View Full Version : Historical Movies

April 13th, 2002, 09:09 PM
The History channel has been showing movies about historical subjects along with shows about what really happened. So I was wondering...

What is the best historical film you've ever seen? The worst? Which do you think stuck closest to the truth and which went off on it's own? Which movies do you think have affected history most?

I think the best would have to be "The Best Years Of Our Lives".

"Braveheart" might not have been extremely accurate but I think it helped Scotland get a Parliament...

April 13th, 2002, 10:13 PM
i was thinking of posting this same thread, but you beat me to it!

i'm thinking of movies that change the way following movies are made, or ones that change the audiences expectations of what a movie should be.
in the early 60's, two movies came out within a year of each other and on he same theme. one was the truly scarey 'Fail-safe' with Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau, and the other was Stanley Kubrick's visionary black comedy (although equally scarey!) 'Dr. Strangelove'.
both dealt with the possibility of a nuclear holocaust being started through a simple accident or random chain of events. in a time when people were living under the constant tyranny of 'the bomb', the idea that total devastation was not only a possibility but perhaps a mathematical certainty was terrifying indeed!

and there are many more.

April 13th, 2002, 10:52 PM
Ghandi, The Last Emporor, Saving Private Ryan.

I also loved Braveheart, and Rob Roy.

I think, though, out of all of these...Ghandi was my favorite.

April 13th, 2002, 10:53 PM
Oh..and Kun Dun, the docu-drama about the life of the Dalai Lama was also good.

April 14th, 2002, 12:11 AM
Kundun was good and I love Dr Strangelove but I keep missing Fail Safe when it comes on....:(

Schindler's List was good. Definitely changed my perspective of WWII. I'd always tried to bypass the nastier aspects when I could but this film just stripped all that away.

April 14th, 2002, 12:26 AM
Schindler's List is an amazing historical movie! and Kundun was really good too.

Lawrence of Arabia anyone?

April 14th, 2002, 12:36 AM
I'm told it wasn't entirely acurate but an excellent movie nonetheless! But then I'll watch anything with Peter O'Toole...

The Lion In Winter. That was an excellent portrayal of Henry and Eleanor!

April 14th, 2002, 12:46 AM
yeah, Lawrence was given the treatment (as was Braveheart). too bad too, cause his is a great story. but not a 'Hollywood epic' i guess. marvelous movie nonetheless.
and i agree with 'Lion in Winter'.

April 14th, 2002, 12:54 AM
Yeah they aren't as bad as oh Yankee Doodle Dandy for instance. They practically rewrote Cohan's whole life for the big screen...

I don't mind a few exaggerations here and there but sometimes they really stretch it too far. First thing that comes to mind is the Pride and Prejuidice with antebellum costumes.... :ugh:

April 14th, 2002, 01:45 AM
The Lost Battalion~on History channel.

Roots~changed a lot of things an america. and opened a lot of doors
in the entertainment industry.

I thought it was very sad when they were talking about the lost
battalion that the character that Ricky Schroeder played killed
himself 2 years after the war.

April 16th, 2002, 03:45 PM
Okay, since this is an aspect of what I do with my life, I have to say that I think when directors, producers, actors and designers take on historical subjects they inevitably place a concept upon them that has little to do with the reality of the time period. Design is the most obvious thing - whatever the style of the era the film is made in will reflect that, regardless of how devoted to accuracy the designers think they are, because we have a distinct theory on what is attractive visually.

Likewise, I think that whatever values those folks have often reflect in the film, from the script out.

Just like history is always written by the victors, historical films and plays are always given their significance by the period and people they are created in.

Likewise, I can't name any films I think really, incredbily accurately portray a historical circumstance, but I can think of some that do it better than others, and some that do a better job of approaching what life and experience were like at the particular time than others.

April 16th, 2002, 03:50 PM
I've often thought that too. Much of the innaccuracies in these films, come from a person trying to add their ethics, and morals, into a situation.

Not to mention, few historical figures were absolutely pure in motive and action.

There are dissenting views on William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Ghandi, almost EVERY historical figure has had things written about them which are opposite to their "heroic" features. But..what it seems movie directors and writers seem to do, is to concentrate on the "Good" aspects of these "hero's"...because this is honestly what people want to see. Few of us want to claim someone who committed as many atrocities as they did heroic acts, as our hero. We want to have faith in the goodness of mankind, and wee seek hero's to restore our faith. So the directors, and writers, often overlook the more negative parts of someones life, in order to accentuate the positive, because the positive is what the audience really wants to see. IMO.

Azure...which movies do you think were the most accurately done?

April 16th, 2002, 04:50 PM
That's the main reason I liked "The Messenger". No goody two shoes saint like other films. They showed her raging into battle in a rather bloodthirsty manner and weren't afraid to show mental illness as a possible explanation for her behaviour.