View Full Version : Best war film

11th May 2004, 22:16
So...not sure if this has been done before but which is your favourite war film?

Ice Cold in Alex
Colditz Story
Battle of the Bulge
Schindlers List

11th May 2004, 22:19
Blimey, now you have started something !

Don your flak jacket and head for the nearest shelter. The anti-war mob are on the way for you ! :) ;) :ok:

11th May 2004, 22:19
The Great Escape. Every time I see it I end up with the tune in my head for days!

11th May 2004, 22:20
None of the above:

"Apocalypse Now"

11th May 2004, 22:27
Memphis Belle,

Not for the tacky film, but for the thoughts and respect that it provokes.

11th May 2004, 22:34
but for the thoughts and respect that it provokes

If memory still serves me right the film had scenes where the crew were actually fighting with one-another.

Whilst this may have been true of the USAAF, it was not for the RAF.

RAF crews were intensely loyal to one-another.

Several ex RAF aircrew I know were most upset at the impression that could have been gained that this was how it really was in the RAF.

I know you will say that it was different air forces but these days history is what is seen at the cinema.

11th May 2004, 22:35
Platoon or Hamburger Hill.

11th May 2004, 22:47
If memory still serves me right the film had scenes where the crew were actually fighting with one-another.

Quite right, but it had a lot of 'real' scenes of battle damaged aircraft falling out of the sky.

At the end of the day Bletchley, it was all for us, regardless of sides, scraps amongst crew and so on.

Nuff said on that ?

11th May 2004, 22:57
Kelly's heroes.

Donald Sutherland:"vuf, vuf, thats my second dog imitation"

11th May 2004, 23:22

You beat me to it.

11th May 2004, 23:26
Dammit me to~

Burning bridges, now thats a quality tune!

tony draper
11th May 2004, 23:26
Cross of Iron
Full Metal Jacket
Das Boot
Quite liked Stalingrad.
can't think of any more, not sure Shindlers List can be classed as a war movie, more a wartime movie, hell of a movie though and very Harrowing.

11th May 2004, 23:49
If memory still serves me right the film had scenes where the crew were actually fighting with one-another.

Whilst this may have been true of the USAAF, it was not for the RAF.

But perhaps it was.

I read not long ago a revisionist story of one eminent RAF pilot, later killed. It was thought that he did not know how to switch from one tank to another in a type unfamiliar to him, and that just before the crash he was exchanging blows with another member of the aircrew.

Since I cannot recall the exact title of the book, I shall leave it at that. From WWI there were several, perhaps many, stories of British officers on the Western Front dying from a well-aimed .303 round from a Lee-Enfield, from behind.

Some time after the war an RAF officer told me in the bar in the Mess that he was flying No 2 in FGA strafing operations in Europe. His section leader had no DFC and dearly wanted one before it was too late. He pressed his attacks beyond reason, and the wing-man collected the flak thrown up by angry Germans after the section leader had passed by. My man told him to cut it out, the war was all but over, and he wanted to survive. He did not cut it out. On the final sortie the No 1 did it once too often, and the wingman gave a little deflection, gave him a burst, and that solved the problem. Maybe he was just shooting a line, but he was in his cups and I believed him. I made very sure I forgot his name immediately.

12th May 2004, 00:01
The deer hunter, Lawrence of Arabia or Bridge on the river kwai.

Onan the Clumsy
12th May 2004, 00:08
Kelly's Heroes
Catch 22
The Looooooongest Day

Wasn't there a TV series (Masterpiece Theatre in the US) a few years ago about flying Spitfires in France that caused a lot of comment because it characterised the pilots as being absolute bastards to each other? A little like school bullying taken much too far. There was a scene where someone took a spit low and fast down a canal I think.

12th May 2004, 00:18
Oh yeah, Dirty Dozen, and To hell and back, true story of Audie Murphy
Used to be a fan of Escape to victory, with Sylvester Stallone and Pele, but I was only a whipper snapper back then!

