The Stratton Story (1949) with James Stewart and June Allyson. Story about White Sox player Monty Stratton who overcomes physical handicap to break pitching records
The Pride of the Yankees (1942) with Gary Cooper and Babe Ruth. Story of Lou Gehrig, NY Yankee that battles an incurable disease
Knute Rockne -- All American (1940) Pat O'Brien and Ronald Regan. Biography of Notre Dame football coach. Includes the famous "Win just one of the Gipper" speech (98 minutes)
Chariots of Fire (1981, 20th Century Fox/the Ladd Company) with Ben Cross ... Based on a true story of the 1924 Olympics. (Some inaccuracies are --- in the 1920s, the Canadian flag was either the Union Jack or Canadian Red Ensign (the Red Maple Leaf flag did not come until 1965); in the 1920s, American flags had 48 stars) Rated PG, color, 123 minutes.
The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) starring James Stewart. Story about Charles Lindbergh's 1927 solo flight from NY to Paris
Marie Antoinette (1938) with Tyrone Power, John Barrymore and Norma Shearer.
Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) with Jimmy Cagney. Story of Lon Chaney, Hollywood's master of disguise
A Woman Called Golda (1982) with Ingrid Bergman and Leonard Nimoy. Story about Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. 3 hours 15 minutes
Lust for Life (1956) with Anthony Quinn and Kirk Douglas. Story about the tormented artist Vincent Van Gogh (123 minutes)
Disraeli (1929) with Joan Bennet. Biography of Jewish prime minister of England during the reign of Queen Victoria
Miracle Worker (1962) with Patty Duke and Anne Bancroff. Story about Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan (107 minutes)
The Story of Will Rogers (1952) with Will Rogers Jr. as Will Rogers, Jane Wyman as Betty Rogers, Carl Benton Reid as Clem Rogers (color / 109 minutes)
Author Bio Movies
The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) with Norma Shearer and Frederic. Story about the British poets Elizabeth Barrett And Robert Browning.
Mark Twain Tonight (1967) with Hal Holbrook. Incredible show based on the life and works of Samuel L. Clemens.
Devotion (1946) with Ida Lupino as Emily Bronte, Paul Henreid as The Rev. Arthur Nicholls, Olivia de Havilland as Charlotte Bronte, Sydney Greenstreet as Thackeray, Nancy Coleman as Anne Bronte, Arthur Kennedy as Branwell Bronte, Dame May Whitty as Lady Thornton, Victor Francen as M. Heger, Montagu Love as Reverend Bronte (black & white)
Shadowlands (1985) with Joss Ackland as C.S. Lewis, Rupert Baderman as Douglas, Claire Bloom as Joy Davidman (color) ... Learn how C.S. Lewis met his wife and how they both coped with her cancer-related illness.
The Magic Never Ends --- brilliant documentary on the life of C.S. Lewis (Douglas, Lewis' step-son, discusses life with his step-father)
Dancer Bio Movies
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Story of the 20th century dancing team and unexpected tragedy.
Look for the Silver Lining (1949) with June Haver, Ray Bolger and Gordon MacRae. Stroy of the broadway star, Marily Miller. Even though the history is not quite accurate, it is filled with lavish dance numbers
The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) with Fred Astaire as Josh Barkley, Ginger Rogers as Dinah Barkley, Oscar Levant as Ezra Millar (color / 109 minutes)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942, Warner Bros.) James Cagney plays George M. Cohan, Walter Huston is Jerry Cohan (George's father), and Eddie Foy, Jr. plays himself --- Lots of music and dancing in this cleaned up version of the life of George M. Cohan. Cohan was a composer, singer, dancer, producer, director, author and star of musicals on stage. (okay, so there are other errors too like no visible mountains from Providence, RI, in the opening scene, the American flag should have had fewer stars --- not 48!, etc. Still, the music, songs and dancing are wonderful). My girls pull this movie out periodically and for days afterward are singing "Over There". This is also a cleaned up way to learn about vaudeville. B & W, 126 minutes.
A Song to Remember (1945) with Merle Oberon and Paul Muni. Biography of Fedric Chopin, the famous Polis pianist and composer (112 minutes)
The Seven Little Foys (1955) with Bob Hope. Story of the famous vaudeville entertainer Eddie Foy and his family
The Great Caruso (1951) with Mario Lanza. Story of the great opera legend. (109 minutes)
Lady Be Good (1941) with Eleanor Powell. Story of the married songwriters Southern and Young. Wonderful dance routines performed by the incomparable Eleanor Powell.
Night and Day (1946) with Cary Grant. Story about Cole Porter. The history is off, but the movie presents more than 20 Cole Porter songs.
The Eddie Duchin Story (1956) with Tyrone Power and Kim Novak. Story of the famous pianist and band leader of the 1930s-1940s. Hear the music of Gershwin, Chopin and Hamerstein
The Glenn Miller Story (1953) with James Stewart and June Allyson. Glenn Miller's music is brilliantly played throughout this movie.
The Benny Goodman Story (1955) with Steve Allen and Donna Reed. Story about Benny Goodman with his music played through the movie
The Fabulous Dorseys (1947) with Tommy Dorsey as Himself, Jimmy Dorsey as Himself, Paul Whiteman as Himself (black and white / 88 minutes)
Three Little Words (1950) with Red Skelton, Vera-Ellen, and Fred Astaire. Biography of the musical song-writing team of Kalmar and Ruby. Wonderful songs
I'll See You In My Dreams (1951) with Danny Thomas as Gus Kahn and Doris Day as Grace LeBoy Kahn (black and white / 110 minutes) Go back to Tin Pan Alley and learn the story about the songwriter Gus Kahn. Sing his tunes: Aint We Got Fun, Carolina In The Morning, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, It Had To Be You, Love Me Or Leave Me, Makin Whoopee!, Pretty Baby, San Francisco, Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye, Yessir, Thats My Baby, and more
Stars & Stripes Forever (1952, 20th Century Fox) Clifton Webb plays John Philip Sousa, Debra Paget is Lily, and Robert Wagner is Willie Little --- This is an entertaining movie that exposes your family to Sousa's marches, but is full of inaccuracies. Sousa's family and band members criticized the movie and were extremely disappointed with it. Here's an idea --- study Sousa and see how many inaccuracies you can spot! Color, 90 minutes
Historical Event Movies
In Old Chicago (1938) with Tyrone Power, Alice Faye and Don Ameche. Learn about the 1871 Chicago Fire and Mrs. O'Leary's cow
San Francisco (1936, MGM) Clark Gable plays Blackie Norton, Jeanette MacDonald is Mary Blake, and Spencer Tracy plays Father Tim Mullin --- Movie demonstrates how pre-1906 San Francisco earthquake society in California had debauched itself with slick speaking, gambling, alcoholism, moral baseness, rationalizations, and living only for today. After the quake, the community realizes its rebellion from God and pulls together through God's providential care and guidance. B & W, 115 minutes.
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