True stories have always been a darling choice for filmmakers. There are only a few crowd-pullers bigger than an “Inspired by a true story” tag. While some films turn history on its head to create cinematic intensity, there also exist films which spare no effort in bringing history to life in a grounded and realistic fashion. A while ago, I did a feature on The Most Historically Inaccurate Movies of All Time, detailing the gruesome mistakes made while making cinema based on historical events. And since I didn’t want to be considered a “glass half empty:” kind of person, here’s a list glorifying the other side of adaptation of history into cinema – the good side. The films which land a spot here merit from meticulous research about and expert portrayal of the history concerned.
Also, “docufiction films” i.e. fictional stories set within real history do not count, meaning that ‘Saving Private Ryan’, in spite of its remarkable 27-minute portrayal of the battle at Omaha beach, will not feature. They demand a separate list of their own. Getting back to the matter at hand, here’s the list of top 10 most historically accurate movies ever. You can stream some of these movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. A Night to Remember (1958)
An account of the unfortunate fate of the RMS Titanic. No, don’t look back at the title again. This is the other, less popular account. And while 1999’s ‘Titanic’ boasts of a bunch of Oscars and global popularity, the 1958 counterpart dishes out historical accuracy. Visually, James Cameron was able to convey the actual sinking of the Titanic in a way that no other movie before would have possibly been able to do, but ‘A Night to Remember’ has an edge in almost every other factual accuracy, as Cameron chose to place a fictional love story in the setting instead.
Based on Titanic survivor Walter Lord’s book of the same name, ‘A Night to Remember’ focuses on an array of characters and provides an insight into both the class struggles of the time and the procedure for when a ship this size starts sinking. Joseph Boxhall, the Fourth Officer of the RMS Titanic and passengers Edith Russell and Lawrence Beesley served as consultants for the film, providing a firsthand account of the doomed incident and helping it to achieve nuanced performances and an authentic atmosphere. It’s an incredibly realistic look at the incident, and the few errors it does have (such as the ship sinking in one piece, whereas it actually split in two) can be blamed on a lack of information before the discovery of the ship’s wreckage in 1985.
Read More: Best Screenwriters of All Time