But while World War II, like all major conflicts, was characterised by destruction on an unfathomable scale, the films documenting the war have been endlessly creative. Indeed, the great minds of cinema were already hard at work documenting and exploring the war while it was happening. So how to choose the best World War II movies ever made?
We called in the experts — specifically one expert: Quentin Tarantino — and solicited the advice of those hard-working Time Out writers. Quentin Tarantino says So he has people in the platoon who want to kill him, just waiting for the right gunfight.
And the end of the movie is so exciting. They have to cross a field of landmines, sending one guy in after another until he gets blown up. Eventually, somebody will get to the other side. All these characters just start getting wiped out. Footie and war!
But this comic-book fantasy, in which Allied POWs are forced to play a lose-lose football match against their Nazi captors, turns out to be a whole big barrel of fun. This story had no happy ending. There are hundreds of untold WWII stories still to be filmed.
Proof that a work of art can still have direct political impact. Roman Polanski kicked off the twenty-first century with a sophisticated, Oscar-winning WWII survival drama which not only offered an authentic depiction of the Warsaw ghetto, but proved that — controversy aside — the director could still deliver when it mattered.
And the actual busting of the dams of the Ruhr Valley is an edge-of-the-seat, seat-of-the-pants ride. In this jolly gender-swap comedy from screwball master Howard Hawks, Cary Grant plays Rochard mercifully eschewing a French accentwhose romance with chauffeur Ann Sheridan somehow leads to him dressing as a woman and smuggling himself into the US. But beneath all the nudity and bloodshed is an intelligent, original study of occupation and revenge: the final shot, subtly drawing parallels between the occupation of Holland and the birth of Israel, is courageous and brilliant.
Those Nazis: no moral compass, but what tailoring! The impression of warfare is neither of gung-ho glory nor of pant-wetting terror: the overriding feeling is confusion, and a nagging sadness that in such a beautiful landscape one should have to be concerned with dying rather than living. Director Brian G Hutton dispenses pretty much entirely with historical reality, leading some to accuse the film of trivialising the war effort. Pure pleasure. One of the lynchpins of New German Cinema and, alas, the only female-directed film on this list which says something about war movies.
It may sound brutal, but Sanders-Brahms never judges her characters who are based on her own parentsbluntly demonstrating how relentlessly grim life in wartime can be for women as well as men.
But he made up for it with a groundbreaking one-two punch: a pair of films exploring the battle of Iwo Jima from both the American and Japanese perspectives.
The closing sequence — in which munitions worker Celia Patricia Roc forcibly represses her grief over her dead lover and joins in a rousing factory singalong — is almost unbearably moving.
When his unit is attacked by the Germans, army captain Anson John Mills hijacks an ambulance and heads across the Sahara with two nurses and a dubious South African officer in tow. Terse and stiff-lipped but never to a fault, this is one of the archetypal British combat films.
One Island! No Subtitles! This perfectly pitched two-hander might have descended into an unholy mess of sentimentality and earnestness. Spielberg, Hanks, all those Academy Awards. A repeat viewing, however, blows away the cobwebs with a furious men-in-combat film that balances comradely bromance with gale-force action. Ultimately, I guess the answer is yes.Whether conveying the heroic acts of soldiers or showing the harsh realities of battle, war movies have long been a staple of Hollywood.
Here are nine of the best classic war movies. The film followed a group of German teenagers who volunteer for action on the Western Front at the start of the war, only to see their idealism crushed by an unrelenting officer John Wrayand ultimately the blood and death waiting for them on the front lines.
More biography than war movie, Sergeant York was perfectly timed with its released during the flag-waving early days of World War II. Gary Cooper played real-life pacifist-turned-war hero Alvin York, a hell-raising farmer who turns to God after being struck by lightning and vows never to get angry again. Forced to fight on the front lines anyway, York becomes a national hero and Medal of Honor winner for his heroics on the battlefield.
Written by John Huston and directed by Howard HawksSergeant York features Cooper in his finest performance and was a major box office hit.
Guinness played an obsessive British officer imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp who engages in a battle of wills with the camp commander Sessue Hayakawa over building said bridge over the Kwai. That leads to a do-or-die mission to destroy the bridge after Guinness succumbs to pressure and leads its construction. Grand in every possible way, the film was both an epic war drama and powerful character study that became a box office hit while winning seven Oscars, including Best Picture.
