Jamestown In Popular Culture

The first settlement here in the present-day United States was, of course, an English one: Jamestown. Over four hundred years have gone by since the first men landed on the shores of the James River (undoubtedly called something different by the people who actually lived and thrived here before the English showed up to do a poor job of just surviving), and it should be no surprise that the settlement has received a great deal of attention in popular culture. Books, films, and music have all been adapted to explore its rich history and the iconic location.

To Have and to Hold was a 1900 best-selling novel set in Jamestown, later adapted to popular films in 1916 and 1922. 

Although the history obviously runs askew of actual events, Disney brought the 1995 animated film Pocahontas to the big screen. It was followed by a direct-to-video sequel no one cares about in 1998. 

Colin Farrell starred in The New World in 2005, a movie directed by Terrence Malick. This was another attempt at the Jamestown story — and certainly they pulled off the albeit dramatized romance between John Smith and Pocahontas better than Disney’s animated movie. Christian Bale starred as well; notably, this was the same year Batman Begins hit theaters.

First Landing: Voyage from England to Jamestown was released in 2007 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement. It features documentation related to the initial landing of settlers.

A 2018 musical called To Look For America was co-written by Richard Digance and Eric Sedge. It covered the first days of Jamestown through the eyes of Bartholomew Gosnold.
Channel Sky 1 launched a Jamestown series in 2017, most notable because it was produced by those responsible for the PBS hit classic Downton Abbey. Because the first boats to arrive in Jamestown carried men, this series explores the obvious “changes” that occurred when the first women crashed the party. And what a party it must have been *wink wink nudge nudge*.