These movies happened in the 16th Century to the beginning of the 19th Century. From the end of the Crusades, to the Medieval Years of the Church, the times of the Kings of England, the colonial adventures to the New World, the age of the lords and ladies, the Napoleonic Wars, the famous pirate stories and many historical Asian movies in between. These were interesting times.
During the early 16th Century idealistic German monk Martin Luther, disgusted by the materialism in the church, begins the dialogue that will lead to the Protestant Reformation. (123 mins.)
“ Luther is a 2003 biopic about the life of Martin Luther (1483–1546) starring Joseph Fiennes. It was an independent film partially funded by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The film covers Luther's life from his becoming a monk in 1505 to the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. ” - rmpfi
(2003 TV Movie)
Two-part TV series documenting the stormy 38-year reign of King Henry VIII. (193 mins.)
“ Henry VIII is a two-part British television serial produced principally by Granada Television for ITV in 2003. It chronicles the life of Henry VIII of England from the disintegration of his first marriage to an aging Spanish princess until his death following a stroke in 1547, by which time he had married for the sixth time. Additional production funding was provided by WGBH Boston, Powercorp and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
It stars Ray Winstone in his first role in a costume drama. His co-star is Helena Bonham Carter who played Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn; her character dominates the first episode and her dramatic death brings the first part of the story to its conclusion. David Suchet also makes an appearance as Henry's first chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey. The second episode, which follows the last eleven years of Henry's life, sees Winstone act opposite Emilia Fox, as his docile third wife Jane Seymour, Sean Bean as Robert Aske, leader of the Pilgrimage of Grace, and Emily Blunt (in her first major appearance) as Catherine Howard, the promiscuous teenager who was coerced into becoming Henry's fifth queen. ” - rmpfi
A Man for All Seasons
The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage. (120 mins.)
“ A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 British biographical drama film in Technicolor based on Robert Bolt's play of the same name about Sir Thomas More. The screenplay was also written by Bolt. It was released on 12 December 1966. Paul Scofield, who had played More in the West End stage premiere, also took the role in the film. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann, who had previously directed such films as High Noon and From Here to Eternity. The film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.
The film ranked number 43 on the British Film Institute's list of the top 100 British films. In 1995, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of cinema, the Vatican listed it among the greatest movies of all time. ” - rmpfi
Anne of the Thousand Days
Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn. (145 mins.)
“ Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 British costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B. Wallis. The film tells the story of Anne Boleyn. The screenplay is an adaptation by Bridget Boland, John Hale and Richard Sokolove of the 1948 play by Maxwell Anderson; Anderson's blank verse format was retained for only portions of the screenplay, such as Anne's soliloquy in the Tower of London, but then again, Anderson did not use blank verse throughout the play either, only in portions of it. The opening of the play was also changed, with Thomas Cromwell telling Henry VIII the outcome of the trial and Henry then recalling his marriage to Anne, rather than Anne speaking first and then Henry remembering in flashback. ” - rmpfi
“ The Private Life of Henry VIII is a 1933 British film, directed and co-produced by Alexander Korda and starring Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Merle Oberon and Elsa Lanchester. The film focuses on the marriages of King Henry VIII of England. It was written by Lajos Bíró and Arthur Wimperis for London Film Productions, Korda's production company. The film was a major international success, establishing Korda as a leading filmmaker and Laughton as a box office star. ” - rmpfi
As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate. (139 mins.)
“ Apocalypto is a 2006 American epic adventure film directed and produced by Mel Gibson. It was written by Gibson and Farhad Safinia. The film features a cast of Indigenous Mexican and Native American actors consisting of Rudy Youngblood, Raoul Trujillo, Mayra Sérbulo, Dalia Hernández, Ian Uriel, Gerardo Taracena, Rodolfo Palacios, Bernardo Ruiz Juarez, Ammel Rodrigo Mendoza, Ricardo Diaz Mendoza, and Israel Contreras. Similar to Gibson's earlier film The Passion of the Christ, all dialogue is in a modern approximation of the ancient language of the setting. Here the Yucatec Maya language is used, with English and other language subtitles (which sometimes refer to the language as Mayan).
Set in pre-Columbian Yucatan and Guatemala around the year 1511, Apkocalypto depicts the journey of a Meso-American tribesman who must escape human sacrifice and rescue his family after the capture and destruction of his village at a time when the Mayan civilization is about to come to an end. ” - rmpfi
A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch. (124 mins.)
