U.S. History on Film

Abe Lincoln in Illinois
This classic film traces the life of the Civil War-era president. Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Robert Sherwood. Cast: Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon.

Above and Beyond
Moving story of the U. S. pilot who flew over Hiroshima with the first atomic bomb during World War II. The movie tells of his training and the effect of the raid on his life.

The Adventures of Mark Twain
About writer Mark Twain.

About writer Agatha Christie.

The Alamo
The famous battle for Texas independence with Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and 180 Americans against the Mexican army in 1836.

Anthony Hopkins plays John Quincy Adams in a great drama about slavery.

This is the story of the battle at the small town of Anzio, one of the bloodiest engagements on the Italian front.

Battle of the Bulge
This movie is the spectacular story of the tank battles of December 1944, when the Nazi Panzer Forces staged an enormous last-minute offensive on the Belgian Front. Starring Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Dana Andrews, and Charles Bronson.

Beloved Infidel
This passionate love story is based on the real-life romance between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hollywood columnist Sheilah Graham. Starring Gregory Peck and Deborah Kerr.

This movie tells the story of the latter years of Earl Long, a flamboyant politician. Cast: Paul Newman and Lolita Davidovich.

Born on the Fourth of July
Powerful and realistic story of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, who joined the Marines as a gung-ho recruit and came back home paralyzed. He then endured an ordeal of physical and mental rehabilitation before becoming an antiwar activist. Writers: Oliver Stone and Ron Kovik, from the memoir by Ron Kovik. Stars: Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Caroline Kava, and Raymond J. Barry.

The Devil's Brigade
This fact-based movie is the story of World War II's 1st Special Service Force on a dangerous mission in the mountains of Italy. Starring William Holden.

Edison the Man
The inventor's life and accomplishments from young adulthood to 82.

84 Charing Cross Road
Helene Hanff (Anne Bancroft), a writer, and Frank Doel (Anthony Hopkins) are lifelong friends who never meet in this unique comedy-drama based on a true story.

Eleanor and Franklin: The Early Years
This excellent biography examines the personal lives of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt. Told mostly in flashback, the film features Edward Herrmann and Jane Alexander, whose performances in the title roles are uncanny.

Fat Man and Little Boy
Factual drama about the U.S. development of the atomic bomb. Starring Paul Newman.

The Gallant Hours
Considered one of the best war movies ever made, this film is about Admiral William “Bull” Halsey (James Cagney) during the early days of WW II.

This outstanding film is a powerful telling of the great battle. Starring Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Sam Elliot, and Martin Sheen as General Robert E. Lee. A powerful film of the personalities involved.

Give 'Em Hell, Harry
A one-man play revealing President Harry Truman as he looks back on his life in Missouri, Washington, and beyond.

One of the best historical films ever made, this is the story of America's first unit of black soldiers during the Civil War and the young officer who trained and lead them into battle. Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes. Based on letters from the time, the screenplay is by Kevin Jarre. Denzel Washington won an Oscar for Supporting Actor.

Good Morning, Vietnam
An Armed Forces radio disk jockey is a hit with the American soldiers and Vietnamese but antagonizes his superiors. Based on the life of Adrian Cronauer. Writers: Larry Brezner and Mitch Markowitz. Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, and Tung Thanh Tran.

The Great Ziegfeld
William Powell plays Ziegfeld and his two wives are Myrna Loy and Luise Rainer. Fanny Brice appears. William Anthony McGuire was nominated for an Oscar for Original Story.

Guadalcanal Diary
This realistic film is based on an eyewitness account of the Marine invasion of the Solomon Islands. Starring William Bendix, Richard Conte, Preston Foster, and Lloyd Nolan.

Hamburger Hill
Re-creation of the 1969 battle involving the 101st Airborne Division. Writer: Jim Carabatsos. Stars: Michael Dolan, Anthony Barrile, and Michael Patrick.

Henry and June
The writer Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) is a young woman in 1930s Paris whose husband is slowly defecting from art to working in a bank, leaving her very bored. When the then-unpublished Brooklyn writer Henry Miller (Fred Ward) enters her life, she embarks on a journey of seduction and sexual exploration that eventually leads from the writer to his wife, June (Uma Thurman), who finances her husband's life in Paris so he may praise her beauty in his writing.

Inherit The Wind
Based on the famous "Monkey Trial." Cast: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March. Directed by Stanley Kramer.

Judgment at Nuremberg
Director Stanley Kramer's socially conscious 1961 film tackles the subject of the war crime trials arising out of World War II in an earnest and straightforward fashion, exploring the consciousness of two nations as they struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of the Holocaust. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, a young William Shatner, and Maximillian Schell.

Long Day's Journey Into Night
The autobiographical story of Eugene O'Neill's early years.

The Longest Day
This movie recounts the events of the greatest military maneuver in the history of warfare: D-Day. Starring John Wayne, Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, and Peter Lawford.

Gregory Peck stars as that old soldier who shall return.

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle
About the writers: Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Edna Ferber, Robert Sherwood, George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woollcott, Franklin P. Adams, Heywood Broun, etc.

Biography of troubled president carries him from childhood through Watergate. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen. Director: Oliver Stone.

The Passion of Ayn Rand
About the writer Ayn Rand. Helen Mirren is sharp and intense as the demanding, often icy Rand, playing down her striking features to become severe and plain. Eric Stoltz brings an insidious mix of charm and calculation to Nathaniel, a sycophantic devotee who espouses the gospel of intellectual honesty while compromising himself at every turn. Peter Fonda and Julie Delpy are the wounded spouses who endure their open affair.

Reversal of Fortune
One of the most intriguing criminal trials of the 1980s involved Claus von Bülow, who was accused of sending his rich wife Sunny into a permanent coma with an overdose of insulin. With Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons.

First-class musical comedy about the Founding Fathers' struggle to create the Declaration of Independence.

About writers C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger. Director: Richard Attenborough.

To Hell and Back
Audie Murphy (the most decorated soldier of WW II) stars in a very good war film based on his autobiography.

Tom and Viv
About writer T.S. Eliot. Starring: Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson.

Tucker - The Man and His Dream
The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept. With Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau, Frederic Forrest.

Wake Island
Considered Hollywood's first intelligent attempt to dramatize the deeds of an American force on the front, this movie recounts the thrilling WW II story of the handful of Marines who fought off an overwhelming Japanese land, sea, and air assault for 16 terrifying hours. Starring Brian Donlevy, Robert Preston, and William Bendix. Nominated for an Oscar for their original screenplay were W.R. Burnett and Frank Butler.

When Hell Broke Loose
Charles Bronson stars in this tight and convincing story of the assassination attempt on General Eisenhower in World War II Europe.

Young Mr. Lincoln
Henry Fonda stars in Lincoln's early years. Oscar Original Story nominee was Lamar Trotti.

A Front Row Seat

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