Friday night is movie night in my house, tough to do with a 16 year old who is at that age where the veneer of his parent’s coolness is beyond diaphanous. The beginning and ending credits of “The Conspirator” revealed a studio I’ve never heard of before, The American Film Company. First off, the movie was really good and I highly recommend it, but what struck me was the byline ,”Films based on true stories from America’s past”. As you can see from the website, they offer a lot of cool features, not only stuff that would sate your normal history buff, but also items to pique even the casual historian. They are currently working on two new films, also history related.
I’ve mentioned in other posts the almost supernatural and fortuitous confluence of events that was needed to give birth and survive infancy of this great country of ours. The tumultuous and rapid point of advancement, from 13 independent colonies (only about of third of the colonists truly committed, with one third loyal to England and the other third ambivalent either way) breaking away from mother country to that point a couple hundred years later as the most powerful nation on the planet, it almost stretches the incredulity of fate.
But I was thinking how cool this concept is, to make movies, accurate authentic movies that not only entertained the audience but taught them something as well about our history. Sure, PBS has been doing this for years with their American Experience series (who can forget Ken Burn’s Civil War?) but feature length films? This is something we need to embrace and support.
So, here is the question, you are on the board who decides what movies get made, what stories, events, people, or occurrences in our history do you think would make a good movie?
Some movies I would vote for:
The Corp. Of Discovery- about 10 years ago I read Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose, a book that chronicled Lewis and Clarke’s 2 year journey across America to discover the Northwest Passage and to map out new territories bought by Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase. These guys would make Navy Seals proud, the stuff they encountered along the way, their new discoveries, exciting stuff.
Battle of New Orleans- Andy Jackson and a band of Kentucky long riflemen take down a vastly superior British army, inflicting casualties greater then 20 to 1.
Aaron Burr- including the Hamilton duel, the plan to detach parts of the western states for his own nation, and his subsequent trial for treason.
And if the company is still in business, with more projects warranted, something on both Benedict Arnold and Stephen Decatur.
But with many aspects of our history untouched, what projects do you think should go forward, anything else you find worthy?