*DVD Rental in Prince Albert only
1900 (Italian: Novecento, “Twentieth Century”) Set in Bertolucci’s ancestral region of Emilia, this expansive period drama follows two childhood friends in northern Italy during the early 20th century. Alfredo Berlinghieri (Robert De Niro) and Olmo Dalcò (Gérard Depardieu) grow up as close companions despite their class differences. However, they drift apart as adults, Alfredo embracing his landowning heritage and Olmo championing workers’ rights. As the years go by, they see the rise of fascism in their country, and eventually their values find them directly in conflict. 1976 epic historical drama directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and featuring an international ensemble cast including Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu.
300 – In 480 B.C. a state of war exists between Persia, led by King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Greece. At the Battle of Thermopylae, Leonidas (Gerard Butler), king of the Greek city state of Sparta, leads his badly outnumbered warriors against the massive Persian army. Though certain death awaits the Spartans, their sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against their common enemy. 2007 American epic period action film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars. The film was co-written and directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant. It was filmed mostly with a superimposition chroma key technique to replicate the imagery of the original comic book.
- 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – Xerxes sets out to control the major states of Greece with the help of his vast Persian army. Themistocles, the admiral of Athens, is forced to form an alliance with Sparta in order to save Athens. 2014 American epic action film written and produced by Zack Snyder and directed by Noam Murro. It is a sequel to the 2007 film 300, taking place before, during, and after the main events of that film, and is loosely based on the Battle of Artemisium and the Battle of Salamis. The cast includes Lena Headey, Peter Mensah, David Wenham, Andrew Tiernan, Andrew Pleavin, and Rodrigo Santoro reprising their roles from the first film, alongside Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Hans Matheson, and Callan Mulvey.
A MILLION COLOURS -A Million Colours, also called Colors of Heaven, is a 2011 film directed by Peter Bishai and co-written with Andre Pieterse. It is based on the lives of Muntu Ndebele and Norman Knox, actors in the film Forever Young, Forever Free, also known as e’Lollipop. It follows them from the success of the film around the time of the Soweto Uprising, through to the election of Nelson Mandela.
AGORA (Spanish: Ágora) – 2009 Spanish English-language historical drama directed by Alejandro Amenábar and written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil. The biopic stars Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, a mathematician, philosopher and astronomer in late 4th-century Roman Egypt, who investigates the flaws of the geocentric Ptolemaic system and the heliocentric model that challenges it. Surrounded by religious turmoil and social unrest, Hypatia struggles to save the knowledge of classical antiquity from destruction. Max Minghella co-stars as Davus, Hypatia’s father’s slave, and Oscar Isaac as Hypatia’s student, and later prefect of Alexandria, Orestes. The story uses historical fiction to highlight the relationship between religion and science at the time amidst the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism and the Christianization of the Roman Empire. The title of the film takes its name from the agora, a public gathering place in ancient Greece, similar to the Roman forum.
ARGO – An exfiltration specialist masquerades as a Hollywood producer in order to rescue six Americans who are held captive in Tehran during the US hostage crisis in Iran. 2012 historical drama thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film stars Affleck as Mendez, and Bryan Cranston.
BAARIA – From the 1920s through to the 80s, follow the story of Peppino, who comes from a poor shepherding family. The film tracks both Peppino’s romance with local beauty Mannina and his political awakening – which will take him to the upper reaches of the Communist Party – as well as the social changes within the town: life under the Fascists, the influence of the Mafia, and the dominance of the Catholic Church and Christian Democrats. 2009 Italian film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.
THE BEGUILED is a 2017 Southern Gothic film written and directed by Sofia Coppola, based on the 1966 novel of the same name (originally published as A Painted Devil) by Thomas P. Cullinan. It stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning. Cpl. John McBurney is an injured Union soldier who finds himself on the run as a deserter during the Civil War. He seeks refuge at an all-female Southern boarding school where the teachers and students seem more than willing to help. Soon, sexual tensions lead to dangerous rivalries as the women tend to his wounded leg while offering him comfort and companionship.
