Top Ten War Movies

Update: Ace-alanche! (Sorta, DinT put it up after I begged)

I hope you morons will take a look around. The EFP post was popular.

The Exurban League, via The Sporting News, has a list of the 25 movies that make men cry. I’m not going to go down that road, but it did get me thinking about this: What are the Top Ten War Movies? I’ll give you a list, but by all means, let us hear YOUR nominations.

In no particular order:

  1. Apocalypse Now
  2. Blackhawk Down
  3. Hamburger Hill
  4. Full Metal Jacket (if only for Private Pyle)
  5. Saving Private Ryan
  6. The Longest Day
  7. A Bridge Too Far
  8. The Bridges of Toko-Ri
  9. Patton
  10. Gettysburg

Readers may note a bias towards WWII and later in my list. So sue me? Got a better idea? Here’s your chance to be heard.

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=LI4_58YmzBA]

Honorable Mention? Stripes. I always used to joke that it was the most realistic war movie ever.

138 thoughts on “Top Ten War Movies”

  1. Great point about Stripes! Hollywood doesn’t realize that most enlisted guys spend most their time trying to avoid work (or was that just me?)

  2. Always hard to do these, I certainly like your choices.

    We Were Soldiers Once (also an awesome book)

    Paths of Glory (takes a little work to suspend disbelief with Kirk Douglas as a French officer, but he gives a stellar performance, along with several others).

    Glory

    Shenandoah

    off the top of my head.

  3. In Harm’s Way

    From Here to Eternity

    Sands of Iwo Jima (really, just about any John Wayne war flick, I like them all)

  4. Oh…

    And your list is awesome. All ten would have been early choices for me.

    Others:

    Rourke’s Drift
    Charge of the Light Brigade
    Braveheart
    El Cid

  5. 12 O’Clock High…about the only Air Farce related film worth putting on a list, although Strategic Air Command is pretty good. Not technically a war movie, I suppose, since it’s about SAC in the ’50s, but it has Jimmy Stewart and lots of good footage of B-36s and B-47s.

    I usually include Band of Brothers on these sorts of lists, even though it’s not technically a movie. There aren’t many lists for “best military miniseries,” and Band of Brothers definitely deserves to be on some sort of list.

    Das Boot, the best submarine film ever.

    Where Eagles Dare, while not technically a standard war film (more of a spy thriller) is set during WWII, has lots of Nazis, and also has Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton. Pretty good film.

    Finally, The Battle of Algiers. Who would’ve thought that an Italian Communist, using the memoirs of one of the FLN’s leaders, would make one of the best and most even handed portrayals of an insurgency/counter-insurgency?

    Oh, one addition..when I looked at 12 O’Clock High I knew there was another film with Gregory Peck I needed to include: Pork Chop Hill. It and the Bridges at Toko-Ri are probably the best movies about that otherwise forgotten war.

  6. Yo! DinT, feel free to pimp this at “that other site you post at”

    12 o’clock- watched it recently, aged very well.
    SAC- great movie, loved June Allyson in it.
    Das Boot- epic
    Zulu- do I dare mention I never saw the whole thing?
    Tora!3X rocks, but Midway didn’t age well.
    Pork Chop Hill? Great Movie, interesting take on integration, also.
    Any John Wayne- of course…
    We Were Soldiers- Gibson was over the top. Spoiled a great movie- that and Chris Klein
    In Harm’s Way- good flick- on my netflix list somewhere…
    Glory- lost out to Gettysburg on my list, but it was close

  7. Speaking of good submarine movies, how about Enemy Below? I love that movie.

    Dave in Texas, of course I was thinking of Zulu when I wrote Rourke’s Drift. Reading the book Carnage and Culture (By Victor Davis Hanson) really opened my eyes to how amazing that battle was.

    I only wish the Brits hadn’t turned into a bunch of shirt-lifters who worried about how big a kiwi was.

  8. Oh, well shoot, I thought there might have been a movie called Rourke’s Drift.

    That battle took place after the Brits got stomped/overun at Islandwana. IIRC the engagement at Rourke’s Drift saw more VC’s awarded in any single engagement.

