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The films that I'll be listing in my April postings may not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming. The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.
There are tons of biopics or life story movies. Some cover brief important periods of someone's life while others are biographies that cover a good portion of a person's life from childhood to death. Some digress wildly from the truth while others stay relatively true to the source with a few liberties added for greater entertainment value or more dramatic effect. No matter what, if the story is told well I love life story movies.
Here are a handful of my favorites:
The Jolson Story (1946) -- I loved this film when I first saw it at about age 10 or so. I still love it. A few years back I got a couple of Jolson biographies from the library and was disappointed to find that much of the film was fabricated. His true story was more interesting than the movie. Still, it's a great film and I still love it. One of the best show biz pics ever and an excellent biopic.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) -- Another great show-biz biopic about a Broadway and songwriting legend George M Cohan. Tons of classic songs and fabulous dancing by tough guy James Cagney--what a dancer he was. This is one black and white film that deserved to be colorized, but either way you see the film it's well worth your time. It gives you a great patriotic uplift as well.
Sergeant York (1941) --Gary Cooper stars as soft-spoken hillbilly hero of World War One. Due to his Christian beliefs he does not want to fight, but when he realizes that sometimes we have to fight to be free he puts his sharp-shooting talents to work and captures 132 German soldiers on his own. Another great American story.
Amadeus (1984) --Funny, tragic,and utterly great. This biopic of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart deservedly won eight academy awards. The music's not too bad either.
The Elephant Man (1980) --This biopic directed by weird film director David Lynch tells the tragic story of the grossly deformed John Merrick who in 19th England goes from persecuted side show freak to a darling of British high society. The film is dark, thoughtful, and sad. It is also highly enthralling. Well worth your time if you're ready for some depression.
What are some of your favorite biopics? Does it bother you when the film takes liberties with the true story? Who do you think deserves biopic treatment?