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George Washington Movies & TV

National Geographic: The Real George Washington (2009)

National Geographic tries to get beyond Washington the myth to discover Washington the man. The documentary special builds on evidence recovered from the excavation of Washington's childhood home to reconstruct his actual life. This is, without a doubt, the hottest thing to happen in Washington filmography in the last twenty years. Watch at your own risk.

The Revolution (2006)

This ten-hour epic is vintage History Channel: cinematic music, historical reenactments, and enough information to turn you into a bona fide history buff. It comes in thirteen parts, although you'd have to be a brave soul to watch them all. The series tells the story of the colonies from the roots of the Revolutionary War through the adoption of the Constitution, and Washington gets a fair amount of face time. The series has been pretty well received by historians; television audiences were less enthusiastic.

The Patriot (2000)

The blockbuster of Revolutionary War movies! Mel Gibson's award-winning telling of Benjamin Martin's story is an action-adventure thriller. Although the story is fictional, the historical backdrop is more or less accurate. It's certainly the most entertaining movie about the Revolution out there. And hey, it even (sort of) has George Washington in it!

The Crossing (2000)

Jeff Daniels plays George Washington in this retelling of Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware River. This made-for-TV movie was nominated for a prime-time Emmy, but that speaks more to the poor state of U.S. television at the turn of the century than the quality of the flick. Still, it will make you relive the battles, right down to the spirit of surprise and desperation that marked them.

Liberty! The American Revolution (1997)

PBS's six-hour documentary on the American Revolution is still the A/V standby: trustworthy, thorough, well-paced, and surprisingly entertaining. It's especially notable for its use of primary sources: the directors showcase their research by prominently featuring readings from letters and diaries to bring out the human side of the colonists' struggle. It definitely has a patriotic bent, though; you won't find a critical or revisionist perspective here.

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