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Watch these interesting and smart history movies

Jane Eyre (2011)

Dir: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Su Elliot

A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret.

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Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Dir: Joe Wright

Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

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Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Dir: Ang Lee

Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet, Tom Wilkinson

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

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True Grit (2010)

Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin

A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer.

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Quills (2000)

Dir: Philip Kaufman

Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine

In a Napoleonic era insane asylum, an inmate, the irrepressible Marquis De Sade, fights a battle of wills against a tyrannically prudish doctor.

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Memoirs of Geisha (2005)

Dir: Rob Marshall

Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Suzuka Ohgo

Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

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The Flowers of War (2011)

Dir: Yimou Zhang

Stars: Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang, Tianyuan Huang

A Westerner finds refuge with a group of women in a church during Japan's rape of Nanking in 1937. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.

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