Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Off-Campus Streaming Guide

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

Historical Dramas

Titles Available as of July 2021

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.

Amelia

AMELIA stars two-time Academy Award(r)-winner Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart, the legendary aviatrix and enigmatic symbol of the American free spirit, who was guided by a profound curiosity for everything life had to offer. Earhart's early aviation triumphs and meteoric rise to fame and fortune were propelled along by her tempestuous partnership and eventual marriage to publisher George Putnam (Richard Gere). Bound by mutual ambition, admiration and, ultimately a great love, their bond could not be broken even with her brief passionate affair with Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor). Ms. Earhart was the first woman to solo the Atlantic and was the first pilot, man or woman, to fly unaccompanied across the Pacific. In Amelia's attempt to be the first to fly around the world in an equatorial flight her life was tragically cut short with her mysterious and untimely disappearance over the South Pacific in 1937. 

The Andersonville Trial

Explores the moral dilemma of responsibility for the prison camp in Andersonville, Ga., where 14,000 Union soldiers lost their lives during the Civil War. 

Anna and the King

Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat team up for a period drama set in 19th Century Thailand. The action turns on the character of Anna Leonowens, a British governess who is employed by the Royal Siamese court during the reign of King Mongkut (1851-68) to look after the King's many children. Soon after she arrives in this exotic country, Anna finds herself engaged in a battle of wits with the strong-willed ruler.

Australia

A romantic action-adventure set in northern Australia prior to World War II, AUSTRALIA centers on an English aristocrat (Kidman) who inherits a ranch the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle driver (Jackman) to drive 2000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier. With his new film, Luhrmann is painting on a vast canvass, creating a cinematic experience that brings together romance, drama, adventure and spectacle.

Belle

BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. 

Brooklyn

An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. 

Canopy

Singapore, February 9, 1942. The Japanese invasion is underway. Jim (Khan Chittenden), an Australian fighter pilot, wakes up dangling from a tree by his parachute strings somewhere in the middle of a vast jungle overrun by hostile forces. As night devours day, he forges into the danger he must navigate in search of sanctuary when he encounters a Singapore-Chinese resistance fighter, Seng (Mo Tzu-Yi), who, injured and frightened, also seeks to survive their tenuous surroundings and common enemy. The men realize that their only hope of persevering lies with each other as their journey begins the exploration of the collision of war and nature and its impact on humanity.

Catherine the Great

A German noblewoman (Marlene Dietrich) enters into a loveless marriage with the dim-witted, unstable heir to the Russian throne, then plots to oust him from power. 

Darkest Hour

U.K. prime minister Winston Churchill must rally the nation to war against the Nazis. 

Dry Season 

Set in Chad in 2006 during a time when the government has granted amnesty to all war criminals. Atim, 16 years old, is given a revolver by his grandfather so that he may kill the man who killed his father. Atim leaves his village for N'djamena, seeking a man he does not know. He quickly locates him: former war criminal Nassara is now married and settled down as the owner of a small bakery. With the firm intention of killing him, Atim gets closer to Nassara under the guise of looking for work, and is hired as an apprentice baker.

The Duchess of Malfi

This classic play is aimed at the student, teacher, lecturer and theater lover alike, uses professional actors and directors at London's award-winning Greenwich Theatre in this production of "The Duchess of Malfi". The play is considered to be a masterpiece from Jacobean playwright, John Webster around 1613. This macabre tragedy, set in Italy in the early fifteenth century, it starts out as a love story, with the Duchess marrying beneath her class. However, her two brothers have other ideas. 

Far From the Madding Crowd

The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba's choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love - as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance. 

A Farewell to Arms

Frederick Henry, an American serving as a volunteer ambulance driver with the Italian forces in the First World War, is wounded and falls in love with his attending nurse, the British Catherine Barkley. In the midst of war and some intrigue, the pair struggles to stay together and to survive the horrors around them.

The Favourite

THE FAVOURITE is a bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England. At the center of the story is the Queen herself (Olivia Colman), whose relationship with her confidante, adviser and clandestine lover Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) is turned upside down by the arrival of the Duchess's younger cousin Abigail (Emma Stone). Soon the balance of power shifts between the women as they jockey for influence with the Queen and the court. 

Hannah Arendt

In the award-winning HANNAH ARENDT, the sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta for a brilliant new biopic of the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt's reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker-controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils-introduced her now-famous concept of the "Banality of Evil." Using footage from the actual Eichmann trial and weaving a narrative that spans three countries, von Trotta beautifully turns the often invisible passion for thought into immersive, dramatic cinema.

Hidden Figures

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes. 

Hitchcock

In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, are at the top of their creative game as filmmakers amid disquieting insinuations about it being time to retire. To recapture his youth's artistic daring, Alfred decides his next film will adapt the lurid horror novel, Psycho, over everyone's misgivings. Unfortunately, as Alfred self-finances and labors on this film, Alma finally loses patience with his roving eye and controlling habits with his actresses. When an ambitious friend lures her to collaborate on a work of their own, the resulting marital tension colors Alfred's work even as the novel's inspiration haunts his dreams. 

Hotel Rwanda: A True Story

A hotel manager in mid-'90s Rwanda tries to save refugees by secretly sheltering them in his hotel. A true-life drama that was nominated for three Oscars. 

I, the Worst of All 

Assumpta Serna stars as the brilliant and beautiful poet, Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz in this magnificent portrayal of 17th century Mexico. In order to pursue her love of writing, Juana enters the convent and gains international renown. When the Inquisition comes, the local Vicereine (Dominique Sanda) becomes Juana's protectress and erotic muse, and soon begins a thrilling romance of startling passion and intensity.

In the Mood for Love

Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk) move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite-until a discovery about their spouses creates an intimate bond between them. At once delicately mannered and visually extravagant, Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments.. With its aching musical soundtrack and exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bin, this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema, and is a milestone in Wong's redoubtable career..

Jackie

JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that they created and loved so well. 

Kingdom of Heaven

Set in 12th century Europe and the exotic East, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is an epic romantic action film about a young peasant (Orlando Bloom) who becomes a renowned knight, saves a kingdom, and falls in a love with a princess. From Ridley Scott, the master of the modern epic.  

The Last of the Mohicans

This 1936 adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper's classic early American novel tells of the 1756 siege of Fort William by the French and Huron Indians. The hero Hawkeye, a colonial scout, is played by Randolph Scott. Also starring Binnie Barnes, Henry Wilcoxon, and Bruce Cabot.

Les Miserables (1952)

Jean Valjean, a Frenchman of good character, has nevertheless been convicted for the minor crime of stealing bread. A minor infraction leads to his pursuit by the relentless policeman Javert, a pursuit that consumes both men's lives for many years.

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is one of the great young-adult novels of the 19th century. It describes the coming-of-age of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, whose loving mother cares for them while their father serves in the Civil War. Jo, who falls in love and becomes a writer, is clearly an analogue for Alcott herself. This 1949 film adaptation stars Elizabeth Taylor as Amy, Janet Leigh as Meg, June Allyson as Jo, and Mary Astor as Marmee.

The Longest Day

England in June 1944. Unseasonal storms. Allied troops are massed ready for the invasion of France, some already on the boats. The Normandy beaches will be their destination while paratroopers are dropped inland to take key towns and bridges. On the other side of the Channel the Germans still expect the invasion at Calais, and anyway the weather makes them think nothing is likely to be imminent. Eisenhower decides to go. Hitler sleeps on. 

Moulin Rouge!

Set in 1899, this musical drama features Ewan McGregor as a young poet who defies his father by moving to "the absinthe-soaked, amoral, bohemian" neighbourhood of Montmatre. It is here that he meets the diminutive artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo) and is drafted to write a nightclub spectacular. In this seedy world of sex and drugs, he begins a passionate but ultimately doomed love affair with the most famous courtesan (Nicole Kidman) in Paris. 

Mansfield Park

In this dramatization of one of Jane Austen's most complex plots, Billie Piper (Doctor Who, The Ruby in the Smoke) stars as Fanny Price, a young girl plucked from poverty and taken to live with prosperous relatives at Mansfield Park. Fanny navigates a labyrinth of intrigue and affairs among the occupants of the house, while her cousin Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson, Inspector Lynley Mysteries) remains her stalwart confidante. The tale of romance and social satire also stars Jemma Redgrave (Bramwell) as Fanny's observant aunt. Is Fanny smug and unlikeable, as she has been called by some, or is she a person to be applauded for remaining true to her own beliefs

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 

Ship Surgeon Stephen Maturin (Bettany) and Navy Capt. Jack Aubrey (Crowe) sail out to see the richness and strangeness of life on the far side of the world, against the backdrop of Napoleonic Wars.

Pride and Prejudice (1940)

This acclaimed adaptation of Jane Austen's most famous novel stars the great Laurence Olivier as Darcy, who first scorns and then falls in love with the charming Elizabeth Bennet, played by Greer Garson. The New York Times called the production "a crisp and crackling satire". 

The Post

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government. Inspired by true events.

Red Tails

1944. As the war in Europe continues to take its toll on Allied forces, the Pentagon brass has no recourse but to consider unorthodox options - including the untried and untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country - and the fate of the free world.

Renoir

Set on the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir -- son of the Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste -- returns home to convalesce after being wounded in World War I. At his side is Andrée, a young woman who rejuvenates, enchants, and inspires both father and son.. This historical drama screened at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for eight César Awards and Lumiere Awards.

The Revenant

Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT captures one man's epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. 

The Rosa Parks Story

This scripted narrative follows Rosa Parks' life from the time she was a private-school student, to her rise to infamy. Part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Parks fought against discrimination and segregation. But, it was her refusal to relinquish her seat on a bus and subsequent arrest, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which thrust her into the spotlight. This American-made film directed by Julie Dash features Angela Basset as Rosa Parks and Cicely Tyson as her mother.

Scarecrow

In a 17th century Massachusetts town, a scarecrow is magically transformed into a man and charged with the mission of destroying true love. 

Sleepwalking Land

Directed by Teresa Prata. In the midst of Mozambique's devastating civil war, Muidinga, an orphaned refugee, wanders the countryside in search of his mother. His only companion is an elderly storyteller, and the only guide to finding his mother is a dead man's diary. Together, the storyteller and diary lead him on a magical, and sometimes macabre, journey across war-torn landscapes to find the family he lost. Based on Mia Coutou's acclaimed Portuguese novel of the same name, Teresa Prata's transporting drama underscores the power of imagination in surviving, and ultimately overcoming, the catastrophe of war. Country of production: Mozambique. 

Tolkien

Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the "fellowship" apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.

12 Years a Slave

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.

A United Kingdom

A UNITED KINGDOM tells the inspiring true story of Seretse Khama, the King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1948 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. Seretse and Ruth defied family, Apartheid and empire - their love triumphed over every obstacle flung in their path and in so doing they transformed their nation and inspired the world.