What To Watch for Women’s History Month

  |   Article, Commentary

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Internet Video Archive (IVA) created an editorial collection in its database of over 135 movies and TV shows that celebrate women.  If you just looked for biopics on strong women in history, I am not sure you would reach 135 which shows how under-represented historical women are in media.  So to open the collection more, we looked beyond just the icons but also at movies about the Women’s Right Movement, titles about women empowerment, and TV shows that focused on women.  This collection will only grow as more real representations of women in movies and TV shows are released and more women helming productions to tell their stories.


IVA customer’s can access this collection and over 1200 more using our APIs. Contact if you would like to learn more about IVA’s movie and TV metadata and services.



Iconic Women in History:


The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)


Description: Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy come to stark, vivid life in one of the most transcendent masterpieces of the silent era. Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the hours leading up to her execution, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer depicts her torment with startling immediacy. Anchoring Dreyer’s audacious formal experimentation is a legendary performance by Renée Falconetti, whose haunted face channels both the agony and the ecstasy of martyrdom.


Starring: Maria Falconetti, Eugen Silvain, Andre Berley, and Anonin Artaud


Trailer and links to where to stream




Elizabeth (1998)


Description: Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen of a divided and dangerous England in 1558. She is roundly perceived as weak by threats from within and abroad, and she is strongly advised to marry by counsel William Cecil. But she will be married only to her country. Intelligent and cautious, she must choose where to place her trust: with her shrewd secretary Walsingham, a master of espionage, or her secret lover, Sir Robert Dudley.


Starring: Cate Blanchet, Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, and John Gielgud


Trailer and links to where to stream




Mary Shelley (2018)


Description: She will forever be remembered as the writer who gave the world Frankenstein. But the real life story of Mary Shelley—and the creation of her immortal monster—is nearly as fantastical as her fiction. Imbued with the imaginative spirit of its heroine, Mary Shelley brings to life the world of a trailblazing woman who defied convention and channeled her innermost demons into a legend for the ages.


Starring: Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Maisie Williams, Tom Sturridge and Bel Powley


Trailer and links to where to stream





Harriet (2019)


Description: Based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, Harriet follows Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.


Starring: Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monae, Joe Alwyn, and Leslie Odom Jr.


Trailer and links to where to stream




Frida (2002)

Description: A product of humble beginnings, Frida Kahlo earns fame as a talented artist with a unique vision. And from her enduring relationship with her mentor and husband, Diego Rivera, to her scandalous affairs, Frida’s uncompromising personality would inspire her greatest creations!


Starring: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Mia Maestro and Patricia Reyes Spindola


Trailers and links to where to stream





The Queen (2006)


Description: In the wake of Princess Diana’s death, the very private and tradition-bound Queen Elizabeth II and her family remain stoic and hidden behind the castle walls. While the heartbroken public becomes disillusioned with the Queen’s absence, the increasingly popular new Prime Minister, Tony Blair battles to convince the monarchy that its desire for privacy could lead to its ultimate downfall.


Starring: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, and Helen McCrory


Trailer and links to where to stream




The Miracle Worker (1962)


Description: Academy Awards went to Best Actress Anne Bancroft and Best Supporting Actress Patty Duke for their moving portrayals of Annie Sullivan and her remarkable blind and deaf pupil, Helen Keller.


Starring: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Victor Jory, and Andrew Prine


Trailer and links to where to stream





Joy (2015)


Description: Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.


Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, and Bradley Cooper


Trailer and links to where to stream







He Named Me Malala (2015)


Description: An intimate portrait of  Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.


Starring: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, and Khushal Yousafzai


Trailer and links to where to stream




Women’s Rights:


Suffragette (2015)


Description: The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement were women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud Watts is one such foot soldier.


Starring: Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan, and Ben Whishaw


Trailer and links to where to stream





On the Basis of Sex (2018)


Description: The film tells an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the Supreme Court and overturn a century of gender discrimination.


Starring: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, and Jack Reynor


Trailer and links to where to stream





Gloria: In Her Own Words (2011)


Description: Blending interviews, archival footage and photography, Gloria: In Her Own Words chronicles Gloria Steinem’s emergence as a driving force in the modern women’s liberation movement.


