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Name your top five favorite war films

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stick, I like all the movies on your list. My list of top 20 favorite war films follows. I could not restrict it to just 5 and had a hard time narrowing it down to just 20.


1999 Saving Private Ryan

1955 To Hell and Back

1944 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

1945 Objective, Burma!

1943 Air Force

1957 The Enemy Below

1933 Hell Below

1943 Edge of Darkness

1976 Midway

1990 The Memphis Belle

1943 Sahara

1940 Northwest Passage

1962 Lawrence of Arabia

1960 Sink the Bismarck

1964 Zulu

1980 The Big Red One

2001 The Lost Battalion

1951 The Red Badge of Courage

1970 Patton

1962 The Longest Day



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In no particular order:


Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Schindler's List (1993)

The Guns of Navarone (1961)

The Great Escape (1963)

Yanks (1979) - This is a sleeper that many have not seen or heard of. It stars the young Richard Gere. It's a story worth seeing! It finally came out on DVD last year!



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{font:Times New Roman} {font}{font:}{color:black}Thank you for *30 Seconds Over Tokyo* Saturday night. This is on a par with *Battleground* as one of the most realistic war films ever made. {font}



{font:Times New Roman} {font}{font:}{color:black}I'm not a Van Johnson fan but he was so good here. When I first saw this as a child the "big star" for me was Don Defore who played the Nelson's neighbor, Thorny, on *Ozzie and Harriet*. I came to know the rest, especially Robert Mitchum, later on. {font}



{font:Times New Roman} {font}{font:}{color:black}I liked how the Chinese people were portrayed so humanly and we saw what Japan had done to them as well as us. Then they got the Commies. Let's hope they get a break of freedom soon.{font}



{font:Times New Roman} {font}{font:}{color:black}This must have been a real morale booster for soldiers and civilians that year. Damn good movie!{font}



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Top 5 - tough choice. In no partcular order:



Bridge On the River Kwai

Inglorious Basterds

San Demitro London

The Longest Day


But I'm pretty much a fan of any Pacific theater WWII films, especially sub films. I think I was a submariner in an earlier life.


Edited by: johngla on Jan 28, 2012 3:32 PM

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Between the age of 5 and 18 1/2 (when I arrived in Vietnam) I must have watched a couple hundred war movies... all of which I thought were great. However, after serving in a war zone I found the only war movies that had any strong credibility or validity were those war movies that had no female characters distracting from the war's depicted.




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So many really great ones. But here's mine:


1- "All Quite on the Western Front"

2- "Paths of Glory"

3- Battleground"

4 "They Were Expendable"


and to good to omit {Just a few}

Twelve O'Clock High

"Saving Private Ryan"

"The Steel Helmet"


"The Big Red One"

"Story of G.I.Joe"

"The Bridge on the River Kwai"

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*4. The Bridges of Toko-ri*

*5. The Lost Battalion (A&E Television Movie)*


Good and offbeat selections. "The Lost Battalion" is coming up on my Netflix queue. It's been a while since I've seen "Bridges" but I always thought the climax was pretty intense. I also thought it good to see Mickey Rooney as a more regular type character.


"The Steel Helmet" and "Men In War" also would go on a list that everyone else has covered.

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My list in no order of any kind:

Paths of Glory

The Dawn Patrol

Breaker Morant

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Full Metal Jacket

Twelve O'Clock High

The Train

La Grande Illusion

The Hill

Cross Of Iron

Enemy at the Gates (excluding the ridiculous love interest scenes)

The Seven Samurai

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"Saving Private Ryan"


"The Enemy Below"


"The Band of Brothers"


"We Were Soldiers"




"A Bridge Too Far"


"Black Hawk Down"


A few that were very good but could have been much better. "Midway", "Battle of Britain", "Sink the Bismarck", "The Patriot", "Where Eagles Dare", "Full Metal Jacket", "Pork Chop Hill", "Patton", "Apocalypse Now", "The Longest Day", "Memphis Belle", "Gettysburg", "Gallipoli", "All Quite on the Western Front", "The Dawn Patrol", "The Siege of Firebase Gloria", "Guadalcanal Diary", "Sands of Iwo Jima", "Merrill's Marauders", "The Lost Battalion", "The Great Raid" and "The Four Feathers".


