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How true are so called biopic films? I have seen quite a few and wonder how close to the truth they are?.....
or do they elaborate on facts to make the film more interesting?

Do they have input from the actual person (if still alive)....if so does that person get a say in what is portrayed about them? or is the basis of these types of films from other sources and heresay? (i know different films will have different references)

references to differenrt films are welcome, with any info about them....you might of guessed that i am watching, A beautiful mind...i have seen it before and have read up on John Forbes Nash, the film is a fair bit different to what is written about him...hence the question...
asked in films, biopics



vultan answers:

Depends on the biopic, but most glam the story up considerably (ie lie). I think A Beauiful Mind pretty much ignored a lot of the nastier behaviour of the main character.

Some are inaccurate because they're based on inaccurate source material - TE Lawrence apparently exagerated his antics, so the film 'Lawrence of Arabia' does as well.

Others are inaccurate just because the film-makers want to make a different story to the real one. 'The Elephant Man' wanted to turn the story of a Victorian freakshow performer into a morality tale, so it made him into an abused victim (which he wasn't), had him abducted and forcibly displayed (which never happened) and even somehow got his name wrong (he was called Joseph, not John). 'Braveheart' had William Wallace fathering the future king of England because Mel Gibson hates the British and wanted to make the subject of his film a seem bit more important.

If the subject is still alive then some account has to be taken on their feelings so as to avoid any possible lawsuits. I guess the Queen is fair game as she isn't going to sue anyone.

A slightly obscure example is Price Felix Yusupov - he was one of the men who murdered Gregory Rasputin, the 'mad monk', in Russia just before the revolution. He concocted this ridiculous story about how Rasputin was almost impossible to kill, and how they had to poison him, shoot him, beat him and drown him before he finally had the good grace to die. This has all turned out to be complete nonsense now that the historical files have been opened to researchers - they just shot him and dumped him in a river. But Yusupov fled to America during the Russian revolution and insisted that his version of events was true (I guess if you're cheerfully confessing to murdering a man you'll want people to believe he was some kind of supernatural force of evil). So all films of Rasputin's life (there are only two or three - I think Yusupov prevented a few from being made) had to include the stupid death scene because otherwise Yusupov would sue. So that's why 'Rasputin the Mad Monk' starring Christopher Lee has such a silly ending.


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rasputin1309 answers:

I would concur with Vultan's excellent answer - it all depends on the biopic and who is making it etc - it is a good rule of thumb to treat such "true" stories with a pinch of salt - although I would disagree with Vultan on one of his points - that of Rasputin - he was/is impossible to kill :))))


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robinsamuels answers:

Two films spring straight to mind.

JFK is so full of innaccuracies, but there is now a whole generation that believe the film version.

Bravo Two Zero, the book, has been totally trashed by an ex-SAS officer who travelled round Iraq interviewing the people involved. No wonder the film was inaccurate.


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