Cover image for History goes to the movies : a viewer's guide to the best (and some of the worst) historical films ever made
History goes to the movies : a viewer's guide to the best (and some of the worst) historical films ever made
Roquemore, Joseph H.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Main Street Books/Doubleday, 1999.
Physical Description:
xviii, 374 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
PN1995.9.H5 R67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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From Birth of a Nation to Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan, here is a compulsively readable and endlessly browsable book that brings to life for film buffs, history lovers, students, and teachers the real stories behind the stirring events on screen. No medium is more effective than film in bringing to vivid life the epochal events of our past; yet none is as prone to sometimes dangerous distortions of fact and emphasis. History Goes to the Movies separates fact from fiction for more than three hundred important historical films, in the process enhancing both viewing pleasure and historical understanding. Organized into twelve categories such as "Biography," "The American West," "World War Two," and "Ancient, Classical, and Medieval History," the book includes chronologies for each historical period covered. For every film, a detailed essay is provided describing the historical context and events portrayed, a brief plot summary, and an assessment of the movie's accuracy and entertainment value, concluding with suggestions for further reading and viewing. Comprehensive, entertaining, scrupulously researched, and often bracingly opinionated, History Goes to the Movies will turn your VCR into a clear (and accurate) window on all human history. For every moviegoer who has wondered, "Did that really happen?"--here at last is the answer.

Author Notes

Joseph Roque More is a speechwriter and corporate communications specialist who holds a Ph.D. in English literature and is an avid reader of history. He lives in the Chicago area.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

History has been a fertile source of story lines from Homer's time to Oliver Stone's, but nearly every historicizing auteur has messed with the facts. Roquemore assesses the historical accuracy of dozens of movies, with predictable but entertaining results. For example, for Stone's Nixon, Roquemore sketches the Nixon saga, observes that the biopic is "loaded with absurd distortions and outright lies," and then details its absurd distortions. Addressing the film record of that dreamy generational watershed, Woodstock, Roquemore points out that for those not of the big, sloppy rock festival's generation, the film is "three hours of tedium punctuated by wacky kids dancing to industrial noise," albeit "a fine documentary, even though Woodstock didn't pack the earth-shaking significance remembered by many baby boomers." Other films he rates much more highly as vessels of history, but, of course, they typically aren't as much fun. To the good, the bad, and the idiotic in history as told by the movies, this hefty compendium is an enjoyable, authoritative guide. --Mike Tribby

Library Journal Review

This title is stretched to the limit with films merely faithful to an era (The Age of Innocence, Indochine, American Graffiti) and TV movies and miniseries (never identified as such). Categorized chronologically, from "Ancient, Classical and Medieval History" to "Social History, Period Pieces and Biography," each entry provides information about the cast, a section on the historical context, and a list for further reading. Related films are discussed in a section called "For Further Viewing." Although welcome attention is given to The Last Command, The Far Country, and Men in War; and The Fall of the Roman Empire is recognized as working on the level of period atmosphere, many filmgoers will have a few problems here. For instance, they are likely to argue that Gettysburg's score was majestic rather than "pompous," and they'll never believe that Citizen Kane, Excalibur, or Full Metal Jacket were designed for historical accuracy. Although full of information, this is, like its subject, a disappointing hybrid. Read in conjunction with George MacDonald Fraser's The Hollywood History of the World (1988. o.p.).