Based on a True Story

Dan LeFebvre

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

Our Editor's Take

Based on a True Story is a podcast that explores historical accuracy in the movies. The host of the show is Dan Lefebvre.

Hollywood often dramatizes big moments in history for cinematic effect. Sometimes, this happens in the form of biopics, like Nixon and JFK. Other times, wars and battles are immortalized on the screen. Napoleon and Saving Private Ryan are two examples of wartime stories in film. Other movies, like Little Big Man and The Pianist, focus on certain eras. By doing this, filmmakers can educate audiences about historical events. Sometimes, directors and screenwriters take liberties with historical facts for cinematic reasons. In Based on a True Story, Dan and his occasional guests are there to correct the record.

Every episode of the podcast starts with a quick game of two truths and a lie." Dan makes three statements about a historical era or figure. According to the Hollywood version, all three are true. As the episode unfolds, Dan points out the inconsistencies in a particular movie. For example, listeners discover that Napoleon already knew of Josephine's death when he left exile. Dan chooses movies based on events that happened the same week in history as the podcast release. One episode discusses the accuracy of The Right Stuff. In another, listeners learn about Patty Hearst, the film, and Patty Hearst, the person.

Podcast listeners may also enjoy Dan's interviews with historians like Marty Morgan. He discusses the conspiracy theories about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Gregory J. W. Urwin talks about the Battle of Gettysburg. Alexander Mikaberidze points out that Marie Antoinette's hair was shorn at the time of her beheading.


The Based on a True Story podcast may appeal to history fans who believe in the importance of factuality. Its mission is to examine filmmakers' cinematic decisions while evaluating historical accuracy.

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The Aviator with James B. Steele
3d ago
The Aviator with James B. Steele
In the 2004 biographical drama The Aviator, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays the eccentric and brilliant Howard Hughes, a maverick filmmaker and aviation tycoon who revolutionized Hollywood and the airline industry. The film chronicles Hughes' obsessive pursuit of perfection and his struggle with mental illness, offering a captivating glimpse into the life of one of the 20th century's most fascinating and enigmatic figures. Today, we'll learn compare the true story with the movie's version along with legendary journalist and Howard Hughes biographer James B. Steele. Learn more about the true story with James' book: Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness Get James' other work: Forevermore, Nuclear Waste in America America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? The Betrayal of the American Dream America: What Went Wrong?: The Crisis Deepens America: What Went Wrong? James Steele and Donald Barlett's website: Did you enjoy this episode? Find the transcript and full show notes: Get the BOATS email newsletter: Leave a comment: Support our sponsors: Unlock ad-free episodes: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit