Mak­ing HIS­TORY

Pa­rade ex­plores how his­tory makes for some great en­ter­tain­ment - and teaches us a thing or two.

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Front Page - —Sa­muel R. Mur­rian

Hollywood looks to the past for its lat­est hits, from The Crown and Time­less to Bat­tle of the Sexes

the best sto­ries just might be from the past. On the big screen, Dunkirk re­cently took us to the beaches of France dur­ing World War II. Ear­lier this year, Hid­den Fig­ures put us back in Amer­ica’s space race. On the small screen, Time­less sent a trio back in time to fa­mous events, from Lin­coln’s as­sas­si­na­tion to Water­gate; Ge­nius ex­plored Ein­stein’s life; we got a look at the wild side of Wil­liam Shake­speare in Will; The Crown did a deep dive into the reign of Queen El­iz­a­beth II; and Turn: Wash­ing­ton’s Spies told the true story of Amer­ica’s first spy ring.

“His­tory in­stantly gives a story rel­e­vance,” says Ben Mankiewicz, host of Turner Clas­sic Movies. “We can re­late to it. We ei­ther know it or we feel like we know it, or we think, Well, this is some­thing I should know.”

The trend of look­ing back­ward con­tin­ues this fall with more movies, TV shows and pod­casts that delve into the past, from spies and sports to time travel and scan­dals.

Cer­tain themes, like the Amer­i­can fron­tier of HBO’s West­world or Bri­tish so­ci­ety in shows like The Crown and Call the Mid­wife, will al­ways hold our fas­ci­na­tion, says Mankiewicz, 50, who also re­views for the on­line show What the Flick?! on the Young Turks net­work.

War is an­other topic that res­onates across the decades, says Mankiewicz, who gives high marks to Saving Pri­vate Ryan, the 1959 Korean War saga Pork Chop Hill and di­rec­tor Stan­ley Kubrick’s World War I drama Paths of Glory.

The past is a mov­ing tar­get. As schol­ars turn over new rocks of ev­i­dence and mod­ern foren­sics reveal fresh lay­ers of in­sight, what we thought to be true is re­vised and up­dated in all forms of en­ter­tain­ment.

“His­tory is not set in stone,” Mankiewicz says. “We’re learn­ing more and more how things we grew up be­liev­ing were kinda true. So hope­fully movies and TV shows will bring us closer to un­der­stand­ing what made us the way we are.” —Neil Pond

In The­aters Bat­tle of the Sexes (Sept. 22)

Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in this highly an­tic­i­pated comedic biopic about the iconic, record-break­ing 1973 ten­nis match be­tween top-rated Bil­lie Jean King and former champ Bobby Riggs, from the direc­tors of the Os­car-win­ning Lit­tle Miss Sun­shine.

Amer­i­can Made (Sept. 29)

In this ac­tion-drama from The Bourne

Iden­tity di­rec­tor Doug Li­man, Tom Cruise plays Barry Seal, a real-life Trans World Air­lines pi­lot who be­came a smug­gler for the CIA and was re­cruited later by the DEA to be­come a spy.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (Sept. 29)

Liam Nee­son stars in this po­lit­i­cal thriller about Water­gate, one of the great­est po­lit­i­cal

scan­dals of all time. He plays “Deep Throat,” the Wash­ing­ton whistle­blower whose real iden­tity wasn’t re­vealed un­til nearly three decades later.

Good­bye Christo­pher Robin (Oct. 13)

Mar­got Rob­bie and Domh­nall Glee­son star in this be­hind- the- scenes look at beloved chil­dren's au­thor A.A Milne, whose Win­nie-the-Pooh and other sto­ries brought hope and joy to the world fol­low­ing the hor­rors of World War I.

Mar­shall (Oct. 13)

Chad­wick Bose­man— whose pre­vi­ous movie roles in­clude Jackie Robin­son and James Brown—por­trays future Supreme Court Jus­tice Thur­good Mar­shall as he bat­tles through one of his early ca­reer’s

The Man Who In­vented Christ­mas (Nov. 3)

Dan Stevens (the Beast in Beauty and the Beast) plays au­thor Charles Dick­ens in this tale about the cre­ation of his hol­i­day clas­sic A Christ­mas Carol. The film is based on a pop­u­lar non­fic­tion book by Les Stan­di­ford.

Dark­est Hour (Nov. 22)

Gary Old­man has al­ready been get­ting Os­car buzz for his por­trayal of Win­ston Churchill dur­ing his early days as Great Bri­tain’s prime min­is­ter at the dawn of World War II. The film is di­rected by Joe Wright ( Atone­ment).

The Shape of Water (Dec. 8)

Oc­tavia Spencer, Michael Shan­non and Richard Jenk­ins an­chor this oth­er­worldly fairy tale from ac­claimed di­rec­tor Guillermo del Toro ( Pan’s Labyrinth,

Hell­boy), set in Cold War–era Amer­ica circa 1963 and re­volv­ing around a top-se­cret clas­si­fied gov­ern­ment ex­per­i­ment.

The Pa­pers (Dec. 22)

Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Ali­son Brie star in this his­tor­i­cal drama about one of the most fa­mous po­lit­i­cal cover-ups in Amer­i­can his­tory and the pub­li­ca­tion of the “Pen­tagon Pa­pers.” Steven Spiel­berg di­rects the all-star cast.


The Crown Sea­son two is set to pre­miere this fall on Net­flix Sea­son one of the drama about the reign of Queen

El­iz­a­beth II was met with great ac­claim and awards last year. Matthew

Goode and Michael C. Hall join the stel­lar cast for sea­son two. Out­lander Sea­son three pre­mieres Sept. 10 on Starz Based on the nov­els by Diana Ga­bal­don, about a WWII-era nurse who trav­els through time to 18th-cen­tury Scot­land, the sump­tu­ously re­al­ized ro­man­tic drama re­turns for 13 highly an­tic­i­pated episodes. Time­less Sea­son two pre­mieres in 2018 on NBC A his­tory pro­fes­sor ( Abi­gail Spencer), sci­en­tist ( Mal­colm Bar­rett) and sol­dier ( Matt Lan­ter) at­tempt to pre­vent a time-trav­el­ing vil­lain ( ) from med­dling in Amer­i­can his­tory.

Pod­casts Stuff You Missed in His­tory Class

From pop­u­lar and in­for­ma­tive web­site How Stuff Works, Tracy V.

Wil­son and Holly Frey host this show about ob­scure facts that your his­tory class might have glossed over, in­clud­ing war he­roes, clas­sic movie stars and the his­tory of women in the USPS.

Re­vi­sion­ist His­tory

This pod­cast from au­thor and jour­nal­ist Mal­colm Glad­well re­ex­am­ines things from the past—such as events, peo­ple, ideas and works of art—to see if they de­serve a sec­ond chance or if the con­tem­po­rary con­sen­sus is fair.

The Dol­lop

Co­me­di­ans Dave An­thony and Gareth Reynolds pick an Amer­i­can his­tory sub­ject and ex­am­ine it with a funny twist.

The Bri­tish His­tory Pod­cast

Host Jamie Jef­fers takes lis­ten­ers on a metic­u­lously re­searched chrono­log­i­cal tour of the his­tory of Eng­land, Scot­land and Wales. Jef­fers’ first episode, May 2011, was about the ice age, and he's been work­ing his way for­ward in time ever since.


Hid­den Fig­ures


Amer­i­can Made

Bat­tle of the Sexes

Good­bye Christo­pher Robin


Dark­est Hour

Mark Felt

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