BEN-HUR – Judah Ben-Hur, a nobleman, is sentenced to years of slavery after being accused of treason by his adopted brother, Messala. However, he returns to seek revenge by competing with him in a race. 2016 epic historical drama film directed by Timur Bekmambetov and written by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. It is the fifth film adaptation of the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. The film stars Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Haluk Bilginer, and Rodrigo Santoro.
BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (French: Le Pacte des loups) The story takes place in 18th-century France, where the Chevalier de Fronsac and Mani of the Iroquois tribe are sent to investigate the mysterious slaughter of hundreds by an unknown creature in the province of Gévaudan. 2001 French period action horror film directed by Christophe Gans, co-written by Gans and Stéphane Cabel, and starring Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Émilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel.
THE BUTLER – 2013 historical drama directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels and with a screenplay by Danny Strong. Loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House for decades, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American who is a witness of notable political and social events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler.
CHURCHILL – A 2017 British historical war-drama directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, portrays Winston Churchill in June 1944 – especially in the hours leading up to D-Day. The film stars Brian Cox as the titular character with Miranda Richardson and John Slattery in supporting roles. Exhausted by years of war, Winston Churchill awaits the 1944 Normandy landings, which he believes will be a disaster.
CLEOPATRA – 1963 epic historical drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with a screenplay adapted by Mankiewicz, Ranald MacDougall and Sidney Buchman from the 1957 book The Life and Times of Cleopatra by Carlo Maria Franzero, and from histories by Plutarch, Suetonius, and Appian. It stars Elizabeth Taylor in the eponymous role. Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall, and Martin Landau are featured in supporting roles. It chronicles the struggles of Cleopatra, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.
THE CONSPIRATOR – Following the assassination of President Lincoln, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill Lincoln, the vice president and the secretary of state. Lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) reluctantly agrees to defend the lone woman, Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), who owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met to plan their crimes. Aiken realizes that Mary may be innocent and being used as bait to capture her son, a suspect who is still at large. 2010 mystery historical drama film directed by Robert Redford and based on an original screenplay by James D. Solomon.
THE CRUCIBLE – After married man John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) decides to break off his affair with his young lover, Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder), she leads other local girls in an occult rite to wish death upon his wife, Elizabeth (Joan Allen). When the ritual is discovered, the girls are brought to trial. Accusations begin to fly, and a literal witch hunt gets underway. Before long, Elizabeth is suspected of witchcraft, and John’s attempt to defend her only makes matters worse. 1996 American historical drama written by Arthur Miller adapting his 1953 play of the same title, inspired by the Salem witchcraft trials. It was directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor.
THE CURRENT WAR – A 2017 historical drama film inspired by the 19th-century competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over which electric power delivery system would be used in the United States (often referred to as the “war of the currents”). Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, written by Michael Mitnick, and executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Steven Zaillian, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Edison, Michael Shannon as Westinghouse, Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla, and Tom Holland as Samuel Insull, alongside Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfadyen and Damien Molony.
DOWNTON ABBEY – 2019 historical drama film written by Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of the television series of the same name, and directed by Michael Engler. The film continues the storyline from the series, with much of the original cast returning. The film, set in 1927, depicts a visit by the King and Queen to the Crawley family’s English country house in the Yorkshire countryside. As the Royal staff descend on Downton, an assassin has also arrived and attempts to kill the monarch. The family and servants are pitted against the royal entourage, including the Queen’s lady-in-waiting, who has fallen out with the Crawleys, especially the Dowager Countess, over an inheritance issue.
THE EAGLE – Under the command of Flavius Aquila in A.D. 120, Rome’s Ninth Legion marches north carrying its revered eagle emblem and vanishing into the mists. Rumors of the legion’s golden eagle appearing in a tribal temple reach Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum), Flavius’ son, 20 years later. Accompanied by his slave (Jamie Bell), Marcus makes a dangerous journey to Scotland to retrieve the hallowed eagle and, in doing so, to restore his father’s tarnished honor. 2011 epic historical drama film set in Roman Britain directed by Kevin Macdonald, and starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland.
THE FAVOURITE – In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots. 2018 period black comedy directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Set in early 18th century Great Britain, the film’s plot examines the relationship between cousins Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), who are vying to be Court favourite of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).
FREE STATE OF JONES is a 2016 historical war film inspired by the life of Newton Knight and his armed revolt against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi, throughout the American Civil War. Written and directed by Gary Ross, the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, and Keri Russell.
THE IMITATION GAME A 2014 historical drama film directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Graham Moore, based on the 1983 biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. The title of the film quotes the name of the game Alan Turing proposed for answering the question “Can machines think?”, in his 1950 seminal paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as British cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who decrypted German intelligence messages for the British government during the Second World War. Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, and Mark Strong co-star as well.
THE KING’S SPEECH – 2010 British historical drama directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays the future King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech and language therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The men become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new king relies on Logue to help him make his first wartime radio broadcast upon Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939.
THE LINE OF BEAUTY – The Line Of Beauty (2006) charts the relationship between Nick Guest, a gay, middle-class boy with a passion for Henry James, and the Feddens, a rich Tory family from Notting Hill.Nick meets Toby Fedden at Oxford and is attracted to him, so he is thrilled when he is invited to live with Toby’s family when university ends.During a hot summer in London, Nick befriends Catherine, Toby’s manic depressive sister, and falls in love with Leo, a black, socialist council worker.He becomes entranced by the powerful, privileged life led by the Feddens and their friends – a life untouched by the stark realities of 80s Britain: vast unemployment and the rise of AIDS. A story of love, class, sex and money set in the Thatcherite 80s. Framed by the two General Elections which returned Mrs Thatcher to power, The Line Of Beauty is set over four extraordinary years of change and tragedy. This outsider’s journey into the heart of the beautiful and seductive world of the social elite bristles with emotion, drama and social commentary. Full of style and wit, it is a richly textured coming-of-age story set in London during a ruthless decade. Adapted from Alan Hollinghurst’s novel by award-winning writer Andrew Davies.Directed by Saul Dibb
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS – 2018 historical drama directed by Josie Rourke (in her feature directorial debut) and with a screenplay by Beau Willimon based on John Guy’s 2004 biography Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart. The film stars Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots and Margot Robbie as her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, and chronicles the 1569 conflict between their two countries. Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, and Guy Pearce also star in supporting roles.
THE NEW WORLD (See TREE OF LIFE) 2005 historical romantic drama written and directed by Terrence Malick, depicting the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia, settlement and inspired by the historical figures Captain John Smith, Pocahontas of the Powhatan tribe, and Englishman John Rolfe. It is the fourth feature film written and directed by Malick. The cast includes Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi, David Thewlis and Yorick van Wageningen.
OMAGH – 2004 film dramatising the events surrounding the Omagh bombing and its aftermath, co-produced by Irish state broadcaster RTÉ and UK network Channel 4, and directed by Pete Travis. It was first shown on television in both countries in May, 2004. Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden (Paul Kelly) was killed in the bombing, is played by Gerard McSorley, originally from Omagh. Out of respect for the residents of the town, it was filmed on location in Navan, County Meath, Republic of Ireland. The film ends with the Julie Miller song Broken Things, which was performed by local singer Juliet Turner at the memorial for the victims of the Omagh bombing.
PHANTOM THREAD – 2017 historical drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps. Set in 1950s London, it stars Day-Lewis as an haute couture dressmaker who takes a young waitress, played by Krieps, as his muse. The film was Day-Lewis’s final role] before his retirement.
THE POST – Set in 1971, The Post depicts the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers, a set of classified documents regarding the 20-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War and earlier in French Indochina back to the 1940s. A 2017 historical political thriller directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, and written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. It stars Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the longtime executive editor of The Washington Post, with Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Carrie Coon, Alison Brie, and Matthew Rhys in supporting roles.
PRIDE – Realizing that they share common foes in Margaret Thatcher, the police and the conservative press, London-based gays and lesbians lend their support to striking coal miners in 1984 Wales. 2014 British historical comedy-drama film written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus. Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners’ strike in 1984, at the outset of what would become the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign.
