A biographical film or biopic ( // ) 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 docudrama films and historical drama films in that they attempt to comprehensively tell a single person's life story or at least the most historically important years of their lives.[ original research? ]
Biopic scholars include George F. Custen of the College of Staten Island and Dennis P. Bingham of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Custen, in Bio/Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History (1992), regards the genre as having died with the Hollywood studio era, and in particular, Darryl F. Zanuck.On the other hand, Bingham's 2010 study Whose Lives Are They Anyway? The Biopic as Contemporary Film Genre shows how it perpetuates as a codified genre using many of the same tropes used in the studio era that has followed a similar trajectory as that shown by Rick Altman in his study, Film/Genre. Bingham also addresses the male biopic and the female biopic as distinct genres from each other, the former generally dealing with great accomplishments, the latter generally dealing with female victimization. Ellen Cheshire's Bio-Pics: a life in pictures (2014) examines UK/US films from the 1990s and 2000s. Each chapter reviews key films linked by profession and concludes with further viewing list. Christopher Robé has also written on the gender norms that underlie the biopic in his article, "Taking Hollywood Back" in the 2009 issue of Cinema Journal.
Roger Ebert defended The Hurricane and distortions in biographical films in general, stating "those who seek the truth about a man from the film of his life might as well seek it from his loving grandmother. ... The Hurricane is not a documentary but a parable."
Casting can be controversial for biographical films. Casting is often a balance between similarity in looks and ability to portray the characteristics of the person. Anthony Hopkins felt that he should not have played Richard Nixon in Nixon because of a lack of resemblance between the two.[ citation needed ] The casting of John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror was objected to because of the American Wayne being cast as the Mongol warlord. Egyptian critics criticized the casting of Louis Gossett Jr., an African American actor, as Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in the 1982 TV miniseries Sadat . Also, some objected to the casting of Jennifer Lopez in Selena because she is a New York City native of Puerto Rican descent while Selena was Mexican-American.
Because the figures portrayed are actual people, whose actions and characteristics are known to the public (or at least historically documented), biopic roles are considered some of the most demanding of actors and actresses.[ citation needed ] Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Ben Kingsley, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx Robert Downey Jr, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne all gained new-found respect as dramatic actors after starring in biopics:[ citation needed ] Beatty and Dunaway as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi (1982), Depp as Ed Wood in Ed Wood (1994), Carrey as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon (1999), Downey as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin (1992), Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004), and Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014).
Some biopics purposely stretch the truth. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was based on game show host Chuck Barris' widely debunked yet popular memoir of the same name, in which he claimed to be a CIA agent. [ citation needed ] The Errol Flynn film They Died with Their Boots On tells the story of Custer but is highly romanticized. The Oliver Stone film The Doors , mainly about Jim Morrison, was highly praised for the similarities between Jim Morrison and actor Val Kilmer, look-wise and singing-wise, but fans and band members did not like the way Val Kilmer portrayed Jim Morrison, and a few of the scenes were even completely made up.Kafka incorporated both the life of author Franz Kafka and the surreal aspects of his fiction.
In rare cases, sometimes called auto biopics,the subject of the film plays themself. Examples include Jackie Robinson in The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), Muhammad Ali in The Greatest (1977), Audie Murphy in To Hell and Back (1955), Patty Duke in Call Me Anna (1990), Bob Mathias in The Bob Mathias Story (1954), Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant (1969), Fantasia Barrino in Life Is Not a Fairytale (2006), and Howard Stern in Private Parts (1997).
In 2018, the musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody , based on the life of Queen singer Freddie Mercury, became the highest-grossing biopic in history.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, partly due to Morrison's lyrics and voice, along with his erratic stage persona. The group is widely regarded as an important figure of the era's counterculture.
Robert Alan Krieger is an American guitarist. He was the guitarist of rock band the Doors; as such he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Krieger wrote or co-wrote many of the Doors' songs, including the hits "Light My Fire", "Love Me Two Times", "Touch Me", and "Love Her Madly". When the Doors disbanded due to death of lead singer Jim Morrison, Krieger continued his performing and recording career with other musicians including former Doors bandmates John Densmore and Ray Manzarek. He was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
John Paul Densmore is an American musician, songwriter, author and actor. He is best known as the drummer of the rock band the Doors, and as such is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He appeared on every recording made by the band, with drumming inspired by jazz and world music as much as by rock and roll.
