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Best War Movies to Enjoy - Part 2
Ran (1985) by Akira Kurosawa
Ran is kinda Shakespeare's story of King Lear in a Japanese manner. Akira Kurosawa combined the ancient legends of the daimyo, a Japanese lord, and a classic tragedy to depict relevant problematic issues occurring anytime irrespective the era.
The Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji is old enough to rule the empire, so he decides to spend the rest of his days watching how his three sons are carrying out their duties. While the two older brother are hypocritical brooders, the youngest is frank with his father and tries to warn him about cunning plans of his brothers. The story where true devotion, sly betrayal, greed and longing for power get mixed in a complete storyline.
The Deer Hunter (1978) by Michael Cimino
This top war movie shows a kind of transformation of the human life principles caused by the war, here this is the Vietnam war that makes the changes. The Deer Hunter is a realistic story of three best friends before, during and after the war.
Michael Cimino, a barely known film director at that time, decided to stake on a starring cast and he hasn't lost the bid: the film got five Academy awards including the Best Director and placed 53 in the list of best movies of all time. The cast includes such renowned names as Robert De Niro, Maryl Streep, Christopher Walker and John Savage. The movie is obviously dramatic and too realistic to ignore it.
Platoon (1986) by Oliver Stone
While the majority of film directors shooting war movies make up the storyline of the scraps of vets' memories, Oliver Stone, a film director of Platoon, has felt the bitterness of the Vietnam war in full on his own back.
Platoon is an autobiographical movie where the events of the war in Vietnam are strikingly depicted. This is a story of the 1st Battalion from the 25th Infantry Division, located on Cambodian border. Apart from great war scenes, the film shows complicated relationships between soldiers, where they are divided into two informal groups led by Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger) and Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe). Two sergeants represent two different ways of human adaptation to the horrors of war, leading to moral degradation in one form or another.
Gone with the Wind (1939) by Victor Fleming
Gone with the Wind is probably one of few top war movies where there are more romantic episodes rather than bloody war scenes. Yet, it would be a mistake not to have this film among 30 best war movies of all time, as it was a record-holder for most Academy Awards won (actually, 10 of them) for 20 years! Moreover, it placed 4 in the list of Top 100 Best American Film of All Time in 1998, so this is surely the must-see war movie to watch.
There is hardly a person who have never heard about Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). The main idea of the film is to depict the conception of human values against the Civil War (1862-1865) background. Gone with the Wind is the adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's novel of the same name.
Come and See (1985) by Elem Klimov
This is one of the greatest Soviet war movies depicting horrible events during Nazi occupation of Byelorussian SSR. Come and See is a psychological horror drama with creepy realistic scenes of slaughter of the civilians in Khatyn, a small village currently associated with most severe genocide ever committed on the territory of the former Soviet Union.
A young boy Floyra is a leading character of the movie, who happens to witness the slaughter of village residents including his family. In the course of the movie he goes through catharsis from being an infant boy to becoming an experienced grown-up, the one who managed to preserve human dignity and humanistic attitude towards others regardless his awful war experience.
The Bridge over the River Kwai (1957) by David Lean
The holder of seven notable Academy Awards, The Bridge of the River Kwai is surely in the list of best war movies in the history. Apart from the Conflict known as World War II, the film shows many other personal conflicts caused by this very war.
The events take place far deep in Burmese jungle, where the Japanese Colonel Saito is in charge of a group of English prisoners where, among the rest, there is British Colonel Nicholson, a man of principles, and Commander Shears, whose only dream is to stay alive in this war. Sainto's aim is to make prisoners build the bridge over the river. Could he break down the prisoners to his will, you should better watch it to understand the situation in its war-like conflict.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) by David Lean
If you like the stories about the Middle East with its culture, traditions and absolutely different way of life, then you should like Lawrence of Arabia, a movie depicting the life of a renowned British Army officer Thomas Edward Lawrence and his experience in Arabia during the events of World War II.
David Lean managed to recreate real picture and atmosphere of those days. There scenes of sunrise in the desert are breathtaking, without slightest hint of computerizing, so that you feel like visiting sands by yourself. The plot is involving just to hook the viewers till the end credits. High IMDBs rating and great number of positive reviews speak for this film and ranked it as one of the best war movies ever made.
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) by Richard Fleischer
Thought this movie was shot in 1970 to describe the events of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the extent they were known till that time, still it is considered to be much more realistic movie than Pearl Harbor by itself.
The battle scenes in Tora! Tora! Tora! seem very genuine, so that they were many times used in subsequent films as "documentaries". The thing is, that the film is based on the firsthand war facts given by a number of veterans from both sides, Japan and the U.S., who witnessed the attack of harbor, including the author of the plan of Japanese attack Minoru Genda. The film won Academy Award for Best special effects.
Gettysburg (1993) by Ronald F. Maxwell
The movie shows the story of a known battle between the North and South at Gettysburg during the American Civil War. This was the most bloody battle of the war, and it was a turning point of the conflict when the North gained a victory. It was a three-day battle that took lives of many people from both sides.
Based on the bestseller "The Killer Angels", Gettysburg is a remarkable presentation of that terrible battle being filmed right at the actual location, in Gettysburg. The story centers around U.S. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, a man of dignity ready to do his duty in spite of the thread of death. If you are looking for chill to go down your spine, then watch this top war movie to comprehend this field of American history.
Black Hawk Down (2001) by Ridley Scott
There are a lot good war movies about World War II and the war in Vietnam, the wars that seem to be too far in the past while movies depicting the events are like subtle reflections of that bitter past experience. However, there is a recent war conflict in Somali that is accurately depicted in Black Hawk Down.
The Battle of Mogadishu in 1993 is what this film is about. The plan was simple enough: in order to stop the conflict in the country and capture the warlord, the U.S. Army was send. It was going to be a quick mission which turned out into a slaughterous affair. One can't but squeamish while watching truthful convincing fighting between the soldiers and Somali rebels, which also involved thousands of innocent civilians including women and children.
- Best War Movies to Enjoy - Part 1
- Best War Movies to Enjoy - Part 2
- Best War Movies to Enjoy - Part 3