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Films
Biopics

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Titles
Subjects
Actors to Subjects
Subjects to Actors
Others

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Biopics

This page covers all fact–based feature films, not all of which might normally be referred to as biopics.

Titles

Q: What was the title of the film … A:
About the ordeal of US canyoneer Aron Ralston, who was trapped by a rock for more than five days (2010) – based on his 2004 memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place Click to show or hide the answer
Starring Vanessa Redgrave as a famous English writer, Timothy Dalton as her husband, and Dustin Hoffman as an American journalist who falls in love with her (1979) Click to show or hide the answer
About Watergate (1976) Click to show or hide the answer
Starring Richard Burton as Henry VIII (1969) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the life of Ritchie Valens (1986) Click to show or hide the answer
Starring Russell Crowe as the mathematician and Nobel laureate John Nash (2001) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on Joy Adamson's memoir about raising a lion cub called Elsa, then releasing her into the wild, in Kenya (1966) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the best–selling autobiography of the same title by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic (1989) Click to show or hide the answer
Telling the story of Operation Market Garden – an unsuccessful attempt by the Allies to break through German lines and seize several bridges in the occupied Netherlands, including one at Arnhem, thus hastening the end of World War II; based on Cornelius Ryan's book of the same title (1977) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the wartime exploits of SOE agent Violette Szabo (1958) Click to show or hide the answer
Starring Leonardo Di Caprio as teenage conman Frank Abagnale, and Tom Hanks as an FBI fraud investigator who tracks him down (2002) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the life of William Randolph Hearst (1941) Click to show or hide the answer
About the life of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis (2007 – based on the book Touching from a distance, written by his widow Deborah) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on a novel of the same title, loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener; stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, born Einar Wegener (2015) Click to show or hide the answer
Loosely based on the lives of the Brontë sisters; starred Ida Lupino as Emily, Olivia de Havilland as Charlotte, Nancy Coleman as Anne, Paul Henreid as Charlotte's husband the Rev. Arthur Nicholls, Arthur Kennedy as Branwell, and Sydney Greenstreet as W. M. Thackeray (1946) Click to show or hide the answer
Loosely based on the life of Eminem (2002) – starring him as Jimmy 'B–Rabbit' Smith Click to show or hide the answer
Set in the Boxer Rebellion, starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner and David Niven (1963) Click to show or hide the answer
Loosely based on the life of rapper 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) (2005) – starring him as Marcus Greer; using 8 Mile as a "template", and with the same title as his debut album Click to show or hide the answer
2008: about the conflict between veteran US radio and TV journalist Edward R. Murrow and anti–communist Senator Joseph McCarthy; George Clooney co–wrote, directed and stars; McCarthy only appears in archive footage; title is the line with which Murrow routinely signed off his broadcasts Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the work of Diane Fossey (1988) Click to show or hide the answer
"Mockumentary" about the Sex Pistols (1980) Click to show or hide the answer
About the Guildford Four (1993) Click to show or hide the answer
About Nelson Mandela's progress from political prisoner to world statesman – particularly during the 1995 rugby world cup (2009, directed by Clint Eastwood) Click to show or hide the answer
2005: starring Jake Gyllenhaal, based on a memoir of the first Gulf War by Anthony Swofford; title is a slang term for a US marine Click to show or hide the answer
1984: based on the experiences of journalists Dith Pran (Cambodian, 1942–2008) and Sydney Scharnberg (US, 1934–2016) during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia Click to show or hide the answer
1962 World War II epic about the D–Day landings – based on the book of the same title by Cornelius Ryan; claimed a cast of "42 international stars" Click to show or hide the answer
2008: Sean Penn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the first openly gay man elected to public office in the USA Click to show or hide the answer
1982: stars Jack Lemmon as US businessman Ed Horman, searching for his journalist son Charles, in the bloody aftermath of Pinochet's 1973 coup against Allende in Chile; Sissy Spacek plays Charles's wife Beth Click to show or hide the answer
About the adolescence of John Lennon and the evolution of the Beatles (2009) Click to show or hide the answer
About the 1936 Olympics, directed by Leni Riefenstahl Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the wartime exploits of Luftwaffe fighter pilot Oberleutnant Franz von Werra, a prisoner of war who escaped in the USA while being transferred between camps in Britain and Canada, and returned to Berlin via Mexico and South America  (1957; based on a book of the same title, and starring Hardy Krüger as von Werra) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the memoir by the Danish author Karen Blixen (sometimes published under her pen name Isak Dinesen) about her 17 years as a coffee planter in British East Africa (now Kenya) (1985) Click to show or hide the answer
About the winner of 1930 Melbourne Cup (1983) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman, starring Adrian Brody Click to show or hide the answer
Based on Carrie Fisher's semi–autobiographical novel Click to show or hide the answer
Stars Meryl Streep as the eponymous trade union activist and nuclear whistleblower, who died in a suspicious car accident while investigating alleged wrongdoing at the plutonium plant where she worked (1993) Click to show or hide the answer
Telling the story of Facebook (2010) Click to show or hide the answer
In which Paul Newman played boxer Rocky Graziano (1956) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on the 2012 memoir Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters (2016) Click to show or hide the answer
About Stephen Hawking's relationship with his wife Jane (2014 – based on her book) Click to show or hide the answer
Based on Joe Simpson's 1989 book of the same title, describing his struggle for survival following a climbing accident in the Peruvian Andes (2003) Click to show or hide the answer
About the 1934 Nuremberg Rally, directed by Leni Riefenstahl (1935) Click to show or hide the answer
Starring Josh Brolin as US President George W. Bush (2008) Click to show or hide the answer
1987: based on the so–called 'Happy Valley' murder case, in Kenya in 1941, in which Sir Henry 'Jock' Delves Broughton (played by Joss Ackland) was tried for the murder of Lord Erroll (Charles Dance), a serial philanderer who was trying to persuade Delves Broughton's beautiful young wife Diana (Greta Scaachi) to divorce Delves Broughton and marry him Click to show or hide the answer
2013: black comedy directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the disgraced former stockbroker Jordan Belfort (based on his memoirs) Click to show or hide the answer