“ Elizabeth is a 1998 British biographical film written by Michael Hirst, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role of Queen Elizabeth I of England, alongside Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, John Gielgud, Fanny Ardant and Richard Attenborough. This 1998 film is loosely based on the early years of Elizabeth's reign. In 2007, Blanchett and Rush reprised their roles in the sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, covering the later part of her reign.
The film brought Australian actress Blanchett to international attention. She won several awards for her portrayal of Elizabeth, notably a BAFTA and a Golden Globe in 1998, while the film was also named the 1998 BAFTA Award for Best British Film. Elizabeth was nominated in 7 categories in the 71st Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress, receiving the prize for Best Makeup. ” - rmpfi
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado. (93 mins.)
“ Aguirre, the Wrath of God (German: Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes), known in the UK as Aguirre, Wrath of God, is a 1972 West German epic film written and directed by Werner Herzog. Klaus Kinski stars in the title role. The soundtrack was composed and performed by German progressive/Krautrock band Popol Vuh. The story follows the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Orinoco and Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Using a minimalist story and dialogue, the film creates a vision of madness and folly, counterpointed by the lush but unforgiving Amazonian jungle. Although based loosely on what is known of the historical figure of Aguirre, the film's storyline is, as Herzog acknowledged years after the film's release, a work of imagination. Some of the people and situations may have been inspired by Gaspar de Carvajal's account of an earlier Amazonian expedition, although Carvajal was not on the historical voyage represented in the film. Other accounts state that the expedition went into the jungles but never returned to civilization. ” - rmpfi
A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place. (180 mins.)
“ Kagemusha (影武者 Shadow Warrior?) is a 1980 film by Akira Kurosawa. In Japanese, kagemusha is a term used to denote a political decoy. It is set in the Sengoku period of Japanese history and tells the story of a lower-class criminal who is taught to impersonate a dying daimyo in order to dissuade opposing lords from attacking the newly vulnerable clan. The daimyo is based on Takeda Shingen, and the film ends with the climactic 1575 Battle of Nagashino. ” - rmpfi
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century. (96 mins.)
“ Ugetsu or Ugetsu Monogatari (雨月物語?) is a 1953 black-and-white Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi and based on stories in Ueda Akinari's book of the same name. It is a ghost story and an example of the jidaigeki (period drama) genre. Set in Azuchi–Momoyama period Japan, it stars Masayuki Mori and Machiko Kyō. It is one of Mizoguchi's most celebrated films, regarded by critics as a masterwork of Japanese cinema and a definitive piece during Japan's Golden Age of Film. Along with Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, Ugetsu is credited with having popularized Japanese cinema in the West. ” - rmpfi
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
A mature Queen Elizabeth endures multiple crises late in her reign including court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and romantic disappointments. (114 mins.)
“ Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a 2007 sequel to the 1998 film Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur and produced by Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. It stars Cate Blanchett in the title role and is a fairly fictionalised portrayal of events during the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The screenplay was written by William Nicholson and Michael Hirst. The music score was composed by A. R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong. Guy Hendrix Dyas was the film's production designer and co-visual effects supervisor and the costumes were created by Alexandra Byrne. The film was shot at Shepperton Studios and various locations around the United Kingdom.
The film premiered on 9 September 2007 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It opened in wide release in the United States on 12 October 2007 and premiered in London on 23 October 2007, going wide on 2 November 2007 throughout the rest of the UK and Republic of Ireland. The film won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design and Blanchett received a nomination for Best Actress. ” - rmpfi
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
“ Seven Samurai (七人の侍 Shichinin no Samurai?) is a 1954 Japanese epic historical drama adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The story takes place in 1586 during the Warring States Period of Japan. It follows the story of a village of farmers that hire seven ronin (masterless samurai) to combat bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops.
Since its release, Seven Samurai has consistently ranked highly across critics' greatest film polls such as the BFI's Sight and Sound and Rotten Tomatoes polls. It has remained highly influential, often seen as one of the most "remade, reworked, referenced" films in cinema. ” - rmpfi
Shakespeare in Love
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays. (123 mins.)
“ Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 British-American romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Madden, written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard. The film depicts an imaginary love affair involving Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) and playwright William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) while he was writing Romeo and Juliet. Several characters are based on historical figures, and many of the characters, lines, and plot devices allude to Shakespeare's plays.
