Here are some more real life films which didn't make the first list. Post contains spoilers. :)
A Cry in the Dark (aka Evil Angels) (1988)
This film is based on one of the most famous Australian legal cases where 9 week old baby Azaria Chamberlain disappeared on 17th August 1980 while on a camping holiday with her family in the Outback. Her parents Lindy (played by Meryl Streep) and Michael (Sam Neill) claim she was taken by a dingo, but the police (and the public) don't believe them and end up accusing Lindy of murdering her daughter. Lindy then endures a long legal fight to prove that she's telling the truth and a dingo did take Azaria.
This case received a lot of media attention around the world. The inquest was broadcast liveon Australian TV and Lindy had lot of negative attention, especially from the Australian press. She was sentenced to life imprisonment in October 1982 and Michael was convicted as an accessory but given a suspended 3 year sentence. Lindy was released in 1986 when Azaria's matinee jacket (knitted jacket) was found in a dingo's lair and more items were also discovered. The convictions against Lindy and Michael were overturned in September 1988 but it wasn't until June 2012 that it was officially confirmed that Azaria was killed by a dingo.
This is known as Evil Angels in Australia and New Zealand and A Cry in the Night elsewhere. It's a haunting film, all the more because it's based on a true story. You can't imagine what it would be like to go through something like that, both to have your baby taken like that and then to be accused of killing her yourself. Lindy was attacked in the press because she didn't fit the "typical image of a grieving mother" but people react in different ways.
Lindy and Michael had two older boys, Aidan and Reagan who were 6 and 4 at the time of Azaria's disappearance. They went on to have another daughter named Kahlia who was born in November 1982, while Lindy was in prison. Michael and Lindy divorced in summer 1991 and she got re-married to Rick Creighton in late 1992. They live in Hunter Valley in Australia. Michael died at the beginning of this year.
For more on Lindy and the case visit her official website: http://lindychamberlain.com/
Daddy/High School and Pregnant (1987)
The story of teenagers Bobby (played by Dermot Mulroney) and Stacy (Patricia Arquette) who are casually dating (at least on Bobby's side!) but find that everything changes when Stacy gets pregnant. Bobby doesn't want to be a father at such a young age and doesn't want Stacy to keep the baby, but she's determined to go through with the pregnancy. He makes the decision to stand by her and the film follows their journey as they become parents to baby Cody.
I don't think this is actually based on a true story but they show it on the True Movie channels and I like it, so thought I would include it! When I originally saw the film it was down as "Daddy" but more recently it had the other title of "High School and Pregnant".
This was made way before the reality series 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, at a time when I expect teenage pregnancy was still more taboo. It shows the realities of teen parenthood (or what I imagine them to be from observation, since I never had a baby as a teenager!). Reviewers on IMDB say that they showed it at schools years ago as part of Sex Education and I think it's a good movie to make teenagers think about the consequences of having unprotected sex. Both Bobby and Stacy really struggle with having a baby at their age (they must be 17/18) and both of them run away from their responsibilities at different times before coming back. Their high school coach Coach Jacobs (played by Danny Aiello) tries to support them as do Bobby's family, although his mum makes it clear that Cody is "his baby and his responsibility".
Bobby ends up sacrificing his dream of going to music school to support Stacy and Cody. He plays the guitar and the cello and I like the guitar music they play throughout the film. If you're an 80s music fan then you'll enjoy the pop songs too. The last scene is sad because Bobby (who is now working in an ice cream shop and taking music classes part time) gets a visit from his friend who's away at college and you can see how depressed he is that his dreams aren't working out how he wanted. Stacy tells him that it's going to be alright but it's obvious he doesn't believe her. Of course, having a baby young doesn't mean that's the end of your life and these days I think there are more opportunities for teen parents. :) Daddy just shows one way it could go.
The well-off Californian community of Oak Meadows is terrorised by a gang of teenagers who do things like tip rubbish in people's swimming pools, drive their cars loudly through residential areas and smash mailboxes. When vet Jim Kiler (played by Robert Culp- you may also have seen him in Eminem and Dr. Dre's video Guilty Conscience in 1999!) who lives with his wife and two children decides to take a stand against them, things only get worse. The authorities seem unwilling to really discipline the kids and most of the other residents are too scared to speak out against the boys and their families. In the end, after incidents including the death of his dog Oliver (poor Oliver! :( ) and the serious injury of housekeeper Thelma (Beah Richards), Jim is driven to take desperate measures...
Jim loses it!
