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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

Best War Movies
Topic by: Brockton
Posted: March 16, 2004 - 7:35 PM PST
Last Reply: April 8, 2004 - 5:14 PM PDT

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author topic: Best War Movies
Brockton
post #1  on March 16, 2004 - 7:35 PM PST  
I just finished showing Patton to my kids and I got to thinking about the war movies I've seen. I hadn't seen Patton in a long, long time, but it still holds up.

Anyone want to put in two cents about the best war movies?

Ones that come to mind for me include The Longest Day, The Sands of Iwo Jima, and All Quiet on the Western Front.

O.K., I'll give you Saving Private Ryan as well, although I felt it stalled after the first hour, and it has the standard Spielberg sap at the end. It makes a good double-feature with The Longest Day.
dh22
post #2  on March 16, 2004 - 8:00 PM PST  
I always liked Bridge Over The River Kwai, and Platoon. Deerhunter is good, although not exactly a war film. Also, Good Morning Vietnam, and Full Metal Jacket. FMJ is probably my favorite. Do you want to limit things to films strickly about the war and fighting? Films like GMV are really just dramas set in the backdrop of a war.
Cinenaut
post #3  on March 17, 2004 - 9:18 AM PST  
Mister Roberts!
ALittlefield
post #4  on March 17, 2004 - 10:32 AM PST  
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, a 1948 best picture winner, dealt with soldiers returning from the war and trying to reintegrate into society. Although there's no actual combat shown, it definitely is about war, no question. I also love Stanley Kubrick's PATHS OF GLORY,(which I prefer to FMJ) Oliver Stone's PLATOON and APOCALYPSE NOW, even tho' I still can't understand Brando in it.
oldkingcole
post #5  on March 17, 2004 - 1:23 PM PST  
Does Spartacus count? It's one of my favorites.
oldkingcole
post #6  on March 17, 2004 - 1:30 PM PST  
Another favorite is The Beguiled, but it's a war movie mainly in the metaphorical sense. Clint Eastwood plays a Civil War soldier caught behind enemy lines in more ways than one: literally, but also in the "battle of the sexes" sense. Terrific, moody film. Probably my favorite Clint Eastwood movie. Directed by Don "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" Siegel.
hamano
post #7  on March 17, 2004 - 4:06 PM PST  
Of course it's gotta be Tora Tora Tora! It's practically the only war film where I can patriotically cheer for the winning side... When I was a teen in Toronto, I went to see Midway (in Sensurround!) with a bunch of pals... They cheered through much of THAT film, and I could only shrink and stare... *sob*...

Are we talking about war films or anti-war films here? Or both? Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and Amakusa Shirou by Nagisa Oshima are really good war films. I also really liked Red Sorghum and The Dirty Dozen is always a lot of fun.
Eoliano
post #8  on March 17, 2004 - 4:25 PM PST  
While we're in a Japanese and/or anti-war mood, how about The Burmese Harp?

While old hamano prefers a Dirty Dozen, I'm more of a Great Escape kind of old chap.

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Which side do you root for? Which is the winning side, exactly? ^-^
Eoliano
post #9  on March 17, 2004 - 4:40 PM PST  
Oh yeah, lest I forget, another title in the same vein, also directed by Ichikawa, is Fires on the Plain.

OK, hamano, banzai!
sinisterguffaw
post #10  on March 17, 2004 - 6:29 PM PST  
Empire of the Sun
ColonelKong
post #11  on March 17, 2004 - 6:57 PM PST  
I like Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot a lot, I'm looking forward to his new film Troy, but there's no way he'll ever top Das Boot as a war movie. Let's see, what other war movies do I have on my DVD shelf? Full Metal Jacket, Dr. Strangelove, Three Kings, The Big Red One, Casualties of War, those are all well worth seeing. Does Kurosawa's Ran count, or Ridley Scott's The Duellists?
kamapuaa
post #12  on March 18, 2004 - 1:08 AM PST  
Wow, before this thread I had never realized it, but I don't think I've ever really liked a single war flick. Perhaps because they're generally too jingoistic or anti-jingoistic. Perhaps because large battle scenes are impossible to keep interesting for more than a very brief period. I liked the ska song based off "Guns of Navarone," does that count?
manfarang
post #13  on March 18, 2004 - 6:59 AM PST  
Fires on the Plain and The Burmese Harp are definitely two great films and it's hard to believe that neither is yet available on DVD. I also thought None But the Brave (starring AND directed by Frank Sinatra) was an interesting film for its time, showing the difficulties of both the Japanese and American sides as they struggle to survive on a small Pacific island.
Brockton
post #14  on March 18, 2004 - 8:01 AM PST  
I'm gonna have to make it a point to see Full Metal Jacket again. I saw it when it was first released on video and it really didn't make much of an impression on me (except for that drill sargent). I see a lot of references to it on GC and elsewhere. Need to see if I'm missing anything...
RHorsman
post #15  on March 18, 2004 - 8:19 AM PST  
The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup is currently unavailable on DVD, but Bill Griffith of Zippy the Pinhead fame once called it "The best war movie ever made" (to which Zippy replied: "what was th' body count?").
manfarang
post #16  on March 18, 2004 - 8:21 AM PST  
Yikes! How did I forget the Japanese The Human Condition trilogy?
The Human Condition I: No Greater Love
The Human Condition II: The Road to Eternity
The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer


Brockton
post #17  on March 18, 2004 - 9:24 AM PST  
> On March 18, 2004 - 8:19 AM PST RHorsman wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup is currently unavailable on DVD, but Bill Griffith of Zippy the Pinhead fame once called it "The best war movie ever made" (to which Zippy replied: "what was th' body count?").
> ---------------------------------


There's a Marx Brothers DVD set coming out in May that includes A Night at The Opera, A Day at The Races, A Night in Casablanca, Room Service, At the Circus, Go West, and The Big Store, so hopefully Duck Soup and Animal Crackers won't be too far behind.
RHorsman
post #18  on March 18, 2004 - 9:53 AM PST  
> On March 18, 2004 - 9:24 AM PST Brockton wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On March 18, 2004 - 8:19 AM PST RHorsman wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup is currently unavailable on DVD, but Bill Griffith of Zippy the Pinhead fame once called it "The best war movie ever made" (to which Zippy replied: "what was th' body count?").
> > ---------------------------------
>
>
> There's a Marx Brothers DVD set coming out in May that includes A Night at The Opera, A Day at The Races, A Night in Casablanca, Room Service, At the Circus, Go West, and The Big Store, so hopefully Duck Soup and Animal Crackers won't be too far behind.
> ---------------------------------

Except that the rights to everything before A Night at the Opera are tied up elsewhere (Paramount?). Still, if that box set does well, maybe there's hope...

/threadjack

justanotherpunk
post #19  on March 18, 2004 - 10:39 AM PST  
Apocalypse Now is my favorite war movie. The further the movie goes along, the further into hell it takes you. Just unforgettable performances by Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, etc.

Grave of the Fireflies comes in at second and even though it dosen't have any of the action that is stereotypical in war movies (or any action at all) the story is flawless at showing the efects of war on 2 orphan children. I've only seen it once because it's so sad - quite possibly the saddest movie ever.
underdog
post #20  on March 18, 2004 - 11:29 AM PST  
I'd second the vote for many of these mentioned, especially Paths of Glory, as one of my personal favorites in the "war is hell" genre.

Also surprised no one's mentioned Terence Malick's The Thin Red Line, certainly one of the most beautiful films about something so awful as war, meditative and unforgettable.

And speaking of WWII, liked Keith Gordon's A Midnight Clear, a real sleeper... and the Band of Brothers series, too.

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