Friday, July 16, 2010 a suggestion?

Is there a film, or maybe two or three, which you think should be seen by American kids? For me, Boyz in the Hood, Stand and Deliver, and Pride and Prejudice come quickly to my mind. (I have a lot of others).
What would you recommend for High School viewing and WHY?
Thanks, I'm looking forward to hearing what you think.



Elmers Brother said...

Chariots of Fire

standing up for your values and principles, realizing how God can use you

Amazing Grace

The story of William Wilberforce, the man who ended the slave trade and was friends with Rev. John Newton, pastor, ex-slave trader and ex-slave

recognizing the value of all human beings, for perservering despite intense opposition, doing the right thing even when all is against you

Elmers Brother said...

ended the slave trade in England

Anonymous said...

Gandhi, and October Sky

Chuck said...

To Kill a Mockingbird. Lot of good life lessons in it.

The Soloist with Jamie Foxx. Great depiction of a man who overcame mental illness and depression. Good movie.

Anonymous said...

I do not endorse the idea of showing movies at school, for several reasons--not the least of which is that Hollywood films focus more entertainment than historical accuracy.

With that out of the way, here are four films that I think are worthy of a classroom assignment: watch the movie and turn in a report about it ...

Last of the Mohicans
The Legend of Gregorio Cortes

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


FairWitness said...

"The Man Who Would Be King"

Starring: Sean Connery, Michael Caine & Christopher Plummer

A movie about history, war & military, government, perserverance, chasing dreams, failure, literature. It has it all --- it is excellent.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

Are you teaching film history and technique or a specific subject.

Since we have so many people who think that films are only made in Hollywood, I'd try five foreign films:

1. Offside - Jafar Panahi

Iranian women are banned from attending sporting events. A group try to sneak in to a world cup qualifying match. Very funny and instructive.

2. Ivan's Childhood - Andrei Tarkovsky

I young boy performs missions for the Red Army behind the Nazi lines in Belarus. Puts things in perspective real quick.

3. Late Spring - Yasujuro Ozu

I've seen a lot of "best" lists by folks who know what they're about and Ozu has had four different films listed as the greatest ever made. His subject is always the dissolution of the family. He almost never moves the camera, three foot tripod and a 50 mm. lens, that's it. A primer of what can be done without today's action crap.

4. Vampyr - Carl Dreyer

I normally hate vampire films but Dreyer's is a distinct exception. Largely a pure exercise in form it has some generally unnerving scenes, including a couple of live burials.
If you wish to do a religious film, his "Passion of Joan of Arc" demonstrates the power of silent cinema and features Maria Falconetti as Joan in , probably, the finest performance ever seen on film.

5. Wings of Desire -- Wim Wenders

The angels are among us. Marvelous.

beamish said...


Gandhi? Bleeh! If that epic praise of dhimmitude were any more hagiographic, the movie tickets would have come with a self-lobotomy kit.

My favorite part of the movie "Gandhi" was when he was shot.


Movie to show high school kids?

Sergeant York

Craig and Heather said...

I haven't seen Amazing Grace, but would like to.

I'm not much of a movie buff, but Lorna Doone immediately comes to mind.

I don't remember which version I saw--a newer, A&E production, I think.

Especially liked the theme of genuine, self-sacrificial love which transcends the barriers of human prejudice and unforgiveness.

It is amazing to me how well the story of Christ giving up all for His beloved Bride is mirrored in the plot. But then, I see scriptural themes playing out pretty much everywhere.

Although it's based on fiction, there is potential for the movie to act as a springboard into study of the historical era and culture, as well.


Self Sufficient said...

Nothing with Mel Gibson in it.di

FrogBurger said...

Saving Private Ryan to show them the courage of the men who fought in WW2. I know there are many WW2 films but the scenes on beaches really did something to me.

Rudy for a lesson of perseverance and hard work.

The Life of Others to show them how hellish socialism/communism and extreme statism are. And so they don't forget we have people stuck behind a wall in the name of "equality".

FrogBurger said...

I meant we "had people stuck behind a wall."

Z said...

FrogBurger..THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Das Leben des Anderen auf Deutsch!)...what a fabulous choice.
The nightmare of Communism/Socialism ...based on history and truth. Kids SHOULD see that.

Elbro, I haven't seen AG but it sounds excellent. I hate to admit I haven't seen C of F either.

Trestin, October Sky is a fabulous selection for kids.
I thought Gandhi was very well done.

Chuck; To Kill a Mockingbird is my number one favorite film...good choice on many levels.

Mustang; Drums Along the Mohawk with Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda might be a good choice, too.
Any choice HAS to be a film Hollywood didn't slant TOO much :-)

FW...I should see that one..thanks!

Ducky, not to teach but to show something to kids which we find important. Thanks for your choices, I'll look into some of those.

Heather, I haven't seen Lorna Doone..thanks for that suggestion.

Selfsufficient, good choice!!

I picked Stand and Deliver because it shows kids what they CAN do if they're believed in...
And Boyz in the Hood because it's important for all kids to see that side of the story.
And Pride and Prejudice (original) because I'd love to see young girls' faces when they see men actually cherish and protect and love women for their virtue and intelligence and humor. What a shock to think a girl can get a guy without 'doing him' behind the handball court or on the bus at the age of 13. Sorry to be so brutal here, but that's how I feel. What a shock to think she can get a guy of honor and dignity!

Craig and Heather said...

Les Miserables

The condition of the human soul and our desperate desire to be redeemed from it.


Z said...

Trestin, sorry about leaving those tests at your place. I type in my URL and it won't link back, But I'll be trying to post even without that, it's no big deal.

Brooke said...

Anything Dr. Who. ;)

Actually, Schindler's List would be a good one, as well as one of my very favorites, Glory.

Z said...

Brooke, GLORY is an excellent choice. I LOVE that film

Ducky's here said...

Les Miserable? The 5 hour 1933 Rayond Bernard version?

Good lesson on the misery caused by the inflexible application of the law.

sue said...

Saving Private Ryan

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Pursuit of Happyness

Ducky's here said...

I'm not sue film is a particularly good medium for narrative instruction, z. Using it can be a crutch to avoid reading good history. You want kids reading Herodotus (I can dream) rather than watching "300".

What can film do> I'd take something like deSica's "Bicycle Thief" and let them dive in. There are several layers.
What do you think of an economic situation where the poor have to steal from each other?
Or look at it as the finest film about the father/son relationship ever made.
The restaurant scene is about 10 minutes and worth an essay on it's own. That type of instruction is more suited to the medium.

Craig and Heather said...

Les Miserable? The 5 hour 1933 Rayond Bernard version?

Good lesson on the misery caused by the inflexible application of the law.

I've still not been able to see that version. Although, I'd like to.

You may have a point concerning your assessment.

True Justice demands payment.

As I said, though, I can't get away from interpreting everything through scripture.

Recognition that "inflexible application of the law" to/by those who are imperfect does bring misery--even despair--when we recognize we owe a debt we can't possibly repay.

But it points us to Christ, who has fulfilled the inflexible Law of righteousness in Himself. Through faith in Him, we are offered freedom from that weight of having to justify ourselves before God.


Craig and Heather said...

I'm not sue film is a particularly good medium for narrative instruction, z. Using it can be a crutch to avoid reading good history.

There's truth to "the book is usually better than the movie", but the multi-media approach to learning isn't always a bad thing.


Z said...

Ducky, this was for fun again...nobody's trying to instruct, I asked what people might like kids to see, that's all.
Also, I think the messages people attached to the films they mentioned are extremely worthwhile.

What do I think of an economic situation where the poor might have to steal from each other?

I think if there was a book called 2012, that might be the theme, sadly. This government's making us ALL 'poor' and, let's face it, it's already stealing from those who've worked hard and succeeded.

christian soldier said...

Watch Brave Heart!!:
Just watched Brave Heart again-for the umpteenth time!!-Noticed things that are for today--history is necessary for a clear view of those in power wresting Life-Liberty-Property from the citizens... only - in those days the citizens were 'lesser' than the 'royals' --sound like our government 'officials' today!!! Nancy P-Babs B-bho-etc.etc.etc,
I particularly noticed that the people could not have weapons-they trained w/ stones!!!
The usurpation of the right to bear weapons has been the way of tyrants since the beginning of time...

Ducky's here said...

But,z, I have shown most of these to kids.

Show them Pontecorvo's "Battle of Algiers", you'll really get a discussion going.

I do notice that there will be a certain Hollywood backlash expressed but what most people will pick is the Hollywood epic. That's always confused me.

Ducky's here said...

