Movie Assignments, US History up to 1865, Fall 2010


During the course of the semester you will be required to view three movies from the list of movies below.  I tried to pick recent, more popular films so they would be easy to access.  WSCC has most, if not all, of these videos in the library but most are also available at any local video store or public library.   The dates the films were produced are listed as well as a very brief description.  If you would like more information about the films, think of posting a message to the Moodle Discussion.


    Movie #1 (Time Period:  US up to 1783)


Movie Posting Summary due by 9/21 at 11:00 PM

Movie Response due by 10/1 at 11:00 PM


Pick One From The List Below:


·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. I “Ancestors:” Early cultures of North America)

·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. I “Mexico:” Rise & fall of Aztecs)

·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. II “Clash of Cultures:” People who met Columbus)

·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. II “Invasion of the Coast:”  England’s first settlements)

·        The New World* (2005-John Smith & Pocahontas in Jamestown, VA)

·        Roots* (1977-episode 1; one family’s struggle with slavery)

·        Desperate Crossing* (2006-docu-drama about Pilgrims & Mayflower; good, but a bit long; compliments Mayflower)

·        10 Days* (2006-Vol. I “Massacre at Mystic:”  Clash between Puritans & Pequots)

·        The Crucible* (1996-Salem Witch Trials)

·        A Midwife’s Tale* (1997-Covers life for one woman, but reflects lives of all Puritan women)

·        Black Robe* (1991-French Missionary & Algonquin Indians in 17th Century Canada; R-rated)

·        The Last of the Mohicans* (1992-French & Indian War; Native Americans)

·        1776* (1972-A musical about the American Revolution)

·        The Crossing* (2000-Washington crossing the Delaware in winter of 1776 to fight British forces)

·        Benedict Arnold, A Question of Honor* (2003-Life of hero/traitor of Revolution)

·        John Adams*--Episodes 1 or 2 (2008- HBO series covering life & Presidency of Adams)


Movie #2 (Time Period:  1783-1840s)


Movie Posting Summary due by 10/24 at 11:00 PM

Movie Response due by 10/31 at 11:00 PM


Pick One From The List Below:


·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. III “Cauldron of War:” Iroquois Democracy & Revolution)

·        10 Days* (2006-Vol. I “Shays’ Rebellion:” Clash which led to Constitutional Convention)

·        John Adams*--Episode 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 (2008- HBO series covering life & Presidency of Adams)

·        Founding Brothers* (2002-Vol. 1 “A More Perfect Union” part one or part two-documentary about founding fathers)

·        Founding Brothers* (2002-Vol. 2 “Evolution of a Revolution” part one or part two-documentary about founding fathers)

·        Lewis & Clark:  Journey of the Corps of Discovery*--either episode (1997-Lewis & Clark Expedition)

·        Roots* (1977-episodes 2, 3, or 4; one family’s struggle with slavery)

·        Sally Hemings-part I only* (2000-slavery & Jefferson’s relationship with a slave)

·        Alamo* (2004- Texans fight at the Battle of the Alamo)

·        Amistad* (1997-slavery; slave resistance)










Movie #3 (Time Period:  1830s-1865)


Movie Posting Summary due by 12/7 at 11:00 PM

Movie Response due by 12/12 at 11:00 PM


Pick One From The List Below:


·        Andrew Jackson:  Good, Evil & Presidency* (2008-profile of President Jackson)

·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. III “Removal:”  War & exile in the East)

·        The Trail of Tears:  Cherokee Legacy* (2006-documentary addressing forced removal of Cherokee)

·        10 Days* (2006-“Gold Rush” Vol. I; California Gold Rush in 1848 & 49)

·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. IV “Roads Across the Plains:” Struggle for the West)

·        500 Nations* (1995-Vol. IV “Attack on Culture:” I Will Fight no More Forever)

·        Roots* (1977-episodes 5 or 6; one family’s struggle with slavery)

·        Unchained Memories* (2003-Readings from slave narratives)

·        Amazing Grace (2006-fight to abolish slavery in British empire)

·        Gods and Generals* (2003-first battles of Civil War)

·        Gettysburg* (1993-Civil War Battle of Gettysburg)

·        Glory* (1989-black soldiers & Civil War)

·        Cold Mountain* (2003-home front during Civil War & soldiers’ lives)

·        Gone With the Wind* (1939-Southern Society & interpretation of the Civil War)


* Available at WSCC library on either VHS or DVD for checkout


I have spoken with employees at Family Video about gaining access to these titles.  If they do not have them in stock, they can be requested.  They will gladly do this but make sure to plan ahead; in some cases it could take a week or longer to receive a unique film.


Information About Postings


o   Each posting must be made by the date/time they are due

o   It is expected that the Movie Summary Postings be at least one paragraph in length.


Criteria For Grading Postings


The forums for the Movie Postings are set up somewhat differently than for the other forums.  Before you are able to read anyone’s postings in this forum, you must post your own comments. 


·        Accurate & thorough summary of the film’s content

·        Relevance to the topic at hand & linkage identified between the film and lecture material

·        Originality

·        Depth/breadth of response—demonstrates critical thought, research, thorough understanding of subject matter; comments on the historical accuracy of the film


There will be two types of movie postings to be made to the Threaded Discussion:


·        Movie Summary:


o   Summarize & evaluate the movie you’ve chosen to watch (one for each of the three movies).  The evaluation should relate the movie’s content to lecture and should also comment on its accuracy from an historical point of view.


·        Movie Response:


o   Comment or ask a question based upon the postings made by other students in regards to their summary of the movie they watched (a total of three will be required).