1. Guns at Batasi (1964). Richard Attenborough as a British Sergeant Major dealing with the tensions of the handover of an African colony to the natives.
2. Untamed (1955). Tyrone Power as a leader of the Boer trekkers in South Africa. A movie that follows history somewhat closely and could not be made today. Amazing it has not been suppressed. (Careful: there are other inferior films of the same title.)
3. Ivan’s Childhood, aka My Name is Ivan (1962). Grim tale of a Russian boy spying behind the Nazi lines in World War II.
4. The Passion of the Christ (2004). Brilliantly conceived and carried out. Anti-Christian Hollywood condemned this, which is a recommendation in itself.
5. The Blue Light (German, silent, 1932). Beautiful and moving story with Leni Riefenstahl as a mountain girl who loves a brilliant mountain light.
6. The Road to Glory (1941). A French regiment in World War I. Screenplay by Faulkner.
7. Cross of Iron (1977). Veteran and disillusioned German soldiers facing the collapse of their Eastern front in World War II.
8. Les Grandes Gueules, aka Jailbirds’ Vacation. (French, 1965). Humane and humourous story of French convicts given opportunity to work in a country lumber mill. The French are tops at portraying real life.
9. Himalaya (French/Nepalese, 1999). Realistic and vivid story of the life of people in a remote village of Nepal who must make a dangerous annual caravan to survive, which is threatened by a rivalry over leadership.
10. The Ballad of Narayama (Japanese, 1958). A very old woman struggles to make her son understand that it is time for her to go to the mountain where old folks go to quietly expire. Almost an opera, but dealing with the hardest realities of human life.
11. Is Paris Burning? (1966). Told in almost documentary style, an account of the few days of the history of the liberation of Paris and the thwarting of Hitler’s intent to destroy the city. (Please do not confuse this film with a sodomite thing called Paris is Burning.)
12. 13 Hours (2016). A vivid and well done portrayal of the Benghazi terrorist battle against Americans. Among other things it shows the courage of fighting men and the incompetence of bureaucrats.
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews