Flynn as Custer, right before his last stand.
A Biographical film is
a film that dramatizes the life of a non-fictional or historically-based person or people. Such films show the life of a historical person and the central character’s real name is used. They differ from films "based on a true story" or “historical drama films" in that they attempt to comprehensively tell a person’s life story or at least the most historically important years of their lives (source).Biographical films have been made and remade since the beginning of cinema. Presidents, Military Heros, Inventors, Musicians, Saints, Athletes, Kings and Queens, and even Actors and Actresses have all been subjects of these films which seek to memorialize an individual for something they have done. And while normally I am not a huge fan of true stories (which usually mean sad or bitter-sweet endings), there are a few that I am especially fond of:
1. The Great Ziegfeld (1936) - William Powell as Florenz Ziegfeld, Luise Rainer as Anna Held, Myrna Loy as Billie Burke
2. The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939) - Don Ameche as Alexander Graham Bell, Loretta Young as Mabel
3. They Died with Their Boots On (1941) - Errol Flynn as General George Armstrong Custer, Olivia de Havilland as his wife Libby
4. Gentleman Jim (1942) - Errol Flynn as Boxer Jim Corbett, with Ward Bond, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson
5. Song of Bernadette (1943) - Jennifer Jones as St. Bernadette Soubirous
6. So Goes My Love (1946) - Don Ameche as Inventor Hiram Maxim, Myrna Loy as his wife Jane Budden
7. Houdini (1953) - Tony Curtis as Harry Houdini, Janet Leigh as his wife Bess
8. Sunrise at Campobello (1960) - Ralph Bellamy as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Greer Garson as Eleanor Roosevelt
9. PT-109 (1963) - Cliff Robertson as John F. Kennedy
10. Funny Girl (1968) - Barbra Streisand as Actress Fanny Brice, Omar Sharif as first husband Nick ArnsteinMy favorite modern Biopics: Rudy (1993) - Sean Astin as Rudy Ruettiger, The Queen (2006) - Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, Becoming Jane (2007) - Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen, The Young Victoria (2008) - Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria, The King's Speech (2010) - Colin Firth as Prince Albert/King George VI.
What are your favorite biographical films?
Tomorrow, my Top Ten Horror/Ghost/Sci-fi!