JOE's five favourite 'Based On A True Story' films 8 years ago

JOE's five favourite 'Based On A True Story' films

To mark the release of The Summit in Irish cinemas this week, JOE is taking a look at some of our favourite films that are based on a true story.

The award-winning film The Summit, directed by Irishman Nick Ryan, chronicles one of the deadliest days in modern mountain climbing history when 11 climbers, including Limerick man Ger McDonnell, lost their lives on the most dangerous mountain on Earth, K2. The film, which is being released in Ireland by Wildcard Distribution, has already released two incredibly intense trailers which you can check out here and here.


"This article is based on a true story."

It's often hard to know just how true certain "true stories" actually are, with many, if not most ideas for films, growing out of some actual event or person that exists in real life. Of course, artistic license understandably has to be taken into account when making a film and, as a result, the "true story" we're watching onscreen can often be a million miles from the actual original germ of an idea.

Some films, like the Coen Brothers' classic Fargo (1996), states that "This is a true story" when, in reality, the film is completely fictional. On the other hand, Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993) has no warning sign explaining that it's based on a true story when, in reality, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT VELOCIRAPTORS ARE REAL.

Leaving out the "true story" tag is just dangerous and inconsiderate Steven.


Some "true stories" are great - City Of God, Argo, The Great Escape - while others not so much. That's right Patch Adams we're looking at you.

patch adams

So here are five of JOE's all-time favourite films that are based on true events.

Schindler's List (1993)


We'll forgive Spielberg that fossil-fest faux pas seeing as, in the same year that Jurassic Park was released (THE SAME YEAR!?), the director also made this incredibly poignant and moving historical drama based on the life of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved more than a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

Now where did we leave our manly man tissues...

The Social Network (2010)


David Fincher's Oscar-winning portrayal of the story behind the founding of Facebook, sees Jesse Eisenberg play CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he goes head to head with pretty much everyone around him, including Andrew Garfield as his best friend Eduardo Saverin and Armie Hammer as the Winklevoss (Winklevi?) twins.

JOE hit the Like button repeatedly when watching this one.

Goodfellas (1990)

As far back as JOE can remember, we've absolutely loved this film. Martin Scorsese's mafia movie masterpiece is not just one of the greatest gangster films ever made, it's one of the greatest films full stop. Capital letter, Check out the legendary clip below starring Ray Liotta as Henry Hill and Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito, it's pretty funny.


What do you mean funny?

All The President's Men (1976)

An absolute must-see for all aspiring journalists (or any fan of beautiful flowing 1970s hair), Alan J. Pakula's political classic tells the story of Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford), two journalists working for The Washington Post who investigated the Watergate scandal, eventually leading to the downfall of the then US President, Richard Nixon.

Here are the two super story sleuths in action. The hair, look at their beautiful hair.

In The Name Of The Father (1993)

Daniel 'I own all the Oscars' Day-Lewis starred in Jim Sheridan's iconic Irish film as Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four, a group of three men and one woman who were wrongly convicted of the IRA's Guildford pub bombing in 1974.

Day-Lewis, along with an excellent supporting cast including Pete Postlewaite as his father Giuseppe, puts in yet another completely dominating performance in a harrowing, true story that will stay with you, long after the film fades to black.

The Summit hits Irish cinemas on Friday November 22.