Best History Movies of 1999
Tells the true story of a 60 Minutes television series exposé of the tobacco industry, as seen through the eyes of a real tobacco executive, Jeffrey Wigand.
Man on the Moon
The story of the life and career of eccentric avant-garde comedian, Andy Kaufman.
The 13th Warrior
A Muslim ambassador exiled from his homeland, Ahmad ibn Fadlan finds himself in the company of Vikings. While the behavior of the Norsemen initially offends ibn Fadlan, the more cultured outsider grows to respect the tough, if uncouth, warriors. During their travels together, ibn Fadlan and the Vikings get word of an evil presence closing in, and they must fight the frightening and formidable force, which was previously thought to exist only in legend.
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
In 1429 a teenage girl from a remote French village stood before her King with a message she claimed came from God; that she would defeat the world's greatest army and liberate her country from its political and religious turmoil. Following her mission to reclaim god's diminished kingdom - through her amazing victories until her violent and untimely death.
Blackadder: Back & Forth
What was a cunning plan from Lord Edmund Blackadder V to fake a time machine on his gullibly incompetent friends, turns out to be the real thing and hurls him and his imbecile underling, Baldrick, through the course of human history.
The story of a Jewish family living in Hungary—through three generations—rising from humble beginnings to positions of wealth and power in the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire. The patriarch becomes a prominent judge but is torn when his government sanctions anti-Jewish persecutions. His son converts to Christianity to advance his career as a champion fencer and Olympic hero, but is caught up in the Holocaust. Finally, the grandson, after surviving war, revolution, loss and betrayal, realizes that his ultimate allegiance must be to himself and his heritage.
After their production "Princess Ida" meets with less-than-stunning reviews, the relationship between Gilbert and Sullivan is strained to breaking. Their friends and associates attempt to get the two to work together again, which opens the way to "The Mikado," one of the duo's greatest successes.
Anna and the King
The story of the romance between the King of Siam (now Thailand) and the widowed British school teacher Anna Leonowens during the 1860s. Anna teaches the children and becomes romanced by the King. She convinces him that a man can be loved by just one woman.
Titus Andronicus returns from the wars and sees his sons and daughters taken from him, one by one. Shakespeare's goriest and earliest tragedy.
Upon receiving reports of missing persons at Fort Spencer, a remote Army outpost on the Western frontier, Capt. John Boyd investigates. After arriving at his new post, Boyd and his regiment aid a wounded frontiersman who recounts a horrifying tale of a wagon train murdered by its supposed guide -- a vicious U.S. Army colonel gone rogue. Fearing the worst, the regiment heads out into the wilderness to verify the gruesome claims.
Jakob the Liar
In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out after curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German radio broadcast about Russian troop movements. Returned to the ghetto, the shopkeeper shares his information with a friend and then rumors fly that there is a secret radio within the ghetto.
Shooting the Past
A US property developer realises that he has a battle on his hands when he tries to renovate a London building containing a vast photographic collection and discovers that the library employees will resort to anything to thwart him.
Rogue Trader tells the true story of Nick Leeson, an employee of Barings Bank who--after a successful trading run--ends up accumulating $1.4 billion in losses hidden in account #88888.
The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs
Leading statesmen, generals, terrorists and others who made the headlines in one of history's most bitter and enduring struggles tell the story of the Arab-Israeli conflict in The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs. Opening with the U.N decision to partition Palestine in 1947, the program charts the ensuing half-century of enmity, warfare, mediation and negotiation. Among the current and former heads of state and prime ministers interviewed or featured in the series are Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir of Israel; King Hussein of Jordan; Yasir Arafat of the Palestine Authority; Hafez al-Assad of Syria; Jafaar Numeiry of Sudan; and U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter. Also appearing are foreign ministers, defense ministers, commanders in the field, heads of intelligence and guerrilla leaders, as well as high-ranking officials in the United States and the former Soviet Union.
Joan of Arc
Ten years before her death, Joan hears voices. Six years later, from the village of Domremy, she begins her mission to unite France under King Charles. First she leads a defense of Vaucouleurs against the Burgundians, then obtains safe passage to Charles, the Dauphin. He uses her, as the embodiment of the mythical "Maid of Lorraine," to raise an army, and he sends her to the rescue of OrlÃ©ans. After Charles is crowned, Joan leads a disastrous campaign in Paris, where her brother dies. Then she's the victim of Charles's manipulations: she's captured in Burgundy, sold to the English, examined by Bishop Cauchon, found a heretic by the Inquisition, and burned at the stake.
