1980s historical movies
Gripping human drama. Sumptuous period epic. Glorious celebration of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This marvelous winner of eight Academy Awards(R) portrays the rivalry between the genius Mozart (Tom Hulce) and the jealous court composer (Best Actor Oscar(R) Winner F.Murray Abraham) who may have ruined Mozart's career and shortened his life.
The story of an 18-year-old marine recruit named Private Joker - from his carnage-and-machismo boot camp to his climactic involvement in the heavy fighting in Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive. MPAA Rating: R (c) 1987 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved.
This is the exceptional story of America's first unit of African American soldiers during the Civil War and the young, inexperienced Northerner who's given the job of training and leading them. Based in part on the actual letters of that young officer and brought to life with astonishing skill and believability.
Merchant Ivory Productions, led by director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, became a household name with A Room with a View, the first of their extraordinary adaptations of E. M. Forster novels. A cherubic nineteen-year-old Helena Bonham Carter plays Lucy Honeychurch, a young, independent-minded, upper-class Edwardian woman who is trying to sort out her burgeoning romantic feelings, divided between an enigmatic free spirit (Julian Sands) she meets on vacation in Florence and the priggish bookworm (Daniel Day-Lewis) to whom she becomes engaged back in the more corseted Surrey. Funny, sexy, and sophisticated, this gargantuan art-house hit features a sublime supporting cast—including Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Denholm Elliott, Maggie Smith—and remains a touchstone of intelligent romantic cinema.
Three Academy Awards(R) went to this sly, seductive tale about the fatal attraction linking 18th century French aristocrats Glen Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. From the international stage hit. MPAA Rating: R
Akira Kurosawa's brilliantly conceived re-telling of Shakespeare's King Lear magically mixes Japanese history, Shakespeare's plot and Kurosawa's own feelings about loyalty in the epic masterpiece, RAN. Set in 16th century Japan, an aging ruler, Lord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai), announces his intention to divide his land equally among his three sons. Hidetora's decision to step down unleashes a power struggle between the three heirs when he falls prey to the false flattery bestowed upon him by the two older sons and banishes the youngest for speaking the truth. That ruthless betrayal ultimately drives Hidetora insane, destroying his entire family and kingdom. Deep human emotion and outstanding acting combine to create one of the most acclaimed foreign films of all time.
Based on the novel, 'Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian,' this is the story of a 1789 mutiny aboard the H.M.S. Bounty. This voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit begins well, but encounters difficulty when the Captain attempts to navigate around the perilous Cape Horn. After a dangerous struggle, the Captain admits defeat and reroutes his vessel. They arrive in Tahiti and find a tropical paradise, but the men soon become lazy and insubordinate. When the Captain announces that they will attempt to sail around the Horn again, the men rise to mutiny and send the captain and his loyal officers out to sea in a small open boat.
An adaptation of the 1919 major league baseball scandal involving the Chicago White Sox. The Sox are conned into throwing the 1919 World Series. Eight players are indicted but are later acquitted of all charges. The players concerned were barred from the major leagues and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
From director Hugh Hudson ("Chariots of Fire," "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan") comes a very special film about love and war. Set in the chaotic, emotionally charged days of the Revolutionary War, Academy Award-winner Al Pacino ("Scent of a Woman," "The Godfather") and the object of his obsessive desire, Nastassja Kinski ("Tess," "Cat People") are caught up in the violent and bloody war. "A thrilling vision of our country's birth pangs," exclaims the Los Angeles Times. "No other film has made American history come so alive," praises L.A. Weekly. "A superb, intensely human, beautifully produced, directed film. One of the very best of the year. Absolutely brilliant," (KCBS-TV). Co-starring Golden Globe-winner Donald Sutherland ("A Time to Kill," "Outbreak"), Oscar-nominee Joan Plowright ("Enchanted April"), Steven Berkoff ("War and Remembrance"), and singer-actress Annie Lennox.
Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood ("Letters from Iwo Jima," "Flags of Our Fathers"), a well-known, long-standing jazz aficionado, delivers a compassionate portrait of jazz visionary Charlie "Yardbird" Parker. Eastwood, who won a Golden Globe for Best Director for this film, also paints a vivid portrait of the jazz world in all its complexity. Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland," "Phone Booth"), as Parker, provides a multifaceted performance that helps provide an understanding of the man's genius, and tragedy. Co-starring Diane Venora ("The Insider," "Heat"), who along with Whitaker was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in this picture, Bill Cobbs ("Night at the Museum," "The Hudsucker Proxy"), John Witherspoon (the "Friday" movie series, TV's "The Wayans Bros.") and Tony Cox ("Bad Santa," "Epic Movie"). This music-driven film was an Academy Award-winner for Best Sound.
King David, starring Richard Gere, follows the real-life story of the lowly shepherd boy whose shrewdness and bravery helped him ascend to the throne of ancient Israel. But this film is much more than just another Biblical epic. Richard Gere and a fine supporting cast present a fresh new look at the people who actually lived the events that have become legend-from David's battle with Goliath to his self-destructive yearning for Bathsheba.
The army and scientists clash when working on a project to develop the first nuclear bomb. The year is 1943. In a remote New Mexico laboratory a diverse international group of the finest minds known to science are giving birth to the Atomic Bomb. The devices they create will change the face of the world forever.
The tension and terror that is present-day South Africa is powerfully portrayed in director Richard Attenborough's sweeping story of black activist Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington) and a liberal white newspaper editor who risks his own life to bring Biko's message to the world. After learning of apartheid's true horrors through Biko's eyes, editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) discovers that his friend has been silenced by the police. Determined not to let Biko's message go unheard, Woods undertakes a perilous quest to escape South Africa and bring Biko's remarkable tale of courage to the world. The riveting, true story offers a stirring account of man at his most evil and most heroic.
Goa, India. 1943. At the very height of World War II, in the neutral, Portuguese colonial enclave of Goa--deep within the heart of British territory--a Nazi spy ring reports to German U-boats, with devastating effect, on Allied supply convoys in the Indian Ocean. The British are desperate to shut down the operation but cannot use overt military force within Portuguese territory. Their men and materiel stretched to the breaking point, the Allies turn to the men of the Calcutta Light Brigade--successful, middle-aged businessmen who last fought forty years before.
In 1553, England's idle rich were anything but idle. With the blessing of the royal family, they plundered the riches of the church, stole the finest farmlands, and generally took all the best things the country had to offer. A cousin to the infamous Henry VII, Lady Jane Grey disapproved of the way her fellow nobles behaved, and disagreed with their religious beliefs. But as a sheltered 16-year-old, there wasn't much she could do about it. Then, through a strange turn of events, Lady Jane Grey was crowned Queen Jane, ruler of all England. Based on the true story of the girl who found herself Queen of England for nine days at age 16, Lady Jane is a historical romance at its bittersweet best. Look for Patrick Stewart as Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk.
In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city's gay community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the Gay Liberation Movement had begun. Before Stonewall pries open the closet door--setting free the dramatic story of the sometimes horrifying public and private existences experienced by gay and lesbian Americans since the 1920s. Revealing and often humorous, this widely acclaimed film relives the emotionally-charged sparking of today's gay rights movement, from the events that led to the fevered 1969 riots to many other milestones in the brave fight for acceptance. Experience the fascinating and unforgettable, decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America through eye-opening historical footage and amazing interviews with those who lived through an often brutal closeted history.
Shingen, a powerful warlord, has become as legendary as the motto emblazoned on his war banners: "Swift as the wind, silent as the forest, fierce as the fire, immovable as the mountain." As he lies dying from his battle wounds, Shingen orders his clan to find a double to replace him - to keep his death secret so that his enemies will not attack. The man chosen for this role is called kagemusha (the shadow warrior). However this kagemusha turns out to be a petty criminal who must somehow transform himself into a great leader and command the allegiance of 25,000 samurai warriors. An epic drama of feudal conflict in 16th century Japan, "Kagemusha" was nominated for two 1980 Academy Awards® (Art Direction - Set Decoration, Foreign Language Film) and was c0-winner of the grand prize at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival. It is a milestone in the career of Akira Kurosawa.
