List of Movies Concerning the History and Literature of the 19th Century

by Sherrill777 | created - 28 Feb 2013 | updated - 03 Aug 2013 | Public

This list is designed to supplement the study of the 19th Century (1800-1900AD). It is by no means a comprehensive list, but I did try to find the 'best of' in every category.

To help find what you might be interested in here is a table of contents with topic (note that there is sometimes overlap): Napoleon & Regency Era (1800-1830) - 1 Europe in the Victorian Era (1830-1900) - 20 "Wild West" Folk-tales - 38 Early US History - 49 US Civil War - 70 1800s Literature -107 Far East (China/India/Japan) - 133 Australia - 144 Africa - 147

I tried to find as many documentaries/dramas/docu-dramas as I could find of this time period for both history and Literature, but some areas are simply very sparsely covered (like non-US/European history). I would very much welcome additions, if you can find something that fits.

My criteria for a movie/show to be included were that: 1) It had to fall within the historical time-frame given, 2) It had to receive at least a star rating of 6.0 from IMDb, 3) It had to be at least be theoretically possible to FIND the movie somewhere, such as on Netflix or Amazon.

I tried to find multiple age ratings for each category, but wasn't always successful. I have NOT watched most of the movies listed here, so cannot guarantee their quality or appropriateness.

*Parental Discretion Advised when selecting from this list*

Please see my other lists for other Historical periods or for simply a list of 'movies everyone should see'.

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1. Napoléon (2002)

380 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

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

The year is 1816, and Napoleon, held prisoner by the British on the island of St. Helena, is telling the young English girl Betsy his life story. His meteoric rise to military prominence ... See full summary »

Stars: Christian Clavier, Isabella Rossellini, Gérard Depardieu, John Malkovich

Votes: 3,546

2. N (Io e Napoleone) (2006)

110 min | Comedy, History, War

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Elba island, 1814. Martino is a young teacher, idealist and strongly anti Napoleon, in love with the beautiful and noble Baroness Emily. The young man finds himself serving as librarian to ... See full summary »

Director: Paolo Virzì | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Elio Germano, Monica Bellucci, Sabrina Impacciatore

Votes: 1,061

Also known as 'Napoleon and Me'.

3. Napoleon (2000– )

240 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Documentary about the rise and fall of one of the greatest military geniuses of modern times from his Corsican childhood to final exile in St. Helena.

Star: David McCullough

Votes: 253

4-hour PBS mini-series. Also known as 'Empires: Napoleon'.

4. Napoleon and Love (1974– )

60 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

A dramatized account of Napoleon's love life and his many women. From first love, marriage, and betrayal with Josephine, liaisons with actresses, his love for the beautiful patriotic Marie ... See full summary »

Stars: Ian Holm, Billie Whitelaw, Peter Bowles, Ronald Hines

Votes: 54

5. Vanity Fair (2004)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
53 Metascore

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Votes: 18,265 | Gross: $16.14M

6. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

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

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy

Votes: 179,558 | Gross: $93.93M

7. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

PG | 126 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
69 Metascore

An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley, Oliver Reed

Votes: 44,256 | Gross: $8.08M

8. Hornblower: Mutiny (2001 TV Movie)

240 min | Adventure, Drama, War

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Hornblower and his comrades come under the command of a revered but obviously mentally unstable captain and eventually must mutiny.

Director: Andrew Grieve | Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, David Warner, Nicholas Jones

Votes: 3,384

There are a lot more Horatio Hornblower TV movies, but I only list this one.

9. Sharpe's Rifles (1993 TV Movie)

102 min | Action, Adventure, History

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

In the Peninsular War, a British sergeant is field promoted to a lieutenant in charge of a disrespectful rifle company.

Director: Tom Clegg | Stars: Sean Bean, Assumpta Serna, Brian Cox, Daragh O'Malley

Votes: 3,200

There are a whole bunch more TV movies with 'Sharpe', but I only list this one.

