Top 5 All-Time Greatest Biopics


They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and perhaps more entertaining as well, because our Top 5 All-Time Greatest Biopics all tell the (mostly) true tales of real life individuals in what have become some of the most important and critically acclaimed films of all-time!

1) Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia film
  • Depicts T.E. Lawrence's experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council
  • Widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema
  • Nominated for ten Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Director, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Picture
  • The American Film Institute ranked the film 5th in its original list of the Top 100 Films of All-Time
  • One of the highest-rated films on Metacritic, currently holding a perfect 100/100 rating

2) Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List film
  • Based on the life of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories
  • Often listed among the greatest films ever made, it was also a box office success, earning $321.2 million worldwide on a $22 million budget
  • Recipient of seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score
  • American Film Institute ranked the film 8th on its list of the 100 best American films of all-time
  • The Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2004

3) Raging Bull

Raging Bull film
  • Tells the story of Jake LaMotta, a boxer whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite destroyed his relationship with his wife and family
  • Voted by many critics including Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel as the best film of the 1980s
  • Nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Sound, and Editing
  • selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1990
  • Ranked #4 in the American Film Institute’s updated 100 Years 100 Movies list

4) Amadeus

Amadeus film
  • Tells the story of the life and death of Wolfgang Mozart and the jealous man who may have killed him, Antonio Salieri, a fellow composer
  • Nominated for 53 awards and received 40, including eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four BAFTA Awards, and four Golden Globes
  • Both lead actors (Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham) were nominated for the Best Actor Oscar (Abraham won)
  • Grossed over $52 million in North America on an $18 million budget
  • American Film Institute ranked it #53 on its 100 Years 100 Movies list

5) The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man film
  • Biographical film about Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London
  • Earned eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor
  • Grossed over $26 million dollars at the box office on a $5 million budget
  • Has been met with critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds a 90% rating
  • Although it won no Oscars, it did win the BAFTA Award for Best Picture

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