Best History Movies of 1980
An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.
The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter
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.
Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb
Well-intentioned history lesson; the decision to drop the atom bomb, the secrecy surrounding the mission, and the men who flew it.
On Company Business
A controversial three part critical documentary on the history of the CIA.
Gung Ho - Rewi Alley of China
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.
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.
A Tale of Two Cities
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.
A behind the scenes look of the 1971 prisoners revolt at the Attica prison.
The Long Riders
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.
The Elephant Man
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.