Best Films to Teach Introduction to Art History 1: Pre-History through Medieval Art

This film list is designed to supplement the instruction in an introductory Art History 1 class (Pre-history through Medieval Art).
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1.
History of the World: Part I (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes. (92 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
 
2.
La grotte de Lascaux (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(60 mins.)
Director: Alain Jaubert
 
3.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (1990 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The Romans saw the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as the crowning achievements of their predecessors. Through stunning on-location and re-created visuals, learn how and why they were built and how they dazzled the ancients. (60 mins.)
Director: Rolf Forsberg
 
4.
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An Egyptian prince learns of his identity as a Hebrew and his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people. (99 mins.)
 
5.
Troy (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An adaptation of Homer's great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved. (163 mins.)
 
6.
Hercules (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it. (93 mins.)
 
7.
Clash of the Gods (2009 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Covers many of the ancient Greek and Norse Gods, monsters and heroes including Hades, Hercules, Medusa, Minotaur, Odysseus and Zeus.
 
8.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A teenager discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods. (118 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
 
9.
300 (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
King Leonidas of Sparta and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. (117 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
 
10.
Oedipus Rex (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The land ruled by King Oedipus is plagued by ill-fortune and the people are promised relief by the gods... (87 mins.)
Director: Tyrone Guthrie
 
11.
The Trojan Women (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Director: Brad Mays
 
12.
Battles That Changed the World: The Greek-Persian Wars (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
13.
Battles That Changed the World: Peloponnesian Wars (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
14.
Engineering an Empire (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A series of documentaries that go over the world's history and it's many accomplishments. (564 mins.)
 
15.
David Macaulay: Roman City (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
As we explore the remains of Roman cities, we also follow the story of one such city in Gaul, beset with political corruption and Celtic insurrection. (60 mins.)
Director: Larry Klein
 
16.
Gladiator (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge. (155 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
17.
The Eagle (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem. (114 mins.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
 
18.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Depicts the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem. (127 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
19.
The Decameron (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron". (112 mins.)
 
20.
Barbarians (2004 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
This 4 part series documents the history of the Vikings, Goths, Mongols, and Huns. (184 mins.)
 
21.
Seven Deadly Sins (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A sheriff uncovers dark secrets when the daughter of her lover becomes a murder suspect. Based on the novels by Robin Wasserman.
 
22.
Robin Hood (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In 12th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. (140 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
23.
David Macaulay: Cathedral (1986 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
David Macaulay and Caroline Berg explore medieval cathedral architecture through the fictional animated story of the rebuilding of such a cathedral in the middle ages after a disastrous fire. (60 mins.)
Director: Tim King
 
24.
David Macaulay: Castle (1983 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The architecture and life of medieval castles are explored while we follow the story of one such English castle in medieval Wales. (60 mins.)
Director: Peter Newington
 
25.
Hildegard of Bingen (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
(52 mins.)
Director: James Runcie
 
26.
A Knight's Tale (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight. (132 mins.)
Director: Brian Helgeland