Raymond Daniel Manzarek Jr. was an American keyboardist. He is best known as a member of the Doors, co-founding the band with singer and lyricist Jim Morrison in 1965.
The Doors is a 1991 American biographical musical film directed by Oliver Stone who also – along with J. Randal Johnson wrote it. The film stars Val Kilmer as lead singer and songwriter Jim Morrison, Meg Ryan as Pamela Courson, Kyle MacLachlan as keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Frank Whaley as lead guitarist Robby Krieger, Kevin Dillon as drummer John Densmore, Billy Idol as Cat and Kathleen Quinlan as journalist Patricia Kennealy. The film tells the story and life of Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the American rock band the Doors, and the band's success of their music and influential counterculture.
John David Logan is an American playwright and filmmaker. He is known for his work as a screenwriter for such films as Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) and Sam Mendes's James Bond films Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). He is a three-time Academy Award nominee: twice for Best Original Screenplay for Gladiator (2000) and The Aviator (2004), and once for Best Adapted Screenplay for Hugo (2011).
"Love Me Two Times" is a song by the American rock band the Doors. First appearing on their second studio album Strange Days, it was later edited to a 2:37 length and released as the second single from that album. The single reached number 25 on the charts in the United States.
Bryan Jay Singer is an American filmmaker. He is the founder of Bad Hat Harry Productions and has produced almost all of the films he has directed.
Joseph Francis Mazzello III is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Tim Murphy in Jurassic Park, Eugene Sledge in the HBO miniseries The Pacific, Dustin Moskovitz in The Social Network, and Queen bass player John Deacon in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor is an award presented by the Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association. It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role.
"Love Street" is a song performed by the American rock band the Doors. Sequenced as the second album track on Waiting for the Sun, its lyrics were written by lead singer Jim Morrison and as with other songs, it was dedicated to his girlfriend Pamela Courson.
Edward John David Redmayne is an English actor. Known for his roles in biopics and blockbusters, he has received various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, a BAFTA Award, and two Olivier Awards.
"When the Music's Over" is a rock song by the American band the Doors, which appears on their second album Strange Days, released in 1967. It is among the band's longer pieces, lasting 11 minutes.
Anthony McCarten is a New Zealand writer and filmmaker. He is best known for writing the biopics The Theory of Everything (2014), Darkest Hour (2017), Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) and The Two Popes (2019). He received Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay nominations for The Theory of Everything and The Two Popes.
Lucy Boynton is a British-American actress. Raised in London, she made her professional debut as the young Beatrix Potter in Miss Potter (2006). She starred in television productions Ballet Shoes (2007), Sense and Sensibility (2008) and Mo (2010), making guest appearances on Lewis, Borgia, Endeavour, and Law & Order: UK. Boynton portrayed writer Angelica Garnett on Life in Squares, which aired on BBC. She appeared as an isolated popular girl in The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015) and starred as a bold aspiring model in Sing Street (2016), which met with critical acclaim. She appeared in horror films I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) and Don't Knock Twice (2016), receiving praise for her performance in the latter.
James Douglas Morrison was an American singer, poet and songwriter who was the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his wild personality, poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, unpredictable and erratic performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, Morrison's fame has endured as one of popular culture's top rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.
The Danish Girl is a 2015 biographical romantic drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, and loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Alicia Vikander as Wegener, and Sebastian Koch as Kurt Warnekros, with Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, and Matthias Schoenaerts in supporting roles.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biographical musical drama film directed by Bryan Singer from a screenplay by Anthony McCarten, and produced by Graham King and Queen manager Jim Beach. It focuses on the life of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the British rock band Queen, from the formation of the band in 1970 to their 1985 Live Aid performance at the original Wembley Stadium. It stars Rami Malek as Mercury, with Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, and Mike Myers in supporting roles. Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor also served as consultants. A British-American venture, it was produced by Regency Enterprises, GK Films and Queen Films, and was distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Nobody's Fool is a 2018 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Tyler Perry. It stars Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley and Whoopi Goldberg, and follows a recently paroled woman who tries to help her sister with a man who may be catfishing her. The film marks Tyler Perry's first R-rated comedy, as well as his first film not to be distributed by Lionsgate.