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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Top Ten Historical movies of Hollywood

Hollywood has created many famous historical movies. One of the critical issues in historical movie making is depicting the original history vs the artistic freedom. Critics accuse film makers of not showing the true history on the screen. On the other hand, the film makers say that they do it as per artistic freedom. I do not know about artistic freedom but as far as entertainment is concerned, some these movies are very much enjoyable. Here is a list of top ten historical movies made in Hollywood.

Birth of a Nation:
This is a movie from the silent period and one of the masterpieces of Hollywood Cinema. The story was inspired from Thomas Dixon’s novel, “The Clansman”. Though the movie champions racism, the making of the film introduced many new tricks and techniques. Directed and produced by D.W.Griffith, the film tells the story of two families representing the North and South America and how their relationship continues from the pre-civil war period to post-civil-war period. The movie can be divided into two parts. The background of the first half was set in the pre-civil-war United States and the second half is set in post-civil-war USA. Through the story of these two families, the movie shows the political history of USA and the birth of Ku Klux Clan. It shows Ku Klux Clan as the savior of the south by depicting blacks as evil and uncivilized.



Image Source: Wikipedia

The Last of the Mohicans:
The Last of the Mohicans is a novel by James Fenimore Cooper. It is considered to be one of the major landmarks of American literature. Several times, the novel was turned into movies. In 1971, a mini-series was also developed from the novel. The first full length movie based on the novel, was made in 1911 followed by 1920, 1932, 1936, 1977 and finally in 1992. I saw the 1992 version starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. The 90’s version was adapted from the 1936 version. The Last of the Mohicans (1992) enjoyed both critical praise and commercial success. In the first week of its release, it collected $10,976,661. The musical scores by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman earned the movie an Academy Award for sound.




Image Source: Wikipedia

Tora, Tora Tora:
This movie is based on the attack of Japan on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In Japanese language, “To” means attack and “ra” is the initial syllable of “raigeki” which means, torpedo attack. On that day, a large fleet of Japanese Airforce carried by six carriers, attacked Pearl Harbor to disable the US Pacific fleet. Tora Tora Tora shows what happened before the attack. The movie won an academy award for special effect. Initially, the movie was not successful in USA but it was very successful in Japan. The movie became profitable after video release. One of the notable features of the movie is that the planes used in the movie were real. A B-17 bomber plane with problems in landing gear was crushed.



Image Source: Wikipedia

Ben-Hur:
The famous epic novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ” by Lew Wallace has been turned into stage plays, animation films and movies and all were very successful. However, it was the late 50’s Ben-Hur movie that became most famous. Ben-Hur, the rich merchant of Jerusalem meets his childhood friend, Messala, who has returned to Jerusalem as the commanding officer of the Roman army. Unfortunately, they turn against each other. Followed by an ill-fated accident, Ben-Hur was stripped off his house and property and sent to the galleys and his mother and sister were sent to prison. Ben-Hur bravely faces all the adversities and returns to Jerusalem as a respectable Roman citizen and reunites with his family. The movie won eleven academy awards. Charlton Heston played the character of Ben-Hur and Stephen Boyd was Messala.



Image Source: Wikipedia

Brave Heart:
Brave Heart is based on the story of the legendary Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace. It shows the rise of William Wallace and his death and the fight between the English and Scots at Bannockburn. Mel Gibson gave an astounding performance as William Wallace. The most notable feature of this movie was the battle of Stirling Bridge. The use of special effects and stunts make the scene very entertaining. The scene is considered to be one of the most famous battle scenes in Hollywood cinema. In its opening weekend, the movie collected $9,938,276 making it one of the top grossing films of all time. It also own academy awards in five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, Best Sound Editing. The major accusation about the movie was that it did not show the true history. In the movie it was showed that Wallace‘s followers were wearing kilts. At that time Scottish people did not wear kilts.


Image Source: Wikipedia

Troy:
Another movie adaptation of Homer’s great epic, Troy is the 8th most expensive movie of all time in Hollywood. It elaborately used special effects to shoot the war scenes and showing the ancient Greek city states. The costumes were very well designed. The irony is that it did not do as expected in USA; but it enjoyed tremendous commercial success around the world. The movie makers faced various problems while making the movie. Because of the Iraq war, the movie was shot in

Baja California. The production was stalled because of hurricanes. To make matters worse, very often crews fainted because of the unbearable hit (38 degree celcius). The production cost of the movie was $180million and it collected $133 million from USA and made $497 million around the world. One funny fact is that Brad played the role of Achilles in this movie and while shooting he tore his left Achiless tendon.


