Best History Movies of 1958
A Night to Remember
The sinking of the Titanic is presented in a highly realistic fashion in this tense British drama. The disaster is portrayed largely from the perspective of the ocean liner's second officer, Charles Lightoller. Despite numerous warnings about ice, the ship sails on, with Capt. Edward John Smith keeping it going at a steady clip. When the doomed vessel finally hits an iceberg, the crew and passengers discover that they lack enough lifeboats, and tragedy follows.
Einar, brutal son of Ragnar and future heir to his throne, tangles with Eric, a wily slave, for the hand of a beautiful English maiden.
A Tale of Two Cities
British barrister Sydney Carton lives an insubstantial and unhappy life. He falls under the spell of Lucie Manette, but Lucie marries Charles Darnay. When Darnay goes to Paris to rescue an imprisoned family retainer, he becomes entangled in the snares of the brutal French Revolution and is himself jailed and condemned to the guillotine. But Sydney Carton, in love with a woman he cannot have, comes up with a daring plan to save her husband.
I Was Monty's Double
The incredible but true story of how an impersonator was recruited to impersonate General Montgomery to mislead the German's about his intentions before the North Africa campaign.
The Incredible Turk
This film is about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the modernization of the Turkish Republic.
St. Louis Blues
Will Handy grows up in Memphis with his preacher father and his Aunt Hagar. His father intends for him to use his musical gifts only in church, but he can't stay away from the music of the streets and workers. After he writes a theme song for a local politician, Gogo, a speakeasy singer, convinces Will to be her accompanist. Will is estranged from his father for many years while he writes and publishes many blues songs. At last the family is reunited when Gogo brings them to New York to see Will's music played by a symphony orchestra.
During the War of 1812 against Britain: General Andrew Jackson has only 1,200 men left to defend New Orleans when he learns that a British fleet will arrive with 60 ships and 16,000 men to take the city. In this situation an island near the city becomes strategically important to both parties, but it's inhabited by the last big buccaneer: Jean Lafitte. Although Lafitte never attacks American ships, the governor hates him for selling merchandise without taxes - and is loved by the citizens for the same reason. When the big fight gets nearer, Lafitte is drawn between the fronts. His heart belongs to America, but his people urge him to join the party that's more likely to win.
Alfred Dreyfus, a German-Jewish captain serving in the French Army, is falsely accused of treason and made a scapegoat for military espionage in an act of institutional anti-Semitism. Sent to prison, he becomes a cause célèbre for the novelist Émile Zola, who dubs it the "Dreyfus Affair." Eventually, Dreyfus is pardoned when the military cover-up is made public, and he returns to France. But his name is forever tarnished by the accusations of treason.
George Kelly is angry at the world and scared to death of dying. A career bank robber, Kelly gets his confidence from his Thompson SMG and his girl Flo. After a botched robbery, Flo, Kelly and his gang try their hand at a more lucrative job: kidnapping.
Orders to Kill
A grounded American fighter pilot is switched to espionage on a special job in which he must kill a small-time Paris lawyer suspected of double-crossing France by selling out radio operators to the Nazis.
The Camp on Blood Island
Set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II, the film focuses on the brutality and horror that the allied prisoners were exposed to as the Japanese metered out subjugation and punishment to a disgraced and defeated enemy. This harrowing drama concentrates on the deviations of legal and moral definitions when two opposing cultures clash. Although fictional, this was one of the earliest films to deal realistically with life and death in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the Second War.
The Silent Enemy
The Mediterranean, 1941/42 - Axis forces are using frogmen and manned torpedoes to attack previously impregnable harbours. The Allied forces need to come up with something to answer this threat, which they find in the form of Lt. Lionel "Buster" Crabb.
Based upon the life of Commander Francic D. Fane (USNR), UnderWater Warrior follows the evolution of the US Navy's Underwater Demolition Unit from its inception near the end of World War II through its acceptance and finally successful utilization in Korea. Landmark underwater camera work makes Underwater Warrior a milestone in cinematic history.
The Winslow Boy
In pre-WW1 England, a youngster is expelled from a naval academy over a petty theft, but his parents raise a political furor by demanding a trial.
Manhunt in the Jungle
British Cmdr. George M. Dyott searches the 1928 Amazon for lost explorer Col. P.H. Fawcett.
The Happy Island
The Happy Island looks at the work of the London Missionary Society on Gemo (now Hanudamua) Island in Port Moresby harbour, Papua New Guinea, which from 1937-1974 treated people who suffered from infectious diseases, mainly leprosy and tuberculosis. The film offers insight into the attitudes and practices of Christian missionaries of that time. Despite the colonial paternalism that underpins the Missionary Society’s model of care, the film tells the story of a happy, active community, as it follows the lives of the patients, their families and the dedicated staff, all of whom live, work and socialise on the island together.