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Top Biographical Films Based On The Lives Of Famous People

Many individuals throughout the annals of history have made an indelible mark on society via their accomplishments, gifts, or sacrifices. It’s hardly surprising that many of these people’s tales of victory, tenacity, and bravery have been turned into movies. Biographical Films inspired by the lives of historical figures illuminate the hardships, triumphs, and teachings we can learn from the personalities who have made major contributions to society.  Today, we will dive into some of the most poignant movies inspired by famous people and explore the abiding influence they have had on society worldwide.

The Aviator (2004) 

Helmed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, in the lead role, this 2004 movie is inspired by the exploits of the well-known inventor and aviator Howard Hughes. The film spans the decades between the 1920s and the 1940s, concentrating on Hughes’s private sphere and his aerial accomplishments, including his battles with OCD. The story opens with Hughes’ formative decades as a renowned filmmaker and then moves on to his passion for airplanes and the foundation of Hughes Aircraft Corporation. The movie is beautifully shot and edited, with a gripping plot and excellent work from the performers. DiCaprio gives one of his best performances, showing remarkable empathy and compassion as he portrays Hughes’ complex personality, including his battles with a psychiatric disorder. The film is outstanding in its recreation of the time frame and in providing a fantastic peek into the airplane industry and nascent Hollywood. The soundtrack, created by Howard Shore, is so powerful and melancholic that it should be singled out for praise.

Fat Man & Little Boy (1989)

Released in 1989, this Ronald Joffe-directed masterpiece starring John Cusack, and Paul Newman, depicts the events surrounding the Manhattan Project, a highly secretive and controversial scientific program that resulted in the creation of the nuclear bombs that the United States later used to bend Japanese forces and end World War II. The movie’s title alludes to the aliases given to the nuclear warheads that were detonated over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Commander Leslie Groves, who oversaw the confidential program, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, a genius scientist who headed the technical group that created the bombs, serve as the major protagonists of the drama. The film depicts the political and ethical challenges encountered by the researchers and combats veterans who were involved in the program, as well as the lasting effects of the choice to set off the warheads on Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

The film brought up some serious concerns regarding the ethical implications of using weapons of mass destruction and the weighty choices that researchers and governments must make. It shows how the program’s participants overcame hardships and made compromises on a personal level and how their efforts ultimately changed the world.

I Aim At The Stars (1960)

Directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Curd Jurgens in the lead role, this 1960 movie puts the audience in the shoes of renowned engineer Von Braun. The film chronicles von Braun’s background spanning his childhood obsession with rocketry through his time working for the Third Reich during World War II, as well as his subsequent involvement in the US space project.

The movie depicts Braun as a bright but ethically conflicted man, motivated by his zeal for space flight yet also prepared to violate his principles to achieve his ambitions. The movie likewise discusses the heated climate of the period, particularly the emergence of Hitler in Germany as well as the competition involving the United States and USSR. This movie also provides a unique and insightful look at the moon race and the Cold War, delving into the goals and objectives of both the United States and USSR’s space projects.  

 The Imitation Game (2014)

“The Imitation Game” is a 2014 movie directed by Morten Tyldum and stars British actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. The movie is inspired by the life of a great scientist and mathematician, Alan Turning, who also played a significant role during the events of World War II. In the desperate hour of the war, the United States enlisted the help of genius, Alan Turing to crack the Enigma code, the device employed by German forces for strategic communications during the war. 

The movie presents Turing as an intelligent yet uncomfortable character who struggles to come to terms with homosexuality and his place in the great war. The movie also ganders on the issues of privacy, spying, and the moral weight of technological advancements. At its debut, the picture was met with widespread praise from critics and audiences alike, with many praising Benedict’s portrayal as well as the movie’s compelling storyline in particular. In addition to its many other accolades, this film received the Oscar Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Something The Lord Made (2004)

Directed by Joseph Sergent and starring the likes of Mos Def, and the Late Alan Rickman, this 2004 drama depicts the real-life collaboration between cardiologist Dr. Alfred Blalock and his black laboratory assistant Vivien Thomas, who came up with a novel medical approach to curing “blue baby” disease. 

The movie presents Thomas as an intelligent and diligent person who, despite facing racism and prejudice, succeeded in making major advances in the medical community. The movie deals with issues of social stratification, formal schooling, as well as the value of a strong role model. The film also provides constructive criticism on the value of diversity and inclusion in academic experiments and creativity, as well as the necessity to give credit where it is due to people, irrespective of their backgrounds. 


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