"Based on a True Story": Crime and Legal

by barthsnotes | created - 08 Jul 2012 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. Garrow's Law (2009–2011)

Biography, Drama

Garrow's Law is the true tale of William Garrow, who acted as counsel for the accused, introducing the concept of 'innocent until proved guilty' at London's Old Bailey.

Stars: Andrew Buchan, Lyndsey Marshal, Rupert Graves, Aidan McArdle

Votes: 1,006

2. The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)

94 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

In 1828 Scotland, Edinburgh surgeon Dr. Knox does medical research on cadavers he buys from murderers Burke and Hare, without questioning the unethical procurement methods.

Director: John Gilling | Stars: Peter Cushing, June Laverick, Donald Pleasence, George Rose

Votes: 1,463

3. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (2011–2014)
Episode: The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House (2011)

95 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Based on true events. Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Jack Whicher is sent to rural Wiltshire to investigate the horrific murder of a three-year-old boy.

Director: James Hawes | Stars: Paddy Considine, Peter Capaldi, Tom Georgeson, William Beck

Votes: 2,022

4. Dillinger (1973)

R | 107 min | Action, Biography, Crime

John Dillinger and his gang go on a bank robbing spree across the midwest, but one G-Man is determined to bring him down.

Director: John Milius | Stars: Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Michelle Phillips, Cloris Leachman

Votes: 4,504 | Gross: $2.00M

5. In Plain Sight (2016)

TV-14 | 150 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A three part TV miniseries about Lanarkshire's Detective William Muncie and his quest to bring to justice notorious killer Peter Manuel.

Stars: Douglas Henshall, Martin Compston, Gilly Gilchrist, Joanna Roth

Votes: 1,301

6. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 977,145 | Gross: $46.84M

7. White Mischief (1987)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In 1940s Kenya, a married couple join other affluent British expatriates in a lifestyle of recklessness and excess, but soon find themselves in a troubling situation.

Director: Michael Radford | Stars: Sarah Miles, Joss Ackland, Greta Scacchi, Charles Dance

Votes: 2,488 | Gross: $3.11M

8. The Poisoner (2006 TV Movie)

187 min | Drama

Loudun, October 1947. Leon Besnard and Marie celebrate their eighteenth wedding anniversary with friends and Ady, a former German prisoner they have "adopted". A few days later, Leon dies. ... See full summary »

Director: Christian Faure | Stars: Muriel Robin, Mélanie Bernier, Jean-Yves Chatelais, Mado Maurin

Votes: 87

9. 10 Rillington Place (1971)

GP | 111 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Based on the real-life case of the British serial killer John Christie, and what happened to his neighbors Tim and Beryl Evans.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson, John Hurt, Pat Heywood

Votes: 7,139

10. Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005)

R | 95 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

The life and times of Albert Pierrepoint - Britain's most prolific hangman.

Director: Adrian Shergold | Stars: Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, Eddie Marsan, Ann Bell

Votes: 4,849 | Gross: $0.02M

11. Dance with a Stranger (1985)

R | 96 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm, Matthew Carroll

Votes: 2,332 | Gross: $2.17M

12. The Trial of Christine Keeler (2019–2020)

59 min | Drama

Story of Christine Keeler, who found herself at the heart of a political sex scandal that rocked British government in the 1960s.

Stars: Sophie Cookson, James Norton, Ellie Bamber, Emilia Fox

Votes: 1,010

13. Buster (1988)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Based on the story of Ronald Christopher "Buster" Edwards (Phil Collins), one of the thieves involved in "The Great Train Robbery" of 1963.

Director: David Green | Stars: Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb, Stephanie Lawrence

Votes: 3,155 | Gross: $0.54M

14. Mrs Biggs (2012)

90 min | Drama

The true story of Charmian Brent (née Powell), the rebellious product of a strict 1950s upbringing, and her whirlwind romance with Ronald Biggs leading to a descent into crime, most infamously 1963's Great Train Robbery.