12th May 2004, 00:55
633 Squadron - Love the music and those Mossies scooting along at low level!!!!!!!!

12th May 2004, 01:04
Paths of Glory and the original All Quiet on the Western Front.

After those two there's no more to be said about the futility of it all.

12th May 2004, 01:10
Piece of Cake?

12th May 2004, 01:24
Destination Tokyo
Run Silent Run Deep
Operation Pacific
Torpedo Run
Crash Dive
We Dive At Dawn
The Enemy Below
Das Boot
Murphy's War
Operation Petticoat:suspect:

12th May 2004, 01:37
took a spit low and fast down a canal

'Supose it's better than spitting high and slow off a building on those unsuspecting below.

(Just not the same without Carnsie around)

DC Meatloaf
12th May 2004, 04:02
More of a mini-series than a movie, I suppose, but I thought Band of Brothers was excellent.

Saving Private Ryan is the only war movie my wife's grandfather, who earned a silver star in WWII on Saipan and another in Korea, thought was anything like reality.

Rich Lee
12th May 2004, 05:00
Conan-The Barbarian

12th May 2004, 07:10

633 Squadron????

Its only my opinion, but I have always thought that it is one of the worst of the RAF war films. Not only are the "special effects" [email protected], but I don't believe, that an Avro Vulcan and a 1959 (ish) Fordson tractor were around during the war. And if you don't believe me about the Vulcan, its in a scene where a Mossie is taking off and the camera is panning left rather quickly. Look in the backgroung near a grey hanger. Granted the music was OK, sort of.

Always got the impression it was made on a very, very low budget.

High Wing Drifter
12th May 2004, 08:09
The Thin Red Line. The title it self is a metaphor for the knife edge balance between reason and insanity, the battle line between conscience and conviction. A quite stunning production and explores the contrived notions of civilisation and morality in much a much more subtle way than simply stating that "war is wrong." Truely, the thinking man's war film :O

12th May 2004, 08:24
"The Blue Max"
Excellent WW1 movie with some breathtaking flying sequences, (at least to me at the time!). Watched it several times in me youth.

"Saving Private Ryan"
Reduced my wife to tears in the opening minutes, truly scary stuff.

"We were Soldiers"
Watched it on DVD and viewed the 'extras', interesting interview with the guy who advised the makers of the movie. He was actually there and was very insistent that it was made as accurately as possible.

12th May 2004, 08:46
Could well be right Luke - I just love the music!!!

12th May 2004, 09:01
Going to have to agree with scran on this one, 633 is an awesome film. OK, so unlike some of the others mentioned it's about a fictional incident (although not too dissimilar to some actual Mossie ops), OK so there might be a Vulcan in the background at one point (although I' never noticed myself), and OK some of the effects look pretty dated (but it is a pretty old film).

BUT some of the flying is truly amazing. Take a close look at what first appears to be a shadow on the water in the fjord in some of the clips, and you'll notice it's actually another Mosquito, who can't be flying much above 30ft. As scran says the music is great too. My only annoyance is having an American as the hero in an RAF film!

I also heard a rumour that the fjord attack in 633 was George Lucas' inspiration for the Death Star trench run in the original Star Wars. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

12th May 2004, 09:07
Slight thread nudge.....................

On the subject of music in fims of this genre, my favourite piece is 'Aces High' ( the luftwaffe march) from The Battle of Britain.
Believe the music for that film had an interesting history; filmakers not happy with original (William Walton) and large parts were rewritten/modified by Ron Goodwin.

Scran - Music for 633 Squadron written by Ron Goodwin also.

12th May 2004, 10:30

Don't you mean "awful"?

High Wing,


12th May 2004, 11:11
Agree with quite a few of the above, but surprised neither of these have turned up yet.

Glory, only war film to bring a lump to ones throat.

A Bridge Too Far....