ÄKim R. Holston, American Inst. for Charted Property Casualty Underwriters, Malvern, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Ancient, Classical, and Medieval History Alexander the Great *** (1956) 141 Minutes Director: Robert Rossen Cast: Richard Burton, Fredric March, Claire Bloom, Stanley Baker, Danielle Darrieux Historical Background: July 332 B.C.--Phoenicia: Alexander III's Macedonian shock troops and League of Corinth allies closed their dreadful six-month assault on Tyre (Persia's top ally) with a bedlam of nonstop, profligate murder: as soon as they breached the island city's fortifications, they raged through streets, public buildings, and homes, hacking everyone they found to pieces. Butchering 7,000 civilians on-the-spot, they sold 30,000 more into slavery, then crucified 2,000 military-age men. Savagery had marked the campaign from the start--arrogant, well-provisioned Tyrians set the bloodbath's ugly course, murdering several Macedonian envoys under a flag of truce. Every day, crackling red-hot sand dumped from high battlements blanketed screaming attackers (the searing, powder-fine clouds penetrated breastplate crevices, sifting under corselets and dealing slow, agonizing death). Alexander's combat engineers countered with marvelous siege technology-floating torsion-driven catapults, collapsible assault towers, huge battering rams-and an 880-yard causeway linking mainland staging areas to the city. Tyre was Alexander's greatest victory-in one stroke, he neutralized Persian king Darius III's Mediterranean fleet, freeing him to launch a breathtaking eastward drive all the way to the Indian frontier. Fighting in wedge-shaped phalanxes, highly disciplined Macedonians had clobbered the hated Persians on the Issus plain in 333. Outnumbered four to one, they did it again near Arabela (331), then rolled eastward, scattering opponents every step of the way and renaming at least 70 captured towns for Alexander. In six years they drove all the way to the Hindu Kush and invaded modern Pakistan, winning their final major engagement on the Hydaspes River (326 B.C.). It was an incredible performance, sealing Alexander's first-place position among ancient strategists and field commanders. Brilliant, iron-willed, hot-tempered, and ruthless, he was a consummate survivor--many contemporaries thought that he plotted his father Philip's murder, and Alexander himself weathered a 330 B.C. assassination attempt. He studied under Aristotle. He was an eccentric world-class athlete, shunning the Olympics because all of its contestants weren't kings. Supremely practical, he was also an idealist determined to build a "Brotherhood of Man" ( homonoia ) by bringing conquered adversaries into a worldwide fraternity of allies. (Some historians dismiss this notion as hagiographic propaganda.) Rome built an empire on Alexander's legacy. His tiny army wrecked Persia's gigantic, moribund kingdom. He pioneered vast trade networks, extending Hellenistic culture throughout the Near East. With it went the linguistic roots of Koine Greek, the common language spoken by Paul of Tarsus on his first-century missionary journeys. (See Peter and Paul. Alexander's cities also gave the apostles densely populated urban bases for spreading Christianity across the Mediterranean basin.) On June 13, 323 B.C., Alexander's epic career ground to a dreary, prosaic halt: he died in misery--at age 32--after a ten-day stretch of gluttony and heavy drinking in Babylon. Alexander the Great is a feast for amateur historians--and a soporific ordeal for movie fans. An all-world cast labors gamely to manage cumbersome dialogue littered with ancient quotations and laughable throw-outs ("Alexander, what thoughts drive through your storm-tossed brain?"). But Rossen accurately covers most of Alexander's major exploits (omitting his fits of brutality and fatal drinking binge). Minor blunders surface throughout: for example, Alexander's wife, Roxane, appears as Darius' daughter (Soghdian baron Oxyartes was her real father); Alexander (Burton) executes his father's assassin and cuts the fabled Gordian knot with a sword (in fact, Macedonian noblemen killed Philip's murderer, and Alexander yanked a hidden peg securing the huge knot's loose end). A tedious, oddball film--but worthwhile for patient viewers. Recommended Reading: Peter Green, Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C. ; Robert Payne, Ancient Greece: The Triumph of a Culture . Becket **** (1964) 148 Minutes Director: Peter Glenville Cast: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Donald Wolfit, Martita Hunt, Pamela Brown Historical Background: December 29, 1170--Kent, England: Reginald FitzUrse, Hugh de Moreville, Richard le Breton, and William de Tracy--barons fiercely loyal to Henry Plantagenet (King Henry II)--thundered into Canterbury Cathedral's great palace hall, crashed Archbishop Thomas à Becket's vespers hour, and ordered him to revoke papal excommunications of seven rogue bishops (all chief counselors to the king) or submit to arrest. Not likely, replied the primate. FitzUrse seized him roughly, drawing an instant, furious rebuke: "Let go of me, Reginald. . . . Let go of me, you pimp!" Jolted by the blistering malediction, FitzUrse unsheathed his sword and swept it forward in a wide, sibilant arc, grazing Becket's head and driving him to his knees. In a heartbeat, Breton and Tracy bolted forward and hacked the archbishop to death with four more crushing strokes. It was a dark, sorry end to a story illuminated, at first, by bright prospects for an enlightened Christian society under a just, capable king. Fifteen years earlier, Becket had completed a breathtaking rise from merchant-class Norman roots to England's royal chancellorship. He performed brilliantly in office for seven years, conducting diplomatic missions, dominating receptions with glittering, courtly wit, and spearheading the king's successful 1159 Toulouse military campaign. (Henry was a superb monarch. He extended Norman rule all the way to the Pyrenees. He launched stunning legal reforms, founding England's system of common law and trial by jury. But epic-scale infidelities wrecked his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine and uncaged snarling familial rancor hot enough to ignite a brief war. Prodded by their mother, Henry's four restless, power-starved sons--Richard, Henry, John, and Geoffrey--launched a bloody 1173 revolt against the crown. Desperate battle raged until October 1174, ending in victory for Henry, pardons for his sons, and imprisonment for Eleanor. The king reigned, but he lived in misery until his death on July 6, 1189.) As chancellor, Becket became Plantagenet's most trusted political ally. Then Henry engineered his friend's election as archbishop, and everything began to unravel under the pressure of two muscular personalities waylaid by misunderstanding, bad timing, and choking doses of their own black bile. (Henry's temper was legendary: a fit of anger once drove him to stuff his mouth with straw and chew the stalks into pulp.) Immediately after his consecration in June 1162, Becket innocently--but tactlessly--returned the chancellor's Great Seal to Henry. He might as well have flung a gauntlet into the king's face. Hoping to build harmony between church and state, Henry had quietly secured a special papal dispensation permitting the new archbishop to keep his chancellor's post. Wrongly construing Thomas' resignation as a formal shift of loyalty, Henry took the gloves off and waited for his friend's next move. It came quickly enough. Without warning, the flamboyant, prosperous Becket made a stunning personal about-face. He gave most of his money to the poor. He fasted regularly and wore hair shirts beneath his vestments. Above all, he labored mightily to become Europe's fairest canon-court judge, setting a potential collision course with Henry. Throughout medieval Europe, two great systems of jurisprudence--civil law and canon (or ecclesiastical) law--existed side by side. Each had its own hierarchy, its own financial machinery, and its own courts. Each had its own jurisdictions, as well: Church courts settled cases involving marriage, divorce, and heresy, but clerics charged with grave crimes could demand trials in ecclesiastical tribunals, often drawing lighter sentences there than civil courts imposed. (Canon law forbade punishing criminals by mutilation, for example--a common sentence in secular courts.) Because most Europeans were Christians, the system usually worked smoothly, thanks to flexible administrators--on both sides--with high diplomatic skills and sharp noses for serviceable compromise. But a bizarre, anomalous flurry of clerical crime struck England between 1157 and 1163, and Thomas ignored Henry's order to send several "criminous clerks" to civil courts. (The