Based on a True Story

Based on a True Story

We've all seen the movies that claim to be 'based on a true story', but have you ever wondered how historically accurate they are? That's what we'll aim to find out as we compare Hollywood with history.... Show More

Episodes

March 5, 2021 57 min

We're going back to 1977 and Ridley Scott's feature film directorial debut, The Duellists. The movie tells the tale of two soldiers in Napoleon's army who duel with each other for over a decade. Historian and professor at Louisiana State University, Alexander Mikaberidze, returns to help us separate fact from fiction in the movie.

Want to learn more about the Napoleonic era? Get one (or more) of Alexander's great bo...

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February 17, 2021 75 min

Released in 2020, Greyhound was written by Tom Hanks, who also starred in the lead role. The movie was based on a novel by C.S. Forester called The Good Shepherd. Today, we'll be joined by the Naval Consultant on the film, Gordon Laco, to discuss its historical accuracy.

Want to learn more?

Learn more about Gordon's work as a historical consultant to film and television at gordonlaco.com

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February 5, 2021 49 min

2010's The Conspirator tells the story of Mary Surratt and her alleged involvement in Lincoln's assassination. Dr. Brian Dirck joins us again to separate fact from fiction in the film. Dr. Dirck is a Professor of History at Anderson University and author of multiple books on President Lincoln, including Lincoln and the Constitution, The Black Heavens: Abraham Lincoln and Death and Lincoln the Lawyer.

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January 12, 2021 66 min

Today we'll learn about the classic 1970 film Waterloo and its depiction of Napoleon's final defeat. Joining us to discuss the historical accuracy of Waterloo is historian and professor at Louisiana State University, Alexander Mikaberidze. Alexander has also written numerous books on the Napoleonic era, including his latest which is called The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History.

Want to learn more about the Napoleonic era? G...

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In the movie Donnie Brasco we see the story of an FBI agent who goes into deep cover infiltrating the New York mafia families.

The truth is Donnie Brasco was the under cover name for Joe Pistone. He joins us today along with actor and Joe's co-host on the Deep Cover Podcast, Leo Rossi.

Want to learn more about the real story? Listen to Joe and Leo's podcast, Deep Cover Podcast, at https://www.deepcoverpodcast.com/

 

Did you...

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December 18, 2020 81 min

How much of 2014's The Alamo really happened? To help us separate fact from fiction in the movie, we’ll be chatting with professor, historian and author Stephen L. Hardin. Stephen was also a historical consultant on the movie we’ll be chatting about today, so we’ll get some extra insight into the production of the film as well.

Want to learn more about the real story?

Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Lust for Glory: ...
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    December 7, 2020 72 min

    Wake Island was attacked on the same day as Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 (December 8th on Wake Island across the International Date Line). A few months later, on August 11th, 1942, Paramount Pictures released the war propaganda film Wake Island.

    To help us separate fact from fiction in the movie, we’ll be chatting with Professor Gregory J. W. Urwin from Temple University. Gregory is a military historian who has written two fa...

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    November 18, 2020 50 min

    How historically accurate was 2012's Lincoln? To help us separate fact from fiction in the movie, we’ll be chatting with Dr. Brian Dirck, who is a Professor of History at Anderson University and author of multiple books on President Lincoln, including Lincoln and the Constitution, The Black Heavens: Abraham Lincoln and Death and Lincoln the Lawyer.

    Want to learn more about the real story?

    Here are some resources to get you star...

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    November 5, 2020 76 min

    1989's Glory is currently the most requested movie to cover. Gregory J. W. Urwin is an author, military historian and Professor at Temple University. He'll join us today to separate fact from fiction in Glory.

    Want to learn more about the real story? Here are some resources to get you started:

  • A Brave Black Regiment by Louis F. Emilio with an introduction by Gregory J. W. Urwin
    https://bookshop.org/a/9789/9780306806230
  • Black...
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    Back on episode #152 of Based on a True Story, we covered season 1 of the History Channel's Project Blue Book. Today, Rob Kristoffersen comes back on the podcast to talk about the events we saw in season 2.

