Top 10 World War II Flicks
Filed in Culture & Art, Reviews
I don’t know whose brainchild it was to give me the power of the pen (oh, I mean the power of the keyboard) for publishing on the Web. That’s the good thing about blogs—I can write (or let write) whatever I feel like.
In this case, I’ve decided to give you an all-time list of Best World War II movies. Stay tuned though, I’m pretty sure that I’ll bringing up other movie lists that center around Germany in the future.
Receiving both criticism and cinematic acclaim, Berlin Express is a 1948 film that shows real-life footage of a post World War II Frankfurt and Berlin. The real plot, however, is a sort-of whodunit on a train where a diplomat is “killed;” and you never quite can guess who really is who they say they are.
Filmed in Dutch with English subtitles, the Black Book movie is raw and graphic (to a point). And unlike most European films, it surprisingly has a sort-of happy ending.
Released in 1981 by West Germany and the Bavarian Film Studio, the Das Boot movie centers around the U-96 with an embittered crew and a war correspondent onboard. You can feel the crew’s low morale, high hopes, and fear as they try to get to a safe haven for Christmas. Movie creators used real-life U-boat officers as consultants to give the movie true brilliance.
Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 tale of an alternate universe to assassinate Adolf Hitler is sheer genius. Actually, I think it was Christoph Waltz’s character as a Nazi SS Officer that did it for me—and the acclaim of his peers with an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Alfred Hitchcock does it again and again, this time in a partial love and espionage tale with Claude Rains, Ingrid Bergman, and Cary Grant in Notorious. I think the war is secondary to the kissing scene (quite scandalous in 1946) between two of the three characters in this love triangle.
Saving Private Ryan
This film’s first 25 minutes opening sequence of the chaos of the Normandy landing alone could earn this film a spot on this list. Add in the heartfelt journey to return home a mom’s only surviving son in this war drama; and you’ve got one of the best World War II movies ever made.
Filmed in black & white, Steven Spielberg brought the nitty-gritty of the war to center stage when he filmed this 1993 flick, Schindler’s List. Ralph Fiennes’s portrayal of Amon Göth is both chilling and cinematic genius. And you got to hand it to Liam Neeson who couldn’t play the lead character of war-profiteer and womanizer Oskar Schindler any better than he did.
Sink the Bismarck
The 1960 Sink the Bismarck film centers around the search for the infamous Nazi Battleship named for the esteemed statesman Otto von Bismarck; and shows how the Germans started an era of sea superiority—that is, until the Bismarck is sunk by British destroyers.
Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for her 1982 Sophie’s Choice character as a Polish mother forced to make the ultimate sacrifice, one of her children at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Sad. Poignant. Brilliant.
The Colditz Story
Based on the 1955 book by British Officer, P.R. Ried, the The Colditz Story movie deals with the escape of British, French, Dutch, and Polish POWs at the infamous Colditz Castle in Saxony. Fantastic.
While some of these films might be controversial, they’re certainly a conversation starter.
Care to add some of your favorites?
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