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Best War Movies (that aren't)

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Tommy Atkins View Post
    All great movies Half Pint. They have the common theme of men in captivity but war is so integral to the storyline that to me they are "war movies".
    What is your definition of a War Story/Movie?

    Without a bunch of bombs and bullets and combat scenes then, imo they are really not true war story's.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #32
      Some great calls being made, however with this one I think I've definitely earned my place at the big boys table. One for the connoisseurs.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
        What is your definition of a War Story/Movie?

        Without a bunch of bombs and bullets and combat scenes then, imo they are really not true war story's.
        Evidently then, we (meaning some of us here) have quite different ideas of what does or does not consitute a war movie.
        "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
        Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Tommy Atkins View Post
          Some great calls being made, however with this one I think I've definitely earned my place at the big boys table. One for the connoisseurs.

          Yes, excellent choice. Life in a military prison. I thought it was a good movie, too.
          "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
          Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
            How can there be a question?

            IMO, easily. Yes, there was quite a lot of war action. However, the movie to my perception at least, wasn't primarily about any of that. The whole Pearl Harbor event - and other actions - seemed to serve as little more than an admittedly very dramatic backdrop for the 'love triangle' romance. In other words, a huge BS soap-opera style chick-flick badly disguised as a war movie.

            In what I would regard as a 'proper' war movie, any such romance, if it happens - and there doesn't need to be any at all - is very supplementary to the main business of the story. It is not the main theme, which to me is what it appeared to be in Pearl Harbor.

            Now, maybe that's just my perception and everybody else here will disagree with me? If so, that's what I'd like to find out and it's why I asked the question, John.
            I haven't seen Pearl Harbour. Not by accident but because it looks sh1te. But what you describe Panther sound pretty much like From Here to Eterninty which is set in Hawaii and although it climaxes with the attack on Pearl Harbour is predominatley about the loves and conflicts of the G.I.s based there.

            That is why I put it in this thread rather than the "top war movies" thread. so on the surface I'd have to agree with you... then again, I haven't seen the film, (Pearl Harbour).

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            • #36
              Hope and Glory

              Au Revoir, Les Enfants

              Oro, Plata, Mata

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              • #37
                "Yes, excellent choice. Life in a military prison. I thought it was a good movie, too. "


                Panther,
                I read somewhere that it bombed on it's release in the states. Because of the regional British accents it was screened with sub-titles. I suppose as a Cobber you coped a lot better!?

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Tommy Atkins View Post
                  Panther,
                  I read somewhere that it bombed on it's release in the states. Because of the regional British accents it was screened with sub-titles. I suppose as a Cobber you coped a lot better!?
                  From what I remember, most of the accents in that movie were no harder to 'understand' than in most other British movies. Screening with sub-titles should not have been necessary in any other English-speaking country.

                  That having been said, I would not expect the movie to have done well in the US.
                  "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                  Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Tommy Atkins View Post
                    "I haven't seen Pearl Harbour. Not by accident but because it looks sh1te."
                    IMO, you have done well not to bother because it is shyte.


                    Originally posted by Tommy Atkins View Post
                    "But what you describe Panther sound pretty much like From Here to Eterninty which is set in Hawaii and although it climaxes with the attack on Pearl Harbour is predominatley about the loves and conflicts of the G.I.s based there.

                    That is why I put it in this thread rather than the "top war movies" thread. so on the surface I'd have to agree with you... then again, I haven't seen the film, (Pearl Harbour)."
                    I haven't seen From Here to Enternity for many years but from what I do remember, Pearl Harbor has a lot more 'action' in it, by comparison. For example, it covers the Doolittle Raid as well as the Japanese attack. However, my perception was that despite all this dramatic action, the 'personal' romantic stuff; specifically the good old 'love triangle', remained the central and always dominant theme; essentially, the whole 'raison d'etre' for that movie.

                    As I said before, that was just my perception and I'm waiting to see how many members agree or disagree.
                    Last edited by panther3485; 09 Apr 11, 05:12.
                    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                    • #40
                      Okay I just thought of two more . Humphry Bogart in All Thru The Night . In That one Bogey is a gambler , Gloves Donahue he finds out that Conrad Veight is running a Nazi spy ring from an auction house in New York City. And again there is Across the Pacific . Bogey in this one is posing as a officer thrown out of the Us Army for stealing . But his real purpose is to find out about Sydney Greenstreet ( Dr. Lorenz ) Whi is pro Japanese right before the attack on Pearl Harbor .

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Tommy Atkins View Post
                        Some great calls being made, however with this one I think I've definitely earned my place at the big boys table. One for the connoisseurs.

                        One of my favorites!
                        "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence".

                        Homer


                        BoRG

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                          Evidently then, we (meaning some of us here) have quite different ideas of what does or does not consitute a war movie.
                          The war movie genre is hard to define. I usually use the old Supreme Court ruling on what is pornography - "I know it when I see it". However, let me suggest: A war movie is a movie about warriors during wartime. I must admit I sometimes broaden the definition to include movies like "Hope and Glory".

