Best History Movies of 1989
Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.
Gritty adaption of William Shakespeare's play about the English King's bloody conquest of France.
Roger & Me
A documentary about the closure of General Motors' plant at Flint, Michigan, which resulted in the loss of 30,000 jobs. Details the attempts of filmmaker Michael Moore to get an interview with GM CEO Roger Smith.
Casualties of War
During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.
For All Mankind
A testament to NASA's Apollo program of the 1960s and '70s. Composed of actual NASA footage of the missions and astronaut interviews, the documentary offers the viewpoint of the individuals who braved the remarkable journey to the moon and back.
Great Balls of Fire!
The story of Jerry Lee Lewis, arguably the greatest and certainly one of the wildest musicians of the 1950s. His arrogance, remarkable talent, and unconventional lifestyle often brought him into conflict with others in the industry, and even earned him the scorn and condemnation of the public.
The Woman in Black
When a friendless old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young solicitor is sent by his firm to settle the estate. The lawyer finds the townspeople reluctant to talk about or go near the woman's dreary home and no one will explain or even acknowledge the menacing woman in black he keeps seeing.
Fat Man and Little Boy
Assigned to oversee the development of the atomic bomb, Gen. Leslie Groves is a stern military man determined to have the project go according to plan. He selects J. Robert Oppenheimer as the key scientist on the top-secret operation, but the two men clash fiercely on a number of issues. Despite their frequent conflicts, Groves and Oppenheimer ultimately push ahead with two bomb designs — the bigger "Fat Man" and the more streamlined "Little Boy."
Romero is a compelling and deeply moving look at the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who made the ultimate sacrifice in a passionate stand against social injustice and oppression in his county. This film chronicles the transformation of Romero from an apolitical, complacent priest to a committed leader of the Salvadoran people.
The World at War: The Making of the Series
The making of 'The World At War'. Each film in the 26 episode series had to be an essay on an aspect of the war, because the length and separate aspects of the war was far too much to cover in detail. Jeremy Isaacs talks about the production process and the aims of the project. The intention of the crew that were involved with the various skills in making 'The World at War' had no desire to use film from British, German, French, Polish, Russian, Japanese, or the Americans because of their specific means of showing the winning side of a specific action. Rather, an effort was made to interview people who were not part of the establishment, but rather the common people or assistants and secretaries of historical persons. Film was researched for those films from cameras where there was no special subject, but those that would allow the viewer to make their own decisions about what they had just seen and heard.
My Name Is Bill W.
Based on the true story of Bill W. (James Woods), a successful stock broker whose life falls apart after the stock crash of the 20's and how he comes to grips with his alcoholism. Along with a fellow alcoholic (James Garner) he forms a support group that would eventually become Alcoholics Anonymous.
A depiction of a series of violent killings in Northern Ireland.
China in Revolution: 1911-1949
CHINA: A CENTURY OF REVOLUTION is a six-hour tour de force journey through the country's most tumultuous period. First televised on PBS, this award-winning documentary series presents an astonishingly candid view of a once-secret nation with rare archival footage, insightful historical commentary and stunning eyewitness accounts from citizens who struggled through China's most decisive century. CHINA IN REVOLUTION charts the country's most violent era where decades of civil war and foreign invasions led to the bloody battle for power between Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek.
An English bon-vivant osteopath is enchanted with a young exotic dancer and invites her to live with him. He serves as friend and mentor, and through his contacts and parties she and her friend meet and date members of the Conservative Party. Eventually a scandal occurs when her affair with the Minister of War goes public, threatening their lifestyles and their freedom.
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt
On the eve of 1987's Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, surviving families and friends of people who have died of AIDS prepare panels to be added to a large-scale memorial quilt project. Drawing from the sea of names memorialized, director Robert Epstein focuses on the lives of six people. Alongside the intimate profiles offered, through news footage and interviews, Epstein puts the AIDS crisis in the larger context of social and government response to the disease.
For 200 years, the United States Congress has been one of the country's most important and least understood institutions. In this elegant, thoughtful and often touching portrait, Ken Burns explores the history and promise of this unique American institution. Using historical photographs and newsreels, evocative live footage and interviews with David Broder, Alistair Cooke, Cokie Roberts, Charles McDowell and others, the award-winning film chronicles the personalities, events and issues that have animated the first 200 years of Congress and, in turn, our country.
