Historical Films in Chronological Order

by jgrayzz | created - 29 Sep 2016 | updated - 12 Feb 2017 | Public

From Ancient Man to the election of Barack Obama and literally everything in between, these events have been adapted in thousands of films and counting...and I intend to watch them all in chronological order. Take the challenge with me! Credit to Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. and his wonderful list at http://www.vernonjohns.org/snuffy1186/movies.html#I

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1. One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Not Rated | 92 min | Adventure, Fantasy

58 Metascore

Prehistoric man Tumak is banished from his savage tribe and meets pretty Loana who belongs to a gentler coastal tribe but he must fight caveman Payto to win her favors.

Director: Don Chaffey | Stars: Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert, Robert Brown

Votes: 7,270


2. When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)

G | 96 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Romance

Set in the ancient past when humans and dinosaurs lived together, a small tribe is struggling to survive by giving a sacrifice of a blond woman to their god, the sun, in return for ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest | Stars: Victoria Vetri, Robin Hawdon, Patrick Allen, Drewe Henley

Votes: 2,140

3. The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)

R | 98 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

A young Cro-Magnon woman is raised by Neanderthals.

Director: Michael Chapman | Stars: Daryl Hannah, Pamela Reed, James Remar, Thomas G. Waites

Votes: 5,847 | Gross: $1.95M

4. Quest for Fire (1981)

R | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, History

79 Metascore

This story takes place in prehistoric time when three tribesmen search for a new fire source.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nicholas Kadi, Rae Dawn Chong

Votes: 19,690 | Gross: $20.96M

5. The Pharaohs' Woman (1960)

106 min | Adventure, History, Romance

A beautiful girl and a young physician fall in love in the midst of a family, and power struggle between rival princes of Upper and Lower Egypt. When all seems to turn to the better, a ... See full summary »

Director: Viktor Tourjansky | Stars: Linda Cristal, Pierre Brice, Armando Francioli, John Drew Barrymore

Votes: 31



6. The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior (2008 Video)

PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

After witnessing his father's murder by the hand of the ruthless General Sargon, Mathayus travels to the Underworld to retrieve the enchanted Sword of Damocles from the dark deity, Astarte. Can he thwart the usurper's megalomaniac vision?

Director: Russell Mulcahy | Stars: Michael Copon, Karen David, Simon Quarterman, Tom Wu

Votes: 12,423

FIRST DYNASTY (c. 3150 - c. 2900 BC)

7. Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Approved | 106 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A captured architect designs an ingenious plan to ensure the impregnability of tomb of a self-absorbed Pharaoh, obsessed with the security of his next life.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins, Dewey Martin, Alexis Minotis

Votes: 3,434 | Gross: $1.50M

FOURTH DYNASTY (2613-2498)

  • Building of the Pharaoh Khufu's Great Pyramid of Giza, 2560 B.C. in the 4th Dynasty

8. Sudan (1945)

Passed | 76 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Young, lovely Naila becomes queen of the ancient Egyptian kingdom of Khemis when her father is killed in a slave revolt. Continuing her penchant for going incognito among the people, she ... See full summary »

Director: John Rawlins | Stars: Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Turhan Bey, Andy Devine

Votes: 127

Following the murder of her father, Queen Naila of Khemis is enslaved.

9. The Egyptian (1954)

Approved | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

In ancient Egypt, a poor orphan becomes a genial physician and is eventually appointed at the Pharaoh's court where he witnesses palace intrigues and learns dangerous royal secrets.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Gene Tierney, Michael Wilding

Votes: 3,355

EIGHTEENTH DYNASTY (c. 1550 - 1292)

  • Story of physician Sinuhe in Akhenaten's reign, 1352-1334 B.C. of the 18th Dynasty

10. Queen of the Nile (1961)

97 min | Drama, History

Chronicles the rise and fall of the woman who eventually became known as Queen Nefertiti.

Director: Fernando Cerchio | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price, Edmund Purdom, Amedeo Nazzari

Votes: 248

  • Queen Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaaten1 (reigned 1352- 1334 BC) of the 18th Dynasty

11. Tut (2015)

88 min | Biography, Drama, History

A mini-series concentrating on the youngest Pharaoh to rule Ancient Egypt.

