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): Korda, Alexander
Year of Publication: 1941
Major Wars:
Abstract:

A young woman's rise and fall centers on the fortunes of men during the Napoleonic War. An aged, alcoholic Emma Hart, jailed for theft, recounts her story to a fellow prisoner. Her lover traded her to his uncle, a British ambassador to Naples, to...

Director(s): Scola, Ettore
Year of Publication: 1982
Major Wars:
Abstract:

French writer Restif de la Bretonne, American patriot Thomas Paine, aging Italian rake Cassanova, and an Austrian aristocrat debate the meaning of liberty and revolution as they ride toward the city of Varennes during the French Revolution. Ahead...

Director(s): Narvaja, Miguel Hugo Vaca
Year of Publication: 2009
Major Wars:
Abstract:

This documentary explores the history of Venezuela from its independence to modern day times. It frames Venezuela's struggle within the larger context of Latin America striving to win autonomy and emancipation from colonial and interventionist...

Director(s): Rezende, Sergio
Year of Publication: 1997
Major Wars:
Abstract:

A deadly civil war engulfs the province of Bahia after the creation of the First Brazilian Republic in the late 19th century. A poor family joins a growing community led by spiritual leader Antonio Conselheiro after losing their crop to drought...

Director(s): Virgo, Clement
Year of Publication: 2015
Abstract:

Inspired by real life events, this six-part, limited television series uncovers the history of Black Loyalists during the American Revolutionary War. Aminata, enslaved at age 11, becomes a central figure in preparing the Book of Negroes...

Director(s): Harmon, Robert
Year of Publication: 2000
Abstract:

General George Washington's decision to cross the icy Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776 gave the Continental Army its first major military win during the American Revolutionary War. Months after the American colonists declared their...

Director(s): Jones, David
Year of Publication: 1987
Abstract:

Based on the George Bernard Shaw play, two men switch identities during the American Revolutionary War. Outcast, rake, and godless Dick Dudgeon unexpectedly inherits his father's estate, and the only person to treat him well is minister Anthony...

Director(s): Lloyd, Frank
Year of Publication: 1940
Abstract:

A young man from colonial Virginia fulfills his father's dream of moving West at the dawn of the American Revolutionary War. On his way west, Matt Howard meets Tom, who passes him off as a member of the landed gentry to the Peyton family. Howard...

Director(s): Rohmer, Eric
Year of Publication: 2001
Major Wars:
Abstract:

A British lady and French aristocrat spar over their political differences while surviving the French Revolution. Grace Elliot maintains her loyalty to monarchy and stands in defiance of citizen search committees while her former lover Philippe,...

Director(s): Arvelo, Alberto
Year of Publication: 2013
Major Wars:
Abstract:

Bookended by a foiled attempt on Bolívar's life in Bogota in 1828, this film charts the story of the revolutionary leader's impassioned fight for independence from Spain and creation of a united South American nation, the great stories of love...

Director(s): Emmerich, Roland
Year of Publication: 2000
Abstract:

After the death of his son in the American Revolutionary War, Benjamin Martin, a reluctant South Carolina plantation owner, enters the war. The film is notorious for its historical inaccuracies and romanticizing white patriotism. It obscures the...

Director(s): Tunberg, Karl
Year of Publication: 1955
Abstract:

During the Revolutionary War, American Major John Boulton feigns desertion in order to uncover a British plot to seize the stronghold of West Point. [IMBd]

Director(s): Sturges, John
Year of Publication: 1955
Abstract:

The Scarlet Coat reveals the behind-the-scenes story of Benedict Arnold's act of treason during the American Revolution. Major John Bolton, a counter-intelligence officer, intercepts a letter from a British spy documenting Arnold's...

Director(s): Hurtado, Federico García
Year of Publication: 1984
Major Wars:
Abstract:

The story of Tupac-Amaru, a Peruvian Incan leader, who rebelled against Spanish colonialism in the 18th century. Tupac-Amaru's revolt was crushed, but it laid the groundwork for the successful revolutions a century later.

Director(s): Bondarchuk, Sergei
Year of Publication: 1966
Major Wars:
Abstract:

Released over two years with four installments, Sergei Bondarchuk's epic adaption of Leo Tolstoy's novel won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It weaves together the Napoleonic invasion of Russia and the doomed love story between Countess...

Director(s): Films Media Group
Year of Publication: 2006
Abstract:

A fascinating documentary on the early military education of George Washington from the French and Indian War to the American Revolutionary War. Early failures reveal how Washington learned military strategies and became  one of the foremost...

Director(s): Bondarchuk, Sergei
Year of Publication: 1970
Major Wars:
Abstract:

An epic, international production shot on location in the Ukraine, Waterloo focuses on the iconic battle that led to Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat at the hands of the British Army commanded by the Duke of Wellington. Over half of the film...

Director(s): Williamsburg Colonial
Year of Publication: 1957
Abstract:

The plot follows a fictional Virginia planter, John Fry, who becomes a member of Virginia's House of Burgesses. Through contact with Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other patriots, he gradually loses his ties with the pro-...

Director(s): Seaton, George
Year of Publication: 1957
Abstract:

This introductory film for the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center relates the spirit of the American Revolution through a fictional character. John Fry, a planter-politician, abandons his loyalty to the British crown through his relationships...

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