German officer 'We wish to discuss terms of surrender'
British Officer 'I'm sorry but we don't have the facilities to accomodate all of you'

High Wing Drifter
12th May 2004, 11:34
High Wing,


Yeah, I'm not too good at the BS that makes things sound good. Seriously, effing good film, certainly the best war film ever IMHO! However, I do definately feel in the minority on that opinion.

What was the Kirk Douglas film set in WWI with the French Inf? That was a very powerful film too. Very hazy memory of it. The gist of it was that soldiers were chosen to be executed for cowerdice just to set examples even when no acts of cowerdice were evident. One that sticks with you for weeks afterwards, or years in my case.

What about Galipoli (sp?): Tragedy personified. A terrible event that makes the blood boil.

12th May 2004, 11:58
The Bridges at Toko-Ri.

Admiral stares dreamily into the middle distance:

"They take off. They fly their missions. And then they try to find this speck .... lost in the ocean. Where do we get these men?"


The best recruiter the FAA ever had, even if it was about the USN.

tony draper
12th May 2004, 14:17
I could never stand those 50's Stiff upper lip opera Brit war movies, the only function any body without a oxbridge accent was apparently to rush up to the bridge of destroyers and such and utter things like "another cup of coco captin" or to say in a strong cockney accent "cor blimey stone the crows jerries going his ends tonight"
Apparently only those who had attended Eton or who's parents went about the place clad in pearly suits fought in the war.

I think the movie you are thinking of High Wing is, Tunes of Glory, although UI could be wrong,another similarly named movie Paths of Glory,was about Patton,or was it Macarthur?

I looked forward to band of brothers from reports on another website mostly frequented by the cousins, then I saw the first episode,as per usual Americans wandering seemingly impervious and bullet through hails of German lead and mowing said germans down at will,the first episode put me off a bit, one often wonders how the Germans managed to get as far as they did fielding a amy that according to Hollywood couldn't hit a barn door in a slowly driven Panza.

12th May 2004, 14:22
Well drapes i bet you loved "Soldier Soldier" then!!

tony draper
12th May 2004, 14:34
Can't say I have seen that one , and in fairness Band Of Brothers did improve a bit in later episodes, the opening sequence of saving Private Ryan probably more reflects the reality when the shit is flying, nobody is bullet proof.

12th May 2004, 15:11
Best Comedy: Kelly's Heroes

Best Drama: Patton

Best Single Scene: The Helicopter Attack in "Apocalypse Now"

Sleeper: Zulu

Best Mini-Series: "The Civil War" by Ken Burns

12th May 2004, 15:19
One oversight here:

Xena, Warrior Princess.

montys ex teaboy
12th May 2004, 15:20
What about that film, about Audy Murphy, playing himself. What a boy!

God bless America.:ok:

tony draper
12th May 2004, 15:36
One loves westerns but yesterday afternoon one watched possibly the worst western ever made starring the above mentioned Audie Murphy, he played a chap called the Silver Kid, who worked for the sherrif who aparently had no first of last name and was known to all even complete strangers in the town as Lightning, now cummon, can you imagine the piss take if you had a name like the Siver Kid, or even worse, Lightning?now a cowboy might be tempted to call his horse or his dog Lightning, but a sherrif?
The mind boggles.

12th May 2004, 16:23
By popular and democratic acclaim, "Kelly's Heroes" wins. "Cheese-eating surrender monkeys" notwithstanding, a great light-hearted movie about how Americans in all guises try to make the best out of someone else's decision to send them into battle...! And the music score is the best ever!

Patton is the war film brought to real life. Everything that followed was just a pale imitation. :uhoh:

12th May 2004, 16:58
I can't believe that no-one has put The Battle of Britain in.
From the opening sequence of a Spitfire through Michael Caine and the rest of the all star cast, it's a classic.
Brilliant lines such as "Good afternoon my a**e"
I know it's not how it was but it is very entertaining.

