★★★★☆ UK. 3h8m. Biography / Historical. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Written by James Goldman (screenplay) and Robert K. Massie (“Nicholas And Alexandra”). Cinematography by Freddie Young. Edited by Ernest Walter. Music by Richard Rodney Bennett. Starring Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman, Laurence Olivier, Tom Baker, Michael Redgrave, Jack Hawkins, Harry Andrews, Roderic Noble, Ania Marson, Lynne Frederick, Candace Glendenning, Fiona Fullerton, Irene Worth.
A partial account of the last ruling Russian monarch, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra. Academy Award winner for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Costume Design. It was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Janet Suzman), Best Cinematography, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score and Best Picture.
★★★★☆ Canada / France. 1h40m. Adventure / Historical. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Written by Gérard Brach (screenplay) and J.-H. Rosny (“The Quest For Fire”). Cinematography by Claude Agostini. Edited by Yves Langlois. Music by Philippe Sarde. Starring Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nameer El-Kadi, Rae Dawn Chong, Gary Schwartz, Naseer El-Kadi, Franck-Olivier Bonnet, Jean-Michel Kindt, Kurt Schiegl, Brian Gill.
Set in Paleolithic Europe (80,000 years ago), with its plot surrounding the struggle for control of fire by early humans. Quest For Fire was critically acclaimed. It won the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Makeup.
★★★★☆ USA. 3h4m. Drama / Historical. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Written by Dalton Trumbo (screenplay) and Howard Fast (“Spartacus”). Cinematography by Russell Metty. Edited by Robert Lawrence. Music by Alex North. Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis, John Gavin, John Dall, Nina Foch, John Ireland, Herbert Lom.
Inspired by the life story of Spartacus, the leader of a slave revolt in antiquity, and the events of the Third Servile War.
★★★★☆ UK. 2h8m. Drama / Historical / Romance. Directed by Alexander Korda. Written by Walter Reisch, R.C. Sherriff. Cinematography by Rudolph Maté. Edited by William W. Hornbeck. Music by Miklós Rózsa. Starring Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Alan Mowbray, Gladys Cooper, Heather Angel, Gilbert Emery, Ronald Sinclair, Norma Drury, Juliette Compton, Sara Allgood.
Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the film tells the story of the rise and fall of Emma Hamilton, dance-hall girl and courtesan, who married Sir William Hamilton, British ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples. She later became mistress to Admiral Horatio Nelson. The film was a critical and financial success, and while on the surface the plot is both a war story and a romance set in Napoleonic times, it was also intended to function as a deliberately pro-British film that would portray Britain positively within the context of World War II which was being fought at that time.