5Lean On Me
The Hollywood Version:
Joe Clark is a bad man. And we mean that in the best possible way, as in "don't fuck with him." When Paterson, New Jersey's Eastside High School found itself on the brink of being taken over by the state due to piss poor test scores, Clark was brought on board as principal to right the sinking ship.
And right it he did, by fighting expelled students in the hall and throwing chains and padlocks on the doors. After all, if Joe Clark was going to go out in a blaze of glory, he was going to take as many students with him as possible. In the end, thanks to a hip new school song and the bullying ways of Principal Clark, Eastside saw a meteoric rise in its test scores and everyone celebrated by joining together in song, as inner city ruffians often do.
In reality ...
Apart from the fact that the test scores never really improved, or that state takeover had never actually been threatened, or the various ways they fudged facts just to make sure the audience was aware that Joe Clark enjoyed putting foot to ass, it's pretty close to the real story. That is to say, a man named Joe Clark did serve as principal at Eastside High for a short time at the end of the '80s.
The biggest goal of the filmmakers was apparently to make Clark as menacing as possible, giving him a bullhorn with which to more loudly crush the spirits of students and faculty alike, and having Morgan Freeman spend the entire film wearing such a fierce scowl that you'd swear someone just shit in his punchbowl.
Here's the punchline to the whole thing, though: One year after Clark resigned and less than two years after the film's release, the state came in and took control of the school. And since they weren't actually threatening to take over in the first place, we're forced to assume they got the idea from the movie.
The Hollywood Version:
It seems that back in the '70s, there was a plucky little football player who dreamed of nothing other than playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Unfortunately for young Rudy, his support system consisted of people who went out of their way to point out his flaws, of which there were many, and let him know repeatedly that dreams are the main ingredient in the devil's pudding.
"Son, how many times I gotta tell you, goals are for chumps!"
Thankfully, Rudy's best friend from back home got blown right the fuck up in a freak accident, inspiring him to play football for some reason. And play he did, no thanks to the evil scheming of Notre Dame coach Dan Devine, who only allowed Rudy on the field after the entire team threatened to walk out otherwise.
In reality ...
The real life Dan Devine was actually the one who insisted on playing Rudy in his final game. Hell, even when the movie was being made, Devine gave the filmmakers permission to turn him into the film's villain in order to help Rudy, who he considered a good friend.
Devine sounds like one helluva guy, right? So naturally he was repaid for his kindnesses by being turned into the Snidely fucking Whiplash of college football (sans mustache), and forever being remembered as the crotchety coach to whom winning football games was more important than anything. Anything other than ensuring that Rudy's dream would die.
Devine was the father of the vaunted "tied to train tracks" defense
By the way, ever wonder who saw Rudy play that day and got so inspired he just had to make it into a movie? Nobody. It was Rudy himself who spent a full decade trying to convince studios that his life was so awesome it deserved a movie, before one of them finally relented. That's the spirit, little guy!