true stories The Best Medical Movies Based on True Stories  

Ranker Film
2.0k votes 296 voters 20.4k views 36 items Embed

List Rules Vote for the best movies inspired by true medical events.

What are the best medical movies based on true stories? This list includes great historical movies such as Philadelphia, Patch Adams, and Awakenings. All of these movies recount incredible stories about people and their ailments throughout history. Be it about disease, doctors, studies, or medical advancements, these stories are all based on true stories and touch viewers at their core.

Which movie inspired by real medical events is the best? That's up for the voters to decide. Vote up which movie you think is the best, and if you don't see your favorite on here, be sure to add it. This list is votable and rerankable, so have at it!

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Patch Adams Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Monica Potter Patch Adams is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bob Gunton. Directed by Tom Shadyac, it is based on the life story of ...more

21 Famous Schizophrenics Full Cast of Horton Hears A Who! Actors/Actresses

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A Beautiful Mind Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and directed by Miloš Forman.

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Awakenings Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Vin Diesel Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks' 1973 memoir of the same title. It tells the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm ...more

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Erin Brockovich Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger, Aaron Eckhart Erin Brockovich is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Susannah Grant. The film is a dramatization of the true story of Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia ...more

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Philadelphia Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Julius Erving Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by ...more

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Girl, Interrupted Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 American drama film, and an adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's 1993 memoir of the same name. The film chronicles Kaysen's 18-month stay at a mental institution. Directed ...more

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50 First Dates Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd 50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal and written by George Wing. The film stars Adam Sandler as a lothario veterinarian and Drew Barrymore as an ...more

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The Elephant Man Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft The Elephant Man is a 1980 American-British biographical film about Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London. The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, ...more

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Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Medical Movies Based on True Stories
Tom Islava added Rain Man Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more

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Sybil Jessica Lange, JoBeth Williams, Tammy Blanchard Sybil is a 2007 American docudrama directed by Joseph Sargent. The teleplay by John Pielmeier is based on the 1973 book of the same name by Flora Rheta Schreiber, which fictionalized the story ...more

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Lorenzo's Oil Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Laura Linney Lorenzo's Oil is a 1992 American drama film directed by George Miller. It is based on the true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son ...more

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Brian's Song Dick Butkus, James Caan, Billy Dee Williams Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian Piccolo, a Wake Forest University football player stricken with terminal cancer after turning pro, ...more

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Dallas Buyers Club Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American biographical drama film, co-written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Ron Woodroof was an AIDS patient diagnosed in ...more

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M*A*S*H (movie) is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Medical Movies Based on True Stories
RobLein added M*A*S*H (movie)

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My Left Foot Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw, Brenda Fricker My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 Irish drama film directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral ...more

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The Vow Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange The Vow is a 2012 romantic drama film directed by Michael Sucsy, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. The film is inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. The Vow was a ...more

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Silkwood Meryl Streep, Cher, Kurt Russell Silkwood is a 1983 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen was inspired by the life of Karen Silkwood. Silkwood was a nuclear whistleblower ...more

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And the Band Played On Ian McKellen, Steve Martin, Richard Gere And the Band Played On is a 1993 American television film docudrama directed by Roger Spottiswoode. The teleplay by Arnold Schulman is based on the best-selling 1987 non-fiction book And the ...more

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Something the Lord Made Gabrielle Union, Alan Rickman, Mos Def Something the Lord Made is a 2004 film about the black cardiac pioneer Vivien Thomas and his complex and volatile partnership with white surgeon Alfred Blalock, the world famous "Blue Baby ...more

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The Intouchables Omar Sy, François Cluzet, Anne Le Ny The Intouchables is a 2011 French comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. It stars François Cluzet and Omar Sy. Nine weeks after its release in France on 2 ...more

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The Karen Carpenter Story Louise Fletcher, Cynthia Gibb, Peter Michael Goetz The Karen Carpenter Story is an American television film about singer Karen Carpenter and the brother-and-sister pop music duo of which she was a part, The Carpenters. The film aired on the CBS ...more

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Extraordinary Measures Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell Extraordinary Measures is a 2010 medical drama film starring Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, and Keri Russell. It is distributed by CBS Films and was released on January 22, 2010. It is about ...more

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RobLein added The Three Faces of Eve Joanne Woodward, Lee J. Cobb, Nancy Kulp The Three Faces of Eve is a 1957 American CinemaScope film adaptation based on a book by psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, who also helped write the screenplay. It was ...more

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Angels in America Mary-Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Justin Kirk Angels in America is a 2003 HBO miniseries adapted from the play of the same name by Tony Kushner. Kushner adapted his original text for the screen, and Mike Nichols directed. Set in 1985, the ...more

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The Story of Louis Pasteur Paul Muni, Anita Louise, Donald Woods The Story of Louis Pasteur is a 1936 American biographical film. It starred Paul Muni as the renowned scientist who developed major advances in microbiology which revolutionized agriculture and ...more

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A Civil Action John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathy Bates A Civil Action is a 1998 American drama film that was directed by Steven Zaillian, that stars John Travolta and Robert Duvall, and that is based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Harr. ...more

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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Lenny Kravitz, Max von Sydow, Emmanuelle Seigner The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a 2007 biographical drama film based on Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir of the same name. The film depicts Bauby's life after suffering a massive stroke, on 8 ...more

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You Don't Know Jack Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon, John Goodman You Don't Know Jack is a 2010 television film directed by Barry Levinson and starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian, based in part on the book, Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian's ...more

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Miss Evers' Boys Laurence Fishburne, Alfre Woodard, Ossie Davis Miss Evers' Boys is a 1997 HBO television film starring Alfre Woodard and Laurence Fishburne, based on the true story of the decades-long Tuskegee experiment. It was directed by Joseph Sargent ...more

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Million Dollar Babies Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges, Sean McCann Million Dollar Babies is a 1994 television movie based on the fact based novel Time of Their Lives—The Dionne Tragedy by John Nihmey and Stuart Foxman. It was an American/Canadian co-production ...more

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The Sea Inside Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas The Sea Inside is a 2004 Spanish film written, produced, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It is based on the real-life story of Ramón Sampedro, who was left quadriplegic ...more

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Champions Kirstie Alley, John Hurt, Ben Johnson Champions is a 1983 film based on the true story of jockey Bob Champion. It is directed by John Irvin, written by Evan Jones, and stars John Hurt, Edward Woodward and Jan Francis. The film is ...more

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My Own Country Marisa Tomei, Hal Holbrook, Naveen Andrews My Own Country is a 1998 drama TV film directed by Mira Nair.

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The Linda McCartney Story Elizabeth Mitchell, David Lewis, Nicole Oliver The Linda McCartney Story is a 2000 American drama television film directed by Armand Mastroianni, starring Elizabeth Mitchell and Gary Bakewell. Based on the book Linda McCartney: The ...more

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Living Proof Amanda Bynes, Angie Harmon, Bernadette Peters Living Proof is a 2008 Lifetime Television movie, directed by Dan Ireland, starring Harry Connick, Jr. The film is based on the true life story of Dr. Dennis Slamon and the book HER-2: The ...more