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Suggestions for "educational" movies for summer viewing. (Middle school/Freshman)


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I'm looking for suggestions for movies with historical reference for my 14 year old to watch over the summer. This school at home thing has really been working out for us, he's gone from a D student to a straight A.

We've seen Patriot, 1917, The Searchers, Pearl Harbor and a few others I can't recall.  The course work kind of ends at Civil War reconstruction. At some point we'll do Gone With the Wind, but it's so long and much of the book's historical reference is glossed over in the movie. 

In the queue are;

Master and Commander

Memphis Belle

Schindler's List

Saving Private Ryan

 

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5 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I'd recommend watching THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS (1944) before watching SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. 

Make it a trio ending with Paths of Glory.

 

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So if I have it right you are seeking recommendations for movies that are, let's say, •reasonably• historically accurate that take place AFTER the Civil War ends and Reconstruction begins? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Moe Howard said:

We've seen Patriot, 1917, The Searchers, Pearl Harbor and a few others I can't recall.  The course work kind of ends at Civil War reconstruction. At some point we'll do Gone With the Wind, but it's so long and much of the book's historical reference is glossed over in the movie.

Er, I would NOT call The Patriot or Pearl Harbor "historical accuracy"...  😖

At least, if it's too late to show 1776 or Glory for the two previous wars.

1 hour ago, Moe Howard said:

In the queue are;

Schindler's List

Saving Private Ryan

These are two to show in high school class (ratings permitting).

And to get ahead on 20th cty. history throw in:

- WWII: When Lions Roared (or any number of alternate titles it's under--The Malta summits, with John Lithgow as FDR, Bob Hoskins as Churchill, and Michael Caine as Stalin)

- The Right Stuff

- Thirteen Days

- All the President's Men

(And for Literature, there's the Franco Zefirelli and Kenneth Branagh Shakespeare films, John Huston's Moby Dick, and...would the John Hurt 1984 be too heavy?)

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Matewan (1987) is an excellent film about the labor struggles in the early 20th century.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) is a good one to learn about the First World War and how war was seen as a noble adventure at the beginning but quickly lost its nobility once the reality of a butchers theater was realized.

Gallipoli (1980) is another excellent WWI movie based on the Turkish front.

Breaker Morant (1981) about the Boer War in South Africa. Another good one.

Emperor of the North Pole (1973) is a nice view of life during the Great Depression.

I'll let you know if anymore comes to mind 

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Since you mentioned summer viewing?  I requested for them to bring Essentials Jr back on the Essentials Jr board a while back and I came up with a really cool new theme for it too.  Check it out on the Essentials Jr board when you get a chance.  I hope you like it.

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The Dawns Here Are Quiet (1972) is a great movie on many levels. A squadron training for anti-aircraft duty must engage German forces. I am sorry to say that the only streaming availability that I can find is by purchase on: Amazon Prime Video and it is in two parts which I believe must be purchased separately. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068161/?ref_=tt_sims_tt_i_6

The Forty-First (1956) is an intense confrontation between two soldiers on opposing sides. I am sorry to say that I can find no free streaming of this movie.

 

 

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Watch Tennessee Johnson and then read up on what really happened.

Ditto They Died With Their Boots On.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Gorman said:

So if I have it right you are seeking recommendations for movies that are, let's say, •reasonably• historically accurate that take place AFTER the Civil War ends and Reconstruction begins? 

Reasonably historically accurate yes.  But not necessarily after reconstruction. Hoping to provoke some questions which we then research.

He has many questions about war. Mainly WW2 and Viet Nam. 

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3 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

He has many questions about war. Mainly WW2 and Viet Nam. 

I found Ken Burns' Vietnam documentary much more educational (albeit heavy) about the political motivations and timeline of what the heck actually went on, than Oliver Stone's typically operatic reminiscences in Platoon.

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11 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Watch Tennessee Johnson and then read up on what really happened.

I did when it was on recently, then read up on the movie's accuracy and more about really happened. The movie does hit some of major points that are rarely talked about. I'm almost finished with Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh. 

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

Er, I would NOT call The Patriot or Pearl Harbor "historical accuracy"...  😖

At least, if it's too late to show 1776 or Glory for the two previous wars.

Master and Commander isn't exactly accurate either.

Pearl Harbor was shown for the attack footage. So he could get a feel for what that was like. Of course it's not a blow by blow accurate accounting. But he was interested in how the Japanese prepared and conducted recon. Living in the Pacific Northwest the internment is often brought up. 

The Patriot was shown for what it might take for one to be motivated enough to take up arms when he wasn't for the war. "Mr. Howard, why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away for three thousand tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as a king can."

