Best History Movies of 1980


The Elephant Man

8.2/10 IMDB

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man being mistreated by his "owner" as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of great intelligence and sensitivity. Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film), a severely deformed man in 19th century London.

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones, Michael Elphick, John Standing, Phoebe Nicholls, Kenny Baker ..
Directed by: David Lynch
Release date: 1980-10-09

Raging Bull

8.2/10 IMDB

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, Mario Gallo, John Turturro, Joseph Bono, Frank Adonis ..
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 1980-11-14

Breaker Morant

7.8/10 IMDB

During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. The trial does not progress as smoothly as expected by the General Staff, as the defence puts up a strong fight in the courtroom.

Starring: Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, John Waters, Terence Donovan, Vincent Ball, Ray Meagher, Chris Haywood, Russell Kiefel, Lewis Fitz-Gerald ..
Directed by: Bruce Beresford
Release date: 1980-06-11

The Long Riders

6.9/10 IMDB

The origins, exploits and the ultimate fate of the James gang is told in a sympathetic portrayal of the bank robbers made up of brothers who begin their legendary bank raids because of revenge.

Starring: David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Robert Carradine, James Keach, Stacy Keach, Dennis Quaid, Randy Quaid, Kevin Brophy, Harry Carey, Jr., Christopher Guest ..
Directed by: Walter Hill
Release date: 1980-05-16

Where the Buffalo Roam

6.5/10 IMDB

Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Starring: Bill Murray, Peter Boyle, Bruno Kirby, René Auberjonois, R. G. Armstrong, Danny Goldman, Rafael Campos, DeWayne Jessie, Mark Metcalf, Joseph Ragno ..
Directed by: Art Linson
Release date: 1980-04-25


9.0/10 IMDB

Docu-drama surrounding the events leading to the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Starring: Julian Glover, Paul Chapman, Paul Hardwick, John Woodnutt, Ray McAnally, Ewan Hooper, Jeffrey Segal, Hugh Morton, Alan Tilvern, Anthony Langdon ..
Directed by: Leslie Woodhead
Release date: 1980-08-19
Best History Movies of 1980 : Shogun


8.1/10 IMDB

An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.

Release date: 1980-09-15
Best History Movies of 1980 : Playing for Time

Playing for Time

7.3/10 IMDB

When a Jewish songstress is plucked from the stage and sent to Auschwitz, she and other musicians find themselves assigned to a terrible task—using their talents to soothe fellow prisoners who are sentenced to die in the gas chambers.

Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Alexander, Maud Adams, Christine Baranski, Robin Bartlett, Marisa Berenson, Anna Levine Thomson, Verna Bloom, Donna Haley, Lenore Harris ..
Directed by: Daniel Mann, Joseph Sargent
Release date: 1980-09-30
Best History Movies of 1980 : Gideon's Trumpet

Gideon's Trumpet

7.1/10 IMDB

True story of Clarence Gideon's fight to be appointed counsel at the expense of the state. This landmark case led to the Supreme Court's decision which extended this right to all criminal defendants.

Starring: Henry Fonda, José Ferrer, John Houseman, Fay Wray, Sam Jaffe, Dean Jagger, Sam Jaffe, Nicholas Pryor, William Prince, Lane Smith ..
Directed by: Robert L. Collins
Release date: 1980-04-30

S.O.S. Titanic

6.2/10 IMDB

The Titanic disaster 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, Helen Mirren, Harry Andrews, Warren Clarke, Maurice Roëves, Ian Abercrombie ..
Directed by: William Hale
Release date: 1980-02-29
Best History Movies of 1980 : Marilyn: The Untold Story

Marilyn: The Untold Story

6.7/10 IMDB

The story of the life and times of the legendary Hollywood blonde bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, from her meteoric rise to stardom to her marriages and untimely death.

Starring: Catherine Hicks, Richard Basehart, Frank Converse, John Ireland, Viveca Lindfors, Jason Miller, Sheree North, Tracey Gold, Anne Ramsey, Shawn Stevens ..
Directed by: Jack Arnold, John Flynn, Lawrence Schiller
Release date: 1980-11-10
Best History Movies of 1980 : On Company Business

On Company Business

8.4/10 IMDB

A controversial three part critical documentary on the history of the CIA.

Starring: Philip Agee, William Colby, Harry S. Truman, George C. Marshall, Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, Richard Helms, Salvador Allende, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon ..
Directed by: Allan Francovich
Release date: 1980-04-14
Best History Movies of 1980 : The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

7.2/10 IMDB

Documentary about women's experiences of labour, in factories, mines and dockyards, in the USA during the second World War and how it affected their work and career aspirations once they were encouraged to give up such employment in peacetime.

Directed by: Connie Field
Release date: 1980-09-27
Best History Movies of 1980 : The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd

The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd

7.2/10 IMDB

The story of the doctor who faced charges of conspiracy after he assisted John Wilkes Booth by setting his broken leg after he had assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

Starring: Dennis Weaver, Susan Sullivan, Richard Dysart, Nigel Davenport, Arthur Hill, Mary Nell Santacroce, Luke Halpin, Lawrence Montaigne, Michael McGuire, Larry Larson ..
Directed by: Paul Wendkos
Release date: 1980-03-25


7.4/10 IMDB

Documentary chronicaling the rise and fall of the punk movement with rare interview footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Also concert and news footage.