Shakespeare in Love won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), and Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench). ” - rmpfi
Romeo and Juliet
When two young members of feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues. (138 mins.)
“ Romeo and Juliet is a 1968 British-Italian romance film based on the tragic play of the same name (1591–95) by William Shakespeare.
The film was directed and co-written by Franco Zeffirelli, and stars Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. It won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography (Pasqualino De Santis) and Best Costume Design (Danilo Donati); it was also nominated for Best Director and Best Picture, making it the last Shakespearean film to be nominated for Best Picture to date. Sir Laurence Olivier spoke the film's prologue and epilogue and reportedly dubbed the voice of the Italian actor playing Lord Montague, but was not credited in the film.
Being the most financially successful film adaptation of a Shakespeare play at the time of its release, it was popular among teenagers partly because it was the first film to use actors who were close to the age of the characters from the original play. Several critics also welcomed the film enthusiastically. ” - rmpfi
Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king. (154 mins.)
“ Hamlet is a 1948 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted and directed by and starring Sir Laurence Olivier. Hamlet was Olivier's second film as director, and also the second of the three Shakespeare films that he directed (the 1936 As You Like It had starred Olivier, but had been directed by Paul Czinner). Hamlet was the first British film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is also the first sound film of the play in English. A 1935 sound film adaptation, Khoon Ka Khoon, had been made in India and filmed in the Urdu language.
Olivier's Hamlet is the Shakespeare film that has received the most prestigious accolades, winning the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Actor and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. However, it proved controversial among Shakespearean purists, who felt that Olivier had made too many alterations and excisions to the four-hour play by cutting nearly two hours' worth of content. Milton Shulman wrote in The Evening Standard "To some it will be one of the greatest films ever made, to others a deep disappointment. Laurence Olivier leaves no doubt that he is one of our greatest living actors...his liberties with the text, however, are sure to disturb many." ” - rmpfi
After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate. (119 mins.)
“ Captain Blood is a 1935 American black-and-white swashbuckling pirate film from First National Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, produced by Harry Joe Brown and Gordon Hollingshead (with Hal B. Wallis as executive producer), directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, and Ross Alexander. The film is based on the 1922 novel Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini, with a screenplay by Casey Robinson, and concerns an enslaved doctor and his fellow prisoners who escape their cruel island imprisonment and become pirates in the West Indies. An earlier 1924 silent film version of Captain Blood starred J. Warren Kerrigan as Peter Blood, the physician-turned-pirate in this Vitagraph production. ” - rmpfi
The Crucified Lovers
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out. (102 mins.)
“ The Crucified Lovers (近松物語 Chikamatsu Monogatari?, literally, "A Story From Chikamatsu") is a 1954 black-and-white Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi. It was adapted from Chikamatsu Monzaemon's 1715 jōruri play Daikyōji Mukashi Goyomi (大経師昔暦). ” - rmpfi
“ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disney theme parks. It was directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer. The story follows pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as they rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who become undead skeletons at night.
Jay Wolpert developed a script based on the theme park ride in 2001, and Stuart Beattie rewrote it in early 2002. Around that time, producer Jerry Bruckheimer became involved in the project; he had Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio work on the script, adding the supernatural curse to the storyline. Filming took place from October 2002 to March 2003 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and on sets constructed around Los Angeles, California. ” - rmpfi
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones' service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well. (151 mins.)
“ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is a 2006 American fantasy swashbuckler film and the second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, following The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). It was directed by Gore Verbinski, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. In the film, the wedding of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) is interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), who wants Turner to acquire the compass of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in a bid to find the Dead Man's Chest. Sparrow discovers his debt to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is due.
Two sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were conceived in 2004, with Elliott and Rossio developing a story arc that would span both films. Filming took place from February to September 2005 in Palos Verdes, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and The Bahamas, as well as on sets constructed at Walt Disney Studios. It was shot back-to-back with the third film of the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. ” - rmpfi
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, find Jack Sparrow, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle. (169 mins.)
“ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a 2007 American epic fantasy swashbuckler film and the third installment (originally final) of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The plot follows Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and the crew of the Black Pearl rescuing Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from Davy Jones's Locker, and then preparing to fight the East India Trading Company, led by Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), who controls Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and plans to extinguish piracy forever. It is the last film in the series to be directed by Gore Verbinski. It was filmed in two shoots during 2005 and 2006, the former simultaneously with the preceding film, Dead Man's Chest.
The film was released in English-speaking countries on May 25, 2007, by Walt Disney Pictures. Critical reviews were mixed. The film was praised for its performances, musical score, action scenes, and special effects, but was criticized for its plot and running time. At World's End was a box office hit, becoming the most successful film of 2007, with over $960 million worldwide. ” - rmpfi
“ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a 2011 American fantasy swashbuckler film and the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. It is the first film in the series not to be directed by Gore Verbinski, being replaced by Rob Marshall. Jerry Bruckheimer again served as producer. The film serves as a stand-alone sequel to the previous installments. In the film, which draws its plot from the novel On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is joined by Angelica (Penélope Cruz) in his search for the Fountain of Youth, confronting the infamous pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane). The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and released in the United States on May 20, 2011. It was the first film in the series to be released in the Disney Digital 3-D and IMAX 3D formats. ” - rmpfi
The romantic and chivalrous adventures of adopted bastard Tom Jones in 18th century England. (128 mins.)
“ Tom Jones is a 1963 British adventure comedy film, an adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), starring Albert Finney as the titular hero. It was one of the most critically acclaimed and popular comedies of its time, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film was directed by Tony Richardson and the screenplay was adapted by playwright John Osborne. The film is notable for its unusual comic style: the opening sequence is performed in the style of a silent film, and characters sometimes break the fourth wall, often by looking directly into the camera and addressing the audience, and going so far as to have the character of Tom Jones suddenly appearing to notice the camera and covering the lens with his hat. ” - rmpfi
18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. (125 mins.)
“ The Mission is a 1986 British drama film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th century South America. The film was written by Robert Bolt and directed by Roland Joffé. The movie stars Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn, Cherie Lunghi and Liam Neeson. It won the Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. In April 2007, it was elected number one on the Church Times' Top 50 Religious Films list. Furthermore, it is one of fifteen films listed in the category "Religion" on the Vatican film list. The music, scored by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, ranked 1st on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Classic 100 Music in the Movies. ” - rmpfi
A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. (119 mins.)
“ Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 historical drama film based upon Christopher Hampton's play Les liaisons dangereuses, which in turn was a theatrical adaptation of the 18th-century French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
The film was directed by Stephen Frears. The performances of Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, the cinematography of Philippe Rousselot, the costume design by James Acheson, and the screenplay by Christopher Hampton, garnered critical acclaim. Swoosie Kurtz, Mildred Natwick and Peter Capaldi appeared in supporting roles, as did young relatively unknown actors Keanu Reeves and Uma Thurman.
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture; it won those for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Art Direction. ” - rmpfi
An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England. (184 mins.)
“ Barry Lyndon is a 1975 British-American period drama film written, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. It stars Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, and Hardy Krüger. The film recounts the exploits of a fictional 18th-century Irish adventurer. Exteriors were shot on location in Ireland, England and Germany.
At the 1975 Academy Awards, the film won four Oscars in production categories. Although having had a modest commercial success and a mixed reception from critics on release, Barry Lyndon is today regarded as one of Kubrick's finest films. In numerous polls, including those of Village Voice (1999), Sight & Sound (2002), Time (2005) and BBC, it has been named one of the greatest films ever made. ” - rmpfi
Beauty and the Beast
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her. (96 mins.)
“ Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology (Le Magasin des Enfants, ou Dialogues entre une sage gouvernante et ses élèves, London 1757). Directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the film stars Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais.
The plot of Cocteau's film revolves around Belle's father who is sentenced to death for picking a rose from Beast's garden. Belle offers to go back to the Beast in her father's place. Beast falls in love with her and proposes marriage on a nightly basis which she refuses. Belle eventually becomes more drawn to Beast, who tests her by letting her return home to her family and telling her that if she doesn't return to him within a week, he will die of grief. ” - rmpfi
The Last of the Mohicans
Three trappers protect a British Colonel's daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War. (112 mins.)
“ The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 American epic historical drama, set in 1757 during the French and Indian War. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same name and George B. Seitz's 1936 film adaptation, owing more to the latter than the novel. The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, and Jodhi May, with Russell Means, Wes Studi, Eric Schweig, and Steven Waddington in supporting roles. It was produced by Morgan Creek Pictures.