Subjects

Q: Who (or what) was the subject of the film ... ?  A:
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958 – missionary) Click to show or hide the answer
The Greatest Showman (2017 – played by Hugh Jackman) Click to show or hide the answer
Cry Freedom (1987) Click to show or hide the answer
Cinderella Man (2005) – played by Russell Crowe (US boxer) Click to show or hide the answer
Champions (jockey) Click to show or hide the answer
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942 – played by James Cagney) Click to show or hide the answer
Mommie Dearest (1981) Click to show or hide the answer
I'm not there (2007 – played by six different actors) Click to show or hide the answer
Tom & Viv (1994): Tom was Click to show or hide the answer
American Hot Wax (1978 – American DJ) Click to show or hide the answer
Somebody up there likes me (1956) – played by Paul Newman (US boxer) Click to show or hide the answer
Lady Sings the Blues (1972) Click to show or hide the answer
The Aviator (2004) – played by Leonardo DiCaprio Click to show or hide the answer
The Miracle Worker (1962): Anne Bancroft played Annie Sullivan, teaching Click to show or hide the answer
Song without End (1960) Click to show or hide the answer
Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) Click to show or hide the answer
The First of the Few (1942 – known in the USA as Spitfire) Click to show or hide the answer
A Beautiful Mind (2001 – Nobel prize–winning economist) Click to show or hide the answer
The Last Emperor (1987) Click to show or hide the answer
The Music Lovers (1970) Click to show or hide the answer
300 (2007): Battle of (480 BC) Click to show or hide the answer
A Night to Remember (1958) Click to show or hide the answer
Give 'em Hell, Harry! (1975) – James Whitmore was Oscar nominated for the title role Click to show or hide the answer
The Imitation Game (2014) Click to show or hide the answer
La Bamba (1987) Click to show or hide the answer
Film4's 2015 BAFTA–winning documentary (the title was her first name) Click to show or hide the answer
Tea with Mussolini (1999 – based on his autobiography) Click to show or hide the answer

