Films about the Age of the Revolutionary Wars

This collection provides information on selected movies, TV productions and documentaries on the themes of gender, military and war in the period covered by the Oxford Handbook.

The most important wars included for this period are:

  • American Revolutionary Wars (1775–83)
  • French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars War (1792–15)
  • Latin American Wars of Independence (1810–30)

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Director(s): Stevenson, Robert
Year of Publication: 1957
Abstract:

Based on the Newberry Medal winning book by Esther Forbes, this Walt Disney production highlights the working-class origins of the American Revolution. Johnny Tremain, a silversmith apprentice in Boston, Massachusetts, severely injures his hand...

Director(s): Dieterle, William
Year of Publication: 1939
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Abstract:

A fictional account of the French occupation of Mexico during the mid-19th century. Emperor Maximilian I, a puppet of Napoleon III, seizes control of Mexico during the American Civil War. Rebel forces force him to abdicate. 

Director(s): Renoir, Jean
Year of Publication: 1938
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Abstract:

Renowned director Jean Renoir humanizes those caught up in the French Revolution. A soft and befuddled King Louis XVI is unprepared for the uprisings, while peasants march towards the Bastille. Two groups of volunteer batallions play a decisive...

Director(s): Charlone, César
Year of Publication: 2011
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When commissioned to paint a portrait of General José Artigas, the revolutionary leader of Uruguay, decades after his death, Juan Manuel Blanes researches his subject's life and stumbles upon old secrets from the Spanish Wars of Independence. A ...

Director(s): Allen, Woody
Year of Publication: 1975
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Abstract:

Cowardly Russian scholar Boris Grushenko has the hots for the beautiful Sonja, but cold feet for the Napoleonic Wars. Devastated by news of Sonja's plans to wed a foul-smelling herring merchant, Boris enlists in the army, only to return a...

Director(s): Rísquez, Diego
Year of Publication: 2000
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Similar to contemporary scholarship, this film reassesses the role of Manuela Sáenz in the Gran Columbia campaign during the Latin American War of Independence. Her story is told via old letters written to Simón Bolívar that she reads to author...

Director(s): Brook, Peter
Year of Publication: 1967
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Abstract:

During the First French Empire, a theatrical production in a mental institution reveals undercurrents of resistance. Debates erupt over Jean Murat, a radical hero of the French Revolution and subject of the play. Patients draw from Murat's spirit...

Director(s): Dyke, W. S. Van
Year of Publication: 1938
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Based on novelist Stefan Zweig's 1932 biography, this lavish film offers a sympathetic reinterpretation of Marie Antoinette. From her marriage to Louis XVI to her execution during the French Revolution, Marie evolves from a young, lighthearted...

Director(s): Coppola, Sofia
Year of Publication: 2006
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Marie Antoinette unveils the gendered politics of monarchy and revolution by focusing on the young French princess and later Queen before the French Revolution. Isolated within Versailles, Marie Antoinette tries to find happiness through...

Director(s): Surjik, Stephen
Year of Publication: 1994
Abstract:

In this historically accurate social history, a New England woman experiences the American Revolution as a series of civil wars that divided her local community and household. Mary Silliman sees the war as an intensely local matter while her...

Director(s): Weir, Peter
Year of Publication: 2003
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This epic blockbuster presents an underdog story of the Napoleonic Wars. Captain Lucky Jack Aubrey, commander of the British frigate the HMS Surprise, receives orders to chase the French warship Archeron. Separated by the Atlantic Ocean and...

Director(s): Ovalles, Caupolican
Year of Publication: 2011
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A patriot and a revolutionary fall in love during the struggle for Venezuelan independence.

Director(s): Lamata, Luis Alberto
Year of Publication: 2007
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From his jail cell in Cádiz, Francisco de Miranda recounts his rise to power and push for Venezuelan independence to an inquiring journalist. Influenced by revolutionary thought, especially in the new United States, Miranda led the Venezuela ...

Director(s): Monjardim, Jayme
Year of Publication: 2013
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In this epic story based on the acclaimed novel by Erico Verissimo, two families are transformed over a 150-year period in Brazil. The Terra Cambará and Amaral families rise from the lower ranks of colonial Brazil to become economically and...

Director(s): Griffith, D.W.
Year of Publication: 1921
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Director D.W. Griffith created politically influential images of race, gender, and violence in the silent film era that still resonates in American cinema and politics today. This film shows the experiences of two women traveling to Paris who get...

Director(s): Ipiña, Leandro
Year of Publication: 2010
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A hagiographic biopic of José de San Martín, military and political leader of revolutionary Argentina commissioned to celebrate the 200th anniversary of independence. A young man from an elite family joins the Army of the Andes and recounts his...

Director(s): Hudson, Hugh
Year of Publication: 1985
Abstract:

A fur trapper living in the New York frontier becomes involved in the American Revolutionary War. When his son is taken by the British, Tom Dobb seeks to find him. He increasingly adopts the spirit of patriots.

Director(s): Clegg, Tom
Year of Publication: 1993
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Abstract:

Sharpe follows a British officer during the Napoleonic Wars. Sergeant Richard Sharpe receives a promotion to lieutenant and oversees the Chosen Men of the 95th Rifles, an elite group of sharp shooters who served as an alternative to...

Director(s): Blasetti, Alessandro
Year of Publication: 1969
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A biographical film of Simón Bolívar, hailed as El Libertador (The Liberator) of Spanish colonies in South America. The film focuses on Bolívar's military campaigns and unification of rebels across race, class, and birth in Gran Columbia between...

Director(s): Lamata, Luis Alberto
Year of Publication: 2010
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This film recounts the life of Jose Tomás Boves, whose rebellion against Simón Bolívar led to the fall of the 2nd Republic of Venezuela. Although Spanish by birth, Boves led a group of slaves, mulattoes, Indians and mestizos who remained outside...

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