This year The Revenant, earlier The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game and 12 Years a Slave were all successful. But the mentioned movies weren’t the first ones made based on novels or real stories.


The incredible story of Hugh Glass brought Leonardo DiCaprio the awaited Academy Award. But the icy story wasn’t that successful earlier as no one has heard of the 1971 Man in the Wilderness – even though famous stars like Richard Harris appeared in it (the tough settler surviving the bear attack) and John Huston who was also famous for being a director (in The Revenant he was Captain Henry now impersonated by Domhnall Gleeson).


The life of Stephen Hawking, the brilliant physicist paralyzed from the neck down, was filmed ten years before the version that brought an Academy Award to Eddie Redmayne – moreover, it was starring a world-famous actor, Benedict Cumberbatch. The relative fame of the movie simply titled Hawking, which was nominated for a BAFTA, can be explained by the fact that it was done years before the audience was familiar with Cumberbatch’s name. It was a TV film produced for BBC that could probably reach less people than The Theory of Everything released in the cinemas worldwide.


In 2014, at the release of The Imitation Game everyone knew who Benedict Cumberbatch was.

In the movie about the WWII adventures of the decoder mathematician, Alan Turing, stars like Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance and Mark Strong appeared. But the movie version of the story from three years earlier had several mistakes concerning the audience as the Codebreaker was produced for Channel 4, and Turing was impersonated by a less well-known actor (earlier Ed Stoppard appeared in supporting roles in The Pianist and Youth).

In addition, this version is not really a fiction but a documentary that has some dramatic scenes.

12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013)

The incredible story of Solomon Northup living as a free Afro-American than abducted and sold as a slave, brought the director Steve McQueen three Academy Awards. But no one knows the first, 1984 version of the story titled Solomon Northup’s Odyssey.

The two-hour-long film was an episode of the TV series, American Playhouse. Avery Brooks impersonated Solomon, whom we could know from American History X and 15 Minutes. The TV film was directed by Gordon Parks who deceased in 2006, and was known for directing Shaft a cult Blaxploitation- movie from the 70s.

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