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War Movie Weekend Open Thread

Cable television is honoring our fallen troops this weekend by showing every war movie ever made.

John Wayne never served in our armed forces, but he made some great war movies.

The theme song from Kelly’s Heroes was performed by the Mike Curb Congregation – Mike later became Lt. Governor of California

What’s your favorite war movie?

96 Responses

  1. Gone With the Wind
    African Queen
    To Have and Have Not
    The Great Escape
    Bridge on the River Kwai
    Born on the Fourth of July
    Coming Home

  2. MASH
    The Dirty Dozen

  3. Full metal Jacket
    Saving Private Ryan

    • The Longest Day.

      A long, boring movie with tons of stars.

    • I can’t handle Vietnam war movies, and I hate Tom Hanks. Love George C. Scott though.

      • BB, you are-literally-the first person I have ever known to say that you hate Tom Hanks.

        • I’m not alone, believe me. I thought he was good in Bosom Buddies. It was all downhill after that, lol.

          Seriously, I don’t like sappy movies, and that’s mostly what he makes. I find him tiresome in general.

  4. Das Boot – and some of ‘nem that BB listed. Also, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (well, it deals with the lead-up to WWII).

    • Whoops, also “Sophie’s Choice”.

      • [mind working slowly tonight…] Add the Italian film “Night Of the Shooting Stars”. Vincent Canby panned it, but I fell for it 20 years ago and more.

        • Two more (just trying to myiq’s thread more hits): “Glory” and “Hope And Glory”. The latter is a personal all-time favorite.

      • I forgot Kat’s picks! Also Loren in “Two Women” — my mom took me to see that at 13.

    • I prefer the movies where war is a sideline to the main story.

      • Hope and Glory was great!!! Thanks for reminding me about it, Kat5.

        • Thought of two more while washing my hair: Breaker Morant and The Killing Fields.

        • Oh, oh, just thought of one of the most wrenching ones of all – Gallipoli. Whoa.

  5. That’s the final scene from Sands of Iwo Jima – Sgt Stryker (John Wayne) is laying dead on the ground and Cpl. Conway (John Agar) takes his place.

    WWII was a simple war. We were good, they were bad. During the 60’s and 70’s war movies started getting complicated.

  6. Stalag 17
    The Guns of Navarrone
    Where Eagles Dare
    The Green Beret
    The Alamo
    Run Silent Run Deep

  7. I almost forgot – “To Hell and Back”

    The Audie Murphy story

  8. Wha happin?

    I just posted mine and they disappeared. I can’t remember them now to repost. I have an excellent memory…it’s just real short.

  9. Paths of Glory because it’s an anti war movie and brilliant.

  10. I’ll try again.

    Where Eagles Dare
    Guns of Navarrone
    The Alamo
    The Green Beret
    Run Silent Run Deep
    Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

  11. The Patriot
    Big Red One
    Shanendoah (sp?)

  12. GWTW; Midway; Tora Tora Tora, Patton; The Longest Day, Hamburger Hill, The Alamo (most versions)


  14. Good choices, all.

    Favorite war tv series: MASH and Hogan’s Heroes.

  15. The Grand Illusion
    The Big Red One
    The Battle of Algiers
    Apocalypse Now!
    The Three Kings

    And perhaps best of all:

    The Big Parade (directed by King Vidor)

  16. Midway
    Never so Few the only picture to tell the truth about the Chinese attacking our soldiers. My dad was in India building the Ledo road and he told me we had more trouble with the Chinese warlords then the Japanese
    What did you do in the war Daddy

    I was watching Patton and Midway and thinking during WW2 the people of this country worked together and accomplished so much. How did we get from there to Bush and Obama?



  17. I like that thing with Claudette colbert they always play on Memorial Day. When people had principles and fought for them, not when the world’s biggest weenie feels the need to send wreaths for Confederate soldiers. I swear, the man is an android.

    • OMG! Obama sent wreaths for Confederate Soldiers? And Memorial Day was dedicated to the Union dead. Of course Obama doesn’t know anything about history. He only looks forward.

