Sunday, March 2, 2008

Discussion: Best WWII Movies

Today I'm going to nominate some of my favorite WWII movies for a discussion on the best films of World War Two. My list is not definitive by any means, and many have to do with the European theater, so I hope many readers will add more to the list and that we can create a list of must-see flicks.

1. Twelve O'Clock High: Gregory Peck stars as a bomb group commander charged with creating discipline in a struggling group.

2. The Great Escape: Based on a true story, this movie stars Steve McQueen. It tells the story of a carefully orchestrated break-out from a German prison camp and its tragic aftermath. Suspenseful throughout, with moments of humor, the movie also highlights McQueen jumping to freedom over the Swiss border on his motorcycle.

3. Bridge over the River Kwai: My WWII vet teacher showed us this in high school, and I've loved it ever since. Prisoners are charged with building a bridge for the Japanese, and then decide to blow it up.

4. Tora, Tora, Tora. The attack on Pearl Harbor.

5. A Bridge Too Far. Film adaptation of Cornelius Ryan's book about the failed Arnhem campaign. Lavishly done.

6. Saints and Soldiers. Little-known, low-budget film about a small group of soldiers who get trapped behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge. Outstanding.

7. Band of Brothers. HBO mini-series that gets you inside the heads of a group of men from training through the end of the war.

8. Saving Private Ryan. The plot is a little weak, but the visual effects make up for it.

9. Schindler's List. This film, about a German businessman who plays the Germans and protects his Jewish workers, is a masterpiece.

10. The Longest Day. Another film version of a Cornelius Ryan book, this classic tells the story of D-Day from the points-of-view of the participants.

Okay, there are ten to get us going. Let the nominations begin. Or you can agree with some I've already mentioned.


Les said...

My two favorites are Twelve O'Clock High and the Band of Brothers series. I'd also recommend Best Years of Our Lives as a heartwarming movie about WWII veterans re-adjusting to civilian life after the war.

r morris said...

Yes, Les. I have that movie on VHS. I'm going to have to watch it again. Wasn't part of it filmed at the Pima Boneyard?

Les said...

There are some scenes where one of the leading characters, played by Dana Andrews, are filmed in such a place. I've been searching google and and so far can't confirm that it was the Pima Boneyard.

Les said...

According to this website, the boneyard was in Oklahoma:

Richard Havers said...

A friend of mine played a dead German in a Bridge Too Far !!!

jams o donnell said...

Nice selection. I would add The Cruel Sea and Das Boot

r morris said...

Ah, yes, I forgot about Das Boot.
Good call!

Anonymous said...


Battleground,Warlover,to name a few others,the scene with Dana Andrews in the boneyard was flimed at the Ontario Army Air base.When you get around to the Pacific Area I have a few good ones for you.