40) Full Metal Jacket– (58/100)- This is not one of my favorite war movies, but on most of the lists I saw, it scored consistently in the top 10. I honestly thought that I would have it higher, but here it is at number 40. The movie suffers from what I call “Stripes Syndrome.” It is almost as if it is two complete movies: one about basic training, and another about Vietnam. The first part of the movie is gold, but this is not a list about great basic training movies, or An Office and a Gentleman would be on it. By the time you get to the second half of the movie, all of the compelling stuff has already happened, and you just want it to end.
39) Stalag 17– (59/100)- This is a good movie with a compelling plot and some good acting, but it takes place in a POW camp, and therefore suffers from a lack of battles in the ‘war movie’ department.
38) Where Eagles Dare– (60/100)- This is another good movie with good acting, but it suffers from the fact that it is a complete work of fiction. It is, however, considered to be the one of the best of the fictional war movies.
37) Andersonville– (62/100)- This was a made for TNT depiction of life at the most brutal prison camp in the South during the civil war. It suffers from many of the same problems that Stalag 17 does, but it is shows a little more of the actual brutality that often accompanied prisoner of war camps.
36) The Bridge on the River Kwai– (63/100)- This is really more of a character study than an actual depiction of life in a POW camp run by the Japanese during WWII. It suffers on this list from the same things that hurt Stalag 17 and Andersonville. Though it has a great cast, there is some pretty bad acting at times in the film. It is also a fictional work. It however deserves some respect because of the mold that it broke when it was made and the fact that it won seven Academy Awards.
35) The Green Berets– (65/100)- I’m not saying that it is a great movie, but what kind of war movie list would this be if it did not have a few John Wayne movies on it. At least there are a few good battle scenes in it.
34) Memphis Belle– (65/100)- It is hard to think of Sean Astin as a war hero, but this is really not a bad movie. It attempts to encapsulate the trials and tribulations of the average bomber crew in the European theatre during WWII.
33) Sink the Bismarck– (67-100)- This movie is on par with The Battle of the River Plate as far as the way it was made. The ships still have that ‘toy’ quality about them. The reason it scores higher, it the Bismarck was simply an icon and the Graf Spee was not.
32) The Desert Fox– (70/100)- This biography of Rommell is a very good. It is not big on battles, and suffers here for it.
31) The Charge of the Light Brigade– (70/100)- The subject is one of the greatest military debacles in history. The cavalry charges are some of the best to be found on film, but the plot, complete with social commentary tend to make the film tiresome.
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