Image Source: Wikipedia

Spartacus:
Based on the novel of Howard Fast, Spartacus, the movie describes the life of Spartacus, the gladiator slave-leader who led the slaves against Roman republic. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, Kirk Douglas plays Spartacus and Laurence Olivier plays Marcus Licinus Crassus. In the beginning the movie shows how Spartacus, a slave, turned into a gladiator. The story ends with the war between the slaves and the Roman army. Spartacus and the slaves were beaten and captured. Finally, in a duel Spartacus kills Antoninus and he was crucified. 1n 2007, American Film Institute included Spartacus in its list of greatest movies of all time. The line “I am Spartacus” is also considered to be one of the greatest movie lines.


Image Source: Wikipedia

Tombstone:
Western is one of the most exploited genres in Hollywood. Gun slinging outlaws and their lives have always fascinated people. Tombstone is based on the famous gunfight at O.K. Corral in 1881. Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) is a reputed peace officer. He has now retired and living with his two brothers: Virgil (Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill Paxton) in a mining town called Tombstone. Though Wyatt wanted a peaceful life, he and his brothers got into trouble with a local gang. Meanwhile, Earp’s old friend, Doc Holliday, comes to the town and joins Earp. Things then heat up and the final showdown takes place at O.K. Corral. Tombstone was loosely based on 1957 movie, Gunfight at O.K. Corral. The movie collected more than $56 million in US. Val Kilmer, who portrayed Doc Holliday, was nominated for two MTV Movie awards.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Glory:
In the American Civil War, many African American people joined the army of the Northern United States. Glory tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, one of the first American military units entirely consisting of African American people, which fought in American civil war. The movie tells the story of the struggle of the colored soldiers against various racial prejudices and their heroism during the siege of Fort Wagner. Matthew Broderick played the character of Robert Gould Shaw, Morgan Freeman played Sergeant Major John Rawlins and Denzel Washington played Private Trip. Though the movie was not a commercial success but it won three Oscars.


Image Source: Wikipedia

Cleopatra:
A historical movie, Cleopatra’s significance does not lie in the depiction of the history but the staggering production cost. Based on the life of legendary Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, initially, the cost of the movie was $2 million. Later, the production cost went up to $44 million ($295 million in 2007) making it the second most expensive movie in Hollywood cinema history. Elizabeth Taylor played the character of Queen Cleopatra. This was one of her major performances and she was the first woman in Hollywood to receive $1million for this role. Elizabeth had to change costume 65 times in this movie. The costume she wore in “Cleopatra’s entry into Rome” scene was made of real gold that cost $1million. The dress was so heavy that she wore it only for the scene. The high cost of the movie almost bankrupted the production company, 20th Century Fox. Fortunately, the movie did very well in North American box office and around the world. In 1964, the movie won 4 Oscars in Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Effects, Special Visual Effects category.

Image Source: Wikipedia

25 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:49 AM

    The Other Boleyn Girl is the best historical film ever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Seriously? The Other Boleyn Girl? It was terrible! Watch some good historical dramas (Pride and Prejudice, Gone With the Wind, etc.). Don't waste your time on that movie.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous7:18 PM

    i like historical movies like 300 /10000 bc/ the massege/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous6:39 PM

      Then keep jerking off; watching that kind of movies.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous4:48 PM

    you all forgot KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous8:09 AM

      Kingdom of Heaven is a good Movie.......

      Delete
  5. Anonymous12:03 PM

    What about Schindlers List

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Gandhi is A Good One Too.. Its long but it is a really great one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous9:43 AM

    i think the lord of the ring is great historical movie its also too long but good

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:27 AM

      Lord of the ring is not a historical movie

      Delete
  8. Anonymous9:55 PM

    YEAH... GANDHI IS A AWESOME MOVIE!! ITS A MUST WATCH!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous10:31 AM

    kya bakwas hai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:04 AM

      gandhi is great men

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:04 AM

      300 movie is good

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:11 PM

      oye ye bakwas nahi real h ok

      Delete
  10. Anonymous12:03 AM

    troy movie is very very very good movie

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous1:21 AM

    you guys just watch ironclad

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous8:49 AM

    1000bc wow and try love it ,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous9:41 AM

      10000 bc boss

      Delete
  13. what about Apocalipto guys...........

    ReplyDelete
  14. what about Apocalipto maga...........

    ReplyDelete
  15. alexender and troy both are superb historical movie..........

    ReplyDelete
  16. Alexender and troy both are superb historical movies......

    ReplyDelete

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