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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. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Absolutely - one of my guiltiest ! :oops: 'Best' WW2 movie - no way ! Hugely entertaining - most definitely.

    For anyone interested, a wonderful little paperback has come out this year : 'Broadsword Calling Danny Boy - On Where Eagles Dare' by Geoff Dyer ( Penguin Books isbn 978-0-141-98782-0 ). It's very funny and also informative. The trick is - neither movie nor book should be taken (too) seriously......;)
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I was surprised how good hacksaw Ridge was. Especially the end part with explosions and action, and how he saved own soldiers. And how the soldiers refused to go if their medic was not ready to go....
     
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  3. stgrhe

    stgrhe Active Member

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    MY 60 VERY BEST WWII TITLES IN RANKING ORDER – THESE ARE A ‘MUST WATCH’

    1. Come and Sea (Idi i smotri) [Иди и смотри] (1985) – Soviet Union
    2. Das Boot (1981) – Germany [Note! The theatrical version]
    3. A matter of Life and Death (1946) - UK
    4. The Cranes are Flying (1957) (Letyat zhuravli) [Летят журавли] – Soviet Union
    5. Casablanca (1942) – USA
    6. Schindler’s List (1993) – USA
    7. Band of Brothers (2001) – USA [10 parts mini-series]
    8. Graves of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka) (1988) – Japan
    9. The Pianist (2002) - France-Poland-Germany-UK
    10. The Big Red One (1980) – USA
    11. Went the Day Well (1942) – UK
    12. The Thin Red Line (1998) – USA
    13. Rome, Open City (Roma, città aperta) (1945) – Italy
    14. Letters From Iwo Jima (Iōjima kara no tegami) (2006) – USA
    15. Ice Cold in Alex (1958) – UK
    16. Generation War (Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter) (2013) – Germany [3 parts mini-series]
    17. Lore (2012) - Australia-UK-Sweden
    18. Saving Private Ryan (1998) – USA
    19. Caterpillar (Kyatapirâ) (2010) – Japan
    20. Ballade of a Soldier (Ballada o soldate) [Баллада о Солдате] (1959) – Soviet Union
    21. Closely Watching Train (Ostre sledované vlaky) (1966) – Czechoslovakia
    22. Canal a.k.a. The Loved Life a.k.a. Kanal (Kanaly) (1956) – Poland
    23. The Train (1964) - France-Italy-USA
    24. Black Book (Zwartboek) (2006) – The Netherlands-Germany-UK-Belgium
    25. From Here to Eternety (1953) – USA
    26. Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella) (1997) – Italy
    27. The Grey Zone (2001) – USA
    28. The Burmese Harp (Biruma no tategoto) (1956) – Japan
    29. The Army of Shadows (L'armée des ombres) (1969) - France-Italy
    30. The Night of the Shooting Stars (La notte di San Lorenzo) (1982) – Italy
    31. Cross of Iron (1977) - UK-West Germany
    32. A Walk in the Sun a.k.a. Salerno Beachhead (1945) – USA
    33. Ivan’s Childhood (Ivano detstvo) [Ивано детство] (1962) – Soviet Union
    34. Downfall (Der Untergang) (2014) - Germany-Austria-Italy
    35. The Ascent (Voskhozhdeniye) [Восхождение] (1977) – Soviet Union
    36. Sophie’s Choice (1982) – USA-UK
    37. Son of Saul (Saul fia) (2015) – Hungary
    38. The Dirty Dozen (1967) – UK-USA
    39. Bent (1997) - UK-Japan
    40. Stalingrad (1993) – Germany
    41. 1900 (Novecento) (1976) - Italy-France-Germany [2 parts mini-series]
    42. Hangmen Also Die! (1943) – USA
    43. Attack! (1956) – USA
    44. Germany, Pale Mother (Deutschland bleiche Mutter) (1980) – West Germany
    45. Empire of the Sun (1987) – USA
    46. The Dam Busters (1954) – UK
    47. Phoenix (2014) - Germany-Poland
    48. Battle of Britain (1969) – UK
    49. A Man Escaped (Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le) (1956) – France
    50. Burnt by the Sun (Utomlyonnye solntsem) [Утомленные солнцем] (1994) – Russia-France
    51. Destiny of Man a.k.a. Fate of Man (Sudba cheloveka) [Судьба человека] – Soviet Union
    52. Fires on the Plain (Nobi) (1959) – Japan
    53. Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – USA-Australia
    54. Good by Children (Au revoir les enfants) (1987) - France-Germany-Italy
    55. IP Man (Yip Man) (2008) – China-Hong Kong
    56. The Human Condition I – III (Ningen no jôken) (1959-1961) – Japan [Three films]
    59. Trial on the Road (Proverka na dorogakh) [Проверка на дорогакх] (1971) –Soviet Union
    60. Flame & Citron (Flammen & Citronen) (2008) - Denmark-Germany-Norway-France-Sweden-Finland-Czech Republic
     
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  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Haven't seen all of them. Think I would put Tora, Tora, Tora above The Dirty Dozen. Good list though.
     
  5. tom!

    tom! recruit

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  6. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Recently watched the Hungarian Film 'Dear Elza' (2014) on Youtube ( with English subtitles) . About a Hungarian soldier who is captured by the Red Army in 1942, and forced to be come a 'trampler' , part of a penal battalion made to march ahead of regular units across minefield. Most impressed.
    I know little about Hungary in World War 2 but got totally enthralled by it.

    Here's a review from DEAR ELZA! (2014) -which contains spoilers.

    film is here
     
  7. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Very helpful list. Have started to look for lesser known World War 2 movies so a great guide .

    Out of better known films, I have to rate 'Downfall' very highly. The fact that this film started off -where I live in Brighton England- as an 'art house' movie,but then swiftly crossed over to mainstream cinema, was an achievement. Know a lot of people who have seen the film, and none of them has a bad word to say about it. All positive reactions.When seeing it at the cinema, the scene where Frau Goebbels kills her children had the whole audience stunned into absolute horrified silence.

     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Stgrhe has a interesting list. I fully endorse many of his selections, though I must admit I have never seen half of these, and indeed never heard of most of them.Yes most of those not seen by me were foreign language films, but some like Downfall, Stalingrad, Fireflies, Das Boot and Letters are top notch.

    It all comes down to your personal criteria. For me it's accuracy, realism, performance (acting/directing), production values, enjoy-ability and novelty (telling/showing me something new). These are not in order of preference and the level of each can vary so long as the total adds up. Bottom line for me is if it's a film that I come across channel surfing and stop to watch, or something I have in my personal dvd collection, its on my list.

    For me I would substitute the following,

    Patton
    The Longest Day
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    The Young Lions
    The Best Years of Their Lives
    Stalag 17
    The Enemy Below
    The Caine Mutiny
    Sink the Bismark
    The Bridge at Remagen
    Conspiracy
    The Eagle has Landed
    Kelly's Hero's

    If I included mini series I would include,

    The Pacific
    Holocaust
     
  9. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Indeed , Strghe's list seems to feature a great range of films.
    I would find it difficult to make a list on the basis that some films relate to my own personal World War 2 interests, but not might be the 'best' films.
    Dutch history- particularly during the German occupation- fascinates me , so Paul Verhoeven's 'Soldier of Orange' (1977) and 'Black Book (2006) are personal favourites.
    But whether they have overall relevance to people studying World War 2 is open to question.
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    List is a good one, although I would have included Band of Brothers and left off The Bridge at Remagen.

    You also left off one of my favorites, if only for the story it told - Mister Roberts.

    However, both it and The Caine Mutiny had actors playing parts well beyond the age the character should have been. Bogie was in his mid-50s playing a Lt Commander that would have actually been in his early-mid 30s. Then there was 54 year old Henry Fonda portraying a Lt. j.g., which was a bit of stretch. And Jack Lemmon was playing an ensign when he was around 30, which I guess is possible.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Anything but the ones with Nazi zombies.
     
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  12. Jack B

    Jack B Member

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    As many others have said, A Bridge Too Far leads my personal list. Loved the book, the film was pretty good.

    One I haven't seen so far in this thread (I may have missed it) is Enigma. Unfortunately, it distorts the details of the history it covers, making some gross genrealizations, but it does highlight some significant events and issues of the war. Fun thriller, well shot. Don't take it too seriously and you'll enjoy it. Then read a book or two on the actual history of Ultra and Enigma. :)
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    In the book The Caine Mutiny, LCDR Queeg is a 1936 or thereabout graduate of the Naval Academy, so you're right, he would be considerably younger than Bogey was.

    I had a thought about Fonda/Roberts - with the rapid expansion of the Navy for the war, I wonder if they might have brought in older men, particularly if they had relevant experience (I don't think the book or movie gives much about Roberts' background). Most officer procurement seems to have been aimed at recent college graduates like Willie Keith of the Caine.
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The retreads were called up from the Reserves, mostly to free up younger men for more interesting duty.
     
  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have both books and they are both good reads.

    Mr. Roberts is described as being 26 years old.

    Interestingly enough, Captain Morton is tall in the book, but still middle-aged. You could never call Cagny tall.

    I always kind of assumed Mr. Roberts was also the XO, but that was another of the 13 other officers on the Reluctant. I guess 11 of them were never portrayed in the play or movie, only Roberts, Doc, and Pulver.
     
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