Best History Movies of 1987
Young Treasury Agent Eliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is determined to take down Al Capone, but it's not going to be easy because Capone has the police in his pocket. Ness meets Jim Malone, a veteran patrolman and probably the most honorable one on the force. He asks Malone to help him get Capone, but Malone warns him that if he goes after Capone, he is going to war.
The Last Emperor
A dramatic history of Puyi, the last of the Emperors of China, from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City, the object of worship by half a billion people; through his abdication, his decline and dissolute lifestyle; his exploitation by the invading Japanese, and finally to his obscure existence as just another peasant worker in the People's Republic.
Empire of the Sun
Jamie Graham, a privileged English boy, is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners into prison camps. Jamie is captured with an American sailor, who looks out for him while they are in the camp together. Even though he is separated from his parents and in a hostile environment, Jamie maintains his dignity and youthful spirits, providing a beacon of hope for the others held captive with him.
A dramatic story, based on actual events, about the friendship between two men struggling against apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s. Donald Woods is a white liberal journalist in South Africa who begins to follow the activities of Stephen Biko, a courageous and outspoken black anti-apartheid activist.
Hope and Glory
Director John Boorman drew from his own childhood experiences for this coming-of-age tale about a boy growing up in and around London during World War II. For young Billy, the nightly bombings provide a frightening show, but they include opportunities to rummage through the rubble with friends in the mornings. As Billy plays, his family struggles to remain intact as they suffer through the anguish and losses of wartime.
Filmed in the coal country of West Virginia, "Matewan" celebrates labor organizing in the context of a 1920s work stoppage. Union organizer, Joe Kenehan, a scab named "Few Clothes" Johnson and a sympathetic mayor and police chief heroically fight the power represented by a coal company and Matewan's vested interests so that justice and workers' rights need not take a back seat to squalid working conditions, exploitation and the bottom line.
The Other Israel
Compiled after 15 months filming and editing, this fast-moving, professional video documentary will give you a unique education on the inner teachings of Judaism and the Talmud. Through the television camera "The Other Israel" takes you where few Christian scholars have gone before.
William Walker and his mercenary corps enter Nicaragua in the middle of the 19th century in order to install a new government by a coup d'etat.
The trials and tribulations of the Goddard family after the entry of Australia into the Vietnam War.
Gardens of Stone
A sergeant must deal with his desires to save the lives of young soldiers being sent to Vietnam. Continuously denied the chance to teach the soldiers about his experiences, he settles for trying to help the son of an old army buddy.
A Month in the Country
Set in the early 1920s, A Month in the Country follows a man haunted by his experiences in World War I who has been employed to carry out restoration work on a Medieval mural discovered in a church in the small rural community of Yorkshire.
Palestine, 1917. The British advance has been stopped by the Turkish line running from Gaza to Beersheba. The latest attack on Gaza has failed. The attacking forces included a regiment of Australian mounted infantry, the Light Horse... Lighthorseman Frank is wounded in a skirmish with Bedouin. He is replaced by a young soldier, Dave, who proves to be a crack shot, but reluctant to fire at the enemy. Dave proves himself during a German biplane attack. Recuperating in hospital, he meets a sympathetic nurse, Anne... The regiment is called upon for a bold flanking attack on Beersheba. But how do you convince the Turks the main attack will come at Gaza? And how do you attack across a desert without water?
A biography of Vincent van Gogh using only images and the letters he wrote to his brother Theo.
Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker
The story of Josephine Baker takes us on a fascinating tour of 20th-century race relations on both sides of the Atlantic, yet it leads to no conclusion, and black girls in search of a role-model tend to look elsewhere. Part of her appeal is her startlingly unique appearance. Simply nobody has ever looked or acted like her. She fits no black stereotype. Nor does she look like any recognizable strain of Afro-American. I'd always heard she was half-white, but it seems that her paternity is unknown, and her contradictory claims on the subject don't do much to enlighten us. (We are tempted to imagine quite an exotic mix.) Her origins in sharply-segregated St. Louis, where she is said to have witnessed a lynching, do not seem to have left her embittered. Perhaps she had too much to give. There is a special innocence about that smile, and when she performs her cross-eyed gag, we are lifted into a strange pixie-world, all its own.
The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell
One of the greatest storytellers of our time, and arguably the greatest mythologist, Joseph Campbell spent most of his long, rich career explaining how ancient myths like the Hero’s Journey are relevant to modern life. In understanding the importance of myth as a vital, vibrant source of "mankind’s one great story," Campbell inspired others to embark on a quest for the meaning of myth in their own lives. This biographical portrait, filmed shortly before his death in 1987, follows Campbell’s personal quest—a pathless journey of questioning, discovery, and ultimately of delight and joy in a life to which he said, "Yes."