      • Yeah, he sent a wreath for African American soldiers and I’m sure he felt he then to send to Confederates to “bring us all together, for balance” or some damn thing. He’s not the first President to do it, but it’s like, really? You tell the Brits to take their bust and shove it, but you can’t just skip this gesture where you’d have widespread support?

      • From an AP story:

        Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, a customary presidential undertaking on Memorial Day. He also had one sent to the Confederate Memorial there, a traditional practice but not well publicized. Obama also took the unprecedented step of sending a wreath to the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington’s historically black U Street neighborhood.

        That memorial — to the 200,000 blacks who fought for the North during the Civil War — had been mentioned as a compromise in recent days.

        Presidents traditionally visit Arlington National Cemetery to personally leave a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, a marble structure holding the remains of unidentified U.S. service members who died during war. Presidents then have aides deliver wreaths to other memorials or monuments, generally including the Confederate Memorial.

        Wreaths also were left Monday at memorials to the USS Maine and the Spanish American War.

        Bolded part was me. I was surprised at this also, never knew this had been a custom.

        • He truly is fricken unbelievable. There’s this big petition drive and all these academics asking him to take a stand and not send the wreath to the Confederates, so instead he “compromises” by sending the wreath to the African American memorial too. And instead of pointing out the world class weenieness, all the articles praise him for “avoiding controversy” and the “unprescedented honor” for the AAM. He can’t even take the smallest, most non controversial stand.

      • BB, Congress declared in 1917 that Confederate soldiers were to be considered as American soldiers. They received pensions, and to this day their headstones are supplied by the VA. (They differ from other headstones in that the tympanum is pointed, rather than rounded. ) Since that proclamation, every President has sent a wreath to the Confederate monument at Arlingron. Further some 60.000 blacks wore grey during the conflict.

    • So Proudly We Hail? I’ve always loved that movie and check out Superman as her boyfriend.

      • I’ve never seen that one, I was thinking of Since You Went Away. I also like the one where Claudette is married to Orson Welles and he’s presumed dead in WWI, then he comes back when their son is about to go into WWII and they have to nobly sacrifice for him and the only father he’s ever known. Claudette Colbert OWNS Memorial Day. 🙂

  18. I share many of these choices.

    I’ll add

    “Johnny Got His Gun” by Trumbo


    “How I Won the War.”

  19. When i was working in Emeryville Ca, I lived in Alameda.
    The carrier Hornet is in dry dock there. You can go aboard.
    It is so awesome, the history of this ship is amazing.
    Every Tuesday they have dances with big band music aboard.

    When I was a little girl, I was in a drum and bugle corp and when the movie Sands of Iwo Jima was playing at the neighborhood movie we would go and march and play music.

    Another John Wayne movie The fighting seebees
    You know the guys who built the bridges the marines walked accross



  20. What was the name of the movie with Edward G Robinson about the Merchant Marines?
    Also the movie with Dana Andrews about when the military came home. It is a classic and I have a senior moment.



    • Action in the North Atlantic? That’s about the Merchant Marines but not sure if Edward G. Robinson is in it. The other one is the Best Years of Our Lives.

  21. One of my favorites has to be about a rather old war: “The War of the Roses”. Not the romance movie made in ’89, but the movie made in ’65 based on five Shakespeare places that depicted the war/feud: Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III. Quite an amazing story of a rather crazy family that self destructed and fought a lot. Kind of like our families except lots of people died over many years. That’s what you get for having inbreed leaders named after a common broom plant. 🙂

    • places = plays of course.

    • Although that’s the movie I remember best, I just noticed Orson Wells made a similar movie entitled Chimes at Midnight (aka Falstaff). Orson considered it one of his best. I’ll have to see if I can find it. Looks like a winner.

  22. Seriously
    Thank you. Those are the movies I was thinking of.
    My late husband always talked about a war movie called
    A walk in the Sun.
    Garden of Stone with James Caan about the honor guard at Arlington and an old soldier teaching a young soldier about war.

