Ten best WWII movies - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 109 Old 08-05-2013, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I want you guys to list the best WWII movies. But I do have a few restrictions. NO Saving Private Ryan and NO Longest Day. I am not saying they are bad, but they do not belong on the list of the best. Sorry if you feel differently, but you are wrong. Yes, you are objectively wrong to like the movies I do not like. Also I am just going to exclude movies that deal only with the holocaust, as that would make this list too broad. Also no documentaries and no tv series. Documentaries would definitely deserve its own list. Here is a list of great WW2 movies I will make, in no particular order:

The Human Condition trilogy
Kanal
Letters From Iwo Jima
Au Revoir Les Enfants
Flame and Citron
Fires on the Plain
Come and See
Cross of Iron
Europa Europa
Max Manus

I tried to avoid obvious choices like Bridge over the River Kwai and Das Boot, and also jokey movies and fantasies like The Dirty Dozen or Inglorious Basterds. I'm hoping those who contribute can SURPRISE me by throwing in a few of the more obscure movies. There are a ton of WW2 movies, a lot are bad, but there are a lot of lesser known gems out there and I am hoping you guys can help me to find out a few good ones I don't know about yet.

So to recap the restrictions so we can keep at least some boundaries on what would otherwise be a very sprawling and therefore less useful list:
NO documentaries
NO TV shows
NO Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day
NO purely holocaust movies
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post #2 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 04:43 AM
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You are a glutton for punishment. Everyone abuses list-makers.

The links below are to some capsule reviews I've done here.

Thanks for remembering Fires on the Plain (1959).

I like Cross of Iron (1977), but I'm not sure I'd put it on the list. (But then, I wouldn't make a top-10 list).

I would have to have Twelve O'Clock High (1949), war from the management point of view.

Boorman's Hope and Glory (1987) is a boy's-eye view of London during the blitz.

-Bill
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post #3 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 06:06 AM
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He's a demanding something or other too. I wouldn't count on many posters listing anything in his thread.

This thread is objectively bad, and if you disagree with me, you are wrong to like a thread I don't. tongue.gif
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post #4 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 06:14 AM
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The Great Escape and Victory are 2 of my favorites. Stallone was a heck of a goalie.biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 07:05 AM
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Not yet named...

The Guns of Navarone
Von Ryan’s Express
From Here To Eternity
Buck Privates
Casablanca
Home of the Brave
The Desert Rats
Stalag 17
King Rat
Eye of the Needle
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post #6 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 07:34 AM
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Saving Private Ryan
The Longest Day
Schindler's List
The Pianist
Band of Brothers
The Pacific
Ken Burns' The War
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post #7 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 07:41 AM
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The Search...

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post #8 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osirus23 View Post

Saving Private Ryan
The Longest Day
Schindler's List
The Pianist
Band of Brothers
The Pacific
Ken Burns' The War

The OP's restrictions again:
Quote:

NO Saving Private Ryan and NO Longest Day.
I am not saying they are bad, but they do not belong on the list of the best. Also I am just going to exclude movies that deal only with the holocaust, as that would make this list too broad. Also no documentaries and no tv series.

So to recap the restrictions so we can keep at least some boundaries on what would otherwise be a very sprawling and therefore less useful list:
NO documentaries
NO TV shows
NO Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day
NO purely holocaust movies

Well, done, sir. I think you hit all of them. Good list, too, but you should have included Das Boot. It and Band of Brothers always go on my lists, and because you didn't list the former, you are WRONG. Objectively. wink.gif

EDITED to add: I also would have put The Bridge on the River Kwai on the list.
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post #9 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 07:54 AM
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Battleground
A walk in the sun
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Son of Lassie
The Long Voyage Home
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
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post #10 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 08:00 AM
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Casablanca
Downfall
Sophie Scholl
Tora! Tora! Tora!
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post #11 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 08:20 AM
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The Thin Red Line
Harp of Burma
Paisan
The Tin Drum
In Which We Serve
Ballad of a Soldier
The Counterfeiters
The Colditz Story
Lacombe, Lucien
49th Parallel

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post #12 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 08:24 AM
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Since Das Boot has been disallowed, that leaves "Run Silent, Run Deep" and "The Enemy Below" for consideration.
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post #13 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 08:38 AM
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...and maybe ten of more "guilty pleasures" and tangental WWII films:

Since You Went Away
Man Hunt
A Canterbury Tale
The Story of G.I. Joe
Amarcord
Operation Crossbow
Twelve O'Clock High
Command Decision
They Were Expendable
A Matter of Life and Death


There are some pretty fine films mixed in this list.

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post #14 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 08:42 AM
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I've been intending to revisit Hell in the Pacific but keep hoping for a better edition on disc.

Also: The Best Years of Our Lives is scheduled for Blu-ray.

-Bill
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post #15 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 08:55 AM
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Some good ones I didn't see mentioned:

In Harm's Way
A Bridge Too Far
The Battle of Britain
Enemy at the Gates

And technically post WWII
The Best Years of Our Lives
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post #16 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 09:02 AM
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Battle of the Bulge

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I was going to do an anti-list to flip the bird at the OPs rules, but Osirus beat me to it and did a good job.
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post #17 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 09:57 AM
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I would second the Battle of Britain not that it's such a great movie but that every one of the planes you see flying in the air is a real plane from the actual battles. Nothing like it could be made today. I would also put In Which We Serve on the list.

Three others I would add that haven't been mentioned:

The Counterfeit Traitor
The Man Who Never Was
Dam Busters
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post #18 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 10:42 AM
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+1 for Dam Busters.
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post #19 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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There are some great movie I forgot about mentioned, and some that look interesting which I will look into further. I have somehow missed a lot of these naval warfare movies. Thanks for the suggestions. By the way, I just remembered a good one, a drama about some French children who make a graveyard for all the animals who died around them, its called Forbidden Games. Obviously it's a bit on the tragic side.

And for all those who deliberately broke the rules, I am working with the internet police as we speak to have you banned from the internet forever! Enjoy your final posts fellas!
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post #20 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

And for all those who deliberately broke the rules, I am working with the internet police as we speak to have you banned from the internet forever! Enjoy your final posts fellas!

Good luck with that. In this sub forum, we carry all the internet police and judges in our pocket. You will allow us to wet our beaks.


Oh, and "The Bridge at Remagen"
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post #21 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 01:25 PM
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas... even if it involves the Holocaust...

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post #22 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I have somehow missed a lot of these naval warfare movies.

A couple more:

Pursuit of the Graf Spee (aka Battle of the River Plate)
Sink the Bismark!
Action in the North Atlantic (Bogart, and made during the war when the outcome was still in doubt.)

And Hitchcock's Lifeboat

Others:
633 Squadron (along with The Dam Busters was often cited as the inspiration for the trench run scene in Star Wars.)
Midway

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post #23 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 01:55 PM
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Some more to revisit soon: The Cruel Sea and Objective Burma.

Let us know when you move on to Korea.

Here are the WW2 movies I've reviewed at AVSForum. I make no claim to greatness for them, but I liked them enough to post capsule reviews and (usually) thumbnails. Click on the links and you may find some titles you'll like.

Sorry for the rules violation. Can't help it.

Europe/Atlantic

North Africa

Asia/Pacific

Comedies

Fantasy

-Bill
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post #24 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, there is a ton here I have not even heard of. I have a lot of catching up to do. By the way, I can not believe the same guy who directed Fires on the Plain also did The Burmese Harp. Two opposite treatments of the same subject. I hated the Burmese Harp but enjoyed Fires on the Plain.
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post #25 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 03:43 PM
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Add Operation Petticoat (Cary Grant/Tony Curtis) to the comedies section.  

 

The Mortal Storm (Robert Young/Margaret Sullavan/Jimmy Stewart/Frank Morgan/Robert Stack) to dramas. 

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post #26 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 03:50 PM
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post #27 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Life is Beautiful. That's right, I hate too many restrictions. Fight the power!

You're fired. Go clean out your desk.
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post #28 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 04:29 PM
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Wow, Bill. That is one heck of a list.
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post #29 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
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Wow, Bill. That is one heck of a list.

Thanks! I'm missing some great titles because I saw them a while before I started writing reviews. It takes time to cycle around again.

Regarding your avatar: I did a Frank Booth getup for Halloween once: Blue Velvet.

-Bill
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post #30 of 109 Old 08-06-2013, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Thanks! I'm missing some great titles because I saw them a while before I started writing reviews. It takes time to cycle around again.

Regarding your avatar: I did a Frank Booth getup for Halloween once: Blue Velvet.

-Bill

Hah. The avatar needs "show it to me" on it but that's probably a bit much.

"I did Frank Booth for Halloween once, went to a head shop for the inhaler. "Hey, neighbor, how about a ride? What kind of beer do you like?" I don't think anyone got it."

I've had the VHS and then the DVD since it came out, and 99 percent of the people I've lent it to didn't get it or thought that I had mental problems for liking it so much.


How about "Midway". It's a little rote, but with H. Fonda, Heston, Coburn, Michum, etc., its one of my favorites.
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