Best History Movies of 1980
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where the Buffalo Roam
Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
Docu-drama surrounding the events leading to the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.
Playing for Time
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.
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.
Marilyn: The Untold Story
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.
On Company Business
A controversial three part critical documentary on the history of the CIA.
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.
The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd
This is the story of the doctor whose farm John Wilkes Booth went to after assassinating Abraham Lincoln
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sir Francis Drake circumnavigates the world in search of adventure and treasure.
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.
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.
Walkabout to Hollywood
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.
Search for a Century
Documents the archaeological dig for the lost 1618 settlement of Wolstenholme on the James River in Virginia.