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Best Inspirational Movies of All Time

Kanika Khara
This story provides you a compilation of some of the greatest inspirational movies of all times, including movies for kids, family, based on true stories, and many more. Read on...
Though movies have always been a source of recreation for most of us, there are a few that not only entertain us but also inspire us to do something great in our lives. These movies always have a message in them that fills you with hope and a never-give-up attitude.
Each movie has a strong storyline, in fact, some are based on real life stories. They have great characters that exhibit the true human spirit, hope, and perseverance. So, in case you have missed on such amazing inspirational movies, here is a list of some of the best, followed by movies based on true stories.

Best of All Time

  • City Lights (1931)
  • Gone With the Wind (1939)
  • Dark Victory (1939)
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • Sergeant York (1941)
  • The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • National Velvet (1944)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  • High Noon (1952)
  • Shane (1953)
  • On the Waterfront (1954)
  • The Ten Commandments (1956)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
  • Ben-Hur (1959)
  • Spartacus (1960)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  • The Miracle Worker (1962)
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Rocky (1976)
  • All the President's Men (1976)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • Breaking Away (1979)
  • Norma Rae (1979)
  • Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  • The Verdict (1982)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • The Right Stuff (1983)
  • The Color Purple (1985)
  • Hoosiers (1986)
  • Rain Man (1988)
  • Field of Dreams (1989)
  • Glory (1989)
  • Dead Poets Society (1989)
  • Schindler's List (1993)
  • Philadelphia (1993)
  • Rudy (1993)
  • What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Forrest Gump (1994)
  • Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Braveheart (1995)
  • Babe (1995)
  • A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Seabiscuit (2003)
  • Hotel Rwanda (2004)
  • Ray (2004)

Top Movies Based on Real Stories

Men of Honor

This is an inspirational movie released in 2000, stars Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. The movie is based on the true story of Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear (Gooding Jr.) and Master Chief Leslie William 'Billy' Sunday (De Niro). Carl Brashear is a man with only a 7th grade education trying to become the first African-American Navy diver, and the various obstacles faced by him on this way to success.

The Pursuit of Happyness

The movie was inspired by the real life story of Chris Gardner, and was released in 2006. It is the story of a single father (Will Smith) raising his young son (Jaden Smith) and their struggle for survival, right from sleeping in subway station bathrooms to selling overpriced medical equipment to doctors and finally landing to the one available employment position with the brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds.

Schindler's List

This is another inspiring movie based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who owns a factory in the Nazi era. The movie was released in 1993 and the story revolved around Schindler who uses Jews to start a factory in Poland during the war and eventually saves over 1100 of them from death.


This movie released in 1982, stars Ben Kingsley and is based on the true story of Mahatma Gandhi, who revolted against the British through his philosophy of nonviolence.


This movie released in 2001, stars Will Smith as Muhammad Ali, the boxing icon. The movie revolves around Muhammad Ali's life from 1964 to 1974, featuring his winning of the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston (Michael Bentt), his conversion to Islam, criticism of the Vietnam War, banishment from boxing, his comeback to fight Joe Frazier in 1971, and finally, him reclaiming the title from George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle fight of 1974.


This movie is based on the true story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose unexpected successes lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation. The movie was released in 2003 and starred Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, Royce D. Applegate, William H. Macy, and Elizabeth Banks.


Another great movie, Ray is a biographical film based on the life of musician Ray Charles. The movie was released in 2004 and featured Jamie Foxx in the lead role.

Hotel Rwanda

The movie was released in 2004 and featured Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo in the lead roles. The movie is based on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina who sheltered thousands of Rwandans during the Rwandan racial extermination.

Glory Road

This movie is based on the true story dealing with the events leading to the 1966 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The story revolved around the late Don Haskins, head coach of the Texas Western college, acted by Josh Lucas, who selects the first team where all the starting five are blacks.

Malcolm X

This movie is based on the true story of Malcolm X, an African-American black human rights activist. The movie was released in 1972, and the title role was played by Denzel Washington.

The Jesse Owens Story

This movie stars Dorian Harewood as Jesse Owens. It is based on the true story of Jesse Owens, an African-American athlete who proved Hitler wrong about the Aryan racial superiority.
Well, these were some of my favorite movies of all times. No matter how often you have watched them, there is always a lesson to be learned.