View Full Version : Compiling a list of movies/films as resources for teaching...

08-08-2010, 01:20 PM
I'm a big fan of movies/films in general, and wanted to compile a list of such that are useful to show to my kids in the course of their education. While I've started a list, I'd love to hear everyone else's opinions as to which movies might have some educational value. Please feel free to add to my beginnings of a list:


Animal Farm (1954, Joy Batchelor) (middle/high)
Hamlet (1948, Laurence Olivier) (high)
The Hobbit (1977, Jules Bass) (middle)
Romeo and Juliet (1968, Franco Zeffirelli) (high)
The Tell Tale Heart (1953, Ted Parmelee) (middle/high)
Treasure Island (1950, Byron Haskin) (middle)
Under Milkwood (1992, Les Orton) (high)
Watership Down (1978, Martin Rosen) (middle/high)


Paddle to the Sea (1966, William Mason) (elementary)


All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, Lewis Milestone) (middle/high)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, William Wyler) (middle/high)
Gandhi (1982, Richard Attenborough) (middle/high)
The Killing Fields (1984, Roland Joffe) (high)
The Last Emperor (1987, Bernardo Bertolucci) (high)
The Longest Day (1962, Ken Annakin) (middle/high)
Mrs. Miniver (1942, William Wyler) (middle/high)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, Frank Lloyd) (middle/high)
Patton (1970, Franklin Schaffner) (middle/high)
Schindler's List (1993, Steven Spielberg) (high)


Beautiful People (1974, Jamie Uys) (all)
March of the Penguins (2005, Luc Jacquet) (all)

Social Studies

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967, Stanley Kramer) (middle/high)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939, Frank Capra) (middle/high)

General Interest

Cinema Paradiso (1988, Giuseppe Tornatore) (high)
Dead Poets' Society (1989, Peter Weir) (middle/high)
Putovanje (aka A Journey) (1972, Bogdan Zizic) (high)
The Seventh Seal (1957, Ingmar Bergman) (high)

08-08-2010, 02:32 PM
Well, for English the list is almost unending. So many fantastic books have been made into great movies.

Where the Red Fern Grows - the old one is good, haven't seen the newer one with Dave Matthews
To Kill a Mockingbird
Of Mice and Men - both the old B&W version & the newer with Gary Sinise are fantastic
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Jurassic Park 1 & 2 - if they read the books, this is a great one to use to show how hollywood sometimes makes major changes to the story
The 13th Warrior - based on Eaters of the Dead by Chrichton
Taming of the Shrew - the one with Elizabeth Taylor is really Good, you could also watch 10 things I Hate About You for a modern, updated version
For Whom the Bell Tolls
My Fair Lady
Moby Dick - with Patrick Stewart
A Christmas Carol - many of the versions are quite good, but I prefer the Patrick Stewart one
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - the new one
Willy Wonka & the Choclate Factory and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory - read the book, watch both movies, compare & contrast
Little Women
Pride & Prejudice - the movie is Ok but the 1995 BBC Mini-series is fantastic
The Crucible - personally, I like the 1957 version better than the 1996 version because I think the acting was better
Last of the Mohicans
Anne of Green Gables
One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest
Lord of the Flies

The Untouchables
Anne Frank: The Whole Story - 2001 Ben Kingsley, it goes beyond the Diary of Anne Frank to show more of the story
K-19 The Widowmaker - movie & book, true story

Social Studies
Finding NeverLand - about J.M.Barrie (author of Peter Pan)
A Beautiful Mind

Chain Reaction

This is just what I can come up with off the top of my head. I think I've got a list written out somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.

