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DVD Talk Forum Thread Wiki: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017
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CHECKLIST
GENERAL
WHEN
Watch a film that takes place during five different centuries prior to the 21th Century (Note Century of setting):
--- Movie 1 (Century)
--- Movie 2 (Century)
--- Movie 3 (Century)
--- Movie 4 (Century)
--- Movie 5 (Century)

WHERE
Watch 5 movies about historical events of different countries (Note Country of setting).
--- Movie 1 (Country)
--- Movie 2 (Country)
--- Movie 3 (Country)
--- Movie 4 (Country)
--- Movie 5 (Country)

WHO _/10
Watch at least five of the ten following subcategories:

FOLKLORE & FAITH
--- Film about prehistory
--- Film about the mythology of Antiquity (i.e., Greek gods, dramatization of Homeric poems, etc.)
--- Film about religious history (based on either recorded historical events or fables arising from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc.)
--- Film about a folk hero
--- Film about either the Humanities (fine arts) or Sports figure/event

HEY, THEY WERE THERE, TOO!: A LOOK AT MARGINALIZED PEOPLES
(Focus on prominent figures from history and/or depictions of their minority group's oppression, etc.)
--- Film about Women's History
--- Film about Race Relations
--- Film about the LGBTQ Community
--- Film about Religious Minority
--- Film about Immigrants

TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY
--- Watch at least two movies about the same person/event where each movie is from a different perspective (1/2)
--- Watch at least two movies about the same person/event where each movie is from a different perspective (2/2)

WAR _/10
Watch at least five of the following ten War subcategories:

--- Anti-War film
--- Military Comedy
--- Prisoner of War/Escape film
--- Resistance Movement/Civilians film
--- Submarine film
--- War Spy
--- War film that was produced *during* that war
--- Film about war criminals
--- Film about veterans after the war (framing a "flashback" film doesn't count, so no Saving Private Ryan for this one)
--- Wartime propaganda film OR a film produced by the military

WESTERN _/10
Watch at least five of these ten Western subcategories:

--- The Union Pacific story. (The plot concerns construction of a railroad, a telegraph line, or some other type of modern technology or transportation.) Wagon train stories probably fall into this category.
--- The ranch story. (The plot concerns threats to the ranch from rustlers or large landowners attempting to force out the proper owners.)
--- The empire story. (The plot might involve building up a ranch empire or an oil empire from scratch, a classic rags-to-riches plot.)
--- The revenge story. (The plot often involves an elaborate chase and pursuit, but it may also include elements of the classic mystery story.)
--- The cavalry and Indian story. (The plot revolves around taming the wilderness for white settlers.)
--- The outlaw story. (The outlaw gangs dominate the action.)
--- The marshal story. (The lawman and his challenges drive the plot.)
--- "Export Western" - a Western not actually set in America. There have been numerous Westerns set in Australia, for instance. Samurai films could count for this, too, given the relationship between the two genres.
--- Western movie with a direct connection to a TV show, since Westerns were part of TV's golden age before the Space Generation
--- Neo-Western (i.e., a Western set in more contemporary times, to demonstrate the genre is still alive)

ZEITGEIST WILD CARDS
Because an argument can be made that some movies which fall outside the "obvious" scope of our challenge really are consistent with its spirit, you're permitted to watch and check off up to three optional movies of your choice.
--- Zeitgeist Wild Card #1
--- Zeitgeist Wild Card #2
--- Zeitgeist Wild Card #3[/QUOTE]

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Old 06-01-17, 10:50 AM   #51
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

Gave Parkland a first-time watch this morning. Thought it was well done, giving a new perspective (to me) on the JFK assassination.
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Old 06-01-17, 08:22 PM   #52
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I started the Hollow Crown British TV Show starting with Richard the 2nd. Pretty compelling stuff. i recommend it
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Old 06-02-17, 08:40 AM   #53
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

On TCM tonight at 6:30 PM (EST) is Anthony Mann's THE TALL TARGET (1951), about a New York City policeman who gets wind of a conspiracy by military men and industrialists to send a team of riflemen to Washington to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The cop leaves his post and boards a train traveling from New York to Washington to root out the suspects. (Does the assassination plot sound familiar?). Dick Powell plays the cop, whose name is--get this--John Kennedy!
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Old 06-02-17, 02:42 PM   #54
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by numbercrunch View Post
I started the Hollow Crown British TV Show starting with Richard the 2nd. Pretty compelling stuff. i recommend it
Oooo... I picked that one up a few months back and totally forgot about it! I may have to dig it out for the weekend. Thanks!
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Old 06-02-17, 08:09 PM   #55
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I just finished a very interesting episode of Copycat Killers, on Reelz, about a real life Jigsaw. It wasn't so much the topic that was interesting, though it was mildly interesting. What made it so interesting to me, was that it was a local murder case, that happened right in Erie, Pennsylvania. I still remember hearing all the news coverage about the Erie Collar Bomber when it happened.
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Old 06-02-17, 09:47 PM   #56
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

How about a few NFL highlight seasons from NFL Network.. 1968 Jets, 1971 Dolphins?
Would these be acceptable?
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Old 06-03-17, 01:21 AM   #57
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by JOE29 View Post
How about a few NFL highlight seasons from NFL Network.. 1968 Jets, 1971 Dolphins?
Would these be acceptable?
I would think so. We need to maybe limit them to the classic NFL Films to keep in the spirit of the challenge. Maybe at least 10 years old, perhaps? This can be a rolling 10 years, so it gets updated every year. This would allow up to the 2007 Patriots 16-0 regular season.
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Old 06-03-17, 07:33 AM   #58
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I'm notoriously loose in my Challenge rules following, but I've always used this month for watching any sports, mostly my Minnesota sports highlight dvds. (If they're Minnesota related highlights, they're at least 10 years old, sadly.)
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Old 06-03-17, 03:53 PM   #59
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

checking out the french connection today. roy scheider has a much bigger role in this movie than i remembered. very good film
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Old 06-03-17, 05:52 PM   #60
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

Tomorrow, June 4th, will be the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. There's at least one good Hollywood film about the battle, MIDWAY (1976), plus numerous documentaries. Plus, at least one good Japanese film, I BOMBED PEARL HARBOR (1960), which spends more time on Midway than anything else and accurately pinpoints the Japanese blunders which contributed to their defeat.
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Old 06-03-17, 09:04 PM   #61
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I decided to start to revisit Ancient Aliens, since I hadn't watched any episodes in a long time, and the entire series is available on Sling TVs History Channel On Demand. I decided to start over with in my opinion, the best episodes, Season 1, so just finished the first episode.
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Old 06-04-17, 08:59 AM   #62
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

Took the opportunity to cross another 2017 Oscar nominee off my list and watched Martin Scorsese's Silence. last night.
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Old 06-04-17, 03:05 PM   #63
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by pacaway View Post
Took the opportunity to cross another 2017 Oscar nominee off my list and watched Martin Scorsese's Silence. last night.
What did you think of it?
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Old 06-04-17, 09:35 PM   #64
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I was browsing Crunchyroll, and saw that The Rose Of Versailles was on there, so I decided to sample the first episode. I have to say I was impressed, and I could see myself watching more episodes of that series, as I enjoyed it.
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Old 06-05-17, 04:05 AM   #65
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I just saw a surprising movie on Laff. I never would have considered The Three Musketeers to be a comedy. I really enjoyed it, but I didn't consider it funny.
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Old 06-05-17, 07:48 AM   #66
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacaway View Post
Took the opportunity to cross another 2017 Oscar nominee off my list and watched Martin Scorsese's Silence. last night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob_b View Post
What did you think of it?
Very well done. A little heavy handed near the end, and you need to be ready for the gruesomeness of some of the torture scenes, but I definitely enjoyed it.
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Old 06-05-17, 07:51 AM   #67
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I know it doesn't count, but my wife and I went to see a live performance of Rock of Ages last night. Great depiction of the music scene on the Sunset Strip back in the late 80's. The movie is pretty good too. I might have to watch it again now!
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Old 06-05-17, 02:38 PM   #68
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by shadokitty View Post
I just saw a surprising movie on Laff. I never would have considered The Three Musketeers to be a comedy. I really enjoyed it, but I didn't consider it funny.
Which version? There's one from 1939 which features The Ritz Brothers and tries to be more comedy than action/adventure. It fails simply because The Ritz Brothers just aren't that funny, at least not in that film.
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Old 06-05-17, 02:39 PM   #69
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