The soundtrack features music by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman, and the song "I Will Find You" by Clannad. The main theme of the film is taken from the tune "The Gael" by Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean. Released on September 25, 1992, in the United States, The Last of the Mohicans was met with nearly universal praise from critics and commercial success during its box-office run. ” - rmpfi
“ Amadeus is a 1984 American period drama film directed by Miloš Forman, written by Peter Shaffer, and adapted from Shaffer's stage play Amadeus (1979). The story is set in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the 18th century.
The film was nominated for 53 awards and received 40, which included eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four BAFTA Awards, four Golden Globes, and a Directors Guild of America (DGA) award. As of 2016, it is the most recent film to have more than one nomination in the Academy Award for Best Actor category. In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked Amadeus 53rd on its 100 Years... 100 Movies list. ” - rmpfi
The mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England. (100 mins.)
In 18th-century Italy, an orphan's debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves. (141 mins.)
“ Anthony Adverse is a 1936 American epic costume drama film directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland. Based on the novel Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen, with a screenplay by Sheridan Gibney, the film is about an orphan whose debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves. The film received four Academy Awards.
Among the four Academy Awards that Anthony Adverse won, Gale Sondergaard was awarded the inaugural Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Faith Paleologus. ” - rmpfi
(2000 TV Movie)
A dramatization of George Washington's perilous gamble of crossing the Delaware River and attacking the British forces at Trenton. (89 mins.)
“ The Crossing is a 2000 historical TV film about George Washington crossing the Delaware River and the Battle of Trenton, directed by Robert Harmon. Based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast, it stars Jeff Daniels as George Washington. Also appearing in the film are Roger Rees as Hugh Mercer, Sebastian Roche as John Glover and Steven McCarthy as Alexander Hamilton. ” - rmpfi
Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son. (165 mins.)
“ The Patriot is a 2000 American historical fiction war film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Robert Rodat, and starring Mel Gibson, Chris Cooper, Heath Ledger, and Jason Isaacs. It was produced by the Mutual Film Company and Centropolis Entertainment and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film mainly takes place in rural York County, South Carolina, and depicts the story of an American swept into the American Revolutionary War when his family is threatened. Benjamin Martin is a composite figure the scriptwriter claims is based on four factual figures from the American Revolutionary War: Andrew Pickens, Francis Marion, Daniel Morgan and Thomas Sumter. ” - rmpfi
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a man mysterious past in the frontier of the nation. (120 mins.)
“ Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (simplified Chinese: 卧虎藏龙; traditional Chinese: 臥虎藏龍) is a 2000 Taiwanese-Chinese-Hong Kong-American martial arts film. A Chinese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen. The film was based on the fourth novel in a pentalogy, known in China as the Crane Iron Pentalogy, by Wuxia novelist Wang Dulu. The martial arts and action sequences were choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping. A sequel was released in 2016. ” - rmpfi
A film about the French Field Marshal's youth and early military career. (240 mins.)
“ Napoléon is a 1927 epic silent French film directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of Napoleon's early years. On screen, the title is Napoléon vu par Abel Gance, meaning "Napoleon as seen by Abel Gance". The film is recognised as a masterwork of fluid camera motion, produced in a time when most camera shots were static. Many innovative techniques were used to make the film, including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, a wide variety of hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple-camera setups, multiple exposure, superimposition, underwater camera, kaleidoscopic images, film tinting, split screen and mosaic shots, multi-screen projection, and other visual effects. A revival of Napoléon in the mid-1950s influenced the filmmakers of the French New Wave. ” - rmpfi
“ The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a 1988 British adventure fantasy comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, and Uma Thurman.
Based on the tall tales about the 18th-century German nobleman Baron Munchausen and his wartime exploits against the Ottoman Empire, the film was critically well-received but was a failure at the box office. ” - rmpfi
A Touch of Zen
A lady fugitive on the run from corrupt government officials is joined in her endeavors by an unambitious painter and skilled Buddhist monks. (200 mins.)
“ A Touch of Zen is a 1971 Taiwanese wuxia film directed by King Hu. The film won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, claiming the Technical Grand Prize award.
Although filming began in 1968, A Touch of Zen was not completed until 1971. The original Taiwanese release was in two parts in 1970 and 1971 (filming was still ongoing when the first part was released) with the bamboo forest sequence that concludes Part 1 reprised at the beginning of Part 2; this version has a combined run time of 200 minutes. In November 1971 both parts of the film were combined into one for the Hong Kong market with a run time of 187 minutes. Its running time of over three hours makes it an unusually epic entry in the wuxia genre. ” - rmpfi
Mutiny on the Bounty
Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti... (132 mins.)
“ Mutiny on the Bounty is an American 1935 drama starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, directed by Frank Lloyd based on the Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall novel Mutiny on the Bounty.
The film was one of the biggest hits of its time. Although its historical accuracy has been questioned (inevitable, as it is based on a novel about the facts, not the facts themselves), film critics consider this adaptation to be the best cinematic work inspired by the mutiny. ” - rmpfi
Mutiny on the Bounty
In 1787, British ship Bounty leaves Portsmouth to bring a cargo of bread-fruit from Tahiti but the savage on-board conditions imposed by Captain Bligh trigger a mutiny led by officer Fletcher Christian. (178 mins.)
“ Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1962 historical drama film starring Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard and Richard Harris, based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall.
The film retells the 1789 real-life mutiny aboard HMAV Bounty led by Fletcher Christian against the ship's captain, William Bligh. It is the second American film to be made from the novel, the first being Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). It was directed by Lewis Milestone, who replaced Carol Reed early in the production schedule.
The screenplay was written by Charles Lederer (with uncredited input from Eric Ambler, William L. Driscoll, Borden Chase, John Gay and Ben Hecht). The score was composed by Bronisław Kaper. ” - rmpfi
A Tale of Two Cities
A pair of lookalikes, one a former French aristocrat and the other an alcoholic English lawyer, fall in love with the same woman amongst the turmoil of the French Revolution. (128 mins.)
“ A Tale of Two Cities is a 1935 film based upon Charles Dickens' 1859 historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities. The film stars Ronald Colman as Sydney Carton, Donald Woods and Elizabeth Allan. The supporting players include Basil Rathbone, Blanche Yurka, and Edna May Oliver. It was directed by Jack Conway from a screenplay by W. P. Lipscomb and S. N. Behrman. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Film Editing. The story is set in the French Revolution and deals with two men who are alike, not only in appearance, but in their love for the same woman. ” - rmpfi
A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities. (90 mins.)
“ Iron Monkey is a 1993 Hong Kong martial arts film written and produced by Tsui Hark and directed by Yuen Woo-ping, starring Donnie Yen, Yu Rongguang, Jean Wang, Angie Tsang and Yuen Shun-yi. It is not related to the 1977 Hong Kong film of the same title.
The film is a fictionalised account of an episode in the childhood of the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung and his father Wong Kei-ying, and their encounter with the "Iron Monkey". In 1996, a separate film entitled Iron Monkey 2 was released but it was not a sequel to this film. ” - rmpfi
“ Interview with the Vampire is a 1994 American drama horror film directed by Neil Jordan, based on the 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, and starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. The film focuses on Lestat (Cruise) and Louis (Pitt), beginning with Louis's transformation into a vampire by Lestat in 1791. The film chronicles their time together, and their turning of a twelve-year-old girl, Claudia, into a vampire. The narrative is framed by a present-day interview, in which Louis tells his story to a San Francisco reporter. The supporting cast features Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst, and Antonio Banderas.
The film was released in November 1994 to generally positive reviews, and received Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Original Score. Kirsten Dunst was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. ” - rmpfi
In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman. (108 mins.)
“ Les Misérables is a 1935 American drama film starring Fredric March and Charles Laughton based upon the famous Victor Hugo novel of the same name. The movie was adapted by W. P. Lipscomb and directed by Richard Boleslawski. This was the last film for Twentieth Century Pictures before it merged with Fox Film Corporation to form 20th Century Fox. The plot of the film basically follows Hugo's novel Les Misérables, but there are a large number of differences.
The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award for Film Editing. The National Board of Review named the film the sixth best of 1935. ” - rmpfi
Cries & Whispers
When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface. (91 mins.)
“ Cries and Whispers (Swedish: Viskningar och rop, lit. "Whispers and Cries") is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set at a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters and a maid who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn between fearing she might die and hoping that she will. After several unsuccessful experimental films, Cries and Whispers was a critical and commercial success. It received nominations for five Academy Awards. These included a nomination for Best Picture, which was unusual for a foreign-language film.