Stars: Ben Kingsley, Avan Jogia, Sibylla Deen, Alexander Siddig

Votes: 7,560

  • Tutankhamun, aka The Boy King, (ruled 1333-1324), and was only 17 years old when he died

12. Pharaoh (1966)

180 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Young Pharaoh Ramses XIII clashes with Egypt's clergy over influence on the affairs of the state and its coffers.

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz | Stars: Jerzy Zelnik, Wieslawa Mazurkiewicz, Barbara Brylska, Krystyna Mikolajewska

Votes: 1,580


  • Polish film set in Egypt in 1069 BC of the 21st Dynasty; Smendes I (reigned 1077-1051 BC)

13. Princess of the Nile (1954)

Approved | 71 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Romance

In 1249, an Egyptian princess allies herself with the son of the Caliph of Baghdad in order to rid Egypt of its Bedouin invaders.

Director: Harmon Jones | Stars: Debra Paget, Jeffrey Hunter, Michael Rennie, Dona Drake

Votes: 297


  • c. 1249 AD, an Egyptian princess tries to drive out the Bedouin conquerors; Bedouins were a predominantly desert-dwelling Arabian ethnic group

14. The Mamelukes (1965)

90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After suffering Egyptians from the oppression of the Mamluks and despotism clump the people and organize popular resistance to eliminate them and get rid of the ruling Circassians and the ... See full summary »

Director: Atef Salem | Stars: Nabila Ebeid, Mohamed el Sabaa, Omar Sharif

Votes: 98

  • royal bodyguard in the 13th century; in 1250 a Mameluke, Qutuz, came to the Egyptian throne; Mameluke sultans ruled Egypt; conquered by the Ottomans in 1517

15. Confucius (1940)

96 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life story of the highly-influential Chinese philosopher, Confucius.

Director: Mu Fei | Stars: Wan'er Murong, Chong Pei, Yingcai Sima, Huaiqiu Tang

Votes: 53


  • eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BC) -- characterized by a breakup of Zhou territory into states that were largely independent; capital moved eastward in 770 BC from Haojing to Chengzhou

16. Confucius (2010)

TV-MA | 125 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life story of the highly-influential Chinese philosopher, Confucius.

Director: Mei Hu | Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Xun Zhou, Jianbin Chen, Quan Ren

Votes: 3,467

  • Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC) developed an ethical and philosophical system that in the Han Dynasty developed metaphysical and cosmological elements

17. Sacrifice (2010)

R | 122 min | Drama, History

57 Metascore

To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose entire clan was massacred at the hands of a nefarious minister, a doctor sacrifices his own son; after the Zhao child grows up, the doctor becomes intent on seeking his vengeance.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: You Ge, Xueqi Wang, Xiaoming Huang, Bingbing Fan

Votes: 2,088

  • To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose entire clan was massacred, a doctor sacrifices his own son and later seeks vengeance; set in the Jin State

18. Battle of the Warriors (2006)

R | 133 min | Action, Drama, War

Story centers on a battle during China's Warring States Period, a series of civil wars, which spanned from the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. Based on a popular Japanese manga, which was in turn based a Japanese novel inspired by Warring States history in China.

Director: Chi Leung 'Jacob' Cheung | Stars: Andy Lau, Sung-Ki Ahn, Zhiwen Wang, Bingbing Fan

Votes: 3,813

WARRING STATES PERIOD (475-221 BC) -- most of this period coincides with the second half of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, although the Chinese sovereign (king of Zhou) was merely a figurehead.

  • film set amid the Warring States period

19. An Empress and the Warriors (2008)

R | 99 min | Action, Drama, History

After the death of her father, a woman is forced to take over as empress and fight to save her kingdom.

