Has anyone ever started a history movie theatre after school?  What movies would be on list?


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Some must haves for a Movie Club:


Dances with Wolves

Wyatt Earp


to name a few.... :)

We do a movie night once a quarter.  We've used 1776, Glory, Good Morning Vietnam.   I'd add Iron Jawed Angels (used it while I was on a mission trip to Montana and the students loved it).  Although it's hokey in part, my students love Forrest Gump.  I do have to fast forward through parts, but it's a good review of the key events of the 1960s.  And, surprisingly few students have seen it.


Love the idea of a school sponsored movie night once a quarter!  (Even better if you can get the auditorium and big screen!)

My choices would include:


-The Patriot (with some selective editing)

-John Adams series (long night, but maybe parts of it)

-Driving Miss Daisy

-Good Morning Vietnam

-Gods and Generals?

I've started to list movies on my school website for my World History course.  I'll have to start a list for Ancient Civ, since I didn't teach that last year & didn't have a website the year before.  Maybe Troy, 300, I'm not sure what else.  

I list the movie, the rating from imdb and suggest the students GO TO imdb before they decide to watch something.  I'm not sure all of these are easily accessible, but it's a fun list to make!  Here's some of what I did for my website:

World War II Movies
Tora! Tora! Tora!  - G
Pearl Harbor bombing
Pearl Harbor - PG13
U.S. story of Peal Harbor bombing
Saving Private Ryan - R
Valkyrie - PG13
Plot to assassinate Hitler during WW II
The Longest Day - G
The Great Raid - UR
Bataan POW Rescue
Casablanca - UR
North Africa in WW II
Band of Brothers - TVMA
TV miniseries
American soldiers in WW II
The King's Speech - R
British King George VI prepares to rally his nation
Enemy at the Gates - R
Battle of Stalingrad
The Sound of Music - UR
 Austria before the anschluss
Cold War World
Rocky IV - PG
All American boxer Rocky Balboa vs Soviet amateur Drago 
X Men: First Class - PG13
Cuban Missile Crisis
Thirteen Days - PG13
Cuban Missile Crisis
WarGames - PG
"Would you like to play a game?"
Global Thermonuclear War & video games
The Manhattan Project - PG13
A high schooler wants to make a nuclear bomb for a national science fair
Escape from East Berlin - TV no rating
Set right after the Berlin Wall is built
Based on a true story
Iron Giant - PG
Animated movie set during the time of Sputnik
The Hunt for Red October - PG
U.S. navy vs Soviet submariners in 1984
Night Crossing - TV no rating
Escape from East to West Germany in a homemade hot air balloon
Dr. Strangelove - UR
Satirizes the nuclear scare

When I was teaching US History, my go to movie to end the year was always "Remember the Titans". It's appropriate for students of many ages, shows students how segregation affected life, and then shows them that the color of a persons skin should not equal hatred. GREAT MOVIE for MS - HS students.

I have divided my US History course into 9 units, and I would like to offer a movie night for each.  Here is what I have so far:


Unit 1 - Founding the New Nation

Unit 2 - Building the New Nation

Unit 3 - Testing the New Nation: Gettysburg

Unit 4 - Forging an Industrial Society: Dances with Wolves & Iron Jawed Angels

Unit 5 - Empire & Expansion

Unit 6 - Prosperity & Depression

Unit 7 - The Shadows of War: Thirteen Days

Unit 8 - Making Modern America: Murder in Mississippi

Unit 9 - Building a New World Order: Forrest Gump

Good for Prosperity and Depression is the Great Debaters.  I think it raises the issue of how much further the farmers could have gotten if they had been able to cross the color divide.
For the first unit, my students LOVED '1776,' despite how ridiculous it can be. They had the songs stuck in their heads and the last day of class, they begged me to show one of the songs again. I couldn't believe how much they loved it!
I have an assignment that last all year called Citizen Action Points, and one of the choices is called Global Movies.  I show movies after school once in awhile that show aspects of life in other countries.  Some of the movies I have shown are "Rabbit Proof Fence", "Bend It Like Beckham", "Life is Beautiful", "The Counterfeiters", "Scent of a Green Papaya", "Schindler's List (needed parent/guardian approval to attend), "Evita", "Seven Years in Tibet", "Not Without My Daughter", and "Power of One".

The Mission

The New World

Last of the Mohicans

Little Big Man


School Ties - I actually explain this movie to help students understand how the Holocaust happened.

Avatar - Mirrors the U.S. westward movement from colonial to late 1800s.  The movie obviously has a different ending then  what happened in our history

Manchurian Candidate (The original with Frank Sinatra)  Good display of 2nd Red Scare.

Blackhawk Down - As good as any documentary of what happened in Mogadishu.

Charlie Wilson's War (Will have to sensor spots)  Gives a look at one of the factors which brought about 9/11

Legends of Bagger Vance - The scene where Junuh tells Hardy he should be proud of his father.  Sums up the attitude of the Great Depression.  Plus it is a very good movie.

For The Boys - Very good collage of historical events from WW II past Vietnam. (Kind of like Forrest Gump)


These are just a few of the movies I would suggest.  Not sure I would actually show Charlie Wilson's War, but I do suggest to my students that they should watch it outside of school.


We do not have a movie night, but it is something I have always wanted to do.


Every US History class should see and discuss THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN



Every Government class should see TWELVE ANGRY MEN




Economics classes should see CONSUMING KIDS




All should see Adam Curtis' 4 part BBC documentary CENTURY OF THE SELF



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