Palermo, Sicily, 1984. Examining magistrate Giovanni Falcone allies with Tomasso Buscetta, a former mobster, to defeat the clan of Corleone, the ruthless Mafia faction that rules Cosa Nostra with an iron hand, cruelly eliminating all those who dare to oppose its immense power: other criminals, policemen, judges, even innocent civilians. One of them wants revenge, the other wants justice. But only one can survive such an unequal fight.
CSS Hunley tells the incredible true story of the crew of the manually propelled submarine CSS Hunley, during the siege of Charleston of 1864. It is a story of heroism in the face of adversity, the Hunley being the first submersible to sink an enemy boat in time of war. It also relates the human side of the story relating the uncommon and extaordinary temperament of the 9 men who led the Hunley into history and died valiantly accomplishing this feat.
Fists of Freedom: The Story of the '68 Summer Games
Fists of Freedom examines one of the 20th century’s most memorable moments — the dramatic “Black Power” demonstration of American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the victory stand at the 1968 Summer games in Mexico City. Using rare footage, archival photos and interviews with key figures from the era, revisit a pivotal event in American history.
Esther, the beautiful queen of Persia, intervenes to save the Jewish people from a bloody massacre.
Deep Inside The Titanic
The Titanic lies in complete darkness, four kilometers beneath the ocean. So remote is this famous wreckage that only a small handful of explorers and scientists have dared to make the dangerous journey down to her decks. However, now we too can explore what is left of the mighty ship. Using special remote submersibles to glide through the living spaces of the Titanic, viewers witness the current condition of the ballrooms, hallways and living quarters of this famous vessel. In addition, this unique programme reveals what each room was like before the tragedy. On a guided tour of the ship, the stories of the inhabitants of each room are told. Around each corner, the grandeur that made this ship the pride of the White Star Line brings home the poignant story of those who spent their last moments aboard.
The film is notable for presenting a more human Jesus, compared to more solemn portrayals in earlier films; here Jesus laughs and cries like anyone else. Among other things, he weeps at Joseph’s funeral, throws stones in Lake Galilee when meeting Simon Peter and James son of Zebedee for the first time, dances at the wedding at Cana, and starts a water-splashing fight with his disciples as well. Satan is portrayed as a man in modern dress (and as a woman in red). During his temptation of Jesus, he shows him the Earth from the vantage point of space. Satan also shows Jesus images of wars and destruction carried out in his name. The film adds an apocryphal Roman historian named “Livio” who watches and comments as events unfold; he is presumably named after Livy.
The Hitler Youth
The historical documentary Hitler Youth explores Adolf Hitler's maniacal construction of the titular organization - one comprised of young Aryan men who would rule the world by fear, intimidation and violence. Via a compendium of terrifying archival footage, the program documents the establishment of the Hitler Youth, its escalation from a membership of 13,000 to 10,000,000 within fifteen years, and the death of the organization following Hitler's suicide in 1945.
One Man's Hero
One Man's Hero tells the little-known story of the "St. Patrick's Battalion" or "San Patricios," a group of mostly Irish and other immigrants of the Catholic faith who deserted to Mexico after encountering religious and ethnic prejudice in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War. The plot centers around the personal story of John Riley, an Irishman who had been a sergeant in the American Army who is commissioned as a captain in the Mexican army and commands the battalion, as he leads his men in battle and struggles with authorities on both sides of the border
The Trench tells the story of a group of young British soldiers on the eve of the Battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916, the worst defeat in British military history. Against this ill-fated backdrop, the movie depicts the soldiers' experience as a mixture of boredom, fear, panic, and restlessness, confined to a trench on the front lines.
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years
Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the daughters of the first African-American Episcopal bishop, who was born a slave, and a woman with an inter-racial background. With the support of each other and their family, they survived encounters with racism and sexism in their own different ways. Sadie quietly and sweetly broke barriers to become the first African-American home-ec teacher in New York City, while Bessie, with her own brand of outspokenness, became the second African-American dentist in New York City. At the ages of 103 and 101, they told their story to Amy Hill Hearth, a white New York Times reporter who published an article about them. The overwhelming response launched a bestselling book, a Broadway play, and this film.
Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail
The worldwide Nazi search for archaeological and historical support for their beliefs in the Aryan (German) master race.
The Passion of Ayn Rand
Author Ayn Rand becomes involved with a much younger and married man, to the dismay of those close to her.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
The movie tells the story of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, known mainly for his contributions in shaping the Constitution of India, as the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constituent Assembly. He dedicated his life to fight against the evils of untouchability.
Traces the Beats from Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac's meeting in 1944 at Columbia University to the deaths of Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in 1997. Three actors provide dramatic interpretations of the work of these three writers, and the film chronicles their friendships, their arrival into American consciousness, their travels, frequent parodies, Kerouac's death, and Ginsberg's politicization. Their movement connects with bebop, John Cage's music, abstract expressionism, and living theater. In recent interviews, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kesey, Ferlinghetti, Mailer, Jerry Garcia, Tom Hayden, Gary Snyder, Ed Sanders, and others measure the Beats' meaning and impact.
Nukes in Space
U.S. nuclear tests in space, and the development of the military intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Children of the Struggle
In 1964's Freedom Summer, a white housewife from Chicago was killed fighting for Civil Rights, leaving behind a young son. This is the story of his journey, as a man, to find out who his mother was and why she died.
The Unfinished Journey
For the millennium New Year, Steven Spielberg agreed to create a 21 minute montage, supported by powerful narrations. It was a one-time performance. It tracks the good and the bad of our United States as it traveled through the ending century and millennium.
Addicted to Solitude
I traveled to South Africa to find a white family living on a desolate farm. I wanted to film how they faced the new days of equality after the fall of Apartheid. But I soon lost my way both on the endless roads and in my way. Instead, the film became a story about two very different women who both experienced a tragic loss in the midst of a white community not too fond of the future.
Titanic: Answers From The Abyss
300 miles off the coast of North America, in the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean, a group of ships have come together at the site of the Titanic. Experts from the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France have convened with one goal, to conduct the first full-scale investigation of the Titanic Disaster.
Rabbit in the Moon
Like many Japanese Americans released from WWII internment camps, the young Omori sisters did their best to erase the memories and scars of life under confinement. Fifty years later acclaimed filmmaker Emiko Omori asks her older sister and other detainees to reflect on the personal and political consequences of internment. From the exuberant recollections of a typical teenager, to the simmering rage of citizens forced to sign loyalty oaths, Omori renders a poetic and illuminating picture of a deeply troubling chapter in American history.
J.D. Salinger Doesn't Want to Talk
Famous recluse J. D. Salinger has hidden from the world since "The Catcher in the Rye" took the world by storm. Banned in schools, and horrifically inspiring the killing of John Lennon, the book had repercussions no one could have foreseen and which seemed to drive the author further into hiding.
National Geographic Explorer: The Battle For Midway
National Geographic follows underwater explorer Bob Ballard as he searches for the aircraft carrier sunk during the Battle of Midway.
The History of Sex
It has inspired great art and low humor, been hidden in shame and celebrated with pride. It has kindled debate and sparked conflict. Its influence in our history and heritage cannot be underestimated (though it is often overlooked). Narrated by Peter Coyote, THE HISTORY OF SEX takes a revealing, lighthearted and captivating look at the role of sex in society. From Adam and Eve to the sexual revolution and beyond, this eye-opening series goes between the sheets for a truly intimate look at humanity. The story of sex is the story of civilization.
Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War
Crucible of Empire demonstrates how and why the Spanish-American War constitutes such an important milestone in U.S. history. This program examines the events and attitudes that led to war, followed by an exploration of the conflict and its outcome. Early film footage and stills of battle scenes, plus rich visuals, a compelling story, and intriguing analogies to current foreign policy make Crucible of Empire a riveting documentary.
The Great Indian Wars: 1540-1890
The year 1540 was a crucial turning point in American history. The Great Indian Wars were incited by Francisco Vazquez de Coronado when his expedition to the Great Plains launched the inevitable 350-year struggle between the white man and the American Indians. From that point forward, the series of battles between the military and civilian forces of the United States and the native American Indians began when blood was shed and ultimately tens of thousands of lives were lost on both sides. The Battle of Tippicanoe, the Battle of Horseshoe Band, all three Seminole Wars and the Battle of Little Big Horn were some of the most important conflicts that led up to the last massacre, the Battle of Wounded Knee, where America's landscape would be forever changed!