Boss Raptor
12th May 2004, 17:49
We Were Soldiers and Saving Private Ryan - both very moving and I believe 'real'

Das Boot was good

Apocalypse Now - fantastic to watch and complete lunacy

12th May 2004, 18:00
BAT 21, the original "Behind Enemy Lines"

Black Hawk Down, "these things are fecking bullet magnets"

Braveheart, "I'm going out tae pick a fight"


High Wing Drifter
12th May 2004, 18:23
I can't believe that no-one has put The Battle of Britain in. From the opening sequence of a Spitfire through Michael Caine and the rest of the all star cast, it's a classic.
It was a Hurricane old boy. Really, you can teach monkeys to fly better then that!

Yes, it is a true classic in every sense. It was mentioned near the top of the thread was it not?

Maybe I am a bit odd, but I disliked We Were Soldiers. I thought the dialogue and Mel Ego Gibson's acting were a little cringe inducing. Maybe I'm too critical.

The other night I caught the back end of a film about the Doolittle raid. Too mushy and sentimental and trite dialogue almost make you thing that soft focus would have been more appropriate. Not to mention the apparent absence of historical accuracy...but that is another thread :)

12th May 2004, 19:30
I thought "Three Kings", set in the aftermath of Gulf War 1, was one of the best films about soldiering I've ever seen, and stands up well as a modern re-vamp of the classic "Kelly's Heroes".

Following those two - "A Bridge Too Far" was amazingly authentic for its time.

12th May 2004, 21:04
Das Boot has to be up there at the top.

It is one of the most realistic war films that tells the story as I think it really was.

There is no glory for either side.

You get to the point that you want the U-Boat crew to survive, even though they are being depth-charged by a British Destroyer.

A brilliant film.

And you have to admire the courage of those guys. 40,000 went out only 10,000 returned. The highest per centage fatality rate in WW2, followed by Bomber Command

12th May 2004, 21:15
Last of the Mohicans....Music is triffick [good film too]
Seven Samurai
Bless Them All
Camp on Blood Island
King Rat
TV series.."Sharpe"

12th May 2004, 21:22
Empathy for the enemy us something that Battle of Britain achieved as well, showing the German crews point of view as well, along with the cameredie (can't spell :rolleyes: ) that was equal on both sides.

Also showed the courage and skill of foreign pilots in the RAF.

Truly a classic :ok:

tony draper
12th May 2004, 21:23
Das Boot is being repeated here at the mo,watching it for the second or third time, however I have come to the conclusion that German banter does not survive the translation well.
Still as you say a bit more realistic than than one about the cousins capturing that code machine off that sub.
****!, can't remember the name of the code machine or the number of the sub, one recons one's dead brain cells must outnumber the living now.

12th May 2004, 21:26
U571, the machine was the Enigma machine.

Trouble now is that half the western world think the US were responsible for finding the Enigma machine.

Wait for the inevitable sequel showing how they broke the codes.

Totally boycotted the film due to the typical American attempt to re-write history.


tony draper
12th May 2004, 21:45
Oh Dear Mr Blechley wait untill you see Tom Cruise in Battle of Britain, tiz causing ructions on another website.

12th May 2004, 21:56
I know, I think I posted early on.

Still they've got their own real war now. One they started all themselves...they weren't late either.

:) :ok:

12th May 2004, 22:55
Drapes, I believe that Paths of Glory is the WW1 B&W film about the court martial and executions starring Kirk Douglas and Adolph Menjou. Tunes of Glory is the one about the Scottish regiment based in the castle in Edinburgh with Alec Guiness and John Mills. Both very good films IMO not so much for military activities (none in Tunes) but for the stories and acting.

tony draper
12th May 2004, 23:02
You are of course correct Mr I, Alec Guiness was very good, I could never stand John Mills, he starred in a lot of those stiff upper lip operas one mentioned earlier,and he always seemed to play prissy fussy little characters one would never have grown tired of kicking.


