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Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time

 
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Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 6:28:25 AM   
KG Erwin


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This one is a toughie. We've had many threads dealing with "Best War Movies", but I want to narrow it to your top three. My choice for top two is easy.

Number 1 is "Band of Brothers". Not only was this a classic piece of film-making, it portrayed real men and the semi-documentary approach gave us a glimpse of the veterans, some of whom have passed away since the filming of the interviews. This is as close to "being there" as we will ever get.

Number 2 is "Das Boot". This one showed the tedium and intense struggle to survive during combat that hallmarked all submarine warfare, but from the German point of view. In June 2004 US audiences will get the DVD version of the entire 5 hour German miniseries. I already have the 3-hour Director's Cut, and the full version will be my birthday present. My 3rd choice is the most difficult one. Until "BoB", "Saving Private Ryan" was my benchmark for WWII films. However, apart from the landmark opening sequence, it became a typical fictionalized Hollywood-style movie.

I want realism and real events--therefore, Number 3 is "We Were Soldiers", a masterful depiction of the Vietnam War in our first major battle. A graphic illustration of US technology versus nationalist fervor. I was also impressed by the view from the home front that was presented here. In every other Vietnam movie, the home country was an abstraction --here, the soldiers have families at home that you can actually see and identify with.

These are my personal choices. What are your picks as the top three?

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 5/7/2004 11:30:27 PM >


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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 7:52:05 AM   
Lars Remmen

 

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"Das Boot", "Stalingrad" and "Die Brücke" in no particular order. "Tora, tora, tora" and "Band of Brothers" are very good as well. "Battle of Britain" and "Aces High" as I like planes (the kind with propellers mind you). "Kelly's Heroes" especially because of Donald Sutherland. The landing scene in "Savirng Private Ryan" is good. The rest of the movie

Regards,

Lars

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 8:02:13 AM   
Les_the_Sarge_9_1

 

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I will do this systematic like.

An old setting, one that was just done a long ways back, and a modern film production.

Ok old setting, this won't be easy, as I don't have many non WW2 preferences.
And war movie is not always an easy classification.

Shogun. It was just plain awesome, and it is a martial theme, so it quailifies.

60s - 70s era film

Longest Day. I have a lot on the list of runners up, but it is just impossible to get better than this film. No level of nitpicking can spoil this movie.

Modern Release

Surprisingly it is not Saving Private Ryan. Awesome as it was.
I choose We Were Soldiers, just because, Mel actually made me "feel" the colonel's pain over all the men he lost in that battle.

I could list a long list of other names, but, the thread is top three, so there it is. I chose to make it harder by making it fit into those three categories.

Let's see you guys match that approach :)

< Message edited by Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -- 5/8/2004 1:05:17 AM >


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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 9:48:46 AM   
NefariousKoel


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1) When Trumpets Fade
2) Black Hawk Down
3) Hamburger Hill

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 11:07:21 AM   
Muzrub


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1/ Gallipoli
2/ Kellys heroes
3/ Dirty Dozen

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 11:18:12 AM   
Marines


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I have to agree with many of you. Stalingrad is one of my favorites however Black Hawk Down is one of the greatest war movies ever made. It does tribute to the 160th SOAR, Delta and Rangers unlike any war flick before it. I am a Marine and I'm sorry to say I cried at the end of it, those of you who have been in combat will understand why I did.

Semper Fi

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 12:27:29 PM   
Hertston


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1. Glory.

Great (true) story, great acting and an accurate representation of ACW warfare. Utterly compelling.


2. Das Boot.

The definitive submarine movie. `Nuff said.


3. Hamburger Hill.

Under-rated, but IMHO vastly superior to the more popular `Nam movies released around the same time (Platoon and FMJ). Gives a "grunt's-eye" view of war better than any other movie except possibly BHD.



"3" was pretty close between HH, BHD and WWS.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 5/8/2004 10:29:45 AM >

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 12:51:14 PM   
Marines


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quote:

1. Glory.

Great (true) story, great acting and an accurate representation of ACW warfare. Utterly compelling.


100% agree...I was 9 years old when Glory came out. That was the first movie out of two (Black Hawk Down) I cried at the end. One of the greatest if only the best civil war movie ever made.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 4:32:22 PM   
Hertston


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It's odd that there are so few decent (and not many in total) Civil War movies. About the only other one worth watching is The Red Bad of Courage. Very close to the book (most of the dialog was taken straight from it), and casting Audie Murphy was a stroke of (rather ironic) genius.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 4:34:46 PM   
gunny

 

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3 only hmmm, I'm a sucker for unique perspectives on war,

1. Blackhawk Down
2. The Beast
3. Go Tell the Spartans

For their Authentic and accurate depictions I could have easily thrown in Stalingrad, Cross of Iron, When Trumpets Fade, Saving Private Ryan and, the Winter War.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 4:51:25 PM   
Besenwesen

 

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Glory
Stalingrad
Das Boot

I was also crying at the end of Glory ... It was the scene were the Soldiers meet at the beach and the one says : "we are ready" (i think so, just watched it in german, there he says "wir sind bereit). Its such a nice scene!

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 5:50:56 PM   
Von Rom


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Top three war movies of all time:

1) Spartacus

2) Braveheart

3) Glory and Last of the Mohicans (tied)

Why?

Because they were much more than just great war movies and movie-making; they were also timeless tales about men caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 5/8/2004 4:00:04 PM >

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 6:09:29 PM   
ShermanM4


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Definately 1 Tora! Tora! Tora! 2 Longest Day and 3 Gettysburg.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/8/2004 6:12:08 PM   
Fallschirmjager


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"All Quiet on the Western Front" is the finest war movie ever made

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/9/2004 12:55:12 AM   
Shadow of the Condor

 

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Wow, the subjective concept of "best" will surely take a beating...but beyond the bombs, blood and the special effects perhaps I can list the three I consider as having the most impact on me:

Agreeing with Fallschirmjager, All Quiet on the Western Front for it's portrayal of the war from the German perspective, and the shattering of my youthful innocence that "enemies" had faces, names, feelings, and ideas...

Also along the same lines was a 1957 movie called Men in War, pitting Robert Ryan as the platoon leader trying to preserve the concept of humanity in action versus the veteran Aldo Ray, who to Ryan's chargrin constantly proves the opposite about war (some of the most memorable fights in war are between "allies", and IMHO, the Ryan vs. Ray example in this one is classic).

Finally, the number one movie that I considered (and still do as on of the) best was Zulu. One of the classic concepts of strength (in technology) versus numbers. Forgetting the Jack Hawkins sub-plot of the drunken preacher (which he played very well) trying to prevent war with the Zulu nation, again the conflict of Lt. Chard the enginer who just wants to build his bridge, and Lt. Bromhead (the prototypical military school graduate "my grandfather served with Wellington, at Waterloo...") went quite a long way in helping shape the idea that individual ingenuity can often outperform "classic" military tactics.



< Message edited by Shadow of the Condor -- 5/8/2004 4:59:46 PM >

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/9/2004 8:56:58 AM   
NefariousKoel


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I just watched Stalingrad again for something like the 4th time and I have to say - great movie but for the poor filmography and the occasional bad actor. Yet, it has an amazing story which likely gives it quite a boost. Still, not in my top 3 though. ;)

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/10/2004 6:01:36 PM   
Cheesehead

 

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Saving Private Ryan should top any list. It broke the mold for war movies. No other war movie made me dread the very idea of being in a war like Private Ryan.

Platoon is second. Like Private Ryan it too depicted the horror of war.

Both of these movies broke away from the 'war is fun, ' John Wayne with his chin strap unbuckled shooting Japs with his Thonmpson gun in one hand and a grenade in the other. When someone is shot in most of those earlier movies, friends usually gather around their fallen comrade in safety as someone promises to write his mother. When I watched these unrealistic movies as a kid I used to think it would be kind of cool to be in a war. I don't think kids walking out of Platoon or Private Ryan had that thought cross their mind at all.

There were plenty of anti-war movies made before Platoon, All quiet on the Western Front and Paths of glory to name a couple, but without the special effects of bullets wizzing by and the intensity of modern film techniques, those older movies don't carry the same impact.

I don't have a third choice because there are too many other good ones that are hard to choose from.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/10/2004 6:35:25 PM   
Slick91


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cheesehead

Saving Private Ryan should top any list. It broke the mold for war movies. No other war movie made me dread the very idea of being in a war like Private Ryan...

Both of these movies broke away from the 'war is fun, ' John Wayne with his chin strap unbuckled shooting Japs with his Thompson gun in one hand and a grenade in the other.


Ditto!

1) ”Saving Private Ryan” (It's a anti-war movie in the sense of the horrors of war, but it is not a anti-military such as Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, or Apocalypse Now where anybody in uniform is depicted as a crazed baby-killer.)

2) ”Black Hawk Down” (For the same reasons above, only this was real. The movie did a very good job at portraying the real life heroics displayed on that day and in the book.)

3) ”Tora, Tora, Tora” & “Patton” (Tied for third – while they pale in comparison to the computerized special effects of today’s blockbusters, they are both historically detailed and accurate, which is amazing given the ’70’s decade in which they were filmed).



Don't get me wrong though, John Wayne is still THE MAN!!!

< Message edited by Slick91 -- 5/10/2004 11:41:54 AM >


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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/10/2004 9:46:17 PM   
showboat1


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1) Last of the Mohicans - It dealt with a war that I don't believe any other movie produced has covered, The Seven Years War (or The French and Indian War for us Americans). The the most recent version strayed dramatically from the book, it was still really good in depicting the sheer brutality of frontier warfare.

