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Favorite War Movies: My Favorite War movies of WW2

Updated on December 25, 2016

My favorite WW2 movies

Have you checked out these great WWII movies? You can read a short review of them and view a clip from the movie below. The movies listed here are some of my favorite films, and yes there are many more good movies out there but I wanted to keep this list short. Some of these movies are Oscar winners or were nominated for one. If you are a fan of World War 2 movies perhaps you have seen these, if you have not seen all of them don't miss out.

This is a list of some of my favorite movies of WW2.

I have always been a big WWII history buff and a lover of good war movies. I can remember back to my earliest years sitting in front of the TV watching the action take place in the European theater or the Pacific. Included here is a short list of my favorites. Below you will find a brief rundown on some of the movies with a short movie clip. Anyway, here is the list in no particular order.

Stalag 17

The Bridge on the River Kwai


Sands of Iwo Jima

Kelly's Heroes

Saving Private Ryan

The Desert Fox

Hell is for Heroes

Twelve O'Clock High

Mrs. Miniver

Band of Brothers

Action in the North Atlantic


Guadalcanal Diary

Objective Burma

The Great Escape

12 O'Clock High

This is definitely one of my favorite movies of all. This movie was based on a real Bomb Group. Former B-17 aircrews who have seen this movie say it is very authentic in its presentation. There is a lesson in leadership to be gained from watching this movie.

The movie was released in 1949 and starred GREGORY PECK and DEAN JAGGER. It won 2 Oscars - Best Supporting Actor (Dean Jagger) and Best Sound. Nominated for BEST PICTURE and BEST ACTOR (Gregory Peck). Gregory Peck won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for this movie.

The movie was also added to the National Film Registry in 1998.

The TV series 12 O’clock High aired in 1964. Its first and second season was a hit. The third season was in color and they replaced some of the actors. It just was not the same and it did not finish the season.

This is a movie I have always enjoyed watching

The Desert Fox

A great movie about FIELD MARSHALL ROMMEL. The part of Rommel was to be played by George Zucco, but he had a stroke and was replaced by JAMES MASON. The screenplay was by Nunnally Johnson and directed by Henry Hathaway. The plot to assassinate Hitler shows in this film, which Rommel was part of. Rommel was not a Nazi Party Member.

The book that the movie was based on was written by a WW2 British Officer. He had interviewed both allied and axis soldiers who had contact with Rommel. The relationship of Rommel and his wife (played by Jessica Tandy) gets some air play and is supposed to be accurate being she gave information on herself and her husband to the author.

Objective Burma

Released in 1945, it starred ERROL FLYNN. It was nominated for 3 Oscars - Best Film Editing, Best Music and Best writing. The film was not shown in Britain because of protest that the Burma Campaign was mostly British and Australian (which was true) and the movie depicts the Americans as the heroes.

This is a pretty good movie. Veterans of Burma say it looks like they went to Burma to film it when it was really filmed in California. It is about a commando raid to blow up a Japanese radar station. They miss their pickup to get out and have to walk for miles through Japanese held territory for rescue. The movie has always given me the feeling of what it must have been like fighting in that hot jungle environment.

Another must see movie.

Mrs. Miniver

MRS. MINIVER is a fictional character created by JAN STRUTHER who wrote a series of columns for "The Times" newspaper in Britain in 1937. The columns were based on her own experiences and of her family. She later wrote the stories in the form of a letter, which reflected the characters wartime experiences. These were later published as a book which gained much popularity in America. The film came out in 1942 before America's involvement in the war. The film and book are believed to have helped gain America's support for the war in Europe. It is believed by some that the movie was made as a propaganda film to motivate the American public to support the war.

The film starred GREER GARSON who won the BEST ACTRESS OSCAR for her performance. The film was the highest grossing MGM film at that time with $5,358,000 in America. In Britain it was the top box office film of 1942. A poll taken of film critics by the American magazine "Film Daily" named Mrs. Miniver best film of 1942.


Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director (He joined the Army after this movie), Cinematography, Best Writing/Screenplay

I first saw this movie in the early 1960’s; I may have been 11 or 12 years old. It made an impression on me and I never saw it again until sometime in the early 1990s. It depicts what life in wartime England may have been like with the bombings, the evacuation of Dunkirk, even having a German pilot parachuting into your backyard.

I highly recommend seeing this movie if you have not yet had the chance.

Final scene of Mrs. Miniver in the church.