Cries and Whispers returned to the traditional Bergman themes of the female psyche or the quest for faith and redemption. Unlike his previous films, Cries and Whispers uses saturated colour, especially crimson. It was for the colour and light scheme that the cinematographer and long-time Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist was awarded the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. ” - rmpfi
The House of Rothschild
The wealthy Rothschild family undergoes prejudice from the anti-Semitic society they live within. (88 mins.)
“ The House of Rothschild is a 1934 American Pre-Code film written by Nunnally Johnson from the play by George Hembert Westley, and directed by Alfred L. Werker. It chronicles the biographical story of the rise of the Rothschild family of European bankers. ” - rmpfi
“ Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 American epic historical drama film written, produced and directed by Peter Weir. The film stars Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin. The film was released by 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, and Samuel Goldwyn Films on November 14, 2003. The film's plot and characters are adapted from three novels in author Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey–Maturin series, which includes 20 completed novels of Jack Aubrey's naval career.
At the 76th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. It won in two categories, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing and lost in all other categories to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. ” - rmpfi
Love and Death
In czarist Russia, a neurotic soldier and his distant cousin formulate a plot to assassinate Napoleon. (85 mins.)
“ Love and Death is a 1975 comedy film by Woody Allen. It is a satire on Russian literature starring Allen and Diane Keaton as Boris and Sonja, Russians living during the Napoleonic Era who engage in mock-serious philosophical debates. Allen considered it the funniest film he had made by that time. ” - rmpfi
A 19th century French aristocrat, notorious for his scathing memoirs about life in Russia, travels through the Russian State Hermitage Museum and encounters historical figures from the last 200+ years. (99 mins.)
“ Russian Ark (Russian: Русский ковчег, Russkij Kovcheg) is a 2002 historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. It was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot. The film was entered into the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
An unnamed narrator wanders through the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. The narrator implies that he died in some horrible accident and is a ghost drifting through the palace. In each room, he encounters various real and fictional people from various periods in the city's 300-year history. He is accompanied by "the European", who represents the Marquis de Custine, a 19th-century French traveler. Russian Ark uses the fourth wall device extensively, but repeatedly broken and re-erected. At times the narrator and the companion interact with the other performers, while at other times they pass unnoticed. ” - rmpfi
Sense and Sensibility
Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites. (136 mins.)
“ Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 American period drama film directed by Ang Lee and based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel of the same name. Actress Emma Thompson wrote the script and stars as Elinor Dashwood, while Kate Winslet plays Elinor's younger sister Marianne. The story follows the Dashwood sisters, members of a wealthy English family of landed gentry, as they must deal with circumstances of sudden destitution. They are forced to seek financial security through marriage. Actors Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman play their respective suitors. The film was released on 13 December 1995 in the United States and on 23 February 1996 in the United Kingdom.
Producer Lindsay Doran, a longtime admirer of Austen's novel, hired Thompson to write the screenplay. The actress spent five years drafting numerous revisions, continually working on the script between other films as well as into production of the film itself. Studios were nervous that Thompson – a first-time screenwriter – was the credited writer, but Columbia Pictures agreed to distribute the film. Though initially intending to have another actress portray Elinor, Thompson was persuaded to take the role. ” - rmpfi
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing. (242 mins.)
“ Hamlet is a 1996 Shakespearean tragedy film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the titular role as Prince Hamlet. The film also features Derek Jacobi as King Claudius, Julie Christie as Queen Gertrude, Kate Winslet as Ophelia, Michael Maloney as Laertes, Richard Briers as Polonius, and Nicholas Farrell as Horatio. Other notable appearances include Robin Williams, Gérard Depardieu, Jack Lemmon, Billy Crystal, Rufus Sewell, Charlton Heston, Richard Attenborough, Judi Dench, John Gielgud and Ken Dodd.
The film is notable as the first unabridged theatrical film version of the play, running just over four hours. The longest screen version of the play prior to the 1996 film was the 1980 BBC made-for-television version starring Jacobi as the title character, which runs three-and-a-half hours. ” - rmpfi
Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo. (134 mins.)
Jean Valjean, a Frenchman imprisoned for stealing bread, must flee a police officer named Javert. The pursuit consumes both men's lives... (134 mins.)
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever. (158 mins.)
Pride and Prejudice
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them... (118 mins.)
Pride & Prejudice
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice? (129 mins.)
A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff. (104 mins.)
The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne near the end of his life. (119 mins.)
A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world. (130 mins.)
Young Oliver Twist runs away from an orphanage and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor. (153 mins.)