Notes on Movies for Which a Learning Guide has Not
Been Written -- Titles Starting with the Letter "D"


A,   B,   C,   E,   F,   G,   H,    I,    J,   KLM,  
N,   O,   P,   Q,   R,   S,   T,   U,   VW,   XY,   Z   

For the meanings of the initials in brackets at the end of many of the entries, click here.



D.O.A.    (1950) No MPAA Rating; Director: Rudolph Maté.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Dad    (1989) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Gary David Goldberg.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Damage    (1992) MPAA Rating: R for strong sexuality, and for language; Director: Louise Malle.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Damn the Defiant!    (1962) No MPAA Rating; Director: Lewis Gilbert.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

Damn Yankees    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

Damsels in Distress    (2011) MPAA Rating: PG-13; Director: Whit Stillman.    This comedy of manners set in a small college in contemporary U.S. just doesn't work. It won't be interesting to anyone, including students. [NA] (JAF & DEF, 20013)

Dance, Girl, Dance    (1940) MPAA Rating: Approved; Director: Dorothy Arzner.     This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Dances With Wolves    (1990) MPAA Rating: PG-13; Director: Kevin Costner.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film. This film is ranked #75 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). It has been suggested by several people for grades: 9-12. See the section on this movie in Reel v. Real: How Hollywood Turns Fact Into Fiction and History Goes to the Movies. [LI]

Dancemaker    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

Dangerous Beauty    (1998) MPAA Rating: R for some scenes of strong sensuality, and for nudity and language; Director: Marshall Herskovitz.    This is the mostly true story of Veronica Franco, a remarkable courtesan of Renaissance Venice who wrote beautiful poetry, advised her clients on affairs of state, etc. The story is powerful and reveals much about the oppression of women in past centuries. However the film shows nudity and scenes of lovemaking. The theme of the talented and good prostitute is somewhat sophisticated for children 10 - 15. Certainly some of the moral points made in the film are too controversial for this web site since many parents would disagree with them. Watch it yourself and decide if you should show it to your children when they are mature enough to handle it. Note also that the overt support given to Veronica Franco by her various lovers in the Inquisition scene is fictional as was the threat of death. The Inquisition in Italy did not usually kill its victims, but would subject them to various punishments including imprisonment, whipping, public humiliation, and house arrest. While Veronica Franco's admirers most probably supported her during her trial by the Inquisition, they acted behind the scenes and without risk to themselves. This film is based upon the Ph.D. thesis of Professor Margaret Rosenthal of the University of Southern California. See her book The Honest Courtesan. Professor Rosenthal tells us that when she shows this film to her college classes, she fast forwards through the scenes depicting sexual activity so as not to distract her students. Our 12-year-old son happened into the room as we were evaluating this film and wanted desperately to see it. We agreed to show the film to him but only if his father could shield him from the scenes showing sexual encounters. We made it a game and literally threw a blanket over his head for certain short portions of the film. He enjoyed the film and learned a lot about Venice and the oppression of women during the Renaissance. If you are looking for a film to show classes about women in history as concubines, see "Conquest". [PD] (JAF & DEF)

Dangerous Minds    (1989) MPAA Rating: R for language; Director: John N. Smith.    This is a great film based on a true story about a teacher who inspired a class of angry, socially disadvantaged kids. The film has several positive messages in the tradition of "To Sir With Love" and "Stand and Deliver" updated with rap music, gangs and guns. However, the film is full of profanity and has some sexual innuendos that would be difficult for parents and teachers to show to children. We thought long and hard about whether to write a Learning Guide for this film and we are not at all sure that it shouldn't be shown to children by parents and teachers. We know of some teachers who show it to their classes. If you have any thoughts, please send us an e-mail. If you do show the film, some of the Discussion Questions from "Stand and Deliver" will be helpful. [PD] (JAF)

The Danish Poet     (2006) No MPAA Rating; Director: Torill Kove     This is a whimsical story of how a Danish poet finds his love in Sweden. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2007. We can't figure out a way to make this movie into a learning experience that would be relevant to children. [ITO] (JAF, 2009)

Dante's Inferno    (1935) No MPAA Rating; Director: Harry Lachman.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Dante's Peak    (1997) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for disaster related peril and gore; Director: Roger Donaldson.    Suggested by a teacher for grades: 7-12.

