Best History Movies of 1981
Lion of the Desert
This movie tells the story of Omar Mukhtar, an Arab Muslim rebel who fought against the Italian conquest of Libya in WWII. It gives western viewers a glimpse into this little-known region and chapter of history, and exposes the savage means by which the conquering army attempted to subdue the natives.
As World War I rages, brave and youthful Australians Archy and Frank—both agile runners—become friends and enlist in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps together. They later find themselves part of the Dardanelles Campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, a brutal eight-month conflict which pit the British and their allies against the Ottoman Empire and left over 500,000 men dead.
An account of the revolutionary years of the legendary American journalist John Reed (1887-1920), who shared his adventurous professional life with his radical commitment to the socialist revolution in Russia, his dream of spreading its principles among the members of the American working class, and his troubled romantic relationship with the writer Louise Bryant (1885-1936).
Chariots of Fire
In the class-obsessed and religiously divided UK of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian born to Scottish missionaries in China, sees running as part of his worship of God's glory and refuses to train or compete on the Sabbath. Harold Abrahams overcomes anti-Semitism and class bias, but neglects his beloved sweetheart in his single-minded quest.
After the destruction of the Second Temple, 900 Jewish zealots hold out against a 5000 man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.
The history of American popular music runs parallel with the history of a Russian Jewish immigrant family, with each male descendant possessing different musical abilities.
The Marva Collins Story
Cicely Tyson was Emmy-nominated as Outstanding Actress for her portrait of a Chicago schoolteacher whose remarkable achievements with black children labelled "unteachable" were spotlighted in a 1979 "60 Minutes" segment about how she became disillusioned with the traditional school system and decided to work outside of it, transforming her students into young scholars through her unique teaching style.
Iancu Jianu, Tax Collector
The movie details the struggle of Iancu Jianu as he's torn between joining the struggle of the poor peasants from which he came from and being on the other side of the law working for the rich.
Fine television chronicle of the events of May 1970 at Kent State University in Ohio that led to the killing of four students by the National Guard.
Antony & Cleopatra
Octavius Caesar (later renamed Augustus Caesar, son of the murdered Julius Caesar), Marc Antony, and Lepidus form the triumvirate, the three rulers of the Roman Empire. Antony, though married to Fulvia, spends his time in Egypt, living a life of decadence and conducting an affair with Queen Cleopatra. In Antony's absence, Caesar and Lepidus worry about Pompey's increasing strength.