10. War and Peace (1956)

PG | 208 min | Drama, Romance, War

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Napoleon's tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer, Vittorio Gassman

Votes: 7,480 | Gross: $12.50M

This could also be part of the Literature section, but I placed it here instead.

11. The Emperor's New Clothes (2001)

PG | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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

During Napoleon's exile on St. Helena, some loyalists hire a look-alike to swap places with the deposed emperor. While the impostor lives in luxury on the island, the real Napoleon returns to Paris in order to retake the throne.

Director: Alan Taylor | Stars: Ian Holm, Iben Hjejle, Tim McInnerny, Tom Watson

Votes: 2,261 | Gross: $0.57M

12. Waterloo (I) (1970)

G | 123 min | Action, Biography, Drama

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

Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk | Stars: Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 6,617 | Gross: $3.05M

13. The Duellists (1977)

PG | 100 min | Drama, War

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A small feud between two Napoleonic officers evolves into a decades-long series of duels.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney, Edward Fox

Votes: 16,217

14. St. Ives (1998)

R | 90 min | Drama, Romance

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

In 1813, Capitaine Jacques St. Ives, a Hussar in the Napoleonic wars, is captured and sent to a Scottish prison camp. He's a swashbuckler, so the prison's commander, Major Farquar ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Hook | Stars: Jean-Marc Barr, Miranda Richardson, Richard E. Grant, Anna Friel

Votes: 693

15. Les Misérables (1998)

PG-13 | 134 min | Crime, Drama, History

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Valjean, a former criminal, has atoned for his past and now finds himself in the midst of the French Revolution, avoiding a law-obsessed policeman hell-bent on capturing him.

Director: Bille August | Stars: Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman, Christopher Adamson

Votes: 34,050 | Gross: $14.10M

16. Les Misérables (2012)

PG-13 | 158 min | Drama, History, Musical

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

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.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried

Votes: 264,678 | Gross: $148.81M

I highly recommend seeing the Broadway production of this, if possible.

17. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

PG-13 | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
61 Metascore

A young man, falsely imprisoned by his jealous "friend", escapes and uses a hidden treasure to exact his revenge.

Director: Kevin Reynolds | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris, James Frain

Votes: 112,496 | Gross: $54.23M

This could also be placed in the Literature section.

18. The Count of Monte Cristo (1998– )

400 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The Classic tale from Alexandre Dumas. Edmond Dantes is unjustly sent to prison for 18 years. He escapes to reclaim his fiancée Mercedes and revenge against his nemesis, Mondego.

Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Ornella Muti, Jean Rochefort, Pierre Arditi

Votes: 5,215

This version is much more faithful to the novel than the above movie, but this mini-series only has English subtitles.

19. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to talk or walk, and bearing a strange note.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira, Willy Semmelrogge

Votes: 13,842

20. The Young Victoria (2009)

PG | 105 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 49,814 | Gross: $11.00M

This begins the section of the Victorian Era for Europe.

21. The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, History, War

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

In 1854, during the Crimean War, poor planning leads to a British Light Brigade openly charging a Russian artillery position with tragic consequences.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Trevor Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, John Gielgud, Harry Andrews

Votes: 2,528

22. The Impressionists (2006– )

Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

"Three hour mini-series tells the intimate history of a most illustrious brotherhood of Impressionist artists - Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Manet. Entirely based on documentary ... See full summary »

Stars: Sebastian Armesto, Richard Armitage, Charlie Condou, Aden Gillett

Votes: 917

Any biographies of the various artists would work too!

23. Sissi (1955)

102 min | Comedy, Drama, History

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the first of a trilogy of movies about Elisabeth "Sissi" of Austria, the young vibrant princess catches the eye of her sister's fiancé, Emperor Franz Josef.

Director: Ernst Marischka | Stars: Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm, Magda Schneider, Uta Franz

Votes: 6,152

The first of several films of this royal's life.