Great Epics that are both special and essential, "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Bridge on the River Kwai", "Doctor Zhivago" or the Lean triple perfecta, "Braveheart", and "The Great Escape".


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Even though IMDB lists Casablanca in the War category, I'm leaving that one out. Same for GWTW and some others.



1. Johnny Got His Gun (doubles as most frightening film ever for me)

2. Saving Private Ryan

3. Fail Safe

4. Paths of Glory

5. All Quiet on the Western Front

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First post, as I sit here watching Windtalkers. Good movie, but not in the top five.


1) Saving Private Ryan - It is difficult for me not to sob uncontrollably at the beginning and end, having visited the cemetary at Omaha Beach.

2) Heaven Knows, Mister Allison - Cannot say enough about Robert Mitchum and his understated portayal in this role.

3) Mister Roberts - A comedy, I guess, but once having watched it, and you know how it ends, it's a classic tragedy. Great performances.

4) The Best Years Of Our Lives - Is it OK to put a movie hear that has no shooting or bombs or killing? I think of my Dad coming home from WWII to his rural ND home, and how he left as a "kid" and came home as a man. I can't imagine the things he saw in "The Buldge", then came home and tried to act like nothing happened.

5) Since You Went Away - Again, not taking place on the battlefield, but on the home front. It makes me think of my mother who was a teenager during the war, and her Dad was serving in the Pacific theater with no idea what was happening.


Curious to know if other people think these have merit or not. I guess for me, I have a tie to them which makes the special to me.


Edited by: ozahs on Nov 2, 2013 10:38 PM

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The Fighting 69th

Sands of Iwo Jima

The Caine Mutiny

The Great Escape


Honorable Mention: Apocalypse Now & Full Metal Jacket


p.s. to ozahs: If it is YOUR list of the best, it is absolutely valid. Every list I have posted on any thread is more about personal connection than being a critic. There is a balance with quality & entertainment of course, but certainly a film having personal meaning matters the most.


Edited by: tommyphils31 on Dec 15, 2013 9:53 PM

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I'm not sure how to interpret the thread, is it movies that are about war? Or movies that take place during war? I will list both.



1. Saving Private Ryan

2. Bataan

3. Edge of Darkness

4. All Quiet on the Western Front

5. Das Boot



1. Casablanca

2. They Died With Their Boots On

3. From Here to Eternity

4 .To Have and Have Not

5. The Clock

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"Homefront Films"

Best Years of Our Lives

From Here To Eternity


Mrs. Miniver

White Cliffs Of Dover


"Combat" Films

Bridge On The River Kwai

Wake Island

Sands Of Iwo Jima


All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)


"Women At War"

Three Came Home

So Proudly We Hail

Battle Circus

Cry "Havoc"

Heaven Knows Mr. Allison


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I cannot say it is my favorite genre, but these films are indeed exceptional to me:


1. They Were Expendable

2. Doctor Zhivago

3. All Quiet on the Western Front

4. La Grande Illusion

5. Lawrence of Arabia


Honorable Mentions:

6. Von Ryan's Express

7. King's Go Forth

8. In Harm's Way

9. The Enemy Below

10. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

11. Bridge to the Sun

12. Gunga Din

13. Run Silent, Run Deep

14. The Lost Patrol

15. For Whom the Bell Tolls


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i like a good war film. or service film. movies about soldiering. i like seeing the camraderie among disparate guys who probably wouldnt talk to each other elsewise. i'd throw in POW movies in this category too. then there is the military procedural angle, depictions of the tensions and interplay of the members of the hierarchy. examples of great and poor leadership. and of course the biographical and historical.


in no particular order:


hell is for heroes

stalag 17


paths of glory

mr. roberts

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