rebuff wasn't as unreasonable as it sounds: in some cases, civil trials would have amounted to double jeopardy.) Henry responded with the Constitutions of Clarendon (1164), expanding royal power over ecclesiastical courts. Becket wouldn't sign them, Henry charged him (absurdly) with misappropriating public funds, and the archbishop fled into a six-year Continental exile. A shaky reconciliation returned him to England in 1170, but bitter conflict flared again with his refusal to lift excommunications of several bishops loyal to Henry. The king was furious: "[Becket] ate my bread and mocks my favors," he roared. "Can no one free me of this lowborn priest!" Incredibly, FitzUrse and his fellow barons took the spontaneous detonation literally and galloped to Canterbury, finally bringing medieval England's most celebrated public quarrel to a bloody end. News of the murder flattened Henry: sick with grief, he locked himself in his chambers, eating nothing for three days and eventually submitting to public penance at the great cathedral. In 1173, Pope Alexander III canonized Becket, and his tomb became England's greatest shrine. Becket bristles with factual blunders. Exercising a sixties-style social consciousness, Glenville makes Becket a Saxon (Thomas and Saxon England vs. Norman oppressor Henry = intimations of Vietnam laced with smoldering racial tension). Burton rightly plays Becket as a man of high principle and towering courage--but Glenville ignores the archbishop's impetuous bullheadedness and makes him a libertine until his consecration (Becket took a vow of chastity as a young man and never broke it). Worst of all, O'Toole's Henry, badly shortchanged, deliberately orders his barons to murder Becket. Still--a literate film, expertly directed and well acted by all. For Further Viewing: The Lion in Winter *** (1968) 135 Minutes (Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, Nigel Terry, Jane Merrow, Timothy Dalton, John Castle, Nigel Stock): Anthony Harvey's adaptation of James Goldman's play excels in spots, but flops badly on the facts. In 1183, Henry II assembles John, Richard, Geoffrey, Eleanor (on furlough from prison), and Alais Chapet--Richard's fiancée and Henry's mistress--for Christmas Court at Chinon Castle. Schemes and power plays swarm like cockroaches, sparking a volcanic family brawl. Between emotional eviscerations, Eleanor and Henry reminisce copiously (they're still in love); the queen views Alais with sophisticated detachment; at film's end, all convene to clear the air, and Eleanor gamely returns to captivity. In fact, the Chinon Christmas Court came in 1172, Eleanor loathed Alais, her affections for Henry had chilled to permafrost by 1183, etc., etc. But wonderful period detail and fine performances by O'Toole and Hepburn make the film well worth watching. Recommended Reading: Richard Winston, Thomas Becket ; Richard Barber, Henry Plantagenet: A Biography ; Marion Meade, Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography . Braveheart ***** (1995) 177 Minutes Director: Mel Gibson Cast: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Catherine McCormack, Brendan Gleeson, James Cosmo, David O'Hara, Peter Henly, Alun Armstrong, Ian Bannon Historical Background: March 1296--Berwick, Scotland: Unarmed and frozen with terror, Berwick's freemen watched Edward Plantagenet's English troops sprint through a shallow ditch and level the flimsy breastworks guarding their borough. Too stunned to resist, the burgesses retreated through town, then surrendered. On Edward's orders, swordsmen in chain mail hacked away at the bewildered Scots for hours, stopping only when Plantagenet (King Edward I, commonly called Longshanks) gagged at the sight of a crying infant seated next to its slaughtered mother. Edward remained in Berwick, sending the Earl de Warenne northward to take Dunbar's redoubtable castle. After a brief siege, Dunbar fell. Garrisons at Edinburgh and Roxburgh soon followed, and by the time Edward's legions reached Stirling--the tactical gateway to the Highlands--its defenders had vanished. Longshanks' soldiers, it seemed, could have conquered Scotland with their bare hands. Edward had poured four years of sweat and intrigue into conceiving and hatching the perfect opportunity to strike northward: in 1292, Scotland was a volatile disunion of greedy nobles, each smoldering with ambition and eager to fill his