Best History Movies of 1955
The Dam Busters
The story of the conception of a new British weapon for smashing the German dams in the Ruhr industrial complex and the execution of the raid by 617 Squadron 'The Dam Busters'.
Having helped his brother King Edward IV take the throne of England, the jealous hunchback Richard, Duke of York, plots to seize power for himself. Masterfully deceiving and plotting against nearly everyone in the royal court, including his eventual wife, Lady Anne, and his brother George, Duke of Clarence, Richard orchestrates a bloody rise to power before finding all his gains jeopardized by those he betrayed.
To Hell and Back
The true WWII story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. Based on the autobiography of Audie Murphy who stars as himself in the film.
The Virgin Queen
Sir Walter Raleigh overcomes court intrigue to win favor with the Queen in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.
Set in the eighteenth century, Moonfleet is about John Mohune, a young orphan who is sent to the Dorset village of Moonfleet to stay with an old friend of his mother's, Jeremy Fox. Fox is a morally ambiguous character, an elegant gentleman involved with smugglers and pirates.
During the 15th century reign of France's King Louis XI, a young Scottish man is sent by his English Lord to woo a French lady on his behalf. The plan goes awry when the young man falls in love with her. Based on the classic novel by Sir Walter Scott.
Land of the Pharaohs
In ancient Egypt the Pharaoh Khufu is obsessed with acquiring gold and plans to take it all with him into the "second life." To this end he enlists the aid of Vashtar, an architect whose people are enslaved in Egypt. The deal: build a robbery-proof tomb and the enslaved people will be freed. During the years that the pyramid is being built a Cyprian princess becomes the pharaoh's second wife, and she plots to prevent Khufu from taking his treasure with him when he dies .. as well as helping him make the journey early.
The Far Horizons
Virginia, 1803. After the United States of America acquires the inmense Louisiana territory from France, a great expedition, led by William Lewis and Meriwether Clark, is sent to survey the new lands and go where no white man has gone before.
This short film documents the daily life of the goings-on on Orchard Street, a commercial street in the Lower East Side New York City.
The McConnell Story
Joe McConnell was sure that he was meant to be a pilot, but was stuck as a restless army private. It seemed that his ambition was blocked at every step.
The Scarlet Coat
An American officer goes undercover to unmask a Revolutionary War traitor.
The Last Command
During the Texas War of Independence of 1836 American frontiersman and pioneer Jim Bowie pleads for caution with the rebellious Texicans. They don't heed his advice since he's a Mexican citizen, married to the daughter of the Mexican vice-governor of the province and a friend to General Santa Anna since the days they had fought together for Mexico's independence. After serving as president for 22 years, Santa Anna has become too powerful and arrogant. He rules Mexico with an iron fist and he would not allow Texas to self-govern. Bowie sides with the Texans in their bid for independence and urges a cautious strategy, given Santa Anna's power and cunning. Despite the disagreement between the Texicans and Bowie regarding the right strategy they ask Bowie to lead them in a last-ditch stand, at Alamo, against General Santa Anna's numerically superior forces.
The King's Thief
An ex-soldier turned highwayman uncovers a plot to take control of England from King Charles II.
The Battle of Gettysburg
This film was shot entirely at the Gettysburg National Military Park, where the decisive battle of the American Civil War was fought. Leslie Nielsen narrates the story while contemporary songs and the sounds of battle are heard in the background. The sites of the various engagements, the statues of the leaders of the Northern and Southern troops, and the battlefield cemetery are featured. President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is read at the end.
A boggy swashbuckler of Irish freedom-fighter Michael Martin. In 1815, Michael Martin, member of an Irish revolutionary society, turns highwayman to support it, and soon becomes an outlaw. In Dublin, he meets famous rebel "Captain Thunderbolt" and becomes his second-in-command, under the name "Lightfoot."
The Dark Avenger
Edward, Prince of Wales, son and heir to his father King Edward III of England, leads an English army to the French province of Aquitaine to protect the inhabitant from the ravages of the French. After defeating the French in battle, the defeated French plot to kill the prince. Failing in this, they kidnap his lady, the lovely Lady Joan Holland. Of course Prince Edward has to ride to the rescue, adopting numerous guises to save his paramour, which ultimately end in him leading his men into one final climactic battle against the French. (Also known as "The Warriors" and "The Black Prince").
Seven Angry Men
Rise, fall and execution of John Brown, fanatic abolitionist.
Seven Cities of Gold
In 1769, a Spanish expedition to California seeks to conquer the land and discover its famed gold treasures while missionaries aim to gain new converts and establish a network of Catholic missions.
Lady Godiva of Coventry
Fictionalized account of events leading up the famous nude ride (alas, her hair covers everything) of the militant Saxon lady.
Rome is on the verge of being conquered by Hannibal. While Rome's ruler, Fabius Maximus, plots a defense against Hannibal's armies, Fabius' fiancée, Amytis, is curious about the fearless conqueror. Amytis travels to Hannibal's camp just to get a look at him, but she ends up being captured. However, she is instantly smitten by the Carthaginian commander, so she tries to shift his attentions away from Rome -- and to her instead.
In 1570, widowed Princess Ana de Mendoza becomes the love object of a deadly rivalry between her cousin Don Inigo, King Philip II of Spain and his secretary of state Antonio Perez.
Kiss of Fire
In 1700, a Spanish princess travels from New Mexico to California with ruthless outlaw El Tigre as guide.
When the Talkies Were Young
Warner Brothers looks back to the early days of talking pictures. Dwight Weist narrates film clips from five movies: "Sinner's Holiday," introducing James Cagney with a glimpse of Joan Blondell, "20,000 Years in Sing Sing," with a young Spencer Tracy and a younger Bette Davis, "Five Star Final," with Edward G. Robinson and a cameo from Boris Karloff, "Night Nurse," starring Barbara Stanwyck with a small role for Clark Gable, and "Svengali," with John Barrymore and Marian Marsh. Each movie is summarized and each star celebrated for work early in the history of sound cinema.
The legend of the romance between Mughal prince Salim and Anarkali.
Wine of Morning
A story of bloodshed and shipwreck, of intrigue and murder, of love and redemption. The film traces the life of Joel, a promising young man who turns outlaw to free his people from Roman tyranny. As "Barabbas," Joel becomes the murderer and robber chosen by the mob to be released in place of Christ.
In this Sportscope series entry, members of the Florida State University gymnastics team demonstrate their athletic skills.
The Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland
With the grand opening of Disneyland just a matter of days away, Walt Disney brings us an update on the construction of the new magic kingdom. Winston Hibler narrates scenes depicting the construction on the attarctions and settings in the park as work speeds up to meet the deadline before opening day.
A Strange Mark of Identity
Imre, secretary of the illegal communist party arrives in Budapest secretly in 1942, in order to start the newspaper of the party in the fight against war. Not even his own mother can see him.
Opening a New Frontier
A documentary outlining the railroad's roll in expanding the nation.
Women and Soldiers
Donne e soldati was an example of a ‘decentralised’ production, far from Rome, something that for the most part Italian cinema didn’t fully succeed in achieving until the 1990s. . In many ways the film, which is both Picaresque and anti-heroic, was too far ahead of its time, and it is often considered the precursor to Monicelli’s L’armata brancaleone. This time out, Ferreri takes the reins as producer of the ill-fated undertaking (the two directors will never make another film); however, Donne e soldati, apart from marking Ferreri’s estrangement from Italian cinema for a number of years, today appears to display earthy and carnivalesque elements that will subsequently influence certain aspects of the Milanese director’s vision.