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    You can find the transcript and show notes for this episode at: https://www.basedonatruestorypodcast.com/168/

    Support our sponsors: https://www.basedonatruestorypodcast.com/advertisers

    Or get ad-f...

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    October 6, 2020 48 min

    Dr. Clayborne Carson is the Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History at Stanford University and the founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford. He joins us today to compare history with the 2014 movie Selma. 

     

    Want to learn more?

  • World House Podcast: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/world-house-podcast
  • Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr edited by Clayborne C...
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    Chris Wimmer is the host and producer of the extremely popular Legends of the Old West and Infamous America podcasts. He joins us today to compare history with the 2007 movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

    Want to learn more about Jesse James?

    Listen to an entire season of Legends of the Old West that dives deep into Jesse James: https://blackbarrelmedia.com/legends-of-the-old-west/

     

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    September 8, 2020 61 min

    Eric Marcus is a journalist, founder and host of The Making Gay History Podcast. He joins us today to compare history with the 2015 Roland Emmerich movie Stonewall.

     

    Want to learn more?

    Eric provided these resources for you to learn more about the true story of Stonewall.

  • Stonewall Fact Sheet: https://stonewall50consortium.org/stonewallfactsheet.pdf
  • Stonewall First Anniversary Pride March Fact Sheet: https://stonewall50consortium.o...
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    August 27, 2020 56 min

    The 2002 John Woo movie 'Windtalkers' tells the story of a Navajo code talker during World War II. Is the film historically accurate?

    Judith Avila is the author of Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

    Want to learn more about the real code talkers?

    Get her book at your local indie bookstore here: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780425247853

     

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    ...

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    August 12, 2020 76 min

    Author Furman Daniel joins us today to separate fact from fiction in the classic World War II film Patton.

    Want to learn more about Patton?

    Buy Furman's latest book Patton: Battling with History at your local bookstore: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780826222091

     

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    You can find the transcript and show notes for this episode at: https://www.basedonatruestorypodcast.com/163/

    Support our sponsors: htt...

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    July 30, 2020 53 min

    Our story today covers the capture of the notorious Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann. The operation to hunt him down and bring him to justice was depicted in the movie Operation Finale, and today we'll find out how many of the things we saw on screen actually happened.

     

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    You can find the transcript and show notes for this episode at: https://www.basedonatruestorypodcast.com/162/

    Support our sponsors: htt...

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    July 14, 2020 65 min

    Erica Kelley is the host of the Southern Fried True Crime podcast. She joins us today to separate fact from the fiction in the 2019 movie Just Mercy.

    Want to learn more about the real story?

    Listen to Erica's episode on the murder of Rhonda Morrison and the framing of Walter McMillian: https://www.southernfriedtruecrime.com/85-the-murder-of-ronda-morrison-the-framing-of-walter-mcmillian

    Subscribe to Erica's podcast: https:...

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    Today marks the 157th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863).

    How much of the movie's depiction of the battle is historically accurate? I'm joined by Jim Hessler and Eric Lindblade to find out. Jim and Eric are both Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides and are the co-hosts of The Battle of Gettysburg Podcast.

    Want to learn more about Gettybsurg?

    Subscribe to The Battle of Gettysburg Podcast: https://anch...

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    June 6th, 1944. D-Day.

    Fast forward 76 years and on June 6th, 2020, we'll chat with author and historian Marty Morgan to separate fact from fiction in one of the most popular movies depicting D-Day, Saving Private Ryan.

    Want to learn more about the real history of D-Day?

    Get Marty's book: D-Day: A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion

    Or his other book: Down to Earth: The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Norman...

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    May 25, 2020 72 min

    Craig Symonds is the Earnest J. King Professor of Maritime History at the Naval War College as well as Professor Emeritus of History at the U.S. Naval Academy. He also has a great book called The Battle of Midway that dives into the true history behind the battle. He joins us today to discuss the historical accuracy of the 2019 movie Midway.

    Want to learn more about the real Battle of Midway?

    Get your copy of Craig's book here:...

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