List of non-fiction works made into feature films

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This is a list of nonfiction works that have been made into feature films. The title of the work is followed by the work's author, the title of the film, and the year of the film. If a film has an alternate title based on geographical distribution, the title listed will be that of the widest distribution area.

The list does not include documentary films that are based on real events and people which are not based chiefly on a written work. For other documentary film categories, see documentaries.


Non-fiction work(s) Film adaptation(s)
Across the Wide Missouri (1947), Bernard DeVoto Across the Wide Missouri (1951)
Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors (1974), Piers Paul Read Alive: The Miracle of the Andes (1993)
All the President's Men (1974), Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein All the President's Men (1976)
An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales (1995), Oliver Sacks At First Sight (1999)
The Music Never Stopped (2011)
The Anarchist Cookbook, William Powell The Anarchist Cookbook (2002)
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic (1987), Randy Shilts And the Band Played On (1993)
Awakenings (1973), Oliver Sacks Awakenings (1990)
The Basketball Diaries (1978), Jim Carroll The Basketball Diaries (1995)
Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War (1999), Mark Bowden Black Hawk Down (2001)
Bravo Two Zero (1993), Andy McNab Bravo Two Zero (1999)
A Brief History of Time (1988), Stephen Hawking A Brief History in Time (1991)
The Broken Seal: "Operation Magic" and the Secret Road to Pearl Harbor (1967), Ladislas Farago Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge (1998), Jim Schutze Bully (2001)
Catatan Seorang Demonstran (A Diary of A Demonstrator) (1983), Soe Hok Gie Gie (2005)
Charlie Wilson's War (2003), George Crile III Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
A Civil Action (1996), Jonathan Harr A Civil Action (1998)
Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law (2002), Clara Bingham and Laura Leedy Gansler North Country (2005)
The Conquest of Space (1949), Chesley Bonestell & Willy Ley Conquest of Space (1955)
The Dam Busters (1951), Paul Brickhill The Dam Busters (1954)
Dambusters (TBA 2015)
Dead Man Walking (1993), Sister Helen Prejean Dead Man Walking (1995)
Diamond Jim Brady (1933), Parker Morrell Diamond Jim (1935)
Dispatches (1977), Michael Herr Apocalypse Now (1979)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Enemy Coast Ahead (1946), Guy Gibson The Dam Busters (1954)
Escape from Alcatraz (1963), J. Campbell Bruce Escape from Alcatraz (1979)[citation needed]
Estação Carandiru (Carandiru Station) (2001), Drauzio Varella Carandiru, 2003
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1969), David Reuben Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972)
The Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice (1978), Thomas Hauser Missing (1982)
The Falcon and the Snowman: A True Story of Friendship and Espionage (1979), Robert Lindsey The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001), Eric Schlosser Fast Food Nation (2006)
The Final Days (1976), Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein The Final Days (1989)
The Flight of Dragons (1979), Peter Dickinson The Flight of Dragons (1982) (TV)
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence (1996), Doris Pilkington Garimara Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
Freeing the Whales (1989), Tom Rose Big Miracle (2012)
The French Connection: A True Account of Cops, Narcotics, and International Conspiracy (1969), Robin Moore The French Connection (1971)
Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream (1990), H. G. Bissinger Friday Night Lights (2004)
The Game of Their Lives: The Untold Story of the World Cup's Biggest Upset (1996), Geoffrey Douglas The Game of Their Lives (2005)
The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld (1928), Herbert Asbury Gangs of New York (2002)
Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman (2005), Jamie Reidy Love and Other Drugs (2010)
The Hindenburg (1972), Michael M. Mooney The Hindenburg (1975)
Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (1991), David Simon Homicide: The Movie (2000) (TV)
In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (1966), Truman Capote In Cold Blood (1967)
Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone (2006), Rajiv Chandrasekaran Green Zone (2010)
Into the Wild (1996), Jon Krakauer Into the Wild (2007)
J'ai serré la main du diable (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda) (2003), Roméo Dallaire Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire (2004)
Shake Hands with the Devil (2007)
Jarhead (2003), Anthony Swofford Jarhead (2005)
The Last Days of Patton (1981), Ladislas Farago The Last Days of Patton (1986) (TV)
