The Best Historical Films

Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Now by saying historical films I don’t mean the next documentary on the History Channel, I’m talking about films based on people like Mark Zuckerburg and Marilyn Monroe. Although no one can ever prove their accuracy and know what actually happened, insights into people who changed history are always, in my opinion, fascinating.

Another aspect I like about these films is that, unlike many documentaries, you connect more with the characters on the screen. I was never a huge fan of history, but being able to witness someone’s story and understand their emotions more thoroughly meant that I was automatically more interested. This direct atmosphere allowed for a greater connection which I think is more entertaining.

I’ve gathered and nitpicked at a few historically-based films (mostly recent) that I think you should give a go in no particular order, even if history isn’t your thing:

The King’s Speech (2010) – Who doesn’t love a bit of Colin Firth? He plays King George VI, who suffered from a stammer. He seeks help from a slightly unconventional speech therapist named Lionel, since he would otherwise be claimed unfit to be king.

Gladiator (2000) – Russell Crowe plays a Roman general whose family is brutally murdered, so seeks revenge after being captured and forced to become a gladiator until his death. Filled with action and incredible costumes.

The Social Network (2010) – “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”. How Mark Zuckerburg created the most well known social network in the world, and the lawful complications he faced against two brothers.

The Grapes of Wrath (1940) – One of my favourite films from the 40s with a powerful ending. The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family throughout their struggle through the Great Depression. A very personal and effective story, with amazing cinematography and editing.

My Week with Marilyn (2011) – A film following a week that Colin Clark spent with actress Marilyn Monroe, experiencing her struggles with acting, fame and the need to be loved and accepted. A great film, I loved the musical score and characterisation.

Searching for Sugarman (2012) – Although the style of this film is not something that I would usually watch, the way that the story is told is spectacular. check domain . Searching for Sugarman is a brilliant documentary style film about searching for a man named Rodriguez, who reached inspirational fame without knowing it until many years later after long-running rumours about his suicide. You really invest yourself in the two South African detectives looking for him, and find yourself questioning how anything like this could ever realistically happen.

Milk (2008) – A tale based on a gay activist who changed political history by being the first openly gay elected official in America. Sean Penn gives an incredible performance, presenting how Harvey’s courage changed lives and American history.

So these are my top historical films 🙂

Don’t miss a film about Princess Diana (‘Diana’), coming out later this year. Ever since her death there have been endless conspiracy theories about her life and how she died, but no one will ever know the real story. What do you think? Share your top films on our FB page.

Sarah Collins

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