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Best War Movies for each War


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How can we leave out The Dawn Patrol for WWI?  This war has been so romanticized that we forget that it introduced gas warfare to the world as my grandfather could attest to.  It shows the anguish that c/os go through when they must send men into combat knowing some will not return alive.  This was "the war to end all wars" and it's ironic that when the movie was released in 1937 the world was already gearing up for the even more horrible sequel. 

 

Also Go or Broke needs to be mentioned for WWII. That these young Japanese-American men were willing to fight for our side despite what was being done to their "relocated" families here and having to battle relatives in the "old country" is amazing.  I remember a newsreel where after Pearl Harbor some in California are holding a sign saying 'We are patriotic Americans; 14% of us are in the service" .  It was  like the Blacks who had to fight one war to get into the real one and show what they could do when they could have stayed home and let everyone else do it.  It there's anything good about war, this kind of courage and pride must be a part.

 

WWI romanticized?    I hope not.    The people I know understand that WWI was a transitional war;  where the advancement in warfare technology collided with the still traditional (ancient) warfare methods.    The current issue of Smithsonian has a article called New Views of the Battle of Gallipoli.   What a blunder by the British (as well as Churchill).    It mentions the movie Gallipoli starting Mel Gibson.    A movie I haven't seen.   (and maybe I don't want to???).

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To link a "best"  film to each individual war means concentrating on the facts and how the film depicts them. That film should therefore almost play out as a documentary.  I have come to believe the "best" films are the ones that don't necessarily glorify or demonize war but just illustrate the real life prices that any war costs.  The characters may be fictional and maybe even the battle situations may be loosely based on actual fact . Films like the previously mentioned  THE DAWN PATROL and BRIDGES AT TOKO RI  rank at the top of my list but the themes  of those stories  can be applied to any war of anytime.

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WWI romanticized?    I hope not.    The people I know understand that WWI was a transitional war;  where the advancement in warfare technology collided with the still traditional (ancient) warfare methods.    The current issue of Smithsonian has a article called New Views of the Battle of Gallipoli.   What a blunder by the British (as well as Churchill).    It mentions the movie Gallipoli starting Mel Gibson.    A movie I haven't seen.   (and maybe I don't want to???).

Unfortunately every war starts off by using the tactics and strategies of the last war.  Then the generals and admirals and planners learn that new technology has made the old tactics obsolete.  The minie ball in Civil War, machine gun, airplane and tank in WW  I, etc.

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Unfortunately every war starts off by using the tactics and strategies of the last war.  Then the generals and admirals and planners learn that new technology has made the old tactics obsolete.  The minie ball in Civil War, machine gun, airplane and tank in WW  I, etc.

 

While I agree with what you say I still say that WWI is unique in that it was the first major conflict in the industrial age  (yes, what is 'major' can be disputed).   Even in the short time frame of that war the use of airplanes changed from the start of the war (mostly for recognizance),  to a offensive weapon (especially as a weapon against ground troops and fixed structures with bombing).

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WWI romanticized?    I hope not.    The people I know understand that WWI was a transitional war;  where the advancement in warfare technology collided with the still traditional (ancient) warfare methods.    The current issue of Smithsonian has a article called New Views of the Battle of Gallipoli.   What a blunder by the British (as well as Churchill).    It mentions the movie Gallipoli starting Mel Gibson.    A movie I haven't seen.   (and maybe I don't want to???).

 

The whole movie is a set up for the last twenty mins. Some of the greatest 20 mins in movie history.  When it premiered down under , the crowd sat in stunned silence for half an hour. Must had been told about that battle but to see it was something else. Almost cost Winston Churchill his career. Imagine WWII without him involved.

 

Its worth it to read about it.

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To link a "best"  film to each individual war means concentrating on the facts and how the film depicts them. That film should therefore almost play out as a documentary.  I have come to believe the "best" films are the ones that don't necessarily glorify or demonize war but just illustrate the real life prices that any war costs.  The characters may be fictional and maybe even the battle situations may be loosely based on actual fact . Films like the previously mentioned  THE DAWN PATROL and BRIDGES AT TOKO RI  rank at the top of my list but the themes  of those stories  can be applied to any war of anytime.

In general , most "war" films that I like have very little to do with the actual fighting.

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To link a "best"  film to each individual war means concentrating on the facts and how the film depicts them. That film should therefore almost play out as a documentary.  I have come to believe the "best" films are the ones that don't necessarily glorify or demonize war but just illustrate the real life prices that any war costs.  The characters may be fictional and maybe even the battle situations may be loosely based on actual fact . Films like the previously mentioned  THE DAWN PATROL and BRIDGES AT TOKO RI  rank at the top of my list but the themes  of those stories  can be applied to any war of anytime.

