Top 50 War Movies #45-41

45) The Guns Of Navarone– (Score 46/100)-  I like the movie, as a movie, but there are no real ‘battle’ scenes in it.  It is also a complete work of fiction, and the effects are poor even for the time that it was made.

44) Kelly’s Heroes– (49/100)- I almost left 44 and 45 off the list because they are fictions and contain so little historical truths.  The Dirty Dozen was not included in the list, but it belongs right here with 44 and 45 for the same reasons.  There are also several anachronisms in this particular film.

43) Letters From Iwo Jima (57/100)-  The main problem with this movie as a war movie is its main point.  I know that Eastwood was showing the Japanese point of view with the movie, but that is really the problem that I have with it.  It is simply too different from what I expect in a war movie.

42) The Wild Geese– (57/100)-  This film is generally underrated as a war film.  Its unique depiction of 20th century European imperialism and mercenary attitudes in post WWII Africa is good, and the battle depictions and acting are not terrible.

41) The Battle of the River Plate – (58/100)-  This movie recounts the events that led to the scuttling of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee.  This is one instance in which the actual historical events surrounding the plot help propel a movie that does not have great effects or acting to the point where it is at least watchable.

Top 50 War Movies Criteria

Top 50 War Movies 10-1

Top 50 War Movies 20-11

Top 50 War Movies 30-21

Top 50 War Movies 40-31

Top 50 War Movies 45-41

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for your excellent list, which is a good starting point for me at the moment, looking for good war movies.

    I agree with most of you criteria except for one: war movies having to be patriotic (representing the US perspective?). Here is where truthfulness and historical accuracy often suffer in many war movies.

    Patriotism may serve a purpose in sports, but in war, no. We are all humans on the same planet trying to live together in peace. At we should, and patriotism in a narrow sense does not help.

    The biggest shortcomings of many US made movies is that they are too one sidedly patriotic (Letter from Iwo Jima being an excellent exception to the rule).

    We all know by now how US soldiers suffered in Vietnam (and possibly how they were led to believe they fought for a just cause, comp. Irak, Afghanistan as retaliation for 9/11), but what do US war movies tell us about the suffering of the people in Vietnam, Kambodja (Killing fields being the exception), Iraq, Afghanistan nearly nothing in comparison.

    The Quiet American may not be a war movie, but is still one of the best examples of how good patriotic intentions can go oh, so wrong. The rest is history and it repeats itself in this post-Bush when the generals´ influence on US policy is increasing by the hour and forcing the ´greatest country on earth´ into increasing financial debt.

    So this is partly why I personally prefer war movies with a more generally human perspective, millions of civilians being seemingly the prime target (yes, collateral damage) in the stupid search for one Bin Laden, which only seems to escalate the conflict between peoples on the planet.

    I recently watched Ken Loach’s Carla’s Song and Salvador (Woods, Belushi). I suppose you have too.

    • First of all, I appreciate the time you took to comment on my story. However, I want to point out that this is my list and my criteria. I am proud to be an American, and I’m proud of the work we do throughout the world be it helping people in Haiti, or killing scumbags in Iraq or Afghanistan (and no, I’m not calling all people in these countries scumbags). I heard a news anchor ask this week (and I paraphrase), “We see how terrible things are in Haiti right now, and it is awful. I wonder how much worse it would be if there were no U.S. to come to their aid.”
      I do not agree one bit with your political opinions or your opinion of the U.S. and its history of warfare. I think perhaps you don’t understand what a war movie is, I think Oliver Stone conspiratorial films may be more your style. I, on the other hand, love my country and believe that in almost all instances it has acted in ways that have benefited itself and the rest of the world. Why is the U.S. held to more scrutiny than any other country? It’s because we care, and we try to do the right thing. Ask the same questions of Russia and China, and you’ll be laughed out of the room, if you survive.
      If you are looking to Bush-bash, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. I fully support everything he did, and find those who do not to be at least short-sighted, and at most foolhardy. At some point, people will recognize the positive impact that the Bush administration had on the world, and he will get his due, just as Reagan has.
      For me, a good war movie is almost always patriotic, and it means something to me for them to be so. You also need to remember that the patriotism exemplified in most of these movies is not toward the actions of the U.S. as a nation, but the actions of individual soldiers heroically fighting for their country, and in many cases giving their lives whether the decisions of their superiors are correct or not. It is these stories of individual servicemen that stir the soul. Sure, you may have a bad guy every now and then, but it is the hero that rises above or gives his all that draws you in. If I were making a list to make a statement, I would have included films like Casualties of War, but that just was not my purpose.
      Sorry for the rambling, but I just got off a hard day at work, and can barely think.

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