08-08-2010, 02:46 PM
Thought of some more. These are mostly for History, though I make no guarantees about accuracy:

Ben-Hur (1959)
Kingdom of Heaven - 12th century Crusades
300 - pretty inaccurate, but could be a starting point
Gangs of New York
A League of Their Own
Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World
Apollo 13 (could also be for Science)
Men of Honor

08-08-2010, 03:04 PM
Here's what we studies for history last year (middle ages):

Monastic Life
In the Name of the Rose (1986)

Beowulf & Grendel (2005)
Beowulf (2007)

Braveheart (1995)

The Vikings
13th Warrior (1999)
The Vikings (1958)

The Normans
The Dark Ages (2007) TV

A Knight's Tale (2001)
Excalibur (1981)

King Arthur
King Arthur (2004)
Knights of the Round Table (1953)
Monty Python's Holy Grail (1975)

The Crusades
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
The History Channel Presents The Crusades - Crescent & The Cross (2005) TV
Ivanhoe (1953)

Robin Hood
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)
Robin Hood Men in Tights (1993)

The Hundred Years' War
Henry V (1989)
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)

Persecution by the church
Day of Wrath (2006)
Day of Wrath (1943)
The Shadow of the Sword
Soldier of God
El Cid

Middle East
1001 Arabian Nights (1959)

Ivan Groznyy I (1944) Russian Part 1

The Mongols
Mongol (2007) Mongolian
Marco Polo (2007)

Yojimbo (1961) Japanese
The Seven Samurai (1954) Japanese

The Incas
Apocalypto (2006)

European Explorers
1492 - Conquest of Paradise (1992)

Dutch Independence
Shogun (1980) TV mini-series

Tudor England
Elizabeth (1998)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

The Three Musketeers (& Four Musketeers) (1973)
The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

The Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Luther (2003)
Just the Facts Learning Series: The Reformation
Queen Christina (1933)

Renaissance Art, Writings, and Inventions
Just the Facts Learning Series: The Renaissance
Galileo (1975)
The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci (1971) TV

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Timeline Analysis Fun
Mel Brooke's History of the World Part 1 (1981)

Here's what I have on my list for this year's history (modern era):

Patriot (165 mins)
Marie Antoinette (2006) (119 mins)
Oliver (130 mins)
The Last Samurai (154 mins)
All Quiet on the Western Front (1979) 130 mins
Doctor Zhivago (200 mins)
The Last Emperor (219 mins)
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005 145 mins)
Gandhi (190 mins)
The Untouchables (1987) (119 mins)
Cinderella Man (144 mins)
Pan's Labyrinth (119 mins)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (144 mins)
Fat Man and Little Boy (127 mins)
Windtalkers (2002) (134 mins)
Saving Private Ryan (169 mins)
Schindler's List (195 mins)
Thirteen Days (2001) (145 mins)
Platoon (1986) (120 mins)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) (129 mins)
W (2008) (129 mins)

08-08-2010, 03:32 PM
Just last night on the Canadian history channel they showed Elizabeth (1998 Kapur). Here's a few more historical movies I've enjoyed:

Master and Commander (2003 Peter Wier) Napoleonic Wars at sea
The Trench (1999 William Boyd) WWI Battle of the Somme
Enemy At The Gates (2001 Jean-Jacques Annaud) WWII Battle of Stalingrad
Das Boot (1981 Wolfgang Peterson) WWII submarine warfare

Yes, I do like my war movies. :)

08-08-2010, 05:12 PM
Minor correction, just in case you're considering watching it for school:
Apocalypto was about the Mayan kingdom not the Inca. It also is apparently VERY historically inaccurate.

08-08-2010, 08:12 PM
History- We just got the Young Indiana Jones series which highlights a number of famous historical characters and appeals to my dear Indiana Jones fan.
We also have John Adams (HBO series).

08-08-2010, 10:25 PM
Hairspray the newer version.

I saw this movie the other day and was like wow it has a lot of great values in it! lol Okay I enjoyed, my 11 year old saw some of it and was like "cool cars" lol

08-09-2010, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the clarification. True, Apocalypto is about the decline of the Mayan civilization. I just paste and copied the list from the way I had it organized for movie viewing within my lesson plans. I put it under "Inca" in the lesson plan because that is where I had the most time in the calendar after studying the Mayans/Aztecs/Toltecs/etc when studying middle ages Americas. A small oversight on my part, my apologies but since the list was vast I didn't take the time to edit it. And yes, my son knew it was Mayan and not Inca.