Best History Movies of 1987


The Untouchables

7.8/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Andy García, Robert De Niro, Richard Bradford, Jack Kehoe, Brad Sullivan, Billy Drago, Patricia Clarkson ..
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Release date: 1987-06-03

The Last Emperor

7.7/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: John Lone, Peter O'Toole, Joan Chen, Vivian Wu, Dennis Dun, Ruocheng Ying, Victor Wong, Maggie Han, Ric Young, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ..
Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci
Release date: 1987-10-04

Empire of the Sun

7.7/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers, Ben Stiller, Joe Pantoliano, Leslie Phillips, Masat? Ibu, Emily Richard, Rupert Frazer ..
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1987-12-09

Cry Freedom

7.4/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Penelope Wilton, Kate Hardie, John Matshikiza, Zakes Mokae, John Thaw, Kevin McNally, Josette Simon, Juanita Waterman ..
Directed by: Richard Attenborough
Release date: 1987-11-06

Hope and Glory

7.3/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Sebastian Rice-Edwards, Geraldine Muir, Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sammi Davis, Derrick O'Connor, Susan Wooldridge, Jean-Marc Barr, Ian Bannen, Annie Leon ..
Directed by: John Boorman
Release date: 1987-09-03


7.9/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, Will Oldham, David Strathairn, Ken Jenkins, Gordon Clapp, Kevin Tighe, John Sayles, Bob Gunton ..
Directed by: John Sayles
Release date: 1987-08-28
Best History Movies of 1987 : The Other Israel

The Other Israel

7.5/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Theodore Winston Pike ..
Directed by: Elizabeth Alynn Pike
Release date: 1987-01-01


6.6/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Ed Harris, Richard Masur, René Assa, René Auberjonois, Keith Szarabajka, Sy Richardson, Xander Berkeley, Blanca Guerra, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., John Diehl ..
Directed by: Alex Cox
Release date: 1987-12-04
Best History Movies of 1987 : Vietnam


7.7/10 IMDB

The trials and tribulations of the Goddard family after the entry of Australia into the Vietnam War.

Starring: Barry Otto, Nicole Kidman, Nicholas Eadie, Veronica Lang, John Polson, Grace Parr, Pauline Chan, Mark Lee, Warren Coleman, Jim Holt ..
Directed by: John Duigan, Chris Noonan
Release date: 1987-02-23

Gardens of Stone

6.4/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones, D.B. Sweeney, Dean Stockwell, Mary Stuart Masterson, Dick Anthony Williams, Lonette McKee, Sam Bottoms, Elias Koteas ..
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Release date: 1987-05-05

A Month in the Country

6.8/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Colin Firth, Kenneth Branagh, Natasha Richardson, Patrick Malahide, Jim Carter, Richard Vernon, Tony Haygarth, Tim Barker, Eileen O'Brien, Vicki Arundale ..
Directed by: Pat O'Connor
Release date: 1987-01-01

The Lighthorsemen

6.8/10 IMDB

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?

Starring: Peter Phelps, Nick Waters, Shane Briant, Gary Sweet, Bill Kerr, John Larking, John Haywood, Di O'Connor, Grant Piro, Tony Bonner ..
Directed by: Simon Wincer
Release date: 1987-09-10
Best History Movies of 1987 : Vincent


7.5/10 IMDB

A biography of Vincent van Gogh using only images and the letters he wrote to his brother Theo.

Starring: John Hurt, Marika Rivera, Gabriella Trsek ..
Directed by: Paul Cox
Release date: 1987-10-08
Best History Movies of 1987 : Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker

Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker

7.6/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Todd Olivier, Josephine Baker ..
Directed by: Christopher Ralling
Release date: 1987-03-24
Best History Movies of 1987 : The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell

The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell

8.1/10 IMDB

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."

Starring: Joseph Campbell ..
Directed by: Janelle Balnicke
Release date: 1987-03-22


7.3/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Robin Soans, William Gaminara, Stephen Bateman, Phil Davis, Jeremy Flynn, Keith Allen, Alex Norton, Robert Stephens, Freddie Jones, Michael Hordern ..
Directed by: Bill Douglas
Release date: 1987-08-23
Best History Movies of 1987 : The Happy Valley

The Happy Valley

6.1/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Denholm Elliott, Holly Aird, Kathryn Pogson, Michael Byrne, Cathryn Harrison, Amanda Hillwood, Peter Sands, Richard Heffer, Mawa Makondo, Kavundla ..
Directed by: Ross Devenish
Release date: 1987-09-06
Best History Movies of 1987 : Who Killed Vincent Chin?

