History

Spartacus

Spartacus

Spartacus

IMDb: 7.9
1960
197min

Spartacus is a 1960 American historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast about the historical life of Spartacus and the Third Servile War. The film stars Kirk Douglas as the rebellious slave Spartacus who leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman empire. The film was awarded four Oscars and stands today as one of the greatest classics of the Sword and Sandal genre.

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Wild River

Wild River

Wild River

IMDb: 7.7
1960
110min

A young field administrator for the TVA comes to rural Tennessee to oversee the building of a dam on the Tennessee River. He encounters opposition from the local people, in particular a farmer who objects to his employment (with pay) of local black laborers. Much of the plot revolves around the eviction of an elderly woman from her home on an island in the River, and the young man’s love affair with that woman’s widowed granddaughter.

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Solomon and Sheba

Solomon and Sheba

Solomon and Sheba

IMDb: 6.2
1959
139min

Under the rule of King David, Israel is united and prosperous although surrounded by enemies including Egypt and its allies. The aging King David favors his younger son, Solomon, as his successor, but David’s elder son Prince Adonijah, a warrior, declares himself King. When David learns of this, he publicly announces Solomon to be his successor. Adonijah and Joab, his general, withdraw in rage. Israel prospers under King Solomon’s wise and benevolent rule and is seen as a threat to more tyrannical monarchs in the region. The Pharaoh of Egypt agrees to cede a Red Sea port to the Queen of Sheba in a plot to undermine Solomon’s rule. Sheba is to seduce Solomon and introduce Sheban pagan worship into Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Prince Adonijah, now banished, also conspires with Pharaoh and is given an army to defeat Solomon. The film is a highly fictionalized dramatization of events depicted in The Bible — First Kings chapter 10 and Second Chronicles chapter 9.

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Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur

IMDb: 8.1
1959
212min

Ben-Hur is a 1959 epic film directed by William Wyler, the third film version of Civil War vet Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. It premiered at Loew’s State Theatre in New York City on November 18, 1959. The movie’s reputation as a classic is primarily based on two spectacular action sequences: the great chariot race and a Roman naval battle, along with lavish production values and strong performances. The plot of Ben Hur revolves around a Jewish prince who is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend and how he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. However, instead he finds redemption in Christ, the theme is ultimately about being saved in the Christian sense. The film went on to win a record of eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Charlton Heston as Ben Hur). This record-setting Oscars sweep has since been equaled by Titanic in 1998 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2004, but never broken.

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Compulsion

Compulsion

Compulsion

IMDb: 7.5
1959
103min

Two close friends, arrogantly and without remorse, kidnap and murder a young boy. They are caught and put to trial where their larger-than-life defense lawyer blames the Establishment for their actions.

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The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

IMDb: 7.4
1959
180min

The true, harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends, is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

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The Buccaneer

The Buccaneer

The Buccaneer

IMDb: 6.5
1958
119min

During the War of 1812 against Britain: General Andrew Jackson has only 1,200 men left to defend New Orleans when he learns that a British fleet will arrive with 60 ships and 16,000 men to take the city. In this situation an island near the city becomes strategically important to both parties, but it’s inhabited by the last big buccaneer: Jean Lafitte. Although Lafitte never attacks American ships, the governor hates him for selling merchandise without taxes – and is loved by the citizens for the same reason. When the big fight gets nearer, Lafitte is drawn between the fronts. His heart belongs to America, but his people urge him to join the party that’s more likely to win.

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Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

IMDb: 5.8
1956
136min

He was a fierce military commander who led huge armies into battle without a single defeat; a magnificent warrior who many believed was part god – this was Alexander the Great (Richard Burton), the legendary Greek hero hailed by his countrymen as “The King of Kings”. Born in 356 B.C. into a turbulent world of political unrest, educated by Aristotle (Barry Jones) and chosen to lead his people in the grand tradition of his powerful father (Fredric March), this glamorous world conqueror rose above all conflict to unite the continents of Europe and Asia to become one of the most celebrated rulers of all time! Written, produced and directed by Oscar – winner Robert Rossen and featuring the extraordinary Claire Bloom and a remarkable cast of thousands, this stunning portrait of one of history’s most fascinating figures is colossal entertainment and an amazing spectacle.

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Anastasia

Anastasia

Anastasia

IMDb: 7.1
1956
105min

Russian exiles in Paris plot to collect ten million pounds from the Bank of England by grooming a destitute, suicidal girl to pose as heir to the Russian throne. While Bounin is coaching her he comes to believe she is really Anastasia. In the end the Empress must decide her claim.

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Richard III

Richard III

Richard III

IMDb: 7.6
1955
161min

Shakespeare’s powerful tale of the wicked deformed king and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir.

