6 Highest Ranking War Movies on all Lists of Overlapping Genres

The filmsite has undertaken to analyze as many lists as possible and came up with a total of  6 war movies that had equally high ranks on all the lists, including other genres than war movies.

Since we all love lists, here goes:

Battleship Potemkin (1925) (see my enthusiastic post)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) (see my posts on Remakes and Daniel Radcliffe)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Schindler’s List (1993)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

While I do agree with some choices I really disagree with others. I suffered through Battleship Potemkin which doesn’t mean it is bad but I don’t think Apocalypse Now and Schindler’s List deserve to be among the 6 most appreciated war movies. What’s funny though is the fact that these two movies are such opposites in the way they treat their subject. While one is easily understood and a very simple, true story – one man’s fight for justice and humanity , so to speak – the other one is a conflicting, ambiguous movie. There are a few war movies that are multilayered, Apocalypse Now is certainly one of them. Not easily accessible for everyone like Schindler’s List. Yeah, well, people are fickle, why shouldn’t this be reflected in lists?

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7 thoughts on “6 Highest Ranking War Movies on all Lists of Overlapping Genres

  1. John says:

    I like that it’s diverse. You see everything from comedies like Buster Keaton’s “The General” and the Marx brothers’ “Duck Soup”; silent and foreign classics such as Abel Gance’s “Napoleon”; mainstream movies like “Schindler’s List”; and the ultimate classic from Jean Renoir, “Grand Illusion”. When you’ve got 100 movies in one very specific genre, it gives you a lot of room to play around, and they do that.

    • You got a point here. It sure is diverse with regards to genre. There are much more American/British movies but they seem to have tried to choose at least two movies per foreign country. There are the two French ones you mentioned, two Italian ones Battaglia di Algeri and Roma città aperta, two German ones Stalingrad and Das Boot. I remember two Russian ones. Japanese?

      • John says:

        It looks like they have Kagemusha and Ran in there from Japan, but I haven’t seen either/can’t speak to them. They’ve also got “Letters from Iwo Jima” but it’s a bit dubious to count that as Japanese.

        I like Clouzot’s “Le Corbeau” an awful lot but it’s only a war film via allegory, so I can see why they’d leave it off. The same goes for Bergman’s “Shame”, which isn’t about any specific war but rather a generic statement about war. The only other one I can think of that isn’t on there, and definitely belongs (in my opinion) is “Closely Watched Trains”.

        I liked “Napoleon” a ton but for the purposes of this list- ranking them as war movies, and not necessarily as pieces of cinema- I think it’s fair to put it where it is at #37.

      • Too long ago since I watched Napoleon. Would have to rewatch it. I tried to watch movies with Antonin Artaud in them as I read all of his books at the time. I got Ran but haven’t watched it yet. My hopes are rather high. I have seen so many of Kurosawa’s movies and they were all brilliant. I haven’t watched Le corbeau but I can see why they did not put in on the list. As you say, like for Shame, it is debatable if it’s a war movie (you just reminded me that I wanted to start to watch more Bergman). L’armée des ombres would also have deserved to be on the list. There are so many on the list that seem not as powerful. I can’t remember Closely watched trains but will try to find it.

  2. warmoviebuff says:

    Interesting list. I have not seen “Battleship Potemkin” (it is ranked only #47 on the MH list) so I can not weigh in on it. I do not really consider Schindler’s List to be a war movie, but it might fit in this category. It is certainly an outstanding movie. I would take “Apocalypse Now” off the list. I would replace it with “Last of the Mohicans” which I am uncomfortable as a pure war film, but I think it might go here. I am a little shocked “Lawrence of Arabia” is not on the list (not a big fan, but all critics seem to be).

  3. […] Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe but until a few days ago I had never watched The Bridge on the River Kwai. I couldn’t give you any specific reason. Just never happened. I have never been to New York either. Just because something is great, famous or whatever not doesn’t mean everybody has experienced it. While I can go on blogging about war movies without having visited New York, it wasn’t any longer acceptable that I had not watched one of the all-time favourite war movies of so many. One of the six that made it on the list about which I wrote the other day. […]

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