10 films about true events to watch on RaiPlay

A list of ten films about real historical events to watch on the Rai Play portal, including cinematic masterpieces and lesser-known gems.

Cinema is also a way to learn about history: of course, it is difficult for films to tell the facts with the utmost accuracy, but they are still a good basis for learning about relevant events of the past. On the Rai Play portal, it is possible to see some masterpieces of cinema of all times and some little-known gems that tell some important historical facts: let’s see a list of them, which is not exhaustive, but is nevertheless a good basis for beginning to learn about various topics.

1. The Fall - The Last Days of Hitler, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, starring Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes (Germany, Austria, Italy, 2004, running time: 149 minutes)

This is the celebrated film nominated for Oscars and BAFTAs for best foreign film in which an excellent Bruno Ganz plays Adolf Hitler in the last days of his life inside a bunker, all told from the point of view of his secretary Traudl Junge. The cult scene is the one in which the Führer rants at his officers after they reveal Steiner’s betrayal to him. This scene has become the subject of countless parodies on the Internet that, while keeping the acting in the original language, cripples the dialogue through subtitles that talk about different topics and not at all relevant to the events of the film, achieving funny results. The director approved such parodies, precisely because the purpose of his film was to bring down from the pedestal this horrible figure and all his sympathizers.

The Fall

2. The Conspirator, directed by Robert Redford, with James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson (USA, 2010, running time: 118 minutes)

Directed by actor and director Robert Redford, the film is the true story of Mary Surratt, the only woman charged with conspiracy in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and, as a result, the first woman sentenced to hang by the U.S. federal government. The film focuses on Frederik Aiken (McAvoy), a Northern army officer who, at the end of the Civil War, reinvents himself as a lawyer and is assigned to be part of Surratt’s (Wrigth) defense. Initially, Aiken is opposed, as he is sure of the defendant’s guilt, but he reconsiders after several investigations. The woman is equally found guilty and executed, which will prompt Aiken to go into journalism and become the editor-in-chief of the Washington Post.

The Conspirator

3. The Viceroys, directed by Roberto Faenza, with Alessandro Preziosi, Lando Buzzanca, Cristiana Capotondi, Guido Caprino, Lucia Bosè (Italy, 2007, running time: 115 minutes)

Roberto Faenza recounts the dramatic events of the Uzeda di Francalanza, one of the ruling families of 19th-century Sicilian high aristocracy descended from the viceroys of Spain, hence the title of the film. The events in question, are those just prior to the birth of the Italian state, which would lead to the fall of the Bourbons. The film is inspired by Federico de Roberto’s literary masterpiece of the same name and stars Alessandro Preziosi as Consalvo and Cristiana Capotondi as Teresa.

The Viceroys

4. The Forger - Operation Bernhard, directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, starring Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow (Austria, Germany, 2007, running time: 94 minutes)

Winner of the 2008 Oscar for best foreign film. It is the story of a secret Nazi plan implemented during World War II that involved using as many as 140 concentration camp prisoners to print counterfeit pounds and dollars. Although it is based on true events taken from the memoir of Adolf Burger, one of the prisoners in question, the character played by Austrian actor Karl Markovics is named Salomon Sorowitsch and is inspired by Russian forger Salomon Smolianoff. Smolianoff was the king of forgers before he was arrested in Berlin, both for the forgery charge and because he was Jewish, and sentenced to imprisonment in the Mauthausen concentration camp.

The Counterfeiter - Operation Bernhard

5. The Young Pertini, directed by Franco Rossi, with Maurizio Crozza, Carla Signoris, Ivano Marescotti, Augusto Zucchi (Italy 1993, running time: 99 minutes)

This is a television film first aired in 1993 that features Maurizio Crozza in his first screen acting effort as Sandro Pertini (1896-1990). The film is a chronicle of his antifascist activities, conducted both clandestinely and in prison, and his term as President of the Republic. The film was repeated only once in 2003 on Rai 3 because it was harshly criticized by Pertini’s widow for private reasons.

The young Pertini

6. The boy judge, directed by Alessandro Di Robilant, with Giulio Scarpati, Sabrina Ferilli, Leopoldo Trieste (Italy, 1994, running time, 90 minutes)

David di Donatello to Giulio Scarpati for the film that tells the true story of Rosario Livatino, known as the “little boy judge” because he was quite young when he was appointed Deputy Public Prosecutor during his fight against the Mafia in 1980s Sicily. The firm reconstructs the events of the judge, who was murdered in the tragic assassination on September 21, 1990, in Agrigento.

The boy judge

7. The King’s Choice, directed by Erik Poppe, starring Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christensen, Tuva Novotny (Norway 2016, running time: 130 minutes)

Film about the days immediately following the German invasion of Norway in 1940. King Haakon VII is thus forced to leave Oslo and move to Hamar with his eldest son Olav. Political tensions ensue amid negotiations, sieges, and liberation attempts that lead the king to make a historic decision. Nominated for the 2017 Oscars for best foreign film.

The king's choice

8. That Last Bridge, directed by Richard Attenborough, starring Sean Connery, James Caan, Gene Hackman, Micheal Caine, Robert Redford (Great Britain 1977, running time: 137 minutes)

The late Sean Connery stars along with other cinematic legends to recount a military operation that took place in the Netherlands during World War II: Operation Market Garden. That operation consisted of the dropping of as many as 35,000 Allied paratroopers (British, American and Polish, to be exact) to seize a series of bridges that would aid the advance of Allied forces into enemy territory, a mission so ambitious that it was blurred by one bridge too many. Based on the historical essay by Cornelius Ryan.

That last bridge

9. Rommel, directed by Niki Stein, with Ulrich Tukur, Tim Bergmann, Johannes Silberschneider (Germany, Austria, France, 2017, running time: 121 minutes)

Ulrich Tukur plays Field Marshal Erwinn Rommel who was commissioned by Hilter himself to organize the defense troops to face the American soldiers in the upcoming Normandy landings. Rommel accepted the assignment convinced that he could redeem himself from his failure in North Africa, but when the Führer refused to give him more soldiers, he contemplated allying himself with a group of officers who wanted to overthrow the Third Reich. The film has been at the center of controversy by Rommel’s descendants, who allegedly accused the film of portraying their ancestor poorly.


10. Sissi - Fate of an Empress, directed by Ernst Marischka, starring Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm, Magda Schneider, Gustav Knuth, Uta Franz (Austria, 1957, running time: 105 minutes)

Last installment of the trilogy devoted to Princess Sissi of Austria played by Romy Schneider. The film sees the young empress travel to Hungary only to fall ill with a lung infection. At the doctor’s suggestion, she travels to places with warmer climates such as Madeira and Corfu. After her recovery, she accompanied her husband, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Habsburg, to Milan and Venice, where she would prove useful in unraveling anti-Habsburg revolts.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, subscribe to our newsletter and don’t miss a single one of our updates!

Sissi - Destiny of an Empress

10 films about true events to watch on RaiPlay
10 films about true events to watch on RaiPlay

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.