Movies Based on True Stories

by Rebecca1024 | created - 24 Apr 2017 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

These movies based on true stories are either fascinating stories or just so well done they are worth including. Some are rather campy; some searingly disturbing.

It was pretty overwhelming trying to compile a list because so many come to mind, so I have tried to focus on the lesser-known movies or stories.

They are roughly sorted by murder, deceit, imprisonment, survival, addictions, mental illness, scandal, abduction, family dysfunction, and biography.

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1. TalhotBlond (2012 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 87 min | Drama

Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two young daughters, gets seduced by the world of online gambling and chat rooms where a virtual romance and sexual obsession ultimately leads to the murder of an innocent man.

Director: Courteney Cox | Stars: Garret Dillahunt, Brando Eaton, Laura San Giacomo, Molly Hagan

Votes: 1,710

2. Fatal Desire (2006 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A forty-something ex-policeman named Joe initiates an online relationship with twenty-something Tonya Sullivan. Conflicts arise after Tonya flies to Atlantic City to seduce Joe, and she reveals to him that she is married.

Director: Ralph Hemecker | Stars: Anne Heche, Eric Roberts, Kathleen York, Melyssa Ade

Votes: 597

3. A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (1992 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Thriller

Betty torments her husband with childish vandalism and verbal threats after he leaves her for another woman, but nobody anticipates what ends up happening as the games escalate.

Director: Dick Lowry | Stars: Meredith Baxter, Stephen Collins, Michelle Johnson, Kelli Williams

Votes: 777

4. Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter (1992 TV Movie)

100 min | Drama

Betty Broderick stands trial for shooting her ex husband and his new bride.

Director: Dick Lowry | Stars: Meredith Baxter, Judith Ivey, Ray Baker, Kelli Williams

Votes: 359

5. Suburban Madness (2004 TV Movie)

R | 120 min | Drama

Based on the real story of Clara Harris, the Houston, Texas dentist who made headlines in July 2002 when she killed her adulterous husband by repeatedly running over him with her car.

Director: Robert Dornhelm | Stars: Sela Ward, Elizabeth Peña, Rheagan Wallace, Kate Greenhouse

Votes: 276

6. Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret (2013 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 89 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

Based on the disturbing murder trial that gripped the nation, this Lifetime Original Movie tells the story of a seductive, aspiring photographer found guilty of killing her former lover.

Director: Jace Alexander | Stars: Tania Raymonde, Jesse Lee Soffer, Leah Pipes, Zane Holtz

Votes: 1,384

7. Between Love and Hate (1993 TV Movie)

89 min | Crime, Drama

An older woman seduces a younger man and then breaks up with him. He becomes obsessive and refuses to accept the break up and subsequently turns violent.

Director: Rod Hardy | Stars: Susan Lucci, Patrick Van Horn, Raymond J. Barry, Moira Sinise

Votes: 166

8. Drew Peterson: Untouchable (2012 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 84 min | Drama

Following the mysterious disappearance of his fourth wife, a man is accused of the murder of his third.

Director: Mikael Salomon | Stars: Rob Lowe, Kaley Cuoco, Catherine Dent, Cara Buono

Votes: 1,523

9. The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story (2004 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

As the police search for a missing pregnant woman, new evidence emerges that throws suspicion on her seemingly devoted husband.

Director: Roger Young | Stars: Dean Cain, Sarah Brown, G.W. Bailey, Cindy Hogan

Votes: 1,083

10. Fatal Honeymoon (2012 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 99 min | Action, Biography, Crime

A man is accused of drowning his wife during their scuba diving trip at Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Director: Nadia Tass | Stars: Billy Miller, Amber Clayton, Gary Sweet, Harvey Keitel

Votes: 749

11. Widow on the Hill (2005 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Romance

A sexy young hospice nurse (Natasha Henstridge), is hired by a wealthy man (James Brolin) to care for his sick wife who eventually dies. When the nurse becomes the widower's new bride and ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Svatek | Stars: Natasha Henstridge, James Brolin, Jewel Staite, Gabriel Hogan

Votes: 577

12. The Two Mr. Kissels (2008 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 86 min | Drama

Drama based on a true story. Rich, high-flying brothers Robert and Andrew Kissel seemingly have everything: beautiful wives who love them, great jobs and huge houses. But beneath the ... See full summary »

Director: Ed Bianchi | Stars: John Stamos, Robin Tunney, Anson Mount, Gretchen Egolf

Votes: 532

13. The Craigslist Killer (2011 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 87 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

"The Craigslist Killer" follows the dark, mysterious life Philip Markoff (Jake McDorman) conducted online while preparing for a promising future as a doctor and a life of happiness with his... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Kay | Stars: Jake McDorman, Agnes Bruckner, Joshua Close, Julia Campbell

Votes: 2,173

14. The Stranger Beside Me (1995 TV Movie)

92 min | Drama

There's a rapist plaguing a neighborhood. Now a young newlywed suspects that her new husband may be the one doing this.

Director: Sandor Stern | Stars: Tiffani Thiessen, Eric Close, Lorrie Morgan, Steven Eckholdt

Votes: 745

15. Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story (2013 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 84 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A charming but devious college student is accused of killing his wealthy father and attempting to murder his mother in their home while they slept.

Director: Norma Bailey | Stars: Matt Barr, Eric McCormack, Lolita Davidovich, Kendra Anderson

Votes: 410

16. Right to Kill? (1985 TV Movie)

100 min | Crime, Drama

Based on true story of teens Richard and Deborah Jahnke charged in Wyoming for the killing of their abusive father.

Director: John Erman | Stars: Frederic Forrest, Christopher Collet, Karmin Murcelo, Justine Bateman

Votes: 197

17. In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness (1994 TV Movie)

200 min | Crime, Drama

After a very messy divorce, a man starts suspecting his ex-wife and her new boyfriend of various crimes.

Director: Jeff Bleckner | Stars: Kelly McGillis, Harry Hamlin, Keith Carradine, Holland Taylor

Votes: 295

18. Bad to the Bone (1997 TV Movie)

96 min | Crime, Drama

A bad girl uses her brother to kill her lover.

Director: Bill Norton | Stars: Kristy Swanson, Jeremy London, David Chokachi, Christine Tucci

Votes: 341

19. Million Dollar Murder (2005 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Mystery

When multi-millionaire Ted Ammon is found bludgeoned to death at his East Hampton estate, suspicion falls on his estranged wife, Generosa Rand, and her lover, Danny Pelosi.

Director: Jerry Ciccoritti | Stars: Poppy Montgomery, David Sutcliffe, Peter Outerbridge, Donna Goodhand

Votes: 569

20. Sex and Lies in Sin City (2008 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Decide the truth for yourself in this thrilling true story of the biggest scandal in Las Vegas. Ted Binion (Matthew Modine, TV's "Weeds") is Vegas royalty, the prince of the world famous ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Mena Suvari, Marcia Gay Harden, Johnathon Schaech, Matthew Modine

Votes: 560

21. I Killed My BFF (2015 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A friendship between two young mothers results in murder when one develops an attraction to the other's boyfriend.

Director: Seth Jarrett | Stars: Katrina Bowden, Olivia Crocicchia, Madeline Millar, Kim Baptiste

Votes: 428

22. Amanda Knox (2011 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 87 min | Crime, Drama

Based on the events surrounding the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Director: Robert Dornhelm | Stars: Hayden Panettiere, Marcia Gay Harden, Vincent Riotta, Paolo Romio

Votes: 1,950

23. Natalee Holloway (2009 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 96 min | Biography, Drama, Mystery

An 18 year old girl, Natalee Holloway, goes on a senior class trip to Aruba, only to mysteriously disappear after meeting a man at bar.

Director: Mikael Salomon | Stars: Tracy Pollan, Grant Show, Catherine Dent, Amy Gumenick

Votes: 925

24. Stuck (I) (2007)

R | 85 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A young woman commits a hit-and-run, then finds her fate tied to her victim.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea, Russell Hornsby, Rukiya Bernard

Votes: 9,002 | Gross: $0.07M

25. Bond of Silence (2010 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 98 min | Drama

A widow's forgiveness. A killer's remorse. Bond of Silence is the true life story of a shocking murder and the amazing bond that came from it. Katy and Bob live a perfect life in a small ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Werner | Stars: Kim Raver, Greg Grunberg, Charlie McDermott, Haley Ramm

Votes: 904

26. Girl Fight (2011 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 88 min | Crime, Drama

A video of an assault on a teenager surfaces on the Internet.

Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal | Stars: Anne Heche, James Tupper, Jodelle Ferland, Tess Atkins

Votes: 1,260

27. The Witness (I) (2015)

89 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

79 Metascore

The brother of Kitty Genovese investigates the circumstances of her murder and the truth of the story that dozens of locals witnessed the crime and did nothing to intervene.

Director: James D. Solomon | Stars: William Genovese, Shannon Beeby, Kitty Genovese, Winston Moseley

Votes: 3,777

28. Conspiracy of Silence (1991– )

240 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

After a young Canadian Aboriginal girl is murdered in 1971, it takes 20 years of inaction and prejudice before the police finally find the real killers. Meanwhile the killers have to live with their own guilt and fear of being caught.

Stars: Michael Mahonen, Ian Tracey, Jonathan Potts, Diego Chambers

Votes: 206

29. Stalking Laura (1993 TV Movie)

92 min | Crime, Drama, History

A beautiful young computer technician starting off her career in Silicon Valley during the Eighties, is stalked and harassed by a nerdy, dangerous and mentally-unstable colleague with a twisted obsession.

Director: Michael Switzer | Stars: Richard Thomas, Brooke Shields, Viveka Davis, William Allen Young

Votes: 906

30. Murder of Innocence (1993 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Thriller

Newlywed Laurie Wade finds her marriage, and eventually the rest of her life, shattered by her deep-rooted psychotic behavior. She goes from brief "short-circuits" to overtly murderous ... See full summary »

Director: Tom McLoughlin | Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Stephen Caffrey, Graham Beckel, Jerry Hardin

Votes: 375

31. Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 192 min | Biography, Drama

The real-life story of the Peoples Temple cult led by Reverend Jim Jones and the events involving its move to Guyana and its eventual mass suicide.

Director: William A. Graham | Stars: Powers Boothe, Ned Beatty, Irene Cara, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 1,254

32. Dawn Anna (2005 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 88 min | Drama

The true story of a single mom who overcomes many of life's obstacles.

Director: Arliss Howard | Stars: Debra Winger, Alex Van, Sam Howard, Stephen Warner

Votes: 931

33. The Deliberate Stranger (1986 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 185 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Based on a true story, this film depicts the life of Theodore Robert Bundy, the serial killer. In 1974, after having murdered several young women, he leaves Seattle for Utah, where he is a ... See full summary »

Director: Marvin J. Chomsky | Stars: Mark Harmon, Frederic Forrest, George Grizzard, Ben Masters

Votes: 2,171

34. Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story (1992 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 95 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

This film is based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos a prostitute-turned-serial killer who preyed mostly on truck drivers.

Director: Peter Levin | Stars: Jean Smart, Park Overall, Tim Grimm, Ernie Lively

Votes: 175

35. Lies My Mother Told Me (2005 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Inspired by actual events, about a young girl and her mother, Laren Sims, a con-artist and master of disguises who steals the identities of other women and then turns to murder to protect her secrets.

Director: Christian Duguay | Stars: Joely Richardson, Colm Feore, Hayden Panettiere, Jasmine Berg

Votes: 833

36. A Date with Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew Luster (2003 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 86 min | Drama

Andrew Luster, the heir to the Max factor fortune, is convicted of rape on 86 counts. This Lifetime original movie recounts the rapes committed by the infamous Andrew Luster and the women who brought him to justice.

Director: Bobby Roth | Stars: Jason Gedrick, Marla Sokoloff, Lisa Edelstein, Sarah Carter

Votes: 441

37. Who Is Clark Rockefeller? (2010 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 95 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Called "the longest running con in FBI history," Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, the man that people knew as "Clark Rockefeller" (McCormack) had brilliantly impersonated numerous people, ... See full summary »

Director: Mikael Salomon | Stars: Eric McCormack, Sherry Stringfield, Emily Alyn Lind, Stephen McHattie

Votes: 837

38. Identity Theft (2004 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 120 min | Crime, Drama

The true story of Michelle Brown who has her identity stolen and $50,000 purchased under her name.

Director: Robert Dornhelm | Stars: Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Carter Burns, Jason London, Annabella Sciorra

Votes: 650

39. She Woke Up Pregnant (1996 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 91 min | Drama

A sleazy dentist sexually assaults his patients while they are under heavy sedatives after he performs dental surgery on them. One woman gets impregnated from such an incident and decides ... See full summary »

Director: James A. Contner | Stars: Michele Greene, William R. Moses, Lynda Carter, Theresa Saldana

Votes: 293

40. Video Voyeur: The Susan Wilson Story (2002 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama

After becoming a victim of video voyeurism, a Louisiana woman fights for justice.

Director: Tim Hunter | Stars: Angie Harmon, Jamey Sheridan, Dale Midkiff, Tegan Moss

Votes: 544

41. Circle of Power (1981)

R | 97 min | Drama, Thriller

A group of husbands with their wives participate in a reunion where everybody will find his hidden secret. The methods used are terrible, but usually work. Just usually.

Director: Bobby Roth | Stars: Yvette Mimieux, Christopher Allport, Cindy Pickett, John Considine

Votes: 180

42. Crimes of the Mind (2014)

PG-13 | 84 min | Biography, Crime, Thriller

A woman spends five years trying to get her brainwashed daughter back from a cult.

Director: John Murlowski | Stars: Christina Cox, Paula Trickey, Tina Ivlev, Trevor Bryant Clark

Votes: 212

43. Without Consent (1994 TV Movie)

120 min | Drama

Michelle and Robert Mills are in continuous conflict with their young daughter Laura. One night, she has a car crash while driving drunk. Her parents ask a psychologist to refer them to a ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Iscove | Stars: Jennie Garth, Jill Eikenberry, Tom Irwin, Johnny Galecki

Votes: 251

44. Left to Die (2012 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

A woman takes an innocent vacation in Ecuador but ends up being wrongly imprisoned for drug trafficking.

Director: Leon Ichaso | Stars: Barbara Hershey, Rachael Leigh Cook, Vincent Irizarry, Nicholas Gonzalez

Votes: 502

45. Conviction (II) (2010)

R | 107 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.

Director: Tony Goldwyn | Stars: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo, Thomas D. Mahard

Votes: 40,764 | Gross: $6.78M

46. Open Water (2003)

R | 79 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror