Wolf and David explore the history films we love or (or sometimes, films we’d loved just a little less but find interesting). Turns out we like different things…anyway, then we given them a score for two things – how good are they as a film, and how accurate are they with their history.
When you’ve listened, join us at the History of England Facebook Group – you can vote, and tell us what you think of the film, and you can even tell us (in no uncertain terms) what you think of our views (while writing to your MP in the strongest possible terms).
Below is a list of all our current episodes of History in Technicolor, but we can of course be found on iTunes and on a pocatcher near you.
Ridley Scott’s long awaited latest epic; a ‘character study’ of one of the most influential figures of European history, who reshaped a continent. It has been accompanied by furious debate,Read More
Big, ambitious and absorbing portrait of a genius who helped change the world
This 2018 film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos is a glorious tragi-comedy about the lives of three women – Queen Anne, Sarah Churchill and Abigail Hill. It travels the full spectrum from barking mad to genuinely moving. It is a blast.
Released in 1963 The Great Escape has got to be one of the definitive tales of derring-do, the ultimate escapism, in the ‘film is fun’ genre. What role would you have had if you had been there?
I remember back in 1981 this film was a sensation; we were all running around on beaches in slo-mo. Has it stood the test of time, though, and is it any more than a bit of fluff?
Jane Campion’s Bright Star was released in 2009 and featured on the lives of Fanny Browne and John Keats in the last years of Keat’s life. Abbie Cornish and Ben Wishaw do a brilliant job of recreating their lives
Ridley Scott’s classic – is it, and were you entertained or did it unleash hell? Has it stood the test of time? And how well does the revenge format work? This and much more – and a discussion of the ubiquitous agricultural yield ratios.
The Lost King follows the remarkable story of Ricardian Phillipa Langley, whose steely determination and persistence led to the discovery of the body of Richard III and paints the academic community as determined to write out of the story.
The evil British oppressor Captain Russell – twiddly ‘tache and all – forces the poor hapless (and stonkingly rich) Raja to impose the traditional tax, Lagaan threefold on the villagers unless they beat the English overlord at their weird game – Cricket (pre IPL days, obs). Find out what happens.
The 1967 film noir adaptation of Truman Capote’s famous book, In Cold Blood tells of the gruesome story of the murders of the Clutter family. It used a quasi document style, and is not only strikingly filmed, but makes you ask why these people died. It won multiple nominations for Academy Awards.
Rob Roy is a 1995 film telling a story of a Highland clan chief Rob Roy McGregor played by Liam Neeson; Jessica :Lange, John Hurt, Tim Roth, Brian Cox are superb. The best film about scotland in 1995 for sure.
Cromwell was a 1970 film starring Richard Harris as the eponymous, and Alec Guiness as Charles I. Massive in scale and ambition, in its attempt to present Oliver as a democratic hero of the people. Does it manage it?
Marie Antoinette is the 2006 film directed by Sophia Coppola. It took a highly stylised and sumptuous approach, with modern music – though nailing the cake thing. Reception was quiteRead More
The Duellists is Ridley Scott’s first feature film, in 1977. It describes a vicious feud of honour between two officers over the course of the Napoleonic wars
The 1964 Epic Zulu, first major role for Michael Caine was super popular – I saw it in my youth for sure. So how well has it worn? Is itRead More
Ridley Scott’s 2005 historical epic came soon after the massive success of Gladiator, and consciously aimed to repeat it’s success. It didn’t manage it, but the Director’s Cut was better received,Read More
Monty Python produced two deeply researched dramas analysing the reign of the great British Hero King Arthur, and the religious leader, Brian. How accurate are they, and are we still aRead More
The 1995 film about the Spanish Civil war, directed by Ken Loach and heavily influenced by Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. The film sees the war through the eyes of anRead More
A 1941 Powell and Pressburger film designed to persuade the American people of the need to join the war against the Nazis. “Goebbels considered himself an expert on propaganda, butRead More
The massacre at St Peters Field in 1819 was a key date in the story of the development of democracy in Britain. Mike Leigh’s film sets out to restore that sense ofRead More
The stunning 2013 Japanese animated historical drama by the master, Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises is a biographical film of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft andRead More
The 2013 film directed by Amma Asante tells the story of the daughter of an enslaved African woman and Captain Lindsey, against the background of the Zhong slave shipRead More
The 1933 classic from Alexander Korda which certainly convinced my mother that Henry VIII threw chicken bones around. It was a major international success, in particular for Charles Laughton,
2013 film about the ‘Godfather of Punk’ Terri Hooley set against the Troubles of the 1970 in Northern Ireland. And described by Mark Kermode as the best film ofRead More
The 1992 film staring Daniel Day Lewis in the adaptation of James Cooper’s novel, set in early colonial America
A very English drama about the dig on the eve of WWII which reveal one of the most dramatic discoveries in English archaeology – the 7th Century burial ship ofRead More
An Indian epic of epic proportions – colour, drama,. music, dancing, big stars, big budget – on the story of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I (1700–1740 AD) and his second wife,Read More
Samuel Bronston’s whopping epic, directed by Anthony Mann, failed to win audiences and was a financial disaster for Bronston. But it presents a well worked view of why Rome fell,Read More
The story of Beethoven’s life and music, through the lens of the mystery he left behind – who was the ‘Immortal Beloved?’ The Music is great, by the way.
Paths of Glory is an anti war movie released in 1957, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas. Who does take his shirt off. It’s based a novel butRead More
A romp, ladies and gentlemen. Chaucer walking naked after betting his shirt, peasants jousting as knights, rock music at medieval jousts. A bit of fun or hideous tosh?
The 1989 film’s trip through time started by being received heinously by critics, and yet it’s journey has been most unprecedented until now it is remembered excellently. Though probably notRead More
The 2010 movie depicts the fight for women’s rights at the Ford Dagenham site in 1968. Loads of fun and laughter all mixed up with serious issues produces a really goodRead More
The historical drama directed by Ava DuVernay is about personal bravery, about moving, dramatic – and controversial events. Did it tell the story fairly? And did it convey the drama and engageRead More
In celebration of St George’s Day, we watched Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V. Was it a triumph of the order of Agincourt’s, or worse than the Duke of Bedford’s haircut?
Not quite sure how many times I have watched Das Boot, but it is legion. A story of the war in one campaign, of the comradeship on board, and the terrorsRead More
It’s an adventure, exploration yarn! Good solid honest stuff – British explorer Percy Fawcett journeys into the Amazon, where he discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization. ButRead More
Glen Longwell joins Wolf and I to compare and contrast 3 Robin Hood movies. Plus we had some questions so hie thee to the Facebook group to pitch in. WeRead More
When I was at school we constantly discussed the book; we were fascinated by it, including where they kept their money (really? Ewe). So what about the film? How did theRead More
We discuss the intricate and fascinating story of Mary Queen of Scots and the new 2018 movie – along with the 1971 movie too. A chance to see how the ourRead More
The first of an occasional series where we look at the representation of folk tales and beliefs of the past, and how accurately film has presented them. We are joined inRead More
Such a classic – Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole giving it large, plus the world’s most appalling article of clothing (see if you can spot which). Was it accurate? WasRead More
Made in 1966 by Italian neo-realist director Gillo Pontecorvo, the film is based the actions of rebels and French government during the Algerian War of 1954–62. So realistic was it,Read More
Lady Jane was the first leading role for a very young Helena Bonham Carter, and a film debut for the renowned theatre director Trevor Nunn. Plus its an amazing story. So,Read More
This is one of the two movies my father picked out for me when I was nobbut a lad. It won 5 Oscars, was voted 3 on the BFI’sRead More
The story of PuYi the Last Emperor of China is the MOST sumptuous of films, beautifully shot, it’s an extraordinary story, and the history it passes through is fascinating. WasRead More
Once you’ve watched A Bridge too Far, you realise that you have just been playing with history movies. This film sets out its stall to tell you everything you everRead More
Alan Bennett’s play and film is a triumph on so many levels – it’s sensitivity towards mental health, the rehabilitation of the character of a king from unfair historical judgement,Read More
I, David Crowther, have managed to get to 54 without seeing Braveheart ended to end. I thought I cannot do this podcast without watching it. Find out if that proved aRead More
The 1993 film which tries to present a balanced picture of Geronimo and his armed resistance – through the eyes of a young US army officer. Geronimo: An American Legend covers justRead More