37 Responses

  1. auto devis
    auto devis at |

    Number 1 is the most inspiring one and it shows a man true metal in face of such incredible odds

    1. youwish
      youwish at |


    2. Dmitri
      Dmitri at |

      Yeah.. And in that man was the “Giant” Hitler talked about when Japan pulled America into WWII…

  2. Shiela
    Shiela at |

    Number 2 actually happened in my hometown of Matawan, New Jersey. The shark attacked a boy swimming in what is now called Lake Lefferts. We used to learn about it every year in high school.

  3. Shawn
    Shawn at |

    #8. Sablin was not the 3rd highest ranked office in the Soviet “Naval” Hierarchy; he was a Captain, 3rd Rank, also called a Corvette Captain (small warship).

  4. JoeJoe
    JoeJoe at |

    Rocky didn’t work in a butcher shop, he was a collector for the mob. Pauly worked in the butcher shop.

  5. kevin
    kevin at |

    I admire Sly Stallone and take great offense to the “which is made up almost entirely of crap” statement, and in case you have forgotten, Mr. Stallone has nearly a billion dollar net worth. Money may not be everything, but it sure as hell beats nothing!

  6. Stephanie
    Stephanie at |

    A lot of horror movies have roots in reality, a couple of them were even listed. Calling out Final Destination for it is kind

  7. Stephanie
    Stephanie at |

    (Cont’d) kind of unfair.

  8. rea
    rea at |

    There are a few typo errors but nonetheless this is a good list! And no.1 really is deserving! That guy has some iron balls!!

  9. Colbjourn
    Colbjourn at |

    Texas Chainsaw Massacre isn’t based on Ed Gein. Tobe Hooper says in the films audio commentary that he had no clue who Gein even was until after the film was released.

  10. patrulje
    patrulje at |

    Murphy’s statue is in front of the academy on Camp Mabry, i remember having to do 10 push ups for it any time you wanted to pass. The statue has a wire stock M2 carbine, in the movie he carried a regular M1 carbine, I don’t which is accurate. Being a hero has nothing to do with physical size.

    CSM (ret)

  11. Pulsaras
    Pulsaras at |

    The Hunt for Red October is based on absolutely other story. Not on Valery Sablin’s story. You are WRONG!!!!!!!!! True story is about captain Jonas Pleškys. He in 1961 escaped to the Swedish island of Gotland with the Soviet military barge from Klaip?da. He died in 1993.

  12. Justin
    Justin at |

    #1 is another movie that got toned down from the real story. When Hollywood approached Audie Murphy about making a movie of his heroic actions, Murphy decided to leave out some of his actions for fear that audiences would think he was embellishing to cash in on his fame.

  13. Ken
    Ken at |

    Audie Murphy was in WWII.

  14. Jayson
    Jayson at |

    It’s kind of irresponsible to make light of such a monstrous situation as the one Ed Gein was involved in, don’t you think?

    1. dacia
      dacia at |

      yeah, but its the truth, and i feel bad for him being looked upon like that, but he did some really nasty things that need to be told so people know whats possible in reality…

  15. Manny
    Manny at |

    “In 1975, Valery Sablin (the third ranking officer in the entire Soviet Naval Hierarchy)”
    This is wrong, not to say – ridiculous. He was just a Capitan 3rd rang, which corresponds to Corvette capitan (or – the SMALL ship capitan) in NATO Navy.

  16. Tuan Jim
    Tuan Jim at |

    As long as you’re using a reference like “To Hell and Back” – why not also reference “SGT York” – the true story of a backwoods pacifist being drafted against his will and winding up the most decorated US soldier of WWI – that’s another amazing story…and a great movie to boot.

  17. hellolance
    hellolance at |

    Hmm this list is okay but arbitrary when compared to significant films like…

    both involved Oliver Stone

    very loosely based on FBI lore about using serial killer interviews to profile for active cases.

    and the whole generation of surrealism like LoneStar, Fight Club, A Beautiful Mind, The New World, Primary Colors… where real and surreal get regularly blended…

  18. Adam
    Adam at |

    There are other Ilsa movies, they only borrowed the name… Ilsa Koch (The Witch of Buchenwald) didn’t actually do any of those things you’d rather not mention, at least there really isn’t any proof except hearsay. She was tried twice and let go twice for lack of evidence, or served very little time, and then all of a sudden a bunch of ex Buchenwald inmates testified… still no evidence. Buchenwald was never a death camp. There were no death-camps in Germany. She wasn’t even at Buchenwald when most of the alleged crimes took place. Also, an interesting fact, she showed up at her third trial pregnant at 42 years old. She was completely isolated with the exception of Jewish guards. Why the third trial? Because people wanted revenge against everybody and anybody associated with the Nazi party. That’s called a witch-hunt… if ALL those NAZIS were so bad, why did the CIA recruit so many of them after the war? And Ilsa Koch was an accountant, I wasn’t aware accountants were scientists. I’ll let all my accountant friends know that they are actually scientists, because JF Sargent, on the internet, said so. I’ll make sure to avoid anything with your name on it in the future…