country's vacant throne. But none of them held clear, undisputed title to the crown. Fearing all-out civil war, the bishop of St. Andrews asked Edward to settle the matter, assuring him that the nobles and their new king would accept his decision, then bow to his sovereignty. (This was nothing new; for years, Scottish rulers had held great tracts of land in England in exchange for their loyalty to English kings and submission to English law.) Plantagenet--eager for years to unite and rule all of Britain--met the nobles at Norham on the Tweed, naming John Balliol (a compliant, easily dominated man) king of Scotland. Three years later, Balliol tired of Edward's bullying and refused to march with him against Philip IV in Gascony. Edward happily mustered an army, trampled his way to Stirling virtually unopposed, imprisoned Balliol, and removed the Stone of Destiny from Scone Abbey (where Scottish kings traditionally received their crowns). Certain that he'd won complete victory, Longshanks proclaimed himself ruler of Scotland and led his army across the Channel to make short work of the detested French. But the victory was not total: from utter obscurity, two Highland patriots, William Wallace and Andrew of Moray, took the field against Edward's occupation force in southern Scotland. Wallace and 30 men routed the English garrison at Lanark in May 1297. Small landowners and their clans helped drive the English out of Perth, then retired with Wallace to Selkirk Forest. Determined to take advantage of Edward's absence, Moray soon joined them. On September 11, Wallace and Moray led their raw army against Warrene--now vice-regent of Scotland--at Stirling. From Stirling Castle's gates, a field of hillocks and knolls tumbled downward to a narrow bridge crossing the River Forth, then rose steeply to a ridge called the Abbey Craig. Concealing most of their troops onthe craig's reverse slope, Moray, Wallace, and a small clot of infantry approached the Forth to lure Wallene's army from the castle. It worked. As soon as half the Englishmen had crossed the bridge, hundreds of howling Scots bolted over the ridge's summit, roared down its forward slope, and cut them to pieces. Countless soldiers in heavy English armor plunged from writhing chaos on the bridge into the turbulent waters below, while Wallene could do nothing but watch helplessly from the river's southern bank. In terrified disarray, the vice-regent's army broke into pell-mell retreat toward the English border and safety. Wallace--quickly named Guardian of the Kingdom--invaded northern England and sacked several towns before returning to the Highlands. (The gravely wounded Moray had died in the field at Stirling.) With Edward's return from France in 1298, Scotland's nobles again fragmented into bickering factions. Most of them refused to ride with Wallace against Longshanks, one of the premier tacticians and great commanders in all of Europe. He had legions of armored cavalry, and Wallace had none--an enormous disadvantage, equivalent to fighting a modern desert war without tanks. On July 22, Edward led 2,000 cavalry and 12,000 infantrymen against Wallace at Falkirk. Fighting from four concentric defensive rings ("schiltrons") and protected by a line of bowmen, the Highlanders stood fast until furious onslaughts by English cavalry overwhelmed their archers and freed Longshanks' Welsh bowmen to pick off Wallace's infantry piecemeal. The schiltrons soon broke apart, and Edward's army swept the field. Wallace escaped, and the war continued--guerrilla-style--until Scotland's maverick nobles surrendered to Longshanks in 1304. A year later, Sir John Menteith captured Wallace near Glasgow and turned him over to Edward. Tried and convicted of treason--an absurdity, since he'd never sworn allegiance to Plantagenet--Wallace was brutally executed on August 23, 1305. But Scotland's struggle for autonomy wasn't over. Inspired by Wallace's example and led by Robert Bruce, resurgent Highlanders won de facto independence by destroying an enormous English force at Bannockburn in 1314. (Edward III formally recognized the Scottish monarchy in 1328.) Finally, 175 years later, Scotland's James IV married the daughter of England's Henry VII, uniting the two crowns. This sweeping biography of the legendary Wallace won Gibson an Academy Award (Best Director) and took Oscars for Best Picture, Cinematography, Sound Effects, and