HIS 135
Movie Review Paper
Unknown.  If you can identify this image, extra credit for you.
Blue Separator Bar

After watching one of the optional movies/videos listed below, write a one- to two-page analysis of the movie (double-spaced, one-inch margins, font size 10 or 12).  Your paper should include

  • a short introduction
  • a brief plot summary (and I do mean brief!)
  • a detailed assessment of the movie's historical accuracy
  • some commentary about the personal impact of the movie/video, e.g., What did you find troubling or not so about the movie or the event being portrayed?

Please keep in mind that whenever you watch a film, you need to be aware of the three time frames present. I will use as an example a movie that I often show in my HIS 102 class

1.  The time that the event portrayed in the film took place.  For example, the movie All Quiet on the Western Front deals with World War I.  That means that the events in the film are expected to have taken place between 1914 and 1918.  That is the film's initial frame of reference.

2.  The date that the film was made.  The Lewis Milestone version of All Quiet on the Western Front was released in 1930.  That makes for a much different version than the 1979 version of the film by Delbert Mann.  There are not only differences in available technologies (sound had just begun to be used in movies by 1930) but also different perceptions of the event by the film's director (and screenwriter).

3.  Finally, the date that you are watching the film.  Again, take the 1930 film, the viewer watching that film in 1931 had a much different experience than someone watching the movie in 1951, and both of those will be much different than your viewing in 2006.

Please consult Charlie's History Writing Center for specific information on the writing requirements of this course.
Your assignment should be sent to your course instructor following the directions for submitting assignments.
You may also wish to take part in the Blackboard discussion of this assignment.
The movie paper is worth a maximum of 50 points.
Blue Separator Bar
Possible Movies

Pork Chop Hill (1959, directed by Lewis Milestone)
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961, directed by Stanley Kramer)
Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, directed by Stanley Kubrick)
La Bataille d'Alger (The Battle of Algiers, 1966, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo)
Attica (1974, directed by Cinda Firestone)
The Deer Hunter (1978, directed by Michael Cimino)
Apocalypse Now (1979, directed by Francis Ford Coppola)
Good Morning Vietnam (1987, directed by Barry Levinson)
Gandhi (1982, directed by Richard Attenborough)
The Killing Fields (1984, directed by Roland Joffé)
Cry Freedom (1987, directed by Richard Attenborough,)
Dear America - Letters Home from Vietnam (1987, directed by Bill Courturie)
Full Metal Jacket (1987, directed by Stanley Kubrick)
The Last Emperor (1987, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci)
Guilty by Suspicion (1991, directed by Irwin Winkler)
Kavkazskii plennik (Prisoner of the Mountains, 1996, directed by Sergei Bodrov)

Welcome to Sarajevo (1997, directed by Michael Winterbottom)
Black Hawk Down (2001, directed by Ridley Scott)
Bloody Sunday (2002, directed by Paul Greengrass)
Hotel Rwanda (2004, directed by Terry George)
Two Days in October (2005, PBS, American Experience)
The Missiles of October (1974, directed by Anthony Page)
The Hurt Locker (2008, directed by Kathryn Bigelow)
Restrepo (2010, directed by Tim Hetherington)

Feel free to make a suggestion for another movie that you would like to use for the assignment. The movie must focus on the time period from 1945 to the present.

This page is copyright © 2010-12, C.T. Evans
For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu