10 biopics that broke the mold

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"THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY" (1950): By 1950, the biopic formula was set in stone, but this film took an unusual approach by casting baseball legend Robinson as himself. He holds his own quite respectably, too. (Future Oscar nominee Ruby Dee played his wife). It's worth noting that the concept of a lead black actor was almost unheard of at the time -- Sidney Poitier was years away from fame -- which means Robinson gets a little credit for breaking Hollywood's color line, too. (Credit: Getty Images)

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Aren't you sick of them? Biopics, that is. The formula is always the same: A-list actor plays larger-than-life figure, with much attention paid to costumes and sets. Once the movie is released -- be it "Gandhi" or "Lincoln" -- all that's left to discuss are mechanics. Was that really the best choice for director? What did the script get right or wrong? How was the actor's accent?
Every now and then, however, a biopic does something differently. Not just by reaching a new level of artistry but by making a daring choice of casting, or offering a new interpretation of an old story. These movies don't always top the box-office, but they're often far more interesting than the ones that do. Here are 10 biopics that broke the mold. -- RAFER GUZMÁN

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