    Anyway Thank you all that served the country and the families that sacrificed, waited and prayed for them to come home



  23. Bridge Over the River Kwai is another good one.

  24. Ya know, thinking back on Movies I’ve Seen is emphasizing something I thought yesterday while we (fruitlessly) cruised the aisles of Blockbuster for DVD’s to rent-or-own. The endless choices on the racks mostly made me think I’d rather be on the rack than have to watch 99.9 percent of the mindless dreck on display. Somehow, it’s hard to imagine today’s movie studios making another ‘Chinatown” or “Godfather” or “Bridge On the River Kwai” or “The Mission”, or having audiences flock to watch an intelligent movie. Is it me – a victim of aging? Is it Hollywood catering to the dumbing down of American popular culture? Or has Hollywood helped foster the latter?

    • That’s a good question. My instinct is that Hollywood, or rather the movie business (since it’s not just in Hollywood anymore), has always made 95% crap and 5% good stuff. But I haven’t researched it and can’t say for sure. There were some stunningly stupid movies in the past and some great ones. And there are still great films made today.

    • The trick for me is not going to blockbuster but going to a small out of the way rental place that has really good movies and caters to the movie fanatics. Sadly what you see available at the big places is a pretty small percentage of movies that are out there.

      • New Orleans once had several theatres which showed primarily foreign and indie films. One of them, Movie Pitchers, featured ratty sofas, tables and chairs (and downmarket food), and showed fairly obscure films, some of which were gems (last time we went there, the a/c was off, the whole place reeked of gasoline, then the projector burned up, unfortunately). Its more respectable cousin, The Prytania Theatre, an Uptown staple for many years, used to change their billing every few days and issued a monthly calendar which was promptly snatched up by hundreds of local filmgoers. Over the years, the Prytania was forced to introduce more mainstream fare which ended up being their sole offering. For some reason, the audience for small/indie/foreign films seems to have practically vanished. The question is: why?

        • I don’t think the audience has vanished so much as, like everything else, they’re being swallowed up by the big chains. If one little film gets popular, everyone goes to see it at the multiplex because it’s more convenient, then they’re losing a big chunk of their business and start to think the best way to compete is to offer mainstream stuff plus family movies so everyone in the family can go to the same theatre. And I know that a lot of our small houses stupidly sunk a lot of money into renovations. Nobody goes there for ambiance, but they’ve gone $400,000 in the hole to transform from a dank hole to a dank hole with cupholders.

        • It definitely is rough out there for an indy theatre. We have one that has been showing more mainstream films to make money, so it’s a mix right now. I assume it’s the costs and the smaller audience. I think it’s much easier to have a movie rental place that caters to the same group where the costs are much less. Our local place for that is called Sneak Reviews:


          Quite a nice collection as you can see. The best part is being able to ask people that know a lot about movies. And they know everything.

        • Seriously: Guess it would be a sign of, uh, hope [need new word!] if, rather than the audience for small films having vanished, the multiplexes have simply foiled it for the moment. And DT, I envy you your access to a great place for rental movies (New Orleans had one before Katrina). We live in a small university city now, with no good rental options. Austin’s just up the road, but a bit too far for rental purposes.

        • Kat, have you tried the university library? I live near a lot of colleges, and even the smaller ones tend to have phenomenal film collections that anyone with a card available to local residents can borrow, often for free.

        • Don’t think locals can use the U library here. But my husband is a “returning student” (I call him Senior Senior), so we’ll have to check this out. Thanks!

  25. Other all time favorite war movies are below. Some great. Some just sentimental favorites.

    The Red Badge of Courage
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    The Great Escape
    Das Boot
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    The Desert Rats
    The Young Lions
    Destination Tokyo
    Kelly’s Heroes
    The Tuskegee Airmen

  26. I haven’t seen the movies but two of my favorite books are “Mrs. Miniver” and “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”. I actually did start watching “Mrs. Miniver” the movie but it didn’t seem at all like the book so I stopped. Does anyone know if these movies are any good and if they follow the books well?

