Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Top Forty-Six War Movies

Here, in no particular order, are the top forty-six war movies ever made:

  1. Lawrence of Arabia (WWI)
  2. Grave of the Fireflies (WWII)
  3. Pork Chop Hill (Korean War)
  4. Mr. Roberts (WWII)
  5. Zulu (1879 Invasion of Zulu Nation by Britain)
  6. Glory (American Civil War)
  7. The Bridge (WWII)
  8. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Napoleonic Wars)
  9. Blackhawk Down (Somali Civil War)
  10. Fires on the Plain (WWII)
  11. Paths of Glory (WWI)
  12. Breaker Morant (Second Anglo-Boer War)
  13. The Great Raid (WWII)
  14. The Beast (Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan)
  15. Battle of Algiers (War of Algerian Independence)
  16. Ride With the Devil (American Civil War)
  17. The Winter War (Soviet-Finnish War)
  18. Dark Blue World (WWII)
  19. The Steel Helmet (Korean War)
  20. The Bridge on the River Kwai (WWII)
  21. The Grand Illusion (WWI)
  22. The General (American Civil War)
  23. When Trumpets Fade (WWII)
  24. Casablanca (WWII)
  25. Threads (Cold War)
  26. Seven Samurai (Sengoku Period)
  27. Hell is for Heroes (WWII)
  28. Go Tell the Spartans (Vietnam War)
  29. 49th Parallel (WWII)
  30. The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) (Crimean War)
  31. The Grey Zone (WWII)
  32. MASH (Korean War)
  33. Downfall (WWII)
  34. Bravo Two Zero (First Gulf War)
  35. The Best Years of Our Lives (WWII)
  36. Conspiracy (WWII)
  37. Beau Geste (1939) (War of Algerian Independence)
  38. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Cold War)
  39. Stalag 17 (WWII)
  40. Rolling Thunder (Vietnam War)
  41. The Sand Pebbles (Chinese Civil War)
  42. Harakiri (Shogunate Period)
  43. Closely Watched Trains (WWII)
  44. United 93 (Jihadi War)
  45. Alexander Nevsky (Teutonic Knights Attack on Novgorod)
  46. The Duellists (Napoleonic Wars)



At last a post that will elicit any # of comments like, "Why 46?" and, how could you possibly omit "Das Boot?" which would make 47. More additional suggestions anon.

I read the book first and really didn't like Das Boot. I know I may be alone in this. There are plenty of good ones I left out. I started with 20 and the list kept expanding. It was 46 or 100 and it was getting late....
What about "Toro, Toro, Toro?"
Let's just say that my list of N movies would have some overlap with your list, but whatever number I chose, there would be movies on my list not on yours and vice version.

Which is just a long way of saying, "I disagree".


De gustibus ....

ps. I tried to post this once and got an error. Since it didn't show up after reloading the page (and against my better judgement) I'm trying again.
No "Apocalypse Now" or "Full Metal Jacket."

Hmmmm... I suppose I can figure out why.
Apocalypse Now is very good but I just can't stand the last hour or so and so it's not on the list. I think Gustav Hasdorf's The Short Timers (2/3s of which is Full Metal Jacket, sort of) is the best book about Viet Nam I've ever read, so the leaving out the last part, kinda, filming it in London, blowing the early sniper part, takes it off the list even though the Parris Island part is nearly perfect cinema. Thanks all for your comments, very much. I was no longer sure I was being read.

That as "Tora, Tora, Tora" inasmuch as we are neither call bulls in Spanish nor ordering fatty tuna at a sushi bar.

No doubrt the list will expand. What about "A Walk in the Sun?"

More anon.

Sorry, I was ignoring toro3, but I guess it is clever in the Japanese meaning. Walk in the Sun is OK, not a great deal better thanThe Story of GI Joe. Few of those movies had a lot of emotional impact to me for some reason. I included the ones that did.
"The Great Escape?" "Saving Private Ryan?" "Schindler's List?" "Dawn Patrol?" "Gallipoli?"

By way of addition not substitution.

The Great Escape is pretty good but McQueen on a BMW R12 is the only thing worth watching over and over. Funny that we choose the only camps (Luftwaffe run) which have treated us halfway decently for movie versions of being a POW in WWII. Ryan and Shindler's List could be on the list but aren't for picky aesthetic reasons. The Dawn Patrol is pretty good too, but a little smaltzy for my tastes. Finally, a lot of people liked Gallipoli but it kind of left me cold. I think it whitewashed what really happened there. So it's off the list.
What?? Patton didn't make your list? Speaking of which, I need to go watch it again just to hear him say "Rommel, you magnificent bastard!"
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