    I’m trying to remember the book – The Washing of the Spears… read it 20 years ago.

  9. I agree with adding in Band of Brothers. I liked We Were Soldiers Once, General Moore lives up the interstate in the Auburn/Opelika area. Air Farce? There’s an airstrike waiting for you. I liked 12 O’Clock High as well. Haven’t seen it in forever. June Allyson — yummy. What was that John Wayne in the Philipines movie — They Were Expendable? Donna Reed in that and another hottie.

    Although I’ve never thought of Braveheart as a war movie it makes perfect sense. Love that movie. Enemy Below — that’s the Robert Mitchum as the destroyer captain, right? Excellent nomination.

    Not a movie but a DVD set I must buy — Victory at Sea.

  10. Gen. Moore spoke to us (all the NCOs on post) when I was at Carson, 93 or 94. That’s why I thought Gibson was so over the top.

  11. Dave, there IS a movie called Rourke’s Drift but it was made in 1914 and I was thinking of the Michael Caine vehicle.

    Yeah, Islandawana was a disaster but the chaps at Rourke’s kept a stiff upper lip and wore out the vastly inferior Zulu forces. It really was astounding. Add in the fact that reinforcements arrived and turned back during the day after seeing the battle as lost and you’ve got a true epic on the scale of THermopylae.

  12. Consider “The Best Years of Our Lives”. Not a film about war itself, but what happens to the troops when they come after the war is over. Great movie.

  13. Warr is all ugliness – except for those who rise (or are depicted as rising) above its horror.

    My top ten picks; not necessarilly in any order:

    Attack!
    The Seventh Cross
    Glory
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Paths of Glory
    Red Badge of Courage
    Revolution
    Das Boot
    Saving Private Ryan
    The Men

  14. You guys are coming up with some awesome selections. Most of these stories, I note, deal with the human condition, very few paint war as glorious. Noble, yes, but not glorious.

    I also not that there aren’t many “anti”-war movies. By that I don’t mean the selections are pro-war, per se, but if you look at so many movies of the 70’s, there was a distinct undercurrent of repudiation of Vietnam, or the concept of service.

  15. How the heck did I forget “The Green Berets?” Not really a great movie, but it is the Duke, and I watched it the night before I went to basic. That’s like forgetting to breath!

  16. I’ve never understood how Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket (and Platoon, while we’re on the subject) ever make it onto these lists. None of them portray Vietnam Veterans in a good light, and for the most part they help perpetuate the stereotype of the drug abusing, raping, baby-killing, unable-to-cope loser that has long been debunked (read Stolen Valor). I’m particularly surprised when veterans include them in their lists.

    I guess having watched each of them with my father (101st Abn. Vietnam 66-67), I have a particular bias against them. He did think Hamburger Hill was pretty good.

  17. I strongly endorse the suggestions above about “Twelve O’Clock High,” and would add “Command Decision” to the list. This was a movie starring Clark Gable that covered similar territory to Twelve O’Clock. I would also add “Battleground,” a movie from William Wellman that dealt with the ground soldiers around the Battle of the Bulge timeframe.

  18. Command Decision, like, Cagney? A war movie with no war? Great movie, but just didn’t pop into my head, and it’s a short list.

    For folks who like realism, Hamburger Hill has always been underrated.

  19. I think part of why Apocalypse Now and FMJ make it is because that’s all we had new in theatres when I was growing up. I probably wouldn’t have signed up if it weren’t for Bill Killgore.

  20. My favorite war movies are ther serious “Breaker Morant”, “The Deer Hunter” and the fun “The Guns of Navarone”.

  21. My suggestion (from over at Ace’s) is Midway. I saw it as a kid in the movies in “Sensurround” and can still feel my sphincter vibrating from the crash scenes.
    It had everyone in Hollywood in it, as well as every Japanese actor ever to grace the silver screen. At that time, of course. I still watch it every time it comes on.

    The story is awesome as well. We faught it out big time. And turned the war around.

  22. Sorry, Midway deserved a better telling. They stole a ton of footage from Tora!x3 and the love story fubared everything. A straight history story would have been much better. So close, and yet so far…

  23. Breaker Morant.

    More about men during war than it is about war itself, but it’s one of the best.

    Anyone familiar with some of the real life courts martial of late will appreciate this movie.

  24. anything Stone touches is crap…except Scarface….but here’s a great weekend
    Zulu…In Harms way….Saving Private Ryan….They were expendable….The Great Escape…Stalag 17…..Gettysburg……Mr. Roberts…..Band of Brothers

  25. Command Decision isn’t bad, but I generally list 12 O’Clock High instead of it given that they cover similar territory and I consider 12 O’Clock High to be the superior film.

    Re: Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket, I consider them all excellent movies and movies that tell the general story of war well as long as you don’t take them to be literal interpretations of what actually happened. As long as you take it to be an allegory you’re alright, it’s when you start thinking that the U.S. Army at the time was made up of a bunch of guys like Sgt. Barnes and Col. Kurtz that you get into trouble.

    re: the comments about “pro-” and “anti-” war, the best war movies will, at their heart, be anti-war films. Like you said, it may be noble, but it certainly isn’t glamorous.

  26. The Lighthorsemen. Not available on DVD; I bought a used VHS tape through Amazon, and I love being able to watch this tale anytime I want. It’s a beautiful little gem of a tale, with a lovely deception at its heart.

    There’s a Viet Nam era movie I can’t remember the name of. It’s framed as footage taken by an Army battle photographer. I don’t think it had any message other than, “This is what it was like.” I really liked it at the time.

    It was but a small skirmish in The Long War, and I understand it is not historically accurate, but I have a soft spot for The Wind and the Lion. That last scene, with the Raisuli riding out the gate, gets me every time. This is a John Milius film, which naturally brings to mind Red Dawn, a war movie about a war that will never happen–partly, I’m convinced, because of the warning it gave, however luridly.

    I expect to take a lot of flack for this: The Last Samurai. I know, I know. Never happened, never could happen. The Samurai were never so noble, the US Army never so wicked. It’s got a wacko Scientologist as a star instead of an actor. It’s pretty. But I, a non-warrior, find this story expresses something about the warrior spirit, if there is such a thing, in a very beautiful way. It speaks of dignity, and courage, and grace under fire; of coming to that terrible time when you must fight even though the battle is hopeless; of fighting when those you fight for believe you fight against them. If there is any movie that makes me wish I were a warrior, this is it.

    Damn it, now I need to watch it again. I’m gonna break down and buy it this time.

    Now that I’ve mentioned the Samurai, I must of course nominate another movie set in the time of their passing: The Seven Samurai. This too is a fable, about a battle that never took place, but showing a crucial event nevertheless. If you think this movie is about the Samurai themselves, watch it again. It is about the People, the Militia our Second Amendment speaks of, being taught to fight for themselves.

    For pure fun and spectacle, doesn’t 300 count?

  27. Forgot about Stripes, that would have to be one of my fav’s too. I liked Mr Roberts a lot. Breaker Morant was great too. Apocylpse Now was stunning visually and was also an adaptation of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

  28. Hey, what about Guadalcanal Diary?
    And really, the best of all time, how could you exclude ‘Kelly’s Heroes’??
    “Hey Oddball, watcha doin?”
    “Eatin’ cheese, drinkin’ wine, and catchin’ some rays.”

  29. I see a lot of good choices above and I would like to add a few more.

    Tom Berenger’s 1997 TV movie the Rough Riders with Sam Elliot playing Bucky O’neal. That is a real fine movie about the Spanish/American war.

    Sergeant York, 1941 with Gary Cooper about winning the Medal of Honor in WWI.

    To Hell and Back 1955 with Audi Murphy playing himself winning the Medal of Honor in WWII.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

  30. Maleesha, Platoon was no oversight. I didn’t like it. Not many things by Stone I like, and while I know that Platoon was more about the struggle of good vs. evil, it came pretty close to indicting all veterans of that war as criminals. Stone should have known better, as they were his brothers in arms.

