Chicago February 14th 1929. Al Capone finally establishes himself as the city’s boss of organised crime. In a north-side garage his hoods, dressed as policemen, surprise and mow down with machine-guns the key members of Bugs Moran’s rival gang. The film traces the history of the incident, and the lives affected and in some cases ended by it.
H.M.S. Defiant (1962) Lewis Gilbert, Alec Guinness, Dirk Bogarde, Maurice Denham, Adventure, Drama, History
Defiant’s crew is part of a fleet-wide movement to present a petition of grievances to the Admiralty. Violence must be no part of it. The continual sadism of Defiant’s first officer makes this difficult, and when the captain is disabled, the chance for violence increases.
Into the Storm (2009) Thaddeus O’Sullivan, Brendan Gleeson, Clive Mantle, Adrian Scarborough, Biography, Drama, History, War
Winston Churchill is named Prime Minister on the very day the Nazis launch their invasion of the low countries and France. The immediate concern is the fate of the British Expeditionary Force now trapped with their back to the sea. The evacuation at Dunquerque saved most of them. Churchill formed a unified government with the Labour party and was steadfast in refusing to negotiate with the Germans. He developed a personal relationship with U.S. President Roosevelt but England (as Churchill always referred to the UK) stood alone until the U.S. entered the war. By war’s end however, Labour won the election and Churchill was out of office.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (2015) Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Peggy Guggenheim, Marina Abramovic, Documentary, Biography, History
The Last Command (1928) Josef von Sternberg, Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell, Drama, History, Romance, War
A decorated, aristocratic Czarist General is reduced to penury after the collapse of Imperial Russia. An old adversary, now a successful director hires the general to re-enact the revolution which deposed him.
Amazing Grace (2006) Michael Apted, Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Biography, Drama, History
In 1797, William Wilberforce, the great crusader for the British abolition of slavery, is taking a vacation for his health even while he is sicker at heart for his frustrated cause. However, meeting the charming Barbara Spooner, Wilberforce finds a soulmate to share the story of his struggle. With few allies such as his mentor, John Newton, a slave ship captain turned repentant priest who penned the great hymn, “Amazing Grace,” Prime William Pitt, and Olaudah Equiano, the erudite former slave turned author, Wilberforce fruitlessly fights both public indifference and moneyed opposition determined to keep their exploitation safe. Nevertheless, Wilberforce finds the inspiration in newfound love to rejuvenate the fight with new ideas that would lead to a great victory for social justice.
The Man in the Iron Mask (1977) Mike Newell, Richard Chamberlain, Patrick McGoohan, Louis Jourdan, Adventure, Drama, History
Fed up with the the insufferably cruel behavior of Louis XIV (Richard Chamberlain), a group of musketeers plot to replace the king with his twin brother, Philippe (also Chamberlain). They kidnap Phillipe and temporarily lock him in the Bastille, where he is inevitably recognized as a dead ringer for Louis. Word gets back to the king and, fearing for his safety, he decides to have his brother locked in an iron mask and subsequently imprisoned for life.
Harakiri / Seppuku (1962) Masaki Kobayashi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Action, Drama, History
Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to be allowed to commit ritual suicide on the property. Iyi’s clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for a new position, try to force his hand and get him to eviscerate himself – but they have underestimated his beliefs and his personal brand of honor. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize, Harakiri, directed by Masaki Kobayashi is a fierce evocation of individual agency in the face of a corrupt and hypocritical system.
Richard III (1955) Laurence Olivier, Cedric Hardwicke, Nicholas Hannen, Biography, Drama, History, War
Richard’s military skills have helped to put his older brother Edward on the throne of England. But jealousy and resentment cause Richard to seek the crown for himself, and he conceives a lengthy and carefully calculated plan using deception, manipulation, and outright murder to achieve his goal. His plotting soon has tumultuous consequences, both for himself and for England.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012) Kathryn Bigelow, Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Drama, History, Thriller
Maya is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees, but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is.