• Many Netflix series are based on true events
  • Some of them actually may surprise you
  • See which Netflix shows are based on a true story

Since the invention of cinema, filmmakers have been inspired by true stories. In one of the first stories told on film, Thomas Edison made an 18-second film depicting Mary, Queen of Scots.

While some early filmmakers in the silent era told fictional tales, others wanted to tell the stories of real-life people. The documentary genre also came into being. As the art of cinema changed over time, some filmmakers would stay true to the original stories while others would merely be inspired by actual events.

While artistic license comes with the territory, just knowing that we are watching a tale that has some relation to a real-life event is powerful, whether it's The Sound of Music, Bonnie and Clyde, All the President's Men, Schindler's List, United 93 or Bohemian Rhapsody.

Many Netflix Shows Are Based On True Stories

When television came along, it mirrored what movie-makers were doing with true stories. The mini-series for example made possible the telling of many true-life events. We were given such shows as John AdamsFrom the Earth to the Moon and Orange Is the New Black.


One could even argue that reality TV is a portrayal of real life. Now streaming services are creating entertainment for the small screen, allowing for true binge-watching.

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Wagner Moura in a scene from the series 'Narcos'

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Watch the video above to see what popular Netflix shows are based on the stories of real people.