I got a late start to the Challenge today, but when I got home, I turned on the TV, and came across a Martin Scorsese film, called Shine A Light, on Epix 2. It was a very good rockumentary, about the Rolling Stones. It featured both the story of them, told through interviews, combined with concert footage.
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Old 06-05-17, 03:25 PM   #70
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
Tomorrow, June 4th, will be the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. There's at least one good Hollywood film about the battle, MIDWAY (1976), plus numerous documentaries. Plus, at least one good Japanese film, I BOMBED PEARL HARBOR (1960), which spends more time on Midway than anything else and accurately pinpoints the Japanese blunders which contributed to their defeat.
I found a free streaming copy (somewhat unusual as it's on archive.org and I'm sure that's not a PD film) of Midway as your comment was too late for me to order a copy (I was surprised I didn't own a copy as I tend to like the ones based on actual battles/engagements). During the viewing I was also surprised to discover that I'd never seen it before.

I was glad I found the streaming copy as I was not very impressed with the film and don't need a copy in my library. It told the story fairly well but had, at least IMHO, some major faults.

The use of Paul Frees to do the voice over work for Toshirô Mifune took me totally out of the story every time he spoke. I love Frees' work but every time Mifune spoke I went into Rocky & Bullwinkle mode as Frees used the same voice he used as the narrator on the "Dudley Do-Right" segments, somewhat emulating/mimicking William Conrad. It really made it hard to take those segments seriously.

I also found the sub-plot with Capt. Garth (Heston), his son, and Japanese love interest somewhat forced and unnecessary. It drug things down every time any of them were on the screen dealing with that situation. I know such things happened during WWII but the inclusion of that story line diluted the main story and didn't add anything to the film.

The constant "Bogey at 3 o'clock!" commentary/warning/narration during dog-fights drove me to distraction. I was constantly wondering just where that plane with someone able to monitor the entire battle and throw out warnings was "parked." If it were to simulate chatter from pilots trying to help each other it failed as it was always the same frenetic voice.

There was more but I'll leave it alone. It just didn't work for me. But it did cause me to take out my unwatched copy of WWII in HD to give it a first viewing. I'm also rather unimpressed with what I've seen of that one so far but am currently 3 episodes in so hopefully it'll improve.
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Old 06-05-17, 04:05 PM   #71
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Which version? There's one from 1939 which features The Ritz Brothers and tries to be more comedy than action/adventure. It fails simply because The Ritz Brothers just aren't that funny, at least not in that film.
The 1993 version, with Tim Curry as Cardinal Richilieu. Maybe they figured it as comedy because of one liners between the Musketeers, I don't know.
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Old 06-05-17, 04:24 PM   #72
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
I found a free streaming copy (somewhat unusual as it's on archive.org and I'm sure that's not a PD film) of Midway as your comment was too late for me to order a copy (I was surprised I didn't own a copy as I tend to like the ones based on actual battles/engagements). During the viewing I was also surprised to discover that I'd never seen it before.

I was glad I found the streaming copy as I was not very impressed with the film and don't need a copy in my library. It told the story fairly well but had, at least IMHO, some major faults.

The use of Paul Frees to do the voice over work for Toshirô Mifune took me totally out of the story every time he spoke. I love Frees' work but every time Mifune spoke I went into Rocky & Bullwinkle mode as Frees used the same voice he used as the narrator on the "Dudley Do-Right" segments, somewhat emulating/mimicking William Conrad. It really made it hard to take those segments seriously.

I also found the sub-plot with Capt. Garth (Heston), his son, and Japanese love interest somewhat forced and unnecessary. It drug things down every time any of them were on the screen dealing with that situation. I know such things happened during WWII but the inclusion of that story line diluted the main story and didn't add anything to the film.