Stars: Sheridan Smith, Daniel Mays, Caroline Goodall, Adrian Scarborough

Votes: 623

15. See No Evil: The Moors Murders (2006)

180 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A vivid drama that documents the notorious "Moors murderers", Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

Stars: Joanne Froggatt, Maxine Peake, Sean Harris, Matthew McNulty

Votes: 1,067

16. Longford (2006 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 93 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A portrait of Lord Longford, a tireless British campaigner whose controversial beliefs often resulted in furious political debate and personal conflict.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Lee Boardman, Jim Broadbent, Tam Dean Burn, Lindsay Duncan

Votes: 2,707

17. The Krays (1990)

R | 115 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

This fact-based movie follows the life of the twin crime-lords in London's '60s underworld.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Billie Whitelaw, Tom Bell

Votes: 7,418 | Gross: $2.06M

18. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen

Votes: 785,360 | Gross: $164.62M

19. Savage Grace (2007)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama

51 Metascore

A dramatization of the shocking Barbara Daly Baekeland murder case, which happened in a posh London flat on Friday 17 November 1972. The bloody crime caused a stir on both sides of the Atlantic and remains one of the most memorable American Tragedies...

Director: Tom Kalin | Stars: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Stephen Dillane, Anne Reid

Votes: 10,478 | Gross: $0.43M

20. Blow (2001)

R | 124 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

The story of how George Jung, along with the Medellín Cartel headed by Pablo Escobar, established the American cocaine market in the 1970s in the United States.

Director: Ted Demme | Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths

Votes: 234,212 | Gross: $52.99M

21. The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)

R | 95 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

Based on real life events, Assassination is set in 1974 and centers on a businessman who decides to take extreme measures to achieve his American dream.

Director: Niels Mueller | Stars: Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Don Cheadle, Jack Thompson

Votes: 24,959 | Gross: $0.70M

22. Trust (2018– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Rome, 1973. John Paul Getty III, the heir and younger member of an oil tycoons' saga, is kidnapped by the Italian mafia in order to get a ransom.

Stars: Harris Dickinson, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Swank, Luca Marinelli

Votes: 5,553

23. Serpico (1973)

R | 130 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire

Votes: 104,558 | Gross: $29.80M

24. A Very English Scandal (2018–2021)

TV-14 | 180 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe is accused of conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover and forced to stand trial in 1979.

Stars: Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Alex Jennings, Patricia Hodge

Votes: 8,885

25. In the Name of the Father (1993)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

A man's coerced confession to an I.R.A. bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King

Votes: 150,350 | Gross: $25.01M

26. Patty Hearst (1988)

R | 108 min | Biography, Drama

62 Metascore

In the 1970s, Patricia Hearst is abducted by American revolutionaries, but eventually joins their cause instead.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames, Frances Fisher

Votes: 1,437 | Gross: $1.22M

27. Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct (2008)

R | 113 min | Action, Biography, Crime

71 Metascore

The story of the notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine, with the focus on his life before the early 1970s and the events that led to him being declared Public Enemy No. 1 in France.

Director: Jean-François Richet | Stars: Vincent Cassel, Cécile de France, Gérard Depardieu, Gilles Lellouche

Votes: 31,360 | Gross: $0.55M

28. Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1 (2008)

R | 133 min | Action, Biography, Crime

72 Metascore

The story of the notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine, with the focus on his life and death as France's Public Enemy No. 1 in the 1970s.

Director: Jean-François Richet | Stars: Vincent Cassel, Ludivine Sagnier, Mathieu Amalric, Samuel Le Bihan

Votes: 27,765 | Gross: $0.28M

29. Echoes in the Darkness (1987)

Unrated | 250 min | Drama

Based on the true life story that took place in 1979, this movie follows the murders of Susan Reinert (Stockard Channing) and her two children in Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania, a case that lasted seven years.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Stockard Channing, Robert Loggia, Peter Boyle

Votes: 274

30. Prophet of Evil: The Ervil LeBaron Story (1993 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Biography, Drama

The take-down of an infamous leader of a small polygamous Mormon fundamentalist group, who ordered assassinations of his opponents.

