The 25 Best Historical Movies of All Time by malthe-tuxen | created - 17 Apr 2017 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public The 25 best historical movies of all time (in my opinion)
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- Jason Herbert
- The Witch (2015) Was colonial New England this frightening? Director Robert Eggers dares anyone to leave for North America with this horrifying tale of a Puritan family exiled from Plymouth Colony.
- 12 Years a Slave (2013) This compelling adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir of the same name portrays the kidnapping of a free black man from New York who is then sold into slavery on a Louisiana plantation.
- Lincoln (2012) Contemporary audiences may consider that the 13th Amendment’s passage was inevitable in the twilight of the American Civil War. Lincoln shows us this was not so.
- Free State of Jones (2016) Interested moviegoers are not bereft of films focused on the Civil War—this year’s superb Harriet, for instance, finally gave the Underground Railroad operator her cinematic due—but films that tie the war, Reconstruction, and the mid-20th century together number about one.
- Gabe Paoletti
- The Best Historical Movies: 12 Years A Slave. Based on the 1853 memoir of the same name, 12 Years A Slave tells the story of Solomon Northup, a black American who was born free in New York before being abducted by kidnappers who sold him into slavery in the Deep South, after which he spent 12 years in bondage before eventually gaining his freedom via the legal system.
- Schindler's List. Set during the Holocaust, Schindler's List tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who used his connections to save 1,200 Jews from Nazi concentration camps.
- Sophie's Choice. A haunting look at a fictional Holocaust survivor, Sophie's Choice recounts the tale of a woman trying to move on with her life after being forced to choose which of her two children would live and which would die at the Nazis' Auschwitz concentration camp.
- Braveheart. Braveheart tells the story of William Wallace, a Scottish knight who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence.
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- Das Boot (1981) Wolfgang Peterson’s epic German war movie is still the king of submarine films – mostly because it’s the only one that actually feels like being stuck on a submarine.
- A Night To Remember (1958) When RMS Titanic launched in Belfast in 1911, a young boy named William MacQuitty was there to see it. 47 years later, he was hired as the producer of A Night To Remember, and he made sure he did everything he could to get the facts right.
- All The President’s Men (1974) No one knew more about the Watergate scandal than the two Washington Post journalists who originally broke the story, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
- Master And Commander: The Far Side of The World (2003) The characters in Master And Commander are all made up, and it’s incredibly unlikely that the British Navy would have spent months targeting a single enemy ship during the Napoleonic War, but the details in Peter Weir’s film are all spot on.
May 06, 2014 · The Best American History Movies by Peter Spain 8 Comments Movies and TV We’ve compiled a great list of films that span American history from the formation of the colonies to the conclusion of the Cold War.
Mar 27, 2021 · This list, though, contains the best historical drama movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films. Make sure to rock the vote by voting up the greatest dramatic history movies on this list (according to you). Historical drama movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film.
- 12 Years a Slave (2013) Rotten Tomatoes® 97%
- 300 (2006) Rotten Tomatoes® 60%
- Agora (2009) Rotten Tomatoes® 53%
- Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972) Rotten Tomatoes® 98%
- A Knight's Tale (2001) - 6.9
- L CID (1961) - 7.2
- He King (2019) - 7.3
- Ichard III (1955) - 7.4
- Enry V (1989) - 7.5
- He Name of The Rose (1986) - 7.7
- Ecket (1964) - 7.8
- He Lion in Winter (1968) - 7.9
- Onty Python & The Holy Grail (1975) - 8.2
- Raveheart (1995) - 8.3
A Knight’s Tale is one of the films that cemented the late Heath Ledger as an international star. With an IMDb rating of 6.9, it ties with titles such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and the 2018 film Outlaw Kingon the list of best medieval movies of all time. Ledger stars as William Thatcher, a man who impersonates a knight and rises up through the ranks by jousting in a series of tournaments. The highly entertaining film centers around the idea that humans can choose their own destinies.
