Mexico has a long and storied past, and there are many great Mexican history movies telling the great stories of this great land. The country’s ancient indigenous population, tense relations with Europe, and shared border with the United States means there are many topics for films, produced both in Mexico and elsewhere. This collection of movies gives a great overview of the areas rich history.

  1. “The Alamo.”  This is a legendary story in American history but also is part of Mexico’s past, and this film is one of the great Mexican history movies The American state of Texas was once part of Mexico, and it wasn’t until the Texans revolted that the region became first its own country and then a part of the United States. This movie details the events at a Spanish mission in San Antonio, where Texans holed up against Mexican general Santa Anna and his men. The movie stars Billy Bon Thornton as Davy Crockett.

  2. “The Other Conquest.”  This Mexican history movie tells the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, through the eyes of the Aztec people of early Mexico. The movie opens a year after the Spanish have landed and starts with the historical massacre of Aztecs at the Temple of Tenochtitlan and is regarded as one of the best depictions of early European conflict with natives of the Americas.

  3. “Apocalypto.”  Mel Gibson produced and directed this Mexican history movie about the declining Mayan population in the Yucatan. One thing that makes this movie unique is that its dialogue is entirely in the Mayan language—now dead—and the actors required special instruction from a professor to speak the tongue. The movie has very exciting chase and fight scenes and is visually stunning, but was controversial due to alleged factual inaccuracies.

  4. “Frida.”  This Mexican history movie focuses on Mexican historical culture, a biopic of one of the country’s great artists, Frida Kahlo, depicted by Mexican actress Salma Hayek. Accomplished actor Alfred Molina plays Kahlo’s husband, painter and activist Diego Rivera. The film as a subplot examines Mexican politics and culture and was nominated for six Academy Awards.

  5. “¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa!”  This film is about Pancho Villa and is one of the great Mexican history films. Unlike other movies about the revolutionary, which tend to glorify him, this movie centers on the man’s alleged viciousness and single-minded violence. It centers on a group of young men who join his army, hoping to fulfill their ideals of revolution. They are distressed to learn that he is a cruel leader who has little concern for their well-being or desire to help. This 1936 movies was one of the first big Mexican cinematic productions, and has gone on to be very well regarded.