Editing. Braveheart doesn't claim infallibility for historical accuracy--as it shouldn't, since scholars are uncertain about many details of Wallace's life. But it gives us the next best thing: stunning period detail, great battle scenes, finely drawn characters, and magnificent performances-especially by McGoohan (Edward) and Gibson (Wallace). Curiously, elements of Wallace's two decisive battles are wrong (no narrow bridge at Stirling and no schiltrons at Falkirk), but who cares? Braveheart is a terrific movie, filled with small fictions, but true to the spirit of William Wallace and his grand enterprise. Recommended Reading: Erik Linklater, The Survival of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish History from Roman Times to the Present Day ; R. L. Mackie, A Short History of Scotland ; Andrew Fisher, William Wallace ; James McKay, William Wallace: Braveheart . Excerpted from History Goes to the Movies: A Viewer's Guide to the Best (And Some of the Worst) Historical Films Ever Made by Joseph H. Roquemore All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xv
1 Ancient, Classical, and Medieval History
Alexander the Greatp. 7
Becketp. 8
The Lion in Winterp. 10
Braveheartp. 10
The Egyptianp. 12
Land of the Pharaohsp. 14
Cleopatra (1934)p. 14
The Fall of the Roman Empirep. 15
Spartacusp. 19
Barabbasp. 19
Ben-Hurp. 19
Sign of the Paganp. 20
Attilap. 20
Jesus of Nazarethp. 20
Peter and Paulp. 22
King Davidp. 23
The Story of Davidp. 24
David and Bathshebap. 24
Masadap. 25
Quest for Firep. 26
Robin Hood, Prince of Thievesp. 28
The Adventures of Robin Hoodp. 29
Robin and Marianp. 29
The Ten Commandmentsp. 29
Mosesp. 31
The Vikingsp. 32
The War Lordp. 33
The Crusadesp. 36
Excaliburp. 36
El Cidp. 37
2 Early American History
Amistadp. 43
Black Robep. 44
The Buccaneerp. 45
Christopher Columbusp. 46
1492: Conquest of Paradisep. 48
The Cruciblep. 48
Maid of Salemp. 49
The Howards of Virginiap. 49
John Paul Jonesp. 51
The Madness of King Georgep. 51
The Last of the Mohicansp. 51
Plymouth Adventurep. 52
3 U.S. Civil War
The Birth of a Nationp. 59
Dark Commandp. 60
Kansas Raidersp. 61
Drums in the Deep Southp. 61
Shenandoahp. 62
Friendly Persuasionp. 63
Gettysburgp. 63
Gloryp. 64
Gone with the Windp. 65
The Horse Soldiersp. 66
Ironcladsp. 67
The Red Badge of Courage (1951)p. 68
The Red Badge of Courage (1974)p. 70
Springfield Riflep. 70
The Raidp. 72
Young Mr. Lincolnp. 73
Gore Vidal's Lincolnp. 74
The Prisoner of Shark Islandp. 74
4 The American West
Broken Arrowp. 81
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kidp. 82
Cheyenne Autumnp. 83
Conagherp. 85
Lonesome Dovep. 88
Monte Walshp. 88
Will Pennyp. 88
Drum Beatp. 88
The Far Countryp. 90
Geronimo: An American Legendp. 91
The Grey Foxp. 92
Heaven's Gatep. 93
The Big Countryp. 95
I Will Fight No More Foreverp. 95
Jeremiah Johnsonp. 96
Man in the Wildernessp. 97
The Mountain Menp. 98
The Last Commandp. 98
The Alamop. 100
The Alamo: 13 Days to Gloryp. 100
The Last Dayp. 100
The Lawless Breedp. 102
The Gunfighterp. 103
Lawmanp. 103
The Tin Starp. 104
High Noonp. 104
The Long Ridersp. 105
The Return of Frank Jamesp. 106
Pony Expressp. 107
Western Unionp. 108
The Searchersp. 108
Two Rode Togetherp. 110
Son of the Morning Starp. 110
Dances With Wolvesp. 114
They Died With Their Boots Onp. 115
Custer of the Westp. 115
Stagecoachp. 115
Wells Fargop. 116
Tom Hornp. 117
Ulzana's Raidp. 118
The Stalking Moonp. 119
Apachep. 120
Union Pacificp. 120
The Iron Horsep. 121
Wagon Masterp. 122
Bend of the Riverp. 123
The Westernerp. 124
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Beanp. 125
Wild Timesp. 125
Winchester '73p. 126
Wyatt Earpp. 128
Tombstonep. 129
Gunfight at the O.K. Corralp. 130
Young Gunsp. 130
Young Guns IIp. 131
The Left-Handed Gunp. 132
5 World War I
All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)p. 137
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)p. 139
Paths of Gloryp. 139
The Blue Maxp. 140
Aces Highp. 141
A Farewell to Arms (1957)p. 141
A Farewell to Arms (1932)p. 143
Gallipolip. 143
The Lighthorsemenp. 146
Anzacs: The War Down Underp. 146
Sergeant Yorkp. 146
The Fighting 69thp. 149
6 1920-1940: Gangsters, the Roaring Twenties, and the Great Depression
Al Caponep. 155
The Untouchablesp. 156
Bonnie and Clydep. 156
Bugsyp. 157
Dillingerp. 158
Young Dillingerp. 160
The Front Page (1931)p. 160
The Front Page (1974)p. 161
King of the Hillp. 161
Places in the Heartp. 163
