Best History Movies of 1979

1.

Hair

5.5
7.6/10

"Hair" is a 1979 musical war comedy-drama film adaptation of the 1968 Broadway musical "Hair: An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" about a Vietnam War draftee, Claude, who meets and befriends a tribe of long-haired hippies on his way to the army induction center. Claude heads to New York upon receiving his draft notice, leaving the family ranch in Oklahoma. He arrives in New York where he is rapidly indoctrinated into the youth subculture before reporting in for boot camp.

Starring: John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, Annie Golden, Dorsey Wright
Directed by: Miloš Forman
Release date: 1979-03-14
2.

Caligula

3.9
5.3/10

The perversion behind imperial Rome, the epic story of Rome's mad Emporer. All the details of his cruel, bizarre reign are revealed right here: His unholy sexual passion for his sister, his marriage to Rome's most infamous prostitute, his fiendishly inventive means of disposing those who would oppose him, and more.

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud
Directed by: Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione, Giancarlo Lui
Release date: 1979-01-21
3.

Jesus

3.9
7.2/10

Three and a half years of Jesus' ministry, as told in the Gospel of Luke.

Starring: Brian Deacon, Rivka Neuman, Alexander Scourby, Niko Nitai, Joseph Shiloach
Directed by: Peter Sykes, John Kirsh
Release date: 1979-10-19
4.

All Quiet on the Western Front

3.6
7.1/10
All Quiet on the Western Front
At the start of World War I, Paul Baumer is a young German patriot, eager to fight. Indoctrinated with propaganda at school, he and his friends eagerly sign up for the army soon after graduation. But when the horrors of war soon become too much to bear, and as his friends die or become gravely wounded, Paul questions the sanity of fighting over a few hundreds yards of war-torn countryside.
Starring: Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Ian Holm, Patricia Neal
Directed by: Delbert Mann
Release date: 1979-11-14
5.

Zulu Dawn

3.4
6.6/10

In 1879, the British suffer a great loss at the Battle of Isandlwana due to incompetent leadership. Cy Endfield co-wrote the epic prequel Zulu Dawn 15 years after his enormously popular Zulu. Set in 1879, this film depicts the catastrophic Battle of Isandhlwana, which remains the worst defeat of the British army by natives, with the British contingent outnumbered 16-to-1 by the Zulu tribesmen. The film's opinion of events is made immediately clear in its title sequence: ebullient African village life presided over by King Cetshwayo is contrasted with aristocratic artifice under the arrogant eye of General Lord Chelmsford (Peter O'Toole). Chelmsford is at the heart of all that goes wrong, initiating the catastrophic battle with an ultimatum made seemingly for the sake of giving his troops something to do. His detached  manner leads to one mistake after another.

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Denholm Elliott, Bob Hoskins, Peter O'Toole, John Mills
Directed by: Douglas Hickox
Release date: 1979-05-14
6.

Henry IV Part 1

3.1
7.9/10
Henry IV Part 1
Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed 'Hotspur'). Henry's son Hal, the Prince of Wales, has thrown over life at court in favour of heavy drinking and petty theft in the company of a debauched elderly knight, Sir John Falstaff. Hal must extricate himself from some legal problems, regain his father's good opinions and help suppress the uprising.
Starring: Jon Finch, David Gwillim, Anthony Quayle, Clive Swift, Tim Pigott-Smith
Directed by: David Giles
Release date: 1979-12-09
7.

Canada Vignettes: Wop May

2.9
7.0/10
This short animated film is about Wop May, one of Canada's leading bush pilots in the 1920s.
Starring: Donald Brittain
Directed by: Blake James
Release date: 1979-01-01
8.

Black Jack

2.8
6.5/10

In this fascinating adventure of the England of the 1750s, the huge Frenchman Black Jack (Jean Franval) miraculously survives a hanging by the British authorities in Yorkshire and escapes from the grim jaws of "justice." He takes to the countryside in the company of Tolly, a teenaged boy who is able to translate Black Jack's odd speech into something comprehensible. They join up with Belle, an aristocratic teenager who has escaped from the madhouse her family imprisoned her in when she grew troublesome. Together, the three join a carnival. However, as it becomes clear that the girl is far from crazy, love between Tolly and Belle grows. This story, set in the mid-18th century, is based on a novel by Leon Garfield.

Starring: Jean Franval, Stephen Hirst, Louise Cooper, Phil Askham, Pat Wallis
Directed by: Ken Loach
Release date: 1979-09-09
9.

S.O.S. Titanic

2.8
6.3/10
S.O.S. Titanic
The Titanic disaster is depicted as seen through the eyes of one couple in each of the three classes on board.
Starring: David Janssen, Cloris Leachman, Susan Saint James, David Warner, Ian Holm
Directed by: William Hale
Release date: 1979-09-23
10.

Lady Oscar

2.4
5.9/10

Oscar François de Jarjayes was born female, but her father insisted she be raised as a boy as he had no sons. She becomes the captain of the guards at Versailles under King Louis XVI and Marie Antonette. Her privileged, noble life comes under fire as she discovers the hard life of the poor people of France. She is caught up in the French Revolution, and must choose between her loyalty and love.

Starring: Catriona MacColl, Barry Stokes, Jonas Bergström, Christine Böhm, Terence Budd
Directed by: Jacques Demy
Release date: 1979-03-03
11.

Breakthrough

2.4
5.0/10
Breakthrough
Starting in late May 1944, during the German retreat on the Eastern Front, Captain Stransky (Helmut Griem) orders Sergeant Steiner (Richard Burton) to blow up a railway tunnel to prevent Russian forces from using it. Steiner's platoon fails in its mission by coming up against a Russian tank. Steiner then takes a furlough to Paris just as the Allies launch their invasion of Normandy.
Starring: Richard Burton, Rod Steiger, Helmut Griem, Klaus Löwitsch, Michael Parks
Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
Release date: 1979-03-01
12.

Race d'Ep!

2.1
6.7/10
Race d'Ep!
"Race d’Ep!" (which literally translates to "Breed of Faggots") was made by the “father of queer theory,” Guy Hocquenghem, in collaboration with radical queer filmmaker and provocateur Lionel Soukaz. The film traces the history of modern homosexuality through the twentieth century, from early sexology and the nudes of Baron von Gloeden to gay liberation and cruising on the streets of Paris. Influenced by the groundbreaking work of Michel Foucault on the history of sexuality and reflecting the revolutionary queer activism of its day, "Race d’Ep!" is a shockingly frank, sex-filled experimental documentary about gay culture emerging from the shadows.
Starring: Elizar Van Effenterre, Gilles Sandier, Pierre Hahn, Jean Demelier, Yves Jacquemard
Directed by: Lionel Soukaz, Guy Hocquenghem
Release date: 1979-10-24
13.

Henry IV Part 2

1.8
7.9/10
Henry IV Part 2
The death of King Henry the Fourth and the coronation of King Henry the Fifth.
Starring: Jon Finch, David Gwillim, Anthony Quayle, John Fowler, Bruce Purchase
Directed by: David Giles
Release date: 1979-12-16

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