You can’t make this stuff up!

5 Great Books—and Films—Inspired by Real-Life Stories

Posted by Ben Landau October  05, 2016
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A pilot miraculously lands a crippled passenger jet on New York’s Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew. A woman hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert alone to overcome personal tragedy. An FBI agent spends years undercover infiltrating the Medellín Cartel's criminal hierarchy. What links these incredible stories together?

The truth.

Yes, as the old adage goes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes, the best stories are the ones you can’t make up. With Tom Hanks-vehicle Sully set for a big weekend at the box office, we put together a list of five fantastic films inspired by real life events.

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Sully by Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow

Yes, as the old adage goes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes, the best stories are the ones you can’t make up. With Tom Hanks-vehicle Sully set to hit theatres this weekend, we put together a list of five fantastic films inspired by real life events.

Sully's story is one of dedication, hope, and preparedness, revealing the important lessons he learned through his life, in his military service, and in his work as an airline pilot. It reminds us all that, even in these days of conflict, tragedy and uncertainty, there are values still worth fighting for—that life's

 

challenges can be met if we're ready for them.

The Infiltrator by Robert MazurPicture3

Robert Mazur spent years undercover infiltrating the Medellín Cartel's criminal hierarchy. The dirty bankers and businessmen he befriended-some of whom still shape power across the globe-knew him as Bob Musella, a wealthy, mob-connected big shot living the good life. Filled with dangerous lies, near misses, and harrowing escapes, The Infiltrator is as bracing and explosive as the greatest fiction thrillers-only it's all true.

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Wild by Cheryl Strayed

At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. To travel across America's Pacific Coast alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

When 24 year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. What happened? In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. 

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War Dogs by Guy Lawson

The page-turning, behind-closed-doors account of how three kids from Florida became big-time weapons traders for the government and how the Pentagon later turned on them. Featuring Swiss gunrunners, Russian arms dealers, Albanian thugs, and a Pentagon investigation that caused ammunition shortages for the Afghanistan military, Lawson exposes the mysterious and murky world of global arms dealing.

More great true stories adapted for film

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

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