True Story: Barney Stinson is Not the Only One Making Up History

“Based on a true story.”

These words have become buzz words for writers and directors to steal a story line and do whatever they want to change the story.

Some incredible movies have been “based on a true story,” yet completely different stories are told in them. Recent examples include The Fighter, Remember the Titans, Marley and Me, We are Marshall, The Pursuit of Happyness, 21, The Social Network, 127 Hours, The Soloist, Milk, Gridiron Gang, Get Rich or Die Trying, Walk the Line, Ray, We Were Soldiers, Hotel Rwanda, UnbrokenMoneyball, and most recently Black Mass and Straight Outta Compton.

Directors stretch the limits of the actual story often, but changing characters and plot points just to make it a more compelling or crowd pleasing retelling does have some consequences.Barney Stinson

Why would directors and producers and studios allow this to continue?

For a few reasons:

  • Butts in the seats – everyone likes a feel good story…even if it’s not true.
  • Directors feel it is their ‘creative license’ to do what feels right…even if it’s not true.
  • Movies are made to entertain large audiences…even if everything isn’t true.
  • History is written by the winners (or the survivors)…even if it’s not true.
  • $$$

What are your thoughts? Is it the director’s creative license? Or is it unfair to the featured person/family? Sound off in the comments.


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