Actors to Subjects

Q: In ..., who (which composer, etc.) was portrayed by ... ?   A:
Immortal Beloved (1994)Gary Oldman Click to show or hide the answer
The Lady in the Van (2015)Alex Jennings Click to show or hide the answer
Young Guns (1988)Emilio Estevez Click to show or hide the answer
The Left Handed Gun (1958)Paul Newman Click to show or hide the answer
In the Name of the Father (1993)Daniel Day–Lewis Click to show or hide the answer
They Died with their Boots on (1941) Errol Flynn Click to show or hide the answer
Shadowlands (1993):Debra Winger Click to show or hide the answer
The Conqueror (1956)John Wayne Click to show or hide the answer
Selma (2014)David Oyeluwo (o–yellow–o) Click to show or hide the answer
Shadowlands (1993)Anthony Hopkins Click to show or hide the answer
Song without End (1960)Dirk Bogarde Click to show or hide the answer
Apollo 13 (1995)Tom Hanks Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) Charlton Heston Click to show or hide the answer
Night and Day (1946)Cary Grant Click to show or hide the answer
De–Lovely (2004)Kevin Kline Click to show or hide the answer
Scandal (1989)Bridget Fonda Click to show or hide the answer
John Hurt Click to show or hide the answer
Ian McKellen Click to show or hide the answer
Joanne Whalley Click to show or hide the answer
Lust for Life (1956) Kirk Douglas Click to show or hide the answer
I Saw the Light (2015) Tom Hiddleston Click to show or hide the answer
The Hours (2002) Nicole Kidman Click to show or hide the answer

Subjects to Actors

Q: In ... , who played ... ?  A:
Ali (2001)Muhammad Ali Click to show or hide the answer
The Alamo (1960 – opposite John Wayne as Davy Crockett) Jim Bowie Click to show or hide the answer
All Creatures Great and Small (1974) James Herriot Click to show or hide the answer
All the President's Men (1976) Carl Bernstein Click to show or hide the answer
Bob Woodward Click to show or hide the answer
Amadeus (1984) Mozart Click to show or hide the answer
Salieri Click to show or hide the answer
Hans Christian Andersen (1952) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) Anne Boleyn Click to show or hide the answer
Henry VIII Click to show or hide the answer
Annie get your Gun (1950) Title role (Annie Oakley) Click to show or hide the answer
The Aviator (2004) Howard Hughes Click to show or hide the answer
A Beautiful Mind (2001) John Nash (troubled mathematician) Click to show or hide the answer
Beckett (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968) Henry II Click to show or hide the answer
Behind the Candelabra (2013) Liberace Click to show or hide the answer
The Bird Man of Alcatraz (1962) Title role (Robert Stroud) Click to show or hide the answer
Prison warder Click to show or hide the answer
Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Bonnie Parker Click to show or hide the answer
Clyde Barrow Click to show or hide the answer
Braveheart (1995) King Edward I of England Click to show or hide the answer
Buster (1988) Buster Edwards Click to show or hide the answer
Buster's long–suffering wife, June Click to show or hide the answer
June's mother Click to show or hide the answer
Bruce Reynolds Click to show or hide the answer
Calamity Jane (1953) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Al Capone (1959) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Chaplin (1992) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Chariots of Fire (1981) Eric Liddell (the Scottish athlete who didn't run on a Sunday) Click to show or hide the answer
Harold Abrahams (the Jewish athlete who did) Click to show or hide the answer
Lord Lindsay (based on Lord Burleigh) Click to show or hide the answer
The Coalminer's Daughter Loretta Lynn Click to show or hide the answer
Cromwell (1970) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Cry Freedom (1987) Steve Biko Click to show or hide the answer
Journalist Donald Woods Click to show or hide the answer
A Cry in the Dark (1988) Lindy Chamberlain Click to show or hide the answer
The Dam Busters (1955) Barnes Wallis Click to show or hide the answer
Wing Commander Guy Gibson Click to show or hide the answer
The Desert Fox (1951) Rommel Click to show or hide the answer
The Doors (1991) Jim Morrison Click to show or hide the answer
The Elephant Man John Merrick Click to show or hide the answer
Dr. Frederick Treves Click to show or hide the answer
The Fifth Estate (2013) Julian Assange Click to show or hide the answer
Finding Neverland (2004 – "semi–autobiographical") J. M. Barrie Click to show or hide the answer
Gandhi (1982) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Gorillas in the Mist (1988) Dian Fossey Click to show or hide the answer
Hawking (2004) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
The Hurricane (1999) Title role (Rubin "Hurricane" Carter) Click to show or hide the answer
The Imitation Game (2014) Alan Turing Click to show or hide the answer
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) Gladys Aylward (missionary) Click to show or hide the answer
The Iron Lady (2011) Margaret Thatcher Click to show or hide the answer
Dennis Thatcher Click to show or hide the answer
J. Edgar (2011) J. Edgar Hoover Click to show or hide the answer
JFK (1991) LA district attorney Jim Garrison Click to show or hide the answer
Lee Harvey Oswald Click to show or hide the answer
The Al Jolson Story (1946; also the 1949 sequel Jolson Sings Again) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
The King's Speech (2010) Speech therapist Lionel Logue Click to show or hide the answer
King George V Click to show or hide the answer
Queen Mary Click to show or hide the answer
Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother) Click to show or hide the answer
King Edward VIII Click to show or hide the answer
Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang Click to show or hide the answer
Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holliday Click to show or hide the answer
The Last King of Scotland (2006) Idi Amin Click to show or hide the answer
The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988) Pontius Pilate Click to show or hide the answer
Lawrence of Arabia King Feisal Click to show or hide the answer
The Madness of King George (1995) George III Click to show or hide the answer
Malcolm X (1992) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
A Man for All Seasons (1966) Sir Thomas More Click to show or hide the answer
Henry VIII Click to show or hide the answer
McVicar (1980) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
The Glenn Miller Story Glenn Miller Click to show or hide the answer
Miss Potter (2006) Beatrix Potter Click to show or hide the answer
Mrs. Brown (1997) Queen Victoria Click to show or hide the answer
John Brown Click to show or hide the answer
Mr. Turner (2014) J. M. W. Turner Click to show or hide the answer
The Music Lovers (1970) Tchaikovsky Click to show or hide the answer
His wife, Antonina Miliukova Click to show or hide the answer
Nixon (1995) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
J. Edgar Hoover Click to show or hide the answer
Nowhere Boy (2009) John Lennon Click to show or hide the answer
Patton: Lust for Glory Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Postcards from the Edge Carrie Fisher Click to show or hide the answer
Her mother (Debbie Reynolds) Click to show or hide the answer
Rembrandt (1936) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Rogue Trader (1995) Nick Leeson Click to show or hide the answer
Lisa Leeson (his wife) Click to show or hide the answer
Santa Fe Trail (1940) General Custer Click to show or hide the answer
Saving Mr. Banks (2013) Walt Disney Click to show or hide the answer
P. L. Travers Click to show or hide the answer
Schindler's List Oskar Schindler Click to show or hide the answer
Sully (2016) Heroic airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger Click to show or hide the answer
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010) Ian Dury Click to show or hide the answer
10 Rillington Place (1971) John Christie Click to show or hide the answer
Timothy Evans Click to show or hide the answer
Beryl Evans Click to show or hide the answer
Surviving Picasso (1996) Pablo Picasso Click to show or hide the answer
They Died With Their Boots On (1941) General Custer Click to show or hide the answer
To Hell and Back (1955 wartime biography) Himself Click to show or hide the answer
Valentino (1977) Title role Click to show or hide the answer
Wagner (1983) Title role (one of his last film roles) Click to show or hide the answer
Walk the Line (2005) Johnny Cash Click to show or hide the answer
June Carter Click to show or hide the answer
Wild (2014)Cheryl Strayed – the first woman to walk the Pacific Crest Trail (Mexico to Canada) alone Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Young Winston (1972) Winston Churchill Click to show or hide the answer
ZuluCetewayo Click to show or hide the answer

Others

Made a cameo appearance as a waitress in a year–2000 film about her life Click to show or hide the answer
Stage name of Danish circus performer Hedvig Jensen (1867–89) – made famous in a 1967 biopic Click to show or hide the answer
Played by Kate Winslet and Judi Dench (as a young and mature woman respectively) in a 2001 biopic taking her forename as its title Click to show or hide the answer
Played Tony Blair in Peter Morgan's "Blair trilogy" (The Deal 2003, The Queen 2006, The Special Relationship 2010); David Frost in Frost/Nixon (2008); Brian Clough in The Damned United (2009) Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18