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17 discussions filed under “Hollywood History Showdown: Films”


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Feb 22, 2010 at 4:49pm | Filed Under “Hollywood History Showdown: Films

Ron Howard is no stranger to American history. Having found great success with APOLLO 13 and A BEAUTIFUL MIND, 2005's CINDERELLA MAN disappointed in its profits. So Howard went smaller. He looked to the stage and Peter Morgan's critically acclaimed play "Frost/Nixon."


Feb 22, 2010 at 4:32pm | Filed Under “Hollywood History Showdown: Films

Laura Hillenbrand probably never anticipated her non-fiction horseracing book would become a Best Picture nominee, grossing more than $120 million at the box office. Gary Ross set out to make a period film that would hopefully capture the hearts of movie audiences, just as his equine subject did sixty-five years earlier.

“Black Hawk Down”

Feb 22, 2010 at 4:26pm | Filed Under “Hollywood History Showdown: Films

Black Hawk Down
While many history-based films struggle to recreate the past because of the sheer lack of available record, films that focus on more recent history have a distinct advantage. Such is the case with Ridley Scott’s BLACK HAWK DOWN, based largely on Mark Bowden’s book of the same name.

“Motives for the Assassination”

Jan 28, 2011 at 4:18pm | Filed Under “The Conspirator

Motives for the Assassination
The public in 1865 had no trouble comprehending John Wilkes Booth's motive in striking at Lincoln and members of his administration...
from The Conspirator 14 comments

“Apollo 13”

Feb 22, 2010 at 4:25pm | Filed Under “Hollywood History Showdown: Films

Apollo 13
Less than a year after Apollo 11 introduced a world where man had walked on the moon, NASA was far from finished sending its finest back, even if the rest of civilization was losing interest. In 1995, the world took interest again in the space program, thanks to Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's APOLLO 13.


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  • AZIronwood
    08/31/2015 at 4:03am


    No question Black Hawk Down is a riveting movie and portrays the Ranger/Delta perspectives of that historical event. But what about the efforts of the 10th Mountain Division QRF that faced the insurmountable odds of rescuing the downed unit? Little is told of their courageous actions or the leadership involved during those maddening hours of combat. To get an appreciation for who those rescuers were (and are) and how they trained to prepare for such an eventuality, viewers and readers of Black Hawk Down owe it to themselves to read Mike Whetstone's newly released book "Madness in Mogadishu." It might help to explain the Somalia experience beyond that associated with the award-winning movie. AZIronwood

    from Black Hawk Down
    10/17/2011 at 11:41am


    Having designed an undergraduate course several years ago devoted to this film (which I'm currently teaching this semester), I'm delighted to see the attention given to it here. I think the critical comments thus far are even-handed and thoughtful, and I support those who consider this film to be a landmark work that redefines the extraction film into both an expression of an emergent anti-war / pro-military ethos and a foreshadowing of the war on terror. Viewers might also be interested in a lecture by Mike Durant delivered at the U.S. Army War College and posted on YouTube wherein he emphasizes the very thing our present discussion reveals--namely, that this ostensibly "forgotten" battle will continue to resonate for decades to come as we continue to grapple with the geopolitical realities it compelled us to face.

    from Black Hawk Down
  • 05/16/2011 at 7:50pm


    "Black Hawk Down" was a terrific film about a battle small in scope, but had great ramifications for U.S. Foreign Policy under the Clinton Administration. It shows the horrors of modern warfare, but also the courage and strength our military personnel show, even under extreme conditions such as those in Mogadishu. This is an essentially important film of modern warfare.

    from Black Hawk Down
  • 03/12/2011 at 1:06pm


    Here in Texas we have an annual interscholastic academic competition for secondary school students in social studies and this year's topic is the space race. The film our competing students need to view and be able to write about is (no surprise) Apollo 13. After several months of reading the script, studying the Apollo missions and then watching the film, most of my students who've watched the film feel it offers a better and more accurate look at the intricacies of space travel much more effectively than The Right Stuff (we read the book, however).

    from Apollo 13
  • historybuff88
    02/02/2011 at 12:41pm


    The greatest biopic ever made!

    from Patton
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“Historians View the Assassination”

87 commentsNov 17, 2009 at 4:00pm

In April of 1865 most northerners had little trouble discerning who was behind the assassination; they were convinced the Confederate government was involved. More

“Brig. Gen. Joseph Holt - His Role as Chief Prosecutor in the Military Tribunal”

73 commentsNov 17, 2009 at 4:00pm

Joseph Holt, a Kentucky lawyer and staunch Unionist, was confirmed by the Congress as President Lincoln's Judge Advocate General on September 3, 1862. This made Holt the top lawyer in the Army, and the principal legal advisor to Lincoln on all military legal matters. More

“Slavery, race, and the assassination”

56 commentsNov 17, 2009 at 4:00pm

On the evening of April 11, 1865, a large crowd gathered on the south lawn of the White House in Washington to hear President Abraham Lincoln deliver a speech from a second-floor balcony... More

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