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Best World War II Films

Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by JCFalkenbergIII, May 26, 2008.

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  1. fr_filmr

    fr_filmr recruit

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  2. John B

    John B Member

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    You have all made some excellent suggestions here, re: great World War II movies. (I confess to being ignorant of some of the films coming out of Eastern Europe, but they certainly sound interesting.)

    In no particular order, here is a list of films that deal with the subject of the Second World War that I have particularly enjoyed:

    1. Cross of Iron
    2. Downfall
    3. Stalingrad
    4. Enemy at the Gates
    5. Battle of Britain
    6. Patton
    7. The Longest Day
    8. Saving Private Ryan
    9. A Bridge Too Far
    10. Casablanca
    11. The Guns of Navarone
    12. The Eagle Has Landed
    13. Das Boot
    14. Letters From Iwo Jima
    15. Flags of Our Fathers
    16. Tora, Tora, Tora
    17. Band of Brothers
    18. Hitler: The Last Ten Days
    19. Kelly's Heroes
    20. The Bridge on the River Kwai
    21. The Desert Fox
    22. Swing Kids

    Some of these choices -like Casablanca for instance- are classic films that only some would classify as true "war films." Others, like Kelly's Heroes, are guilty pleasures that no one is expected to take seriously. Although I agree that Downfall is an amazing film in many ways, I don't think that anyone mentioned Alec Guiness' excellent performance in Hitler: The Last Ten Days. Finally, although it's dated in some ways, I always feel that Sam Peckinpaw's Cross of Iron deserves special mention. There's not only a rawness and a feeling of dirt and grime that clings to this American film about the Second World War on the Eastern Front -an extremely unusual subject in the 1970s- but Peckinpaw even manages to include some philosophical banter re: class politics and the worth of the individual, in a genre that -even at its best- seldom engages in anything in the way of intellectual discussion....Plus, if I'm correct, some company actually released a "Sgt. Steiner" collectors doll, with facial features approaching those of James Coburn. :)

    Perhaps because I love jazz from the thirties and forties, I would also recommend the film Swing Kids, which does a decent job of portraying German youth culture that operated in resistance to the Nazi Propaganda Ministry. Christian Bale offers a convincing performance as a German youth who gets sucked into the culture of the HJ...years before he was landing roles like the lead in American Psycho.

    I know I'm forgetting at least a dozen films on the subject of the Second World War that I would also recommend. -Many of them have been suggested by contributors to this thread.
     
  3. MoneyGuy

    MoneyGuy Member

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    Watching Thirty Seconds over Tokyo right now. It's looking good. It's started slow and no battle scenes yet. Thoughts on this movie.
     
  4. namvet

    namvet Member

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    good flick. I have it in my collection. trailer

    [video=youtube;9z_Wk8Dz2n8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z_Wk8Dz2n8[/video]
     
  5. namvet

    namvet Member

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    action packed. AIR FORCE

    [video=youtube;yv1gTUVCDww]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv1gTUVCDww[/video]
     
  6. QOTD

    QOTD Member

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    I know it's not a WW2 movie, but the best line, and my fav was in "breaker morant" about the trial of 3 Australian light horseman accused of killing bore prisoners. Whrn breaker morant us asked what rule he used to justify the killings his reply is"we applied rule 303!!"
     
  7. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    Come and See is a nightmarish film. Probably the best about the eastern front.
     
  8. tomflorida

    tomflorida Member

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    I haven't read all the post, so if someone allready mentioned this movie, sorry. I rented Stalingrad, a german movie, a few years ago, and I do remember being very impressed with this movie.
     
  9. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    I don't know if someone has already mentioned this one or not but one of the best world war II films in my opinion is Das Boot , an excellent movie made in Germany about what it must have been like to serve in those "iron coffins". The depth charging scenes are really terrifing
     
  10. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    I love Battle of the Buldge, the 1960s movie, even though it is GORSSLY inaccurate historically. Also, Valkyrie was pretty good, especially the visual aspect of the film.
    All-time favorite though is DER UNTERGANG. Nothing beats that film - very well done, extremely accurate, emotional and terrifying. Love it.
     
  11. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Welcome to Hollywood.
     
  12. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Ace

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    I would agree....I think I liked it best because, as a history buff, I know that before the movie ends, Tom Cruise is gonna get killed. Kinda like watching "Titanic" for the boobies and watching Leo DiCrappio get shoved into the ocean.
     
