The old adage is true, non-fiction is always better than fiction. In 2013 alone there are a more than a dozen incredible, bizarre, inspiring, and unbelievable stories being told in the movies this year like Pain and Gain, Lone Survivor, Captain Phillips, The Fifth Estate, and Sharknado. Ok maybe one of those isn’t a true story. But regardless the most amazing stories told are the true ones. Below are a few that I am shocked haven’t been turned into movies yet. I’m betting a couple will be soon though.
Osage Avenue and the MOVE Organization
The assist on this one goes to my good friend Tanner. I’m ashamed I hadn’t heard of it before considering it took place in Philadelphia. During the 70s and 80s there was a black liberation group in Philadelphia called MOVE. The group had numerous run ins with the police, the first major incident occurred in 1978 when police raided a MOVE home resulting in the death of one police officer. Years later in 1985 things went from violent and tragic to out right insane. In an attempt to end a standoff Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the MOVE house on Osage Ave. The dropping of the bomb killed 11 MOVE members, including 5 children. In addition to the fatalities the fire from the bomb spread burning down an entire city block. Philadelphia will forever be known as the city that bombed itself. If you want to read more about the incident, and you should, check out the link I pasted. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/inq_HT_MOVE25.html
The Weather Underground
The Weather Underground was a radically left organization started on the University of Michigan campus. They opposed the Vietnam War, police, and the entire United States government. The group was essentially a domestic terrorist organization. They bombed government buildings, police buildings, and even the Pentagon. One member whose name you might recognize is Bill Ayers. The group was the focus of the 2012 movie The Company You Keep starring Robert Redford, but it didn’t detail what the group was doing in the 70s.
I have to imagine there is/was/will be some movie on the reggae legend. Everyone knows the story. The guy brought an entire genre of music to the international scene and has statue status is his home country of Jamaica. Tragically Marley died young from cancer, which could potentially had been cured if he had not stuck so strongly to his religious beliefs. If there has been a movie about Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, there is certainly a movie to be made about Bob Marley.
1970’s LA Comedy Scene
My old roommate Jimbo turned me onto an incredible book a couple years ago called I’m Dying Up Here. The book chronicles the explosion of stand up comedy in the 70s through the strike the altered the community forever. The central figures in the book include Jay Leno, David Letterman, Richard Lewis, Richard Pryor, Andy Kauffman, Robin Williams, and GALLAGHER. Before they were all legends they were living below the poverty line waiting for their break. The story involves drugs, love, friendship, betrayal, and tragedy all ingredients needed for a great movie.
Henry Ward Beecher
Beecher is part of a family that included an author, activists, teachers, and a minister. Beecher himself was an activist who was against slavery in the 1870s. He was well educated and like his father became a minister. The story gets interesting when Beecher was accused of adultery and his subsequent trial became front page news pushing all national issues to the back pages of the paper. The trial was America’s original sex scandal. Currently in an age when the spread of information and scandal are constantly a part of the daily discussion the story of Beecher seems like the perfect film for 2014.