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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. woolno2000

    woolno2000 Member

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    My list of fave WWII films has to begin with Tora Tora Tora The reasons are it's authenticity (the best docu-drama of WWII, IMHO). I had lived near every one of the places on the American side and knew exactly where they were filmed, though the movie was made years after I'd been there. I liked the Longest Day for its relating of the big picture without getting involved in subplots (romance, etc). The Battle of Britian gets my vote for top ten because again, it told the big picture, and its authenticity as far as equipment goes. Gotta love the real Heinkles, 109's etc. The story of the filming was as exciting as the film, not to mention the pilot reports (I'm a pilot and would love to fly any of those). The Great Escape is one of my "cult films", just because of the story. Das Boot makes it on authenticity. The Enemy Below makes it on drama. Twelve O'Clock High makes it on drama. Haven't seen anyone list To Hell and Back with Audey Murphy. Good story but typical Hollywood treatment. The Big Red One makes it on action. Letters from Iwo Jima make it just on its unique-ness and the story tells. Lastly, I will put Hell in the Pacific on the list. Liked the story. There are many others.
     
  2. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Ace

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    I always liked "To Hell and Back", until I read Audie's autobiography. They picked small scenes out of his life (still, gotta love his call for arty on his own position and the conversation with the arty guy on the radio "that's right on you! How close are they?" "Hang on, I'll let you talk to em!"), ignored his time at the aid station at Anzio, and the ending was pure Hollywood (it wasn't his wound that kept him out of West Point. IIRC, it was his lack of formal education). Its entertaining, and some folks will watch it because its a war movie who wouldn't normally watch or read anything historical.
     
  3. woolno2000

    woolno2000 Member

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    Totally agree on your analysis. It was one of the first war movies I had ever seen, and being the son of a career Army officer, who fought in the ETO, I idolized him a bit, clay feet and all. I did omit Patton, which was an outstanding movie, if somewhat Hollywoodized. It is another of my cult movies, and if it is on when surfing, I find myself watching it.
     
  4. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Ace

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    Yep, "Patton" is one of those classics that touch on the major points of the man's war career, but the movie has glossed over most of his "Patton-isms" to make him seem like a colorful, lovable uncle instead of the crude and crass guy he portrayed to the world. I still love the story about when he walked up to a group of Army wives at a social function and exclaimed (loudly) "my, what beautiful widows you will make!" And then there was the "incident" where he and his wife were entertaining a bunch of society ladies, and he had his daughters come down and sing a song for them. He taught them "Itsy Bitsy Spider"...complete with expletives. I can picture a couple of 5 and 6 year olds singing "The effin itsy bitsy spider climbed up the mother-effin water spout..." Carlos D'Este has this printed in his book "Patton: A Genius For War", I'll have to flip through and see if I can find it again. Its effin hilarious!!!!
     
  5. woolno2000

    woolno2000 Member

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    Should we then include Final Countdown in this list? Hey, ya gotta love that Tomcat stalling as he slows up to check out that zero.
     
  6. woolno2000

    woolno2000 Member

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    Didn't anyone like Battle of Britain? You had to love the authentic aircraft and flying scenes if nothing else, tho think it was pretty close historically.
     
  7. DrWatson

    DrWatson Member

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    Downfall. Was well write, acted. I enjoyed that movie 3 times on a DVD copy. Been looking for a Blu-ray print for a long time.
     
  8. Vest

    Vest Member

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    Let me add a fairly new movie to the list: The Village - One family's sacrifice will let a country live

    The history of the Hvidsten group, very true to the actual history, I knew one of the group's members (Gerda Fiil), and seeing the movie was like hearing her tell the stories again.

    Besides this one my personal top 5 in no particular order is
    The Longest Day
    Stalingrad
    Kelly's Heroes
    Go for Broke
    A Bridge to Far
     
  9. tomflorida

    tomflorida Member

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    Dont know if any mentioned this movie, but I did see, on youtube, a Polish movie about the very first shots of WW2 at Westerplatte, and the movie is called Westerplatte. Not a top 5 type of movie, but at least no Hollywood drama.

    Westerplatte (1967) part01 [English Subtitles] Polish war movie - YouTube
     
  10. MoneyGuy

    MoneyGuy Member

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    I'm interested in watching the movie Downfall, which is the story of Hitler's last days told from the perspective of his secretary. Who's seen it and what are your comments? I'vce heard it's quite good. I find Hitler a fascinating study and am eager to learn what made the man tick, also how he met his demise.
     
  11. namvet

    namvet Member

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    I think her name was Traudl Junge. I saw an interview of her in the world at war series. didn't know about a movie
     
  12. tomflorida

    tomflorida Member

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    Very good movie. I saw it long time ago,but I do remember really enjoying the movie, especially the later half. With all the WW2 movies that I've seen, this one had the best portrayer of not just Hitler's last days but of everything else going on in Berlin. Such as, defections and street to street fighting.
     
  13. Georgy

    Georgy Member

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    Mmm. Alexandra Maria Lara. I use to roll my eyes whenever there's a woman in a WWII film because it usually means there's a cheesy love story but she should be in every movie.

    I am interested in The Winter War. A Finnish film about the Continuation War.
     
  14. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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  15. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Actually the film "the Winter War" is about the Winter War, as the title suggests. Personally this is my number one Finnish war movie.

    There are several films about the Continuation War. The most iconic one is the old "the Unknown Soldier" filmed in the 50's, based on a famous Finnish novel. At least in Finnish it is very good on characters from different parts of Finland. The actors are a bit too old for their roles and the acted battle scenes are outdated - although some of the original war time footage is used.

    There is a more modern version of the same film from the 80's which has more realistic feel. Since the author of the original novel had a deep socialist agenda on his books it unfortunately shows in the films as well, especially in the modern one. The picture of the war in these films is only from one angle - not the hole "truth".

    More modern "Tali-Ihantala" about the decisive battles of the summer 1944 is excellent in historical accuracy, but it is more like an acted document than a movie. Another one is "Beyond the Front Fine", which is based on real characters and events. Unfortunately it overstates the importance of the Swedish speaking Finns and the small number of the Swedish volunteers in the Continuation War.
     
  16. Buckskinz

    Buckskinz Member

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    Saving Pvt Ryan.
    Patton.
    Das Boot.
     
  17. namvet

    namvet Member

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    big snow storm went thru here last night so i spent all day watching war movies in my collection
     
  18. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Finally was able to sit down and watch "Command Decision" last night. I thought it was very good : shows the inner conflict and high cost of ,,,, well - command decisions. And how politics so often interferes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4c0Ih9bSXk
     
  19. Inevitable

    Inevitable New Member

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    I watched a lot of recent movies the past few years, from all possible countries
    And the ones that are still in my head are:

    Lidice
    Come and see
    Brest fortress
    Stalingrad
    The thin red line
    When trumpets fade
    Saints & soldiers
    Zvezda
    Flags of our fathers & Letters from Iwo Jima
    Flammen & Citronen
    Max Manus
    Fateless
    The last bullet
    Kokoda
    Into the white
    Lore
    Island on bird street
    A woman in Berlin
    The Pianist
    Habermann
    Rozá
    Atonement
    Blackbook
    Dark blue world
    Empire of the sun
    Her name was Sarah
    The army of crime
    Tali Ihantala (and there were some more scandinavian winter war movies i liked)
    Yamato
    The battle of the pacific

    I can recommend all of them, otherwise I would have forgotten about them :)
    I probably did forget some good ones though..

    And of course BoB, the Pacific and Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter, which are all masterpieces imho
    I didn't mention Saving private Ryan, because I think everyone's seen that one, just like all those old movies like a bridge too far and the longest day, kelly's heroes, etc. The old ones are not my cup of tea anyway. Except for the really old ones from the 40's and 50's.
    I just can't stand bad acting and theatre-like scenes, really bad sound effects and so on.. Call me spoiled, I know technology didn't allow better screenplay, but i just can't watch most of them..
     
  20. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Some good films in that list Inevitable, and from many international sources. I did enjoy Flammen & Citronen (Flame & Citron), and Saints & soldiers is very underrated. One of the few war films out there to actually compel the audience to wish that the soldiers do not fight. So many other films revel in the battle scenes a bit to much at times.
     

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