At the end of the clip you can see some Spitfires fly by.

This is a great movie that came out before the U.S. had entered the war.

The Sands of Iwo Jima

THE SANDS OF IWO JIMA is a great movie. It was released in 1949 like 12 O’clock High, starring JOHN WAYNE with a Best Actor Nomination for his part. The three surviving flag raisers took part in the films flag raising and the actual flag was used on loan from the Marine Corps. The movie was filmed on Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton in California. I saw this movie for the first time when I was maybe 7 years old. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have seen this movie and never tire of watching it. I believe this film actually inspired me to join the Marine Corps.

The Great Escape

The 1964 movie THE GREAT ESCAPE was based on a true story (see tunnel harry above). Has a cast of great actors, STEVE MCQUEEN, JAMES GARNER, RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, DONALD PLEASENCE, CHARLES BRONSON, JAMES COBURN, DAVID MCCALLUM. A number of POW's are transferred to another, more high security camp. These prisoners have already tried escaping from other camps or were trouble makers. They are not intimidated and plan for a mass escape through an elaborate tunnel. The movie is supposed to be pretty accurate, such as the tunnel itself.

Nominated for Best Film Editing Oscar.

Nominated for Golden Globe

Steve McQueen won best actor at Moscow International Film Festival

Trailer from The Great Escape

Poll: favorite movie

Which of these movies are your favorite ?

See results

Thanks so much for visiting

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    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from Perth UK

      I love the Bridge over the River Kwai, it's a very intelligent film. The great escape is really engaging -funnily enough it wasn't on TV this Christmas - or was it??

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just watched The Longest Day with John Wayne

    • profile image

      TheBlueMax 5 years ago

      @anonymous: The movie you're thinking of is called"A Midnight Clear"and stars Ethan Hawke and Gary Sinise. I have a copy of it on VHS. Great movie, it got two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      There was a ww2 movie based on christmas; American patrol was inside a castle, a german patrol was near by, and in the end had a snowball fight and christmas and they be-friend each side. In the end when the Germans gave up to GI's when a stray GI from another patrol shot the germans... "What is the name of that movie"

    • january962 profile image

      january962 5 years ago

      Band of brothers if the best, but Saving private Ryan is not far behind it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      When I was a kid, channel 9 out of NY played a movie every weekday at 4pm, right after Mike Douglas. Quite often it was 'The Dirty Dozen'. But they had a lot of war movies. And PBS had a lot of the MGM musicals. Between them, my education into 'old' movies was pretty complete.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      I love watching TCM and they show some real old B/W war movies. I'm always draw to watch them, especially if they show Berlin or's not that I enjoy them, it's an inner need.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I think one of the good shows that was released last year was the HBO mini series The Pacific it underlines the happenings of the the pacific battles through the eyes of the 1st Marine division worth watching

    • Dirtfarming profile image

      Dirtfarming 6 years ago

      I have watched all of these great movies.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done; don't forget to change the title on your Table of Contents.

    • chrisqw profile image

      chrisqw 7 years ago

      Nice lens. Some great WWII movies here.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Some good WWII movies. If you like The Great Escape and the spoof Stalag 17, I highly recommend Chicken Run.

    • Makoo profile image

      Makoo 7 years ago

      Great little site, love ww2 movies.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      The Great Escape is my favorite movie listed here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I could not stop watching Stalag 17. What excellent acting and a great script. I also like "In Harm's Way."

    • profile image

      farooq19 8 years ago

      Awesome collection, nice work..

      here are some sites where you can watch all these movies free.

    • profile image

      parrow1978 8 years ago

      Great Lens, I love the World War Two flicks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Good lens! I love "Saving Private Ryan" too. By the way, recommend to download war movies on site

    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 9 years ago

      I really liked Saving Private Ryan, but I have to say of the list above that Bridge over River Kwia was my favorite of those. Great lens, 5 stars, fav'd. I also lensrolled this to my WWII lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      [in reply to sean mason] I do agree the movie was good for the first 34 min.after that other then special effects the plot was not up to par. In europe the hedgerows would have kept them from walking so calmly across the fields. but again this is my opinion only.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Saving private ryan was simply awesome and nothing even remotely compares. On the other hand, there is a movie that came out in 2006 and did not get much recognition and is very good, it is called [The black book]. From beginning to end the film is suspenseful and action packed with the perfect amount twists and turns that keep you glued to the television.