It’s not always easy to spot a biopic or film that’s based on a true story. In fact, some of the most beloved movies of all time either feature storylines or characters inspired by real-life events and people. Often, it’s the strangest, most extravagant tales of larger-than-life characters that have more than a shred of truth in them.
From Chicago to Hustlers, here are 10 box office hits that you didn’t know were based on real stories.
1) ‘Almost Famous’
Almost Famous is a semi-autobiographical tale based on screenwriter Cameron Crowe’s years as a teenage rock journalist for Rolling Stone. He even went on the road with the era’s biggest bands, much like William Miller (Patrick Fugit) does in the film. There are way too many nods to 1970s rockers and band-aids to mention here, but the story goes that Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) was inspired by Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band and Glenn Frey of the Eagles.
Some of Penny Lane’s (Kate Hudson) moments come from the tales of famous groupies like Bebe Buell, but she was also a real person named Pennie Ann Trumbull who created the Flying Garter Girls, a group of women who traveled around the US as promoters for famous rock bands. Also, Frances McDormand and Zooey Deschanel play versions of Crowe’s mother and sister, respectively.