The story of "The Tolpuddle Martyrs". A group of 19th century English farm labourers who formed one of the first trade unions and started a campaign to receive fair wages.
The Happy Valley
In 1940 Kenya as their country prepares for war, the local aristocratic social set lives a decadent, self-indulgent lifestyle, that leads to murder. The same events were also dramatised in the feature film White Mischief, which was released seven months after the first transmission of The Happy Valley.
Who Killed Vincent Chin?
This film recounts the murder of Vincent Chin, an automotive engineer mistaken as Japanese who was slain by an assembly line worker who blamed him for the competition by the Japanese auto makers that were threatening his job. It then recounts how that murderer escaped justice in the court system. Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, in association with the Museum of Chinese in America. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, with additional support provided by Todd Phillips.
Lena: My 100 Children
At the end of World War II Lena Kuchler arrives at a refuge camp in search of her disappeared family members. But at this place she can get no information in her case but only encounters hungry children.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
The life of an aging black slave, Tom, and the people he interacts with.
The Houses Are Full of Smoke
A powerful three-part documentary studying the US involvement in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The differing factions - Sandinista leaders, Guatemalan campesinos, CIA operatives, Contras and US government apologists - are interviewed and, in the absence of a controlling narration, the audience is encouraged to draw its own conclusions.
The Distant Land
The Distant Land (German: Das weite Land) is a 1987 Austrian-German drama film directed by Luc Bondy. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. Based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler, which is generally referred to in English as The Vast Domain and was also adapted by Tom Stoppard as Undiscovered Country.
In 1747, a handsome but rebellious Scotsman named Richard Abdee is auctioned off as a slave on a Caribbean island controlled by French and British sugar-planters. When caught having sex with his owner's wife, Abdee is given 100 lashes with the dreaded "dragonard" whip. This sentence is meant to be fatal but Abdee survives and later joins in a slave revolt which puts an end to the island's era of savage whippings.
An American couple in Chile is drawn into the turmoil that followed President Salvador Allende's 1973 overthrow.
This program traces Rubinstein's career and features excerpts from his performances of works by Frederic Chopin, his favorite composer. There are also effervescent Rubinstein reminiscences told as only he could tell them, as well as interviews with his family and colleagues. A 100th anniversary tribute to the famous virtuoso pianist, Arthur Rubinstein.
Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War
This is the story of the feud between FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and the Kennedys. It shows how much Hoover hated them and how they tried to stand up to him from the day John Kennedy was elected President until Bobby was assassinated.
Dreams of a Land
The story of Samuel de Champlain's futile search for a passage to China in North America and his later founding of Quebec.
Prisoners of Propaganda
In 1943, the Imperial Japanese Secret Service made a film called Calling Australia! to show the "exemplary conditions" under which prisoners of war were kept, and to "soften up" the Australian public for the anticipated occupation of their country by Japanese forces. Prisoners of Propaganda tells why the film was made, and how it came to be forgotten.
Forged in Wood: Building Anderson's Blacksmith Shop
This program covers the history and recent authentic reconstruction of James Anderson's blacksmith shop from 18th century Williamsburg, Virginia, showing the construction methods and materials of the 18th century used in constructing the blacksmith shop.
This film illustrates the struggles of Canadian prairies women to achieve a more just and humane society within the farm movement and at large. During the early 1900s, women on the prairies looked for ways to overcome their isolation. Out of the resulting farm women's organizations grew a group of women possessing remarkable intellectual abilities, social and cultural awareness, and advanced worldviews.
A Musical Based on the Acts of the Apostles
J. Edgar Hoover
He battled the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, encouraged McCarthy and single-handedly changed the course of history. Hired by F.D.R. to be the director of the FBI, Hoover erected the most sophisticated investigatory agency in the world.
First Journey, Fort William
Set in 1815, this is the dramatic story of a child of the fur trade, son of a Native mother and a Scottish-Canadian fur trader. John Mackenzie's father is a wintering partner of the Montréal-based North West Company, which was for decades the wealthiest merchant enterprise in North America. To mark his entry into adulthood, twelve-year-old John is travelling for the first time to Fort William, the Company's lavish winter headquarters by Lake Superior. In following his journey, the film reveals the complex network of people--Scottish, French and Native Canadian--that made up fur-trading society and gave a unique flavor to the opening up of Canada's northwest.