Lasse, an elderly and widowed farmer, and his young son Pelle, join a boat-load of immigrants to escape from impoverished rural Sweden to Denmark's Baltic island of Bornholm. They are employed at a large farm in Denmark, where they are treated as the lowest of the low. It is ultimately their loving relationship which sustains them through a difficult year.
The Kung-fu Instructor is martial arts film director Sun Chung's loose homage to Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo where unlike Toshiro Mifune's Sanjuro character being a snarling, bastard, drunk swordsman looking for a drink, popular actor Ti Lung's Huang Yang role, is an upright, righteous, weapon instructor looking to keep his limbs. Huang is a famous martial artist trapped into teaching kung-fu to the wrong clan while the opposing "good" clan tries to save him so he can instruct their members. Besides kung-fu comedienne Wang Yu starring in one of his few serious roles, Sun became the first Shaw Brothers' director to use a Steadicam which gives the film's action and editing style a unique brand of tension and rhythm. The pole fights are also out of this world.
Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey star in director Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. From 1909 to 1949, Celie (Goldberg--Ghosts of Mississippi), a Southern Black woman, gradually gains self-respect as she strives to educate herself and to find love--despite an abusive spouse and a society biased against her race and her sex.
Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) and Alex Winter (The Lost Boys) deliver "spirited performances" (The Hollywood Reporter) in the original righteous comedy about the two ditzy dudes from San Dimas, California. Also starring George Carlin, this hysterically funny historical comedy is a "snappily directed" (Time), "bouncy good time" (The Boston Globe) and a party that goes on and on! Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) have spent so much time forming their rock band, The Wyld Stallyns, that they're flunking history. Whoa, duuuude! And when Ted's dad threatens to send him away to military school, Bill and Ted realize it could mean the most heinous end of The Stallyns! Luckily, a guardian angel from the future, Rufus (Carlin), has come to them with a most bodacious solution: a time-traversing phone booth to take them into the past to learn about the world from some of history's most influential personalities. Their journey through time turns out to be a blastÄ…but will they learn enough to pass their class?
Winner of four Academy Awards for its technical achievements, and nominated for Best Picture, this adaptation of Tom Wolfe's bestseller appeared on almost every "Top Ten" Best Picture list for 1983. Featuring an all-star cast including Golden Globe-nominee Dennis Quaid ("Yours, Mine and Hours," "In Good Company"), Academy Award and Emmy- nominee and Golden Globe-winner Ed Harris ("A History of Violence," "A Beautiful Mind"), Scott Glenn ("Training Day," "Vertical Limit"), Academy Award-nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Barbara Hershey ("Falling Down," "Hoosiers") and acclaimed playwright-actor and Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe-nominee Sam Shepard ("Stealth," "The Notebook"), whose enigmatic portrayal of Chuck Yaeger garnered him an Academy Award-nomination. From Yaeger -- the first man to break the sound barrier -- to the seven Mercury astronauts, it's the story of the birth of the U.S. Space Program.
Winner of four Academy Awards(R) including Best Picture! The inspiring true story of British athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson head a sterling cast of newcomers and veterans. MPAA Rating: PG (c) 1981 A Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Sir Ben Kingsley stars as Mohandas Gandhi in Lord Richard Attenborough's riveting biography of the man who rose from simple lawyer to worldwide symbol of peace and understanding. A critical masterpiece, GANDHI is an intriguing story about activism, politics, religious tolerance and freedom. But at the center of it all is an extraordinary man who fought for a nonviolent, peaceful existence, and set an entire nation free. Winner of 8 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Attenborough) and Best Actor (Sir Ben Kingsley), GANDHI's highly acclaimed cast also includes Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, Sir John Gielgud, Roshan Seth and Martin Sheen. (Original Title - Gandhi) © 1982 Carolina Bank Ltd. and National Film Development Corporation Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Winner of 3 Academy Awards! A New York Times reporter and his Cambodian aide are harrowingly trapped in Cambodia's 1975 Khmer Rouge revolution. Sam Waterston, John Malkovich and Haing S. Ngor (Best Supporting Actor Oscar and Golden Globe winner) star in this shattering true story. MPAA Rating: R (c) 1984 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved.