                          This would include POW movies, but exclude "civilians in a war" movies. Relating this to movies mentioned in this thread:
                          Caine Mutiny - no
                          Night of the Generals - yes
                          Lord of War - no
                          Best Years of Our Lives - no
                          Empire of the Sun - no
                          From Here to Eternity - yes
                          Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Escape, King Rat, Stalag 17, The Hill - yes
                          Bad Day at Black Rock - no
                          Sand Pebbles - yes
                          Gone With the Wind - no
                          7 Days in May - no
                          Wind and the Lion - no
                          Mister Roberts - yes
                          Last Detail - no
                          African Queen - no
                          Col. Blimp - yes
                          English Patient - no
                          Hope and Glory - no
                          Casablanca - no

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                            What is your definition of a War Story/Movie?

                            Without a bunch of bombs and bullets and combat scenes then, imo they are really not true war story's.
                            I'm with you, HPJ. If the story has zero war action, it definitely isn't a war movie. It is telling another type of story in a war setting. Examples would include the excellent list you previously posted, as well as The Hill.

                            I had never heard of The Hill until I suppose 20 years ago, when I caught it on a cable movie network. I really did like it. There were no subtitles, which I don't remember appearing in any movie filmed in English, no matter how thick the accents, no matter how copious the slang. That would be just silly.
                            "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
                            — Groucho Marx

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                            • #44
                              Isn't this division of opinion interesting?
                              It would appear to show that we'd be a long way from agreeing on what is or is not a war movie, in a number of cases.
                              The thread has proven very useful for me, in highlighting that difference. I'll keep it in mind when looking at other threads where we talk about our favourite war movies!
                              Last edited by panther3485; 09 Apr 11, 09:12.
                              "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                              Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post
                                The war movie genre is hard to define. I usually use the old Supreme Court ruling on what is pornography - "I know it when I see it". However, let me suggest: A war movie is a movie about warriors during wartime. I must admit I sometimes broaden the definition to include movies like "Hope and Glory".

                                This would include POW movies, but exclude "civilians in a war" movies. Relating this to movies mentioned in this thread:
                                Caine Mutiny - no
                                Night of the Generals - yes
                                Lord of War - no
                                Best Years of Our Lives - no
                                Empire of the Sun - no
                                From Here to Eternity - yes
                                Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Escape, King Rat, Stalag 17, The Hill - yes
                                Bad Day at Black Rock - no
                                Sand Pebbles - yes
                                Gone With the Wind - no
                                7 Days in May - no
                                Wind and the Lion - no
                                Mister Roberts - yes
                                Last Detail - no
                                African Queen - no
                                Col. Blimp - yes
                                English Patient - no
                                Hope and Glory - no
                                Casablanca - no

                                Warmoviebuff... Great contribution and good debate stimulating stuff. I disagree with a couple of your choices though:

                                For me a "war movie" must have at it's core men/women fighting an enemy in a war, (sounds obvious).
                                So I agree that that the prisoner of war flicks, King Rat, Great Escape, Stalag 17, River Kwai... Are indeed all "war movies". They are about men fighting the enemy in a war, not as a peripheral theme but central to the plot. The men may be in captivity but they are fighting the enemy every bit as much as their comrades on the outside. There may be other themese but the central one is men fighting a war.

                                However... The Hill...
                                Where are the enemy? Where is the war? It is about Brits being bastards to other Brits! Actually what the film is about is British society and it's (then) adherence to to a rigid class based code which dictates that YOU DON'T CHALLENGE AUTHORITY. You do as you are told and keep your mouth shut. This is the natural order of things. To challenge your superiors is to challenge the fabric of society itself and there lies anarchy. "The Hill" (a big sand heap that the prisoners are made to run up) is a metaphor for how the establishment will break you if you don't conform. yada yada yada.

                                It is set during world war two in a BRITISH army prison camp for BRITISH soldiers. The "enemy" as such are the British "screws" who's blind obediance to this "code" is threatened by prisoner Seargeant Connery. The war as such it was, was just a device to put these characters in a position to challenge the accepted order of things and explore what the movie was really about.

                                This in my view makes it not a "war movie" as the war barely features and the "enemy" doesn't feature at all. If the Hill is a war movie, it is one where the war and the enemy are absent. They do not even feature as a theoretical psychological threat.The film set during wartime is about other things although it does have men in uniform in it.

                                (BTW... a foreigner can often see the idiosynchrosies in a society that the locals miss. In this case the American director Sidney Lumet bought a bit of gold to the screen imo.)

                                I also don't think that From Here to Eternity qualifies as a war movie. From what I can remember it's a soap opera about new recruits, a bully, and some tasty women, with a Japanese raid thrown in at the end. Very little in the way of war... but much about the nature of conformity and the like. In fact THE MOVIE IS SET IN PEACE TIME apart from the last few minutes were the raid is tacked on so Montgomery Clift can die a heroes death.
                                Last edited by Tommy Atkins; 09 Apr 11, 12:23.

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