10 Greatest World War Two Movies All Fans of This Genre Should Give a Try
World War Two Movies:
Most of us are a sucker for war movies. World War Two is considered to have been the greatest war of all time. It was the War to end all Wars. Hollywood has had its fair share of World War Two movies. And some of them have become cinematic masterpieces that are revered and held sacred by movie lovers worldwide.
1. The Pianist
It is not about a soldier. It is not even about politics. The Pianist is about one man’s struggle to survive the onslaught after a cruel and ruthless Nazi Occupation of his land. Wladyslaw Szpilman was a brilliant pianist and an acclaimed personality in the music industry during the 1950s and 1960’s. The Pianist stars Adrian Brody as the eponymous character.
Wladyslaw first suffers tremendously at the hands of his Nazi overlords. He loses his family, his job, and even the love of his life to Nazis. But unable to escape, Wladyslaw hides within the rubble of what was once a bustling Polish neighborhood. He manages to survive but he will be forever changed as a person after suffering so many traumatic experiences.
Christopher Nolan’s epic retelling of the evacuation of Dunkirk is one of the greatest World War Two movies of all time! The Dunkirk Evacuation was when British and Anglo-French as well as other Allied Soldiers were forced to retreat to the shores of Dunkirk after a massive defeat at the hands of Germany in France.
The Germans are hot on their tail and if the Allies do nothing, a large part of the expeditionary force will be killed and Britain, one of the major powers of the World, will be out of the battle of World War Two for good. Christopher Nolan brilliantly uses sound effects and visual spectacles to show just how amazing a movie could be with almost no dialogues.
3. Inglorious Bastards
Who does not love an alternate reality history where Hitler was killed in the most ruthless way imaginable! Inglorious Bastard is a movie that has comedy, tragedy, fun, and a lot of Nazi massacring action. The entire movie is based on multiple sub-plots and it eventually reveals how each sub-plot converges into one huge storyline at the very end of the movie. A task force of Jewish Soldiers is on the hunt to take down Nazi Officers. A woman, who is secretly Jewish, had her family killed by Nazis.
Fate eventually leads them to come together to hatch a very elaborate scheme – take down Hitler and the rest of the top Nazi Management when they come to attend a movie premiere. The movie is a classic example of a “What could have been”.
4. Das Boot
Das Boot is about a Nazi German Submarine Crew during World War Two. The captain of the U-Boat – Herbert Gronemeyer, is finding it more and more difficult to keep morale high in the face of tense fights in the middle of the ocean all the while war rages in Europe. The movie is more about the emotional involvement of the soldiers in a war rather than the war itself. It has a very gripping storyline that takes us to the very heart of the war effort and the contributions of the soldiers in Nazi Germany.
The perspective of the foot soldiers who were the most affected in the war effort and how they dealt with less and less support from their own fatherland as Germany was destroyed by the Allies is the very core of the movie. It is one emotional roller coaster of a ride that will tell you the grim tales of how war takes its toll on people.
5. Schindler’s List
The movie was completely shot in Black and White. It is also one of the most visually appealing and beautifully crafted movies to have been ever made. The strong ensemble cast like Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley are just cherry on top of the cake. Oskar Schindler starts out as a ruthless businessman who is a big shot business magnate during the onset of World War Two.
As the Nazis round up the ‘undesirables’ – people that do not contribute to the war effort or have been deemed a threat to the Aryan Agenda are being sent to concentration camps where they eventually die. Oskar Schindler decides to open up his business and start providing a sanctuary to the Jewish refugees by making them work in his factory that supports the German Army. This is a movie that tells the story of how one man’s efforts save thousands of innocent lives during World War Two.
6. Letters from Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima is an island located near the Japanese Islands. It was a stronghold of the Japanese Navy and Army during World War Two and was the primary deterrent that stopped the American forces from moving further inwards. The movie talks about the Japanese soldiers’ efforts to hold off the American Forces while Imperial Japan is on the back foot during the latter part of the Second World War.
The Letters from Iwo Jima are actually based on the memoirs of Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, whose charismatic leadership and valor inspired the Japanese troops to hold off scores of Americans with literally no support from the Empire.
7. The Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line is not a movie for everyone. For a movie based on the war drama genre, it sure does movie pretty slowly at times. But it is an acquired taste. The movie states the story of Americans as they try to flush the Japanese out of Guadalcanal, another bastion of the Imperial Japanese Forces during the Second World War.
As the war that was supposed to be a full-scale invasion of Guadalcanal turns into a war of attrition and jungle warfare, the after-effects of incessant fighting and the threat of a Japanese soldier popping out at any point of time to take out scores of Americans with them takes a high mental toll on the GIs. The movie has won several accolades including the Golden Bear Award, and the Satellite Award for Best Cinematography.
A relatively new movie, Fury will forever be remembered as one of the greatest movies on the World War Two genre. To be specific, a certain fight scene in the movie did damn well made that you could re-watch it a thousand times and still won’t get bored! Fury stars Brad Bitt as War-Daddy. It also has other prominent actors like Jon Bernthal and Shia Labeouf.
War-Daddy and the five members of his tank crew use whatever means necessary to kill Nazis and get to Berlin to support the Allied Invasion. On the way, they realize that a highly trained SS division is on its way to support the German War Effort so they decide to set a trap as part of a suicide mission to halt the SS Nazi Brigade in their tracks from reaching Berlin.
9. The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai came out decades ago. David Lean is the one who could be considered to have come up with an idea for the movie. The story tells the experiences of the British Prisoners of War who were imprisoned in South East Asia and were treated mercilessly by their Japanese Captors.
The infamous Burma Railway, whose construction was only accomplished after a lot of the POWs being worked to death without sleep and food, and how it was constructed by the POWs form the crux of that storyline. Many do not know this but the screenwriters of the movie Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson were blacklisted by the Screen Writers’ Guild and were only acknowledged for their work on the movie years after their death.
10. Saving Private Ryan
A list showcasing the best World War Two movies is incomplete without the inclusion of Saving Private Ryan. A masterpiece and brainchild of the legendary Steven Spielberg, the movie was about a team of Veteran Soldiers led by Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) to save a lone soldier after the US Army realizes that all his brothers have died and he must be extracted out alive from deep within enemy lines otherwise it would be too much for his mother to take.
Tom Hanks gives one of his career’s best performances in the movie. The very first few minutes of the movie, which shows the D-Day Landings in all its glory, were so realistic that they gave the actual World War Two Veterans that took part in D-Day who came to watch the movie PTSD after-shocks.