Many of the history-themed movies and television series I enjoyed as a child are now on DVD. I have treated myself to several of them, and being possessed of a multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player can run them regardless of what format they’re in.

Most of the ones based on real people aren’t historically accurate, but kids can still get the feel of an era from them, and might, like me, be inspired to make a more-depth study of such people and their times later on, so movies/TV shows depicting bygone eras are definitely something to consider when trying to get kids hooked on history. Even if learning about the real Richard the Lionheart, Sir Francis Drake, and others did leave me feeling somewhat disillusioned for a while! (Those not yet on DVD might be obtainable online, or through some type of subscription service.)

With this in mind, I am beginning monthly postings of films and/or TV series that are either set in bygone eras or made so long ago that they automatically depict a bygone era. Films that can perhaps help spark, or maintain, kids’ interest in history. And, with this being the month in which Academy Award are bestowed, I will start with some movies that have won the coveted Best Picture Oscar. Most are suitable for family viewing with kids ten and up, but I suggest parental discretion for those under fourteen, since you know best what your children and young teens can handle in the way of movie length, violence, and scenes that are sad or scary.

All Quiet On The Western Front (1929/30)

Mutiny On The Bounty (1935)

Gone With The Wind (1939)

Rebecca (1940)

How Green Was My Valley (1941)                      

Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Casablanca (1943)

Going My Way (1944)

The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)

Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

The Greatest Show On Earth (1952)

From Here To Eternity (1953)

Around The World In Eighty Days (1956)

Ben-Hur (1959)

Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)

My Fair Lady (1964)

The Sound Of Music (1965)

A Man For All Seasons (1966)

Oliver! (1968)

Patton (1970)

Gandhi (1982)

Amadeus (1984)

The Last Emperor (1987)

Dances With Wolves (1990)

Schindler’s List (1993)

Braveheart (1995)

Titanic (1997)

Gladiator (2000)

The King’s Speech (2010)


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