With the Academy Awards right around the corner, it’s not surprising that many beloved and award-winning movies are based on novels. But you may be shocked to realize just how many films are inspired by nonfiction books. From tales of true crime to riveting memoirs of astounding lives, this list features 12 of our favorite compelling nonfiction works that have inspired some truly great movies.
Based on the true events that inspired Moby Dick, Ron Howard’s latest project follows a sunken whale ship whose crew is stranded at sea for ninety days, in a story of incredible courage—and unthinkable sacrifice. Chris Hemsworth puts aside Thor to play a different kind of superhero: the ship’s captain who refuses to give up.
Release date: December 11, 2015
Susannah Cahalan awakes in a hospital room, strapped to the bed. Crazy? Psychotic? Mental breakdown? BRAIN ON FIRE is her story of a devastating autoimmune disease misdiagnosed over and over—all while it appears she is losing her mind.
Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the early morning hours of May 2, 1981. For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this beautiful and isolated remnant of the Old South. John Berendt’s sharply observed and suspenseful account of this landmark murder case is a sublime and seductive reading experience.
Published just months before President Nixon’s resignation, ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN revealed the full scope of the Watergate scandal and introduced for the first time the mysterious “Deep Throat.” Woodward and Bernstein’s explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post, toppled the president, and have since inspired generations of reporters.
Nasar’s biography of mathematical genius John Nash is a drama about the mystery of the human mind and the power of love. By the age of thirty, Nash was a legend—and already suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Remarkably, Nash triumphed over adversity, won world acclaim and a Nobel Prize.
The acclaimed political biography that helped inspired Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” Doris Kearns Goodwin provides a truly engaging and fresh exploration of not only Abraham Lincoln’s life but also his acumen in bringing out the best in his cabinet of rival Republicans. Brilliantly conceived and expertly written, this is a thrilling biography of the most momentous presidency. . . . Page Count: 754