Starring: Gloria Steinem, Phyllis Schlafly, Hugh Hefner, and Chet Huntley


Trailer and links to where to stream





The Education of Shelby Knox (2005)


Description: 15-year-old Shelby Knox of Lubbock, Texas is a self-described “good Southern Baptist girl,” Knox herself has pledged abstinence until marriage. When she finds that Lubbock has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the state, and her county’s high schools teach abstinence as the only safe sex, she becomes an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex education, profoundly changing her political and spiritual views along the way.


Starring: Shelby Knox, Yvonne Caudillo, Rene Maquilleur, and Amanda Noble


Trailer and links to where to stream



Women at Work:


9 to 5 (1980)


Description: Stuck in a dead-end job under a boss that she trained, Violet Newstead is at her wit’s end. But when the boss’ good-natured secretary and a new hire decide that they’ve had enough, too, their revenge fantasy becomes hilarious reality in a scheme that spins wildly out of control!


Starring: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman


Trailer and links to where to stream




Norma Rae (1979)


Description: A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.


Starring: Sally Fields, Beau Bridges, Pat Hingle, and Ron Leibman


Trailer and links to where to stream





Big Eyes (2014)


Description: The film is about the life of American artist Margaret Keane—famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes, and follows the story of Margaret and her husband, Walter Keane, who took credit for Margaret’s phenomenally successful and popular paintings in the 1950s and 1960s, and the lawsuit (and trial) between Margaret and Walter, after Margaret reveals she is the real artist.


Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Jason Schwartzman, and Krysten Ritter


Trailer and links to where to stream



Zero Dark Thirty (2012)


Description: For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden.


Starring: Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, and Edgar Ramirez


Trailer and links to where to stream





Women Empowerment:


Wild (2014)


Description: After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. WILD powerfully reveals her terrors and pleasures – as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.


Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Michiel Huisman, and Charles Baker


Trailer and links to where to stream



Thelma & Louise (1991)


Description: A bored housewife and a straight-laced waitress at a coffee shop – are best friends who are sick of what they’ve settled for. Deciding to escape the tedium of their everyday lives, the pair sneak off for a three-day fishing trip with no husbands, no boyfriends and no problems. But things don’t go quite according to plan when an encounter with a drunken, foul-mouthed, would-be rapist transforms their quiet getaway into a cross-country escape that will change their lives forever.


Starring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Brad Pitt, and Michael Madsen


Trailer and links to where to stream



Bombshell (2019)


Description: BOMBSHELL is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.


Starring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Brad Pitt, and Michael Madsen


Trailer and links to where to stream






Young Women Empowerment:


Moana (2016)


Description: A sweeping adventure about a spirited and fearless teenager named Moana who, with help from demi-god Maui, sets out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder.


Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Auli’i Cravalho, Alan Tudyk, and Jemaine Clement


Trailer and links to where to stream




Mulan (2020)


Description: When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.


Starring: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Xana Tang


Trailer and links to where to stream



Queen of Katwe (2016)


Description: A Ugandan girl’s life changes forever when she discovers she has an amazing talent for chess, in this celebration of the human spirit.


Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Madina Nalwanga, and Martin Kabanza


Trailer and links to where to stream







Women-Focused TV Comedy Shows:


Murphy Brown (1988)


Description: Murphy Brown is the star reporter on a news magazine show called FYI. She lives in a townhouse that she is having repainted; Eldin the painter may never finish the job. Jim Dial is the uptight senior anchor, a seasoned veteran. Frank is a single guy and constantly looking for a girlfriend, he is also Murphy’s best friend. Corky is a former Miss America turned newsperson, she covers all the “hard” news.


Starring: Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Pegilbuto, and Charles Kimbrough


Trailer and links to where to stream





Absolutely Fabulous (1992)


Description: Award-winning comedy set in the world of fashion and PR with Jennifer Saunders as the immature fun-loving mother and Julia Sawalha as her sensible daughter.


Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawaiha, and June Whitfield


Trailer and links to where to stream





The Mindy Project (2012)


Description: A single-camera comedy starring Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project follows a skilled OB/GYN navigating the tricky waters of both her personal and professional life, as she pursues her dreams of becoming the perfect woman, finding the perfect man and getting her perfect romantic comedy ending.


Starring: Mindy Kaling, Beth Grant, Ike Barinholtz, and Ed Weeks


Trailer and links to where to stream




This article was created using Internet Video Archives’ database that includes metadata about movies and TV shows, poster art and trailers/clips available to clients via its APIs and editor’s interface Media Manager.  If you would like to learn more about how IVA can support your entertainment information needs to enhance your websites, applications or services, please contact