Movie Assignments, US History 1865-Present, Summer 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.   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 Threaded Discussion.  Postings should be a MINIMUM of one paragraph in length with links to lecture and the historical accuracy/inaccuracy of the films.


    Movie #1 (Time Period:  1865-1929)


Movie Posting Summary due by 6/21 at 11:00 PM; Movie Response due by 6/24 at 11:00 PM


Pick One From The List Below:


·        10 Days* (2006-Vol. II “Scopes-the Battle Over America’s Soul;” Documentary about Scopes Trial)

·        10 Days* (2006-Vol. II “The Homestead Strike;” Documentary about strike at Carnegie’s mill)

·        10 Days* (2006-Vol. II “Murder at the Fair;” Documentary about McKinley Assassination)

·        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)

·        Gone With the Wind* (1939-Civil War & Reconstruction)

·        Sommersby* (1993-Post Civil War life for soldiers & former slaves)

·        Dances With Wolves* (1990-Native Americans & US West)

·        Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee* (2006-Native Americans & Wounded Knee)

·        Far and Away* (1992-Immigrant life & US at 1900)

·        Angela’s Ashes* (1999-Irish immigrants in US)

·        All Quiet on the Western Front* (1930 & 1979-life for German soldiers in WWI)

·        Iron Jawed Angels* (2004-Fight for women’s rights & right to vote)

·        Rosewood* (1997-Race Relations in US South during 1920s)

·        The Great Gatsby (1974 & 2000-“Roaring Twenties”)


Movie #2 (Time Period:  1930-1950)


Movie Posting Summary due by 7/6 at 11:00 PM; Movie Response due by 7/9 at 11:00 PM


Pick One From The List Below:


·        10 Days* (2006-Vol. III “Einstein’s Letter;” Documentary about Einstein & atomic bomb)

·        10 Days* (2006-Vol III “When America Was Rocked;” Documentary about Elvis on Ed Sullivan show)

·        The Grapes of Wrath* (1939-Great Depression)

·        Warm Springs* (2005-FDR battles polio & paralysis)

·        To Kill A Mockingbird* (1962-White lawyer defends a black man accused of rape in US South)

·        Pearl Harbor* (2001-Japanese attack on Hawaii)

·        Tora! Tora! Tora!* (1970-a more accurate portrayal of Pearl Harbor attack)

·        Saving Private Ryan* (1998-Allied D-day invasion in WWII)

·        Flags of Our Fathers* (2006-Battle of Iwo Jima & its aftermath)

·        Letters From Iwo Jima* (2006-Battle of Iwo Jima from Japanese perspective)

·        Snow Falling on Cedars* (1999-Japanese internment in WWII)

·        Truman* (1995-biography of President Harry Truman)

·        Fail Safe (2000-US bomber is accidentally ordered to drop nuclear bomb on Moscow)

·        Good Night and Good Luck* (2005-CBS News & Joseph McCarthy)

·        Atomic Café* (1980s-Documentary about US society post-WWII & Cold War)








Movie #3 (Time Period:  1950s-2005)


Movie Posting Summary due by 7/25 at 11:00 PM; Movie Response due by 7/27 at 11:00 PM


Pick One From The List Below:


·        10 Days* (2006-Vol. III “Freedom Summer;” Documentary about summer of 1964 & civil rights)

·        Boycott* (2001-Montgomery Bus Boycott & rise of Martin L. King Jr.)

·        Malcolm X* (1992-biography of the civil rights leader)

·        Thirteen Days* (2000-JFK & Cuban Missile Crisis)

·        JFK* (1991-Kennedy Assassination & conspiracy theories)

·        Apocalypse Now* (1979-first “true look” at US Soldiers in Vietnam)

·        Platoon (1986-Vietnam War—strong R rating)

·        Full Metal Jacket* (1987-US Marines in Vietnam)

·        Born on the Fourth of July (1989-Soldiers & Vietnam War)

·        When We Were Soldiers (2002-Vietnam War)

·        Bobby (2006-story of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination & its impact on people’s lives)

·        All the President’s Men* (1976-Watergate Scandal)

·        Nixon (1995-biography of President Richard Nixon)

·        Frost/Nixon* (2008-profile of relationship between President Nixon & interviewer David Frost)

·        The Day Reagan Was Shot* (2001-drama about attempted assassination & who was in charge)

·        The War Room* (1993-documentary covering 1992 Clinton run for White House)

·        Journeys With George* (2003-Documentary covers George W. Bush’s 2000 Presidential campaign)

·        Recount* (2008-The story of the 2000 Gore vs. Bush election recount)


*Available on VHS or DVD for checkout at WSCC library


I have spoken with employees at both Movie Gallery & 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).