Danton    (1983) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Andrzej Wajda.    See the section on this movie in Past Imperfect.

Dark Command    (1940) No MPAA Rating; Director: Raoul Walsh.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

Darkness Before Dawn    (1993) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: John Patterson.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Das Boot    (1981) MPAA Rating: R for some war violence and brief language; Director: Wolfgang Petersen.    Suggested by a TWM User. [LI]

Daughter of Shanghai    (1937) MPAA Rating: Approved; Director: Robert Florey    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Daughters of the Dust    (1991) No MPAA Rating; Director: Julie Dash.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film. The Gullah dialect used in this film is virtually incomprehensible. While visually beautiful, this movie is obscure and difficult to understand. For a film with references to Gullah culture see "Conrack". [NA] (JAF)

David Copperfield    (1935) No MPAA Rating; Director: George Cukor.    We found that the poor production values and poor reproduction spoiled our enjoyment of the film. Children will find it difficult to watch. If you are looking for Dickens, try "Oliver Twist", "Oliver!" "The Old Curiosity Shop", "Great Expectations" or "A Tale of Two Cities". [NA] (JAF)

David Holzman's Diary    (1967) No MPAA Rating; Director: Jim McBride    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

David's Mother    (1994) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Robert Allan Ackerman.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier    (1954) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Norman Foster.    Suggested by a TWM User.

The Dawn Patrol    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

A Day at the Races    (1937) MPAA Rating: PG-13; Director: Sam Wood.     This film is ranked #59 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time (2006). This Marx Brothers film is dated. We don't think that children will find it interesting nor could we find much curriculum related content in it. For an older comedy that still works and has content, try "Modern Times". [NA; ITO] (JAF)

The Day the Earth Stood Still    (1951) MPAA Rating: G; Director: Robert Wise.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Days of Heaven    (1978) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Terrence Malick.     This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

The Days of Wine and Roses    (1962) No MPAA Rating; Director: Blake Edwards.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Dazed and Confused    (1993) MPAA Rating: R for pervasive, continuous teen drug and alcohol use and very strong language; Director: Richard Linklater.    Suggested by a TWM User.

Dead Birds    (1965) No MPAA Rating; Director: Robert Gardner.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Dead Man Walking    (1995) MPAA Rating: R for a depiction of a rape and murder; Director: Tim Robbins.     What happens when you get very close to a death row inmate who committed a terrible and vicious crime but you still have empathy for his victims? This movie tells the tale and brings up important issues about capital punishment. We hope to prepare a Learning Guide for this movie. [LI] (JAF)

Dead Poets Society    (1989) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Peter Weir.    This is a film about private school students and a sympathetic teacher who encourages them to seize the day. One of the children ends up committing suicide because he cannot handle the pressures put on him by his parents. The film is beautifully made and many people love it. TWM's problem with this film begins with the fact that the most sympathetic child character in the movie ends up committing suicide. The movie has several good messages but we are not sure that the message about suicide, that there was a better way out, will penetrate children who are at risk already. If this movie is to be shown to children, the adult must be sure that each child is psychologically stable enough not to interpret this message in the wrong way. A parental permission slip with full disclosure should be obtained by any teacher showing this film to a class. However, "Dead Poets Society" has been suggested by several people and is beloved by many. An English teacher from Wisconsin recommneds this as one of the top ten teaching films for Engligh Language Arts. He states: "It is a great movie to show when teaching poetry, Catcher In The Rye or A Separate Peace as it takes place in a similar environment (New England Boarding school in late 40's early 50's)." See also the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription. [LI]

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam    (1987) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Bill Couturie.    Suggested by a TWM User.