Well, we ALL know that these "lists" are largely made up of what people here consider to be their "favorites", which is what usually happens when you ask people for their opinions of "what's the best" anything!

 

I certainly don't know which are the "best" war movies for each war, I only know which ones I like the BEST!

 

 

Sepiatone

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The whole movie is a set up for the last twenty mins. Some of the greatest 20 mins in movie history.  When it premiered down under , the crowd sat in stunned silence for half an hour. Must had been told about that battle but to see it was something else. Almost cost Winston Churchill his career. Imagine WWII without him involved.

 

Its worth it to read about it.

 

After reading that article in Smithsonian I would like to know more about the Battle of Gallipoli.   

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actually Unconquered is during Pontiac's Rebellion not the French & Indian War 

Actually, it's well within the context of the French & Indian War for a movie. But I guess you can always be pedantic if you wish.  Have a great evening.

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From my avatar you can guess I  like Northwest Passage for French and Indian War.

 

For WWII, maybe 12 O'Clock High.  I'm on a Mighty Eighth Air Force kick.  But I love that moment in Longest Day when Robert Mitchum is on the beach at Normandy, and he knows he's got to rally the Marines to take the hill (they are pinned down), and he gives them a rousing.

 

For Vietnam I'll take We Were Soldiers -- a true war flick, not a political diatribe masquerading as one. 

 

I'll have to think some more about others.

 

 

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Shoah, The Sorrow and the Pity and Casablanca are the best world War II movies

 

World War I-Grand Illusion

 

Vietnam-Apocalypse Now, Born on the fourth of July, Winter Soldier

 

Civil War-The Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind shouldn't be the best examples, but they are.  Lincoln is also pretty good.

 

Korea-The Steel Helmet, but quite frankly, there's lot of room for improvement.

 

Iraq Wars-Iraq in Fragments, The Hurt Locker

 

There are no great movies about the American Revolution or the War of 1812

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From my avatar you can guess I  like Northwest Passage for French and Indian War.

 

For WWII, maybe 12 O'Clock High.  I'm on a Mighty Eighth Air Force kick.  But I love that moment in Longest Day when Robert Mitchum is on the beach at Normandy, and he knows he's got to rally the Marines to take the hill (they are pinned down), and he gives them a rousing.

 

For Vietnam I'll take We Were Soldiers -- a true war flick, not a political diatribe masquerading as one. 

 

I'll have to think some more about others.

Read the book, saw the movie, went to the war for We Were Soldiers.   Not sure what you mean by "true war flick."  If mostly about combat action, yes it does stick pretty close to the subject.  But it only presents one side of it from the perspective of a career Army officer and then that was co-authored by a writer and then the movie was interpreted by a screenwriter, director and Mel Gibson.

As for The Longest Day, there were no Marines at Normandy.  Robert Mitchum was with a US Army division.

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Well, we ALL know that these "lists" are largely made up of what people here consider to be their "favorites", which is what usually happens when you ask people for their opinions of "what's the best" anything!

 

I certainly don't know which are the "best" war movies for each war, I only know which ones I like the BEST!

 

 

Sepiatone

Distinguishing between one's favorites, and the best, is an exercise in futility, unless one can really place himself outside himself.

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Distinguishing between one's favorites, and the best, is an exercise in futility, unless one can really place himself outside himself.

 

I do not see it as difficult. I recognize with ease when a thing is done very well even although it is not to my taste. I recognize with ease when there is authoritativeness in things which do not match my opinions.

 

Difficulty in supplying names of movies in this context is solely that movies which I love are first to come to mind and movies which may be better but are not to my taste do not readily come to mind.

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I do not see it as difficult. I recognize with ease when a thing is done very well even although it is not to my taste. I recognize with ease when there is authoritativeness in things which do not match my opinions.

 

Difficulty in supplying names of movies in this context is solely that movies which I love are first to come to mind and movies which may be better but are not to my taste do not readily come to mind.

Beautifully put.  I've grown up loving The Great Escape and have seen it well over twenty times put I wouldn't necessarily put it on a top ten all time greats list as I recognize that my personal favourites are quite different from films I may recognize as more perfect works of art.  Hope that makes as much sense as your post did!

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I have been reading all these posts regarding best war movies for each war and find that first you start with movies and then it morphs into politics etc.  Movies about war teach us much about ourselves mostly, our response to the subject, our response to the techniques of the directors, photographers etc who made the movie and what intrinsically reaches into our psyche about the film and the subject itself.  