THE PROMISE – 2016 American historical drama film directed by Terry George and starring Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale, set in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. The plot is about a love triangle that develops between Mikael (Isaac), an Armenian medical student, Chris (Bale), a Paris-based American journalist, and Ana (Le Bon), an Armenian-born woman raised in France, immediately before the Armenian Genocide.
RISEN – Roman military tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) remains set in his ways after serving 25 years in the army. He arrives at a crossroad when he’s tasked to investigate the mystery of what happened to Jesus (Cliff Curtis) following the Crucifixion. Accompanied by trusted aide Lucius (Tom Felton), his quest to disprove rumors of a risen Messiah makes him question his own beliefs and spirituality. As his journey takes him to places never dreamed of, Clavius discovers the truth that he’s been seeking. A 2016 biblical drama film directed by Kevin Reynolds and written by Reynolds and Paul Aiello. The film stars Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth, and Cliff Curtis, and details a Roman soldier’s search for Yeshua’s body following his resurrection.
SCHINDLER’S LIST – 1993 American epic historical drama directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the 1982 non-fiction novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film follows Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who together with his wife Emilie Schindler saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.
SILENCE – 2016 epic historical drama directed by Martin Scorsese and with a screenplay by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, the film was shot in Taiwan, using studios in Taipei and Taichung and locations in Hualien County. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, and Ciarán Hinds. The plot follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Edo-era Japan via Macau to locate their missing mentor and spread Catholic Christianity. The story is set in a time when it was common for the faith’s Japanese adherents to hide from the persecution that resulted from the suppression of Christianity in Japan during the Shimabara Rebellion (1637–1638) against the Tokugawa shogunate. These are now called the kakure kirishitan, or “hidden Christians”. It is the second filmed adaptation of Endō’s novel, following a 1971 film of the same name.
TRUTH – 2015 American historical political drama film written and directed by James Vanderbilt in his directorial debut. It is based on American television news producer Mary Mapes’s memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power. The film focuses on the Killian documents controversy, and the resulting last days of news anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes at CBS News. It stars Cate Blanchett as Mapes and Robert Redford as Rather.
TULIP FEVER – 2017 historical romantic drama film directed by Justin Chadwick and written by Deborah Moggach and Tom Stoppard, adapted from Moggach’s 1999 novel of the same name. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger, Tom Hollander, Matthew Morrison, Kevin McKidd, Douglas Hodge, Joanna Scanlan, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench, and Christoph Waltz. The plot follows a 17th-century painter in Amsterdam who falls in love with a married woman whose portrait he has been commissioned to paint.
VICEROY’S HOUSE – Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, is tasked with dissolving the British rule and creating an independent Indian nation. A 2017 British-Indian historical drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Paul Mayeda Berges, Moira Buffini, and Chadha. The film stars Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, and Michael Gambon.
W.E. – 2011 British historical romantic drama film written and directed by Madonna and starring Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle and James D’Arcy. Dissatisfied with the way her own life is playing out, New York-based Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) becomes obsessed with the romance between American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and England’s Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) when Sotheby’s holds an auction of the royal couple’s belongings. Wally is especially drawn to Wallis’ side of the story, and as certain events transpire in her life, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur.
THE WORLD UNSEEN – The World Unseen is a 2007 historical drama film, written and directed by Shamim Sarif, adapted from her own novel. The film is set in 1950s Cape Town, South Africa during the beginning of apartheid. The film stars Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth as two Indian South African women who fall in love in a racist, sexist, and homophobic society.
THE YOUNG MESSIAH is a 2016 biblical drama film directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh and co-written by Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh and Nowrasteh, based on the novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice. The film stars Adam Greaves-Neal, Sean Bean, David Bradley, Lee Boardman, Jonathan Bailey, and David Burke. The film revolves around a fictional interpretation of a seven-year-old Jesus, who tries to discover the truth about his life when he returns to Nazareth from Egypt.