history

HISTORICAL MOVIES

This master list is under construction and constantly being added to. If you do not see your favorite documentary or historical movie, please add it in the comments! Thank you.

ANCIENT

The Bible: In the Beginning – Extravagant Hollywood production: Adam and Eve through Abraham and Isaac

Standard of Ur from the Royal Tombs at Ur

Ancient Egypt 101 – National Geographic

King Tut – PBS

The Ten Commandments (1491 BC Egypt and Israel)

Lost Worlds: Persia’s Forgotten Empire  (date)

The Rise and Fall of the Spartans (ancient Greece) – History Channel

Alexander the Great (330 BC)

Spartacus (71 BC Rome) A Thracian gladiator inspires a slave revolt against Rome

The Nativity Story (4 BC Judea)

Jesus of Nazareth (4 BC-27 AD Judea)

Risen (33 AD Judea) A Roman centurion is tasked with finding the missing body of Yeshua of Nazareth

The Robe (33 AD Judea) Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Ben Hur (26-33 Judea and Rome)

Masada (70-73 Judea) The last Judeans hold out against Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem

Gladiator (180 Rome) – Mature: The death of Marcus Aurelius and ascension of Commodus, to the detriment of Rome

MEDIEVAL

The Anglo-Saxon Invasion – BBC (~450)

The First Crusade, part one and part two (1095 Europe and the Middle East)

Becket (1162-70 England) King Henry II appoints Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury

The Lion in Winter (1183 England) King Henry II and his succession

Kingdom of Heaven (1184-93 France and Jerusalem) – Mature: Christian knights defend Jerusalem from Saracen armies

The Mongols from Genghis to Kublai (1162-1294 Asia)

Braveheart (1270-1305 Scotland) – Mature: William Wallace, battle scenes

The Messenger (1412-31 France) – Mature: Joan of Arc, battle scenes

MODERN

Luther (1505-30 Germany)

Lady Jane (1553 England) The committed Protestant, Queen for nine days, following the death of Edward VI

Elizabeth (1558 England) – Mature: Elizabeth ascends the throne amid conspiracies to remove her

Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1560 Peru, Amazon) Spanish conquistadors search for El Dorado

Michael the Brave (1593-1601 Romania) Prince Mikhail unites the provinces against the Ottomans on one side and the Hapsburgs on the other, creating the Romanian nation in the process

The English Civil War, part one, part two, part three (1642-1651)

Master and Commander (1803-15 Naval Napoleonic Wars) A British commander pursues a French warship

The Leopard (1860s Sicily) The old Sicilian aristocracy fades as the new Sicilian Mafia families come to prominence

The History of Russia from Prince Rurik to the Revolution

AMERICAN

The Last of the Mohicans (1757 America) – Mature: French and Indian War, violence

The Patriot (1775-83 America) – Mature: War violence, an American is drawn into the war

John Adams – Miniseries, from the Revolution to serving as the 2nd President of the Republic

Amistad (1839 America) – Mature: African captives revolt and are tried upon capture

12 Years a Slave (1841-53 America)

Harriet (1849 America) Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

Gangs of New York (1862 New York City) – Mature: immigrant Irish gang violence

Glory (1863 America) – Mature: Civil War violence, 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment

Gettysburg (1863 Pennsylvania) The definitive battle of the Civil War

Lincoln (1865 America) Civil War

Free State of Jones (1865 Mississippi) – Mature: Civil War and the Reconstruction

20TH CENTURY

Battleship Potemkin (1905 Russian Federation) The events of the 1905 Russian Revolution

A Night to Remember (1912 North Atlantic) The sinking of the Titanic

All Quiet on the Western Front (1914-17 WWI Germany, France) A young German recruit discovers war is not as advertised

Joyeux Noel (1914 Europe) WWI Christmas truce

1917 (1917 WWI France) – Mature: War Drama, but an excellent, excellent movie

Lawrence of Arabia (1916-18 WWI Middle East) Arabian revolt against Ottoman rule

Chariots of Fire (1924 Paris Olympics)

The Untouchables (1930 Chicago) – Mature: Mob violence; Federal agents attempt to bring gangster Al Capone to justice

Bonnie and Clyde (1931-34 heartland America) – Mature: Gangster era violence during the Great Depression

The Great Debators (1935 America) The first black debate team challenges Harvard elites during Jim Crow

The King’s Speech (1936 England) – Mature: King George VI ascends the throne following his brother’s abdication

Ip Man (1937 China) The Japanese invasion of China forces a martial arts master to open a school teaching his craft

Schindler’s List (1939-44 Poland) – Mature: Graphic reality of the Holocaust

Das Boot (1939-45 Atlantic Ocean) – Mature: A German sub in WWII

The Human Condition (1939-45 Japan) WWII era Imperialist Japan

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1941 Hawaii) The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Stalingrad (1942-43 WWII Russia) German soldiers against the Russians

The Great Escape (1943 Germany) Allied prisoners of war held in a Nazi prison camp execute the greatest escape in history

Patton (1943-45 Europe) – Mature: Language, General Patton in WWII

Saving Private Ryan (1944 Normandy) – Mature: graphic war

Downfall (1945 Berlin) – Mature: Hitler’s final days at the end of the Third Reich

Flags of Our Fathers (1945 WWII Battle of Iwo Jima) – Mature: War violence, American perspective

Letters from Iwo Jima (1945 WWII Battle of Iwo Jima) – Mature: War violence, Japanese perspective

Judgment at Nuremberg (1948 Germany) The Nazi war crimes tribunal

Sophie’s Choice (post WWII Brooklyn) – Mature: surviving the Holocaust

Gandhi (1893-1948 British Colonial India)

The Battle of Algiers (1954-57 French Algeria) Guerrilla insurgency against the French colonial government

October Sky (1957-58 West Virginia) Three boys invent model rocketry

Hidden Figures (1961-62 America) Female mathematicians at NASA develop complex computations for the Space Race

Thirteen Days (1962 America) Cuban Missle Crisis

JFK (1961-69 America) – Mature: Inconsistencies surround the assassination of the President

Jackie (1963 America) – Mature: Jackie Kennedy after the assassination of the President

Mississippi Burning (1964 Mississippi) – Mature: The FBI investigates Ku Klux Klan violence

Selma (1965 Alabama) Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apollo 13 (1970 America) Disaster aboard the Apollo flight to the moon

Munich (1972 Munich Olympics) – Mature: Palestinian activists murder Israeli athletes at the Olympics, and the aftermath

All the President’s Men (1972-74 Washington D.C.) Watergate scandal ending Nixon’s presidency

The Iron Lady (1975-90 Britain) The life of Margaret Thatcher

Holy Land: Startup Nations (1948-present) Modern Israel, the world’s top innovator

Black Hawk Down (1993 Somalia) – Mature: Battle violence

Hotel Rwanda (1994 Rwanda, Africa) Tutsi and Huti Civil war and genocide

13 Hours (2012 Libya) – Mature: Attack on the U.S. outpost at Benghazi

Out of the Shadows – Mature: The rise of the global elites’ use of media to obtain their goals

Sources

Biography.com
History.com
NationalGeographic.com
PBS.org
BBC History Documentaries
Various YouTube.com history and documentary channels

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