Best History Movies of 1986


The Mission


When a Spanish Jesuit goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region, a slave hunter is converted and joins his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portugese aggressors.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn, Liam Neeson
Directed by: Roland Joffé
Release date: 1986-09-29



A second rated journalist from the US tries his luck in El Salvador during the military dictatorship in the 1980s.

Starring: James Woods, James Belushi, Michael Murphy, John Savage, Tony Plana
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Release date: 1986-04-23

Lady Jane


The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a scheming minister John Dudley marries off his son, Guildford to Lady Jane Grey, whom he places on the throne after Edward dies. At first hostile to each other, Guildford and Jane fall in love. But they cannot withstand the course of power which will lead to their ultimate downfall.

Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes, John Wood, Patrick Stewart, Joss Ackland
Directed by: Trevor Nunn
Release date: 1986-02-07

Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu
Framed around Queen Victoria's decision on England's political stance towards the Zulu Nation, this mini-series details King Shaka's rise and fall with mythic detail. Prophecy is mixed with recorded fact regarding Shaka's birth, exile, innovations in warfare, assumption of the throne, building of the Zulu Empire, first contact with Europe and the events that lead to his downfall.
Release date: 1986-11-24



As influential Italian artist Caravaggio dies in exile in 1610, he recalls his short life, from his childhood to his initial artistic failures to his later triumphs as he catches the eye of a sympathetic cardinal to his destructive relationship with a dashing gambler.

Starring: Nigel Terry, Tilda Swinton, Sean Bean, Spencer Leigh, Robbie Coltrane
Directed by: Derek Jarman
Release date: 1986-08-29

God's Outlaw

God's Outlaw
A dramatized biography of William Tyndale, the 16th Century reformer determined to translate the Bible into English, which illegal act set him at odds with the Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII.
Starring: Bernard Archard, Keith Barron, Terrence Hardiman, Roger Rees, Willoughby Goddard
Directed by: Tony Tew
Release date: 1986-01-01

Belizaire the Cajun


In 19th-century Louisiana's Cajun country, Belizaire (Armand Assante) is the informal spokesman for his citizens, who don't see eye to eye with local racists who wish to eradicate all Cajuns. Complicating matters is the fact that Belizaire's former flame (Gail Youngs) is now married to his biggest rival (Will Patton), an affluent landowner's son. Before he knows it, Belizaire is caught up in a web of murder, lies and prejudice.

Starring: Armand Assante, Gail Youngs, Michael Schoeffling, Stephen McHattie, Will Patton
Directed by: Glen Pitre
Release date: 1986-06-13



The film begins following the British victory of the first Opium War and the seizure of Hong Kong. Although the island is largely uninhabited and the terrain unfriendly, it has a large port that both the British government and various trading companies believe will be useful for the import of merchandise to be traded on mainland China, a highly lucrative market.

Starring: Bryan Brown, Joan Chen, John Stanton, Tim Guinee, Bill Leadbitter
Directed by: Daryl Duke
Release date: 1986-11-07

David Macaulay: Cathedral

David Macaulay: Cathedral
Author David Macaulay hosts CATHEDRAL, based on his award-winning book. Using a combination of spectacular location sequences and cinema-quality animation, the program surveys France's most famous churches. Travel back to 1214 to explore the design of Notre Dame de Beaulieu, a representative Gothic cathedral. The program tells period tales revealing fascinating stories of life and death, faith and despair, prosperity, and intrigue.
Starring: David Macaulay, Caroline Berg, Derek Jacobi, Geoffrey Matthews, Brian Blessed
Directed by: Tim King
Release date: 1986-04-30

The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor
A 1986 film directed by Li Han-Hsiang. Nominated for Best Film in the 6th annual Hong Kong Film Awards.
Starring: Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Margaret Lee, Lee Din-Hing
Directed by: Li Han-Hsiang
Release date: 1986-03-26

Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2

Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2
The sequel to 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' (1985)
Directed by: Tetsuo Imazawa
Release date: 1986-08-22

Also check Best history movies of 1985.

Check out our top containing the Best History Movies of 1986. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.