Dear Frankie    (2004) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language; Director: Shona Auerbach.     This is a charming movie about a mother who invents a father for her son who is quite different from his dysfunctional real father. [LI] (JAF, 2008)

Death of a Salesman    (1985) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Volker Schlondorff.    We found this to be an inferior production. It was however suggested by a teacher for grades: 9-12. [LI] (JAF)

Decision Before Dawn    (1952) No MPAA Rating; Director: Anatole Litvak.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

The Deer Hunter    (1978) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Michael Cimino.    This film is ranked #79 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film. See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

Defending Your Life    (1991) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Albert Brooks.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Definitely, Maybe    (2008) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking; Director: Adam Brooks     A delightful romantic comedy with some teaching potential in terms of relationship. PD (JAF, 2009)

Degas And The Dancer    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

Deliverance    (1972) MPAA Rating: R; Director: John Boorman.    No substance, gratuitous violence, shows rape of a man. Several teachers have written to us that they like to show students this film for its underlying messages. We couldn't disagree more. For our thoughts on violence in films see Why Parents and Teachers Should Not Show Violent Films to Children. [NR] (JAF)

Desert Bloom    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

The Desert Fox    (1951) No MPAA Rating; Director: Henry Hathaway.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

The Desert Rats    (1953) No MPAA Rating; Director: Robert Wise.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

Destry Rides Again    (1939) MPAA Rating: Approved; Director: George Marshall.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Detour    (1945) MPAA Rating: Approved; Director: Edgar G. Ulmer.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

The Devil's Arithmetic    (1999) No MPAA Rating; Director: Donna Deitch.    "This book is a reading list title and has merit for English classes as well as history of WW II." Paula Newman, Teacher, Las Vegas, NV. Suggested grades: 6-12.

The Devil and Daniel Webster    (1941) No MPAA Rating; Director: William Dieterle.    See the section on this movie in Reel Justice.

Dialogues With Madwomen    (1993) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Allie Light.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

The Diary Of Anne Frank    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

Dickson Experimental Sound Film    (1894) No MPAA Rating; Director: William K.L. Dickson.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Dillinger    (1973) MPAA Rating: R; Director: John Milius.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

Diner    (1982) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Barry Levinson.    This film is ranked #57 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time (2006).

Dinner at Eight    (1933) No MPAA Rating; Director: George Cukor.    This film is ranked #85 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time (2006).

The Dish    (2000) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language; Director: Rob Sitch.   There is a little science in this film about tracking satellites. However, the plot is organized around two main moral issues and the resolution of one is clearly incorrect (although winked at in the movie) and the other highly questionable. The technicians who operate the dish hide from NASA the fact that it doesn't work. They use the dish in a high wind risking the lives of everyone in the building. The movie shows teamwork and men working through jealousy, but the teamwork becomes a conspiracy to lie to NASA. [NR] (JAF)

Distant Drums (or The Sound of Distant Drums)     (1951) No MPAA Rating; Director: Raoul Walsh.    We think that this film is not historically accurate and found inadequate substance to justify its use as a teaching tool. [NR]

Dive Bomber    (1941) No MPAA Rating; Director: Michael Curtiz.     This is an interesting film about the early days of flight medicine. It is clear that a nicotine addict or someone paid by the tobacco companies was on the inside of this film. We have never seen a film in which the actors enjoyed smoking more. For films about aviation in war, see "Twelve O'Clock High", "Midway", "Tora! Tora! Tora!", "Memphis Belle", and "The Dawn Patrol". [NR] (JAF)

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly    (2007) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for nudity, sexual content and some language; Director: Julian Schnabel.     This is a beautiful film about the life of a man after a catastrophic stroke. This movie is too slow and deliberate for children. [NR] (JAF & DEF)

Do the Right Thing    (1989) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Spike Lee.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film. A teacher who is an expert at using film in the classroom has developed a way to use scenes from this movie for certain activities. See Reading in the Dark, by John Golden, 2001, National Council of Teachers of English. We have not reviewed this movie.

Do You Know The Muffin Man?    (1989) No MPAA Rating; Director: Gilbert Cates.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Doc    (1971) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Frank Perry.    See the section on this movie in Past Imperfect.

