You might be saying to yourself, "self, why do I have a list of movies on my classroom website, aren't movies often historically inaccurate?" Yes self, this is true. However, movies help us to visualize the past and realize that history is more than a bunch of names and dates in a dusty old book. It is blood, sweat and tears. It is great victories and devastating failures. It is fear and uncertainty. It is love. In short it is the story of our past and it is anything but boring.
Gettysburg- Based on the novel Killer Angels by Michael Shara. Highlights include the defense of Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge. The only drawback to this movie is the length-it is a little over 4 hours.
Gods and Generals- Based on the novel Gods and Generals by Jeff Shara. The movie begins just before the attack on Fort Sumter and ends with Chancellorsville. Once again the only drawback is length-just under 4 hours.
Glory- The story of the 54th Massachussetts, an all-black unit, and their heroic charge on Fort Wagner. Great cast which includes Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes.
Roughriders -Portrays Theodore Roosevelt and his Roughriders during the Spanish American war. 4 hours.
Band of Brothers- HBO series that follows Easy Company of the 101st Airborne from training through the Battle of the Bulge. Must see for WW2 buffs.
The Longest Day-
Tells the story of D-Day from the American and German point of view. Said to be the last great WW2 movie made by people who were there. Star-studded cast that includes John Wayne.
Patton- Classic WW2 flick that follows one of America's most famous and flamboyant generals.
Saving Privae Ryan- Following the Normandy Landings, a group of US soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. Stars Tom Hanks.
Flags of Our Fathers- Based on the book of the same name. Looks at the story of the famous Iwo Jima photo.
Letters from Iwo Jima
-Clint Eastood directed look at the Battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective.
Pearl Harbor- Modern version of the Day of Infamy. Contains a sappy love story that was made up in a poor attempt to widen this movies viewer base.
Schindler's List- Moving tale of how Oskar Schindler saved thousands of Jews from Hitler's concentration camps. Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Tora, Tora, Tora-
Dramatization of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the events that allowed it to happen.
-Action filled WW2 submarine movie.
Story of one of the most famous plots to assassinate Hitler. Stars Tom Cruise.
Portrays the role of the Navajo Codetalkers in the Pacific theater of WW2.
Amistad- A look at the legal fate of slaves who revolted aboard the slave ship Amistad. Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Cinderella Man- Depression era story based on the life story of boxer James J. Braddock.
Far and Away-
Stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Story of a spoiled Irish rich girl and an uneducated Irish farm boy as they make their way to America. Great portrayals of immigration, ethnic rivalries, political machines, early 2oth century industry, and the Oklahoma land rushes.
Iron Jawed Angels- Based on true story of suffragists who went on hunger strikes to draw attention to the movment to get women the right to vote.
Seabiscuit- True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.