24. Mountains of the Moon (1990)

R | 136 min | Adventure, Drama, History

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

The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Rafelson | Stars: Patrick Bergin, Iain Glen, Richard E. Grant, Fiona Shaw

Votes: 2,961 | Gross: $4.01M

25. Mrs Brown (1997)

PG | 101 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

When Queen Victoria's husband dies, she finds solace in her trusted servant, Mr. Brown, but their relationship also brings scandal and turmoil.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher

Votes: 11,825 | Gross: $9.22M

26. Victoria & Albert (2001 TV Movie)

200 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

The passionate love story that was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's lengthy marriage. Beginning in 1837, the year of King William IV's death and 18-year-old Victoria's ascension to the ... See full summary »

Director: John Erman | Stars: Victoria Hamilton, Jonathan Firth, James Callis, Diana Rigg

Votes: 867

27. Guiana 1838 (2004)

Unrated | 120 min | Drama

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

The abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean in 1834 prompts Gillanders, Arbuthnot & Company in Calcutta, a part of the East India Company, to recruit Coolies from India to fill the ... See full summary »

Director: Rohit Jagessar | Stars: Aasheekaa Bathija, Thomas Garvey, Kumar Gaurav, Rufus Graham

Votes: 57 | Gross: $0.23M

28. The Brontës of Haworth (1973– )

60 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

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

Dramatized biography of the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Anne and Emily.

Stars: Alfred Burke, Vickery Turner, Ann Penfold, Barbara Leigh-Hunt

Votes: 83

29. Cranford (2007– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.

Stars: Judi Dench, Julia McKenzie, Imelda Staunton, Lisa Dillon

Votes: 7,256

30. Anna Karenina (I) (2012)

R | 129 min | Drama, Romance

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
63 Metascore

In late-19th-century Russian high society, St. Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen

Votes: 78,017 | Gross: $12.82M

31. From Hell (2001)

R | 122 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
54 Metascore

In Victorian Era London, a troubled clairvoyant police detective investigates the murders by Jack The Ripper.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane

Votes: 132,888 | Gross: $31.60M

32. Jack the Ripper (1988– )

TV-PG | 190 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

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

A Scotland Yard police inspector, battling the booze, investigates the Jack the Ripper murders and discovers a conspiracy that leads all the way up to the queen.

Stars: Michael Caine, Armand Assante, Ray McAnally, Lewis Collins

Votes: 3,670

33. The Leopard (1963)

PG | 186 min | Drama, History

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

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, Paolo Stoppa

Votes: 18,137

34. Immortal Beloved (1994)

R | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved, and the movie tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini, Johanna ter Steege

Votes: 20,265 | Gross: $9.91M

35. The Four Feathers (2002)

PG-13 | 132 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
49 Metascore

A British officer resigns his post just before battle and subsequently receives four white feathers from his friends and fiancee as symbols of what they believe to be his cowardice.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Kate Hudson, Mohamed Bouich

Votes: 29,700 | Gross: $18.31M

36. The Irish Empire (1999– )

250 min

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An exploration of the history of Irish migration.

Star: Fiona Shaw

Votes: 15

37. Khartoum (1966)

Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the Sudan, in 1884-85, Egyptian forces led by a British general defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim army led by a religious fanatic, the Mahdi.

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon | Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson, Ralph Richardson

Votes: 5,499

This doesn't technically take place in Europe, but I'm leaving it in this location on the list anyway since it doesn't seem to fit anywhere very well.

38. Tall Tales & Legends (1985–1988)

Comedy, Drama, Family

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An anthology series that showcases various mythical characters and incidents throughout history.

Stars: David McCharen, Stewart Duvall, Shelley Duvall, Michael McKean

Votes: 108

This begins the section on "The Wild West Folk Tales".

39. Bunyan and Babe (2017)

PG | 84 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

5.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Twelve-year-old Travis Barclay and his little sister Whitney are sent begrudgingly on a summer trip to visit their grandparents' farm in Delbert County. A greedy land developer, Norm ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Ross | Stars: John Goodman, Jeff Foxworthy, Kelsey Grammer, Johnny Orlando

Votes: 219

40. Song of the South (1946)

Approved | 94 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

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

The kindly story-teller Uncle Remus tells a young boy stories about trickster Br'er Rabbit, who outwits Br'er Fox and slow-witted Br'er Bear.