Lazarus and the Hurricane: The Freeing of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (1991), Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton The Hurricane (1999)
The Life and Times of Cleopatra (1958), by Charles Marie Franzero Cleopatra (1963)
Live from Baghdad (1991), Robert Wiener Live from Baghdad (2002)
The Longest Day (1959), Cornelius Ryan The Longest Day (1962)
Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 (1994), Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger Apollo 13 (1995)
Magic Fire: The Story of Wagner's Life and Music (1954), Bertita Harding Magic Fire (1954)
The Man-eaters of Tsavo (1907), John Henry Patterson Bwana Devil (1952)
The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
The Mars Project (1952), Wernher von Braun Conquest of Space (1955)
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004), Jon Ronson The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994), John Berendt Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
The Mountain Road (1958), Theodore H. White The Mountain Road (1961)
The Mothman Prophecies (1975), John Keel The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Murder, Inc. (1951), Burton Turkus Murder, Inc. (1960)
The Naked Civil Servant (1968), Quentin Crisp The Naked Civil Servant (1975) (TV)
Never Cry Wolf (1963), Farley Mowat Never Cry Wolf (1983)
A Night to Remember (1955), Walter Lord A Night to Remember (1958)
Ondskan (The Evil) (1981), Jan Guillou Evil (2003)
The One That Got Away (1956), Kendall Burt and James Leasor The One That Got Away (1957)
Operation Cicero (Der Fall Cicero) (1950), L.C. Moyzisch 5 Fingers (1952)
The Orchid Thief (1998), Susan Orlean Adaptation. (2002)
Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (1963), Ladislas Farago Patton (1970)
The Perfect Storm (1997), Sebastian Junger The Perfect Storm (2000)
Pork Chop Hill: The American Fighting Man in Action, Korea, Spring, 1953 (1956), S. L. A. Marshall Pork Chop Hill (1959)
Prince of the City: The True Story of a Cop Who Knew Too Much (1978), Robert Daley Prince of the City (1981)
Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughters Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence (2002), Rosalind Wiseman Mean Girls (2004)
* Mean Girls 2 (2011) (TV)
Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case (1985), Alan Dershowitz Reversal of Fortune (1990)
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist (2009), Matt Baglio The Rite (2011)
Rogue Trader: How I Brought Down Barings Bank and Shook the Financial World (1995), Nick Leeson Rogue Trader (1999)
The Saga of Billy the Kid (1925), Walter Noble Burns Billy the Kid (1930)
Billy the Kid (1941)
The Outlaw (1943)
The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)
Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid (1989) (TV)
The Sea Around Us (1951), Rachel Carson The Sea Around Us (1953)
A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers (1986), John Feinstein A Season on the Brink (2002)
The Secret Life of Plants (1973), Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird The Secret Life of Plants (1979)
See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War Against Terrorism (2003), Robert Baer Syriana (2005)
The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombies, and Magic (1985), Wade Davis The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
The Short-Timers (1979), Gustav Hasford Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The Smartest Guys in the Room (2003), Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
The Story of Mankind (1921), Hendrik Willem van Loon The Story of Mankind (1957)
Storyville, New Orleans (1974), Al Rose Pretty Baby (1978)
The Strawberry Statement (1969), James Simon Kunen The Strawberry Statement (1970)
Ten Days that Shook the World (1919), John Reed October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1928)
Reds (1981)
Red Bells (1982)
Ten Rillington Place (1961), Ludovic Kennedy 10 Rillington Place (1971)
The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
Touching the Void (1988), Joe Simpson Touching the Void (2003)
True Blue: The Oxford Boat Race Mutiny (1987), Daniel Topolski True Blue (1996)
Triumph Over Pain (1940), René Fülöp-Miller The Great Moment (1944)
The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture (1982), Fritjof Capra Mindwalk (1990)
Twelve Days of Terror: A Definitive Investigation of the 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks (2001), Richard G. Fernicola 12 Days of Terror (2004)
We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young (1992), Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway We Were Soldiers (2002)
The White Rabbit (1952), Bruce Marshall The White Rabbit (1967) (TV) (mini)
Victory Through Air Power (1942), Alexander P. de Seversky Victory Through Air Power (1943)
Zodiac (1986), Robert Graysmith Zodiac (2007)


Essays and articles[edit]

See also[edit]


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