Rashi: A Light After The Dark Ages
A winemaker overcomes the ignorance and illiteracy of his era to become a Torah commentator who defends the right to spiritual choice and freedom in the 11th century.
American Experience: MacArthur
MacArthur is a 1999 television documentary film about Douglas MacArthur, a United States General of the Army. Produced by PBS for The American Experience (now simply American Experience) documentary program, it recounts the significant events and controversies in MacArthur's life, from childhood to his death in 1964. Written and produced by Austin Hoyt, directed by Hoyt and Sarah Holt, and narrated by David Ogden Stiers.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Showtime's "In the 20th Century" is a millennium-related strand of feature-length documentaries in which famous directors take on major subjects of their choosing. In the fourth of the six films, "The Pursuit of Happiness," filmmaker Robert Zemeckis delves into the history of America's relationship with mind-altering substances over the past 100 years, presenting interviews with historians and professionals in the drug treatment field, interspersed with a treasure trove of film and television clips depicting the highs and lows of smoking, drinking and drugging in the 20th century
Showtime's "In the 20th Century" is a millennium-related strand of feature-length documentaries in which famous directors take on major subjects of their choosing. In the third of the six films, "Yesterday's Tomorrows," filmmaker Barry Levinson delves into what we, as Americans, thought the future would be as we traveled through the 20th century. Houses and cars of the future, the promise of technology, and the other hopes and dreams of the early part of the century gave way to the fears and anxieties brought about by the atomic age and the Hollywood disaster films that followed. Soon we wondered if we could control technology, or if it would control us. This film is by turns light-hearted and thoughtful, and rare historical and archival film, produced by government and industry, alternates with on-screen interviews with people as diverse as consumer advocate Ralph Nader, cartoonist Matt Groening, futurist Alvin Toffler, comedienne Phyllis Diller, and actor Martin Mull.
This movie challenges ones mind to see racism from another perspective. It forces the issue of racism not on a black/white side of things, but an African American and Indian proportionally view.
Blood and Flowers: In Search for the Aztecs
A documentary charting the early years of the Aztec civilization in ancient Mexico.
B. F. Skinner: A Fresh Appraisal
Other than Freud, no psychologist has been so discussed, critiqued and, at times, maligned as B.F. Skinner. Using both archival and new film, this video takes a new look at who the man was, and what he really said in his twenty books. Like other thinkers who broke new ground, Skinner had to invent his own vocabulary to describe the phenomena he was studying. In this film, his terms are introduced in context so the student understands how they were intended to be used and the research that produced them. The film lays to rest some myths and credits Skinner with contributions not often attributed to him. Understanding the complex man behind his work enables students to better evaluate the importance and relevance of the work he inspired. Murray Sidman, Ph.D., colleague and thoughtful practitioner of behavioral analysis, narrates.
The True Story of the Screaming Eagles
They took part in the largest airborne assault in WWII. They have fought in the jungles of Vietnam and the rugged terrain of the Balkans. And no matter what the generation, there is an unbreakable bond only they can understand. They are members of the elite 101st Airborne, otherwise known as the Screaming Eagles.
Erik H. Erikson: A Life's Work
Narrated by Erikson's colleague, Margaret Brenman-Gibson, Ph.D. and Ruthie Mickles, Ph.D. Using archival materials and newly shot footage, this film introduces students to the rich wisdom of Erik H. Erikson. Best known for his identification of the eight stages of the life cycle, Erikson spent a lifetime observing and studying the way in which the interplay of genetics, cultural influences and unique experiences produces individual human lives. This film combines biographical information about Erikson with his theoretical proposals to give students an understanding of the relationship between the life experience of a theorist and the work that is produced.
In Search of the Happy Ending
Showtime's "In the 20th Century" is a millennium-related strand of feature-length documentaries in which famous directors take on major subjects of their choosing. In the first of the six films, "In Search of the Happy Ending," filmmaker Garry Marshall delves into the institution of marriage as it has evolved in America throughout the past 100 years.