Best History Movies of 1959
In 25 AD,Judah Ben-Hur, a Jew in ancient Judea, opposes the occupying Roman empire. Falsely accused by a Roman childhood friend-turned-overlord of trying to kill the Roman governor, he is put into slavery and his mother and sister are taken away as prisoners. Three years later and freed by a grateful Roman galley commander whom he has rescued from drowning, he becomes an expert charioteer for Rome, all the while plotting to return to Judea, find and rescue his family, and avenge himself on his former friend. All the while, the form and work of Jesus move in the background of his life...
The Diary of Anne Frank
The true, harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends, is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.
The Horse Soldiers
A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the commander. The secret plan for the mission is overheard by a southern belle who must be taken along to assure her silence.
The Devil's Disciple
In a small New England town during the American War of Independence, Dick Dudgeon, a revolutionary American Puritan, is mistaken for local minister Rev. Anthony Anderson and arrested by the British. Dick discovers himself incapable of accusing another human to suffer and continues to masquerade as the reverend.
Pork Chop Hill
Korean War, April 1953. Lieutenant Clemons, leader of the King company of the United States Infantry, is ordered to recapture Pork Chop Hill, occupied by a powerful Chinese Army force, while, just seventy miles away, at nearby the village of Panmunjom, a tense cease-fire conference is celebrated.
Solomon and Sheba
Under the rule of King David, Israel is united and prosperous although surrounded by enemies including Egypt and its allies. The aging King David favors his younger son, Solomon, as his successor, but David's elder son Prince Adonijah, a warrior, declares himself King. When David learns of this, he publicly announces Solomon to be his successor. Adonijah and Joab, his general, withdraw in rage. Israel prospers under King Solomon's wise and benevolent rule and is seen as a threat to more tyrannical monarchs in the region. The Pharaoh of Egypt agrees to cede a Red Sea port to the Queen of Sheba in a plot to undermine Solomon's rule. Sheba is to seduce Solomon and introduce Sheban pagan worship into Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Prince Adonijah, now banished, also conspires with Pharaoh and is given an army to defeat Solomon. The film is a highly fictionalized dramatization of events depicted in The Bible -- First Kings chapter 10 and Second Chronicles chapter 9.
John Paul Jones
The bio-epic about the infamous John Paul Jones.
The Stranglers of Bombay
In 1826 British-ruled India, the secret Cult of Thugee demonstrates their worship of their goddess, Kali, by the mutilation and mass murder of thousands of Indians while pirating the shipments of the British East-Indian Tea Company. As the British military leaders play down the implications of the piracy and disappearances, a lone captain realizes that they are not just coincidence and sets out to uncover the source of the deviltry, at the risk of his career. Based on history.
The Peter Tchaikovsky Story
The story of young Tchaikovsky through the premiere of his "Sleeping Beauty" ballet.
Operation Amsterdam is a 1959 adventure film, directed by Michael McCarthy, and featuring Peter Finch, Eva Bartok, and Tony Britton. It is based on a true story as described in the book Adventure in Diamonds, by David E Walker. The action of the story covers a few days in May 1940 when the Germans invaded Holland.
Thunder in the Sun
A band of Basque immigrants treks through the Old West toward California, where they hope to put down roots and open wineries. When the group's leader (Carl Esmond) dies, his widow Gabrielle (Susan Hayward) marries his brother (Jacques Bergerac) in accordance with Basque tradition. But it's a loveless union; Gabrielle is smitten with Lon Bennett (Jeff Chandler), the scout who's been hired to guide them on their journey. [netflix]
The Killers of Mussolini
As the Salo Republic crumbles around him, Mussolini, along with his mistress and several of his ministers flee with retreating Nazi soldiers, but are caught at the town of Dongo by red partisans. All are brutally executed without trial.
Last of the Giants
A Union Pacific production outlining the Big Boy locomotive and the history of the last great steam engine to rule the rails
Menken's 16mm, stop-motion tribute to the art of Dwight Ripley was filmed in 1959 in his apartment at 416 East Fifty-eighth Street in New York. She used his drawings as flats.The remarkably contemporary soundtrack for steel drum, guitar, flute, and voice was written for the occasion by Maya Deren's young husband, Teiji Ito, and is available in his album Music for Maya (Tzadik). Stan Brakhage called Dwightiana a pioneer example of the film portrait, abstract rather than narrative (the colored pencils represent Ripley's palette). Ripley was also a botanist, and Menken's unusual title alludes to botanical nomenclature as if Dwightiana might be the name of a species as well as a work "about" Dwight.
A British documentary that covers the atomic energy developments made in Great Britain since the end of World War II, with a focus towards advancing progress towards space flight.