In True Stories, this week’s festival of free films on Hulu, we highlight titles from the collection that tell tales of famous figures or are based on real events. In the former category, we have Samuel Fuller’s I Shot Jesse James, Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, Alexander Korda’s The Private Life of Henry VIII, and Robert Altman’s Richard Nixon drama Secret Honor. In the latter, check out Fuller’s The Baron of Arizona, the story of an American land swindler; Gillo Pontecorvo’s intense documentary-like The Battle of Algiers; Leonard Kastle’s ripped-from-the-headlines crime tale The Honeymoon Killers; and Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped, about the experiences of a French Resistance fighter jailed during World War II.
For a uniquely surreal imagining of a historical figure’s life, watch Ken Russell’s breathtaking Mahler, a biopic about the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler that makes room for Russell’s characteristic exuberant flights of fancy. Just watch the first few minutes and you’ll be hooked. Watch this film, currently unavailable on disc, below or at Hulu. And remember, if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month, you can see these and hundreds of other Criterion films commercial-free, anytime.