Best History Movies of 1939
The Earnshaws are Yorkshire farmers during the early 19th Century. One day, Mr. Earnshaw returns from a trip to the city, bringing with him a ragged little boy called Heathcliff. Earnshaw's son, Hindley, resents the child, but Heathcliff becomes companion and soulmate to Hindley's sister, Catherine. After her parents die, Cathy and Heathcliff grow up wild and free on the Moors and despite the continued enmity between Hindley and Heathcliff they're happy -- until Cathy meets Edgar Linton, the son of a wealthy neighbor.
Young Mr. Lincoln
In this dramatized account of his early law career in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln is born into a modest log cabin, where he is encouraged by his first love, Ann Rutledge, to pursue law. Following her tragic death, Lincoln establishes a law practice in Springfield, where he meets a young Mary Todd. Lincoln's law skills are put to the test when he takes on the difficult task of defending two brothers who have been accused of murder.
The newly named emperor Maximilian and his wife Carolotta arrive in Mexico to face popular sentiment favoring Benito Juraez and democracy..
Stanley and Livingstone
When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the missing Scottish missionary. Stanley finds Livingstone ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume.") blissfully doling out medicine and religion to the happy natives. His story is at first disbelieved.
Drums Along the Mohawk
Set in America's Colonial period, John Ford's adventure tale follows Gilbert (Henry Fonda) and Lana Martin (Claudette Colbert) as they try to survive the rugged frontier. After their settlement is repeatedly attacked by Indians, the couple is taken in by a spinster (Edna May Oliver). Lana bears a son, while Gilbert heads off to fight the Indians and the British. He returns, wounded, to find his family once again under attack by the Indians.
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the man who would be King of England.
After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.
Tower of London
In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King Edward IV of England. As each murder is accomplished he takes particular delight in removing small figurines, each resembling one of the successors, from a throne-room dollhouse, until he alone remains. After the death of Edward he becomes Richard III, King of England, and need only defeat the exiled Henry Tudor to retain power.
The Oklahoma Kid
McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" claim on land which is to be used for a new town; in exchange for giving it up he gets control of gambling and saloons. When Kincaid's father runs for mayor, McCord incites a mob to lynch the old man whom McCord has already framed for murder.
South western Pennsylvania area of colonial America, 1760s. Colonial distaste and disapproval of the British government is starting to surface. Many local colonists have been killed by American Indians who are armed with rifles supplied by white traders.