Whether in real life or reel life, the fate of nations has proven a rich source of compelling storylines for history and the big screen, as this list of revolution movies shows. From America to Russia to Mexico and many places in between, the revolutions have been dramatic and, at times, inspiring. These revolution tales have been irresistible to film makers and stood the test of time:

  1. "Dr. Zhivago" (1965). This classic movie focuses on the events of the life of Yury Zhivago, a surgeon, leading up to and including the Bolshevik Russian Revolution. The thrust of the film is the conflict of Zhivago in choosing between two women and his experiences in World War I and the Russian Revolution.

  2. "The Patriot" (2000.) A family drama, “The Patriot” tells the story of farmer Benjamin Martin during the American Revolution. Martin sons enlist in the Continental Army at the onset of the war, but Martin wants to stay on the sidelines. His perspective changes when tragedy strikes.

  3. "And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself" (2003.) Set during the Mexican Revolution, this film is almost a movie within a movie. Pancho Villa needs money to wage war against the government, so he offers to allow movie producers to film his campaign. Pancho Villa is played by Antonio Banderas.

  4. "Salvador" (1986.) Troubled photojournalist Richard Boyle, played by James Woods, heads to El Salvador to cover the civil war there. His plans don’t quite turn out that way, as Boyle learns more than he bargained for from the war zone.  

  5. "Under Fire" (1983.) Another revolution movie set in South America, "Under Fire" focuses on photojournalist Russell Price (played by Nick Nolte) as he navigates a love triangle during the Nicaraguan revolution in the 1970s. The movie takes Price into a dangerous assignment.