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A genre of film that deals with a major historical event and the actual historical figures involved in it. Often great liberties are taken with the facts to facilitate a 2-hour running time or a particular political agenda. These films pay a great deal of attention to re-creating events that live mostly in our memories or in textbooks. Earlier historical films tended to concentrate on eras and political figures who were far from the present and put little emphasis on undermining the accepted mythologies of history. Some films dealing with historical past would fall into some other genres and types: westerns, musicals, fantasy, war dramas, biographies, etc.

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  1. 5 -1

    Lawrence of Arabia

    1962, in 40 top lists Check
  2. 8 +4

    The Message

    1976 — a.k.a. Mohammad: Messenger of God, in 8 top lists Check
  3. 11 -2

    The Great Escape

    1963, in 14 top lists Check
  4. 21 -2

    Barry Lyndon

    1975, in 23 top lists Check
  5. 24 -8


    1959, in 24 top lists Check
  6. 31 +1

    Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes

    1972 — a.k.a. Aguirre, the Wrath of God, in 19 top lists Check
  7. 41 +6

    Ying xiong

    2002 — a.k.a. Hero, in 7 top lists Check
  8. 44 -

    The Right Stuff

    1983, in 12 top lists Check
  9. 49 -10


    1960, in 18 top lists Check
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Last updated on Feb 21, 2019; source