2) Glory - The best Civil War movie ever IMHO. It also dealt with topics not covered before or since. Most people I know had no idea how black troops were incorporated into the American Army. Though the production took some liberties, it stayed fairly true to the theme of the event and the final assault on Fort Wagner was stunningly portrayed. Well written, well shot, and well acted (the scenes between Denzel Washington and Andre Braugher are things of beauty). It also featured Morgan Freeman who may be one of the top five actors of his generation.

3) The Light Horsemen - It is heresy for an American to include an Aussie film on his top three list, but I loved this movie. It has been over ten years since I last saw it and if I saw it again today I might change my mind. However, as a stupid American I had little idea about the battles fought in Judaea between the Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. I especially loved the cavalry-style charge during the climactic final battle. Plus I just love movies with lots of horses.

Honorable Mention
Patton
Midway
Tora, Tora, Tora
Black Hawk Down
Lawrence of Arabia
Sands of Iwo Jima
Fort Apache
She wore a Yellow Ribbon
We Were Soldiers
Hamburger Hill
Braveheart


Movies that should never have been made
The Patriot
Pearl Harbor
Captain Correli's Mandolin
(What was Nick Cage thinking? He got a love scene with Penelop Cruz. Enough said)
Geronimo (the one with Jason Patrick and Matt Damon)

< Message edited by showboat1 -- 5/10/2004 1:50:47 PM >


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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/10/2004 11:15:47 PM   
pterrok


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Kelley's Heroes! (For those of you who like Saving Private Ryan, watch them one after the other and see where a lot of Ryan came from.)

Catch-22.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/11/2004 12:53:35 AM   
SeaMonkey

 

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1. Lost Battalion

2. Battle Cry

3. Run Silent Run Deep

4. alternate: Sgt. York

< Message edited by SeaMonkey -- 5/10/2004 11:44:24 PM >

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/11/2004 2:18:11 AM   
Slick91


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SeaMonkey

4. alternate: Sgt. York



Ooooooo...good one! An oldie, but a goodie!

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/11/2004 3:01:11 AM   
Raverdave


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I have not seen anyone put forward an oldie but a goodie....The Sand Pebbles.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/11/2004 4:05:43 AM   
showboat1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Raverdave

I have not seen anyone put forward an oldie but a goodie....The Sand Pebbles.


Ever notice how everyone who tried to help the Chinese in the movie ended up getting killed?

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/11/2004 4:42:21 AM   
Dave Briggs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shadow of the Condor

Finally, the number one movie that I considered (and still do as on of the) best was Zulu. One of the classic concepts of strength (in technology) versus numbers. Forgetting the Jack Hawkins sub-plot of the drunken preacher (which he played very well) trying to prevent war with the Zulu nation, again the conflict of Lt. Chard the enginer who just wants to build his bridge, and Lt. Bromhead (the prototypical military school graduate "my grandfather served with Wellington, at Waterloo...") went quite a long way in helping shape the idea that individual ingenuity can often outperform "classic" military tactics.


Glad someone else picked up on this masterpiece.

1. Spartacus (I know... it's not historical but it is one of the greatest movies ever made)
2. Zulu (Stunning and sooo British. Best "desperate and hopeless" stand I've ever seen)
3. The Longest Day (yes, that's what I said... The Longest Day... with John Wayne et al...a well made movie)
Honorable mention: The Thing (the early Howard Hawks' version)(it's kind of a war movie)

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/11/2004 7:07:53 AM   
SeaMonkey

 

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Alright Dave B, "The Thing", do you mean Matt Dillon, ala "Gunsmoke", James Arness' first role as the monster?

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/11/2004 8:05:41 AM   
stubby331


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I thought long and hard about this.

MOST of the movies mentioned so far I agree are great movies, (some greater than others). I actually own only two war movies. So they have to be in the top 3, they are;

ZULU
KELLY'S HEROES

My third choice is a toughie. I think it would have to be a tie between

A BRIDGE TOO FAR and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

Special mention goes to Gallipoli as the Australian made war movie which has had the greatest affect on me.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/12/2004 12:49:30 AM   
showboat1


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Zulu was great! I totally forgot about that one! The Alamo with John Wayne was good too (though a historical nightmare) certainly conveyed that sense of valor standing up against impossible odds for the benefit of others.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/12/2004 2:27:36 AM   
Belisarius


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In no particular order:



  • Das Boot
  • Waterloo
  • Stalingrad


With an honorable mention to Private Ryan for the Omaha scene.

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RE: Your Top Three Best War Movies of All Time - 5/12/2004 5:10:00 PM   
irrelevant


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I'll just add one that hasn't been mentioned:

Paths of Glory (does an anti-war movie count as a war movie?)

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