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Captain Lightfoot

Captain Lightfoot

Captain Lightfoot

IMDb: 6.4
1955
92min

A boggy swashbuckler of Irish freedom-fighter Michael Martin.

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The Egyptian

The Egyptian

The Egyptian

IMDb: 6.6
1954
139min

In eighteenth-dynasty Egypt, Sinuhe, a poor orphan, becomes a brilliant physician and with his friend Horemheb is appointed to the service of the new Pharoah. Sinuhe’s personal triumphs and tragedies are played against the larger canvas of the turbulent events of the 18th dynasty. As Sinuhe is drawn into court intrigues he learns the answers to the questions he has sought since his birth.

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Demetrius and the Gladiators

Demetrius and the Gladiators

Demetrius and the Gladiators

IMDb: 6.6
1954
101min

The story picks up at the point where “The Robe” ends, following the martyrdom of Diana and Marcellus. Christ’s robe is conveyed to Peter for safe-keeping, but the emperor Caligula wants it back to benefit from its powers. Marcellus’ former slave Demetrius seeks to prevent this, and catches the eye of Messalina, wife to Caligula’s uncle Claudius. Messalina tempts Demetrius, he winds up fighting in the arena, and wavers in his faith.

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Salome

Salome

Salome

IMDb: 5.9
1953
103min

In the reign of emperor Tiberius, Gallilean prophet John the Baptist preaches against King Herod and Queen Herodias. The latter wants John dead, but Herod fears to harm him due to a prophecy. Enter beautiful Princess Salome, Herod’s long-absent stepdaughter. Herodias sees the king’s dawning lust for Salome as her means of bending the king to her will. But Salome and her lover Claudius are (contrary to Scripture) nearing conversion to the new religion. And the famous climactic dance turns out to have unexpected implications…

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Titanic

Titanic

Titanic

IMDb: 7.2
1953
98min

Unhappily married, Julia Sturges decides to go to America with her two children on the unsinkable Titanic. Her husband, Richard also arranges passage on the luxury liner so as to have custody of their two children. All this fades to insignificance once the ship hits an iceberg.

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The Robe

The Robe

The Robe

IMDb: 6.8
1953
135min

Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus’ homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares and delusions after the event. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, and still not believing in Jesus, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he killed.

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The Golden Coach

The Golden Coach

The Golden Coach

IMDb: 7.2
1952
103min

A small town of Central America in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Vice King gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests the two of them settle down together among Indians. Ramon, a torero, offers her a share of his glory.

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Othello

Othello

Othello

IMDb: 7.8
1951
90min

Desdemona, daughter of a Venetian aristocrat, elopes with Moorish military hero Othello, to the great resentment of Othello’s envious underling Iago. Alas, Iago knows Othello’s weakness, and with chilling malice works on him with but too good effect…

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Prince of Foxes

Prince of Foxes

Prince of Foxes

IMDb: 7.1
1949
107min

In 1500, Duke Cesare Borgia hopes to marry his sister (widowed by poison) to the heir apparent of Ferrara, which impedes his conquest of central Italy. On this delicate mission he sends Andrea Orsini, his sister’s lover and nearly as unscrupulous as himself. En route, Orsini meets Camilla Verano, wife of the count of Citta’ del Monte (Borgia’s next intended conquest); and sentiment threatens to turn him against his deadly master, whom no one betrays twice…

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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

IMDb: 6.5
1948
145min

In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from Heaven asking her to lead God’s Army against Orleans and crowning the weak Dauphin Charles VII as King of France. Joan gathers the people with her faith, forms an army and conquerors Orleans. When her army is ready to attack Paris, the corrupt Charles sells his country to England and dismiss the army. Joan is arrested, sold to the Burgundians England and submitted to a shameful political trial in Rouen castle.

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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

IMDb: 7.5
1944
138min

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

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The Purple Heart

The Purple Heart

The Purple Heart

IMDb: 6.8
1944
99min

This is the story of the crew of a downed bomber, captured after a run over Tokyo, early in the war. Relates the hardships the men endure while in captivity, and their final humiliation: being tried and convicted as war criminals.

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Destination Tokyo

Destination Tokyo

Destination Tokyo

IMDb: 7.3
1943
135min

During World War II, Captain Cassidy and his crew of submariners are ordered into Tokyo Bay on a secret mission. They are to gather information in advance of the planned bombing of Tokyo. Along the way, the crew learn about each other as they face the enemy and some of them lose their lives.

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Air Force

Air Force

Air Force

IMDb: 7.1
1943
124min

The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines.

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Western Union

Western Union

Western Union

IMDb: 6.8
1941
95min

When Edward Creighton leads the construction of the Western Union to unite East with West, he hires a Western reformed outlaw and a tenderfoot Eastern surveyor.

