Sports films. They're uplifting, encouraging, and widely well documented, so when you see that "based on a true story" screen, you know for a fact these films will rank more true than most right? Wrong. So wrong. While the events did happen usually the circumstances, outcome, or even the characters will be changed to give that extra dramatic flair that even the most macho of men crave. Be warned, reading the list below may ruin some films that have been near and dear to your heart...starting with one very close to mine.
Remember The Titans
A young team overcomes adversity on many levels to come together and teach a whole community about acceptance? Sounds like a great premise, especially when you throw in the tension between players along the way, things must have been really intense. The only problem was none of it happened. In fact, Coaches Boone and Yoast threw every member who would've caused a ruckus about the integration off the team before camp even started. Sunshine was from Califoooooreignia....but not in the way the movie implied, and sadly, he never once did Tai Chi outside of the school. There were no protests at T.C. Williams High School the players' first day of school--in fact the school was integrated in 1965, a full 6 years before the events of the film took place.
As for the games, the teams they played were not "all white" but integrated as well, as was protocol for Virginia at the time. As far as competition was concerned the Titans were in no way underdogs, but in fact ranked second in the nation that season in standings. Alan Bosley (Ryan Gosling's character) never sat out so that Pete (Donald Faison) could play, because Alan Bosley was a fictional character added to the team. Finally, although it breaks my heart to say, there was no dance warm up routine with an accompanying chant...not ever.
Oh...and Cheryl Yoast wasn't an only child, and didn't care for football all that much.
Yes his brother smoked crack, yes his hand was broken by a cop with a night stick when he tried to interfere with Dicky's arrest, and he was in fact "a fighter". Most of the problems with The Fighter come from timeline switches and flat out fabrication. First off, Ward's losing streak, which the movie implied near the beginning of the film, happened later in his career, and his "must win" fight against Mungo was his actual second professional loss ever in which he went into on a four fight winning streak. The montage sequence of Ward taking down boxer after boxer is full of boxers who didn't exist, and therefore Ward never fought.
In the movie, his fight with Alfonso Sanchez is shown to be the jumping off point for Ward's shot at the title, minus the three years and two losses that he incurred in real life afterwards. Ward did finally get a shot at a WBU title, which is actually not as prestigious as the movie would have you believe. He did win though, but not in miraculous comeback fashion...but in an even fight with the scoring tipped slightly in Ward's favor.
Also Dicky totally pushed Sugar Ray Leonard...there's really no questioning it.
Remembered as one of the greatest sports movies of all time, Hoosiers is a proud testament to Indiana basketball...and also very false. Make no mistake the miracle of Hickory did happen, except it was called Milan, there is no Hickory, Indiana. The tale of a beloved coach passing away and forcing one of the team's star players to sit out the early part of the season due to depression is a touching story, but also didn't happen. Marvin Wood (Who is Norman Dale/Gene Hackman in the movie) was a second year coach of the team at their time of winning the championship, who did indeed replace the towns most popular coach after he ordered jerseys without permission and was fired by the superintendent of the district.
Dennis Hopper's famous character Shooter, the assistant coach and alcoholic father to one of the players never existed as there were no assistant coaches on the team. As is a common denominator in all our movies thus far, the "Milan Indians" were no underdogs, having a solid returning team who had gone to the semi-finals the year before. The final game itself though, was a close score of 32-30 and is actually just as entertaining to watch as the movie. That being said said, it is known Hoosiers is entirely inaccurate in its portrayal the event that actually happened save the final 18 seconds of the championship game...
Countless others can make this list so be sure to throw in your selections below!