The Docks of New York    (1928) No MPAA Rating; Director: Josef von Sternberg.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

The Doctor    (1991) MPAA Rating: PG-13; Director: Radha Haines.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Doctor Zhivago    (1965) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature themes; Director: David Lean.     This film is ranked #39 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). This movie is an excellent portrayal of Russia during the Bolshevik revolution and WW I. It contains great acting of a compelling tale, beautiful scenery and beautiful music. This is a film for any adult to watch, and for some children. But Lara has two inappropriate sexual/romantic liaisons. The affair with her mother's boyfriend is shown in a negative light and can be used by a parent to discuss the inappropriateness of romantic relations between children and adults. Laura's adulterous affair with Zhivago is shown as something positive and places this film beyond the moral consensus of parents. Some parents will think that it is all right to show this film to their mature children as a beautiful and honest portrayal of complex relationships, but others would be vigorously opposed to it. You decide. Try, instead, "War and Peace". See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies. [PD] (JAF)

Dodsworth    (1936) MPAA Rating: Approved; Director: William Wyler.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Dog Star Man: Part III    (1964) No MPAA Rating; Director: Stan Brakhage.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

The Dollmaker    (1984) No MPAA Rating; Director: Daniel Petrie.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Donald in Mathmagic Land    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

Don't Look Back    (1967) No MPAA Rating; Director: D.A. Pennebaker.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Don't Start the Revolution Without Me    (1970); MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Bud Yorkin.     This comedy about the French Revolution just misses for teaching purposes. We don't see a way to make it beneficial. [ITO] (JAF)

Double Indemnity    (1944) No MPAA Rating; Director: Billy Wilder.    This film is ranked #38 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Double Jeopardy    (1999) MPAA Rating: R for language, a scene of sexuality and some violence; Director: Bruce Beresford.    Suggested by a TWM User.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde    (1941) No MPAA Rating; Director: Victor Fleming.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Dr. Seuss's The Lorax    (1972) MPAA Rating: G; Director: Hawley Pratt.    Suggested by a TWM User.

Dr. Strangelove    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

Dracula    (1931) MPAA Rating: Approved; Director: Tod Browning.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Driven    (2001) MPAA Rating: PG-13; Director: Renny Harlin; Produced and Screenplay by: Sylvester Stallone.    Mr. Stallone reportedly received $500,000 from a tobacco company in return for his agreement to use tobacco products during five of his movies. We find this conduct to be reprehensible. Before showing any Stallone film to children, disclose Mr. Stallone's shameful conduct and warn them about smoking. [NR]

Driving Miss Daisy    (1989) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Bruce Beresford.    This is an outstanding film which displays a slice of life in the South during the tumultuous years of the Civil Rights movement. It has been Suggested by several people. [LI] (JAF)

Drop Dead Fred    (1991) MPAA Rating: PG-13; Director: Ate DeJong.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Drugstore Cowboy    (1989) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Gus Van Sant.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Drum Beat    (1954) No MPAA Rating; Director: Delmer Daves.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

Drums Along the Mohawk    (1939) No MPAA Rating; Director: John Ford.    See the section on this movie in Past Imperfect.

Drums In The Deep South    (1951) No MPAA Rating; Director: William Cameron Menzies.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

Drums of Winter    (1989) No MPAA Rating; Directors: Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

A Dry White Season    A Learning Guide has been prepared for this movie.

Duck Amuck    (1953) MPAA Rating: Approved; Director: Chuck Jones.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Duck and Cover    (1952) No MPAA Rating; Director: Anthony Rizzo.    This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

Duck Soup    (1933) No MPAA Rating; Director: Leo McCarey.    This film is ranked #85 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). It is ranked #5 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time (2006). This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film.

The Duellists    (1977) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Ridley Scott.    See the section on this movie in History Goes to the Movies.

A Duet For One    (1986) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Andrei Konchalovsky.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

Duplicity    (2009) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some sexual content; Director: Tony Gilroy     This is a caper -romance film which is a slick and fast but a little hard to follow. It actually has a moral which is that true love survives adversity but overall has insufficient teaching opportunities to justify using this movie in class. (JAF, 2009)

Dying Young    (1991) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Joel Schumacher.    See the section on this movie in The Motion Picture Prescription.

A,    B,   C,   E,   F,   G,   H,    I,    J,   KLM,  
N,   O,   P,   Q,   R,   S,   T,   U,   VW,   XY,   Z   




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