These kids are really, really irritating!! And while it's not good to meet violence with violence, in this case you can't help cheering Jim on! A good scene is when Thelma turns the hose on the gang. But my favourite bit is at the end (see above) where Jim goes round to the boys' houses and proceeds to smash their windows and trash their cars, accompanied by 70s music. ("This is Jim Kiler! Step away from your windows!" "Oh Chandler! (Smash!). "Hey Chandler!" (Smash!) (Shouted as he smashes up the ringleader's car). According to the end of the film, none of the boys' families ever pressed charges against Jim.
This movie was remade in 1998 with Rob Lowe but I don't like the remake very much. I prefer the original.
Moment Of Truth: Stalking Back (1993)
14 year old Laurisa Anello (Luanne/LuAnne Ponce) receives unwanted attention from Curt Harper (Tom Kurlander) who is an umpire for her junior softball team. Curt has learning difficulties (I don't think it's specified what condition he has exactly) and at first Laurisa's parents Linda (Shanna Reed) and Nelson (John Martin) try not to make too much of a fuss, thinking that he is harmless and his infatuation will die down. But it soon becomes clear that Curt is obsessed with Laurisa and he becomes increasingly sinister and dangerous,
He stalks Laurisa for years, causing her to lose friends, boyfriends, freedom and the chance of a normal life. Her mother Linda turns the tables on Curt and bothers him, but he is well aware of his rights and keeps telling Linda how she's harassing him! He always seems to get away with what he does, receiving only light punishments. Linda travels to Florida in a bid to get a bill against stalking introduced. But things don't truly end until Curt is caught red-handed harassing Laurisa when she's trapped in her garage.
Update 14/9/20: The original movie clip has gone but someone has uploaded the full film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzeYwqo0aM8
Stalking Back is part of the Moment of Truth series. Other films include Why My Daughter?, A Child Too Many and Cradle of Conspiracy. I've seen the first two but not Cradle of Conspiracy.
This is a good film. You really feel sorry for Laurisa because of how restrictive and frightening her life has become and it affects not just her, but her whole family too. Curt is always there and Linda says that he almost feels like a member of the family! It's a relief when he finally gets caught directly attacking Laurisa in the garage by the detective.
Paul Rudd has a small role as Laurisa's short lived boyfriend Scott, who is attacked by Curt and (understandably) put off from dating her again. I kind of wish he'd attempted to stay in touch though! I also think it's a shame how Laurisa's friends aren't very supportive, especially Katie (Rachel True).
Curt's real life name was Bruce Andrew Raines. For more on the case visit this post: https://stalkingbacklaurisaanello.blogspot.com/
The Amy Fisher Story (1993)
The Amy Fisher Story is one of 3 films based on the case of Long Island, New York teen Amy Fisher who shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the wife of mechanic Joey Buttafuoco, whom Amy claimed was her lover. This one stars Drew Barrymore.
Amy is 16 when she meets Joey (played by Tony Denison/Anthony John Denison in this adaptation), then in his mid-late 30s, at a local garage. Her father recently bought her a car for her birthday but she had an accident, so they take it to Joey's auto-body shop. Amy is infatuated with Joey. They later start an affair but Amy becomes increasingly distressed when it's clear that Joey has no plans to leave his wife Mary Jo and their two kids for her. She attempts to arrange for a friend to murder Mary Jo but it doesn't work out. In the end, Amy confronts Mary Jo at her house but when Mary Jo doesn't believe her story, she shoots her in the head and then runs away. Mary Jo survives but is left with partial paralysis in her face.
This film is told from the point of view of the media, in particular a reporter, as well as showing Amy and Joey's story. It ends with Amy being sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. Joey is convicted of statuary rape.
The other films were Lethal Lolita- Amy Fisher: My Story (1992) which starred Noelle Parker (who also had a small part in Daddy) as Amy and Casualties of Love: the Long Island Lolita Story (1993) which starred Alyssa Milano). The first one is from Amy's point of view, the second from the point of view of the media and public and the third from Joey's point of view. ( Long Island Lolita" is what the press nicknamed Amy). I've seen all 3 and my favourite is actually Lethal Lolita, but I haven't seen that or Casualties of Love for a long time, so I thought I'd post about the Drew Barrymore version this time. :)
You can watch a trailer for all 3 versions here:
The real Amy Fisher served 7 years in prison and was released on parole in 1999. She went on to became a writer and a porn star. In 2006 Amy and Mary Jo were reunited for an Entertainment Tonight special (I remember seeing it because they were showing ET in the UK then) but I don't think anything was really resolved.
For more on Amy and Joey's story check out these links:
Hope you liked the post! I plan to do another one about some true life films in the future. :)