CarltonBrowne the FO
12th May 2004, 23:45
Battle of Britain and Battle of Britain and A Bridge Too Far both make my list. I enjoyed Band of Brothers - I thought the D-Day episode reflected the confusion of the first night in a stunning way. The book explains a lot more about how the first company commander was such a martinet, and so determined to make "his" unit the best, that they were fitter and more effective than most of the rest of the US army- after they had ditched that CO of course! :rolleyes:
As for British soldiers shooting their commanders in the backs...no need to look as far back as WW1. It's been rumoured for a long time that the heroic leader of an action on a South Atlantic island was shot by his own men...

13th May 2004, 00:57
Glory. Wonderful movie.

Kelly's Heroes; Don't give me them negative waves, man........

And what about M.A.S.H. ???

Buster Hyman
13th May 2004, 03:37
To be or not to be . Just for the scene at the end where Mel Brooks, dressed as Hitler, walks into an English pub & says; "Excuse me. Is this England?"

I enjoyed Zulu, got it on DVD the other day. Lawrence of Arabia was an all time favourite though.

13th May 2004, 08:52
Merry christmas mister Lawrence

I don't know why, I remember the melody wery vividly, but was it also the name of the film? Anyway, the movie left a lasting impression, wich can not be said about many other war movies!

Boss Raptor
13th May 2004, 14:09
yes it was - or 'melly clissmas mistar lawrence' :)

david bowie and tom conti

music by ryuichi sakamoto

is available on dvd and the soundtrack on cd :ok:

13th May 2004, 14:29
"Master and Commander", almost worthy of the marvellous P O'Brian books, and Russell Crowe was excellent, and not the yob I expected him to be.

I read "Kelly's Heroes" as "Kelly's Herpes" in an earlier post (wrong glasses) leading me to speculate about other typos in movie names (Field of Dreads, My Left Food, The Year of Giving Dangerously, The Last Temptation of Chris, Witless)

Any suggestions?

13th May 2004, 16:25
The Beagle has Landed

(but we lost it)

12 0'Clock Hi

(lunchtime meeting)

13th May 2004, 20:12
Anyone mention Zulu yet?

Lance Murdoch
13th May 2004, 20:57
I still think 'The Cruel Sea' is an excellent war film. It is probably Jack Hawkins best performance. The film is much better than the propaganda films made during the war. It doesnt glamorise war nor does it preach about how terrible it is. It portrays the sailors as normal men in very difficult circumstances, the scene where they have to drop depth charges on the survivors of a torpedoed ship is particularly harrowing.
I imagine that film pretty much shows WWII as it was which is why it is my favourite war film.
Other favourite war films are 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Platoon' and 'Reach for the Sky'

13th May 2004, 21:22
Totally agree with the 'Cruel sea' a brilliant film.'In which we serve' must be mentioned as it typifies the upper class nonsense that Mr Draper said about in his answer and the only good thing that came out of it was Lawrence Oliviers quote from the scenes done in the water tank at Elstree "There's dysentry in every ripple" which summed that part up.
'We were soldiers'
'Bridge over the river Kwai'
'Zulu'(should be mentioned)
'A bridge too far'
and the one about the snipers in Stalingrad but the title has gone from the brain cell!!

13th May 2004, 22:30
What about :-

Henry V (Larry version)

A matter of life and death.

Pork chop hill.

Oh and PEARL HARBOUR !! I never stopped laughing until someone told me it wasn't a comedy, and then I laughed even more. :D

CarltonBrowne the FO
13th May 2004, 23:00
The one about the snipers in Stalingrad was Enemy at the Gates. Another fine movie, must watch the DVD again soon!

14th May 2004, 01:12
'Schindler's List' was a war movie?
Good grief.

