My Top 10 Favourite War Movies – Revisited

I re-watched Glory the other day and while I still think it’s a very good movie, I don’t think it deserves to be in my Top 10 nor will it end up in my Top 20. Top 50 certainly. This made me think that it’s about time to revisit my Top 10. I had to replace Glory and I also decided to get rid of Band of Brothers. It is excellent, absolutely deserving of being watched and re-watched but it’s a mini-series and not a movie.

So here is the list which will probably change again, sooner or later.

Black Hawk Down

Stalingrad

Platoon

When Trumpets Fade

The Thin Red Line

Gallipoli

Joyeux Noel

Hamburger Hill

Cross of Iron

The Army of Crime

Two movies were almost included Days of Glory and Das Boot.

I’m in the process of re-watching and while I know that Black Hawk Down, Stalingrad, Hamburger Hill, Platoon and The Thin Red Line will stay on the list, I’m not a 100% sure about the others.

Which movies would have to be on your Top 10?

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12 thoughts on “My Top 10 Favourite War Movies – Revisited

  1. warmoviebuff says:

    That’s a decent list, but Glory is better than a few of your choices.

    In no particular order, here are mine:
    The Great Escape
    Black Hawk Down
    Saving Private Ryan
    Glory
    Last of the Mohicans
    Platoon
    The Longest Day
    Apocalypse Now
    Full Metal Jacket
    Enemy at the Gates

    • I’m still torn whether to include movies like Last of the Mohicans. For me it’s much more a romance. If I did broaden the genre, I would maybe include it and King Arthur as well.
      I also don’t think The Great Escape is a proper war movies.
      I just started re-watching, it’s possible I kick out Gallipoli.
      Our lists combined (minus those who are there twice already gives an extremely good top 17.
      There are stil a few I need to watch and that may be in the top 20 like The Winter War (3.5 hrs long) and Battle of Algiers…

    • Geoff Testpilot says:

      ours is a pretty good list compared to most, but since almost every war film fan probably has already seen at least 6 to 8 , if not all of your choices, I find a “Top Ten List” to be inadequate, but I do not wish to be insulting, just a positive criticism. I hope you consider a “Greatest 25” “Or 50 Best” list, which would open up suggestions of more obscure & foreign films to see. Isn’t that the real reason we read these lists? I am looking for great films I have never seen or heard of, as I imagine you, as a fan, are also.
      “ANY” list, in my mind should consider adding the following, not rated in any order, favourites, or lucky finds from other nations outside the norm:
      1) 12 O’Clock High (1949)-War depicted in a manner, shocking for it’s time, just 4 years after WWII. The price paid by even the toughest commanders who must send very young men to almost certain death. And honest enough to show how “NO Commander” can do this without paying a huge psychological price! My “Personal ALL-TIME #1 Favourite War Movie”
      2) “Paths of Glory” – WOW !!! How this Stanley Kubrick WWI film, starring Kirk Douglas, was ever a box office flop ?? Oh well ! There are plenty of awful “so called war films”, that sucked even more than the best vacuum, (Pearl Harbour ring any bells ? If I think of it I can hear the end of a milkshake going up a straw ! ). How humans can spend other people’s lives, like so many pennies in their pockets, is really brought home. Douglas,is awesome ! (Duh!)
      3) 71: Into the Fire (2010) A south Korean gem, about a true legend based on the heroic stand of 71 barely trained students. “GREAT ! ” A really lucky find.
      4) ASSEMBLY(2007) -{{In Chinese “Ji-jie hao “}}- Has been compared to the brutality in Spielberg’s opening few minutes of “Saving Private Ryan”. I gave a copy to a buddy who likes war docs & movies, & he said ” I had to stop watching it ! It’s just too violent. ” I don’t know if he’s getting soft, or am I being brutalized ! Just when you think you’ve seen it all !!! Try to see this.

      I’d love to see a list made up from suggestions with great war films from all over the world ( Where English subtitles must be available. ) there are a lot of great Korean, Chinese, & Russian war films, and even lots of Japanese “Are you F’ing kidding me?” films (see “Pride” (1998),a shocking, jaw dropping, look outwards through someone’s anus look at how Japan “wished” facts were, instead of a time when Japan’s WWII actions rivalled Nazi Germany for EVIL ! (Yes I know you Japan “only” killed this many million civilians, and the Nazis murdered this many, right?) Any honest look into what “Comfort Women” really were, that is a stain on Japan, that will never be wiped clean, or painted over with “Pride”.Watch Ep 6 (I think) of World At War, with the Japanese officer discussing how great it was for the “Comfort Women” to come to be with them so close to the front lines, is one of the most revealing examples of the true level of evil we fought against in WWII. What an arrogant S.O.B.!!

      • Thanks for your list, Geoff. I somehow missed it.
        My own list is really a list of perosnal favourites and doens’t want to say – watch this – these are the best. If I wrote a “best of”, I’d include others and would certainly write about the criteria.

  2. warmoviebuff says:

    As you know, I can not have my name associated with a Top 17 that includes The Thin Red Line!

    I think you will rethink Gallipoli if you rewatch it. A good movie, but not great. Breaker Morant is much better.

    I take your point about The Great Escape, but POW movies are an established sub-genre and I bet you consider Mr. Lawrence to be a war movie. I would argue that the POW genre is more defendable than the Resistance subgenre that Army of Crime falls into. As far as Mohicans, it is a war romance, but the key is the central act set in an actual historical siege.

  3. C138 says:

    For some reason I never think of 10 best war movies, so I go with 5 instead.

    1. The Thin Red Line (1998)
    2. Apocalypse Now (1979)
    3. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
    4. Glory (1989)
    5. Come and See (1985)

  4. Guy Savage says:

    Just wanted to leave a message that I came across a book you might like:
    Films of the French Foreign Legion by Philip Liebfried just published.

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