Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Biopic?

42With “42” upcoming this weekend, I thought that it might be a good time to ask about biopics. Biographical movies… those films that tell the story of historical figures and actual people.

Whether they’re biographies of political figures, such as “The Iron Lady”, “J. Edgar”, or “Nixon”, sports figures, such as “Cobb”, “The Babe” or “Ali”, or musicians, such as “Ray” or “The Doors”, Hollywood has mined theΒ lives ofΒ the famous and the historically important for stories ever since they began making movies.

It doesn’t have to be limited to a birth to death straight up biography, either. Recent films such as “Hitchcock”, “Lincoln” and “Moneyball” which tell the true story of a brief period in someone’s life are fine as well. (although I reserve the right to use “What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Based on a True Story?” in the future πŸ˜‰ )

So what’s YOUR favorite? Is it Kingsley’s “Gandhi”? Or DenzelΒ Washington’s “Malcolm X”? There are movies you wouldn’tΒ think of right away that should be considered… “Goodfellas” is pretty much a biopic of Henry Hill, and “Braveheart” is based on the life of William Wallace.

There’s plenty to choose from, but here’s a listing on Wikipedia if you need help!

Let’s hear it! What’s YOUR favorite biopic?!


182 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Biopic?

  1. Wow… this is a tough one but I think I’d have to say Amadeus but I also love Into The Wild, Ed Wood, Milk, Raging Bull… the list goes on.

    • God, I’d think that even Thatcher fans would have to admit that movie’s not very good. Still cant believe Streep won that oscar. Viola Davis was outright robbed. LOL 😦

      Raging Bull is kicking every other choices ass today… I suppose that’s LaMotta for you!

  2. My favorite biopic is Malcolm X and The Hurricane. Both are Denzel Washington’s best performances to date! He should had got an Oscar for one of these roles, probably both. 2 great films and the reason why Denzel is my favorite actor.

    • I know, I point to those two roles whenever I call “Training Day” a “make up” Oscar. It wasn’t fair to lose out to Pacino for Scent of a Woman, but at least he turned around and got an Oscar of his own later that wasn’t for his best role, either. πŸ˜‰

      • Issy & Fogs,

        Denzel is my favorite actor, as well. But there was no way Denzel deserved an Oscar for “Training Day” over Sean Penn “I Am Sam” or Russell Crowe “A Beautiful Mind”. Denzel deserved Oscar consideration for “Man on Fire” and “John Q”. I think those were two of his best roles – also he was great in “Remember the Titans” and “Antwone Fisher”. I don’t think Denzel was robbed for Malcolm X considering the award went to Al Pacino; you can’t really argue with that. But he should definitely get one for something – and I think something other than “Training Day”. What’s funny to me is I thought his performance in “Training Day” was lacking, and was very generic; I’d say it was his worst performance of his brilliant career, which for the average actor would be great, but for Denzel’s standards it just wasn’t as good as most of his others. I also didn’t care for Denzel much in “Inside Man”. Everything else he gives an Oscar worthy performance. He was the main actor who inspired me to get into acting.

      • Well, thats cool then.

        I agree Training Day was nowhere near his best (he chewed scenery pretty badly), but I dont know that we “cant really argue” with Pacino winning for scent of a woman. Just because its Al Pacino doesnt mean its the best performance of the year…

        We all know that’s how it works though. It’s not necessarily always the best performance that wins. A lot of times, its WHO the person is. And, in Denzel’s case, getting robbed of an oscar by an actor who wasn’t giving his best performance that year wound up being Karmically repaid by winning one when it wasn’t HIS best performance.

        C’est la vie.

  3. Braveheart. A bio should have some of the character’s childhood in it and “Braveheart” does. Plus my wife is part clan Wallace. The real Wallace was of noble birth, but bios are like that, they fudge the facts. A strong second is “Amadeus”. Can’t beat the musical score in that one. They could do a prequel to Amadeus with just Mozart’s famous childhood.

    • I agree. A straight biography should have some… span of the person’s life. I thought that that would narrow the field too much today though.

      You’re right, though, Braveheart certainly does cover the gamut. πŸ˜‰ Great flick. Amadeus, too. Love ’em both. I’d MTESS Braveheart, but that would turn into a referrendum on Crazy Mel, I think. 😦

    • So funny, I thought this was such a narrow topic and then people keep bringing up great movies that I havent even thought of. LOL

      Nice choice Fernando! πŸ˜€ I would have never believed that Phoenix could have made me buy him as Johnny Cash, but he sure did!

  4. I’d say my top five biopics has to be…
    – Ray
    – Goodfellas
    – Braveheart
    – 8 1/2 (semiautobiographical, but I’d say it counts)
    – Au revoir les enfants (ditto 8 1/2)

  5. There are so many biopics aren’t they? I think Schindler’s List and The King’s Speech would top my list. Oh and I also love Ray and Amadeus, both on musical genius but totally different genres πŸ˜€

    • Ok, cool. Back to back “Ray” mentions. I’m starting to feel a little better now πŸ˜€ Phew!

      Schindlers is one of the most powerful movies ever. I need to revisit soon. πŸ˜€

    • I respect someone who considers Schindler’s List a biopic (as well as a historical drama of course). We see such a small part of his life, but considering he gave his fortune to liberating the Jews from concentration camps (and never got any of it back), it WAS his life.

      Maybe my analysis just doesn’t make sense though since I’m trying to find a way to explain my love for Steven Spielberg. πŸ™‚

  6. If Braveheart counts, then it’s probably my favourite, but if Braveheart and Goodfellas count… then Citizen Kane counts, and it’s much more a bio-pic than either of those, so it gets my nod.

    But lets not forget the amazing bio-pic, Highlander 2, where we discover the inner workings of the life of Connor McCleod on his home planet or something.

  7. Dammit, I just started thinking harder: Westerns, Sports Films, War Films, and Religious Stories. Too many…must stop… help, my head is exploding.
    OK, to hell with it “Patton”. no wait, “The Ten Commandments”. Dammit there go my synapse firing again.

  8. I’ll have to go on the Scorsese train and pick Raging Bull and GoodFellas, which I also consider the two best. 8 1/2 is a close runner-up.

  9. I thought of Walk the Line when I first read your question. I also liked Cinderella Man. That gets lost in Crowe’s resume a bit but I loved it.

  10. OK, I decided. I decided that if I get it wrong I will still live. So here it is, based on the number of viewing in the past ten years, My favorite biopic is:

    It’s a twofer. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.

  11. My favorite has got to be Bird.

    Always been a fan of Forrest Whitaker’s and although Charlie Parker died long before I was born, this movie struck a chord with me. It also opened my mind to jazz, for which I am forever grateful.

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