History Films Database

You must be logged in to add a new listing. Click here to login to add a new listing.

ID # Title Film Type Playing Time Release Date Color or BW Description Keywords Volume Notes Links
1040's House
180 minutes
Color and B&W
One modern family takes on the challenge of domestic life on Britain's home front in 1940s House, a re-creation of a World War II household. This time-travel experiment covers the period from the outbreak of the war in 1939 to Victory Day in 1945, compressing the events of six wartime years into two months. Though the military threat is metaphorical, the privations are real and the pressures create tensions nonexistent in modern society. The three-generation Hymers family-mother Lyn, father Michael, daughter Kirstie and her sons Ben, ten, and Thomas, seven-learns to exist on ever-diminishing rations and builds and takes refuge in an air raid shelter. A "war cabinet," composed of historians and scientists with special knowledge of the war, monitors the family's progress and steers the course of the experiment. At the end of 1940s House, viewers find out what the experience meant to the family and members of the series' war cabinet consider how well the Hymers fared in comparison to their wartime counterparts.
Hymers family, life during World War II., re-creation of World War II household, World War II
12 Years A Slave
134 Minutes
From acclaimed director Steve McQueen comes the "deeply evocative and brilliantly acted" film (Claudia Puig, USA Today) based on the true story of Solomon Northup. It is 1814, and Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor in a gripping performance), an accomplished, free citizen of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is ultimately purchased by ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) and must find the strength within to survive. Filled with powerful performances by an astonishing cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave is both an unflinching account of slavery in American history and a celebration of the indomitable power of hope.
1841, free citizen, kidnapped, New York, sold into slavery, True story of Solomon Northup
166 minutes
1176 is a delightful musical celebration of the founding of the United States of America based on the award-winning Broadway production. The story centers around the familiar historical characters as they organize a movement for independence from Mother England: the tough unyielding John Adams (William Daniels); the charming and pragmatic Benjamin Franklin (Howard Da Silva); the brilliant young Thomas Jefferson (Ken Howard), who is chosen to write the Declaration of Independence even as he longs for the company of his new bride Martha (Blyuthe Danner); and the rest of the Continental Congress. All events lead up to that most significant date July 4, 1776 when the declaration was signed. Wonderful songs combined with history make this excellent family viewing.
1776, founders, america, history, continental congress, declaration, jefferson, adams, franklin, revolutionary
1968: The Year that Shaped a Nation
1960s, 20th century, United States
116 minutes
Color and B&W
the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City) assaults the screen with the blood, thunder and awe of its ferocious visual style faitfully recreated in an intense blend of live-action and CGI animation. Retelling the ancient Battle of Themoplae, it depcits the titanic clash in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive Persian army. Experience history at swordpoing and moviemaking with a cutting edge.
300 Spartans, Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas, Persian army., Xerxes
500 Nations
4 disc set
The amazing stoy of America's original inhabitants has been crystallized as never before into a powerful epic event on 4 discs. The insight actor/filmmaker and series host/exectutive producer Kevin Costner brought to his Dances with Wolves serves as a springboard to this thrilling chronicle, filmed at actual locations from the jungles of Central America to the Canadian Arctic. A cast of star voices and state-of-the-art computer recreations bring this rich, untold history to vivid, moving life.
500 Nations, America's inhabitants, Indians
A Lesson Before Dying
101 min
20th century, African Americans, Civil Rights Movement, death penalty, fiction, racial history, racism, the South, United States
A Man for All Seasons
feature length film
Color and B&W
Great Britain, royalty
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Approx. 120 min.
A stellar cast, headed by Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline, bring Shakespeare's romantic comedy to life. When two pairs of star-crossed lovers, a feuding pair of supernatural sprites and a love potion gone awry all come together in an enchanged moonlit forest, the result is a delightul mix of merriment and magic.
enchanted moonlit forest, magic, merriment., romantic comedy, Shakespeare
A Midwife's Tale
feature length film
Color and B&W
feminism, literature, patriarchy, power structures, science fiction
A Midwife's Tale
88 minutes
Color and B&W
Adapated from teh Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Laurel Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale unfolds like a detective story-the true tale of two women, 200 years apart, linked by the massive yet cryptic diary one of them left behind. The world of frontier midwife Martha Ballard (played by Kaiulani Lee) gradually takes shape as author and historian Laurel Ulrich pieces it together. A Midwife's Tale unfolds in a small Maine town during the turbulent decades following the American Recolution--a time when social change and religious conflit are rife, and survival is a full-time job. A Midwife's Tale is the result of an unusual collaboration between Laurel Ulrich and a team led by producer/writer Laurie Kahn-Leavitt and director Richard Rogers.
American Revolution, frontier midwife, Laurel Ulrich, Midwife, religious conflict, Social change
A More Perfect Union
America, 1786. Ten years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. England wages a new war of unfair trade and tariffs. Bickering and jealousy fracture the once united states. But a handful of brilliant men, James Madison, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, lead a political battle to create a new form of government, one that will establish the standard of self-government to the world. A More Perfect Union: America Becomes A Nation is the first comprehensive recreation of those stirring, heated debates during the sweltering summer of 1787. Filmed on location at Independence Hall, Williamsburg, Virginia, and other historical sites, it dramatically chronicles how America became a nation and those underlying principles that guard our freedoms today.
independence, america, madison, jefferson, franklin, washington, declaration of independence, freedom, government
A Tale of 2 Cities
no description
Accessibility and Historic Preservations: Entrances
28 min
historic house museums, museums, public history, Restoration
Adams Chronicle, Part II
Color and B&W
Part 2 of PBS series on John Quincy Adams and his family.
18th century, John Quincy Adams, PBS, U.S. history
vol. 2
Adams Chronicle, Part III
Color and B&W
Parts 1 of PBS series on John Quincy Adams and his family.
18th century, John Quincy Adams, PBS, U.S. history
vol. 1