Starring: John Lydon, Sid Vicious, Nancy Spungen, Stiv Bators, Billy Idol, Joe Strummer, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, Topper Headon ..
Directed by: Lech Kowalski
Release date: 1980-09-12
Best History Movies of 1980 : A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

6.6/10 IMDB

Dissolute barrister Sydney Carton becomes enchanted and then hopelessly in love with the beautiful Lucie Manette. But Lucie loves and marries Charles Darnay, and remains oblivious to Carton's undimmed devotion to her. When Darnay is ensnared in the deadly web of the French Revolution and condemned to die by the guillotine, Sydney Carton concocts a dangerous plot to free the husband of the woman he loves.

Starring: Chris Sarandon, Peter Cushing, Alice Krige, Kenneth More, Barry Morse, Flora Robson, Billie Whitelaw, Nigel Hawthorne, David Suchet, Robert Urquhart ..
Directed by: Jim Goddard
Release date: 1980-12-02
Best History Movies of 1980 : Attica


6.5/10 IMDB

Acclaimed dramatization recreating the incidents surrounding the 1971 revolt in New York's Attica State Prison that lasted for 23 days and resulted in the greatest casualty toll between Americans since the Civil War.

Starring: Henry Darrow, Charles Durning, Morgan Freeman, David Harris, George Grizzard, Roger E. Mosley, Arlen Dean Snyder, Glynn Turman, Anthony Zerbe, Andrew Duncan ..
Directed by: Marvin J. Chomsky
Release date: 1980-03-02

Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb

6.3/10 IMDB

The story of Col. Paul Tibbets and his crew who flew the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, bringing World War II to a close.

Starring: Patrick Duffy, Billy Crystal, Kim Darby, Gary Frank, Gregory Harrison, Stephen Macht, Walter Olkewicz, Robert Pine, James Shigeta, Robert Walden ..
Directed by: David Lowell Rich
Release date: 1980-11-23
Best History Movies of 1980 : Bogie


5.0/10 IMDB

The Humphrey Bogart story from the early '30s until his death, covering the period as a struggling young actor through movie stardom and his marriages to Mayo Methot and Lauren Bacall.

Starring: Kathryn Harrold, Ann Wedgeworth, Patricia Barry, Donald May, Alfred Ryder, Carol Vogel, Richard Dysart, Sierra Pecheur, Kevin O'Connor, Tobias Anderson ..
Directed by: Vincent Sherman
Release date: 1980-03-04

Drake's Venture

8.0/10 IMDB

Sir Francis Drake circumnavigates the world in search of adventure and treasure.

Starring: John Thaw, Charlotte Cornwell, Paul Darrow, Terence Budd, David Ryall ..
Directed by: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Release date: 1980-12-28
Best History Movies of 1980 : Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger

Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger

5.9/10 IMDB

The dramatized biography of Margaret Sanger, the crusader who founded America's first birth control clinic during World War I and was tried in court under obscenity laws.

Starring: Bonnie Franklin, David Dukes, Richard Johnson, Stacy Keach, Frances Lee McCain, Milo O’Shea, Albert Salmi, Yvonne Wilder, William Windom, Carol Eve Rossen ..
Directed by: Virgil W. Vogel
Release date: 1980-04-22
Best History Movies of 1980 : Ithikkara Pakky

Ithikkara Pakky

5.8/10 IMDB

Ithikkara Pakki, a daily-wage labourer, fights against a wealthy landlord when he tries to trouble the villagers. Things get worse when he falls in love with the landlord's daughter.

Starring: Prem Nazir, Jayan, Jayabharathi, Adoor Bhasi, Sankaradi, Alummoodan, Prathapa Chandran, C I Paul, Meena ..
Directed by: J Sasikumar
Release date: 1980-04-18
Best History Movies of 1980 : Gung Ho - Rewi Alley of China

Gung Ho - Rewi Alley of China

0.0/10 IMDB

Expat Kiwi Rewi Alley became one of the best known foreigners in 20th Century China and advocate for the Communist Revolution. When China was under siege from Japan in the late 1930s, Alley instigated an industrial co-op movement he termed ‘gung ho' (work together). Its success led to the phrase entering the global idiom. For this documentary a Geoff Steven-led crew travelled 15,000km in China in 1979, filming Alley as he gave his account of an engrossing, complex life story. Co-writer Geoff Chapple later wrote a biography of Alley.

Starring: Rewi Alley ..
Directed by: Geoff Steven
Release date: 1980-07-01
Best History Movies of 1980 : Walkabout to Hollywood

Walkabout to Hollywood

0.0/10 IMDB

Produced and directed this documentary for BBC in the 1980’s, about David Gulpilil, acclaimed Australian Aboriginal actor, dancer and musician. The film shows how Gulpilil is always working to bridge the gap between the tribal Aboriginal and Western worlds. He divides his time between a traditional tribal lifestyle and his artistic work, which has included major film roles, collaboration with contemporary dance and music groups and teaching Aboriginal dance and culture. Bill and David travel to Hollywood where David was the most popular Australian in the world at that time, with FOUR films playing in America – WALKABOUT, STORM BOY, THE LAST WAVE and MAD DOG MORGAN. After relating to both the black and native American cultures and filming a quick scene for a big Hollywood picture, he pines to head back through the Outback to his beloved Arnhem Land. Edited by Simon Dibbs and shot by Ray Henman.

Starring: Buffy Sainte-Marie, David Gulpilil, Peter Weir, Robert Powell, Peter Weir ..
Directed by: Bill Leimbach
Release date: 1980-02-11

Search for a Century

0.0/10 IMDB

Documents the archaeological dig for the lost 1618 settlement of Wolstenholme on the James River in Virginia.

Release date: 1980-01-01

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