Who Killed Vincent Chin?

7.5/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Lily Chin, Ronald Ebens, Michael Nitz, Charles Kaufman, Helen Zia ..
Directed by: Christine Choy
Release date: 1987-03-11
Best History Movies of 1987 : Lena: My 100 Children

Lena: My 100 Children

6.7/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Linda Lavin, Torquil Campbell, Lenore Harris, Susannah Hoffmann, Cynthia Wilde, George Touliatos, John Evans, Sam Malkin, Megan Fahlenbock, Adam Kositsky ..
Directed by: Edwin Sherin
Release date: 1987-11-23
Best History Movies of 1987 : Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

6.2/10 IMDB

The life of an aging black slave, Tom, and the people he interacts with.

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Avery Brooks, Kate Burton, Bruce Dern, Paula Kelly, Phylicia Rash?d, Edward Woodward, George Coe, Frank Converse, Albert Hall ..
Directed by: Stan Lathan
Release date: 1987-06-14

The Houses Are Full of Smoke

7.2/10 IMDB

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.

Directed by: Allan Francovich
Release date: 1987-09-19
Best History Movies of 1987 : The Distant Land

The Distant Land

6.4/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Michel Piccoli, Bulle Ogier, Wolfgang Hübsch, Milena Vukoti?, Dominique Blanc, Paulus Manker, Gabriel Barylli, Paul Burian, Barbara Rebeschini, Jutta Lampe ..
Directed by: Luc Bondy
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best History Movies of 1987 : Dragonard


4.2/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Oliver Reed, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton, Annabel Schofield, Claudia Udy, Drummond Marais, Dennis Folbigge, Winston Gama ..
Directed by: Gerard Kikoine, Gérard Kikoïne
Release date: 1987-05-12
Best History Movies of 1987 : Sweet Country

Sweet Country

4.8/10 IMDB

An American couple in Chile is drawn into the turmoil that followed President Salvador Allende's 1973 overthrow.

Starring: Jane Alexander, John Cullum, Carole Laure, Franco Nero, Joanna Pettet, Randy Quaid, Irene Papas, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Pierre Vaneck, Katia Dandoulaki ..
Directed by: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Release date: 1987-01-23
Best History Movies of 1987 : Rubinstein Remembered

Rubinstein Remembered

7.5/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: John Rubinstein, Arthur Rubinstein ..
Directed by: Peter Rosen
Release date: 1987-07-20
Best History Movies of 1987 : Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War

Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War

6.8/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Robert Pine, Jack Warden, Heather Thomas, Nicholas Campbell, Jennifer Dale, Richard Anderson, Barry Morse, Brioni Farrell, Marcia Bennett, Linda Goranson ..
Directed by: Michael O'Herlihy
Release date: 1987-10-26
Best History Movies of 1987 : Dreams of a Land

Dreams of a Land

6.2/10 IMDB

The story of Samuel de Champlain's futile search for a passage to China in North America and his later founding of Quebec.

Starring: Vlasta Vrana ..
Directed by: Robert Doucet
Release date: 1987-12-24

Prisoners of Propaganda

0.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Alistair Duncan ..
Directed by: Graham Shirley
Release date: 1987-12-01

Forged in Wood: Building Anderson's Blacksmith Shop

0.0/10 IMDB

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.

Release date: 1987-01-01
Best History Movies of 1987 : Prairie Women

Prairie Women

0.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Virginia Beckner, Dennis Cyr, Brandi Beckner, David Beckner, Miriam Newhouse, Judith Lebane, Juliet Brown, Brenda Prentice, Sandi Gregg, Elan Ross Gibson ..
Directed by: Barbara Evans
Release date: 1987-01-01

Upside Down

0.0/10 IMDB

A Musical Based on the Acts of the Apostles

Starring: Jerome Williams, Bob Tranchell, Sherwin Mackintosh, Clegg Dyson, Teresa Davis, David Grahm, Kevin Darby ..
Directed by: Steven L. Johnson
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best History Movies of 1987 : J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover

0.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Treat Williams, Robert Alan Browne, Rip Torn, David Ogden Stiers, Charles Hallahan, Art Hindle, Louise Fletcher, Rip Torn, Andrew Duggan, Charles Levin ..
Directed by: Robert L. Collins
Release date: 1987-01-11

First Journey, Fort William

0.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Bobby Kitchkeesic, Daniel McGoey, Cheryl Kylander, Denis Malette, James Hughes, Walter Massey, Thomas Lackey, Gloria Demers ..
Directed by: Joan Henson
Release date: 1987-01-01

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