Best History Movies of 1997
In this biographical drama, Selena Quintanilla is born into a musical Mexican-American family in Texas. Her father, Abraham, realizes that his young daughter is talented and begins performing with her at small venues. She finds success and falls for her guitarist, Chris Perez, who draws the ire of her father. Seeking mainstream stardom, Selena begins recording an English-language album which, tragically, she would never complete.
Seven Years in Tibet
Austrian mountaineer, Heinrich Harrer journeys to the Himalayas without his family to head an expedition in 1939. But when World War II breaks out, the arrogant Harrer falls into Allied forces' hands as a prisoner of war. He escapes with a fellow detainee and makes his way to Llaso, Tibet, where he meets the 14-year-old Dalai Lama, whose friendship ultimately transforms his outlook on life.
In 1839, the slave ship Amistad set sail from Cuba to America. During the long trip, Cinque leads the slaves in an unprecedented uprising. They are then held prisoner in Connecticut, and their release becomes the subject of heated debate. Freed slave Theodore Joadson wants Cinque and the others exonerated and recruits property lawyer Roger Baldwin to help his case. Eventually, John Quincy Adams also becomes an ally.
The Tibetans refer to the Dalai Lama as 'Kundun', which means 'The Presence'. He was forced to escape from his native home, Tibet, when communist China invaded and enforced an oppressive regime upon the peaceful nation. The Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959 and has been living in exile in Dharamsala ever since.
When Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert dies, she finds solace in her trusted servant, Mr. John Brown. But their relationship also brings scandal and turmoil to the monarchy.
The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realisation of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and responsibility with his obsessive love for Lord Alfred Douglas.
Max is a handsome young man who, after a fateful tryst with a German soldier, is forced to run for his life. Eventually Max is placed in a concentration camp where he pretends to be Jewish because in the eyes of the Nazis, gays are the lowest form of human being. But it takes a relationship with an openly gay prisoner to teach Max that without the love of another, life is not worth living.
Based on the novel by Bernard Cornwell, "Sharpe's Waterloo" brings maverick British officer Lt. Col. Richard Sharpe to his last fight against the French, in June of 1815.
Sharpe is framed as the thief who stole Napolean's gold, and he must clear his name to avoid execution. Meanwhile his wife Jane - urged on by a friend - makes some questionable choices.
The Long Way Home
The story of the post World War II Jewish refugee situation from liberation to the establishment of the modern state of Israel.
Napoleon has been exiled to Elba, the English have returned from the wars, and Major Richard Sharpe finds himself in a sort of exile to lead a company of Yorkshire Yeomen. His duties include protecting mill owners from restless workers who are on the verge of strike or outright revolt. Meanwhile, Sharpe's faithless wife and her lover fall within range of Sharpe's wrath. Sharpe, with his two of his devoted Chosen Men nearby, must decide whether to continue to protect the mill owners or to take the side of their fiercely downtrodden workers.
Spurred by a white woman's lie, vigilantes destroy a black Florida town and slay inhabitants in 1923.
A distinguished military leader whose reign was touched by great scandal, shocking betrayals and rousing victories. A simple shepherd boy chosen to be king, under the watchful eyes of prophet Samuel.
A group of English, American, Dutch and Australian women creates a vocal orchestra while being imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp on Sumatra during World War II.
Welcome to Sarajevo
Follow a group of international journalists into the heart of the once cosmopolitan city of Sarajevo—now a danger zone of sniper and mortar attacks where residents still live. While reporting on an American aid worker who’s trying to get children out of the country, a British correspondent decides to take an orphaned girl home to London.
George Wallace is a 1997 television film starring Gary Sinise as George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama. It was directed by John Frankenheimer, who won an Emmy award for it; Sinise and Mare Winningham also won Emmies for their performances. The film was based on the 1996 biography Wallace : The Classic Portrait of Alabama Governor George Wallace by Marshall Frady, who also co-wrote the teleplay. Frankenheimer's film was highly praised by critics: in addition to the Emmy awards, it received the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries/Motion Picture made for TV. Angelina Jolie also received a Golden Globe for her performance as Wallace's second wife, Cornelia.
David, now an old man, is still king of Israel. Among his sons, the ambitious Adonijah and the clever Solomon. The two young men are fierce rivals, since both are prospective heirs to the throne and only one can be successful.
An acclaimed hijacking documentary that eerily foreshadowed 9/11. We meet the romantic skyjackers who fought their revolutions and won airtime on the passenger planes of the 1960s and '70s. By the 1990s, such characters were apparently no more, replaced on our TV screens by stories of anonymous bombs in suitcases. Director Johan Grimonprez investigates the politics behind this change, at the same time unwrapping our own complicity in the urge for ultimate disaster.
Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas
Christmas abounds with traditions, from neighborhood carolers to lovingly decorated trees, but from where did all these rituals emerge? This enlightening program looks at the origins of the Western world's most popular Christmas traditions -- from the significance of December 25th and its relationship to winter solstice to the enchanting legend of Santa Claus and Prince Albert's 1841 unveiling of the Christmas tree.
Born Under the Red Flag: 1976–1997
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. Mao's death begins BORN UNDER THE RED FLAG, which follows the country's new leadership of Deng Xiaoping and its unlikely transformation into an extraordinary hybrid of communist-centralized politics with an ever-expanding free market economy.
Sharpe: The Legend
Several years after the battle of Waterloo, a former soldier from Shoreditch sits in a London inn reminiscing about the brave and determined officer who took him to hell and back. The narrator is Rifleman Cooper, and the officer whose fame he recalls is the legendary Richard Sharpe.
The Manson Family
Jim Van Bebber's "The Manson Family" is an extremely violent and bloody horror film that reconstructs the early activities of the Family and their descent into the Tate-LaBianca killings. Van Bebber mixes this with a contemporary sub plot involving tabloid journalist Jack Wilson's quest to film a documentary on the subject.The film is loaded with plenty of sex and full-frontal nudity. The final third of "The Manson Family" is a grueling nightmare with some of the most sadistic and savage murders ever captured on screen.
Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing
The incredible story of the events leading up to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the capture of the terrorists.
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
1997 BBC adaptation of the classic Henry Fielding novel.
In the Shadow of the Reich: Nazi Medicine
Examines the step-by-step process that led German medical professionals down an unethical road to genocide.
Visas and Virtue
Europe, 1940. For thousands of Jews, a Japanese diplomat and his wife defy Tokyo and the Nazis, and offer visas, for life.
Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone
British explorer Henry Stanley travels to Africa in 1871 seeking missionary David Livingstone.
Titanic: Untold Stories
The gripping personal accounts of the people and the tragedy. In never-before-seen footage, we journey with historian Charles Haas, as he descends into the depths of the North Atlantic and guides us on a tour of the RMS Titanic. While recounting tales of triumph and struggle, we see among the many sites the doors where all passengers would have entered, peer through the porthole of a first class cabin, see the davits where the too few lifeboats hung and pause by the mail room where the postal workers heroically died. This unique footage coupled with letters, old stills, artifacts and new recreations tells the amazing human stories of this famous ship as never before.
The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender
A film scrapbook, images, phrases from our past, hiding their meanings behind veils. Let's lift those veils, one by one, to find how images, at one time seeming innocent, have revealed, after decades, to have homosexual overtones.
They've ridden dusty miles without end and fought fierce battles. Yet when these brave African-American cavalrymen enter a scraggly frontier town, they must walk through it instead of ride. The town dishonors them but the soldiers' Native-American foes do not. Apache leader Victoria and other warriors give the horsemen a name of honor and strength: "Buffalo Soldiers". The troopers' daring hunt for Victorio frames this stirring tribute to the former slaves and other African-Americans of the 9th and 10th U.S. Calvary Regiments. Danny Glover, Mykelti Williamson, Glynn Turman, Carl Lumbly and Michael Warren star in an adventure bringing to light that largely unknown story and the unique moral dilemma the men faced. Atten-hut! "Buffalo Soldiers are riding" through town.
In 5th century Ireland, a young Celtic chieftain and his allies fight against Roman encroachment, the manipulative pro-Roman puppet ruler of Ireland, Queen Diana, and her immortal adviser who seeks the biblical Spear of Longinus.
Eight Clouds Rising
Fuzuchi Kuraki is a quiet young high school student blessed with immense psychic powers and an ancient sword. He is searching for other magical artifacts with the help of Nanachi Takeo, a college student with latent powers of his own. They delve deep into the dark magic of Izumo, only to discover the secrets buried within the birthplace of all Japanese mythology.
Archival footage and interviews with historians mark this fascinating documentary on the 1950s, based on David Halberstam's bestseller. Among the subjects covered: work and the family; the impact of TV; the Cold War; and the beginnings of the civil-rights movement and the sexual revolution.
SÃ ngÃ³: The Legendary African King
Bringing 15th-century Africa--before the arrival of colonizers--to rich, colorful life, chronicling the exploits of legendary Yoruba king Sango, ruler of the Oyo empire: his ascension to the throne, his battles with the Olowu and his own war generals, his dangerous experimentations with potent charms, and his ultimate deification.