The 1961 film El Cid starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren is one of the most highly rated on IMDb, with an average of 7.2. The film chronicles the life of Spanish legendary figure Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, also known as El Cid. The film is set in the 11th century against a backdrop of Christian Spain that is being overrun by the Moors. The charismatic knight El Cid tries to unify his divided country and rally his people against the foreign invaders. Another medieval film that IMDb rates as 7.2 stars is Ridley Scott's Crusader epic Kingdom of Heaven, starring Orlando Bloom.
Many of IMDb’s most successful medieval movies were made in the 20th century, but one of the more recent additions is The King, which was released in 2019. Based on several plays from William Shakespeare, the film chronicles the life of Henry V after becoming the King of England in the 15th century. Henry ascends to the throne following the death of his brother. In the early days of his reign, he must face a number of obstacles, including war and treachery. The film stars Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V, along with Robert Pattinson, Joel Edgerton, Lily-Rose Depp, and Dean-Charles Chapman.
Another medieval film based on the work of Shakespeare, Richard III tells the tale of the cruel English king and his conquests. It stars Laurence Olivier, Cedric Hardwicke, Nicholas Hannen, and Ralph Richardson. The last king of the House of York, Richard IIIwas killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, which marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is believed by some historians to have murdered his nephews, Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, to eliminate the risk of losing his throne. Legend has it that the young princes were secretly buried in the Tower of London.
Shakespeare’s work has inspired a number of successful medieval films, one of those being Henry V. The 1989 version of the film earned a score of 7.5, while the earlier 1944 version that was directed by Laurence Olivier received 7.1. RELATED: 1917: 7 Real Historical Connections To World War I (& 3 Made Exclusively For The Movie) The 1989 adaptation of Shakespeare’s play stars its director, Kenneth Branagh, as the titular character. The film follows Henry V as he tries to claim the kingdom of France in the name of England during the Hundred Years War. It also stars Emma Thompson, Judi Dench, and Robbie Coltrane.
In 1986, Sean Connery starred in The Name of the Rose, a period piece that would go on to become one of the most highly rated IMDb films of all time. Despite being an Italian, French, and German production, the film is acted in English and tells the story of the fictional 14th-century Franciscan monk William of Baskerville. William and his apprentice, played by Christian Slater, travel to an abbey and investigate a suspicious death. The film is based on the Italian novel of the same name by Umberto Eco.
With a strong rating of 7.8, the 1964 film Becket is one of the best medieval movies on IMDb. Starring Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, the film documents the relationship between Henry II of England and the bishop Thomas Becket. RELATED: 10 War Books Too Twisted To Be Made Into Films Now known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas Becketserved as the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until 1170. He was assassinated by four knights who followed the king and was later canonized by the Catholic Church and the Church of England.
Another highly-rated film to chronicle the life of Henry II is The Lion in Winter, starring Peter O’Toole as King Henry II and Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine. The film also stars a young Anthony Hopkins as the couple’s eldest son, Richard the Lionheart. The film is based on a Broadway play of the same name and was one of the highest-grossing films of 1968. It also won three Academy Awards, including Best Music Score, Best Adapted Screen Play, and Best Actress for Katharine Hepburn. The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn, also received 7.9 on IMDb.
It’s not often that a medieval film with a high rating is also a comedy, but Monty Python and the Holy Grail breaks all the rules. The movie features a retelling of King Arthur and a modern murder investigation. The film was released in 1975 and stars the well-known comedic group known as Monty Python: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. The Swedish medieval film The Seventh Seal, a meditation on mortality that's told through a knight who challenges Death to a game of chess, also received an impressive 8.2.
It comes as no surprise that the highest-rated English film set in medieval times is Braveheart, the 1995 epic tale of William Wallace. Directed by and starring Mel Gibson, Braveheart follows the life of Wallace after the murder of his new wife transforms him from a peaceful farmer’s son to the rebellious leader of the Scottish army. The movie went on to dominate the awards season of the time, even taking home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture. Despite its many historical inaccuracies and the storm of controversy that now surrounds Mel Gibson, Braveheart remains one of the most iconic medieval films of all time. NEXT: 10 Shakespeare Film Adaptations You Haven't Watched (But Definitely Should)
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