  31. I’m surprised no one has mentioned a little Korean (War) gem called Tae Guk Gi. If Saving Private Ryan was hailed for its realistic portrayal of WW2 combat, Tae Guk Gi gives it a run for its money with some of the grittiest scenes I’ve ever witnessed in a war movie. The scenes are quite amazing to watch, especially the ones that have 3000 or so extras in them.
    Youtube has most or even all the movie posted on it.

  32. Many, though not most, of the movies on that list wouldn’t have occurred to me, because I didn’t like them, for various reasons.

    However, the mere thought of including Stripes validates the entire thing. Bravo.

  33. I always liked Enemy at the Gates – it came out just after Private Ryan and I thought Enemy was much better – the first 20 minutes of Ryan is great, the rest is pretty much crap.

  34. I like old Blue Eyes in Von Ryan’s Express. Interesting story line and a peculiar role for Sinatra.

    For sheer comedy, forget Stripes. Try Operation Petticoat or Father Goose featuring the inimitable Cary Grant.

    Best TV series….Hogan’s Heroes wins hands down. (OK so it’s not a movie….yet)

  35. I put Petticoat up on the list at Ace’s. Grant, Curtis, and a bevy of babes. And who can forget Gavin McLoed in his pre loveboat days.

    Loved Father Goose but haven’t seen it in forever.

    Can’t believe we have to put up with crap like “Redacted” and no one makes Hogan’s Heroes.

  36. Good to see “Sergeant York” on here as a Tennesseean! Also really like “The Fighting 69th” with James Cagney and Alan Hale, Sr. “Alamo” with Billy Bob Thorton’s amazing potrayal of David Crockett is decent. As the son of a USMC DI I have to put down “FMJ”, but “Hamburger Hill” and “We Were Soldiers” are both better. Still get a thrill from the “Soldiers” soundtrack: Try listening to “Sgt. MacKinzie” or “Mansions of the Lord” without getting a lump in your throat…

  37. Great list all, so I’ll just add one that I really liked. If I remember correctly it was called The Boys in Company C. Very good friend who was in Viet Nam says to him it was the most realistic portrayal of life there. I can’t vouch for that, but enjoyed the movie.

  38. Great list and it just ballooned my netflix queue.

    Another Mitchum one I liked was “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison”.
    Also starred Deborah Kerr. I highly recommend it.

    But then again, I liked everything Mitchum did

  39. …sorry to complain, but wow, absolutely the worst list I’ve ever seen. ‘Apocalypse Now’ as #1? It’s like watching the fat lady in opera take fifteen minutes to die on stage. Overblown, full of Hollywood conceit and artsy winks at how Marlon Brando is such an artiste.

    Full Metal Jacket? Possible the most pretentious script ever.

    Saving Private Ryan? The only thing that saved anything in that movie was Spielberg’s budget. I hated it. WWII movie based simply on visual effects.

    And seriously, you put up a war movie list but left Platoon off entirely? Lord, how is it possible?

    😛

  40. There are so many good ones, it’s very difficult to narrow it down to 10.

    There is one that I didn’t see mentioned: Enemy at the Gates. Great movie about 2 snipers at the Battle of Stalingrad.

  41. Gods and Generals was a pretty darned good one. Seeing the various sides of Stonewall Jackson was pretty cool. And when the Confederates hit the flank of the Union Army at Chancellorsville, the music will make your hair stand up.

  42. Saving Private Ryan floored me the first time I saw it…..I was speechless for the next few days. I absolutely love that movie. I have seen Apocalypse Now at least 5 times and it does not do it for me. I mean it good…..but not #1. And What about The Kingdom. Didn’t think it would be anything special….but it kicked butt!

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  43. Wow, good list and great additions form the rest of you. Many that I haven’t seen yet. So I’m gonna have to get with it. Thanks.

  44. How about hte French & Indian war? (Last of the Mohicans). I do Prefer the Daniel Day-Lewis version of it though.

  45. Most war movies are set during world war II so a bias towards them is natural.
    my list would have had mash, but i guess its your list.

  46. One genre I like is ‘movies set during the war’ rather than war movies per se. In this category there are a few standouts.

