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If you’re itching to learn more about inspirational women in history, then this is the list for you! Once you’ve checked out my post on learning about amazing women in history online, then this should be your next stop. While we are starting to get more movies, documentaries, and TV shows about real-life women, we still have a ways to go. Below you’ll find a list of some of the best movies featuring incredible black women, great female leaders, and famous women in history. All excellent things to watch featuring inspiration women in history while #StayingAtHome!

Historical Movies About Women

These movies featuring great female leaders in history are a must watch! While we all know that films tend to dramatize moments, these films are all inspired or based on actual women from history.

black women in history

Hidden Figures

The Hidden Figures movie features three brilliant black women in history at NASA — Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe). As an essential part of the NASA project, they served as the brains behind one of the most significant operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (played by Glen Powell) into orbit. This great moment in history was a stunning achievement and turned around the Space Race.

Available to Watch On: Hulu

inspirational women in history

Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich (played by Julia Roberts) stumbles upon some medical records placed in real estate files at a law firm she’s working at. When she convinces her employer to allow her to investigate, she discovers a cover-up involving contaminated water in a local community causing devastating illnesses among its residents. She then proceeds with investigating this scandal.

Available to Watch On: Hulu

inspirational women in history

Jackie

After President Kennedy’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy’s (played by Natalie Portman) world is shattered. Traumatized and wracked with grief, she must confront the unimaginable. Having to console her two young children, vacating her home, and plan her husband’s funeral. Jackie realizes that the next seven days of her life will determine how history will define her and her husband’s legacy.

Available to Watch On: Rental

inspirational women in history

Amelia

Amelia Earhart (played by Hilary Swank) is destined to achieve great things. Beginning in 1928, she sets several aviation milestones, including numerous speed and altitude records, and is the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Then in 1937, Amelia undertakes her greatest challenge of all: to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by airplane. She defined women’s roles in history through aviation. 

Available to Watch On: Rental

inspirational women in history

On the Basis of Sex

In this incredible story, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (played by Felicity Jones) is a struggling attorney and new mother. While overcoming adversity and numerous obstacles in her fight for equal rights, this movie follows her inspirational story. When taking on a groundbreaking tax case with her husband, attorney Martin Ginsburg, she knows it could not only change the direction of her career but the way the courts view gender discrimination. A defining moment that has changed women’s roles in history.

Available to Watch On: Showtime

inspirational women in history

The Miracle Worker

While this is a remake of the original film, this Disney classic is a great watch for the whole family. It tells the story of devoted teacher Anne Sullivan (played by Alison Elliott), who leads deaf, blind, and mute Helen Keller (played by Hallie Kate Eisenberg) out of solitude and helps her step into the world. This duo is now famous women in history for their strength and pursuit.

Available to Watch On: Rental

inspirational women in history

Norma Rae

Like her family before her, Norma Rae (played by Sally Field) works at the local textile mill. With little pay, long hours, and lousy working conditions, her life changes after hearing a rousing speech by labor activist Reuben (played by Ron Leibman). Inspired, Norma then rallies her fellow workers behind the cause of unionism. Her decision to push for unions rattles her family, her fiancé, and provokes contempt from her employers.

Available to Watch On: Amazon Prime

black women in history

Betty and Coretta

This inspirational movie of two black women in history features Coretta Scott King (played by Angela Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (played by Mary J. Blige). They develop a friendship after the tragic deaths of their husbands, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Through their strength and dignity, they were able to carry on the civil rights movement. Thus becoming role models for millions of women all over the world and helping to define women’s roles in history and civil rights!

Available to Watch On: Lifetime

great female leaders in history

Suffragette

A movie that shows a pivotal moment in changing women’s roles in history is Suffragette. In early 20th-century Britain, the suffragette movement grows while forever changing the life of working wife and mother Maud Watts (played by Carey Mulligan). Political activist Emmeline Pankhurst (played by Meryl Streep) and Watts join forces to create a diverse group of women who fight for equality and the right to vote. While tensions rise with the police, Maud and her dedicated suffragettes play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. Thus risking their jobs, homes, family, and lives for the Suffragette cause and becoming great female leaders in history.

Available to Watch On: Netflix

great female leaders in history

The Iron Lady

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (played by Meryl Streep) reflects on her life and career as she prepares to dispose of the belongings of her late husband, Denis (played by Jim Broadbent). Even though she was the daughter of a Grantham grocer, she successfully broke through the glass ceiling of gender and class. Thatcher, as a female leader in history, was the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom. She remained as such for eleven consecutive years until her declining popularity forced her resignation.

Available to Watch On: Netflix

Documentaries on Women’s Role in History

If movies about influential women in history aren’t your thing, then maybe hearing from the actual women is. The documentaries below follow the lives of some of the most famous women in history. While some of the documentaries center more on women’s roles in history.

Girl Rising

The Girl Rising documentary tells the stories of nine girls from developing countries. Showing how they are overcoming great obstacles to obtain an education and change their fates for the better.

Available to Watch On: Amazon Prime

He Named Me Malala

One of the world’s more recent influential women in history is Malala. After the Taliban attempted to kill her for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai becomes a leading advocate for children’s rights. She is also the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Certainly, a must on your list to watch to learn more about famous females in history!

Available to Watch On: Netflix

Makers: Women Who Make America

Makers: Women Who Make America is a 2013 documentary film about the struggle for women’s equality in the United States. Covering the last five decades of the 20th century, this film follows several women and the meaning of women’s roles in recent history.

Available to Watch On: Amazon Prime and PBS

Helen Keller In Her Story

If the Disney film above isn’t your cup of tea, this documentary chronicles the life of Helen Keller. Struck by an illness as a young child, she was left her both blind and deaf. Because of her devoted teacher, Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller was able to develop ways to communicate, which resulted in her becoming an author and advocate. The film was made when Keller was 72 years old and directed by Nancy Hamilton—featuring footage of Keller as her inspirational journey leads her to meet President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Available to Watch On: Rental