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Top 10 Favorite War Films

The text below the break is part of a series of articles originally published May 25th – June 6, 1999.

Here are some updated thoughts:  Another non-speculative fiction post.  As I’ve mentioned previously I have a long list of reviews from years gone by that span all genres, and that these would rear their heads from time to time.  This time I’ve pulled together an old Top 10 War Films list.  It is quite a bit out of date as many fine war films have been released in the past seventeen years.  But it’s safe to say that many that appear on this dated list would surely appear on a revised and updated list.  But in the meantime, here are my favorite 10 war movies as of 1999.  Enjoy.

With the release of Saving Private Ryan to your local video store very imminent, I thought it would be fun to list my favorite war movies.  Roughly each day I will post the next installment until #1 is reached on the anniversary of D-Day on June 6th [Edit: old verbiage from original article].  For those impatient souls out there, I have included a list below with direct links to each movie . . . or you can step through them one at a time (once they are all uploaded).

Unfortunately, human conflict has been the basis of epic storytelling since the beginning of human history.  The tragic elements of warfare make for some great dramatic storytelling . . . as well as colorful tapestries for comedic pieces.  The movies I’ve chosen run the gamut from horrific, to heart pounding, to funny.  They cross hundreds of years of history, span the continents of Earth, encompass a variety of theaters.  In fact, one of the ten even has a romance amidst the carnage, while yet another spawned a highly successful television series.

In a strange morbid way, each of us has his or her favorite conflict; mine being the big WW II and Vietnam.  I am not a fan of Civil War movies, or WW I . . . so don’t send me e-mails asking me why I didn’t include Glory or All Quiet on the Western Front; nor will you find absolutely depressing films such as Schindler’s List.  Great movies to be sure, but those conflicts just aren’t my thing.  Remember, these are my favorite war films, not necessarily yours.

You can’t go wrong viewing any of these films . . . many of them have won Academy Awards and the praise of critics everywhere.  So sit back, strap on your combat boots, and pack your rucksack (or lash on your broadsword), we’re movin’ out.

For’ard . . . march!

FILM DESCRIPTION
Top 10 Favorite War Films #10 - Stalag 17

#10 – Stalag 17

An informant has infiltrated the barracks of the Nazi prisoner of war camp Stalag 17.  Is it William Holden’s character Sefton?  And if not, can he trap the true rat?

To Hell and Back Poster

#9 – To Hell and Back

Audie Murphy stars as himself in this autobiographical story of his journey from poor farm boy to one of the most decorated soldiers of World War II.

Braveheart poster

#8 – Braveheart

Mel Gibson stars as William Wallace . . . and he’s out to kick some ass in 13th century Scotland.

Kelly's Heroes poster

#7 – Kelly’s Heroes

Is $16 million in German gold worth putting your ass on the line during a three day pass?  You betcha!

Platoon poster

#6 – Platoon

Charlie Sheen stars as the naive Chris Taylor.  Innocence IS the first casualty of war, especially the Vietnam war.

The Bridge on the River Kwai poster

#5 – The Bridge on the River Kwai

The most famous Jedi Knight (Alec Guinness) portrays an obssessed bridge builder who nearly helps out the Japanese.

Patton poster

#4 – Patton

The true-to-life story of General Patton and his trek across Africa and Europe. George C. Scott IS Patton!

Apocalypse Now poster

#3 – Apocalypse Now

Disturbing, crazy, and exciting all in one.  You’ll never look at the Vietnam conflict the same again.

The Great Escape poster

#2 – The Great Escape

Steve McQueen leads a star studded cast about a daring escape from a WW II POW camp.

Saving Private Ryan poster

#1 – Saving Private Ryan

The most realistic, horrifying, sobering view of WW II ever filmed.  It’s every American’s obligation to see this great lesson of human loss and sacrifice.

Note:   I’m revisiting and re-posting many older articles (almost 200) I’ve written (or contributed to) over the years, either for my own purposes or as contributions to other sites now long digitally decayed and dormant.  These reviews/articles will appear in their nearly raw, unaltered form, with a few updated thoughts at the beginning of each.

About Neal Ulen

Neal Ulen
Editor/Webmaster - Engineer by training, nerd by passion. Speculative fiction has influenced me since I was a kid, guiding me to the career I have now, and likely saving me from myself during times in my young life when the path was fraught with a minefield of choices. I dabble in tech, game, film, fiction, and writing. These are my true passions, and have been since the summer of '77.