Dan R

Favorite War Movies

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Without politicizing or promoting it, what are your three favorite war movies? Now, I am a little bit older than the norm, so realism such as what you get from Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers does not always rule the day. But here are mine:

#3 -- Guns of Navarone (1961) -- It's just a fine yarn. Whether you believe it or not, it is a well woven tapestry of these individuals trying to accomplish one thing. Kind of a much better version of Tobruk (1967).

#2 -- Kelly's Hero's (1970) -- Not really much of what one would call a war movie, but I really liked how the characters played by Telly Savalas, Clint Eastwood, Don Rickles, Carol O'Connor, etc. interacted.

#1 -- Dr. Strangelove (1964) -- Kind of a war movie and kind of not. Lot's of people would die, so that would qualify, eh? Both George C. Scott and Peter Sellers delivered some fine lines. On a global perspective, it makes you realize how small events lead to larger outcomes.

So you can see I do not lean towards semi-documentaries (Midway, Longest Day) or real gritty action (Saving Private Ryan). But they are the movies I like to watch.

And yours?



  1. OTGabe's Avatar
    3. Gettysburg - A bit long but I'm a big Civil War buff and this is one of the best movies about that war.

    2. Apocalypse Now - My father was a Vietnam War vet and I've watched everything I could find about it. This movie is far from a documentary, but it does a great job of capturing the surreal and discordant nature of that conflict.

    1. Saving Private Ryan - The intensity of the first half hour was one of the most compelling pieces of cinema I've ever seen.
  2. Broker's Avatar
    Lone Survivor
    Black Hawk Down
    Saving Private Ryan

    I'm more interested in the spec ops type stuff than historical. I'll be going to see "American Sniper" also after Christmas. I've read the book thrice.
  3. hayday's Avatar
    The Dirty Dozen
    A Bridge Too Far
    Inglorious Basterds

    Honorable mention to:
    Last of the Mohicans
    Star Wars

  4. drunken monkey's Avatar
    in no particular order:

    i) not necessarily a war film but set during a war - A Matter Of Life and Death

    ii) fan of Kubrick and this one is an easy introduction that I can just about make other people watch so it's more a Kubrick thing than a war film thing - Full Metal Jacket

    iii) because there's more to a war than fighting - Schindler's List

    I started along that road but a different three - war films that I would try and make people watch, even if they might not necessarily be my favourites:

    i) Saving Private Ryan - Just because a film is about people shooting/killing each other, it doesn't mean there isn't also a story behind it

    ii) Zulu - Because war movies aren't all about guys in military greens and against zee Germanzzzz

    iii) I think Schindler's List has to go on here as well.
    Updated Dec 26, 2014 at 10:45 PM by drunken monkey (typo)
  5. Dan R's Avatar
    @drunken monkey -- I do like your posting of Zulu as it is not all about the Germanzzzz. Naturally, my Kubrick film is Dr. Strangelove. If you lived in the midst of a Cuban community in 1963, the film had great relevance when it did come out.

    Saving Private Ryan is, for its time, a revolutionary piece. And rightly so. I would, however, argue that there were some episodes of Combat! that held deeper meanings. The effects for SPR were without equal IMO.

    Gettysburg becomes much cooler if you've been there. Like having walked Custer's Last Stand, you cannot imagine half of it if you've not walked it. Things were, literally, a stone's throw...

    Updated Dec 24, 2014 at 01:22 AM by Dan R
  6. Chicolabronse's Avatar
    3 - the man who would be king

    2 - black hawk down

    1 - saving private ryan
  7. Dan R's Avatar
    Forgot about the man who would be king. Excellent movie for its time. Thanks for the memory!

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