"Based on a True Story": The Ancient World

by barthsnotes | created - 26 Aug 2011 | updated - 19 Oct 2012 | Public
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1. Heroes and Villains (2007–2008)

Documentary, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of some of the most remembered characters who transformed the world. Produced by the BBC, based in true facts, with the support of modern historians. This documentary tells how Napoleon, Spartacus, Richard Lionhearth, Atila, Shogun and Cortes printed their names in the books of history.

Stars: Rob Brydon, Kevin Eldon, Anthony Flanagan, Brian McCardie

Votes: 180

2. The War That Never Ends (1991 TV Movie)

70 min | Drama

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The Peloponnesian Wars (Athens vs. Sparta for 27 years) told in the format of newsbroadcast-like monologues by Theucydides, Plato, and others

Director: Jack Gold | Stars: John Bennett, David Calder, Oliver Ford Davies, Don Henderson

Votes: 35

3. Alexander (2004)

R | 175 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
39 Metascore

Alexander, the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest army leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, Angelina Jolie

Votes: 147,081 | Gross: $34.30M

4. The First Emperor (2006 TV Movie)

110 min | Documentary, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The film narrates how Ying Zheng became the king of Qin state in 221 B.C. at 13 and finally the first Chinese Emperor. The excavated Terracotta Army finds, his wars, paranoia's, court intrigues and quest for immortality are also discussed.

Director: Nic Young | Stars: James Pax, Ji Wang, Hi Ching, Vincent Wong

Votes: 70

5. The Great Wall of China (2007 TV Movie)

120 min | History

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Channel 4 docudrama following the history of the Great Wall of China, from the earliest building of simple mud walls to the construction of the series of stone fortresses built during the ... See full summary »

Director: Nic Young | Stars: Yu Beng Lim, Gerald Chew, George Chan, Hi Ching

Votes: 23

6. Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2006– )

59 min | Drama, History

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A doc-drama covering the rise and the fall of the Roman world including the founding by Julius Caesar and the building of Rome by Nero.

Stars: Lyall B. Watson, James D'Arcy, Sean Pertwee, Michael Sheen

Votes: 1,379

7. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 105,762 | Gross: $30.00M

8. Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

Approved | 123 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

At the height of the Roman Civil War, a young Cleopatra meets a middle-aged Julius Caesar, who teaches her how to rule Egypt.

Director: Gabriel Pascal | Stars: Claude Rains, Vivien Leigh, Stewart Granger, Flora Robson

Votes: 2,021

9. Cleopatra (1963)

G | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
60 Metascore

Queen Cleopatra of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Pamela Brown

Votes: 24,080 | Gross: $57.78M

10. Cleopatra (1999– )

Not Rated | 177 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Princess Cleopatra becomes Egypt's Queen and has an out-of-wedlock son with the son-less Roman ruler Julius Ceasar. Through two romances, she strives to protect Egypt from the Romans, and make her son the heir to Ceaser's Roman Empire.

Stars: Leonor Varela, Nadim Sawalha, Owen Teale, Philip Quast

Votes: 3,389

11. Julius Caesar (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both sorely underestimated Mark Antony.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Louis Calhern, Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud

Votes: 8,619

12. Caligula (1979)

Unrated | 156 min | Drama, History

5.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula.

Directors: Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione, Giancarlo Lui | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, Helen Mirren, Teresa Ann Savoy

Votes: 29,348 | Gross: $23.44M

13. I, Claudius (1976)

Not Rated | 669 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed

Votes: 12,598

14. A.D. (1985– )

600 min | Drama, History

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Set just after the death of Jesus Christ, this mini-series chronicles the life & adventures of Jesus's disciples, and events in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero.

Stars: Anthony Andrews, Colleen Dewhurst, Ava Gardner, David Hedison

Votes: 340

15. Masada (1981)

394 min | Action, Drama, History

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After the destruction of the Second Temple, 900 Jewish zealots hold out against a 5000 man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.

Stars: Peter O'Toole, Peter Strauss, Barbara Carrera, Alan Feinstein

Votes: 1,778

16. The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Approved | 188 min | Drama, History, War

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason

Votes: 6,797 | Gross: $4.75M

17. Red Cliff (2008)

R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
73 Metascore

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 39,405 | Gross: $0.63M

18. Chi bi: Jue zhan tian xia (2009)

142 min | Action, Drama, History

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In this sequel to Red Cliff, Chancellor Cao Cao convinces Emperor Xian of the Han to initiate a battle against the two Kingdoms of Shu and Wu, who have become allied forces, against all ... See full summary »

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 20,495 | Gross: $0.63M