You might also want to do a double feature, z. If you take "Boyz in the Hood"(pretty good film) pair it with one that is somewhat obscure but available "Killer of Sheep" which gives a different view of life in the hood.

Then ask the question about the nature of "truth" in film and if it's possible.

Craig and Heather said...

Then ask the question about the nature of "truth" in film and if it's possible.

I try to encourage my kids to identify a writer's/artist's primary worldview based on their observation of his work.

It makes a difference in the way he determines what is true.


Z said...

"hollywood backlash?"

Z-man said...

It's an obvious answer but I'd have to go with To Kill a Mockingbird. I also liked Twelve Angry Men, both the original one starring Henry Fonda and the newer one. Great lessons and insight in both films. God there's so much crap in Hollywood you really have to think about this stuff!

sue said...

I didn't complete the second part of question.

Saving Private Ryan: Of what our troops go through in war, their willingness to get the job done while risking their lives, the bonding between them

To Kill a Mockingbird: The honor, strength, and staying with what Atticus believed; racism; how children view the world;

The Pursuit of Happyness: In spite of the odds, going after what he wanted; Chris' love and caring for his son; his positve and loving attitude toward people even though things weren't going his way; in general - that he stayed the course

Z said...

Thanks Sue...good reasons.

Z-Man, there is a lot of awful stuff..that's for sure.
Good choices. I ADORE the original Twelve Angry Men. SO SO good and so important, you're right.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington's a good one. I remember little of it..but...

It's a Wonderful Life...the goodness of people and taking responsibility

I have to go now but I'll come back with more.! Thanks, everybody.

Anonymous said...

Barbarians at the Gate


Collateral Damage

Saving Private Ryan

Gods and Generals

John Adams series


Anonymous said...

I always liked "Patton" mainly because of the performance of George C. Scott.

I agree that "To Kill a Mockingbird" is an excellent movie, maybe one of the best movies ever.

Another that I like a lot is "Enemy at the Gates" about the battle of Stalingrad during WWII. Excellent story and excellent acting.


Anonymous said...

Interesting Post Z,

Lean On Me

The importance of discipline, earning success, the reward for students of being responsible for themselves and a lesson in tough love.

It's a Wonderful LIfe

The importance of faith, gratitude, and not taking for granted one's blessings in life.


Speaks for itself. Dedication to being free, no matter what the cost. Bravery, sacrifice and love of country.


Anonymous said...


Speaks for itself."

So does it's director and star, Ms. Prisc! :-")

Risky Business" these days to mention Mel

Oh...and I forgot to add a movie:

A FEW GOOD MEN....and not the weasel Cruise. But Jack Nicholson as the brave O-6 that he was.



Anonymous said...

Anyone ever see.."Shattered Glass"?

Very revealing.


Z said...

Interesting that TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is on so many of the lists here...considering this is a Conservative site where many agree with the message of the Tea Partiers....RACISM :-) (yes, sarcasm here)!

Major..what's SHATTERED GLASS about?

Anonymous said...

"what's SHATTERED GLASS about?

Well done, excellent work with Peter Sarsgaard as an editor for the real life editor of the New Republic, Chuck Lane...and Michael Kelly...over Stephen Glass's fraudulent articles, especially because he was editor of the New Republic when many of Glass's articles were published.

Very well done and opens up the insider secrets of how some journalists reach "stardom" and power by publishing news articles not only with a definite bias...but a personal slant and pervasive inaccuracies.

Think of that mutt who wrote for the NYT who was finally discredited.

Great flick. Especially in todays atmosphere of disgust with our "media whores". Like Oberfurher and his ilk.

"When the original cut was screened before a test audience, many in the audience insisted that the movie couldn't be a true story because no real life magazine would have nearly all of its journalists in their early to mid twenties (when in fact this really was the case). This resulted in place cards added to the opening of the film which stated that the median age of journalists working for the New Republic was 26. "


Z said...

Major, thanks...I also found this "It is also a look inside our culture's noblest profession, one that protects our most precious freedoms by revealing the truth, and what happens when our trust in that profession is called into question."

Does this film tout the liberality of so many journalists? Can't be if YOU liked it :-) Yes, he was discredited, apparently, but it sounds like the film didn't go far enough in implying how MANY lib 'journalists' are biased, am I seeing that right?

Anonymous said...

"Yes, he was discredited, apparently, but it sounds like the film didn't go far enough in implying how MANY lib 'journalists' are biased, am I seeing that right?