Directors: Wilfred Jackson, Harve Foster | Stars: Ruth Warrick, Bobby Driscoll, James Baskett, Luana Patten

Votes: 9,370 | Gross: $63.72M

This one may be impossible to find as a DVD, but you can catch parts (or all of it) on YouTube.

41. American Legends (2001 Video)

Not Rated | 57 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Consists of new narration by James Earl Jones, which is interspersed with the Disney shorts John Henry (2000), Johnny Appleseed (1948), Paul Bunyan (1958), and The Brave Engineer (1950).

Director: Lara Shapiro | Star: James Earl Jones

Votes: 233

A collection of shorts. Searching for them by individual title on Netflix may be useful.

42. Lonesome Dove (1989)

TV-14 | 384 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Two former Texas Rangers renew their spirit of adventure as they and several other residents of a small Texas town join a cattle drive to the Montana Territory.

Stars: Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane

Votes: 16,634

This is my token "Western" movie. Since there are hundreds of Westerns, I don't bother listing them all out, but if you like the genre, here during the pre- (and a bit of post-) Civil War era is the best time to watch them.

I suggest: 'Shane', 'Stagecoach' and 'High Noon' as the best choices.

43. The Mask of Zorro (1998)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

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

A young thief, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, is trained by the once great, but aged Zorro, who also pursues vengeance of his own.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, José María de Tavira

Votes: 146,072 | Gross: $94.10M

A superhero of the old West! - There was, of course, a TV series (and a movie sequel) if you prefer.

44. Maverick (1994)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene

Votes: 88,960 | Gross: $101.63M

Another one that's based off of a TV series.

45. The Lone Ranger (2013)

PG-13 | 150 min | Action, Adventure, Western

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
37 Metascore

Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 196,591 | Gross: $89.30M

And another with a TV series...

46. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
52 Metascore

A wild stallion is captured by humans and slowly loses the will to resist training. Yet throughout his struggles for freedom, the stallion refuses to let go of the hope of one day returning home to his herd.

Directors: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook | Stars: Matt Damon, James Cromwell, Daniel Studi, Chopper Bernet

Votes: 51,024 | Gross: $73.28M

This isn't a classic folk-tale or legend, but it is a nice movie to introduce the 'Wild West' to a young child.

47. Time Machine: Boone and Crockett - The Hunter Heroes (2001 TV Movie)

90 min | Documentary

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

Dual biographies of the legendary American frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.

Director: Gary Foreman | Stars: Mark A. Baker, Morgan Raque, John Timms

48. Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955)

Approved | 93 min | Family, Western, Adventure

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Legends (and myths) from the life of famed American frontiersman Davey Crockett are depicted in this feature film edited from television episodes. Crockett and his friend George Russell ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen, Basil Ruysdael, Hans Conried

Votes: 2,657

There are several Davy Crockett movies. Since he was a real person, this may fit more with history than folk tales, but considering how historically inaccurate he is in these movies, I felt it was better to place him here.

49. Tombstone (1993)

R | 130 min | Action, Biography, Drama

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

A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.

Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre | Stars: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton

Votes: 104,797 | Gross: $56.51M

The line between folklore and history is a bit blurred here, but I'll place this as the start of the Early US history (despite the numerous bits of this film that are probably more legend than fact).

50. Wyatt Earp (1994)

PG-13 | 191 min | Adventure, Biography, Crime

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

The story of Wyatt Earp as he interacts and battles other famous figures of the Wild West era.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, David Andrews

Votes: 38,481 | Gross: $25.05M

51. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western

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

An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons--his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado

Votes: 14,827

52. Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (1997 TV Movie)

TV-G | 240 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography

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

The story of the most important American exploration expedition in American history and the participants in it.

Director: Ken Burns | Stars: Hal Holbrook, Adam Arkin, John Logan Allen, Stephen Ambrose

Votes: 849

53. The Journey of Sacagawea (2004 TV Movie)

Documentary

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

Add a Plot

Director: Alan Austin | Star: Rita Coolidge

Votes: 10

54. How the West Was Won (1962)

Approved | 164 min | Western

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda

Votes: 15,593 | Gross: $46.50M

55. The War of 1812 (2011)

120 min | Documentary

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

For two and a half years, Americans fought Against the British, Canadian colonists, and native nations. In the years to come, the War of 1812 would be celebrated in some places and ... See full summary »

Directors: Diane Garey, Lawrence Hott | Stars: Christopher Kozak, Joe Mantegna, Craig Williams

Votes: 61

56. First Invasion: The War of 1812 (2004 TV Movie)

Documentary, History, War

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elaborate reenactments are juxtaposed with comments by historians in this glossy review of America's "Second War of Independence" against Britain (1812-15). Included: the causes of the ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Foreman | Stars: Mark D. Hutter, Sally E. Bennett, Dave Fagerberg, H. David Wright

Votes: 126

57. The Buccaneer (1958)

Approved | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, History

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

During the war of 1812, Louisiana buccaneer Jean Lafitte assists the Americans in defending New Orleans against the attacking British war fleet.

Director: Anthony Quinn | Stars: Yul Brynner, Claire Bloom, Charles Boyer, Inger Stevens

Votes: 1,845

58. The Louisiana Purchase (2003 TV Movie)

50 min | History

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The History Channel looks at the background of the Louisiana Purchase and how Thomas Jefferson's emissaries managed to double the size of the United States with the stroke of a pen.

Director: Jonathan Grupper | Stars: Edward Herrmann, David A. Bell, Carrie Collins, Daniel P. Jordan

Votes: 25

59. The Emigrants (1971)

PG | 151 min | Drama, History

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden). They get married and try to make a living on a small spot of land. ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Troell | Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Eddie Axberg, Sven-Olof Bern

Votes: 4,036

60. Amistad (1997)

R | 155 min | Drama, History

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

In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 61,303 | Gross: $44.18M

61. The Alamo (1960)

Unrated | 167 min | Adventure, Drama, History

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1836, a small band of soldiers sacrifice their lives in hopeless combat against a massive army in order to prevent a tyrant from smashing the new Republic of Texas.

Director: John Wayne | Stars: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon

Votes: 11,893 | Gross: $17.26M

62. Deadwood (2004–2006)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif

Votes: 73,922

63. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
68 Metascore

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 147,946 | Gross: $3.90M

64. The Miracle Worker (1962)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Drama

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

The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Victor Jory, Inga Swenson

Votes: 13,409

65. Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)

PG-13 | 115 min | Drama, History, Western

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of the Apache chief and his armed resistance to the U.S. Government's subjugation of his people.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Wes Studi

Votes: 7,249 | Gross: $18.64M

66. Centennial (1978–1979)

1,256 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The economic and cultural growth of Colorado spanning two centuries from the mid-1700s to the late-1970s.

Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Carrera, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad

Votes: 2,404

This mini-series covers a lengthy period of time (beyond the 1800s).

67. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 133 min | Drama, History, Western

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A historic chronicle based on the book by Dee Brown explains how Native Americans were displaced as the United States expanded west.

Director: Yves Simoneau | Stars: Aidan Quinn, Adam Beach, August Schellenberg, Anna Paquin

Votes: 5,043

68. American Experience (1988– )

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A series showcasing documentaries on American history.

Stars: David McCullough, David Ogden Stiers, Michael Murphy, Oliver Platt

Votes: 1,103

Episodes cover many different aspects of American History. Relevenant here might be 'Dolley Madison' or 'Walt Whitman', but I would suggest browsing through the options.

