Biography Movies About The Great Historical Figures
Biography Movies About The Great Historical Figures + Image
Pixly Logo

Biography Movies About The Great Historical Figures

Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.
Karl Marx

Biography Movies Intro

Biography movies dramatize the life or the important years of a real person. In biopic (biographical pictures), the performance of the person who portrays the real figure is very important. Besides acting skills, the physical appearance of an actor/actress should be also similar to the real person. Therefore, balance in casting is maybe the most crucial part of biographical movies.

Due to the nature of itself, biographical movies can be a wide variety of genre: It could be music-drama films like La Vie En Rose (2007), Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Walk The Line (2005) or Rocketman (2019), action movies like Ip Man (2008), or a war movie Schindler's List (1993). 


Who's biographies were included in this list?


The Leaders, Singers, Artists, Writers, Scientists, Sportspersons and Public Figures

Since we cannot list every biography film, we had to apply some criteria in film selection that the person who was portrayed in the movie (real person) can be one of the followings; 

  • The leader of a movement, community, nation or country at some point such films like Gandhi (1982), The King's Speech (2010), Lincoln (2012) or Elizabeth (1998).

  • A controversial public figure that causes public disagreement like in the movie Milk (2008).

  • An artist (singer, musician, etc..) who has a global or regional reputation like in the movies Before Night Falls (2000), Van Gogh (1991), The Doors (1991).

  • An intellectual, academic, scientist, writer or thinker like H. Arendt in Hannah Arendt (2012), Knut Hamsun in Hamsun (1996), Truman Capote in Capote (2005).

  • A sportsperson who has achieved great success in his field like Muhammad Ali in the movie Ali (2001) or Michael Oher in Blind Side (2009).

Amadeus  poster

Amadeus (1984) (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

A Miloš Forman film which tells fictionalized biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the viewpoint of Antonio Salieri.

Antonio Salieri believes that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music is divine and miraculous. He wishes he was himself as good a musician as Mozart so that he can praise the Lord through composing. He began his career as a devout man who believes his success and talent as a composer are God's rewards for his piety. He's also content as the respected, financially well-off, court composer of Austrian Emperor Joseph II. But he's shocked to learn that Mozart is such a vulgar creature, and can't understand why God favored Mozart to be his instrument. 



IMDb Page

A Beautiful Mind poster

A Beautiful Mind (2001) (John Nash)

A mathematical genius John Nash (Russell Crowe), he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally - late in life - received the Nobel Prize. A Beautiful Mind won four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Connelly).



IMDb Page

Bohemian Rhapsody poster

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) (Queen and Freddie Mercury)

Singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and bass guitarist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) take the music world by storm when they form the rock 'n' roll band Queen in 1970. Hit songs become instant classics. When Mercury's increasingly wild lifestyle starts to spiral out of control, Queen soon faces its greatest challenge yet – finding a way to keep the band together amid the success and excess.



IMDb Page

Ray  poster

Ray (2004) (Ray Charles)

The story focus on 30 years of Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx).  Told in his adult life with flashbacks to his youth we see his humble origins in Florida, his turbulent childhood which included losing his brother and then his sight, his rise as pianist in a touring band, his writing his own songs and running his own band and then stardom. It also includes his addiction to drugs and its effect on his working life and family life.

Jamie Foxx received Best Actor Academy Award as well as the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics' Choice awards, becoming the second actor to win all five major lead actor awards for the same performance,



IMDb Page

Gandhi  poster

Gandhi (1982) (Mahatma Gandhi)

A Richard Attenborough film which nominated 11 and won 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. In the early years of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), a British-trained lawyer, forsakes all worldly possessions to take up the cause of Indian independence. Faced with armed resistance from the British government, Gandhi adopts a policy of 'passive resistance', endeavoring to win freedom for his people without resorting to bloodshed.



IMDb Page

Lincoln  poster

Lincoln (2012) (Abraham Lincoln)

In 1865, as the American Civil War winds inexorably toward conclusion, U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) endeavors to achieve passage of the landmark constitutional amendment which will forever ban slavery from the United States. However, his task is a race against time, for peace may come at any time, and if it comes before the amendment is passed, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law. Lincoln must, by almost any means possible, obtain enough votes from a recalcitrant Congress before peace arrives. The film nominated for twelve Academy Awards and won the Best Production Design and Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis.



IMDb Page

Raging Bull poster

Raging Bull (1980) (Jake LaMotta)

A Martin Scorsese movie which nominated eight and won two Academy Awards including Best Editing and Best Actor for Robert De Niro.

When Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone.



IMDb Page

La Vie en Rose poster

La Vie en rose (2007) (Édith Piaf)

An un-chronological look at the life of the Little Sparrow, Édith Piaf (1915-1963). Her mother is an alcoholic street singer, her father a circus performer, her paternal grandmother a madam. During childhood, she lives with each of them. At 20, she's a street singer discovered by a club owner who's soon murdered, coached by a musician who brings her to concert halls, and then quickly famous. Constant companions are alcohol and heartache. The tragedies of her love affair with Marcel Cerdan and the death of her only child belie the words of one of her signature songs, "Non, je ne regrette rien."

The film is directed by Olivier Dahan and won Best Actress Role for Marion Cotillard. This is the first time an Oscar had been given for a French-language role.



IMDb Page

The Social Network poster

The Social Network (2010) (Mark Zuckerberg)

David Fincher's film tells the story of how the social media giant Facebook was born as an idea, which problems they solved when they were growing and what strategies they consider. The movie also shows the transformation of friendships to the business relationships of the founders. The Social Network gives a lot of information about Mark Zuckerberg, who is currently on the agenda with testimonies he gave to the House of Representatives in the United States. Besides, We will also see Justin Timberlake in the role of Sean Parker who is the founder of the Napster file sharing platform.



IMDb Page

Capote  poster

Capote (2005) (Truman Capote)

Famed writer Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman), southern born and bred but now part of the New York City social circle, is growing weary of his current assignment of writing autobiographical type pieces for the New Yorker. After reading a newspaper article about the just occurred November 14, 1959, cold-blooded murders of the Clutter family in their rural Kansas home, Truman feels compelled to write about that event as his next article. So he and his personal assistant Nelle Harper Lee, also a southern born New Yorker and an aspiring writer of her own, head to Kansas to research the story first-hand. 

Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor Academy Award for the performance.



IMDb Page

Rocketman poster

Rocketman (2019) (Elton John)

The story of Elton John's (Taron Egerton) life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). The film is titled after John's 1972 song "Rocket Man".



IMDb Page

Milk  poster

Milk (2008) (Harvey Milk)

The film traces Harvey Milk's (Sean Penn) career from his 40th birthday to his death. He leaves the closet and New York, opens a camera shop that becomes the salon for San Francisco's growing gay community, and organizes gays' purchasing power to build political alliances. He runs for office with lover Scott Smith (James Franco) as his campaign manager. Victory finally comes on the same day Dan White (Josh Brolin) wins in the city's conservative district. The rest of the film sketches Milk's relationship with White and the 1978 fight against a statewide initiative to bar gays and their supporters from public school jobs.

Milk (2008) won two Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Sean Penn.



IMDb Page

The Man Who Knew Infinity  poster

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016)

In the 1910s, Srinivasa Ramanujan is a man of boundless intelligence that even the abject poverty of his home in Madras, India, cannot crush. Eventually, his stellar intelligence in mathematics and his boundless confidence in both attract the attention of the noted British mathematics professor, G.H. Hardy, who invites him to further develop his computations at Trinity College at Cambridge. Forced to leave his young wife, Janaki, behind, Ramanujan finds himself in a land where both his largely intuitive mathematical theories and his cultural values run headlong into both the stringent academic



IMDb Page

The Theory of Everything  poster

The Theory of Everything (2014)

The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age. He became galvanized, however, by the love of fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and he went on to be called the successor to Einstein, as well as a husband and father to their three children. Over the cours



IMDb Page

The King's Speech  poster

The King's Speech (2010)

England's Prince Albert must ascend the throne as King George VI, but he has a speech impediment. Knowing that the country needs her husband to be able to communicate effectively, Elizabeth hires Lionel Logue, an Australian actor and speech therapist, to help him overcome his stammer. An extraordinary friendship develops between the two men, as Logue uses unconventional means to teach the monarch how to speak with confidence.



IMDb Page

Quills  poster

Quills (2000)

The infamous writer, the Marquis de Sade of 18th Century France, is imprisoned at Charenton Insane Asylum for unmentionable activities. He manages to befriend the young Abbé de Coulmier, who runs the asylum, along with a beautiful laundress named Madeline. Things go terribly wrong when the Abbe finds out that the Marquis' books are being secretly published. The emperor Napoleon contemplates sending Dr. Royer-Collard to oversee the asylum, a man famed for his torturous punishments. It could mean the end of Charenton and possibly the Marquis himself.



IMDb Page

Immortal Beloved  poster

Immortal Beloved (1994) (Ludwig van Beethoven)

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved, and the movie tries to find out who this beloved was--not easy, as Beethoven has had many women in his life.



IMDb Page

Chaplin  poster

Chaplin (1992)

The biography of Charlie Chaplin, filmmaker extraordinaire. From his formative years in England to his highest successes in America, Charlie's life, work, and loves are followed. While his screen characters were extremely hilarious, the man behind "The Little Tramp" was constantly haunted by a sense of loss.



IMDb Page

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom  poster

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

Nelson Mandela is a South African lawyer who joins the African National Congress in the 1940s when the law under the Apartheid system's brutal tyranny proves useless for his people. Forced to abandon peaceful protest for armed resistance after the Sharpeville Massacre, Mandela pays the price when he and his comrades are sentenced to life imprisonment for treason while his wife, Winnie, is abused by the authorities herself. Over the decades in chains, Mandela's spirit is unbowed as his struggle goes on in and beyond his captivity to become an international cause. However, as Winnie's determinat



IMDb Page

The Last Emperor  poster

The Last Emperor (1987)

This sweeping account of the life of Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China, follows the leader's tumultuous reign. After being captured by the Red Army as a war criminal in 1950, Pu-Yi recalls his childhood from prison. He remembers his lavish youth in the Forbidden City, where he was afforded every luxury but unfortunately sheltered from the outside world and complex political situation surrounding him. As revolution sweeps through China, the world Pu-Yi knew is dramatically upended.



IMDb Page

Jinnah poster

Jinnah (1998)

Biography of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of modern Pakistan is told through flashbacks as his soul tries to find eternal rest. The flashbacks start in 1947 as Jinnah pleads for a separate nation from the Muslim regime, infuriating Lord Mountbatten. Mountbatten then tries to enlist Gandhi & Nehru to persuade Jinnah to stop his efforts. Gandhi sides with Jinnah, which upsets Nehru. However, Jinnah turns down the offer to become prime minister and the film takes another slide back to 1916, which reveals all of the political implications that have occurred.



IMDb Page

The Madness of King George  poster

The Madness of King George (1994)

A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III [now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder]. As he loses his senses, he becomes both more alive and more politically marginalized; neither effect desirable to his lieutenants, who jimmy the rules to avoid a challenge to regal authority, raising the question of who is really in charge.



IMDb Page

Malcolm X  poster

Malcolm X (1992)

Biograpical epic of Malcolm X, the legendary African American leader. Born Malcolm Little, his father (a Garveyite Baptist minister) was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm became a gangster, and while in jail discovered the Nation of Islam writings of Elijah Muhammad. He preaches the teachings when let out of jail, but later on goes on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, there he converts to the original Islamic religion and becomes a Sunni Muslim and changes his name to El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz. He is assassinated on February 21, 1965 and dies a Muslim martyr.



IMDb Page

The Doors poster

The Doors (1991)

Oliver Stone's homage to 1960s rock group The Doors also doubles as a biography of the group's late singer, the "Electric Poet" Jim Morrison. The movie follows Morrison from his days as a film student in Los Angeles to his death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. The movie features a tour-de-force performance by Val Kilmer, who not only looks like Jim Morrison's long-lost twin brother, but also sounds so much like him that he did much of his own singing. It has been written that even the surviving Doors had trouble distinguishing Kilmer's vocals from Morrison's originals.



IMDb Page

Next >


Hi, Feel free to write your message or feedback.