  13. lost knight

    lost knight Member

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    Top 5 is hard-
    Some thoughts

    Attack,Attack! (US)
    The Cruel Sea (UK)
    The Bridge (GER)
    The Dawns are Quiet Here (USSR)
    Death in the South Atlantic (?) (The Prusuit of the Graf Spee)
    Under 10 Flags
    Memphis Belle (US)

    These should be given consideration.

    Also- A film from either Germany or Russia that was set at the end of WW2 about a young communist German working for the Russians in a sound truck to get holdouts to surrender. I don't know it's name but would like to see it again. Anybody know it?
     
  14. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    Hi; I was trying to remember the name of an old movie starring Robert Mitchum ( one of my favorite actors ) as an American destroyer Captain and Kurt Jurgens as a u boat skipper going head to head one experianced skipper trying to outwit the other. I searched IMDB database the movie was "The Enemy Below" circa 1957 . It may not have the slick special effects and CGI of today's war movies but it was well written and showed the German Captain as a real person not just a ruthless Nazi as was common in movies of that era..Although I havn't seen it in many years if I can find a copy in video at the flea market or a yard sale I wouldn't mind picking it up.. Also for you Star Trek fans out there the original series episode Balance of Terror was based on this movie
     
  15. superbee

    superbee Member

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    My personal favorite is "12 O'Clock High." To me, the type of courage that it took to bore straight in to the target in the face of flak and fighters - and to keep doing it again and again, even as so many of your comrades fell - is very compelling.

    I am probably going to get skewered for saying this, but I have always been disappointed by "Cross of Iron." Nothing specific against the cast, the acting, nor the plot. But I read the novel, which is so well written, so powerful, and the movie just doesn't do the novel justice, in my opinion.
     
  16. namvet

    namvet Member

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    12 O'Clock High also demonstrated the pressure of command and life and death decesions made. outstanding flick. Gregerory Peck played a steller performance here.
     
  17. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Totally agree - I've said it many times before, but '12 O'Clock High' is quite superb, and to me, seems to get better as the years go by. I've seen it so many times - a very powerful movie, and dealt with difficult issues in a very straightforward way.

    And it still has the best 'old airfield' scene of any movie.....:cool:
     
  18. Major Mayhem

    Major Mayhem Member

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    Reading this thread to find out what movies I was missing out on, started searching ebay, and found some of what I was looking for at reasonable prices.
    The way to save money on ebay, is find a seller that has maybe 2,3,4, or more movies in his "other items for sale", and request combined shipping.

    So, if you end up in a bidding war for a particular movie and win it for say, 9 bucks, and win 3 others from same seller for 3 bucks each, after shipping, you end up with 4 hard to find war movies, for $25 to $30

    I just scored 11 war flicks this way(and yes, 6 were from S.Korea)
    so, on the advice of the others here, the movies I was able to obtain, and add to my existing collection are
    (in no particular order)

    Battleground
    A bridge too far
    A midnight clear
    The Conformist
    The Winter War
    Come and see
    Stalingrad
    Downfall
    Hell is for heroes
    Empire of the sun
    The great raid
    DVD's all

    I also obtained a VHS copy(in very nice condition from estate sale) of
    "Soldier of Orange" It cost a bit more than the others, but I'm a fan of the first "Robocop" by Paul Verhoven, and really wanted to see this.

    I'm waiting for "49th parallel" among others, to come down in price a bit...
     
  19. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Member

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    Not sure if some of these would be the "best", but they are certainly my favorites.

    In no specific order......

    Saving Private Ryan
    Flags of our Fathers
    When Trumpets Fade
    Patton
    From Here To Eternity
    Casablanca
    Wake Island
    The Purple Heart
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    They Were Expendable
    Sands of Iwo Jima
    The Longest Day

    Steve
     
  20. jww

    jww recruit

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    There was an extremely good WW2 film I saw many years ago, and which I would welcome anyone's help to find the title of: it was set AFTER the war - perhaps quite a while after - and was about a group of allied (British, I think) assessors of the state of Germany in the aftermath of war; they are driving around somewhere in the countryside - the location is unimportant, and even its uncertainty is symbolic since they come across a camp of the Hitler youth, who haven't been told the war is over! It was very plausible, because the camp had no radio - 'wireless'! - and one wonders how soon everyone, e.g. seventy years ago, WOULD know what was happening. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
     

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