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15 Amazing Movies That Make History Cool For You

Movie classics that would get an A + for History.
BY Shirsho Dasgupta |   15-05-2015
Summer holidays are here. That means long days and a lot of time on our hands. A time when we can almost forget school but not quite. Holiday assignments, tests, and thoughts of the next semester are never too far away. But then there are places to visit, friends to hang out with, and movies to watch!

BrainGain Magazine found the middle ground – a list of movies that make History cool. Great subjects, great craft, and great entertainment. And you will end up being knowledgeable about everything from ancient Romans, to the Scots, from the First World War, to Elizabethan England.

Pass the popcorn!

  • Spartacus (1960)

    First, let’s start with Spartacus. The name has become synonymous with the first uprising against slavery ever documented in the pages of history. And the great Stanley Kubrick along with the two acting giants, Kirk Douglas and Lawrence Olivier, captures the right tone with impeccable historical accuracy.

  • The Longest Day (1962)

    Based on the book The Longest Day by ‘Cornelius Ryan’, this film depicts the story of Normandy Landings on 6th June 1944, also known as the D-Day. This movie set a fine example of historical accuracy by staying true to the event.

  • The Miracle Worker (1962)

    The Miracle Worker is a beautiful and heartwarming film about the life and struggles of Helen Keller, and her teacher Anne Sullivan. Taken from the book The Story of My Life written by Keller herself. The film is an excellent representation of Keller’s life, her impairments, and how she overcomes those obstacles with sheer spirit.

  • The Battle of Algiers (1966)

    La battaglia di Algeri, or also known as The Battle of Algiers, is based on the Algerian War against the French Government in North Africa. Due to it’s material, and the depiction of the Algerian War, the film’s release was delayed for five whole years.

  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

    Perhaps the best depiction of the Pearl Harbor incident, this American-Japanese film stays true to the actual events while delivering a masterpiece in terms of arts and crafts. The title of the film is a Japanese codeword which literally means ‘tiger’.

  • A Bridge Too Far (1977)

    This film is based on the events of Second World War, detailing a particular operation known as Operation Market Garden. This was a failed attempt by the Allied forces to seize several bridges in Netherlands, including one in Anthem.

  • Silkwood (1983)

    This may not seem like a conventional history movie, but it does carry a tremendous value. Karen Silkwood was a nuclear whistleblower, and a labour union activist, who worked at Kerr-Mcgee Plutonium plant. While working she was affected by radiation, but the authority refused to pay her for the treatment, leading to a vicious lawsuit and ultimately her death.

  • Schindler's List (1993)

    This movie is said to be the greatest and the best war movie ever made, and it is not just because of the number of awards it has won. The movie shows the dark days of Second World War, the holocaust of German concentration camps, and the life of the man who saved 1200 Jews with everything he had and more.

  • Braveheart (1995)

    With a screenplay based on Blind Harry’s poem The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace, Braveheart is an example of brilliant moviemaking, capturing the brutal truth of England’s invasion of Scotland in the reign of Edward I, and the story of Sir William Wallace, who freed the Scotts and became a martyr.

  • Nixon (1995)

    With the great Sir Anthony Hopkins in the titular role, Nixon depicts the life of American President Richard Nixon, his time as the President of the United States of America and the infamous Watergate Crisis for which he was accused and later submitted his resignation.

  • Elizabeth (1998)

    Directed by Shekhar Kapoor, with Cate Blanchett in the title role, this film beautifully depicts the life of young Elizabeth on her way to the throne and her reign as the Queen of England, while battling the invasion of Habsburg, Spain.

  • Valkyrie (2008)

    This film is based o the actual events of the ‘Operation Valkyrie’. On 20th July 1944, a group of Nazi officers tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler and planned to take control of the German army during war. A well made film, not only from a director’s point of view, but also from a historical point too.

  • Lincoln (2012)

    Another masterpiece from Spielberg, this film is based on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Rather than being a general biographical film about the person, this film deals primarily with Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and his struggle to end slavery at the time of American Civil War and the problems regarding his decision in his cabinet. Daniel Day – Lewis outdid himself and won an Oscar for his work.

  • The Book Thief (2013)

    As beautiful as the book itself, The Book Thief is an unusual story of little German girl and her interest on books. But apart from the storyline, the film portrays the actual lives of the people from the lower middle-class of Germany during Hitler’s reign.

  • The Imitation Game (2014)

    An interesting movie about one of most decorated and influential individuals of all time, this film tells the story of Alan Turing, the father of modern computers, who cracked the German Enigma code at the time of the Second World War. And it doesn’t hurt that the gifted Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the title role, was nominated for an Oscar for this movie.



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