Best History Movies of 1939

1.

Wuthering Heights

5.3
7.6/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Flora Robson, Donald Crisp, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Hugh Williams, Leo G. Carroll, Miles Mander, Cecil Kellaway ..
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1939-04-07
Best History Movies of 1939 : Young Mr. Lincoln
2.

Young Mr. Lincoln

3.9
7.6/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, Arleen Whelan, Eddie Collins, Pauline Moore, Richard Cromwell, Donald Meek, Judith Dickens, Eddie Quillan ..
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1939-06-09
3.

Jamaica Inn

3.8
6.3/10 IMDB

In coastal Cornwall, England, during the early 19th Century, a young woman discovers that she's living with a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecking for profit.

Starring: Charles Laughton, Horace Hodges, Maureen O'Hara, Hay Petrie, Frederick Piper, Emlyn Williams, Herbert Lomas, Clare Greet, William Devlin, Jeanne De Casalis ..
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1939-05-11
Best History Movies of 1939 : The Man in the Iron Mask
4.

The Man in the Iron Mask

3.7
7.1/10 IMDB

Tyrannical King Louis XIV learns that he has an identical twin brother, Philippe, who was raised from birth by his late father's trusted friend D'Artagnan and his faithful musketeers, Porthos, Athos and Aramis. After Philippe falls for the king's betrothed, Spanish Princess Maria Theresa, Louis imprisons him, forcing his brother to don an iron mask that will slowly suffocate him -- and it's up to D'Artagnan to rescue him.

Starring: Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, Warren William, Joseph Schildkraut, Alan Hale, Walter Kingsford, Miles Mander, Bert Roach, Marion Martin, Montagu Love ..
Directed by: James Whale
Release date: 1939-07-13
5.

Drums Along the Mohawk

3.6
7.1/10 IMDB

Albany, New York, 1776. After marrying, Gil and Lana travel north to settle on a small farm in the Mohawk River Valley, but soon their growing prosperity and happiness are threatened by the sinister sound of drums that announce dark times of revolution and war.

Starring: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins, John Carradine, Dorris Bowdon, Jessie Ralph, Arthur Shields, Robert Lowery, Roger Imhof ..
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1939-11-10
6.

Jesse James

3.6
7.0/10 IMDB

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Starring: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly, Randolph Scott, Henry Hull, Slim Summerville, J. Edward Bromberg, Brian Donlevy, John Carradine, Donald Meek ..
Directed by: Henry King
Release date: 1939-01-14
7.

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

3.5
7.1/10 IMDB

This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the man who would be King of England.

Starring: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale, Vincent Price, Henry Stephenson, Henry Daniell, James Stephenson, Nanette Fabray ..
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Release date: 1939-11-11
8.

Juarez

3.5
7.0/10 IMDB

The newly-named emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlota arrive in Mexico to face popular sentiment favoring Benito Juárez and democracy.

Starring: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne, Claude Rains, John Garfield, Donald Crisp, Joseph Calleia, Gale Sondergaard, Gilbert Roland, Henry O'Neill ..
Directed by: William Dieterle
Release date: 1939-06-10
Best History Movies of 1939 : Stanley and Livingstone
9.

Stanley and Livingstone

3.5
7.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Nancy Kelly, Richard Greene, Walter Brennan, Charles Coburn, Cedric Hardwicke, Henry Hull, Henry Travers, Miles Mander, David Torrence ..
Directed by: Henry King, Otto Brower
Release date: 1939-08-18
Best History Movies of 1939 : Tower of London
10.

Tower of London

3.3
6.7/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil, Ian Hunter, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, Ernest Cossart, John Sutton, Leo G. Carroll, Miles Mander ..
Directed by: Rowland V. Lee
Release date: 1939-11-17

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