20 Fact-Based Movies That Got The Facts Wrong

Since the moving picture was invented, films have been informing the lives and beliefs of people around the world. Even though you can get the same information from a book, movies are not only easier and quicker to process but they are generally far more entertaining. Nowadays, when a child is supposed to read a book for English class or study for a history test, they tend to skip the classic studying methods and jump straight for their film counterparts. What a lot of people probably don’t realize is that so many of these “true stories” are only somewhat accurate. Here are just a few film plots you’ve been wrongly touting as truth all along.

Nanook of the North

The 1922 film Nanook of the North is about an Eskimo family living in the Canadian arctic and was widely considered the grandfather of modern documentary filmmaking. What most people didn’t find out until years later was filmmaker Robert Flaherty made the whole thing up. Nanook’s real name was Allakariallak; his “wives” were actually Flaherty’s; and despite that the Eskimos of that time hunted with rifles and lived in houses, Flaherty had them build igloos and hunt with harpoons — just for the film.

My Left Foot

The highly acclaimed film My Left Foot, which won Daniel Day-Lewis his first Oscar, was based on the life of cerebral palsy stricken artist and author Christy Brown and his nurse, Mary Carr. While the film ends with Brown and Carr living happily ever after, the real Mary Carr was an alcoholic and a prostitute. Most nights she would leave Brown alone to go out partying, which led to the depression that led to his failure as an author and eventually his death at 49.


Billy Beane turned the 2002 Oakland A’s baseball team into a winning club with the use of careful statistical analysis then wrote a book about it which was turned into a fantastic movie starring Brad Pitt. What the film doesn’t tell you is that after the book was published, other baseball teams started using the method and the Oakland A’s went right back to being losers.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

It’s hard not to adore an amazing romantic story of a 40 year-old woman who finds well-deserved love in a handsome 20 year-old Jamaican during an island vacation. While based on fact, the real life story isn’t as happy as the film version – the young Jamaican man was actually gay and only married real-life Stella, author Terry McMillan, to gain U.S. citizenship.

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