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Films relevant to battle scene

1193 BC

Trojan War

Action film emphasizing internal conflicts within both the Trojan and Greek sides.

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Homer , antiquity , battle scenes , archeological evidence |

1000 BC
King David

King David ascends to power

A Hebrew youth rises to power and unites the Jewish tribes, making Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

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Middle East, biblical, battle scenes, Israel, aspirations |

480 BC
The 300 Spartans

Spartan soldiers die holding invading army at bay

At the Battle of Thermopylae a small unit of Spartan soldiers fend off a much larger Persian army. Their self-sacrifice allowed the Greeks time to mount an effective defense against the invading Persians under Xerxes.

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Ancient Greece, antiquity, battle scenes, geopolitics | Xerxes | Leonidas

335 BC

Alexander the Great embarks on conquest

Recounts the campaign of the Macedonian general through Persia into India and back to Mesopotamia.

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antiquity battle scenes, aspirations | Alexander the Great

216 BC

Carthaginian general invades Italy to move on Rome

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Ancient Rome, Carthage, battle scenes, geopolitics, aspirations |

73 BC

Spartacus Leads a Valiant but Doomed Slave Revolt Against Rome

This epic film epitomizes the fundamental stories about the struggle for freedom. A gladiator slave fights to liberate himself and his colleagues. Although this Stanley Kubrick masterpiece takes plenty of literary liberties with the history, it has stood for have a century as the archetypical retelling of the Spartacus saga. Kirk Douglas in the title role leads a cast that includes Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton and Jean Simmmons.

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Rome, battle scenes, political message, ancient history | Spartacus, Marcus Licinius Crassus,

30 BC

Cleopatra engages in world-changing drama

The beautiful queen of Egypt uses here guile and beauty to conquer those who would conquer her land. The film dramatizes the political intrique that brought the dynasties of the Egyptian Pharaohs to an end, the empire of Rome to a beginning and the deaths of three of the periods most powerful figures: Julius Ceasar; Cleopatra; and Mark Antony.

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Rome, Egypt, antiquity, battle scenes, women in history, aspirations | Cleopatra | Julius Ceasar | Mark Antony | Octavian

Constantine and the Cross

Constantine Wins the Battle of Milvian Bridge to Assume Control of the Roman Empire

Constantine took control from co-Augustus Maxentius after having a vision of a Cross in the sky. Constantine a year later issued the Edict of Milan granting tolerance of Christianity. In 325 he convened the Council of Nicaea, which sought to provide a unified Christian doctrine.

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Roman Empire, monarchy, battle scenes, Christianity, court intrigue | Constantine, Maxentius, Maximian. Galerius

Alfred the Great

Alfred Defends his Realm against the Danes

This documentary explains how the Anglo-Saxon king battles invaders from across the North Sea to maintain control over his land. His victory enabled him to reinvigorate London.

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monarchy, battle scene, national unity, documentary | King Alfred the Great

The Adventures of Robin Hood

King Richard I returns to England after captivity in Europe

This 1938 classic of the Robin Hood legend continues the Angevin dynasty of Henry II. John, youngest son of Henry, nearly usurps the English throne while Richard is away on Crusade and then a captive of the Holy Roman Emperor. The plot of the movie moves towards the return of Richard to power and the reestablishment of justice.

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monarchy of England | sword battle scenes | political intrigue | legend to film | King John | King Richard


William Wallace defeats the British at the Battle of Sterling Bridge

This film depicts the fight for Scottish independence from England's Edward I (Longshanks), a Plantagenet king who was the great-grandson of Henry II. Robert the Bruce also figures in this movie as a politically ambivalent character. Wallace was captured and executed in 1305.

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monarchs of England, monarchs of Scotland, medieval period, battle scenes, political intrigue, aspirations |

Henry V

Battle of Agincourt

Kenneth Branagh uses cinematic realism to highlight Shakespeare's theatrical interpretation of British pluck overcoming long odds to beat chivalric strategies and arrogance.

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monarchs of England | battle scenes | medieval period |

The Messenger

Joan of Arc Fights to Liberate France

The motivating actions of a peasant girl who claimed revelations from saints help the French lift the siege of Orlean's in 1429 during the Hundred Year's War. This siege was part of the power struggle in France that had accelerated with Henry V's victory at Agincourt.

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France, battle scenes, monarchs, political intrigue, religious strife, medieval period, women in history, aspirations |


Battle of Nagashino

Famed Japanese director Akiro Kurosawa climaxed this epic about persona, deceit and leadership with a recreation of the pivotal Battle of Nagashino. Not only did this battle set up the ending of the Warring States period (one powerful clan was destroyed) but new techniques of armed firepower presaged the end of the cavalry charge as an effective offensive tactic. This history in the film is strong and vibrant, but the story of human motivations and impacts forms the core of Kurosawa's art.

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Japan | shogun | battle scenes | Noh theater | espionage | court intrigue | dynastic change | Tokugawa Ieyasu | Oda Nobunaga

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

The Execution of the Earl of Essex ends his relation with Queen Elizabeth

Bette Davis and Errol Flynn portray the historical figures at the top of English nobility. Their equally strong wills attract them to each other, but in the end dooms the ambitious Earl.

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monarchs, Tudors, England, battle scenes, political intrigue | Earl of Essex, Queen Elizabeth I

Last of the Mohicans

Siege of Fort William Henry is Background for Historic Drama

The dwindling survivors of a Native American tribe witness and participate in the French Indians wars, watching the international and tribal politics of North America interwine with personal relationships.

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Indians, colonial history, battle scenes, romance | Lt. Col. George Monro, General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm

John Adams

Adams Works for US Independence and then Builds Presidency

This mini-series shows how John Adams lived the major values of his life. Starting with his defense of British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre, but moves on to his help in drafting the US Declaration of Independence. The film dramatizes how he peacefully turned over the reigns of power after a bitter political defeat, but later reconciled with his presidential rival, Thomas Jefferson.

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Ben Franklin, American Revolution, US Constitution, White House, president, presidency, politics, war, battle scenes, diplomacy, France, Great Britain, United States | John Adams, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin,


Battle of Gettysburg

This film shows Gen. Robert E. Lee's gamble as he tries to move on Washington from the north. Intense depiction of Pickett's charge.

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American Civil War | battle scene |

The Horse Soldiers

Union Col. Grierson Leads a Raid Through Mississippi

John Wayne leads a behind-the-lines expedition to disrupt railroads in Mississippi as Gen. Grant takes Vicksburg during the US Civil War. This John Ford Technicolor drama features action and William Holden's acting. It also shows a good part of the ensemble of players that Wayne and Ford worked with on several movies.

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American Civil War, horse drama, battle scenes, action | U.S. Grant, Benjamin Grierson

The Warlords

The Fall of Nanjing Ends the Taiping Rebellion in China

The Qing Army and Taiping rebels fight a viscious civil war for control of central China. The Taiping are defeated and a reference to the unsolved murder of a governor-to-be of Nanjing winds up the fictionlized story of Qing protagonists.

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China, battle scenes, civil war, |


Shootout at the OK Corral

The Earp family tries to bring law and order to Tombstone, Arizona, but bad elements are only controlled by the wrath of Wyatt Earp.

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crime, westernfilm, battle scene, horses, frontier | Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday

Geronimo: An American Legend

Surrender of Warrior Chief Follows Intense Dynamic

Geronimo (1829-1909) led a fierce Native American resistance in the mid-1800's before deciding to surrender his dwindling band.

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Native American, Indian, American West, battle scene, social history, westernfilm | Geronimo, Gen. Nelson Miles, Gen. George Crook

Young Winston

Young Winston Churchill Elected to Parliament After Foreign Adventures

After serving as officer and war correspondent in Britain's foreign campaigns, Winston Churchill returns to England and wins a seat in Parliament, launching his political career.

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England, politics, battle scenes, Winston Churchill, prime minister, early life, heads of government |

The Lost Battalion

American Forces Are Cut Off in the Argonne Forest in World War I

As part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive by allied powers in World War I, an American battalion is stranded in the midst of Germans. This film depicts their fight to survive and ultimate survival.

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battle scenes, World War I, action |

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Surprise attack by Japan on US Naval fleet

A US-Japanese collaboration that told the story of the attack that led to America's entry into World War II. Tells the story from the points of view of the Americans, the Japanese, the military and the diplomatic corps.

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battle scenes | World War II | bilingual | political intrigue | aviation |


World War II naval aviation battle over a strategic island

This war classic shows the crucial victory the US Navy gained six months after Pearl Harbor. This battle, won in part because of great intelligence work and the moral and physical courage of the aviators, sailors and marines, turned the tide of the war in the Pacific. The Japanese point of view is well represented.

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battle scene | World War II | aviation |


JFK's Famous Mission in World War II

Future president John F. Kennedy, as a young Navy officer, rescues members of the crew of his Patrol-Torpedo boat after it was struck by a Japanese ship.

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battle scenes, World War II, oceans | John F. Kennedy

The Story of G.I. Joe

Correspondent Receives Baptism of Fire at Kasserine Pass, Goes to Italy

War correspondent Ernie Pyle (1900-1945) is played by Burgess Meredith in this war film produced while the journalist was still alive but premiered two months after his death near Japan. Early action portrays the US defeat in Tunisia at Kasserine Pass (which opened a later epic Patton) and later action shows Pyle accompanying G.I.'s through Italy just before they entered Rome in 1944.

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World War II, Battles, Battle scenes, social history, soldiers, journalism, reporters | Ernie Pyle

Battle of the Bulge

US troops push back Nazi offensive

In a last ditch attempt, Hitler tries to divide the allies. This character-driven film shows the uncertainies of conflict.

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World War II | battle scene |


101st Airborne Hold Off Nazi Armies at Bastogne at the Battle of the Bulge

This 1949 film dramatizes the struggle of a single squad in the 101st Airborne Division as the 101st holds the vital crossroads at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. The film won two Oscars, one for best cinematography (B&W) and another for best writing, story and screenplay.

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World War II, battle scenes, social history, soldiers |

The Longest Day


An all-star cast portrays the fateful June 6, 1944 invasion of Europe through the coast of Normandy. A robust dramatization of logistics, internal politics and battle action.

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World War II, battle scenes | Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gen. Omar Bradley, Gen. Norman Cota (Robert Mitchum), Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoot (John Wayne), Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (Henry Fonda), Gen. James Gavin (Robert Ryan)


Navajo GI's Use Their Native Language in Combat to Deceive the Enemy

Native american's face both prejudice and the terrors of war to communicate military information in the Pacific. The Japanese were unable to understand and decipher messages sent in the Navajo tongue, so the Southwester Indians were vital is sending battleground information via radio throughout the United States armed forces.

The action in this film culminates in the Invasion of Saipan.

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World War II, WWII, Pacific, battle scenes, Indians, Native Americans |


The career of General Patton in World War II

A firebrand US general pushes his troops across North Africa, Sicily and Europe.

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World War II, battle scene, aspirations |

Black Hawk Down

US troops suffer a serious setback in a failed attack in Somalia

The film gives a close-up look at the rigors of war from the perspective of soldiers on the ground.

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Africa | battle scenes | political intrigue |

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