Here is a list of possible movies that are meant to show some of the types of movies that fit our criteria:
“…films that focus on women and girls, and celebrate their struggles, achievements, talents, and history… and uphold the values of liberty, intelligence, independence of mind, honesty of thought, and reason.”
Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life – This is Michael Paxton’s documentary of Ayn Rand’s life.
The Marva Collins Story – Marva Collins was a public elementary school teacher who found that she was having to waste more time complying with bureaucratic red tape than preparing for her classes. She saw the students in her low-income neighborhood going downhill, and knew that she could change their lives for the better, but was getting nowhere working through the established school system. So she started her own school, using her family’s savings, keeping expensies as low as possible, and took on the students that the public school had given up as hopeless cases. This is the story of Mrs. Collins’ successful struggle to get the job properly done, her way. Cicely Tyson plays Marva Collins.
We the Living – A young woman studying to be an engineer in Soviet Russia stuggles to live by her individualist values in the midst of a society aimed at killing off individualists. Every aspect of life is corrupted by Soviet socialism for all members of Russian society as “We the Living” progresses. This movie was made in Fascist Italy without Ayn Rand’s permission, and was allowed to be made because it was a story about the evils of communism. However, the Nazis recognized that it was just as anti-fascist as it was anti-communist, and insisted that it be banned. Stars Alida Valli, Rossano Brazzi, and Fosco Giachetti. Director: Goffredo Alessandrini.
Sister Kenny – An Australian nurse discovers a successful treatment for polio, but has to battle hard to get the medical establishment to take her discovery seriously because she’s merely a nurse. Ignoring Sister Kenny’s evidence, the Australian medical professions makes every effort to ban her mthods, so she takes her treatment to the US, where her methods are tested, shown to work and save lives. Based on a true story. Director: Dudley Nichols . Starring: Rosalind Russell, Alexander Knox, Dean Jagger (I hope we can get this through the FVFS, because the only copies I’ve found have been at Amazon in VHS format, and they’re ridiculously expensive.)
Queen Christina – Queen Christina give up her throne, wealth, and power for love and personal happiness, in other words, for a life of her own choosing. Director: Rouben Mamoulian. Starring: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith
Ninotchka (and/or) Silk Stockings (The musical version of the same story) – Love and capitalism wins at everything when somber Soviet envoy, Ninotchka is sent on a mission to Paris. The non-musical version stars Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglass and Ina Claire. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The musical version, SILK STOCKINGS, stars Fred Astair, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige, and Peter Lorre. Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Steel – A building contractor managing the erecting of a new skyscraper dies suddenly, and his daughter, not wanting her corrupt uncle to bungle the job, takes over the managment of the job herself. A bank-mandated deadline makes for a formidable challenge, but our heroine assembles the finest expert workers and together they overcome long odds and many obstacles to get the job done. Directed by Steve Carver, starring Jennifer ONeill, Art Carney, George Kennedy, Lee Majors.
She Stood Alone – The founder and teacher of a school in 19th century Connecticut admits both white and black students into her school, and finds herself facing arrest for violating Connecticut’s “Black Law”, which outlawed the admission of “non-resident” blacks to local schools. Based on a true Story. Director: Jack Gold. Starring Mare Winningham, Ben Cross, Robert Desiderio.
Cleopatra (Liz Taylor version) – I don’t think that this film could be said to uphold liberty, but it certainly does show a woman of ambition and intelligence who manages to hold her own against a male-dominated world – at least for awhile – and to die on her own terms. This film is recommended by Egyptologist Professor Bob Brier as being superbly authentic in its sets, props and costumes.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age – Cate Blanchett plays the mature Queen Elizabeth, facing court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and dissapointments in love.
Mildred Pierce – Mildred Pierce starts out as a waitress and through her virtues and intelligence rises to become a successful, wealthy businesswoman. But her extreme generosity has bad effects: her lucky but spoiled dependents resent her for her virtues and attempt to bring her down. Directed by Michael Curtiz. Joan Crawford, Eve Arden, Jack Carson, Ann Blyth
Movie suggestions are always welcome!