1 hour ago, EricJ said:

- WWII: When Lions Roared (or any number of alternate titles it's under--The Malta summits, with John Lithgow as FDR, Bob Hoskins as Churchill, and Michael Caine as Stalin)

- The Right Stuff

- Thirteen Days

- All the President's Men

(And for Literature, there's the Franco Zefirelli and Kenneth Branagh Shakespeare films, John Huston's Moby Dick, and...would the John Hurt 1984 be too heavy?)

1984 not too heavy, just too early.  He does enjoy reading I'll buy Moby Dick for him.

Probably too early for All the President's Men too. I have Apollo 13, we will be watching that, to go along with The Right Stuff.

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31 minutes ago, EricJ said:

I found Ken Burns' Vietnam documentary much more educational (albeit heavy) about the political motivations and timeline of what the heck actually went on, than Oliver Stone's typically operatic reminiscences in Platoon.

Excellant!

I want to do Viet Nam without movies because there are so many good documentaries.

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Sunrise at Campobello (1960) -- Franklin Roosevelt's valiant struggle with polio, from the time he contracted it while on vacation with his family in 1921, to his brave return to politics three years later.  The film stars Ralph Bellamy as FDR and Greer Garson as Eleanor, with support from Hume Cronyn and Jean Hagen.  Dore Schary adapted the screenplay from his own Tony-winning play.  Eleanor Roosevelt, a friend of Schary's, was present for some of the filming, some of which took place at actual locations.  It's one of the most inspiring films I've ever seen -- it helped me understand how a man who couldn't walk across a room unaided had the strength to lead the country through the Depression and World War II.  (Those years aren't covered here.)

The Longest Day (1962) -- the story of D-Day, with Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Red Buttons, and many, many other well-known actors.  Author Cornelius Ryan wrote the screenplay, adapted from his own book.   Actual D-Day participants served as consultants on the film, and much of the film was shot in France, sometimes using actual locations.  I found it very gripping -- especially when a German lookout first sees the Allied armada approaching.

 

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4 minutes ago, BingFan said:

Franklin Roosevelt's valiant struggle with polio,

When Jon Voight stands up in Pearl Harbor my kid had many questions. So we got into that a bit.

The Longest Day will definitely be added to the line up.

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41 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

The Patriot was shown for what it might take for one to be motivated enough to take up arms when he wasn't for the war. "Mr. Howard, why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away for three thousand tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as a king can."

The Patriot was SUPPOSED to be a biography of Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion, who brought guerrilla tactics from the French & Indian Wars into the revolution--
However, that would mean revealing he fought natives and owned slaves, which was a Hollywood no-no, so they just fictionally recycled Russel Crowe's character from "Gladiator".

It is historically true that Gen. Banastre "Bloody Ban" Tarleton was in charge of England's later campaigns in Virginia and the Carolinas, and his ruthlessness pretty much ruined their chances of finding sympathy with the plantation owners, but he wasn't the Joaquin Phoenix character from "Gladiator" either.

41 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

1984 not too heavy, just too early.  He does enjoy reading I'll buy Moby Dick for him.

Well, that's why I suggested the movie--The book is infuriatingly non-linear, written in a series of anecdotes, sometimes the plot about Ishmael & Ahab, and sometimes detouring off for journalistic footnotes on the varieties of whale hunting, and cultural significance of albino animals.  

Ray Bradbury and John Huston not only kept their mind on the narrative, but preserved the eerie Biblical allegory that was supposed to be in the back of our minds.

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20 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

When Jon Voight stands up in Pearl Harbor my kid had many questions. So we got into that a bit.

The Longest Day will definitely be added to the line up.

I saw that you mentioned Pearl Harbor above, but having never seen it, I didn't know that Jon Voight had played FDR.  Glad you had a chance to talk about FDR's condition.

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Dunkirk

Sunrise at Campobello (sp?) - saw already mentioned

Gentleman's Agreement (Garfield is especially poignant in this story about anti-Semitism)

Clint Eastwood did two movies about Iwo Jima (Flags of Our Fathers was one)

My Darling Clementine (compared with other Wyatt Earp movies)

 

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Other films:  Hidden Figures

The Last Hurrah

Shakespeare in Love (if you can get the video for students that comes with it - used in one of the classes I substitute taught in)

Drums Along the Mohawk

Little Big Man

The Best Years of Our Lives

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15 minutes ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

My Darling Clementine (compared with other Wyatt Earp movies

Absolutely my favorite Western.  It is not accurate. 

Despite its problems, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE (1951) is still worthwhile. 

MRS. MINIVER (1942) is very watchable and a terrific lesson on Allied propaganda and the horrors British civilians faced during the blitz. 

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