Not at all. I disagree. You'll have to see the film for yourself. But I came away with the distinct message...and impression...that journalistic integrity is sacrosanct. Above political and ideological leanings. The true story reveals the destruction of this magazines honesty, integrity, accuracy in reporting as well as the destruction of those professionals whose careers were forever tainted.

I just wish that the owners / editors of msnbc and cnn....would pay attention. Perhaps msnbc's new owners ( Comcast ? ) will pay attention?


Anonymous said...

One of the more recent movies that I liked enough to recommend is "Edge of Darkness".

Okay, I know it's a Mel Gibson movie and it's about a Boston cop, which may be enough to turn off most sane people, but it's a good movie with a good story related to today's world.

Who knows maybe it may be why Gibson seems to have had the dogs of hell unleashed upon him now.


Anonymous said...

"So does it's director and star, Ms. Prisc! :-)"
Risky Business these days to mention Mel"

I didn't mention Gibson you did.

Major, a great movie is a great movie. It says what I said it says. I don't care if it's risky.

You know what Major? If you've ever had the misfortune of observing or hearing a terrible argument, it's always ugly.

It doesn't change the fact, that Braveheart says what I said it says.


Deborah on the Bayside said...

I love your choice, Stand and Deliver, and Frog's choice is my first pick: The Lives of Others (wasn't that a wonderful evening we had?).

The Lion in Winter. It's history (with some liberties) - outstanding acting, dialogue, nicely captures the characters and setting. It stands alone or dovetails with studies across a slice of French and English history.

Amadeus, but I wouldn't treat it too much like history. If one's musical exposure is - shall we say - slim, this is a great introduction to some of the finest in an entertaining setting.

Bat 21
Groundhog Day
A Shot in the Dark

Alas, it's hard to leave out Au Revoir Mes Enfants, the Rabbit Proof Fence, Kagemusha, Babette's Feast and Purple Noon.

Z said...

Major, I don't know..that's not a new film, so I'm thinking nobody paid much attention..the 'journalists' of today just keep showing their lib bias MORE and'd think it would be embarrassing for them, wouldn't you?

Waylon, I may put EDGE OF DARKNESS on my Netflix list..thanks!

Pris and Major..Mel Gibson, what a tragedy but if he's got that kind of a heart, he needs to GO. Still, I think it's NONE of our business and I"m sick of hearing private tapes (Gibson, Baldwin, Edwards, etc.)'s unseemly and brings our culture down, in my opinion, you know? How AWFUL to hear people like this expose their rotten underbellies.

I think it's CONTEMPTIBLE of the guy who wrote the 'tell all' John Edwards book to now have a film being made. This is so LOW. WHO CARES? What kind of example does this set?

Deborah, that was definitely a wonderful evening and we were so appreciative of the whole night with you two.
I haven't seen at least half of your films..thanks for the recommendations.
I now own that film you and I went to see, too..the Joyeux Noel, I think the title is? SO SO good!

Faith said...

What great lists. I've noted many to add to my Netflix queue.

Saw Au Revoir Les Enfants a while back and it reminds me that The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is also a good one on the Holocaust.

Z said...

Faith, you recommend Au Revoir Les Enfants, too?

Which reminds me that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL had some great moments!

But, really, I want to go back to films specifically showing high school kids something you feel they should see.........
Of course, holocaust films are definitely on that list.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have one more, which slipped my mind.

The Cowboys.

With John Wayne. How boys became men on a cattle drive. Good stuff.


Z said...

Pris..COWBOYS! You don't mean "BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, how cowboys....:

Naaa..never mind :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh my Z,

With John Wayne? NO WAY!!! Ha, Ha.

Z said...

Remember John's boots? Didn't he say "Some people say I'm TOUGH, when ya wear HIGH HEELS, ya GOTTA be tough!"?? :-)

too funny, Pris! No, NOT with John WAYNE!! (not with Pilar around, anyway!) :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes it is funny.

I have a John Wayne quote for you!

"That'll be the day"!! Ha, Ha.


Z said...


Anonymous said...

Z, Thanks for the fun! We can't have too much fun, can we? Nosirreee!


Anonymous said...

"Glory'' With Matthew Brodrick , Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washignton. It's the true story of the 54th.(Colored)Infantry Division in The Civil War. J'Mac.

Anonymous said...

And "Schindlers List'' Speaks for itself J'Mac.