14th May 2004, 03:13
These probably aren't the "best" war movies, but my all time favorite war flicks are

The Dirty Dozen
Where Eagles Dare
Tora Tora Tora
The Wackiest Ship in the Army
Mister Roberts
(gotta have some comic relief sometimes);)

14th May 2004, 06:25
I don't know if post war occupied Vienna qualifies as a "War Movie" but The Third Man is one of my all time favourites. It is also one of those films that should remain in black & white. There are not many B&W films that have been improved by colourizing IMO.

TRAS Bloke
14th May 2004, 07:18
What about 633 squadron. Mike Baldwin and Shughie McFee flying that Mosquito into the mountain side. Tragic.

Devils Advocate
14th May 2004, 19:01
Das Boot (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082096/) - "Alarm !!" ..... nuf said already
Zulu (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058777/) - if only coz the scenery reminds me of Africa and having been to Rorke's Drift
Henry V (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097499/) - 1989 version with Kenneth Branagh, where not much beats Act 4. Scene III (http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/henryV/21/)
The Hill (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059274/) - B&W, gritty, 50's UK film making at it's best
The Cruel Sea (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045659/) - ditto above
Ice Cold in Alex (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053935/) - Cracking stuff, plus the desert ( you gotta luv it ! )
Lawrence of Arabia (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056172/) - Ditto above
Apocalypse Now (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078788/) - Superb
Master & Commander: The far side of the world (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0311113/) - Probably as close as it comes to portraying an English warship of that time ( though bettered by the authors books )
The Beast of War (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094716/) - Savage and haunting film about a Russian tank crew in Afghanistan, almost Lawrence of Arabia, Platoon and Das Boot combined !

14th May 2004, 19:42
Damn you Carltonbrown, I was just about to jump in with "Enemy at the gates". A good film, untill I found out afterwards, that it was based on a true story, which made it even better for me.
But you still cannot beat Kellys Heroes.
always with the negative waves man....................

14th May 2004, 20:10
Wow, why has nobody mentioned Angels One-Five or The Way To the Stars, mind you my list is endless.........

Above us the waves
Bridge too Far (and read the book)
Cockleshell Heroes
Battle of Britain
The Way Ahead
The Cruel Sea (top film)
The One that Got Away (and read the book)
The Longest Day
Mephis Belle (Both films)
The Bridges of Toko-Ri
Tora Tora Tora
The Eagle has landed
Strategic Air Command
Ice Cold in Alex

That'll do for now I think !!!!


14th May 2004, 23:50
Apocalypse Now - Seen in at least 10 times.

The final scenes still freak me out :ugh: :confused: ;) ;)

Buster Hyman
14th May 2004, 23:56
I think it was "negative vibes" maxman. Donald Sutherland to the future Capt. Stubing!

Gallipoli wasn't too bad either. Mel Gibson, before he got rich.

15th May 2004, 00:08
Not a movie of course, but the very last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth when the laughs had stopped and they're about to go over the top and even gung-ho George admits he's scared as all his friends from his Cambridge days were now dead....

Very sad and very poignant, when the battle then cuts to a beautiful field of Poppy's with the birds singing....

Really well done.

15th May 2004, 04:10
Most fav modern flick:

Saving Private Ryan, for a representation thats slightley closer to the savage blood and guts of real war.

Memphis Belle, is admitedley a colection of all the documented sh!t endured by Allied pilots rolled into 1 B-17 and 1 trip, but the credits mention this anyway.

Most fav older films:

Battle of Britain - NISM?

The Dambusters - ditto

most hated modern flick:

Pearl Harbour, for the greatest load of inaccurate and luvvey-duvvey sh!t Ive ever seen on a film proporting to be a WW2 movie. Christ even the Japs couldntve made one as convaluted!

most hated older films:

Any war film where everybodys in good spirits and no-one shits themselves before or during battle. Cant remember a couple of names since I prefer to forget them.

15th May 2004, 06:23
Have to second the vote for Band of Brothers, even though it wasn't a film - it was a bloody great series. For you war mongers that haven't seen it yet - go get the dvds and sit down all week end and watch it, definitely wasting your weekend for.:ok: