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TRUE STORY Some of the dialogue in Apollo 13 was taken from NASA’s mission recordings

331 The number of years that the Plantagenets ruled England, from Henry II in 1154 to Richard III in 1485 – not far off three times longer than the Tudors.


Ah, the dreaded ‘based on a true story’ tagline. To some filmmakers, it gives them carte blanche to create, essentially, a work of fiction and claim historical veracity – looking at you, Braveheart and Pearl Harbor. Others, however, have really done their homework.

Among the films regularly praised are All the President’sMen (for its methodical pace as it follows two journalists uncovering the Watergate scandal); the 1958 drama A Night to Remember, which tells the stories of several passengers aboard the Titanic; and, for its brutal depiction of slavery in 19th-century America, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

In this month’s issue… Alexander the Great Find out how the Greek warrior’s insatiable appetite for conquest built an empire that stretched over three continents. Plus: the Terracotta Warriors; the tragic tale of the man behind the Beatles; Top 10 secret societies and the most historically accurate film.