I recently watched the World War II in HD Documentary on the history channel and it is by far the best documentary ever put together on World War II. It got me thinking about what my favorite World War II movies are, so I thought it would a great opportunity to share with you my 10 favorite World War II movies. In return, I want to know what your favorite WWII movies are so I can watch them in case I’ve missed anything good over the years.
If you haven’t seen any of these films then you’ve got to watch them!
Saving Private Ryan - 1998
There’s no argument that this Steven Speilberg film is the best WWII movie ever made. I have yet to see a better one.
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of US soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.
Inglourious Basterds - 2009
Although Quentin Tarantino made a completely inaccurate historical film, it was still a great film and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. It's also one of my top 10 favorite films of this year.
In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers.
Letters of Iwo Jima - 2006
I think this is one of Clint Eastwood’s best films. It goes right along with his other film Flags of Out Fathers, but Iwo Jima was a superior film in every way. I loved that he spent less time and less money and pulled off something incredible.
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.
The Dirty Dozen - 1967
An incredible, awesomely bad-ass classic that is hilarious and fun to watch. If for some reason you haven’t seen it yet get on the ball and watch it!
A US Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers in World War II.
Patton - 1970
George C. Scott is one of the best actors to come through Hollywood and watching him play his flawless portrayal of Patton is always a treat.
The story of General George S. Patton, Jr. during World War II. His battlefield genius garners him fear and respect from the Germans, and resentment and misunderstanding from the Allies. A military historian and poet, he believes he was a warrior in many past lives, and that he is destined for something great during this life, but his stubbornness and controversial methods nearly prevent the fulfillment of that destiny.
The Bridge on the River Kwai - 1957
This movie is such a great film! In 1997, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry.
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Tora Tora Tora - 1970
The film is famous for Isoroku Yamamoto's quote likening the attacks to "awakening a sleeping giant." I liked this film much better than Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, which didn't make the list.
In the summer of 1941, the United States and Japan seem on the brink of war after constant embargos and failed diplomacy come to no end. "Tora! Tora! Tora!", named after the code words use by the lead Japanese pilot to indicate they had surprised the Americans, covers the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which plunged America into the Second World War.
Schindler’s List - 1993
I’ve only watched this movie a few times, it’s not an easy movie to watch... It’s such a hard movie to watch! The film was a box office success and recipient of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Score, as well as numerous other awards.
Oskar Schindler uses Jews to start a factory in Poland during the war. He witnesses the horrors endured by the Jews, and starts to save them.
Downfall - 2004
This was an incredible film, one that had a lasting impression on me, and not because of all the parody videos that have been made using it. It's a film which allows you to watch the disintegration of the largest empire in modern history, from the inside out.
Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.
Come and See / Idi i smotri - 1985
This film is brutal, gruesome and emotionally breathtaking. Director Elem Klimov brings us as close as any film ever has to the nauseating realities of war.
A boy is unwillingly thrust into the atrocities of war in WWII Byelorussia, fighting for a hopelessly unequipped resistance movement against the ruthless German forces. Witnessing scenes of abject terror and accidentally surviving horrifying situations he loses his innocence and then his mind.
What are you favorite World War II films!?