Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Can Watching Films Help You To Revise?

So, I’m taking my History GCSE in a few weeks and one of our topics to study is The Roaring Twenties in the USA. Personally, I find that after endless revision on a certain topic it can get so boring, so I always try to think of some good films to watch and books to read to remind me why I’m supposed to be interested in a subject. You can do this for History, English, Geography, Sociology and probably many other subjects as well. I find it a really good way of revising as well as taking a break from learning the boring stuff.

The entertainment industry in the USA expanded massively in the Jazz Age of the 1920's and Hollywood was essentially created during this time which set the template for the way we make and enjoy films today. Personally, I love anything to do with the twenties, as well as other decades such as the sixties, but I love films set in or made in this time because of the glamour and decadence of the stars and the costumes.

Some films set in the 1920’s include:
The Artist,
The Cider House Rules,
The Colour Purple,
Doctor Zhivago,
Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle-Stop Café,
The Roaring Twenties,
Tender is the Night,
The Great Gatsby,
The Jazz Age,
Bright Young Things,
It’s a Wonderful Life.
Another one someone told me is set in the 1920's is Water for Elephants. A bit of Robert Pattinson with my history revision? Yes please.
Watching a film made in the era you are revising would also be a good idea. You could watch The Jazz Singer, made in 1927 and the first talking movie. There were also many films made by stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Al Jolson and Charlie Chaplin, who starred in comedy The Kid. Disney also originated from the 1920-30’s and by 1929 over 110 million Americans went
to the movies every week.

If you want to understand a particular topic, such as the rise of organised crime, watching films such as The Godfather, J Edgar, Bugsy Malone, or Scarface would be a good idea. Obviously Scarface is set in the 1980’s but the character is directly inspired by Al Capone, the infamous Chicago gangster.

I’m also planning to reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I love and is set partly in 1920’s Brooklyn.

Hope this may help anyone with their history revision – I feel like writing this post counted as studying! Please leave a comment if you love or hate any of the films I’ve mentioned or would like to see a review on a particular film or genre.
Jessica x


  1. This looks like a cool blog! I wish you luck and please pop in on mine www.genresofmylife@blogspot.com

    1. Thanks for your comment Holly, hope you enjoyed reading my blog!
      Jessica :)

  2. I LOVE the twenties. Seriously, I wish I lived then xD Too bad the book I'm writing, set then, isn't done yet to help you in revision! Enjoy the movie watching xD


  3. Same here Zia! Wow I can't believe your writing a book - how's that going? More reviews going up soon,
    Jessica x

  4. Its one of my goals to watch AFI's top 50 movies. The God Father is my next one. I LOVE Chicago and can't wait to see The Artist.

    1. thats a great idea for a goal - I may have to do a post on that! I'd love to know what you think of The Artist as I've not seen it but I really want to
      thanks for following :)

  5. I watched loads of films and documentaries about Nazi Germany when I sat my History GCSE, much more engaging than just revising out of a textbook!


    1. Thanks for your comment Sophie. I definately agree with you - I get bored way too easily just reading the facts!


Thank you for your comments - they make me smile and I promise to try and answer them all :)