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Historical Movies

 
 
patriot
 
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 03:33 pm
I am a college student who was recently decided to pursue a major in Secondary Education hopefully teaching History and therefor have been trying to build a broad understanding of many historical events. However with the time spent studying, or rather the time I should spend studying, I have found it difficult to read up on many topics.

This brings me to my question!! I'm looking for movies that give a good example of Historical time periods. All in all I'm looking for any good Historical Movie wether it be of the Ottoman Turks, The Romans, The Czars of Russia, or any good Historical Movie.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 9,382 • Replies: 40
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 03:41 pm
Hm.

And what, do you think, should your future students do at school? Get an idea of those periods by looking e.g. at some paintings or reading a comic?

Welcome to A2K, bzw!
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patriot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 04:53 pm
I understant that a film is generally not a good way of learning about history or events that have happened for many different reasons including the fact that many times they are dramaticized (if thats even a word) in order to captivate the audience, which I like many times. However as a teacher (or as I am learning to become a teacher) one of the main jobs of that teacher is to draw the student in, or captivate their attention. If it takes a comic for a student to take an interest in history, or a painting, or even a video games in my case, then an interested student has been created out of the comic...

For example: this past weekend I watched the movie Elizabeth, with Cate Blanchet. When I saw the movie it made me question what happened in the film. One such question I had was wether, Mary Queen of Scots was murdered by Walsingham like it happened in the book. This week I set out to do some research on the topic. I am now reading a book titled "The Trial of Mary Queen of Scots." I have since learned a great deal about her trial, if you can call it that, and learned more about Elizabeth as well.

Thank you for the welcome as I have never used a forum before. One last question. bzw?

Thanks
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 04:59 pm
Typo, should be 'btw' :wink:
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 05:55 pm
Walter is German, so he really said "By ze way" Smile
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 06:32 pm
Er....."Elizabeth" was one of the least accurate movies I haev ever seen.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 09:36 pm
The only historical motion pictures i have seen which give a fairly acurate picture of the period concerned were Glory and Bounty. By and large, if you haven't time to do a good deal of reading, you're not going to get very far in history.
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2004 11:15 pm
the BBC miniseries "Piece of Cake" is pretty accurate. It covers the "phony war" in France in 1939 and the early to middle period of the Battle of Britain. It isn't particularly heroic or uplifting, though.
Let me add that, having many history undergrads who are "Secondary education-social studies/history" majors in my classes, I can usually tell who has not done the reading, and their grades tend to represent this failure on their part. It sounds to me like you are not patriotic, but lazy. Just my two florins. Confused
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 12:16 am
fbaezer wrote:
Walter is German, so he really said "By ze way" Smile


Tee ache, see age, zeee hache, ---- wait a couple of years, than I'll get it! Laughing
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 09:58 am
I disagree with the notion that using films in history class is "lazy." When utilized with discretion combined with a proper grounding in the historical facts, films and television programs can be quite useful. In particular, films that are, in themselves, primary sources are wonderful teaching aids. For instance, I've seen Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will in both history and political science classes. Likewise, in discussing Soviet iconography, I wouldn't hesitate to use Battleship Potemkin or October as teaching aids (although I wouldn't use them to teach either the history of the 1905 or 1917 revolutions).

Mainstream Hollywood productions usually don't get their history right, but even the errors can be instructive. It might be interesting, for example, to use The Alamo not only to explore the myths surrounding that event, but also to point out where and why it diverged from the historical facts.

And occasionally a film is just a fun way to break out of a rut. I find the Blackadder series to be riotously funny, but every episode typically contains one or two solid facts about British history that students can pick up, and which can be used to spur discussion afterward (the third and fourth series are the best in this regard: Captain Blackadder's explanation of the origins of World War I is one of the best I've ever heard).

So, patriot when employed with moderation, and with a proper sense of their place in the lesson plan, I believe that films can be very useful teaching aids.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 10:28 am
I just want to say that Joe's idea of using a movie about the Alamo (whether Disney's Fess Parker epic, or John Wayne's fairy tale) is a first rate idea. Few events in American history have ever been so wrongly protrayed in motion pictures.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 10:51 am
Chaplin's "Modern Times" would be good for explaining some sociological traits of the early XX Century and the effects of mass production (fordism).

Agree with joefromchicago about "Battleship Potemkin" or "October".

I found "The Rise of Power of Louis XIV" as an incredibly deep explanation of the intertwining of fashion, customs and power.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 02:52 pm
I totally agree that films (even bad one's) can be a good idea in TEACHING history.

However, as far as I understood, patriot is looking for history films, which he wants unstead of reading books "to build a broad understanding of many historical events".

I sincerely doubt that this is a very good idea of learning history as a subject, you later are going to teach - even if you got your knowledge of criminal law from watching Perry mason episodes, Joe! :wink:
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:01 pm
Walter: Wait a minute; are you suggesting that Perry Mason wasn't accurate? All my illusions are shattered!

But that's ok. I learned all I know about criminal law from this man:
http://www.geektimes.com/michael/site/archive/2001/01-01/images/simpsons-lionel-hutz.jpg
Lionel Hutz: "I've argued in front of every judge in this state. Often as a lawyer."
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:29 pm
(I admit that I learnt civil law from "Ask Auntie Betty" in the "Weekly Farmer" :wink: )
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:40 pm
Given that "history" is a selective interpretation of events it seems to me that movies should be no better or no worse than any other form of medium for "telling a story". However given certain commercial constraints particular to the movie industry, the "bending of facts" does tend to border on the ridiculous at times.

An interesting question is whether "history" is any use to anybody other than for entertainment purposes or the perpetuation of territorial disputes. We certainly don't seem to "learn" from "past mistakes".
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:45 pm
I've never seen the purpose of history as "learning from past mistakes."
Certainly most popular (as opposed to scholarly) historical works are full of error, and many scholarly ones are as well. Scholarly works, however, allow readers access to the cources used by the writer to form his or her opinions.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:48 pm
So what is "the purpose of history" ?
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:53 pm
I don't know that it has a "purpose." Does it need one? Perhaps its purpose is to help us understand what it means to be human.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:58 pm
I agree - but the selection and interpretation of the content matter tells us more about this than the content matter itself.
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