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Your 5 top favorite war films, and reasons why?


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Me.

1: The battle of Britain. Why? Firstly because when I was a small child, I was unable to see the film at that time. I did manage to get a collection of Battle of Britain collector cards. All with beautiful photos featuring the aircraft and cast photos. I when waited for years for it to be shown on TV. When finally I saw it, the frustration before the advent of video perhaps made me very excited. I had already read a coffee table book on the battle and knew it well. 

I later read the book about the film and was interested to read that somebody such as Caine with his accent was able to act as an officer was driven by the rejection of the class system in England at the time. It wss also to read about the Texas airforce "in their riding boots were taken to task by people involved in the BoB and war, criticized the bland aerobatics they at first flew, differed in every way, differed from actual combat memories of actual participents. How their rather inflated egos were at first treated with a very British mild contempt. Suffering such criticism I remember they then pulled their heads in and acted with the very mild arrogance of Americans.

"We're all worried about the Americans."

Sir Humphery Appleby. 

2: Why? Tora Tora Tora. Why? As with The BoB I saw this on TV. I still marvel at how on it these producers artists etc managed to get very close to the facts. The cast was outstanding. As was the direction.

3: The battle of Midway. Again the very good historical accuracy for a Hollywood film. We got to see gun camer which was a surprise. Unlke the above, I saw Midway at a cinema.

4:Bitva za Sevastopol. Why? I liked it because it was gritty stoic in a way. There is a battle scene where rolling heavy  equpiment  equipment fall toward the protagonist felt tense. There was a moment where a CGI I-16 performs impossible manouvers, but overall was good. I then sought out the book written by the actual female sniper.

5: Dark blue world. Why? I enjoyed seeing the war from another perspective, the perspective of Czech pilots fying in the RAF.

Plus, Spitfires. :D

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Battle of Britain, Blue Max ( cuz it was cool and cutting edge cinema for it's time), 12 O'Clock High, Great Escape ( because I met and knew a couple of them ) and Bridge on the River Kwai.................. because my dad served in the RCAF in Burma, and it was a cool movie..... there are more, but that is 5...

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The Thin Red line (remake) : For mine, the complete War experience, or at least what I imagine it to be. Not only combat; but the cowardice, confusion, the waiting, the ambivalence, the ass-kissing and politics of it all. I also felt it perfectly dealt with the issue of self-sacrifice; in a way that SPR never quite captured despite basing the entire movie on the premise.

Flags of our Fathers / Letters from Iwo Jima : Included together as that was how they were made. Different perspectives of the same Battle from each side, a wonderful concept and perfectly done.

Das Boot : Set the standard for all Submarine movies.

Jarhead : Hydration - Cheating Girlfriends - Arrested Development - Oily Horse - Suicide - 'Oorah!

Der Untergang / Downfall : From the Woman's perspective. 

Honourable mentions to The Longest Day, Black Hawk Down, The Great Escape, The Wind also Rises, and Empire of the Sun. Finally, the first half hour of SPR was perhaps the most immersive Cinema experience I've ever had.

S

 

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3 minutes ago, Wumm said:

The Thin Red line (remake) : For mine, the complete War experience, or at least what I imagine it to be. Not only combat; but the cowardice, confusion, the waiting, the ambivalence, the ass-kissing and politics of it all. I also felt it perfectly dealt with the issue of self-sacrifice; in a way that SPR never quite captured despite basing the entire movie on the premise.

Flags of our Fathers / Letters from Iwo Jima : Included together as that was how they were made. Different perspectives of the same Battle from each side, a wonderful concept and perfectly done.

Das Boot : Set the standard for all Submarine movies.

Jarhead : Hydration - Cheating Girlfriends - Arrested Development - Oily Horse - Suicide - 'Oorah!

Der Untergang / Downfall : From the Woman's perspective. 

Honourable mentions to The Longest Day, Black Hawk Down, The Great Escape, The Wind also Rises, and Empire of the Sun. Finally, the first half hour of SPR was perhaps the most immersive Cinema experience I've ever had.