    I particularly like:
    Empire of the Sun (semi-autobiographical J. G. Ballard)
    Hope and Glory (semi-autobiographical John Boorman)

    An under-appreciated Vietnam movie is 84 Charlie Mopic.

    For great fun and some excellent special effects (at the time), what about 633 Squadron?

  47. Come on people, no mention at all of The Big Red One?
    A great unmentioned submarine movie: Run Silent Run Deep.
    Another excellent forgotten film is The Cruel Sea.

  48. One of my favorite Steve McQueen movies that never seems to make any “Top Ten War” list is The War lover (He is a B-17 Pilot in England).
    Then there is the classic Wings, which I think was the first movie to win an Oscar in 1928. Not much interest for that one because it was a silent film, but great flying scenes.

  49. My Opinion:

    1) Patton

    2) To Hell And Back.

    3) The Patriot (the premise of the Swamp Fox made more people study
    him) and how important he was for oue beginning.

    4) Tora! Tora! Tora!

    5) Breaker Morant

    6) Saving Private Ryan

    7) Gods and Generals

    8) Enemy At The Gate

    9) Zulu

    10) Sgt York

  50. I don’t think anyone has mentioned either The Great Escape or Mash (which everyone forgets originated as a movie)?

  51. It is impossible to please everyone with a top 5, top 10 or any top list. But it’s hard to make a top 10 list of war movies and leave out “Bridge on the River Kwai” which was one of the great movies of all time, let alone war movies.

  52. Apocalypse Now? Really?

    No Bridge Over the River Kwai? Really?

    No Tora! Tora! Tora!? Really?

    Neither of the recent Eastwood films? Really?

    Saving Private Ryan and Blackhawk Down are good _action_ movies, but not very solid war movies.

  53. 1. Sink the Bismarck (understated, factual)
    2. Battle of the River Plate (ditto)
    3. The Man who Never Was (ditto again)

    These movies approached interesting aspects of WWII, and didn’t succumb to mindlees action or gratuitous love angles. The fact that they wer all British may be the reason. Your thoughts?

  54. Platoon

    Red Dawn

    Iron Eagle

    We were soldiers once and young

    War Games (tech)

    Bat21

    First Blood (ok so its a small stallone war!)

  55. You forgot “IN HARMS WAY.” All those movies are army (except “BRIDGES, Air Force.) –give the Navy a chance! “HARM’S” got it all: John Wayne, Peter Fonda, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, battleships, PT Boats, Pearl Harbor…

  56. Chuck, how dare you! Bridges of Toko-ri is NAVY. You, know, ships, sailors, stuff like that… Don’t let the squids hear you credit Bridges to the zoomies.

    And, yeah, the list IS biased toward the Army. I am not an equal opportunity guy. There’s a ton of great Navy blogs out there. Let them make their own damn list.

  57. I agree with G. The Big Red One is one of the best war movies of all times. It’s jsut awesome.

  58. “Go Tell The Spartans” with Burt Lancaster is a great movie about Nam. It maybe one of the least appreciated films about Nam, but for my money it is the best about that war…..

  59. Mr. Forbes, glad to see that we have to put a political stamp on every single thing in the world.

    I would think that if you know anything at all about the history of the relationship between the United States and Iran since the fall of the Shah, you would understand that there has been and continues to be sufficient casus belli for us to attack at any time. For instance, their seizure and occupation of our embassy is certainly one, even before we address the inviolability of accredited diplomatic persons. I suspect that you would condemn the US for any violations of the Geneva Conventions, so why should Iran escape your condemnation for violations of other international treaties of even longer standing.
    If you peruse my posting on EFPs you may learn that even the simplest EFPs require significant machining and engineering to produce. Maybe not at the nation state level, as would be required for nuclear weapons, but more than the insurgents in Iraq generally have access to. Are they coming from Iran? That’s what the smart money says.
    Further, threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz is an act that, while short of war, is not the sign of a good neighbor.
    I can’t think of any particular reason why the US and Iran can’t have a comfortable level of relations except this. Iran’s leadership has gone out of their way to demonize the US (have you seen mass rallies of Americans in the streets shouting DEATH TO IRAN!)
    Should Iran cease its support of Hezbollah and other terror organizations, and make the barest gesture of reparation for our embassy and staff, we would see very quickly a warming of relations.