First Person Singular: I.M. Pei
Architect I.M. Pei speaks about his famous works, such as the addition to the Louvre in Paris, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. Footage of these projects shows both interiors and exteriors. Various other experts comment on the impact and importance of Pei's work.
Food for Ravens
A biopic by the dramatist Trevor Griffiths of Aneurin "Nye" Bevan, the British Labour politician who founded the country's National Health Service in the 1940s.
Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster
"Titanic - Anatomy of a Disaster" is an original Discovery Channel production that looks into not only the history but the mystery surrounding the sinking of Britain's most luxurious passenger liner. This investigation, narrated by Martin Sheen, shows a research and recovery expedition that uses science to piece together the final hours of the Titanic: Discovery Channel has assembled a unique investigative team of oceanologists, marine engineers, archaeologists, microbiologists, metallurgists, engineers, writers, historians and movie makers to uncover the truth about one of history's greatest disasters.
Newton : A Tale of Two Isaacs
As Newton devotes himself to the difficult and solitary path of challenging the existing view of the universe and proving his own theories on celestial movement and gravity, his young scribe Humphrey wavers between pursuing science or following his heart.
New York Underground
In the mid 1800s, New York City was one of the most crowded places on earth. The congested streets and pokey transportation system were a source of constant complaint. On March 24, 1900, ground was broken for the Big Apple's subway; the Interborough Rapid Transit Line opened four years later, running more than 26 miles of underground track at the speed of 35 miles per hour. Soon thousands in the city were "doing the subway."
Marion du Faouët
Historical drama centred around the legendary Breton heroine Marion du Faouët who was born Marie-Louise Tromel in 1735 in the little village of Faouët in Brittany. She became the leader of a group of highway robbers.
A compilation of animator Bill Plympton's classic shorts, including "Your Face", "How to Kiss", "One of Those Days", "25 Ways to Quit Smoking", "Plymptoons", "Nosehair" and "How to Make Love to a Woman". In between, an animated version of Bill answers questions about his life and career.
Rescuers: Stories of Courage - Two Women
First in a series of anthology films dealing with Christians who put their lives on the line to help rescue Jews from the Holocaust. In the first of two short films, "Mamusha," as the Nazis invade her country, a Polish Catholic housekeeper takes under her wing the youngster in the Jewish family for whom she is employed, and shepherds him through WWII in hopes of ultimately getting him repatriated to Palestine. In "Woman on a Bicycle," an unmarried French woman is pressed into service by the church to distribute underground communication pamphlets for the Resistance and ultimately ends up helping the church shelter 19 Jews.
Othello Dangerous Desire
A modern re-telling of this international classic.
Fire Mountain: The Eruption and Rebirth of Mount St. Helens
In 1980, the eruption of Mount St. Helens leveled 230 square miles, sent 540 million tons of ash and volcanic rock twelve miles into the air, and blasted one cubic mile of earth from the crest of the Cascade Mountain Range. Illustrates the terrifying fury of the most destructive volcanic disaster in American history through aerial photography and survivors' own words. Shows examples of nature's plant and animal recovery seventeen years later.
Thu Kyun Ma Khan Bi
The film is about the last king of Burma, Thibaw Min. British and French colonialists interfere in the internal affairs of the Burmese kingdom which leads to its destruction and a subsequent revolt to regain independence.
The Spitfire Story
The Spitfire was the plane no-one wanted - government, industry and even the Royal Air Force turned it down. Only the faith of its brilliant designer, R.J. Mitchell, kept the Spitfire project moving forward and into service - just in time to become the symbol of British pride and power as a "killer fighter" during the Battle of Britain.
Covering nearly fifty years of mid-19th-century turmoil, from the tumultuous Texas Revolution to the early women's suffrage movement, "True Women" is a gripping tale of endurance, love, and above all, gritty female determination.
Fratricide in Allah's Name
This film looks back at Algeria's past, covering its fight for independence and its subsequent fight against itself, being one of the few films to capture civil war Algeria and its inhabitants on camera. The filmmakers talk to politicians from both sides, past revolutionaries, and most importantly civilians, whose lives were torn apart by the conflict.
Home for the Holidays: The History of Thanksgiving
From the first Pilgrim celebration to the Macy's parade, here are the familiar stories and little-known facts behind one of our most beloved holidays.
Independence Day: The History of the Fourth of July
Describes the events of July 4, 1776; early celebrations of the day; and the symbols, patriotic music, fireworks, monuments and statues associated with this holiday. Shows celebrations of the holiday both past and present. The power of this holiday, its patriotism, hometown pride and national unity is just as strong today as it was in 1776.