100 Greatest Biography Movies

Movie images collage
Criteria: These Greatest Biography Movies were chosen for their biographical accuracy, acting, direction, and realism (ie; costumes, sets, mannerisms). (Note: Some movies may contain the combined bios of 2 people, such as husband/wife, doctor/patient, friends/lovers, or partners, if equally important in the story).

Last Updated: 2024-03-19
Newly added names are in  Red 
Greatest Biography Movies
Schindler's List movie movie poster  Gandhi movie poster  Lawrence of Arabia movie poster  Raging Bull movie poster  Napoleon movie poster  Amadeus movie poster
  Title (Year) (Real-life personality, description) (Staring Actor)
  1. Schindler's List (1993) (Oskar Schindler, German factory owner) (Liam Neeson)
  2. Gandhi (1982) (Mahatma Gandhi, Indian non-violent protest leader) (Ben Kingsley)
  3. Lawrence of Arabia (1963) (Thomas E. Lawrence, British intelligence officer) (Peter O'Toole)
  4. Raging Bull (1980) (Jake LaMotta, middleweight boxing champ) (Robert De Niro)
  5. Napoleon (1927, silent) (Napoleon Bonaparte, French leader) (Albert Dieudonné)
  6. Amadeus (1984) (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer) (Tom Hulce)
  7. Patton (1970) (George S. Patton, U.S. General WWII) (George C. Scott)
  8. Braveheart (1995) (William Wallace, 13th Century Scotsman) (Mel Gibson)
  9. Malcom X (1992) (Born: Malcolm Little, Black Nationalist leader) (Denzel Washington)
10. The Ten Commandments (1956) (Moses) (Charlton Heston)
11. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) (Joan of Arc, French martyr) (Maria Falconetti)
12. Spartacus (1960) (Spartacus, slave revolt leader, Rome) (Kirk Douglas)
13. Becket (1964) (Thomas Becket, English Saint and martyr) (Richard Burton)
14. The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) (Charles Augustus Lindbergh, aviator) (James Stewart)
15. Lust For Life (1956) (Vincent Van Gogh, painter) (Kirk Douglas)
16. Mary, Queen of Scots (1972) (Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland) (Vanessa Redgrave)
17. Andrei Rublev (1969) (Andrei Rublyov, icon painter) (Anatoli Solonitsyn)
18. Pride Of The Yankees (1943) (Henry Louis 'Lou' Gehrig, Baseball player) (Gary Cooper)
19. Sergeant York (1941) (Alvin C. York, War hero, WWI) (Gary Cooper)
20. The Miracle Worker (1962) (Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller) (Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke)
21. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) (Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow) (Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty)
22. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) (Michelangelo, Italian artist) (Charlton Heston)
23. Mommie Dearest (1981) (Joan Crawford, actress) (Faye Dunaway)
24. The Passion of the Christ (2004) (Jesus) (James Caviezel)
25. Oppenheimer (2023) (American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer) (Cillian Murphy)
26. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) (Jean-Dominique Bauby, Elle editor) (Mathieu Amalric)
27. Capote (2006) (Truman Capote, American writer) (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
28. Immortal Beloved (1995) (Ludwig van Beethoven, composer) (Gary Oldman)
29. The Last Emperor (1987) (Pu Yi, Final Emperor of China) (John Lone)
30. Goodfellas (1990) (Henry Hill, gangster) (Ray Liotta)
31. A Beautiful Mind (2002) (John Nash, mathemetician) (Russell Crowe)
32. Ivan Grozny II: Boyarsky zagovor (1958) (Czar Ivan IV) (Nikolai Cherkasov)
33. Ray (2004) (Ray Charles, popular music pianist) (Jamie Foxx)
34. The Pianist (2002) (Wladyslaw Szpilman, Jewish musician) (Adrien Brody)
35. The Elephant Man (1980) (Dr. Frederick Treves, John Merrick) (Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt)
36. Silkwood (1983) (Karen Silkwood, employee in nuclear facility) (Meryl Streep)
37. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) (Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president) (Henry Fonda)
38. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) (Anne Frank, Jewish girl hiding from nazis) (Millie Perkins)
39. Gorillas in the Mist (1988) (Dian Fossey, anthropologist) (Sigourney Weaver)
40. A Man For All Seasons (1966) (Sir Thomas More, English statesman) (Paul Scofield)
41. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (Butch Cassidy, Sundance) (Paul Newman, Robert Redford)
42. Lenny (1974) (Lenny Bruce, 1960s comic) (Dustin Hoffman)
43. Finding Neverland (2004) (James Barrie, author of Peter Pan) (Johnny Depp)
44. Good Night and Good Luck (2005) (Edward R. Murrow, broadcast journalist) (David Strathairn)
45. Shine (1996) (David Helfgott, pianist) (Geoffrey Rush)
46. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) (George M. Cohan, composer, playwright, actor) (James Cagney)
47. Mask (1985) (Rocky Dennis, 16-year-old with facial skull deformity) (Eric Stoltz)
48. The Hurricane (1999) (Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, wrongly imprisoned boxer) (Denzel Washington)
49. Madame Curie (1944) (Marie Curie, discovers radium) (Greer Garson)
50. Cleopatra (1963) (Cleopatra VII, Egyptian queen) (Elizabeth Taylor)
51. Ed Wood (1994) (Ed Wood, Film director) (Johnny Depp)
52. Chaplin (1993) (Charles Chaplin, silent movie comic) (Robert Downey Jr.)
53. Bird (1988) (Charlie 'Bird' Parker, jazz musician) (Forest Whitaker)
54. What's Love Got To Do With It (1993) (Tina Turner, American singer) (Angela Bassett)
55. Cinderella Man (2005) (James Braddock, 1930s boxer) (Russell Crowe)
56. Walk The Line (2005) (Johnny Cash, Country music singer) (Joaquin Phoenix)
57. The Aviator (2004) (Howard Hughes, director and aviator) (Leonardo DiCaprio)
58. Pollock (2000) (Jackson Pollock, American painter) (Ed Harris)
59. The Buddy Holly Story (1978) (Buddy Holly, rock 'n' roll star) (Gary Busey)
60. Viva Zapata! (1952) (Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary) (Marlon Brando)
61. Joan of Arc (1948) (Joan of Arc, French martyr) (Ingrid Bergman)
62. Sully (2016) (US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger) (Tom Hanks)
63. The Doors (1991) (Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors) (Val Kilmer)
64. Jim Thorpe: All American (1951) (Jim Thorpe, football player) (Burt Lancaster)
65. Monster (2004) (Aileen Wuornos, prostitute/serial killer) (Charlize Theron)
66. Kundun (1997) (Dalai Lama) (Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong)
67. Frida (2002) (Frida Kahlo, Mexican artist) (Salma Hayek)
68. Brian's Song (1971) (Brian Piccolo, football player) (James Caan)
69. The Imitation Game (2014) (Cambridge mathematician Alan Turing) (Benedict Cumberbatch)
70. Ali (2001) (Muhammad Ali, boxer) (Will Smith)
71. Papillon (1972) (Henri 'Papillon' Charriere) (Steve McQueen)
72. La Bamba (1987) (Ritchie Valens, rock 'n' roll star) (Lou Diamond Phillips)
73. The Life of Emile Zola (1937) (Emile Zola, French writer) (Paul Muni)
74. 12 Years a Slave (2013) (Solomon Northup, kidnapped and sold into slavery) (Chiwetel Ejiofor)
75. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) (Freddie Mercury, Lead singer of the British rock band "Queen") (Rami Malek)
76. Ferrari (2023) (Enzo Ferrari' Auto racer and entrepreneur) (Adam Driver)
77. Sid & Nancy (1986) (Sid Vicious, Nancy Spungen) (Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb)
78. Basquiat (1996) (Jean Michel Basquia, street artist) (Jeffrey Wright)
79. The King's Speech (2010) (Prince Albert of England) (Colin Firth)
80. Nixon (1995) (Richard Milhous Nixon, U.S. president) (Anthony Hopkins)
81. Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) (Tsar Nicholas II, Emp. Alexandra) (Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman)
82. Lincoln (2012) (President Abraham Lincoln) (Daniel Day-Lewis)
83. Man on the Moon (1999) (Andy Kaufman, avant-garde comedian) (Jim Carrey)
84. Quills (2000) (The Marquis de Sade) (Geoffrey Rush)
85. Erin Brockovich (2000) (Erin Brockovich, legal assistant) (Julia Roberts)
86. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) (Nelson Mandela) (Idris Elba)
87. Elizabeth (1998) (Elizabeth I of England)(Cate Blanchett)
88. The Theory of Everything (2014) (Stephen Hawking, physicist) (Eddie Redmayne)
89. Lean On Me (1989) (Joe Clark, dedicated high school disciplinarian) (Morgan Freeman)
90. Reds (1981) (John Reed, American journalist) (Warren Beatty)
91. Surviving Picasso (1996) (Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter) (Anthony Hopkins)
92. Anastasia (1956) (Anna Koreff, Anastasia imposter) (Ingrid Bergman)
93. Hoffa (1992) (James R. 'Jimmy' Hoffa, union leader) (Jack Nicholson)
94. Alexander (2004) (Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia) (Connor Paolo)
95. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) (Elizabeth I, Earl of Essex) (Bette Davis, Errol Flynn)
96. American Sniper (2014) (U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle) (Bradley Cooper)
97. Sybil (1976) (Shirley Ardell Mason, multiple personality disorder patient) (Sally Field)
98. The Social Network (2010) (Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg) (Jesse Eisenberg)
99. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) (Robert Stroud, convicted murderer) (Burt Lancaster)
100. Lady Sings the Blues (1972) (Billie Holiday, Jazz singer) (Diana Ross)
20 More Worth Mentioning
101. I Accuse (1958) (Alfred Dreyfus, French army captain) (José Ferrer)
102. Disraeli (1929) (Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of Great Britain) (George Arliss)
103. First Man (2018) (Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the Moon) (Ryan Gosling)
104. Elvis (2022) (Elvis Presley the King of Rock 'n' Roll) (Austin Butler)
105. King of Kings (1961) (Jesus) (Jeffrey Hunter)
106. Kinsey (2004) (Alfred Kinsey) (Liam Neeson)
107. Bugsy (1991) (Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel, gangster) (Warren Beatty)
108. Milk (2008) (Harvey Milk, California's first openly gay elected official) (Sean Penn)
109. Emily (2022) (Emily Brontë English novelist and poet) (Emma Mackey)
110. 127 Hours (2010) (Aron Ralston, Mountain climber survival) (James Franco)
111. Before Night Falls (2001) (Reinaldo Arenas, Cuban poet) (Javier Bardem)
112. People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) (Larry Flynt, publisher) (Woody Harrelson)
113. Steve Jobs (2015) (Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs) (Michael Fassbender)
114. Respect (2021) (Aretha Franklin, soul singer) (Jennifer Hudson)
115. Boys Don't Cry (1999) (Teena Brandon, transgendered teen) (Hilary Swank)
116. Henry & June (1990) (Henry Miller, June Miller) (Fred Ward, Uma Thurman)
117. Casanova (2005) (Giacomo Casanova, Venetian writer, womanizer) (Heath Ledger)
118. Bound for Glory (1976) (Woody Guthrie, folk singer) (David Carradine)
119. El Cid (1961) ("El Cid", Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, Spanish hero) (Charlton Heston)
120. Lion (2016) (Sheru Munshi Khan, Lost Indian boy finding home after 25 years) (Dev Patel)

The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)

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