The Grapes of Wrathp. 165
Of Mice and Men (1981)p. 165
Of Mice and Men (1992)p. 165
7 World War II
Anziop. 172
To Hell and Backp. 172
Battlegroundp. 173
Battle of the Bulgep. 174
Battle of Britainp. 175
Hope and Gloryp. 177
The Boat (Das Boot)p. 177
The Enemy Belowp. 178
Run Silent, Run Deepp. 178
The Bridge on the River Kwaip. 179
Empire of the Sunp. 181
Back to Bataanp. 181
Prisoners of the Sunp. 181
The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchellp. 182
Cross of Ironp. 183
Stalingradp. 186
A Time to Love and a Time to Diep. 186
The Desert Foxp. 186
The Desert Ratsp. 188
Tobrukp. 189
Five Graves to Cairop. 190
Escape from Sobiborp. 190
Judgment at Nurembergp. 193
Schindler's Listp. 193
The House on Garibaldi Streetp. 194
Operation Eichmannp. 194
Fat Man and Little Boyp. 194
5 Fingersp. 196
The Great Escapep. 197
The Captive Heartp. 199
49th Parallelp. 199
The Halls of Montezumap. 200
The Thin Red Line (1964)p. 201
The Thin Red Line (1998)p. 201
Battle Cryp. 202
Hiroshima: Out of the Ashesp. 202
The Longest Dayp. 204
Breakthroughp. 206
Saving Private Ryanp. 206
The Big Red Onep. 207
The Man Who Never Wasp. 207
One Against the Windp. 208
Memphis Bellep. 209
Twelve O'Clock Highp. 210
Midwayp. 211
In Harm's Wayp. 212
Mission of the Sharkp. 213
Objective, Burma!p. 214
Merrill's Maraudersp. 215
O.S.S.p. 215
Decision Before Dawnp. 217
Pattonp. 217
The Last Days of Pattonp. 219
The Sands of Iwo Jimap. 219
Sink the Bismarck!p. 221
Pursuit of the Graf Speep. 222
In Which We Servep. 222
Tora! Tora! Tora!p. 222
From Here to Eternityp. 223
A Walk in the Sunp. 224
8 Korean War
The Bridges at Toko-Rip. 231
Men of the Fighting Ladyp. 232
The Manchurian Candidatep. 232
The Rackp. 234
Sergeant Rykerp. 234
Men in Warp. 234
The Steel Helmetp. 235
Pork Chop Hillp. 236
Retreat, Hell!p. 238
Fixed Bayonetsp. 239
9 Unity and Upheaval: USA, 1950-1975
American Graffitip. 245
Apollo 13p. 246
The Right Stuffp. 247
Blackboard Junglep. 248
JFKp. 249
Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswaldp. 251
Medium Coolp. 252
Woodstockp. 254
Easy Riderp. 254
The Graduatep. 254
Mississippi Burningp. 255
Malcolm Xp. 257
Nixonp. 257
All the President's Menp. 260
Kissinger and Nixonp. 260
Quiz Showp. 261
10 Vietnam War
Bat 21p. 269
Flight of the Intruderp. 270
The Hanoi Hiltonp. 271
Full Metal Jacketp. 272
Go Tell the Spartansp. 273
Hamburger Hillp. 274
Indochinep. 276
The Iron Trianglep. 278
The Killing Fieldsp. 279
Platoonp. 280
Casualties of Warp. 282
The Deer Hunterp. 282
A Rumor of Warp. 282
Apocalypse Nowp. 282
11 Cold War
The Beastp. 291
The Big Liftp. 292
Berlin Tunnel 21p. 294
The Falcon and the Snowmanp. 295
Family of Spicsp. 297
Gulagp. 298
Sakharovp. 299
The Heroes of Desert Stormp. 300
The Hunt for Red Octoberp. 302
Stalinp. 303
Burnt by the Sunp. 305
The Inner Circlep. 305
Strategic Air Commandp. 306
By Dawn's Early Lightp. 308
On the Beachp. 308
To Kill a Priestp. 308
Crisis in the Kremlinp. 311
12 Social History, Period Pieces, and Biography
The Age of Innocencep. 318
The Bountyp. 319
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)p. 321
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)p. 322
Damn the Defiant!p. 322
Calp. 322
Shake Hands with the Devilp. 326
Far and Awayp. 326
Michael Collinsp. 326
Patriot Gamesp. 326
In the Name of the Fatherp. 327
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)p. 327
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)p. 328
Citizen Kanep. 329
Doctor Zhivagop. 331
Nicholas and Alexandrap. 333
The Duellistsp. 333
Barry Lyndonp. 335
Fire Over Englandp. 335
The Sea Hawkp. 338
The Virgin Queenp. 338
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essexp. 338
Elizabethp. 339
Lady Janep. 339
Gandhip. 340
Ike: The War Yearsp. 341
Khartoump. 342
Land and Freedomp. 343
For Whom the Bell Tollsp. 345
The Last Emperorp. 346
Lawrence of Arabiap. 347
Lost Commandp. 349
The Battle of Algiersp. 351
MacArthurp. 351
A Man for All Seasonsp. 353
The Private Life of Henry VIIIp. 354
Anne of the Thousand Daysp. 355
A Night to Rememberp. 355
Titanic (1997)p. 357
Titanic (1953)p. 357
Raid on Entebbep. 358
Rob Royp. 359
Shadowlands (1985)p. 361
Shadowlands (1993)p. 362
The Spirit of St. Louisp. 363
A Tale of Two Cities (1935)p. 364
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)p. 368
Waterloop. 369
Zulup. 369
Zulu Dawnp. 373
Mountains of the Moonp. 373
Breaker Morantp. 373
Acknowledgmentsp. 375