“Based on True Story” Series and TV Movies You Can Stream on Presto


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Tired of the same old procedurals or sitcoms? Why not try something different? Indulge in one or more series based on true events, or, if you don’t have that much time, choose a movie from the same genre. To get you inspired, here are some of the best shows/movies streaming on Presto that are based on a true story.

Broadwalk Empire

This has been one of the best period crime dramas on television in the last decade. Steve Buscemi plays Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, based on the infamous political boss and racketeer Enoch L. Johnson. He’s a prolific political figure in Atlantic City during the Prohibition, who does business not only with other politicians, but also with mobsters and other unsavoury characters. Nucky‘s schemes are always on the verge to be unfold, but he somehow manages to come out on the other side unscathed. That is, until all his past indiscretions come back to haunt him…

Grey Gardens

This TV movie is actually inspired by a documentary about two of the most intriguing New York City’s high society members of the last century. The paternal aunt of Jackie Kennedy, Edith Bouvier Beale, and her daughter shared more than the same name. Both Edies were famous socialites who, in their late years, withdrew from the public life and spent their time secluded at their Long Island estate Grey Gardens. Two movie makers decide to shoot a documentary about the women’s eccentric lifestyle which included a long string of failed relationships and marriages. The two main characters are masterfully played by Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.

Hemingway and Gellhorn

Ernest Hemingway had an extraordinary life, and a small part of it was captured in this beautiful TV movie. Among the many romantic relationships Hemingway had, his affair with brilliant war correspondent Martha Gellhorn was probably the most famous. In fact, he credits Martha with inspiring him to write his popular novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

Clive Owen plays Hemingway, who meets a young writer, Martha (Nicole Kidman), in a bar in Key West during the 30’s. Years later, the two of them meet again, this time in Spain, as they both cover the Spanish Civil War. While they write about and experience firsthand the horrors of war, they also fall in love. They get married; but Hemingway’s fickle personality and Gellhorn’s success turn out to be a not-so-good combination.

Band of Brothers

This great miniseries tells the story of the “Easy Company”, which was part of a battalion assigned to the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division during World War II. The series follows the story of this group of soldiers from their training days in Georgia to their airborne landing in Normandy and the role the battalion played in the war’s end. The series focuses mostly on Major Richard Winters’s story (Damian Lewis) and his efforts to accomplish his missions and keep his men safe. The series is inspired by the real events of this battalion which played a significant role during WW II. Besides Lewis, it stars Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg and Michael Fassbender.

The Pacific

“The Pacific” miniseries is a sequel to “Band of Brothers.” This time, the show focuses on the lives of three marines in different regiments of the 1st Marine Division, as they fight against the Japanese Empire during World War II. The series is based on several memories of US Marines and tackles not only the ravages of the war, but also the effect it had on the lives of the marines and their families. The series stars James Badge Dale, Jon Seda and Joseph Mazzello.

You Don’t Know Jack

This television movie is based on the life of controversial doctor Jack Kevorkian, masterfully played by Al Pacino. In fact, he won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG award for his role in this TV flick. Jack Kevorkian was an infamous pathologist who advocated for physician-assisted suicide. The movie focuses on Kevorkian’s work and struggle to help hopeless patients, who suffered from debilitating pain, to effortlessly commit suicide, despite the limitations of the law. He invented a device which helped even the most severely ill patients initiate an intravenous drip that would painlessly kill them. However, Kevorkian attracts unwanted attention from the local D.A. and the governor and ends up being sued. The case goes as far as the Supreme Court, where Kevorkian will either be hailed as a hero or sentenced for murder. The movie also stars John Goodman and Susan Sarandon.

Temple Grandin

This biopic stars Claire Danes as Temple Grandin, a woman with autism who becomes one of the most famous scientists in the science of humane handling of livestock. The TV movie follows the life of Temple from when she was a little girl. As a teenager, she starts to work at her uncle’s farm, where she interacts with animals and learns about the way livestock is handled, particularly the squeeze chute – a machine used to calm cows. Inspired by her teacher, Temple goes to college, graduates and even gets a Masters’ degree in animal science. Now, she must navigate the difficulties of being a woman in the mostly male world of cattle ranching, while also trying to cope with her disorder. In the end, she becomes a great scientist and a beloved speaker on autism.

Game Change

Based on a critically acclaimed book with the same name, that depicted the 2008 US Presidential Election, “Game Change” follows John McCain’s campaign from the moment he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate to the his ultimate defeat. This movie gives a look behind closed doors at McCain’s (Ed Harris) presidential run and the way the previously unknown Alaska governor Palin (Julianne Moore) influenced it. McCain’s strategist, Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) suggests to the Republican candidate to pick a conservative female as his running mate. Soon after, Sarah Palin becomes a household name, but not always for the right reasons. With widespread criticism and the infamous Tina Fey impersonations, Palin loses her focus and makes even more mistakes. But, when she decides to go off script during a vice-presidential debate, there is only one question in everybody’s mind – did she just lose McCain’s ticket?

Mr Selfridge

This turn of the century drama tells the real-life story of the flamboyant American founder of one of the most famous department stores in the UK. Jeremy Piven is Harry Selfridge, a flashy American who, after transforming a small shop in Chicago into a modern department store, relocates to London. Here he decides to open a similar store on the unfashionable end of Oxford Street, with the help of a socialite. The store quickly becomes one of the finest department stores in London, but Selfridge must keep his exuberant personality in check as he gains recognition and wealth. How will his ambition interfere with the lives of his family and employees? You must tune in to find out!
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