Warren Beatty's award winning epic mixes drama and interviews with major social radicals of the period. "Reds" tells the story of the love affair between activists Louise Bryant and John Reed. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous start of the twentieth century, the two journalists' on-again off-again romance is punctuated by the outbreak of WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution. Louise's assignment in France at the outbreak of the war puts an end to their affair. John Reed's subsequent trip to Russia, and his involvement with the Communist party, rekindles their relationship. When Louise arrives in Petrograd, she finds herself swept up in the euphoria of the Revolution. Reed, however, eventually becomes disillusioned with Communism when he sees his words and intentions augmented and controlled by the growing Soviet propaganda machine.
The tumbrels roll through the streets of Paris, carrying enemies of the new French Republic to their appointments with “Madame Guillotine.” But to the revolutionaries’ fury, more than a few of France’s hated aristocrats have escaped execution thanks to the actions of a dashing young Englishman known as the Scarlet Pimpernel (Anthony Andrews, Brideshead Revisited). One aristocrat interests him above all the rest, the beautiful Marguerite St. Just (Jane Seymour, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman). In his pursuit of Marguerite, he has a dangerous rival, Citizen Chauvelin (Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings, X-Men)—a revolutionary leader charged with tracking down the elusive Pimpernel. Based on the classic novel by Baroness Orczy, this adaptation of the swashbuckling tale aired on CBS and was nominated for three Emmy® Awards, including outstanding drama special.
Set in 1928, this film portrays an indelibly sardonic picture of British life in territorial India.The story concerns Adela Quested, who is a free-spirited British woman, played by (Judy Davis), who has settled in India and is to marry Ronny Heaslop (Nigel Havers), a town magistrate. She is befriended by the charming Dr. Aziz (Victor Banerjee), but it's a friendship that ultimately leads to tragedy. © 1984 Thorn EMI Films Finance PLC. All Rights Reserved.
A gripping action adventure set in the 16th century and based on authentic historical material. Rutger Hauer leads a band of wretched mercenaries against the nobleman who betrayed them. They kidnap Agnes, the virgin bride-to-be of the noble's son, who becomes Hauer's mistress in order to survive.
In 1981 this film became the first Holocaust documentary to receive an Academy Award and it remains today a chilling, heartbreaking testament to the strength and suffering of the Jewish people and the courage and heroism of those who came to their aid.
Julie Christie and Greta Scacchi star in this gorgeous restoration of James Ivory's lush tale of romance and intrigue across two generations.
All the human spirit needs to thrive...is a chance. In one of his most legendary films, director David Lynch chronicles the intense emotional journey of a complex, lonely man and the dedicated surgeon who changed his life. John Merrick (John Hurt) was born with a horribly disfiguring congenital disease, and suffered the humiliation of being a sideshow freak. Only when London doctor Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, RED DRAGON) rescues him does Merrick begin to regain the life of dignity and respect that everyone deserves. Based on a true story, the critically acclaimed, Oscar®-nominated film has earned its place in cinematic history. Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud and Wendy Hiller lend moving performances to an already powerful story. Visually fascinating and historically relevant, Lynch has created a haunting masterpiece of compassion, beauty and ultimately, humanity.
Ken Russell's adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's "The Rainbow" sees impulsive young Ursula coming of age in pastoral England around the time of the Boer War. At school|she is introduced to lovemaking by a bisexual physical education instructress. While experiencing disillusionment in her first career attempt|teaching|she has an affair with a young Army officer who wants to marry her. Unable to accept a future of domesticity|she breaks it off with him and eventually leaves home in search of her destiny.
This vivid, high-energy human tableau interweaves the lives and passions of a middle class, small town family against the scandal and events of a transitional America in 1906. Director Milos Forman and producer Dino De Laurentiis have assembled an all-star cast-including legendary James Cagney- that brings the best-selling E.L. Doctorow novel to life in unforgettable fashion, with memorable music by composer/conductor Randy Newman. Ragtime is both a compelling story of human emotions and a reflection of the innocence, excitement and drama of that important time in the country's history. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards.