Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Sarge Top Ten List - War Films

Scene from Joyeux Noël (Source)
Tuna posed the question the other day of what were my ten favorite war movies. Now your Old AF Sarge has been to the movies before, but that was a partial list of favorite movies of all genres. There were some war movies on the list, a few were missing, as I said, that post was a partial list. (And before folks start commenting with "You forgot this one..." rest assured, I didn't miss or forget anything. This is my list. Yours may be similar, but this one is mine.)

This was a very hard list to pare down to just ten. My first cut at the list had over 30 movies on it, so I figured I needed some firmer criterion than "Oh yeah, I really like that one." After much thought I decided to include movies which I thought were very accurate historically and which also elicited a powerful emotional reaction from me upon seeing it for the first time. (And still cause an emotional reaction when I watch them.) I didn't try to rank these movies from top to bottom because, quite frankly, a film's position in the list could vary depending on what I was in the mood for on any given day. So, this top ten is in no particular order, consider it a list where all the films are equally good in my eyes. But there is one film which I consider to be "first" among equals. (The first on the list.) So here we go...

(Source)
1. Saving Private Ryan - I first watched this movie on the base at AFCENT (as it was called then, now it's AFNORTH) in the Netherlands. So it was a theater full of American G.I.s and their dependents. It was a very quiet audience, I can tell you. From the opening scene at the American cemetery at Normandy, to the final scene at the same place, it stayed very quiet. Bear in mind though, this was not a quiet audience because of boredom or a lack of caring, the tension in that theater was palpable.

While there are a few inaccuracies in the film, for the most part the film was very true to life. And death. One minor detail which I was completely unaware of until just recently, concerned the scene right after the Americans had broken through the initial defenses and were mopping up behind the beach. Two German soldiers come out of a trench with their hands up, obviously beseeching the Americans not to kill them. Which the Americans promptly do.

Turns out the two "Germans" were not German at all but were Czechs drafted into the German Army. A nice touch which your average movie goer wouldn't notice. There were all sorts of folks drafted into the Wehrmacht who were in Normandy. Including a number of Koreans. No, I'm serious, there's actually a movie based on that little-known fact, My Way.

This film did, and still, evokes strong emotions. We would do well to remember the men who stormed those beaches. It is my considered opinion that those who fought for freedom in World War II, did indeed, "earn this..."

(Source)
2. The Longest Day - Yes, we're still in Normandy in 1944. I have probably seen The Longest Day twenty times. Including the colorized version, which didn't bother me at all, I'm not a purist. And, as The WSO likes to say, "fun fact" - WWII was actually fought "in color." All wars are.

This movie has a huge cast of great actors, which added to my enjoyment of the film, but what I really liked about the movie was that it was based on the Cornelius Ryan book of the same name. It's not just the Americans at Normandy. The British, the Canadians, the French, and the Germans are represented as well.

A magnificent film which, I think, has to be on any list of great war movies. Seeing that American helmet on the beach at the beginning of the movie has always stayed with me. Always will I think.

(Source)
3. Das Boot - Another film based upon a book, though this book was a novel written by a German war correspondent who went out on patrol with a U-Boat, Lothar-Günther Buchheim. I had read the novel well before the film came out. So when the movie came out, I couldn't pass it up.

This is a very accurate film which portrays the German U-Boat sailors extremely well. Seventy-five percent of whom did not survive the war, in fact, most of whom still lie in their boats on the bottom of the Atlantic.

For those who must know, Das Boot, translates to "The Boat," which anyone familiar with naval parlance would tell you is what a submarine is called. The term U-Boat (U-Boot auf Deutsch) is short for unterseeboot, literally "under sea boat." For what it's worth, I prefer the director's cut and I always watch the movie in German, my German is rusty enough that I need to turn the subtitles on but watching it in English is just a "no go" for me.

For me, the final scene where the U-Boat captain lies mortally wounded, watching his boat sink at it's pier, so many of the crew dead or dying in an air attack on their home base, is emotionally wrenching. It doesn't matter that these are men serving an evil cause, most of whom didn't think of it that way, they are still men who when called to serve, did so. At great cost.

To survive all the perils of a wartime patrol only to die upon reaching home port, describes very well the trials, tribulations, and eventual destruction of the German submarine fleet. It also drives home the ultimate futility of war.

(Source)
4. Tora! Tora! Tora! - I tend to think of this film as being epic, which can be defined as "a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the history of a nation." While it isn't a poem, it certainly narrates heroic deeds from folks who are now legendary, or should be.

While the lead up to the attack itself is interesting, and pretty well done in my estimation, it is all only prelude to that moment when the Japanese aircraft roll into their attack runs. The shock on the part of the Americans as they realize that this is the real thing. An armed enemy is attacking. The time for negotiations is over.

I can only image the thoughts and feelings of the men of Enterprise as they returned to Pearl to see the shattered remains of the battleships and the devastation inflicted by the Japanese. From what The WSO says, steaming into Pearl Harbor today, manning the rails and rendering honors as they passed the wreck of the Arizona, it's a hard thing to remember. A hard thing to think about.

This movie has that impact on me.

(Source)
5. Fury - In World War II our armored units were at a severe disadvantage when facing the German panzers. While our tanks were easier to produce, maintain, and use, their tanks were better armored and better armed. The scene in this film where a platoon of Shermans face a single German Tiger tank illustrates that nicely.

Our Shermans could, and did, destroy Tigers (and Panthers, another tough opponent) but, as in the film, it usually took the Sherman having to get in close for it's weaker gun to be effective. Also, typically, a number of Shermans would be destroyed before the Tiger was.

But the guys who manned the Shermans were tough bastards, and the film shows that. The ending is a bit unbelievable to some. But, without spoiling the ending, the Waffen SS, who are "Fury's" final opponents, were rather infamous for attacking heedless of casualties and with ofttimes very little tactical finesse.

This is an awesome tank movie and, as I like to say, does for the WWII armored force what Saving Private Ryan did for the infantry, show the absolute horror of war for the men serving in those respective branches.

Another film that I left the theater feeling somewhat shaken by what I had just seen.

(Source)
6. Glory - This film is, to me, an apt illustration of the experience of some black Americans during the Civil War. Many wanted to fight, many whites were terrified at the thought of arming black men.

The story of Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts is a familiar one to me, having grown up in New England.

My great-great uncle Pliny was there at the final battle depicted in the film, the assault on Battery Wagner. So there's a personal connection as well.

A great film about men whose country treated them terribly, yet they still fought for her. This film stirs such emotions in me that it's hard to even write about it. Let's just say this...

Well done.

(Source)
7. Patton - How could this film not be on my list? One of our country's most brilliant combat leaders while at the same time a most controversial figure in our nation's history. Great acting, lots of great action, and a superb soundtrack. Love the music.

George C. Scott does an excellent job in the lead role. Though truth be told, his voice is way too gravelly and low pitched, which is always somewhat jarring when watching actual footage of the real Patton speaking.

Still and all, an excellent film. The last lines of which always haunt me, "All glory is fleeting..."

(Source)
8. City of Life and Death - Very few in the West are familiar with the events in China prior to our entry into the Second World War. This film depicts one particular atrocity committed by the Japanese, the Rape of Nanking. Nanking (now known as Nanjing) was the capital of the Republic of China in 1937.

Japanese troops seized the city after hard fighting and proceeded to act more like an ancient barbarian horde than a modern army. Buildings were destroyed, Chinese POWs executed out of hand, women brutalized and raped. Men, women, and children murdered without mercy.

This film (the version I saw was in Chinese and Japanese with English subtitles) depicts all of that. It's not a film for the faint of heart, the atrocities are depicted with brutal realism. This film goes a long way towards giving one an understanding of why the Japanese are still hated in many parts of Asia.

They have long memories over there. From this film, I could see why.

(Source)
9. Defiance - An excellent film of resistance to the Nazis in World War II.

Many times people see the Jewish victims of the Nazis in World War II as being herded to their deaths placidly, like cattle. Of course, most film footage of those events was taken by Nazi cameramen who had a vested interest in showing the Jews as being less than human.

This film, based on a true story, shows the Bielski brothers and how they went from ordinary people to extraordinary heroes. The Bielski brothers were Polish Jews who fought back against the Nazis.

Very moving, well-written, and well acted. Daniel Craig (he's not just James Bond) and Liev Schreiber give powerful performances as the two older brothers.

Most excellent, well worth your time.

(Source)
10. Joyeux Noël - As the title suggests (Merry Christmas in French) this film is set at Christmas. But this Christmas is in 1914 on the Western Front, where the armies of France, Germany, and Britain are all striving to destroy each other.

This film, like the previous one, is based on a true story. Despite the horrors of war, the men in the trenches, not yet completely brutalized by trench warfare, stop the war. They meet in "No Man's Land" to celebrate the birth of the Savior. This really happened. No, the generals were not happy about it. (When are generals ever happy?)

Back in the day when Blockbuster still existed, back when you could go to the video store and browse the various titles on offer. Back when you didn't have to know which movies you might want to see, The Nuke and I went to our local video emporium to select a couple of films to watch on a Saturday night. We had no specific films we wanted to see, just one of those "let's see what they have" kind of nights. (I miss that. A lot. One of the problems with online shopping is the inability to really browse, just wander the aisles only half paying attention until something strikes your fancy. One of the things I really dislike about these modern times. And why I still spend a lot of money at Barnes & Noble!)

We picked up one movie, a fairly recent release at the time whose title escapes me, yeah, not a very memorable film I guess. Then I saw the box for Joyeux Noël and brought it to The Nuke's attention. We both thought, "What the heck, let's watch it!" It was well-worth it. Sure, the movie was a little Hollywood-ish, perhaps a tad overblown, but the sentiment was superb. We both loved it. (I think The Missus Herself did as well, I can't recall The WSO's reaction. No doubt she enjoyed it, her tastes and mine are similar.)

If you can find this movie, especially at this time of year, watch it. It's worth your time.

So there you have it...

Not what you were expecting for my list of top ten war movies? I am a mixture of stubborn realist, hard core historian, little boy, and hopeless romantic. Sometimes that's reflected in my taste in movies, books, and music.

But there it is. What's in your top ten list of war movies?



46 comments:

  1. Sarge....Are any of these Talkies?

    Just kidding. Nice list. Seen most, but got a couple I need to look into. We need to come up with a multi faceted rating system. Historical accuracy, Well Told Story, Death and destruction, Probability of being watched by your wife etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent list! I have watched all of the movies with the exception of "City of Life and Death"- that is now on my Netflix list. I am a bit confused about your reference to a Blockbuster? :)

    The Rape of Nanking, hard to think that people could be unaware of this event. Many countries where Japan put boots on the ground in WWII have exceptional reason to hate the Japanese. China and Korea come to mind. Many Okinawans that I met during my 17 months there back in the early 70's had very strong memories of the Japanese- and not positive ones. The protests by Okinawan's to get rid of the American bases, then the return of Okinawa to Japan was surprising to me.

    All of the movies you listed affected me to some degree. One surprise to me was "Defiance", a movie that I passed by many times as it did not catch my interest. Then one night I watched the trailer and I was hooked. Such a great story with exceptional acting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have similar tastes.

      The protests on Okinawa continue to this day.

      Delete
    2. I was barely able to finish the 1997 book by Iris Chang "The Rape of Nanking." She includes detail and photographs that reveal a level of barbarism at least equal to medieval disregard for the value of human life and well-exceeding any threshold that we, many of whom now cringe at waterboarding as "torture," might have for gratuitous infliction of pain on another human being. I do not believe I could watch "the movie."
      That such behavior was enacted less than a century ago is almost unbelievable but for our knowledge of, among other atrocities, German gas chambers and ovens, the Bataan Death March, and ISIS.
      When international diplomatic agents seek to attain world peace through discourse and paper agreements, they would do well to remember just how barbaric seems the natural inclination of humans, which from time to time may be released from the constraints of civilization to wreak havoc and pain on harmless, defenseless, fellow men.

      John Kerry and James Taylor notwithstanding.

      Delete
    3. It was a tough movie to watch. Not sure I could watch it again, but I feel it's an important film. So it's in my top ten. Sometimes it's not about entertainment, sometimes it's the educational aspects that are in it.

      I'm familiar with Iris Chang's work. I wonder if that led to her eventual depression and suicide. A tragic tale there.

      Delete
  3. It's nice to be a muse once in awhile. Nice list. I think it says something about the war, the era, or filmmaking in that there are no Vietnam movies on this list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a good idea Tuna.

      We Were Soldiers is in my top 30. An excellent film, very powerful. There are a number of films that didn't make the top ten which are in a dead heat for 11th. That is one of them.

      Delete
    2. Now do the worst ones! Haha

      Delete
    3. Hahaha!

      Another brilliant idea, not sure if I have the stomach for it though.

      Delete
  4. Two scenes in defiance always have stayed with me. One is when the partisans catch the German column and defeat them. They can't take any prisoners and there's a scene in the snow where the German commander is kneeling before being shot in the head


    The other is in the midst of a blizzard in to Jews are playing chess arguing over something existential. I have a friend who is a devout Jew and he thought the scene was hilarious.

    The longest day? I think while it was historically accurate it just dragged on and on. And ironically it was the movie that saved 20th Century Fox since Cleopatra was draining them dry.

    Patton of course I loved there's a story of George C Scott being so wrapped up in the role that even when he wasn't on set he was walking around with that swagger stick. Who else could've played Patton but George C Scott?

    I like the battle of Britain although it was a commercial flop at the time. Historically very accurate.

    I think the current Hacksaw ridge is going to get on a lot of top 10 list

    Tora Tora Tora another historically accurate movie but so freaking drawn out I couldn't stand to sit through it

    I love Das Boot. Lots of great scenes.

    I'll tell you a movie that was playing in Germany at the little theater in line stool when I was there. And it was 15 years old at the time.

    The enemy below with Robert Mitchum and Kurt Juergens

    It humanized both German and American crews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Longest Day and Tora! Tora! Tora! were awfully long. But not for an historian. :)

      I loved Battle of Britain and The Enemy Below. I agree with you regarding Hacksaw Ridge, I haven't had a chance to see it yet but the reports I've seen are that it's excellent. I hope Dunkirk lives up to my expectations.

      Delete
  5. I am ambivalent about voice transcription software land stool = Landstul. But then Sarge I think you were stationed at ramtein so you know what I'm talking about :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I wasn't at Ramstein, never had the privilege of being in USAFE. I was a NATO guy at Geilenkirchen. Love to see voice transcription handle that one!

      (Land stool, love it.)

      Delete
  6. "One of the problems with online shopping is the inability to really browse, just wander the aisles only half paying attention until something strikes your fancy. One of the things I really dislike about these modern times. And why I still spend a lot of money at Barnes & Noble!"

    I used to love doing the same thing at Borders. I found a lot of good books, music, and films that way. Cheers to the good ol' days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Borders, I miss them dearly. I still have my Borders Rewards card on my key fob, can't bear to discard it.

      Good times...

      Delete
  7. So it took awhile to get here to comment.
    That drive up the road y'know?

    For my two cents... I find no fault with your list.
    Mine would include No Man is an Island and American Guerilla in the Philippines.
    That said, I don't enjoy combat movies nearly as much as I once did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Old school flicks. From an excellent era in film making.

      You're a classy guy Skip.

      (How was the drive? Uneventful I trust.)

      Delete
    2. Only a few cars... mostly big rigs and they tried to stay out of my way.
      Hope it goes as well on Thursday for the drive to Washington.

      I forgot to mention Twelve O'clock High

      Classy?
      Too many people saying too many nice things lately.
      It presents a dilemma when I want to act out. IYKWIM

      Delete
    3. Twelve O'Clock High is a superb film! (On my list of favorites, just not a top ten.)

      We're being nice to you? Heh, that'll have to change! (JK)

      Delete
  8. Curiously, I just watched "Defiance" last night. The scene that got to me the most was where rabbi prayed to G-d that He might choose another people to bless. Humor and pathos together again.
    Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV) “The heart is deceitful above all things,
    And desperately wicked;
    Who can know it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That film works for me on so many levels.

      Delete
  9. I'm not much on war movies, I did like Glory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glory is, in many ways, more than a war movie.

      Delete
  10. Some good ones on there to be sure, Mr. Goodrich. Whilst I've seen most, you've certainly given me a few to add to "the list".

    But since you solicited the question as to some of our favorites, and I—being a solicitor of sorts myself—simply could not resist the temptation of throwing in my two cents’ worth. Here are some that would definitely qualify, were I to undertake such a list; they are presented in chronological order:

    —Paths of Glory (1957)
    When you combine Stanley Kubrick with Kirk Douglas, magic is going to happen. ‘Paths’ is a rare look at the French experience in the Great War, the horror and futility of trench warfare, and the vast disparity between the generals and the men tasked with carrying out their orders. When the colonel (Douglas) is tasked with presenting three men to be faced with charges of cowardice, we are compelled to contemplate the uncomfortable moral questions at hand.

    —Zulu (1964)
    ‘Zulu’ showcases the British army at the height of empire. We are taken back to the heat and vastness of colonial Africa, 1879. With film’s early allusion to the Zulu massacre of the British force at Islandwana, the sense of foreboding is palpable. However, the contingent of unsuspecting British soldiers and engineers at Rourke’s Drift are unaware of what has happened—or what is coming for them. Through characteristic British stoicism and discipline, 139 soldiers of the Empire hold the line against over 4,000 Zulu warriors. It is a tale of raw courage, selflessness, and sheer determination; of the soldier’s care for his comrades, and the respect he can have for his foe. As Richard Burton narrates for the film, “In the hundred years since the Victoria Cross was created for valour and extreme courage beyond that normally expected of a British soldier in the face of the enemy, only 1,344 have been awarded. 11 of these were won by the defenders of the mission station at Rourke’s Drift, Natal, January 22nd to the 23rd 1879.”

    —Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    What I love most about ‘Full Metal Jacket’ is its duality. As the viewers, we are first taken to Paris Island and asked to watch young men become Marines. This experience is immortalized by the brilliant performance of R. Lee Ermey in the role he was born to play: a true Devil Dog drill instructor of the ‘Old Breed’. Ermey was originally on-set only as a military advisor. But he was so good at his job that Kubrick had him replace the ‘real’ actor originally cast for the role. Ermey makes life in boot camp seem not unlike the first two parts of the Hobbesian state of nature—nasty and brutish. The second part of the film—which depicts some of the Tet Offensive, and the battle for Hue city—reminds us of why that is so. War is nasty and brutish; and for the lives of many of the soldiers caught up in it, unmercifully short. Unlike other major movies depicting the Vietnam War, ‘Full Metal Jacket’ does not get up on a soap box to moralize or condemn. It simply shows. And, much like the conflict itself, Kubrick denies us the satisfaction of an easy ending. We are denied our happy ending, our grand conclusion, and there is no great moral cause to serve as an ex post facto justification for the slaughter. It is, simply, war.

    (Apparently I exceeded the character limit for this little dissertation, so the second half will be posted as a separate comment.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All excellent movies. Paths of Glory just missed being the top ten. Zulu is a favorite as is Full Metal Jacket at the end as they move through the burning ruins singing the Mickey Mouse Club song, is excellent.

      Delete
  11. —Downfall (Der Untergang) (2004)
    I could write at length about why this is the greatest movie ever made about the Second World War, and perhaps the greatest war movie generally. But that is an endeavor for another time. I think what I find most compelling about ‘Downfall’ is its perspective. Instead of being cast from the view of a grunt, a general, or even some grand depiction of a battle—we are asked to step into the shoes of a humble secretary. Through the eyes of a young woman, we become eyewitnesses to the man most responsible for ushering in the worst conflict in human history—and we see him at the very end of his rope. His dreams undone; his enemies closing in; and his hope rapidly running out. The only ones left are the truly loyal, and the truly delusional—and the line between the two is frighteningly unclear. Through this humble secretary, we see this man for who he is. Not an archetype; not a villain; not even an idea. But a man. A profoundly flawed, evil man; but only a man all the same. A mortal. This film calls acutely to my mind the words of 2 Samuel 1:27. “How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” (KJV) ‘Downfall’ presents a chillingly realistic look at the last days of a tyrant, his ethos, and his empire.

    —Generation Kill (2008)
    Although not a movie, this seven-part miniseries deserves its place in any discussion of the best depictions of war in film. Based on a book by a reporter embedded with the Marines of the 1st Recon Battalion, we ride alongside these Devil Dogs in their unarmored Humvees as they form the tip of the spear in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The series pulls no punches—we see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Much like real life, a few characters are easy to love, and a few are easy to hate; many more are somewhere in between. Some officers are the very model of what an officer is meant to be; others are models of incompetence. You will feel the esprit de corps of these elite warriors. But you will also cringe alongside them at moments—such as when a misplaced airstrike turns an entire family into “collateral damage”. You will share in their triumphs, but also in those inevitable tragedies in war—such as when the rules of engagement prevent them from firing on known Ba’athist death squads. The series does not editorialize, but instead simply tries to paint the men as they were, and the events as they experienced them. This is done incredibly well, and was surely enhanced by the casting of two actual 1st Recon Marines from the events depicted for roles on the show, and a third was used as a technical advisor. ‘Generation Kill’ stands as a testament to a more recent generation of American soldiers who were called to duty in a task now tarnished by hindsight and temperamental public opinion, but who nonetheless performed admirably when asked to do so.

    (And, yes, in case you're wondering, this is how a history buff lawyer spends his lunch break.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Der Untergang was very well done, and of course spawned a hundred spoofs. I did enjoy Generation Kill, a lot. My only quibble was it ended too soon.

      I like how you spend your lunch break, most excellent commentary!

      Delete
  12. Sarge: I trust your opinion of the accuracy of war movies, since you personally lived through the Peloponnesian and subsequent dust ups. You might want to kick yourself for not seeing Hacksaw Ridge any sooner. A certain review I read, er, wrote, ended with : "I won't say that it is the best war movie I've ever seen. It may be the best movie I've ever seen." How's that for raising expectations?
    I pretty much concur with your top ten, though, the ones I've seen anyway.
    http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/2016/11/hacksaw-ridge-review.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been so busy lately I haven't even though of going out to a film. Perhaps I'll have time over the holidays. I do know that the previews looked very good.

      And that reviewer? He's got a pretty good track record in my book.

      The Peloponnesian Wars were tough, but man, the Punic Wars were tougher. Carthaginians were right tough bastids.

      Delete
  13. Thank you for listing 'Tora, Tora, Tora' as one of your top 10. One of my favorite movies, and my favorite 'documentary' movie. The pre-attack buildup, showing the planning and training, and showing the Japanese as humans and proud sailors, is what take this movie, already a fantastic movie, over the top.

    So many almost top 10 movies come to mind. 'Cross of Iron', 'All Quiet on the Western Front', and so many more.

    And I also miss Blockbuster. Hate browsing on-line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your reasons for liking the film match mine, they are also what puts it in my top ten.

      Lots of good war movies out there, narrowing it down to ten was tough.

      Delete
  14. I have watched several of these movies, but only once, because they hurt me so much - especially "Glory".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely understand that Lou. I still get teary-eyed when I watch Glory. The other nine still have an emotional effect on me as well, some more than others. I doubt that I will ever watch City of Life and Death again. That one is too powerful.

      Delete
  15. Hey Sarge;

    You had some really good choices but I would like to add a couple if you don't mind, "Midway" to me was very good, it had drama but the actual events were pretty much spot on. Also "the seige of Firebase Gloria" with R Lee Earmy. It was underated I think, much better than people think and of course "The Enemy Below". And another one that is kinda a war movie is "Last of the Mohicans", the Daniel Day Lewis version. I know it wasn't true to the book, but it was accurate in many ways from the political ramifications and the battle tactics of the English and of the French and Indians. Excellent Post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mr G.

      I consider the Last of the Mohicans to be a war movie, as it is set during the French and Indian War. It's in my top 30 list of war films. It's one of those which is tied for 11th. (Which is most of the movies which didn't make the top ten.)

      I did like Midway as well, especially when four of the six carriers which attacked Pearl Harbor go to the bottom!

      Any movie with R. Lee Ermey can't be all bad, I'll have to find that one.

      We all have our favorites, thanks for sharing yours.

      Delete
  16. The Winter War and The Cruel Sea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talvisota? Is that the movie you're referring to? I've seen clips of it, still trying to track down the full movie, it looks really good.

      The Cruel Sea, wow I need to watch that one as well. Love Jack Hawkins and Denholm Elliot.

      Great films Jon, thanks!

      Delete
  17. Viewed (and loved) almost movie mentioned here. I'll throw in two VERY little seen but VERY good Vietnam era movies that were VERY realistic according to what this zoomie knows from what my Army/Marine counterparts who have seen them say (1) 84 Charlie MOPIC (1989) about a supposed documentary about a LRRP mission with pov camera following a team on a 5-day patrol deep in "Indian Country" which goes south and becomes a life& death struggle for survival. (The cameraman is nicknamed MoPic by the team because of his alphanumeric MOS -84C20 "Motion Picture Specialist.") (2) 1988 film Platoon Leader--filmed in South Africa--ya GOT to read the WIKI entry on this one as I can't do it justice here..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did see 84 Charlie MoPic a long time ago, it is a good film. Platoon Leader I will need to watch.

      Thanks VX!

      Delete
  18. And then there are movies that, while good, aren't nearly as good as the book. BAT21 and Flight of the Intruder come to mind..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read both books, seen both films, I concur.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)