Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by JCFalkenbergIII, May 26, 2008.
Yeah, I would consider that more likely, but I won't disrespect any of Belle's crew.
In my opinion, the best German films on WWI remain the trilogy by Karl Ritter: Urlaub auf Ehrenwort, Pour le Mérite and Unternehmen Michael. The latter two are available from International Historic Films in Chicago, and the first title is forthcoming in 2020. All have English subtitles and are restored from 35mm print transfers. He fought some major battles in WWI in Nancy-Epinal (August-September 1914), in La Bassoe and Arras (September-October 1915), the Somme (September 1916, again January 1917), Vosges in eastern France, won the Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class. Other than ace pilot Hans Bertram, Ritter was the only film director in the Third Reich with military combat experience.
Ritter served as a Major in the Luftwaffe in WWII, and his films Über alles in der Welt, Stukas and Besatzung Dora (also available from IHF, Chicago) are top films as well.
For all of these films Ritter had the full cooperation and support of the OKW, the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring and Dr. Goebbels, and the armed forces were put to his disposal to recreate battles, provide aircraft, tanks, and artillery, as well as soldiers and pilots as appropriate. Unlike scratchy blurry German footage spliced in to post-war UK and US motion pictures, Ritter's films are the real deal.
Besatzung Dora was the only German feature film partially shot in the USSR. Using the Luftwaffe Fliegerhorst in Gostkino, 16 km south of Luga, and 136 km south of Leningrad; in an active Partisan area; he and a 42 man film crew and actor contingent spent all of October 1942 filming their Ju88D "Dora" aircraft and other planes and Luftwaffe personnel in combat and on the ground in an amazing film which ultimately was banned by Goebbels; as the Battle of Stalingrad was lost a few weeks before the film's intended premiere.
The Besatzung Dora story is told in my 320 page book, with 90 photographs, maps, sketches and documents, many of which were unpublished heretofore, and about 50,000 words from Ritter's unpublished diaries which I was able to access thanks to his family in Argentina. The book is also sold by IHF, Chicago. The book is entitled "The Making of The Crew of the Dora."
Saving Private Ryan has been one of my favorite films about WWII. The film displays a surprisingly accurate recreation of Nazi-occupied France - during the initial phase of Operation Overlord (1944). A particularly moving shot features heavy raindrops on the leaves of Normandy hedgerows - your ears first interpret gunfire. Sharp direction by Steven Spielberg mirrors real-life war reporting adding a level of grit and documentary terror not seen before or since. The first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan cannot be forgotten and may function as a tool to familiarize future generations on the scenarios of endless brutality generated by an environment of total war.
I found Private Ryan a little "full"...too much action, but I'm sure that was deliberate. Like Memphis Belle where they packed it all into one flight.
I like the movie more for the conversations...a mix of home town talk and "no BS" military talk. They showed the "Gung Ho" types along side the coward. And the professionals along side the uninitiated...great movie. And I know that many don't like Hanks, but I though he did a great job...brought the nuances needed.
Yes, I love the film, too. So much so that I bought it on BluRay and later upgraded to the 4K UHD disc version. A very moving US film.
In recent years two very good movies spring to mind.
"Land of Mine" a film set in the immediate post-war Denmark in which young German POWs were used to clear minefields laid on the Danish beaches. It tells of one squad which was supervised by a Danish NCO who indifferent towards the fate of the teenagers under his direction and full of hate for the previous occupying power puts them to work. As time progresses his views change and he develops a duty of care for them as he sees more than the dirty ragged uniforms.
Hard to watch at times but thought-provoking and memorable.
"The King's Choice" - To fight or to surrender the stark choice to be made by the King of Norway in the face of the German invasion, excellent.
The Norwegian King undecided ( but knowing that to fight is what he has to do), wanting to do the best for his people and his son who sees resisting the Germans to be his duty forced from Oslo and thrown into the war with the common people he comes to his decision.
On the German side, an honourable diplomat who is disgusted by the invasion is forced (ordered by his political masters in Berlin) to find a "diplomatic" end to the fighting and in doing so is to deceive the Norwegian King, a really decent movie.
As a result of some photos posted just now, "Darkest Hour", Gary Oldman was so bloody good.
Leadership is making the hard decisions and accepting the responsibility.
Whilst being subject to the all-knowing knowledge of those who know exactly what should be done.
Yes, as Germans were closing on Moscow Stalin decided to go to his dacha. And stay there. A car arrived with Beroja, Molotov etc. Stalin Epextedr he was hanged but Molotov begged him of saving the USSSR.
Boy I have a cabinet full of war movies..I don't have just a few favorites but many that have already been mentioned..so I'll throw out some not mentioned that are worth while to watch..."Conspiracy" from 2001 about the Wannsee conference in early 1942, two Japanese films "Isoroku" from 2011 about the life of Admiral Yamamoto and "Yamato" from 2005 about that mega battleship going down in flames. One more is a Russian film called "White Tiger" from 2012..if you like tanks this is it.
I have watched the Cospiracy 3-4 times and it is quite disturbing. You just get the idea how the SS kept on counting numbers on killing people. Simply numbers.
I agree about "Conspiracy"...it was like.."Herr Heydrich...right after lunch let's eliminate the Jews in Poland and call it a day".
Class of 42 watch the Conspiracy. It is so awful and after it you undestand so much more what happened after late 1941 at wannsee.