    1. dussil
      dussil at |

      Adam, the Nazis WERE THAT BAD, INCLUDING THE ONES WE DESPICABLY TOOK IN BY THE CIA! It’s not a witch hunt, it’s called JUSTICE. At the end stages of WW II he Nazis tried to burn and destroy any evidence of their war crimes and genocide, so yes that did hinder in the way of physical evidence such as documents, films, and photos. However they had many many witnesses who survived the death camps. There definitely were death camps in Germany, your statement is totally false. The CIA decided these Nazis like von Braun and others were more “valuable and useful” for good or not good reasons. The CIA, like governments anywhere do pragmatic things, not necessarily the moral or ethical thing.
      Don’t lie and distort the truth you lying neo-Nazi sycophant.

  19. Jim
    Jim at |

    Jaws isn’t a true story, it’s BASED on an actual event. There’s a big difference. Jaws is fiction.

  20. Mike
    Mike at |

    Sean Connery did NOT play a Russian in The Hunt for Red October, he played a Lithuanian. There is a line in the film “he’s not Russian, he’s Lithuanian”

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      This is true. We’ll make the correction.

  21. sukague.com
    sukague.com at |

    i haven’t watch them all . just jaws and final destination

  22. Larry Fenix
    Larry Fenix at |

    Calling Sly Stallone’s career crap made me immediately disregard everything else on this website. It was a cheap shot and poorly executed. BTW Rocky did not work in a butcher shop.

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      As in some cases, the views of the writers on this site are not necessarily the views of the owner of Toptenz.net. In this case, I don’t agree with the writer. Rocky III was a long-time favorite of mine growing up and I fondly remember Rocky IV as well. Anyone interested in a compilation of Top 10 Sylvester Stallone movies? Kinda over done, but could be a fun read if someone has an interest in writing it.

  23. Brian
    Brian at |

    i think theres a fairly recently made movie call 127 hours which was based on reality and should have made the list because i dont know anyone with the balls to cut off his hand the way this man had to…inspirational story just thought it deserved a mention.

  24. Sean
    Sean at |

    What about the Philadelphia story? About the Navy’s attempt to making ships stealth to radar?

  25. Christina
    Christina at |

    Intriguing to say the least. The films that is however, the comments posted above gave me the most entertainment!!!!
    Adams’ post humoured me the most! So this is to Adam : “there were NO death camps in Germany”
    Are you absolutely certain of that? If you are then I must advise that you tell the world immediately!!!
    Of course history will have to be rewritten but hey if they’ve got it all wrong then Adam put them right!

    Either that or you’re merely clutching at straws over a technicality?
    Concentration camps : death camps! “Isla was tried twice, interesting fact she turned up at her third trial pregnant” do you see the contradiction?
    Thank you for making laugh you funny funny man…

  26. blindboygrunt
    blindboygrunt at |

    The Honeymoon Killers (1969) was based on a true story that happened in the 1940’s. Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck were lovers and pretended to be brother and sister when Raymond answered lonely hearts ads. The couple would steal everything they could from the victim and then kill them.

  27. Austin
    Austin at |

    I’ve seen Men Behind the Sun. It’s more disturbing than it sounds. Especially the scene where they nuke a child in a large microwave. One of the most realistic and disturbing things I’ve seen in a movie *shudder*

  28. skywatcher
    skywatcher at |

    This was a good idea for a list, but the choice of movies to present is puzzling. These are supposed to be movies we “won’t believe” are based on true stories? Several of these actually aren’t based on the true stories; they only use a character or one or two incidents from reality. They may have been inspired by the events, but they aren’t based upon the stories. Others have been written up so much that most people already know about the events they’re based upon, and those shouldn’t be on the list or else the writer should change the name of the list.

    I’d like to read a list on this same subject that would actually surprise me. There must be some movies that actually tell reality-based stories but aren’t trumpeting that fact in their marketing.

  29. Andrew
    Andrew at |

    Audie Murphy was not yet alive during WWI. He fought in WWII.

  30. FMH
    FMH at |

    Silence of the Lambs’ Buffalo Bill is actually based on several serial killers. The scene where he fakes a broken arm is something Ted Bundy did.

  31. Oskar Ponthe
    Oskar Ponthe at |

    Jaws, a true story, or not really. Oskar Ponthe


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