 

I also think our personal exposure to war drives our responses to war movies.  I know as a daughter of WWII RAF pilot I respond differently to movies about WWII than I do to movies about other Wars.  I think the movies about the Korean War were difficult to make into "entertainment" as there was no great threat (in the minds of many) posed as there was in WWII and also, I think the public suffered from "war fatigue" as it came so close after WWII. 

 

Vietnam too, impacted me personally through both my brother and husband.  But the war played out on television in real time so it was truly hard to conceptualize it into "entertainment".  Then too, began the dialogue of propaganda in movies versus art.  And too, most in Hollywood and in the arts in general didn't have to fight, it was truly not a war that the nation as a whole had to contribute too.  

 

I know I will have rubber chickens thrown at me for my observation, but truly, to me and remember this is just to me, the best movies are about WWII.  It is truly the only good vs bad war where the outcome has resulted in my ability and all of you to proffer our opinions openly about the best and worst war movies.  Can any of you see the subject discussed under Hitler or Stalin?...

 

And a PS to person who knows little about Gallipoli but manages to disparage Churchill in relationship to its outcomes...I recommend some reading, mostly by Australia and New Zealand authors.  Much of history has maligned Churchill for Gallipoli but a closer look at the naval and army leaders demonstrates it wasn't so much Churchill but the total lack of military leadership and planning that resulted in the disaster.  

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I have been reading all these posts regarding best war movies for each war and find that first you start with movies and then it morphs into politics etc.  Movies about war teach us much about ourselves mostly, our response to the subject, our response to the techniques of the directors, photographers etc who made the movie and what intrinsically reaches into our psyche about the film and the subject itself.  

 

I also think our personal exposure to war drives our responses to war movies.  I know as a daughter of WWII RAF pilot I respond differently to movies about WWII than I do to movies about other Wars.  I think the movies about the Korean War were difficult to make into "entertainment" as there was no great threat (in the minds of many) posed as there was in WWII and also, I think the public suffered from "war fatigue" as it came so close after WWII. 

 

Vietnam too, impacted me personally through both my brother and husband.  But the war played out on television in real time so it was truly hard to conceptualize it into "entertainment".  Then too, began the dialogue of propaganda in movies versus art.  And too, most in Hollywood and in the arts in general didn't have to fight, it was truly not a war that the nation as a whole had to contribute too.  

 

I know I will have rubber chickens thrown at me for my observation, but the truly, to me and remember this is just to me, the best movies are about WWII.  It is truly the only good vs bad war where the outcome has resulted in my ability and all of you to proffer our opinions openly about the best and worst war movies.  Can any of you see the subject discussed under Hitler or Stalin?...

 

And a PS to person who knows little about Gallipoli but manages to disparage Churchill in relationship to its outcomes...I recommend some reading, mostly by Australia and New Zealand authors.  Much of history has maligned Churchill for Gallipoli but a closer look at the naval and army leaders demonstrates it wasn't so much Churchill but the total lack of military leadership and planning that resulted in the disaster.  

 

Gerald saying "Almost cost Winston Churchill his career" isn't disparaging Churchill.   The Smithsonian article was clear that it was the military leadership that was responsible for the disaster.      That being said,  these type of events typically taint the superiors of those military leaders (fairly or unfairly).    I assume you do know the saying 'happened on their watch'.    

 

Note this is similar to the botch attempt to rescue hostages from Iran.    The outcome of that event clearly impacted Jimmy Carter and his re- election chances.    Saying that isn't disparaging Carter any more than what Gerald said disparaged Churchill.  

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I do not see it as difficult. I recognize with ease when a thing is done very well even although it is not to my taste. I recognize with ease when there is authoritativeness in things which do not match my opinions.

 

Difficulty in supplying names of movies in this context is solely that movies which I love are first to come to mind and movies which may be better but are not to my taste do not readily come to mind.

I guess that's my thinking about ALL ABOUT EVE.  I realize that it's very well-done, but it's not a favorite of mine. Maybe because it seems to lack emotion. Very clinical.

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A true war flick will involve mostly battle scenes, which is not what I want to see in a film.

 

A true war flick (or at least a war flick that transcends the John Wayne level) will involve everything from battle scenes to the reactions of individual soldiers to the politics behind strategic decisions to the political context of the home front.  A propaganda flick will treat war like a video game.  Wars aren't fought in a political vacuum, much as we'd often like to pretend otherwise.

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