Director: Siu-Tung Ching | Stars: Kelly Chen, Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Xiaodong Guo

Votes: 3,674

  • the leader of the very war-liking Yan, one of the Ten Kingdoms, dies and is replaced by his daughter, while facing lots of resistance against her

20. The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)

R | 162 min | Drama, History, Romance

75 Metascore

In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: Li Gong, Fengyi Zhang, Zhou Sun, Xiaohe Lü

Votes: 5,740 | Gross: $1.33M

QIN DYNASTY (221- 207 BC)

  • 221 B.C. unification of China

21. The Emperor's Shadow (1996)

130 min | Drama

Epic drama about China's first emperor (221 BC) who struggles to make his childhood best friend, now China's greatest composer, succumb to his will and compose a grand anthem to his ... See full summary »

Director: Xiaowen Zhou | Stars: Wen Jiang, You Ge, Qing Xu, Chung Chang

Votes: 513 | Gross: $0.07M

  • unification of China

22. Hero (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History

85 Metascore

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang

Votes: 169,277 | Gross: $53.71M

  • four assassins plot to assassinate the King of Qin (who has the potential to unify the warring states into a nation)

23. A Terra-Cotta Warrior (1989)

145 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

China 2.200 years ago. It's the time of the Qin dynasty. The emperor seeks immortality by busily letting his alchemists search for a formula and building the famous terracotta army from the... See full summary »

Director: Siu-Tung Ching | Stars: Yimou Zhang, Li Gong, Tian-Ming Wu, Rongguang Yu

Votes: 841

  • in the Qin Dynasty the emperor builds an army of terra-cotta warriors

24. White Vengeance (2011)

Not Rated | 135 min | Action, Drama, History

White Vengeance tells the story of two brothers contending for supremacy during the fall of the Qin Dynasty, which ruled Imperial China from 221 to 206 BC. As rebels rose, the nation fell ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Lee | Stars: Shaofeng Feng, Leon Lai, Hanyu Zhang, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong

Votes: 1,613

  • in an interregnum period between the Qin and Han Dynasties, two generals, sworn brothers, contend for supremacy in the Chu–Han Contention (206-202 BC)

25. The Last Supper (2012)

Not Rated | 120 min | Action, History

The story of two warring generals (Liu Bang and Xiang Yu) fighting for control of China at the end of the Qin Dynasty.

Director: Chuan Lu | Stars: Ye Liu, Daniel Wu, Chen Chang, Lan Qin

Votes: 685

  • story of two warring generals (Liu Bang and Xiang Yu) fighting for control of China at the end of the Qin Dynasty

26. Xi chu bawang (1994)

165 min | Action, Drama, History

Insurrection deposes the tyrannical first emperor of China during the evil Qin Dynasty. Warrior/general Xiang Yu and the cunning peasant Liu Pang join forces to win through civil war. Xiang... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Shin | Stars: Ray Lui, Rosamund Kwan, Li Gong, Fengyi Zhang

Votes: 240


  • Xian Yu and Liu Pang depose Qin Dynasty

27. Red Cliff (2008)

R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

73 Metascore

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 42,292 | Gross: $0.63M


  • Prime Minister Cao Cao plans to usurp the Han dynasty throne after he defeats any possible allies of the Han Emperor, but that will prove a difficult task (winter of 208/209)

28. The Lost Bladesman (2011)

Not Rated | 109 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The story of legendary Guan Yu crossing five passes & slaying six generals. He played a major role in the civil war that led to the collapse of Han Dynasty & the establishment of Shu Han of the 3 Kingdoms, making Liu Bei its first emperor.

Directors: Felix Chong, Alan Mak | Stars: Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Li Sun, Bing Shao

Votes: 3,902

  • legendary Guan Yu slays six generals in the civil war that led to the collapse of Han Dynasty & the establishment of Shu Han of the 3 Kingdoms period, making Liu Bei its first emperor, 219

29. The Rise of King Modu (2013)

94 min | Drama

The story of Modu Chanyu, the founder of the Xiongnu Empire. Sent off as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom as a child his father wants him dead so dispatches an army to attack that kingdom... See full summary »

Director: Zhi Guo | Stars: Wang Geng, Dai Lu, Lifu Wang, Lixin Zhang

Votes: 8


30. Amrapali (1966)

119 min | Musical, Fantasy

A victory over neighboring state Vaishai has always eluded Magadh Samrat Ajaatshatru despite being winning and taking control over all neighboring states. He attacks Vaishali only get ... See full summary »

Director: Lekh Tandon | Stars: Vyjayanthimala, Sunil Dutt, Prem Nath, Bipin Gupta

Votes: 158



  • Bimbisara (544–491 BC), founder of the first Magadhan empire, fights for the beautiful Amrapali, royal courtesan of the republic of Vaishali

31. Alexander the Great (1941)

Not Rated | 146 min | Drama, History, War

The story is set in 326 B.C. The film begins after Alexander the Great (Sikander in Hindi/Urdu) conquers Persia and the Kabul valley and approaches the Indian border at Jhelum. He respects ... See full summary »

Director: Sohrab Modi | Stars: Sohrab Modi, Prithviraj Kapoor, Vanamala, Meena Shorey

Votes: 54


  • Alexander the Great's conquests in North-Western India. (in Urdu language with English subtitles)

32. Samrat Chandragupt (1958)

Not Rated | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, History

This movie depicts the personal life of Samrat Chandragupt, his trials, tribulations, and frustrations, as well as the challenges he faces to reclaim his kingdom; face-off the threat from ... See full summary »

Director: Babubhai Mistry | Stars: Nirupa Roy, Bharat Bhushan, B.M. Vyas, Lalita Pawar

Votes: 14


  • Indian emperor befriends, but then defeats Alexander the Great, establishing the Maurya Empire (321 - 185 BC)

  • ancient, pre-Islamic India; ruler from 320-298 BC

  • founder of Mauryan Empire, originating from Magadha kingdom in modern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal in e. India

35. Ashoka the Great (2001)

R | 176 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The epic tale of King Asoka's life is recounted here.

Director: Santosh Sivan | Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Danny Denzongpa, Hrishitaa Bhatt

Votes: 12,717 | Gross: $0.70M

  • India after the age of Alexander the Great, Emperor Asoka (273-232 B.C.)

36. Mayura (1975)

178 min | Drama, History

The movie presents the story of a saintly boy who realises his royal connections and his return to his rightful place

Director: Vijay | Stars: Ashwath, Balkrishna, Bhatti Mahadevappa, Manjula

Votes: 185

GUPTA DYNASTY (c. 240-550 AD)

  • King Mayurasharma (345– - 365 C.E.), a Brahmin scholar & founder of the Kadamba Kingdom of Banavasi, the earliest native kingdom to rule over what is today the modern state of Karnataka

37. Slave Queen of Babylon (1963)

101 min | Drama

Story of an ancient Assyrian queen that supposedly took place around 810 B.C.

Director: Primo Zeglio | Stars: Yvonne Furneaux, John Ericson, Renzo Ricci, Gianni Rizzo

Votes: 85



  • woman fights for power in Assyrian empire and begins re-building the city of Babylon; Ninth Dynasty of Babylon, around 811 BC

38. The Queen of Babylon (1954)

Approved | 98 min | Action, Drama

Beautiful goatherd helps Chaldean rebel fight evil king in ancient Babylon.

Director: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia | Stars: Rhonda Fleming, Ricardo Montalban, Roldano Lupi, Carlo Ninchi

Votes: 103

  • Babylon rebels against the Assyrian empire, 626 B.C.

39. Head of a Tyrant (1959)

94 min | Adventure

A beautiful girl plans to seduce, then murder, the brutal conqueror who has taken over her city.

Director: Fernando Cerchio | Stars: Massimo Girotti, Isabelle Corey, Renato Baldini, Yvette Masson

Votes: 41

  • girl gives herself to cruel Assyrian tyrant who has conquered her city in order to overthrow him

40. War Gods of Babylon (1962)

Not Rated | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Noble, wise King Sardanapolo and his more soft and naive younger brother Prince Sammash get into a bitter feud over the affections of sweet and alluring innocent peasant girl Mirra. ... See full summary »

Director: Silvio Amadio | Stars: Howard Duff, Jocelyn Lane, Luciano Marin, Giancarlo Sbragia

Votes: 89

  • in the later years of the Assyrian Empire, there is conflict between King Ashurbanipal (reign 668 – c. 627 BC) and his brother Shamash-shum-ukin (English & Italian languages)

41. The Beast of Babylon Against the Son of Hercules (1963)

98 min | Adventure

The rightful heir to the throne of Babylon leads a slave revolt against an evil ruler.

Director: Siro Marcellini | Stars: Gordon Scott, Geneviève Grad, Andrea Scotti, Célina Cély

Votes: 95 | Gross: $1.80M

  • last Mesopotamian king of Babylon, Nabonidus (reign 556-539), left rule to his son Belshazzar, and Babylon is overthrown by Cyrus the Great of Persia (Italian and Spanish languages; no subtitles)