  60. Good reply Xbrad,
    Along those lines, is the bombing of the Indian embassy in the Stan reason for India to start a war? If so with who? The Taliban? I think that The US and India need a closer relationship. How? I do not know, but it is intuitive if you ask me.

  61. Bush has made great strides in improving relations with India. The trick is China. They are big and they are next door. India tries not to piss them off to much. I don’t think India is going to start a war over the embassy. Who to fight? Pakistan? They skirmish all the time, but do they really want to start a real war with a fellow nuclear power? They can’t really go after the Taliban without going through Pakistan. They won’t put troops in the Stan because they would just not be welcome. They’d be more trouble than it is worth.

  62. Mal, thanks for stopping by. I scoped your website.

    Movie that I’ve seen more than once? The New Karate Kid. I liked Hillary Swank before it was cool.

    The movie that makes me cry every time? The Sound of Music. What? Why are you guys looking at me like that?

  63. Well, not a surprising list. And saving private Ryan is a horrible movie. And Blackhawk Down is a B-movie, you can’t list it alongside Apocalipse Now! 🙂

  64. I’m sure someone’s already mentioned this, but what about the classics! Bridge Over the River Kwai? The Great Escape? LOVE it <3

    I thought Blackhawk Down sufferent from a lot of misleading advertising and false hype, so I was ultimately disappointed when I saw it. Shame when that happens.

  65. Battleground
    The Dam Busters
    The Horse Soldiers
    The Great Escape
    Battle of Britain
    The Light Horsemen
    Darby’s Rangers
    Northwest Passage
    The Guns of Navarrone
    Sahara
    Sink The Bismark
    The Longest Day
    Barry Lyndon
    Waterloo
    The Story of GI Joe
    Why We Fight
    Away All Boats
    In Harm’s Way
    Run Silent, Run Deep
    Hamburger Hill
    Kelly’s Heroes
    Cockleshell Heroes

    I will stop what I am doing to watch these movies

  66. “Glory” should be on anyone’s list. It is the greatest war movie ever, in my opinion.

  67. “I agree with G. The Big Red One is one of the best war movies of all times. It’s jsut awesome.”

    Am I bad because my favorite line from that movie is “Poo-Say!”

  68. DJ….the vietnam movie you refered to was 84 Charlie Mopic, I have wanted to see this for years. It is shot the same way “the Blair Witch Project” was.

    And the Lighthorsemen….I was lucky enough to see it in the theater…excellent movie

    A bridge Too Far….I think it should be redeemed for Anthony Hopkins performance as Col Frost and the battle at the bridge

    The Odd angry shot…rare australian film about vietnam

    Did anyone mention Gallipoli?

    Breaker Morant

    I might have a trend for Australian films

  69. I try to buy war movies that relate to the Vietnam War era mostly. But I have a few from other eras.

    Here are a few of mine:

    We Were Soldiers Once – and Young
    Letters from Iwo Jima
    Rescue Dawn
    Platoon
    A Few Good Men (I know it isn’t really a war movie, but Nicholson’s performance is one of my all time favorites)

    And sorry, A Few Good Men is a Navy film.

    It looks like I will have to look for some of the suggestions others have provided.

  70. I met General Moore, whom Mel Gibson played in “We Were Soldiers”, at a lecture in Ft. Carson, CO. Interesting fellow. He’s aged very well, considering he fought that battle a year before I was even born.

    And my dad met Dieter Dengler a few times through his work.

    Let me just say “Welcome” to you, Charlotte. Feel free to poke around and sound off.

  71. Gallipoli and The Hunt For the Red October have to be on there, as does the Last of the Mohicans

  72. Missing above is the German 1993 release of ‘Stalingrad’ (w english subs). It certainly gets my vote as one of the best ever.

  73. Some excellent movies have been listed! I feel like I need to separate my choices between the stellar World War II classics & WWII films that have been shot in the last 10-15 years.

