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Movies about Real Life Women

Updated on January 31, 2019

Silent Film Star From the 1920's


Movies about the lives of women are important because they are an integral part of society. Stories about their lives can be a lot more interesting and engaging because often they are never told. Their struggles, triumphs, and personal achievements are often different than that of men. This is why movies and stories of women in society and the world need to be told. You see all these movies where female characters take a supporting role and the main protagonist in the story, of course, is male. It isn't the same as the 1930's or when the only thing a woman did was be "the girl", had little or no personality, and was dehumanized in pretty much every film. Yet, the reality is most movies these days are still about men. However, there are some movies that are based on real women and events that took place in history. We are used to seeing the struggle of the businessman in such films as "The Pursuit of Happiness", "Jerry McGuire", and "The Wolf of Wall Street". We are used to seeing the male soldier in movies such as "Braveheart", "Saving Private Ryan", and "Jarhead". We are used to seeing the male athlete in movies such as "Rudy", "The Blindside", and "We are Marshall". We are used to seeing the male artist in movies such as "Jersey Boys", "Eight Mile", and "Ray". Yet, there are only a few movies about women and girls in any of these main roles.

Female Athlete

Elisabeth Shue


This movie is about a teenage girl who wants to play soccer on an all boys team and is told that she cannot do it. She goes up against the school board and insists that she should be allowed to play soccer. It shows all that she is up against trying to do this and the odds being stacked against her. Yet, she preservers anyway. The movie demonstrates perseverance, hard work, standing up for what you believe in, and overcoming obstacles. The movie was loosely based on the childhood experiences of Elisabeth Shue, an actress who went on to play a female role in the movie "Karate Kid". The movie "Gracie" has to do with problem solving which is what was taught in Aesop's fables. It shows a young person with real problems and how she handled them. It is also based on real events in history.

Female Athlete

Bethany Hamilton

"Soul Surfer"

This movie is about another teenage girl who is a surfer whose arm is bitten off by a shark. It shows her struggle with having to deal with not having an arm that she once had and how she adapts to life afterwards. It shows perseverance, hard work, overcoming obstacles, and overcoming odds that were stacked against her. It deals with the issue of why bad things happen to good people. This is a very hard question to answer and most people at some point in their life have to contend with that question.

Consumer Advocate

"Erin Brockovich"

The movie is about a woman who was a struggling single parent who takes a job at a law firm. It shows that she is really struggling financially and has a very difficult time finding employment. It also shows a good work ethic, morals, and perseverance in hard times. She did not lead the most conventional life or have the most professional personal appearance. However, the movie reveals her struggling and overcoming obstacles.

Female Artist

Frida Kahlo


"Frida" is about the real life of artist Frida Kahlo. She was severely injured in an accident with a trolley when she was a teenager and almost died. She was told she would never walk again and she did. Yet, she never fully recovered from the accident. She continued to have chronic pain and walked with difficulty the rest of her life. She was a painter in a time when most women were not and really defied what was considered conventional behavior for a woman in the time in which she lived. She overcame obstacles and dealt with many hard things in her life. She demonstrated perseverance and strength.

"Female Detective"


The film was based on numerous homicides of young women in Cludad Juarez, Chihuahua. It is a manufacturing town on the border of the United States and Mexico. That is, the Mexican town called Juarez is across the Rio Grande (a river) from El Paso, Texas. When the film was being produced, the director and the cast including Jennifer Lopez received numerous threats. Besides this, their equipment was stolen and people were trying to intimidate film crew members when they were filming in Mexico. The police were threatening locals who helped with the film production. However, the movie was made anyway. It is about a young woman who was raped and almost killed yet survives. She works with a journalist who morphs into an investigative reporter by doing detective work to point out who did this to her. Unfortunately, the homicides were very real. The resolution of the story shows triumph of the human spirit.

Female Singer

Young Tina Turner

"What's Love Got to Do With It"

The movie "What's Love Got to Do With It" is about the real life of Tina Turner who after being abandoned by her mother at a young age marries an abusive husband, Ike Turner. She goes through years of being beaten and abused by him until she finally fights back and gets away from him. It was a very long and arduous struggle. The movie wasn't just about a woman succeeding in a male dominated field. It was about someone getting out of an abusive relationship and saving her life as well as protecting her children.

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In conclusion there are other movies like "A League of Their Own" which is about more than one woman who had the opportunity to play professional baseball when the male players went to war. There is also the movie "Little Women" which is based on the novel by Louisa Mae Alcott, a female writer, that chronicles her life and that of her sisters in the 1800's. It was really a very original book at the time in which it was written because there was really not a whole lot of literature out that was based strictly on the lives of women and young women. It was in the 1900's that in most business offices a female secretary would be referred to as "the girl". So, a businessman would say to another "Have your girl call my girl." Even as early on as the 1800's, Louisa Mae Alcott was referring to herself and her sisters as women. The movies listed above were just about usually one woman or one young woman and her story. Hopefully, as we are still modernizing we will see more movies out based on the lives and experiences of women and not just men. Women have always been in intregal part of society. It's time their stories were told.


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    • Ezria Copper profile imageAUTHOR

      Ezria Copper 

      3 years ago

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I've seen Soul Surfer, Erin Brockovich and Frida. All good movies. I would like to see the others too. I love Elisabeth Shue, so a movie about her wanting to be a successful soccer player would be great. Bordertown sounds like one that needs to be watched. Good hub.


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