  27. And I can’t believe no one mentioned it yet. The single greatest war movie ever made… drum roll….

    Dr. Strangelove

  28. Memphis Belle

  29. If you can find the series of MASH books in a used book store, they are the funniest books,you will laugh out loud as you read.
    In the book when they are trying to raise money to take a sick kid to Japan for treatment, they tie hawkeye to a cross and fly him over the battlefield and sell autographed pictures of Jesus Christ for a dollar a piece. They have golf game that makes the football game in the movie look tame.
    I had them years ago but can no longer find them.



  30. OMG! I forgot my favorite: Lawrence of Arabia. Jeez, I’m slipping.

    And while I’m at it, a few more:
    The Great Dictator
    The General
    Little Big Man
    Schindler’s List
    The Pianist
    Hotel Rwanda
    Master and Commander

    And of course the all important: Mars Attacks

    • Ah, ‘Awrence! I lucked out and got to see this movie to end all movies for a second time at the Robt. E. Lee in New Orleans in the early 80s. It was one of the last theatres around to have one of those super-wide screens capable of showing Panavision (right term?). I also got to see Raiders Of the Lost Ark at the R.E. Lee – what a treat.

  31. The Four Feathers (2002)

  32. From Here to Eternity (the original) and Tora Tora Tora

  33. Next to last scene of “The Longest Day” where the great voice, Richard Burtion, delievers his “You’re lost, I’m crippled, he’s dead” speech to Richard Beymer.

    A Bridge Too Far—Robert Redford’s “Hail Mary, Hail Mary.'”” crossing the river under fire.

    Olivier in the final scenes of “A Bridge Too Far”

    Olivier again, in “The Boys from Brazil”.

  34. Captain Newman MD with Gregory Peck and Bobby Darin.

    Does anyone here remember the tv series Silent Service and Victory at Sea?

    Hunt for Red October

    The movie that scared the hell out of me
    The Bedford Incident



  35. How could I forget the golden boy:

    Bill Holden in “Bridges of Toki Ri”

    And yes, I know it’s a love story, not strictly a war movie, but the scene where he gives up Jennifer Jones, and stays with his typewriter in “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”….

    “The Quiet American”

  36. I always like this one. Stiff upper lip Brits and all.

  37. full metal jacket


  38. Is Casablanca a war movie?

    • Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do you can’t have any part of.

      • Um…OK! 🙄 And if anyone asks, we don’t know what you are doing and we have no part of it… got it! Say, just some motherly advise…before doing anything, make sure you can own up to it. OK, back to we don’t know NOTHING! 🙄

      • “Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of…Here’s looking at you kid.”

        You silly, you forgot the quotes!

  39. Oh What a Lovely War! Indeed, any movie that shows it is better not to fight wars, and that the best way to honour the victims (civilian as well as military) of previous conflicts is to make sure we commit ourselves to fighting no more wars.

  40. Dr Strangelove
    The Queen of Hearts
    Love and Death (Woody Allen)
    L’Ecume Des Jours
    I guess I can’t get myself to enjoy war even in the movies…

  41. I forgot”
    The Russians are coming!

  42. Let’s see–

    Lawrence of Arabia
    Dances with Wolves
    Little Big Man
    Henry V
    Die Bruecke (German; anti-war)
    Alexander (Yes, it had problems, especially for those who didn’t already know the story; I still like it.)

  43. A Bridge Too Far
    The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

    and Catch-22

  44. The Longest Day
    Dam Busters
    The Red Badge of Courage
    Sergeant York
    Letters from Iwo Jima
    The Hill
    It Happened Here
    Gone With the Wind

  45. Apocalyse Now
    Johnny Got His Gun
    Full Metal Jacket
    The English Patient
    Lawrence of Arabia

    I was watching “Hamburger Hill” last night on Vietnam — I’d never seen it before. It really presented a different view of Vietnam–very realistic.
    Very different than “Coming Home” — wish I’d stayed up for the whole thing.

    ps: I also watched a snippet of Housewives of Orange County/New Jersey and I was thinking — Geez. How non like that RD & I turned out. Hmmm….. must be the gen we grew up in!


    hugs RD & Co.

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