Cleopatra is a 1963 epic historical drama film chronicling the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome. It was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and shot in the 70 mm Todd-AO format, with a screenplay adapted by Mankiewicz, Ranald MacDougall and Sidney Buchman from a book by Carlo Maria Franzero. The film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall, and Martin Landau.
The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech and language therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The men become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new King relies on Logue to help him make his first wartime radio broadcast on Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939.
Becoming Jane is a 2007 British-Irish historical biographical film directed by Julian Jarrold. It depicts the early life of the English author Jane Austen and her perpetual love and regret with Thomas Langlois Lefroy. American actress Anne Hathaway stars as the titular character, while her romantic interest is played by Scottish actor James McAvoy. Also appearing in the film are Julie Walters, James Cromwell and Maggie Smith. The film was produced in cooperation with several companies, including Ecosse Films and Blueprint Pictures. It also received funding from the Irish Film Board and the UK Film Council Premiere Fund.
The Other Boleyn Girl is a 2008 drama film directed by Justin Chadwick. The screenplay by Peter Morgan was adapted from the 2001 novel of the same name by Philippa Gregory. It is a romanticized account of the lives of 16th-century aristocrats Mary Boleyn, one-time mistress of King Henry VIII, and her sister, Anne, who became the monarch's ill-fated second wife, though much history is distorted.
The Pianist is a historical film drama of 2002 co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The Pianist, a World War II memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. The film was a co-production between the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Poland.
Stage Beauty is a 2004 British-American-German romantic period drama directed by Richard Eyre. The screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher is based on his play Compleat Female Stage Beauty, which was inspired by references to 17th century actor Edward Kynaston made in the detailed private diary kept by Samuel Pepys.
My Week with Marilyn is a 2011 British biographical film directed by Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges. It stars Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Julia Ormond, Emma Watson and Judi Dench. Based on two books by Colin Clark, it depicts the making of the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl, which starred Marilyn Monroe (Williams) and Laurence Olivier (Branagh). The film focuses on the week in which Monroe spent time being escorted around London by Clark (Redmayne), after her husband, Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), had left the country.
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema. The dramatic score by Maurice Jarre and the Super Panavision 70 cinematography by Freddie Young are also highly acclaimed. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won seven in total including Best Director, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Picture.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a 2007 sequel to the 1998 film Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur and produced by Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. It stars Cate Blanchett in the title role and is a fairly fictionalised portrayal of events during the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The screenplay was written by William Nicholson and Michael Hirst. The music score was composed by A. R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong.
Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.
Nowhere Boy is a 2009 British biopic about John Lennon's adolescence, his relationships with his guardian aunt and his mother, the creation of his first band, the Quarrymen, and its evolution into the Beatles. The film is based on a biography written by Lennon's half-sister Julia Baird. The film received its US release on 8 October 2010, coinciding with that weekend's celebrations of the 70th anniversary of Lennon's birth (9 October 1940).
The Duchess is a 2008 British-American drama film directed by Saul Dibb. It is based on Amanda Foreman's biography of the 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. It was released in September 2008 in the UK.
Little Ashes is a 2008 Spanish-British drama film set against the backdrop of Spain during the 20s and 30s, as three of the era's most creative young talents meet at university and set off on a course to change their world. Luis Buñuel watches helplessly as the friendship between Salvador Dalí and the poet Federico García Lorca develops into a love affair.
Amazing Grace is a 2006 American-British biographical drama film directed by Michael Apted, about the campaign against slave trade in the British Empire, led by William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. The title is a reference to the hymn "Amazing Grace". The film also recounts the experiences of John Newton as a crewman on a slave ship and subsequent religious conversion, which inspired his writing of the poem later used in the hymn. Newton is portrayed as a major influence on Wilberforce and the abolition movement.
The Queen is a 2006 British historical drama film depicting the British Royal Family's response to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997. The film was directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, and starred Helen Mirren in the title role of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
The Edge of Love is a 2008 John Maybury drama film starring Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys from a script by Sharman Macdonald, Knightley's mother. Originally titled The Best Time of Our Lives, the fictional story concerns the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (played by Rhys), his wife Caitlin Macnamara (played by Miller) and their married friends, the Killicks (played by Knightley and Murphy). It was an official selection at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Sid and Nancy (also known as Sid and Nancy: Love Kills) is a 1986 British biopic directed by Alex Cox. The film portrays the life of Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman), bassist of the seminal punk rock band the Sex Pistols, and his relationship with girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). Despite failing to recoup its production budget at the box office, the film was received favourably by most critics and has attained cult classic status.
Gandhi is a 1982 epic biographical film which dramatises the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United Kingdom's rule of the country during the 20th century. Gandhi was written by John Briley and produced and directed by Richard Attenborough. It stars Ben Kingsley in the title role.
The Young Victoria is a 2009 British-American period drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Julian Fellowes, based on the early life and reign of Queen Victoria, and her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Graham King, Martin Scorsese, Sarah, Duchess of York and Timothy Headington served as the film's producers. The film stars Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson and Jim Broadbent among a large ensemble cast.
The New World is a 2005 British-American romantic historical drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick, depicting the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia settlement and inspired by the historical figures Captain John Smith, Pocahontas of the Powatan Native American tribe, and the handsome Englishman, John Rolfe. It is the fourth feature film written and directed by Malick.
Quills is a 2000 period film directed by Philip Kaufman and adapted from the Obie award-winning play by Doug Wright, who also wrote the original screenplay. Inspired by the life and work of the Marquis de Sade, Quills re-imagines the last years of the Marquis' incarceration in the insane asylum at Charenton. It stars Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade, Joaquin Phoenix as the Abbé du Coulmier, Michael Caine as Dr. Royer-Collard, and Kate Winslet as laundress Madeleine "Maddie" LeClerc.
Elizabeth is a 1998 biographical film written by Michael Hirst, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role of Queen Elizabeth I of England, alongside Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, Sir John Gielgud, Daniel Craig, Fanny Ardant and Richard Attenborough. This 1998 film is loosely based on the early years of Elizabeth's reign. In 2007, Blanchett and Rush reprised their roles in the sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, covering the later part of her reign.
Bronson is a 2008 British fictionalised biographical psychological drama film co-written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Tom Hardy. The film follows the life of notorious prisoner Michael Gordon Peterson, who was renamed Charles Bronson by his fight promoter. Born into a respectable middle-class family, Peterson would nevertheless become one of the United Kingdom's most dangerous criminals, and is known for having spent almost his entire adult life in solitary confinement. Bronson is narrated with humour, blurring the line between comedy and horror.
Stoned, also known as The Wild and Wycked World of Brian Jones in the UK, is a 2005 film about Brian Jones, one of the founding members of The Rolling Stones. The film is a cinematic work of historical fiction, taking as its premise the idea that Jones was murdered by Frank Thorogood, a builder who had been hired to renovate and improve Jones's house Cotchford Farm in East Sussex. The film also paints a picture of Jones's use of alcohol and drugs, and his relationships with Anita Pallenberg and Anna Wohlin.
Midnight Express is a 1978 American/British film directed by Alan Parker and produced by David Puttnam. It is based on Billy Hayes' 1977 book Midnight Express and was adapted into the screenplay by Oliver Stone. It starred Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid, Norbert Weisser, Peter Jeffrey and John Hurt. Hayes was a young American student sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. The movie deviates from the book's accounts of the story – especially in its portrayal of Turks – and some have criticized the movie version, including Billy Hayes himself. Later, both Stone and Hayes expressed their regret on how Turkish people were portrayed in the movie. The film's title is prison slang for an inmate's escape attempt.
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