Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Least Accurate Biopics Ever Made

Movies based on real people and events sometimes have to make tough decisions. Should they focus on accuracy or on making an entertaining movie? Often times, the facts are changed for the benefit of the story. A lot of these movies are classics, but they are also some of the most inaccurate biopics ever made.

Amadeus (1984)

Taking place around the turn of the 19th century, Amadeus tells the story of Antonio Salieri. He is the court composer for the Holy Roman Emperor, until the arrival of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who upstages him several times. While the movie depicts Salieri as a bitterly jealous rival of Mozart, the two were actually friendly with each other. They worked together and would even attend social functions together. Salieri did not believe, as the movie depicts, that he caused the death of Mozart, and never officially confessed to it.

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

The story of John Nash is a heartbreaking tale about a mathematical prodigy who suffers from extreme paranoia and hallucinations. The real John Nash, who died in 2015, was a mathematical genius who really did suffer from severe mental conditions. Fortunately, the real John Nash didn't hallucinate entire people into existence. His mental condition was altered to make it more visually interesting for the movie's story.

The King's Speech (2010)

Colin Firth stars as King George the VI, who must overcome a crippling speech impediment in order to deliver Britain's declaration of war on Germany live on the radio. King George VI did in fact suffer from a stammer and hired a speech therapist to help overcome the issue. While the movie depicts this happening during the onset of World War II, the king had overcome his stammer over a decade prior to that.

The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher did the impossible and made creating a website look sexy and exciting in The Social Network. The film tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg creating and then getting sued for Facebook. While there are many conflicting stories about who created what for the site, there is one part of the movie that is definitely pure fiction. Mark Zuckerberg did not create Facebook because he had been dumped by his girlfriend.

Braveheart (1995)

Mel Gibson stars as William Wallace, a hero from Scotland's first war for independence. One of the major plot lines in Braveheart is the love affair between Wallace and Princess Isabella. While it's hard to verify most of the facts of Wallace's life, it's pretty certain that the affair didn't happen. Isabella was a toddler during the events the movie is based on.

The Untouchables (1987)

During prohibition, Al Capone controlled the flow of alcohol in Chicago until Eliot Ness and his crew of Untouchables took him down. Sean Connery plays Jimmy Malone, an experienced beat cop who teaches Ness how things really work in Chicago. Unfortunately, Malone wasn't a real person. The person he was based on, Marty LaHart, was actually an FBI agent who was about the same age as Ness. He also lived until old age, unlike Malone who is murdered by the mob.

The Conqueror (1956)

The Conqueror is the story of Genghis Khan, starring John Wayne as, well, Genghis Kahn. That casting alone is enough to let you know that the filmmakers weren't going for accuracy. In the movie, Kahn kidnaps his future wife, Bortai and holds her hostage until she falls in love with him. According to historical documents, however, Kahn had an arranged marriage with this woman when he still a teenager. Not only that, but the group of people he kidnaps her from in the movie are believed to have actually kidnapped her in real life.

The Doors (1991)

Jim Morrison was an influential musician who sang lead vocals in The Doors, and this movie tells the story of his rise to fame and eventual death in 1971. While the movie depicts Jim Morrison as an out of control alcoholic and heavy drug user, his surviving bandmates claim this is inaccurate. They claim it is extremely over the top and fails to show the sensitive artist that he actually was.

The Hurricane (1999)

After spending almost 20 years in prison, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is eventually able to clear his name and gain his freedom with the help of several activists. The former was actually freed from prison due to the hard work of his lawyers. Meanwhile, the film gives all the credit to some Canadian activists. Maybe it just isn't interesting to watch lawyers do what lawyers actually do.

Patch Adams (1998)

Although it wasn't his best received movie, Patch Adams is one of Robin Williams' most famous roles. He plays a doctor who uses humor to help treat his patients, much to the chagrin of the other doctors around him. The real Patch Adams is not a fan of this movie. He claims that it portrays him only as a silly doctor and glosses over much of the actual charity work he was involved in.

Pocahontas (1995)

While Disney usually adapts fairy tales for their animated movies, they chose to go the historical route with Pocahontas. Pocahontas is a young native american girl who befriends an English settler named John Smith, and eventually saves his life. The movie shows romantic relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith. Fortunately, this romance was made up, as Pocahontas was actually only 10 years old during the real-world events this movie depicts.

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Kirsten Dunst stars as the famous French queen during the years before the French revolution. During the movie, she and her husband have trouble conceiving a child due to the husband's apparent fear of intercourse. While it did take several years for the couple to conceive, there were likely deeper issues. There's evidence that her husband was suffering from phimosis, a medical condition which would have contributed to his sexual dysfunctions.

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Back in the late '80s, rap group NWA changed the face of rap by writing songs about police brutality and brutally realistic depictions of life in Compton, California. Straight Outta Compton details the group's rise to fame and the struggles that led to their eventual demise. While the movie tells a very compelling story for Eazy E, it glosses over some of Dr Dre's darker moments, like his infamous assault on TV show host Dee Barnes.

Alexander (2004)

Based on the life of Alexander the Great, Alexander stars Colin Farrell as the famous conqueror. The movie is a sprawling epic that shows Alexander conquering Egypt, Persia, and several other lands. Director Oliver Stone attempted to condense the story of Alexander the Great into one (albeit very long) movie. Multiple events are and characters are often combined, leading to many historical accuracies and omissions. For example, the movie shows Alexander defeating the Persian army in just one battle, although in reality it took several bloody battles before Alexander saw victory.