S

 

Totally agree on all count. Especially with the beginning of SPR.....HARV

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ANZACS - A TV miniseries ... but I binge-watch it and treat it like a movie anyway ... Typical Aussie stuff - brilliant!! From the mannerisms, the larrikin behaviour, slang, nicknames etc.

Zulu ... From Richard Burtons opening narrative (reading aloud an actual report to the Crown) this was always going to be Epic!

Saving Private Ryan ... Until this one, most US made films were all "America! F*** yeah! ... coming again to save the M***er F***ing day, yeah!" ... you could have honestly thought they'd fought and won every single conflict by themselves ... as kids we used to joke about how Wellington nearly lost the Battle of Waterloo until John Wayne showed up with a "We'll take it from here, partner!" ... Fighting sequences were realistically done (as were the vehicles used!!!) ... Epic visual and sound stages put you RIGHT there!

Waterloo ... (Speaking of) ... just the cinematography alone gets a vote here ... even a little collaboration from the Soviet Union - the horse riders were mainly Cossacks! ... French marching columns were brilliant.

The last one .... I can't pick ... its a toss up between Battle of Britain, Midway (the old one), Black Hawk Down and Kokoda.

Rog :)

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Grave of the Fireflies (an animated film from Studio Ghibli 1988)
also by Ghibie is The Wind Rises (2014) for some fantastic aircraft

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) a worth while watch for such an early film

Full Metal Jacket (1987) for its moments of dark humour

On Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, I prefer Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993) for the shear inhumanity played by Ralph Fiennes, with Liam Neeson getting world recognition after this movie - ps: the book was written by the Australian Thomas Keneally, who was told this tale by a chance meeting with holocaust survivor Poldek Pfefferberg in his shop in LA.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schindler's_Ark

Kelly's Heros wins my vote for the worst attempt at German Tiger tank ( a disguised T-34 )

Good Morning Vietnam (1987) Robin Williams, what else can I say.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) because its a such classic

Henry V (1989) for some classic Shakespeare and Kenneth Brannagh at his best

Dr Strangelove (1964) Peter Sellers, George C. Scott play such great characters

Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983) for David Bowie

Gallipoli (1981) because there are not many Aussie war movies
there again, A Town like Alice (1956) for Peter Finch and there also was 1981 Tv adaptation with Brian Brown, Oh,
and don’t forget On the Beach (1959) for a post war movie. These last two were both written by Nevil Shute.

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For me, the best movie means if you see it on TV, you'll stop whatever you're doing to watch it despite the fact you've seen it before.

 

1.  Cross of Iron:  Best land battle scenes ever....  and James Mason

 

2.  Das Boot:  Best Submarine movie.

 

3.  The Blue Max:  Great flight scenes, and of course....  James Mason

 

4.  Zulu!   ....  Color Sergeant Bourne!!

 

5.  Tora Tora Tora

 

Others that continue this list:   Gettysburg (1993).  All Quiet on the Western Front (original and Johnboy Walton versions).  Blackhawk Down. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  The best war movies usually don't have any plot and very few or no women.

 

Gaz

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I would have to think about this but I do think MY No1 would be the classic British film 'The Dambusters'

Purely historic without any over the top dramatic, no love scene just pure British grit to get a job done . . . .

Twelve O'clock High' has to be in there, a true reflection of the stress endured

'Das Boot' I was blown away with the conditions under which they went to war

Battle of Britain for it accurate portrail of the events

Quite liked 'Hannover Street' for several reason by mainly the B25 and the music score

I'm sure there are many more such as 633 Squadron as it was great to see so many Mosquitoes flying etc plus the music is so recognizable

Back of my mind I have 'Howards Hawks, (1930's ?)  WW1 aerial warfare with details, re-enactments from those that experienced those days

 

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Man, there are some out there I completely forgot about....................so while we are here, I may as well ask....  I would love to find DVD copies ( I know OLD school stuff) that is playable here in Canada / North America the movie  Southern Cross which I saw part of and it was an Aussie production and was EXCELLENT , from what I remember, and ANZACS movie with Mel in it, and The Light Horsemen........ I'd love to get those for my collection, but when I look for them they are either unavailable OR WAY too pricey................. anyone have an idea where I could get these with out breaking my piggy bank?

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