How shocking it may sound, Slavery has been adopted since the dawn of the earliest civilizations. When presenting the history of slavery to the general public, movies have always been the most influential medium.
In today’s article, we’ll take a look at the top ten slavery movies of all time.
#10. Free State of Jones (2016)
A historical Western war film that was inspired by the life of Newton Knight and his revolt against the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
Free State of Jones follows those who joined with slaves to stand up for what is right. Despite having stars such as Matthew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the film received mixed reviews, which led to it only making $25 million against its $65 million production budget.
#9. Burn! (1969)
Sir William Walker played by Hollywood legend Marlon Brando, is a Civil War era secret agent who was sent by Britain to secure a thriving sugarcane plantation for the Crown. Along the way, he befriends a black dock worker called José, who is planning to revolt.
One night during a festival, the Slaves Revolt, which leads to violence and highlights the message that no one can be owned by another.
Brando turned down the lead roles in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and the arrangement to star and Burn. It turned out to be the right decision, as Brando once said that he did some of his best acting in this film.
#8. Amistad (1997)
Steven Spielberg is best known for his sci-fi and fantasy movies, but one film he did to highlight the awful treatment of those taken aboard slave ships was Amistad. The story of the film is based on the real-life events of a slave ship called Amistad that sailed back in 1839.
Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, and Djimon Hounsou had starring roles. It was nominated for the 1998 Golden Globe Award for the best motion picture but lost out to James Cameron’s Titanic.
#7. Lincoln (2012)
Another film, directed by Steven Spielberg. Lincoln followed the late President’s mission to abolish slavery and changed the views of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Lincoln was played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who was praised for his portrayal of the President, even winning the Best Actor award at the Golden Globes.
The film is regarded as a Hollywood hit as it grossed an impressive $275,000,000 at the box office. After Liam Neeson turned down the Park, Steven Spielberg asked Daniel Day-Lewis to play the lead. Feeling like he couldn’t play such an iconic character, it took Leonardo DiCaprio to talk him into taking the role.
#6. Amazing Grace (2006)
Number Six Amazing Grace A man named William Wilberforce was trying to stop the British transatlantic slave trade industry during 1797.
When he meets Barbara Spooner, a woman who believes in his mission, He gets the courage to wrangle up more people to help him. Among them is his old method and a former slave ship captain who wrote the famous hymn
Amazing Grace was celebrated for its attention to detail and its accuracy to historical facts. Unbelievably, the film only took two days to complete using 516-millimeter cameras.
#5. Glory (1989)
Directed by Edward Zwick and following the events of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, Glory stars Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman.
Like many of the entries in this article, this film was based on a book called Lay This Laurel. The only difference is the novel was only written 16 years previously.
Glory was not only the first feature film to focus on black soldiers during the American Civil War, it is credited as one of the most powerful and historically accurate movies about the war ever made.
#4. Spartacus (1960)
Tracy and Spartacus was a man who was born and raised as a slave. After being sold to a Gladiator trainer and taught how to kill in the arena, he decides to rebel against his owner and the other authorities. He soon gathers a group of like-minded rebels who move from town to town, freeing others like them.
Under the leadership of the film’s namesake, they travel to Italy with a plant across the sea and return to their homes but as you may expect, things don’t go to plan.
#3. Ben-Hur (1959)
A film that made a name for Charlton Heston. Ben-Hur was in fact a remake of its silent 1925 predecessor that shared the same name. At that time, Ben-Hur was given the largest budget of any Hollywood film in history, spending $15 million and making $66 million in the first six months.
Ben-Hur scooped up an amazing eleven Academy Awards, some of which being the best motion picture, best director, and best film editing.
#2. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Based on the incredibly true story of a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery. 12 Years a Slave follows Solomon Northup’s incredible journey of racial abuse, dehumanization hope, and eventually justice.
Chiwetel Ejiofor initially turned down Steve McQueen’s offer to play the leading role but eventually agreed. He prepared for the role by emerging himself in the history of the plantations and learning how to play the violin.
#1. Django Unchained (2012)
Our number one pick is Django Unchained. In a completely unique take on a slave film, Django Unchained is about a slave who was accompanied by a German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz.
Dr. King Schultz freeze Django and the two set out to Hunt down the most wanted criminals of the south. Their adventures lead them to Calvin Candy, a larger-than-life plantation owner who is still keeping Django’s wife a slave.
Interestingly, during the filming of the movie, Jamie Foxx used his own horse named Cheetah. He had gotten the horse four years previously, making it the perfect companion to work with.
The movie was rated an 8.4 on a scale of ten on the IMDb website and received a meta score of 81 on Metacritic.
This was our top ten Slavery Movies of All Time list. We have been able to compile a great list of the best Slavery Movies of All Time. Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below.