69. Rough Riders (1997– )

240 min | Action, Drama, History

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Undersecretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt resigns to form a volunteer militia unit called "The Rough Riders" to fight in the Spanish American War.

Stars: Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott, Gary Busey, Brad Johnson

Votes: 1,561

70. The Civil War (1990)

TV-14 | 680 min | Documentary, History, War

9.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

Stars: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Julie Harris, Jason Robards

Votes: 8,270

This begins the section on the US Civil War

71. Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1962)

TV-PG | 28 min | Short, Adventure, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 1862, during the American Civil War, a Southern civilian is about to be hanged for attempting to sabotage a railway bridge. When the execution takes place from the bridge, the rope breaks and he begins his escape toward home.

Director: Robert Enrico | Stars: Roger Jacquet, Anne Cornaly, Anker Larsen, Stéphane Fey

Votes: 3,239

72. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG | 135 min | Western

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
69 Metascore

A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George, Bill McKinney

Votes: 55,051 | Gross: $31.80M

73. Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Unrated | 137 min | Drama, Romance, War

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer

Votes: 5,344

74. Drums in the Deep South (1951)

Approved | 87 min | Drama, History, Romance

5.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two old friends find themselves on opposite sides during the Civil War in a desperate battle atop an impregnable mountain.

Director: William Cameron Menzies | Stars: James Craig, Barbara Payton, Guy Madison, Barton MacLane

Votes: 247

75. Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War (2006 TV Movie)

Documentary, War

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

A inside look about life during the harsh period of Reconstruction after the American Civil War in rural southern states.

Director: David Padrusch | Stars: Lydia Alvita, Jennifer Antkowiak, Orion Barnes, Dan Bolton

Votes: 83

76. Alvarez Kelly (1966)

Approved | 116 min | Western

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

During the Civil War, Mexican cattleman Alvarez Kelly supplies the Union with cattle until Confederate Colonel Tom Rossiter's hungry men force Kelly to change his customers.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: William Holden, Richard Widmark, Janice Rule, Patrick O'Neal

Votes: 1,733

77. Andersonville (1996 TV Movie)

167 min | Drama, History, War

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of the most notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp in the American Civil War.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Jarrod Emick, Frederic Forrest, Ted Marcoux, Carmen Argenziano

Votes: 1,567

Also the 'Andersonville Trial' is a movie on this topic.

78. Band of Angels (1957)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

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

Mantha Starr grows up as a privileged southern Belle in the ante-bellum South but after her father dies broke, her world is destroyed when she discovers her mother was black.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Votes: 1,610

79. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 203,104 | Gross: $184.21M

80. Gettysburg (1993)

PG | 271 min | Drama, History, War

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

In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

Director: Ron Maxwell | Stars: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang, Richard Jordan

Votes: 23,102 | Gross: $10.77M

81. Cold Mountain (2003)

R | 154 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
73 Metascore

In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins

Votes: 125,210 | Gross: $95.64M

82. Gone with the Wind (1939)

G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 238,248 | Gross: $198.68M

83. The Colt (2005 TV Movie)

80 min | Action, Drama, History

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

During the heat of battle in the midst of the Civil War, a beguilingly innocent colt is born to Union Jim Rabb's beloved mare. Refusing the orders to shoot it, lest it prove a hindrance, ... See full summary »

Director: Yelena Lanskaya | Stars: Ryan Merriman, Steve Bacic, William MacDonald, Darcy Belsher

Votes: 443

May be appropriate for a younger audience than most of these listed for the Civil War.

84. The Littlest Rebel (1935)

Approved | 73 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Shirley Temple's father, a rebel officer, sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family and is arrested. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape. Everyone is captured and the ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler | Stars: Shirley Temple, John Boles, Jack Holt, Karen Morley

Votes: 1,069

This would be appropriate for a young audience.

85. The Hunley (1999 TV Movie)

94 min | Action, Drama, History

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

During the siege of Charleston of 1864, Confederate submarine CSS Hunley becomes the first submersible to sink an enemy warship in wartime.

