tudor queens series
Search our site
The Heart of Mars by Paul Magrs Read the opening extract of the brand new Paul Magrs book before its publication on 15/03/2018

Lights, Camera, History Portraying the Past in Film by

Lights, Camera, History Portraying the Past in Film


Lights, Camera, History Portraying the Past in Film by

This important volume addresses a number of central topics concerning how history is depicted in film. In the preface, the volume editors emphasize the importance of using film in teaching history: students will see historical films, and if they are not taught critical viewing, they will be inclined simply to accept what they see as fact. Authors of the individual chapters then explore the portrayal of history - and the uses of history - in specific films and film genres. Robert Rosenstone's In Praise of the Biopic considers such films as Reds , They Died with Their Boots On , Little Big Man , Seabiscuit , Cinderella Man , and The Grapes of Wrath . In his chapter, Geoff Pingree focuses on the big questions posed in Jay Rosenblatt's 1998 film Human Remains . Richard Francaviglia's chapter on films about the Middle East is especially timely in the post-9/11 world. One chapter, by Daniel A. Nathan, Peter Berg, and Erin Klemyk, is devoted to a single film: Martin Scorsese's urban history The Gangs of New York , which the authors see as a way of exploring complex themes of the immigrant experience. Finally, Robert Brent Toplin addresses the paradox of using an art form (film) to present history. Among other themes, he considers the impact of Patton and Platoon on military decisions and interpretations, and of Birth of a Nation and Glory on race relations. The cumulative effect is to increase the reader's understanding of the medium of film in portraying history and to stimulate the imagination as to how it can and how it should not be used. Students and teachers of history and cinema will benefit deeply from this informative and thoughtful discussion.

About the Author

RICHARD FRANCAVIGLIA is director of the Center for Southwestern Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. His book The Shape of Texas was published by Texas A&M University Press. JERRY RODNITZKY is the author of Jazz-Age Boomtown, published by Texas A&M University Press. Both are professors of history at the University of Texas at Arlington.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

15th February 2007


More books by
Author 'Like for Like'


Texas A & M University Press




Film theory & criticism
History: theory & methods



I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.