The constant "Bogey at 3 o'clock!" commentary/warning/narration during dog-fights drove me to distraction. I was constantly wondering just where that plane with someone able to monitor the entire battle and throw out warnings was "parked." If it were to simulate chatter from pilots trying to help each other it failed as it was always the same frenetic voice.

There was more but I'll leave it alone. It just didn't work for me. But it did cause me to take out my unwatched copy of WWII in HD to give it a first viewing. I'm also rather unimpressed with what I've seen of that one so far but am currently 3 episodes in so hopefully it'll improve.
I actually agree with your criticisms, esp. the use of Frees' voice for Mifune, which contrasted badly with the unaccented English of all the Japanese-American actors sharing the scene, e.g. Pat Morita and James Shigeta. But I liked the way the actual battle footage was integrated into the recreation. Also, it made a suitable complement to the Japanese film, I BOMBED PEARL HARBOR (1960) which, despite the title, focused mainly on Midway and the Japanese blunders that led to their defeat. I watched the films back-to-back for a previous Historical Challenge and it was fascinating to watch the same event portrayed by the two once-opposing sides and how closely their versions matched some 18 and 34 years after the actual battle.
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Old 06-05-17, 04:48 PM   #73
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I actually agree with your criticisms, esp. the use of Frees' voice for Mifune, which contrasted badly with the unaccented English of all the Japanese-American actors sharing the scene, e.g. Pat Morita and James Shigeta. But I liked the way the actual battle footage was integrated into the recreation. Also, it made a suitable complement to the Japanese film, I BOMBED PEARL HARBOR (1960) which, despite the title, focused mainly on Midway and the Japanese blunders that led to their defeat. I watched the films back-to-back for a previous Historical Challenge and it was fascinating to watch the same event portrayed by the two once-opposing sides and how closely their versions matched some 18 and 34 years after the actual battle.
I agree about the battle footage. With only a few exceptions I thought it was integrated well - it was that added, and unnecessary, running commentary/warnings that I felt were distracting.

I'd like to see the Japanese film for that same contrast. I thought showing the blunders made by the Japanese commanders was good and the actors did a good job of showing that they felt they were making those blunders but were rather helpless to correct them. Whether or not that's how the real commanders felt I thought it added to the film. The sections where they kept changing the bombs to torpedoes and back and getting the returning fighters trapped on deck were very good.

I've seen that crash landing/breakup used in the scene where
Spoiler:

Capt. Garth crashed and died


in many war films. In reading some trivia about the film I discovered the pilot of that plane actually got himself out of the cockpit following the crash and walked away with just a few bruises. That's simply amazing!

Last edited by BobO'Link; 06-05-17 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 06-05-17, 08:57 PM   #74
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

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Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
...WWII in HD to give it a first viewing. I'm also rather unimpressed with what I've seen of that one so far but am currently 3 episodes in so hopefully it'll improve.
I've figured out what bothers me about this series. Well... actually several things.

I don't care for most of the music/soundtrack. It's rather generic tension building fodder that frequently doesn't fit what's on the screen. Many of the scenes with such music would play better without it.

They focus on a dozen or so participants. That's not bad. How how it's handled is. They'll spend 5-7 minutes with one, jump across the globe to the other combat theater, do a short recap, 5-7 minutes here, jump back to the other. Repeat. Lots of wasted time by telling us who we're watching again and getting back into where we left off.

Several of the participants they focus on were still alive at the time of filming and appear on screen. That's great - but they use voice actors to read a script of what those people said when location footage is shown and do a cross-fade, overlapping wording, to get back to the actual person in front of the camera. Why didn't they just use the audio from these people and dump the voice actors for those? It reduces their participation to the short screen time sections and lessens the impact. Really poorly done.

While there's some good, and occasionally interesting, information about areas of the two theaters which haven't received much attention before, the focus jumps around far too much. It's one of those productions that typifies the more recent ADHD leanings in History Channel productions.

Last edited by BobO'Link; 06-05-17 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 06-05-17, 10:53 PM   #75
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Re: Eighth Annual Historical Films Challenge June 1-30 2017

Watched Ron Howard's The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years. Man, you think you know everything there is to know about the Beatles but this one shows that you never can! Stood up against segregation, toured until they were ready to drop, and made amazing music in between. Great doc!
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