Director: John Gray | Stars: Armand Assante, Donald Sutherland, Alex Jennings, Chris Bauer

Votes: 1,050

86. Major Dundee (1965)

Approved | 123 min | Adventure, War, Western

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
62 Metascore

In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, James Coburn

Votes: 5,849 | Gross: $0.01M

87. Hatfields & McCoys (2012)

TV-14 | 290 min | Drama, History, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Dramatization of the bitter blood feud between the two families on the West Virginia/Kentucky border in the years after the Civil War.

Stars: Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr, Tom Berenger

Votes: 19,828

88. The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)

Approved | 85 min | Action, Adventure, Family

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Civil War Union spy Andrews and his men volunteer to steal a Confederate train and drive it to Union territory while destroying the Confederate railway system along the way.

Director: Francis D. Lyon | Stars: Fess Parker, Jeffrey Hunter, Jeff York, John Lupton

Votes: 816

89. Gods and Generals (2003)

PG-13 | 219 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
30 Metascore

The rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863.

Director: Ron Maxwell | Stars: Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy

Votes: 13,900 | Gross: $12.87M

90. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 107,918 | Gross: $26.83M

91. Pharaoh's Army (1995)

PG-13 | 90 min | Western

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the American Civil War, a Union Army captain leads his rag-tag cavalry troop up a misty creek to a remote farm to appropriate enemy (Confederate) livestock. The farm is worked by ... See full summary »

Director: Robby Henson | Stars: Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Joy

Votes: 489 | Gross: $0.05M

92. The Underground Railroad (1999 TV Movie)

95 min | Documentary, History, War

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

The history of the Underground Railroad.

Director: Jeff Lengyel | Star: Alfre Woodard

Votes: 27

93. Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad (1994 TV Movie)

91 min | Drama, History

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A number of slaves risk their lives to escape their masters with their only help coming from the famous secret slave escape network.

Director: Don McBrearty | Stars: Falconer Abraham, Dwight Bacquie, Janet Bailey, Nigel Bennett

Votes: 131

94. Raiders of Ghost City (1944)

Approved | 225 min | Action, Adventure, History

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

During the latter stages of the Civil War, a gang of supposed Confederates, headed by Alex Morel (Lionel Atwill), raid all gold shipments destined for Washington from Oro Grande, California... See full summary »

Directors: Lewis D. Collins, Ray Taylor | Stars: Dennis Moore, Wanda McKay, Lionel Atwill, Joe Sawyer

Votes: 31

95. The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

Approved | 69 min | Drama, War

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

Truncated adaptation of Stephen Crane's novel about a Civil War Union soldier who stuggles to find the courage to fight in the heat of battle.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin, Douglas Dick, Royal Dano

Votes: 3,344

96. North and South (1985)

561 min | Drama, History, Romance

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

Two friends, one northern and one southern, struggle to maintain their friendship as events build towards the American Civil War.

Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 7,955

97. The Blue and the Gray (1982– )

381 min | Drama, History, War

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

America just before and during the Civil War, as seen through the eyes of an artist correspondent.

Stars: Stacy Keach, John Hammond, Julia Duffy, Robin Gammell

Votes: 1,230

98. Little Big Man (1970)

PG-13 | 139 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

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

Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Native Americans and fighting with General Custer.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam

Votes: 28,737 | Gross: $31.56M

99. Shenandoah (1965)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, War, Western

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

During the Civil War, a Virginia farmer and his family vow to remain neutral but one of the sons is captured by Union soldiers, sending the farmer to his rescue.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne

Votes: 6,533

100. Sherman's March (2007 TV Movie)

Documentary, History, War

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

This documentary chronicles General William Tecumseh Sherman's fabled "March to the Sea" through Georgia and the Carolinas, utilizing state of the art production techniques including CGI, special effects and historical re-creations.

Director: Rick King | Stars: Bill Oberst Jr., Christopher Clawson, Jared Morrison, Mike Brown

Votes: 132