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Great War Movies

Updated on February 14, 2015
Great War Movies
Great War Movies

War Is Hell

Nothing can emulate the the terror and horror soldiers face in the midst of a battle.  Many can only imagine what war is like.  For most people, the only experience of war comes from the movies.  Many movies try to capture the experience of war through sounds, sights and human emotion.  The following is a short list of great war movies. 

Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan was released in 1998 and depicts the invasion of Normandy and the early fight in France during World War II.  After the initial battle scene, the movie tells the story of a small group of soldiers who search for a soldier who has lost three brothers in the war.  Saving Private Ryan was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore and Jeremy Davies.  Saving Private Ryan was a critical and box office success.  The film grossed 480 million dollars worldwide and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards

The initial battle scene that depicts that invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 lasts 24 minutes and was critically acclaimed as one of the most realistic battle scenes shown on film.  The scene holds nothing back and depicts the reality of war.  Soldiers who fought on the French beaches were reported to have left the theatre because the scene was so realistic that it brought back memories of what they went through.  The rest of the movie also shows battle scenes that are realistic, but nothing was as powerful as the initial 24 minute battle scene.

Saving Private Ryan: The Opening Scene

Patton
Patton

Patton

Patton was released in 1970 and tells the story of United States General George S. Patton during World War II.  Patton is played by George C. Scott and the screenplay was taken by General Omar Bradley's memoirs.  Patton also stars Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Vogler.  Patton won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture. 

Patton is a brilliant movie.  It depicts General Patton as both a man of war but also a man of honor and guts.  But it also shows that he was just a man who has flaws and vulnerabilities.  In terms of depicting war, Patton shows the glory that war can bring and the costs of that glory. 

Platoon
Platoon

Platoon

 

Platoon was released in 1986 and was written and directed by Oliver Stone.  Platoon starred Charlie Sheen, Tom Beringer, William Dafoe and Jonny Depp.  The story was drawn from Stone's own experiences as an infantryman in Vietnam.  Platoon won the Academy Award for Best Picture and was voted as the 6th greatest war movie ever made by the AFI. 

Platoon tells the story of war through the eyes of a young soldier arriving in Vietnam played by Sheen.  It shows the horror of war and the psychological impact that war can have on the men fighting the battles. 

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    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      All great pics ruff. Thanks for reading

    • profile image

      ruffridyer 

      7 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      A couple of my favorite war movies don't even involve the united states. Enemy at the Gates, The Cross of Iron and The Blue Max.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I agree with you Tony. But you have to cut it off somewhere or you could never stop writing.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 

      8 years ago from san diego calif

      Good job bgpappa. I have always liked Private Ryan and Platoon. I was kinda surprised you did not include " Apocolypse Now " . That one was dark and disturbing as a war movie can get. But all the same some very solid choices here !

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Haven't seen it but will check it out.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      WKoppin 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      I like to complain about Saving Priavte Ryan but that's irrelevant. I'd like to point out "Stalingrad" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalingrad_(film) Exellent movie, with no moral/politcal crap and a horrific view of fighting from a different perspective.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      thanks for the comment

    • mythological1 profile image

      mythological1 

      8 years ago from Coastal Georgia

      We Were Soldiers and Tears of the Sun are destined to become classics. Not really a war movie but a Military movie that hits home as for the realities of war has got to be "taking chance" with kevin bacon

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for the comment.

    • TheHonestMan profile image

      TheHonestMan 

      9 years ago from Inland Empire, California

      Saving Private Ryan is a classic. Platoon was gruesome and bloody but I felt captured the realness of the Vietnam war. I also liked Braveheart and showed the power that a single person can have.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for reading

    • profile image

      fierycj 

      9 years ago

      I agree with you completely. These movies earned the well deserved acclaim. Which is always a good thing. Other ones are We Were Soldiers, Black Hawk Down, Tears Of The Sun and Flags of Our Fathers. Good hub.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks much dame.

      War is hard to watch, but it is important to show what soldiers actually go through. Perhaps that way, decisions to go war are taken even more seriously as they already are.

      Thanks for reading

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 

      9 years ago from Canada

      These are great movies and difficult to watch as war does involve loss not just of a person but the personal and individual effects on the soldiers. Great article. :)

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      jxb and baz those are both great movies. Thanks for reading.

    • Gaz2k9 profile image

      Gaz2k9 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great list I would have to say Apocalypse now(1979) deserves a mention in there.

    • jxb7076 profile image

      James Brown 

      9 years ago from United States of America

      I would like to add "Glory(1989)" to the list although its emphasis was more 'social content" which included war scenes.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Those are great ones too. The list could be fifty movies long.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 

      9 years ago from ma

      These are some great war movies. I just wanted to add my favorites Casualties of War and Paths of Glory.

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