This tense World War II thriller featured an all-star cast of Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn as members of an Allied commando team tasked with the impossible mission of destroying giant Nazi cannons standing sentry over a strategic channel in the Aegean Sea.
The Guns of Navarone is an action movie that actually thrives on the strong performances from its three leads without resorting to meaningless explosions. Of course, there is plenty of tense action all throughout, from warding off a German patrol boat to the final effort to take out the guns before a fleet of Allied ships are destroyed. Zanuck for a multifaceted telling of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. The film earned five Academy Award nominations, winning for cinematography and special effects.
Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton share top billing in this high-octane action thriller about a team of Allied special forces given the impossible task of infiltrating an impenetrable Nazi fortress in order to rescue a captured American general Robert Beatty. Burton played a British officer who may or may not be a double agent to lead a team that is mostly British save for Eastwood, who happens to be the lone American and ultimately the only man Burton can truly trust.
Where Eagles Dare contains a number of edge-of-your-seat sequences — including a high-flying chase atop a gondolier — and numerous double-crosses that will keep you guessing about the real nature of the mission up until the very end.
George C. Scott delivers one of the best performances of his career as General George S. Patton, a controversial military leader who believes he has been a warrior in many past lives and is destined for greatness in this life. But his stubbornness, refusal to follow protocol and controversial methods — particularly in regard to a soldier suffering from battle fatigue — rankle the top brass and prevents him from participating in the D-Day Invasion.
Directed by Franklin J.The 25 best WW2 movies of all time. PG min Drama, Romance, War. A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco. R min Biography, Drama, History.
9 Classic War Movies
R min Adventure, Drama, Thriller. Not Rated 95 min Drama, Romance, War. Veronica plans a rendezvous with her lover, Boris, at the bank of river, only for him to be drafted into World War II shortly thereafter. Approved min Drama, Romance, War.
Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed. GP min Biography, Drama, War. Director: Franklin J. Schaffner Stars: George C. R min Adventure, Drama, War. R min Biography, Drama, Music. R min Drama, Fantasy, War. In the Falangist Spain ofthe bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.
PG min Comedy, Drama, War. A young boy in Hitler's army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. R min Drama, Mystery, Romance. Thirteen-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Passed 99 min Comedy, War. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.
Votes: 26, Not Rated 88 min Drama, Romance, War. Young Russian soldier Alyosha earns a medal, but asks to visit his mother instead. His journey recounts various kinds of love during wartime. Votes: 9, Not Rated min Action, Adventure, War. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.The best World War 2 movies remind us that perhaps no single event has had a greater impact on the future of filmmaking than World War II.
It arrived at the dawn of a new era in glossy, professional mainstream filmmaking, and it affected literally every facet of daily life in North America, Europe and Asia, where most of the world's films were being produced. World War 2 has remained a constant subject of fascination for filmmakers from the s to the present day.
If you're interested in more movies you can watch right now on Netflix then check out our lists on the best action movies on Netflixbest drama movies and best comedies on Netflix. Though "WWII Films" could be classified as a separate genre from the general heading of "War Movies," they take on a lot of different styles, forms and tones.
There are authentic WWII recreations, epic takes on the history of the entire period, personal stories about the soldiers, spies, revolutionaries and resistance fighters who fought the war and, naturally, sagas about the civilians of the time whose lives were forever changed by the conflict. Many of the WW2 films on this list - from "Patton" to "Casablanca" to "Saving Private Ryan" - have secured their place among the most iconic films of all time.
Which of these good films are the best? Rerank your own list to nominate your favorites for this CrowdRanked collection of the best WWII filmsand then be sure to vote on your favorites. Released: Directed by: Steven Spielberg. Directed by: Darryl F. Directed by: Franklin J.
Directed by: John Sturges. Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen. Directed by: David Lean. Directed by: Richard Attenborough. Directed by: Jack Smight. More Tora! Directed by: Allan Dwan. Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones. Directed by: Henry King. Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud. Directed by: Ken Annakin. Directed by: Robert Wise. Directed by: Clint Eastwood.
Directed by: Robert Aldrich. Directed by: Brian G. Directed by: Billy Wilder. Directed by: Jesse Hibbs. Directed by: Otto Preminger.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia list article. This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it. This incomplete list is frequently updated to include new information. This title should always be replaced by an English language release title when that information becomes available.
British Film Institute website. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 17 January Retrieved 21 July Media Ed website. Archived from the original on 10 November UK Parliament website. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved Hidden categories: Articles with short description Articles with German-language sources de Articles with Italian-language sources it Incomplete lists from April Namespaces Article Talk.
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Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. My Four Years in Germany. A biopic of James W. Gerardthe U. Ambassador to Germany.
Doughboy on the Western Front . Yankee Doodle in Berlin. Captain Bob White, an American pilot disguises himself as a woman in order to fool and steal an important map from Kaiser Wilhelm and the German Government.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Smilin' Through. Sidney Franklin. US Army's Rainbow Division. The Dark Angel. After being blinded in WW1, a man disappears and becomes a famous author.
Thinking he's dead, his friend tries to move in on his girl.
Best World War II-Movies!
The Better 'Ole. What Price Glory? Rival United States Marines sergeants in France. Roses of Picardy.R min Drama, War. Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U. R min Biography, Drama, Music.
R min Biography, Drama, History. When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. Not Rated min Comedy, Drama, War. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer. Votes: 50, R min Adventure, Drama, War.
A pragmatic U. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue. R min Drama, Mystery, Romance. Passed min Comedy, Drama, War. Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.
PG min Drama, Romance, War. The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.
R min Action, Adventure, Drama. A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man. R min Comedy, Drama, Romance. PG min Adventure, Drama, War. British POWs are forced to build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, not knowing that the allied forces are planning to destroy it.
An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania. A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.
Passed min Drama, History, Romance. A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Approved min Adventure, Biography, Drama. The story of T. Lawrencethe English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.
PG min Action, Drama, History. Approved 88 min Drama, War. After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.
Votes:PG min Biography, Drama, History. As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
PG 94 min Drama, War. Through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, a forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Dosswho served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. This epic historical drama chronicles the life and times of Prophet Muhammad and serves as an introduction to early Islamic history. Votes: 42,The way many of us first learned about World War II was inherently cinematic. For these reasons, WWII has held tremendous relevance in cinema—both for its compelling narrative and for its fodder as jingoistic propaganda.
However, our understanding of this war, and the humanitarian crisis at its root, has greatly expanded. Ironically, so have the films depicting it. The film has since become a classic in cinema history, especially for, as one might guess, its chase scenes.
Amazon iTunes. This Belarusian anti-war film tackles the atrocities of the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the brilliant British cryptanalyst who cracked the code on the Nazi German Enigma machine, responsible for encrypting confidential communications.
Beneath this influential man, though, is a coded life of his own. Few comedians are bold enough to cast themselves as Adolf Hitler. This naivety meets reality, though, when he forms an unlikely relationship with a young Jewish girl who is hiding in his house. A complicated love affair erupts amid the Nazi invasion of Stalingrad in this celebrated Russian film. Four brothers join Russian resistance fighters in the Eastern-European woods, slowly building camps of Jewish refugees.
A Jewish singer goes undercover for the Dutch resistance in order to infiltrade the Nazi headquarters in Netherlands. A prisoner in Auschwitz saves the body of a young boy from the crematorium in this intense depiction of morality and spiritual survival.
George C. Scott gives a tour-de-force performance as the complex and controversial general George S. Clint Eastwood finds sympathy for the enemy in this Oscar-nominated epic. A rag-tag group of convicts bind together for a suicide mission on the eve of D-Day in this Oscar-winning epic. On the eve of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, three Army soldiers find themselves in a variety of romantic entanglements while stationed in Hawaii.
Terrence Malick returned from a year hiatus for this quiet reflection on the horrors of war.(HD) Apocalypse - Second World War Documentary 2020
This Oscar-winning epic tells the story of D-Day through various points of view—from both the Allied and German sides. A dutiful Italian father tries to shelter his son from the dangerous truth of the Holocaust in Roberto Benigni's Oscar-winning film. This celebrated drama gives an inside look at what happened beneath the surface on a German U-boat. Tarantino's absurdist take on propaganda film depicts the brutal death of Adolf Hitler.
Two Japanese children struggle to survive in the waning days of WWII in this highly celebrated animated film. Steven Spielberg's magnum opus is the definitive on-screen depiction of the Holocaust. One of the greatest films ever made—period—this one practically set the standard for the war-torn romance genre. A British colonel leads a team of POWs in a Japanese camp to build a bridge for their captors—and plans an uprising. Spielberg brought the horrific violence of war front and center with the staggering depiction of the Invasion of Normandy.
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