    Classics:

    The Longest Day
    Von Ryan’s Express
    The Great Escape
    The Guns of Navarone
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    The Bridge At Remagen
    The Night of the Generals
    Where Eagles Dare
    The Desert Fox
    A Bridge Too Far
    Das Boot
    Battle of Britain

    New/foreign WWII Films:

    Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Sophie Scholl:Die Letzten Tage)
    Downfall (Der Untergang)
    Flame & Citron (Flammen og Citronnen)
    Eichmann
    Max Manus
    The Black Book (Zwartboek)
    Schindler’s List
    Stalingrad
    Aimée & Jaguar
    The Pianist
    Katyń
    Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters)
    Oorlogswinter (Winter In Wartime)
    Bent

    WWII On TV: Nuremberg, Dresden, Band of Brothers, Wish Me Luck, Tenko, Cambridge Spies, Stauffenberg.

    New/foreign WWI films:

    Der Rote Baron (The Red Baron)
    Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)
    Flyboys

    Classic WWI:

    Ace’s High
    The Blue Max
    Lawrence of Arabia
    All Quiet On the Western Front
    Gallipoli
    Paths of Glory

  74. Couldn’t read every entry, so pardon duplicates:

    Band of Brothers (even though it is a series).
    Black Hawk Down
    World Trade Center (OK, not a real war movie in the WWI or WWII sense, but we were at war, and the first responders were the first KIAs and MIAs in my book. I love this movie. I have always watched it dozens of time, sound way up, just for the emotion impact of moving from patrol duty in the bus terminal to attach survivors,and many who did not starting 9-11-09).
    United 93 and Flight 93 for the same reasons as above: American citizens, and some non-Americans,who deserve fast-track posthumous citizenship, fighting the enemy for their lives and those of everyone below the plane).
    Tora, Tora, Tora
    Zulu from 1964.
    The Guns of Navaronne
    <Saving Private Ryan
    The Killing Fields

    I need a top 50 list!

  75. Wonderful facts here. I had been searching for a few hours before I found this! I am just bookmarking your web site so that I can easily show our boy when he gets home.

  76. The Caine Mutiny is a good movie. At one point during the storm, when CAINE’s stern is lifted out of the water, the props are even counter-rotating. A nice touch most movies won’t go to the trouble about.

    Lot’s of good movies listed here. I shall have to see Tae Gu Gi. I need to see ZULU! again, as well.

  77. Lots of excellent selections here. Wish more were available on Netflix. I see someone finally mentioned Downfall. Outstanding! Anti-war flicks? You could consider Fail-Safe anti-war. Watched it not long ago with my 18yo daughter. Scared her to death to know what we once lived with on a day-to-day basis.

  78. Gotta love reviving years-old posts…

    Surprised to see only one mention of Empire of the Sun, which I definitely consider every-bit a war movie as I do Schindler’s List.

    I’m also a huge fan of Fly Boys: “The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country’s first fighter pilots.”

    When this list was first posted in 2008, the 2009 remake of Inglourious Basterds wasn’t made yet…but I think it’s a fantastic film, too.

    1. “Siege of Firebase Gloria” – good movie. With Wiings Hauser, IIRC.

      I’m sure Pork Chop Hill was mentioned somewhere upthread. And I have a copy of it myself.

  79. Best, Kelly’s Heroes, based on a true story, Worst, Three Kings, based on Kelly’s Heroes. LOL. Both of these movies had directors that did the best they could, for authentic gear, props and such. LOL

  80. Not easy to condense decades of great war movies in only ten spots!
    I see that great war movies like Tora Tora Tora, Bridge over River Kwai, Glory, Platoon, Das Boot didn’t make your list (again not easy in ten spots).

    To me also, there’s a miniseries that would deserve a special place into any list or greatest war epics: HBO’s Band of Brothers. Just superb.

    And there are other movies that perhaps fall into the Drama category but are definitely grounded in a super strong war story, for example Anthony Minghellas’s “Cold Mountain” and “The English Patient”; and even Casablanca or Gone with the Wind!.

    In all, great effort. Had fun thinking about how my list would come across 🙂

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