Top Guns - The Documentary
"TOP GUNS: THE DOCUMENTARY" is the story of carrier base fighter pilots in the 1980's. Meet the men who are the best fighter pilots in the world. Hear their views on flying and combat; see their rigorous training and months and years of hardwork.
The Final Days
The Final Days concerns itself with the final months of the Richard Nixon presidency.
Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard leaves Europe, eventually arriving in the United States. With the help of Einstein, he persuades the government to build an atomic bomb. The project is given to no-nonsense Gen. Leslie Groves who selects physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer to head the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico, where the bomb is built. As World War II draws to a close, Szilard has second thoughts about atomic weapons, and policy makers debate how and when to use the bomb.
The Fatal Attraction of Adolf Hitler
Documentary seeks to answer why the majority of the German people were so willing to follow Hitler, even as he led them into war.
The Fifteen Streets
In northern England around 1900, the worker John O'Brien lives near poverty in a small house in the worker's district. He falls in love with Mary, the teacher of his highly intelligent younger sister Kathy and daughter of a rich family. Their love is doomed by the social difference, but the vigorous Mary refuses to allow outer circumstances destroying their love.
Surname Viêt Given Name Nam
The film evolves around questions of identity, popular memory and culture. While focusing on aspects of Vietnamese reality as seen through the lives and history of women resistance in Vietnam and in the U.S, it raises questions on the politics of interviewing and documenting.
Attorney Henry Strauss grew up in Germany, but left the country with his Jewish family during the rise of the Third Reich. Still wondering about what happened to his boyhood friend Konradin Von Lohenburg, Strauss travels back to Germany for the first time since he was a young man, bringing up some painful memories.
Fact-based biography of James Bond author, Ian Fleming. The film focuses on his wartime exploits and romantic adventures which ultimately led to his creation of the super-spy.
A More Perfect Union
Become an eyewitness to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. This stirring 2-hour film will bring the Founding Fathers to life as you witness the struggles and the miracles that produced the Constitution of the United States and the freest nation on earth. Filmed on location at Independence Hall; Williamsburg, Virginia; and other historical sites, it dramatically chronicles how America became a nation. It is exciting drama of the best kind-fact, rather than fiction. "It brings the history books to life," writes one reviewer. "Dramatically moving, and visually handsome," says another. Officially recognized by the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, who cited the film as being "of exceptional merit."
Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid
Gore Vidal's historical novel is brought to life in this television production of Turner Network Television's Billy the Kid.
A music promoter sends a young woman on a road trip in search of a band who hasn't been showing up for their gigs.
The First Emperor of China
This historical drama tells the story of Qin Shihuang, who unified China’s vast territory and declared himself emperor in 221 B.C. During his reign, he introduced sweeping reforms, built a vast network of roads and connected the Great Wall of China. From the grandiose inner sanctum of Emperor Qin's royal palace, to fierce battles with feudal kings, this film re-creates the glory and the terror of the Qin Dynasty, including footage of Qin's life-sized terra cotta army, constructed 2,200 years ago for his tomb.
Interviews with personalities including John Mellencamp, Spike Lee, Lou Reed, Roseanne Barr, David Byrne, George Michael and more, as they reflect on the 1980s.
Countdown to War
Based on a play, the story details the dramatic negotiations between UK, France, Poland, Nazi-Germany and USSR from the day Czechoslovakia fell, until Britain's declaration of war on Germany caused by Hitler's invasion of Poland.
Visions of Ecstasy
The 16th century Carmelite nun St. Teresa, surrounded by candles and crosses, fantasizes about making love to a crucified Christ and her own psyche.
High Fidelity: The Adventures of the Guarneri String Quartet
Relationships, rehearsals, performances, hobbies, and family life of the members of the Guarneri String Quartet.
David Macaulay: Pyramid
How did ancient Egyptians build the Great Pyramid at Giza, joining two million blocks of heavy stone with amazing precision? Who were the leaders who built these enormous structures, and what did these tombs signify? Host David Macaulay explores the history, mythology, and religions of Egypt's people, combining live footage and animation. Take a rare look at the mummy of Ramses II and buried treasure in the sacred Valley of the Kings.
The Yellow Wallpaper
A woman goes slowly mad as she is confined to a room for weeks on end by her husband.
Dunkirk: The Battle for France
The heroic rescue of the stranded British expeditionary force from the beaches of Nothern France is now the stuff of legend. How was it that a catastrophic defeat was turned into one of British history's great victories?
Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice
Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period. Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison reads selections from Wells' memoirs and other writings in this winner of more than 20 film festival awards.
Donald Marshall is imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit.
Thieves in the Night
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." Experiences in a kibbutz, it sets up a stage in describing the historical roots of the conflict between Arabs and Jewish settlers in the British ruled Palestine.
Piaget’s Developmental Theory: an Overview
The work of Jean Piaget has become the foundation of current developmental psychology and the basis for changes in educational practice. David Elkind, author of The Hurried Child and Miseducation, and a student of Jean Piaget, explores the roots of Piaget’s work and outlines important vocabulary and concepts that structure much of the study of child development. Using both archival film of Dr. Piaget and newly shot sequences of Dr. Elkind conducting interviews with children of varying ages, this film presents an overview of Piaget’s developmental theory, its scope and content.
The Mountain and the Molehill
It is May 1944, two weeks before D-day. Britain stands poised for the long-awaited invasion of France - thousands of troops wait anxiously for the orders to come for embarkation. MI5 is horrified to discover the top-secret codewords for the invasion suddenly appearing as clues in the Daily Telegraph crossword. Two agents are immediately dispatched to confront the culprit, the headmaster of a boys' school in southern England.
Mount Vernon: Home of George Washington
This fully-narrated DVD tours Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. Washington's personality and interests are evident everywhere. Textbooks describe the General and the President, bu Mount Vernon, as seen in this DVD program, tells us about the man. Washington's home is shown in its entirety, including the third floor, which is not usually viewed by the public. Rooms and furnishings are described in relation to George and Martha's daily lives.
The Worlds Greatest Goals
The Golden Age of Soccer. See the greatest players from the greatest 20 years of World Cup History. 141 non-stop goals from Charlton, Hurst, Pele, Cruyff, Eusebio, Muller, Moore, Kempes, Rossi, Maradona and more! "The World's Greatest Goals" brings you the highlights of the "Golden Age" - The World Cups from 1966-1986. The Saves, The Fouls, The Unique atmosphere and... The Goals... Compiled from the Official Films of The World Cup. Contains the FIFA 'Goal of the Century' This program is produced by the Makers of the Best Selling World Cup Films "Gole" and "Hero".
How To Squash A Squat
1989, NYC's Alphabet City, NYC East Village. A year after the Tompkins Square Park Riot, squatters and their community allies try to stop the demolition of their building after an arson fire. Police forces occupy the neighborhood while the demolition continues. A portrait of an East Village that is no more. An homage to the voices and sounds of a neighborhood before it's gentrification. Shot 31 years ago on Video8, this film is truly an independent original.
The Atlanta Cyclorama
The Atlanta Cyclorama, with its massive panoramic painting, diorama, and museum, will fascinate visitors who wish to re-live this epic of American history. Experience the entire Cyclorama program as we bring to life the Battle of Atlanta.
New York's Game: History of the Knicks (1946-1990)
This video features more than 40 years of rarely-seen footage of the New York Knickerbockers, with a special focus on the championship teams of 1970 and 1973.
Witchcraft - Yesterday And Today
This is a video by recognized Witchcraft authority Raymond Buckland, whose purpose is to straighten out the popular misconceptions about the Wiccan religion. For the approximately 70,000 to 75,000 people in the United States who consider themselves Wiccans or Pagans, this is the only completely factual "how-to" depiction of the rites and practices of their religion in the world.
Older, Stronger, Wiser
In this short documentary, five black women talk about their lives in rural and urban Canada between the 1920s and 1950s. What emerges is a unique history of Canada’s black people and the legacy of their community elders. Produced by the NFB’s iconic Studio D.
Illuminated Lives: A Brief History of Women's Work in the Middle Ages
This animated short challenges enduring myths, spawned by fairy tales and romances, about women in medieval society. It explores the differences and similarities between that distant period and our own, and shows what medieval women’s lives were really like.
Cincinnati: More Great, Near Great, and Not So Great Moments in Cincinnati History
Take another trip through yesterday's Cincinnati, and its people, places, and events, which includes highlights of Cincinnati's Bicentennial Celebration.
The Life of George Washington
Using historical prints and engravings, this DVD looks at the life of George Washington, tracing his early years, military career, family life, presidency, and retirement at Mount Vernon.