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Rarebear's avatar

What is your favorite WW2 military movie made from 1940-1970?

Asked by Rarebear (25162points) November 22nd, 2016

I’m not talking about Casablanca, I’m talking about military movies like Twelve O’clock high or Battle of the Bulge.

I’m not counting movies like Saving Private Ryan or Letters from Iwo Jima, which were made with different budgets at a much later date.

Mine is The Enemy Below.

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35 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Does the Great Escape count?

Von Ryan’s Express was a good one.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The dirty dozen

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The Longest Day

Though that was big budget for the day, not sure if you want to include that.

How about South Pacific?

I haven’t seen Letters from Iwo Jima or Flags of Our Fathers. Thanks for the reminders, I would like to watch both.

Rarebear's avatar

Those are all good choices thanks!

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I met a guy who was an an RAF airman in the Stalag Luft III prison camp and part of the actual Great Escape that inspired the movie.

I’ve started a “Brush with Greatness” thread a few times on Fluther, maybe it’s time for another.

janbb's avatar

How about “Grand Illusion” – or was that WW 1?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Between Heaven and Hell, The War Lover & The Americanization of Emily. It was WW I birdie

stanleybmanly's avatar

Oh yes- The Caine Mutiny

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

La Grande Illusion is about World War I

I’ve never seen it, but the black & white WWI thing makes me think of Paths of Glory.

The execution scene has given me dreams. Not nightmares, but dreams, where I have been condemned and I have to make the most of my time. Or fight to reverse the sentence.

I have cinematic dreams.

zenvelo's avatar

I almost forgot. Mister Roberts

snowberry's avatar

Von Ryan’s Express. We have the book, and just missed the showing on TV, but the book is much better than the movie. We take turns rereading it about every couple of years. Awesome.

imrainmaker's avatar

Enemy at the gate..

Rarebear's avatar

Enemy at the Gate was a great movie, but that was 2001. Thanks, though.

imrainmaker's avatar

Yeah..I know but I like it though..)

Pachy's avatar

Best Years of Our lives. Magnificently written, directed, acted, photographed, scored—this classic 1946 film follows intertwining stories about three vets and their families dealing with difficult post-wartime issues. I’ve watched it many times and never fail to find something new with every viewing. Too many deeply emotional scenes to list, and if the last one, a wedding, doesn’t get to you, nothing will.

gorillapaws's avatar

Another vote for Dirty Dozen.

Generally speaking, I don’t care for war movies from that period. Many glorify war with that superficial Hollywood coating that was popular in that era (e.g. the aesthetic Plesantville was criticizing). The 70’s had much grittier war films that did a better job being of being more honest about the horrors of war (e.g. Kubrick).

Rarebear's avatar

@gorillapaws I agree with you. My favorite WW2 movie is Letters from Iwo Jima. I was just thinking about those old Hollywood war movies today from that era so hence the question.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rarebear I’ve never seen it. I’ll have to check it out. One of my all time favorite WW2 movies is Empire of the Sun, much later though.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Tora! Tora! Tora!.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Okay. I know there are far better films in this category, and some of them have been listed above, but I want to take a moment to mention this gem: The 49th Parallel (1941), because it is a propaganda film made in the UK to goad Americans into joining the war by showing what freaking badasses Canadians are. On that premise alone, it’s worth a look. But may I also submit Laurence Olivier as a French Canadian stationed in the Arctic who takes on a German U-Boat with a group of angry Inuit? And Glynis Johns as the Hutterite woman with a distinctly nationalist outlook? And Leslie Howard as the Group-of-Seven-esque pacifist painter who still manages to get a shot in?

Not enough here to entice you? Canadian actor (yeah, they actually hired a Canadian actor) Raymond Massey plays THE AMERICAN.

It’s gold. You need to see it.

Rarebear's avatar

That’s great! Never seen that one.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

The Dam Busters
The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Where Eagles Dare.

ucme's avatar

The Dirty Dozen
Kelly’s Heroes
The Train
Where Eagles Dare
The Great Escape

Pachy's avatar

@dappled_leaves, SO agree with you about “49th Parallel” This episodic film is one of my favorite Pressberger-Powell movies—and I love all their movies. A must-see. (Oliver’s scene-chewing yet touching performance is priceless.)

ucme's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit Just noticed you also like Where Eagles Dare, Burton & Eastwood, all kinds of win.

ucme's avatar

Just remembered another, a little known British war movie directed by Michael (Death Wish) Winner & starring Oliver Reed…Hannibal Brooks

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

A very good print of The 49th Parallel is available Here on the Internet Archive.

Pachy's avatar

Thanks, @Espiritus_Corvus, but happily I have it and all of Michael Powell’s wonderful films on high quality DVD. But I do feel like re-watching 49th again (I’ve seen it at least 3 times already). Vaughan Williams’ heroic opening theme juxtaposed over the traveling shot of the mountains of Canada is spectacular.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

A Bridge Too Far

Lightlyseared's avatar

To Hell and Back. Its not a really a great film, but the story it tells is awesome. Audie Murphy is basically Captain America (5’5” and underweight) but without the need to be turned into a superhero before he kicks butt most famously holding off a German tank company with a .50 machine gun mounted on a tank that was on fire from a direct hit while the rest of his company escaped stopping only when he ran out of ammo but regrouped with his men and returns to finish the job. Amusingly Audie Murphy plays himself.

snowberry's avatar

We just finished watching The African Queen. I can never get tired of that one.

ucme's avatar

More keep coming to mind…Hell in the Pacific

janbb's avatar

@snowberry one of my all-time favorites. I have a date to watch it this winter.

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