In the first book of its kind in the English language historian Dr. John Dunbar provides an overview of attempts throughout film history to put historical topics on screen in the United States and Great Britain. The earliest attempts were biographic films about famous people and some great epic films such as Gone With the Wind that were not claimed to be accurate histories of a period. World War Two paved the way for post war developments through the evolution of the documentary film that were often accurate portrayals of events in the war. After WW 2 a number of social, political, technical and economic developments opened the way for the making of historically accurate films. The dissolution of the Studio System in Hollywood, the disappearance of film censor boards, the arrival of television and later the internet, the appearance of greater market segments than those traditionally served by motion picture all opened up market opportunities for films of greater historical accuracy than had traditionally been available. The emergence of film makers and production companies dedicated to the accurate telling of history now engages the resources of professional historians in the making of films of unequalled accuracy. As items in the modern world of media literacy and political discourse, these films play an important role in the sustenance of the open society in which the ideals of the European Enlightenment can be continually realized.
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