Adding the ‘True Story’ tagline before a film is a sure-fire way to entice audiences, although Hollywood has its way of sensationalising things and bending the truth. A great example of this is Fargo (1996), the film starts with a text that says “THIS IS A TRUE STORY” and adds that the events of the film took place in Minnesota in 1987. Although the film’s closing credits state that “the persons and events portrayed in this production are fictitious”. The film is about a police chief who comes across a criminal disposing of a body in a wood chipper while investigating a series of murders. But these events weren’t true neither were many other elements of the story. An interview with the directors of the film by the Huffington Post (2016) was published almost 20 years after the film was made stating that there were only two small elements that were actually based on true incidents in the film. They stated that there was no kidnapping and there was no murder. Although there was a man that was defrauding the GM Finance Cooperation at some point.
Similarly, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1986), which was one of the most successful horror movies of its time states that it was based on a true story. The true story it was based upon did not involve any chainsaws or motorised killing utensils but was based on the serial killer Ed Gein. Ed Gein was said to wear the skin of his victims after killing them and that’s how the killer ‘Leatherface’ was linked to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. Other movies that fit into this category include Titanic (1997), Braveheart (2017) and The Revenant (2015).
COEN, E., COEN, J., MCDORMAND, F., MACY, W. H., BUSCEMI, S., PRESNELL, H., & STORMARE, P. (1996). Fargo.
(1986). The Texas chainsaw massacre: a family portrait revisited. [United States], MTI Video.
CAMERON, J., CARPENTER, R., HORNER, J., DICAPRIO, L., WINSLET, K., ZANE, B., & BATES, K. (2014). Titanic Titanik. Ljubljana, Menart Records.
GIBSON, M., MARCEAU, S., MCGOOHAN, P., & MCCORMACK, C. (2017). Braveheart.
GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU, A., et al. (2015). The revenant.
Huffington Post. (2016) The Coen Brothers Reveal ‘Fargo’ Is Based On A True Story After All. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/coen-brothers-fargo-true-story_us_56de2c53e4b0ffe6f8ea78c4