Ask anybody and they will tell you: the five words Hollywood loves more than anything else are, "Based On A True Story." By making films that take inspiration from real events filmmakers not only save time coming up with original ideas, but they also have an opportunity to honor the sacrifice, perseverance, and ingenuity of real life people. This trend has been apparent for years, and the recent Golden Globe winner The Revenant only represents the latest in this seemingly permanent pattern.There’s just one problem with calling The Revenant a true story: it’s not entirely true.

Sure, the film follows the exploits of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) about as accurately as possible, given what little information we have regarding his adventures, but they still took artistic liberties. For example, the real Glass never had a son murdered by John Fitzgerald, and he never got an opportunity to take the revenge he sought when he finally made it out of the wilderness. Does that make The Revenant a bad film? Of course not, it’s an amazing piece of cinema; all we are saying is that movies that frame themselves as true stories often fictionalize quite a bit. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of famous Hollywood films that framed themselves as true stories, but contained major untruths somewhere hidden in their narrative. Let’s get the ball rolling with something dark and violent out of Texas…

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
To this very day, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s low production value and unknown cast give the film and aura of authenticity – it genuinely feels like a real snuff film. This is also assisted by the fact that the film framed itself as being based upon genuine events. The reality of the matter is somewhat different, although no less disturbing. Director Tobe Hooper based Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) on real life serial killer Ed Gein, and while Gein did in fact murder two women and make keepsakes out of their skin, he mostly just robbed graves and never once used a chainsaw for his dastardly deeds.

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