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That Hamilton Woman

That Hamilton Woman

That Hamilton Woman

IMDb: 7.3
1941
128min

Sir William Hamilton, a widower of mature years, is British ambassador to the Court of Naples. Emma who comes for a visit with her mother wouldn’t cut the grade with London society but she gets along well with the Queen of Naples. Emma likes being Lady Hamilton and life goes smoothly until Lord Nelson pays a visit. Sir William decides at first to let his young wife have her fling and pretends not to know what is going on. But the real life lovers, whose first screen romance was in “Fire Over England” (1937) have an even more burning passion for each other in this film.

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Sergeant York

Sergeant York

Sergeant York

IMDb: 7.8
1941
134min

Alvin York a hillbilly sharpshooter transforms himself from ruffian to religious pacifist. He is then called to serve his country and despite deep religious and moral objections to fighting becomes one of the most celebrated American heroes of WWI.

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The Fighting 69th

The Fighting 69th

The Fighting 69th

IMDb: 6.8
1940
90min

Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he’ll prove himself in the end.

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Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind

IMDb: 8.2
1939
238min

An American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

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Queen Christina

Queen Christina

Queen Christina

IMDb: 7.8
1933
99min

Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

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Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

IMDb: 5.8
1930
96min

Silent film master D.W. Griffith’s first talkie works as a companion piece to his classic BIRTH OF A NATION, providing a detailed biographical sketch of the 16th president. We see his birth in a log cabin, the tragic death of his first love, Ann Rutledge (Una Merkel), his debates with Douglas, his accepting of the presidency, the terrible toll of the Civil War, and finally the tragic assassination at Ford’s Theater. Griffith shows his usual meticulous attention to period detail, and the framing of the various vignettes has the feel of historical photographs come to life. Walter Huston is excellent in the title role, with a portrayal that subtly evolves from laconic, wizened rascal to noble elder statesman. This is a fascinating, worthy film, and an interesting historical document in and of itself.

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Napoleon

Napoleon

Napoleon

IMDb: 7.5
1927
332min

A massive 5 1/2 hour biopic of Napoleon, tracing his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797 (the film stops there because it was intended to be part one of six, but director Abel Gance never raised the money to make the other five). The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story, culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages projected simultaneously on three screens.

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The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

IMDb: 6.7
1915
190min

The Birth of A Nation is a silent film from 1915 and the highest grossing silent film in film history. The film tells a romance story during the American civil war. D.W. Griffith invested heavily in its high production values, pioneering many new camera effects. The Birth of a Nation was strongly protested for its negative portrayal of newly freed slaves (mostly white actors in blackface), which went on to create and propagate negative images of blacks of the early 20th century in the United States. The film was used as a recruiting propaganda by the KKK until the 1940s.

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Dunkirk

Dunkirk

Dunkirk

IMDb: 7.1
1958
134min

A British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. Meanwhile, British civilians are being dragged into the war with Operation Dynamo, the scheme to get the French and British forces back from the Dunkirk beaches. Some come forward to help, others were less willing.

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The Spirit of St. Louis

The Spirit of St. Louis

The Spirit of St. Louis

IMDb: 7.2
1957
135min

Charles ‘Slim’ Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

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The Key

The Key

The Key

IMDb: 5.5
1983
110min

After twenty years of marriage, art professor Nino Rolfe attempts to break down his wife Teresa’s conventional modesty. Noticing her affection for their daughter’s fianc√©, Nino instigates her sexual interest in him as well. This sets off a chain of unexpected events and emotional complications, as Nino and his unpredictable fascist daughter find that they both enjoy being jealous.

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1971

1971

1971

IMDb: 7.3
2014
80min

Forty years before WikiLeaks and the NSA scandal, there was Media, Pennsylvania. In 1971, eight activists plotted an intricate break-in to the local FBI offices to leak stolen documents and expose the illegal surveillance of ordinary Americans in an era of anti-war activism. In this riveting heist story, the perpetrators reveal themselves for the first time, reflecting on their actions and raising broader questions surrounding security leaks in activism today.

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Finding Fela

Finding Fela

Finding Fela

IMDb: 7.1
2014
120min

Fela Anikulapo Kuti created the musical movement Afrobeat and used it as a political forum to oppose the Nigerian dictatorship and advocate for the rights of oppressed people. This is the story of his life, music, and political importance.

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Commandos Strike at Dawn

Commandos Strike at Dawn

Commandos Strike at Dawn

IMDb: 6.8
1942
98min

A gentle widower, enraged at Nazi atrocities against his peaceful Norwegian fishing village, escapes to Britain and returns leading a commando force against the oppressors.

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Labyrinth of Lies

Labyrinth of Lies

Labyrinth of Lies

IMDb: 7.3
2014
122min

A young prosecutor in postwar West Germany investigates a massive conspiracy to cover up the Nazi pasts of prominent public figures.

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