Director: Jud Taylor | Stars: Brian Dennehy, William Devane, Tracey Needham, Dee Wallace

Votes: 214

31. Devil's Knot (2013)

Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

42 Metascore

The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a Satanic ritual.

Director: Atom Egoyan | Stars: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Alessandro Nivola, James Hamrick

Votes: 19,687

32. Cass (2008)

108 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

An orphaned Jamaican baby is adopted by an elderly white couple and brought up in an all white area of London and becomes one of the most feared and respected men in Britain. Based on a true story.

Director: Jon S. Baird | Stars: Nonso Anozie, Gavin Brocker, Leo Gregory, Natalie Press

Votes: 5,638

33. Gladbeck (2018)

176 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Based on the true story that shocked a nation in the summer of 1988 and revealed the scandalizing amount of errors committed by the media and the police in a half-baked attempt to rescue hostages.

Stars: Sascha Alexander Gersak, Marie Rosa Tietjen, Alexander Scheer, Martin Wuttke

Votes: 927

34. Erin Brockovich (2000)

R | 131 min | Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin, Dawn Didawick

Votes: 168,487 | Gross: $125.60M

35. Inside Look: The People v. O.J. Simpson - American Crime Story (2016)

TV-14 | 5 min | Documentary, Short

Inside the series of the same name.

Stars: Sarah Paulson, Brad Simpson, Sterling K. Brown, Nina Jacobson

Votes: 21,697

36. Veronica Guerin (2003)

R | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

55 Metascore

An Irish journalist writes a series of stories about drug dealers.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 18,753 | Gross: $1.57M

37. Appropriate Adult (2011)

69 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dramatisation of the case of serial killers Fred and Rose West, focusing on the way in which they were brought to justice.

Stars: Emily Watson, Dominic West, Robert Glenister, Sylvestra Le Touzel

Votes: 2,430

38. Inside Look: The Assassination of Gianni Versace - American Crime Story (2017–2018)

TV-MA | 3 min | Documentary, Short

An inside look at the making of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Stars: Darren Criss, Ricky Martin, Penélope Cruz, Edgar Ramírez

Votes: 6,567

39. The Thieving Headmistress (2006 TV Movie)

60 min | Drama

A Headmistress steals from her own school.

Director: Norman Hull | Stars: Pauline Quirke, Denis Lawson, Peter Cellier, Mary Roscoe

Votes: 20

40. Canoe Man (2010 TV Movie)

60 min | Drama

The story of the "Canoe Man" John Darwin who faked his own death and tried to start a new life with a false identity.

Director: Norman Hull | Stars: Kate Ambler, Bernard Hill, Joseph Balderrama, Saskia Reeves

Votes: 40

41. Manhunt (2019– )

45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

London Metropolitan police detective Colin Sutton tracks down a serial killer.

Stars: Martin Clunes, Katie Lyons, Claudie Blakley, Stephen Wight

Votes: 3,181

42. A Confession (2019– )

45 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher intends on catching a killer of a missing woman, even if that may cost him his career and reputation.

Stars: Martin Freeman, Siobhan Finneran, Imelda Staunton, Peter Wight

Votes: 3,935

43. The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (2014)

114 min | Crime, Drama

This drama tells the real-life story of retired schoolteacher Christopher Jefferies who was initially questioned by police as a suspect in the murder of Jo Yeates who rented a flat from him... See full summary »

Stars: Jason Watkins, Shaun Parkes, Ben Caplan, Nathalie Armin

Votes: 2,617

44. Hatton Garden (2019)

Crime, Drama

Four elderly men, all experienced thieves, carry out a large-scale robbery.

Stars: Alex Norton, David Hayman, Kenneth Cranham, Brían F. O'Byrne

Votes: 595

45. Quiz (2020– )

147 min | Crime, Drama, Game-Show

Quiz tells the story of Charles Ingram, a former British army major, who caused a major scandal after being caught cheating his way to winning £1 million on the game show 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'

Stars: Matthew Macfadyen, Sian Clifford, Mark Bonnar, Aisling Bea

Votes: 2,256



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