Finding Nemo and it would hold true. Sure enough, it makes sense to do so. History can get boring and adding a little spice to it can turn it into a great story that fares well with the audience. 

Then again, in some cases, the movies are loosely displaying the truth. A lot of us though, have fallen for the ploy taking these movies too seriously and never checked to see if things indeed happened the way the movies tell us. Sure movies on historical events and personalities are used to drive propaganda and so they lie, but in the case, for others, it makes little sense apart from exaggerating it to sell it. A lot of popular movies are part of this though and you’d be surprised to learn about them. 

Here are some of the movies that bent the plot to romanticize the real facts and the story.


The movie revolves around a brilliant student, Ben Campbell, a bright student enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who needs some cash to pay his tuition fees. His life takes a U-turn when his professor Mickey Rosa recruits him into his Blackjack team. This movie promises intrigue and danger as our protagonist finds himself in murky waters with casino enforcers.

The basic premise is from a true story, correct but let’s look at how it deviates from the truth.

For starters, all the lead characters shown in the movie are Americans. In reality, however, 21 can be considered as one of the greatest whitewashes in Hollywood history. A major thing they changed in the movie is that almost all the members of the Blackjack team were Asians. In the movie, we can see the influence of American writers that were part of its production. They even erased the fact that the professor was also Asian and famous for disguising in female outfits which he used to sneak into casinos.

The Pursuit of Happyness

This movie revolves around the story of Christopher Gardner, a hard-working man with an adorable son trying to make both ends meet for a living. A struggling salesman, he soon loses all with no shelter or money for food to support his son. His wife too leaves him. In these trying times, his path crosses that of Jay Twistle who works at a top finance firm, Dean Witter Reynolds. He learns they have an internship and he desperately tries to get in. How does he manage it? Simply by impressing Twistle with his Rubik’s Cube solving skills. The reality is different, however.

Gardner’s selection to the one and only opening at Dean Witter had nothing to do with solving a Rubik’s cube. Also, he was so busy in earning his first million that he didn’t have any idea where his son was living for the four months of the program. And another thing the movie glosses over and blatantly lies about is that Gardner didn’t get arrested before the interview because of parking tickets, but rather because of his wife, Jackie had accused him of domestic violence. So, how do you feel now? You may think the guy is a hero, but that’s just Hollywood talking.


Rush is considered one of the iconic based-on-a-true-story movie Hollywood has ever produced. The story revolves around the rivalry between two F-1 racers, James Hunt and Nicki Lauda. Speeding cars and clashing egos of two great race car drivers. Splendid! The story was a recipe for success and predictable it did well, having us hooked. Given the storyline though, you can imagine how much they could exaggerate, for exaggerate they did!

The rivalry portrayed in the movie is a mere exaggeration of emotions and real-life scenarios. In reality, they were really good friends and, actually, shared an apartment once. Surprised? So were we. Also, Hunt never punched a journalist in real life. Shocking, right. Was there any truth to the story at all then? Not really. All the rivalry and scenarios portrayed in the movie were mostly sensationalized to make the movie iconic. 

A Beautiful Mind

Another classic that is a lie. A Beautiful Mind is loved by many and quoted quite often, so it’s surprising to learn it too exaggerates the real story.

Revolving around the economics Nobel Laureate John Nash, famously known for the Nash Equilibrium, this film is largely fictional. Wheeler Laboratory at MIT doesn’t exist which means our economist never joined it. He did become an instructor at the prestigious MIT, so that was true. However, the part where he worked for the Department of Defense is again, you guessed it, false!

Another inconsistency it had with the real story of Nash is that while he did become a father, it was out of wedlock which means there was no wife. He abandoned the mother. In addition to this, he also never gave an acceptance speech upon winning the Nobel Prize. 

Final Words

These movies are entertaining for sure, they motivate you and can help you through tough times. But, stories change depending on who’s writing them and how they will benefit the producers. Watching them is entertaining, but we should watch them with a critical eye. Taking such movies on face value can be a disservice to the real people behind them. With the internet, you can fact check these stories right away, so why not. All you need is a good internet connection which you can easily get at Buytvinternetphone. It’ll also improve your movie streaming experience so why wait.  Your movie night just got better!