Best History Movies of 1917
Madame Du Barry
The picture shows Jeanette (Thelda Bara) becoming the mistress of the ambitious Jean DuBarry (Herschel Mayall) who marries her off to one of his cousins so that she has an entree to the court. She soon becomes the favorite of the King (Charles Clary) and Jean DuBarry becomes a regular around the Court too. But all this is disturbed when Madame DuBarry falls for Conte Brissac of the King's Guard (Fred Church). DuBarry's attempts to expose her affair only get him banished from the court.
The Woman God Forgot
Cortez sends Alvarado to Montezuma who throws him into a dungeon from which he is rescued by Tecza who loves him. He is recaptured when her lover Guatemoco finds Alvarado hiding in her chambers. Tecza next leads Cortez into the city, thus causing the destruction of her nation and securing the love of Alvarado.
The story of Cleopatra, the fabulous queen of Egypt, and the epic romances between her and the greatest men of Rome, Julius Caesar and Antony.
A Tale of Two Cities
At the outbreak of the French Revolution, Charles Darnay goes to Paris to rescue an imprisoned former family servant. He is himself imprisoned and condemned by the revolutionary forces there. His wife, the former Lucie Manette, is secretly loved by a gentlemanly wastrel, Sydney Carton. Carton embarks on a daring plan to save the husband of the woman he loves.
The Spirit of '76
Catherine Montour, a striking half-breed Indian princess, and mistress of King George III aspires to become the first Queen of America when the revolution breaks out.
The Bride of Hate
Dr. Dudley Duprez is a well-known Louisiana physician. His beautiful but wayward niece, Rose Duprez, is abducted by Paul Crenshaw, a friend of the doctor, and to prevent her shame from becoming known, Rose kills herself. Dr. Duprez learns her secret and determines to make Crenshaw expiate his crime. While traveling on a Mississippi River steamer, the doctor wins Mercedes, a beautiful slave, at cards. He takes her home and, passing her off as a distant relative, arranges it so that Crenshaw falls in love with the girl.
The Lincoln Cycle
This remarkable series of 10 short silent dramas by John M. Stahl, produced by Benjamin Chapin as a vehicle for his performance as Abraham Lincoln, are structured entirely around memory and recollections of the past.
A Mormon Maid
This silent melodrama is set against the 1840s westward migration of the Mormons. Dora, a young woman, and her family are saved from an Indian attack by a Mormon community traveling to Utah. They join the wagon train. Dora is pursued by two men, one a recent convert, the other a scheming elder with a stable of wives. The Mormon elder wants her in his harem. When the mother kills herself from revulsion toward polygamy, the daughter must consider her own future and the man she loves. One of Mae Murray's few surviving films, this was intended by Robert Leonard to be a thoughtful drama about the goods and evils of Mormonism, but today it is generally considered pure anti-Mormon propaganda.