Happy Independence Day everyday! Last year I made a list of best Patriotic Movies for the 4th of July, so here is an updated list of my favorite war movies, because what's more patriotic than war movies? Even though there have been a few good war movies from the past years, most of the best ones were made before the 80s, and those are my many of my favorites. To qualify in the war genre a film must take place around a war from any era, however I have decided to exclude Braveheart, Captain American: the First Avenger, and The Dark Knight Rises because they are not necessarily war films, but they would certainly rank high on the list.
At Number 10: Saving Private Ryan
The opening D-Day scene is classic, there is not little more to be said.
At Number 9: Sergeant York
My favorite Gary Cooper film and an underrated classic from the era, Sergeant York is based on the life story of Alvin York, a reluctant war hero. Classic American values at its finest, and York is an all around great character.
At Number 8: The Dirty Dozen
The Dirty Dozen basically started the now clichéd "Men on a Mission" format. Take a ragtag team of criminals on death row and send them on a suicide mission for their freedom. Despite many rip-offs and sequels, nothing tops the original Dirty Dozen.
At Number 7: Gettysburg
One of the longest films on this list, Gettysburg is an excellent telling of the bloodiest battle in American history and one of the Nation's darkest hours. Originally set to be release as a TV mini-series this over four hour long epic was edited into a theatrical released film and flopped at the box office. Gettysburg is not for those with a short attention span but will satisfy any history buff like myself with its historical accuracy.
At Number 6: Patton
Patton, based on the true story of General George S. Patton, and won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1977. George C. Scott gives a career defining and Oscar winning performance as the great General, which he no doubt deserved. Definitely one of the best biopics ever made and it actually made the subject matter entertaining were other such films often fail.
At Number 5: The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai is a unique World War II POW film, it deals more with the psychological side opposed to the physical, yet remains interesting enough to keep it entertaining. Alec Guinness' amazing performance was the core of the film's success, which he rightfully won as Oscar for.
At Number 4: Lawrence of Arabia
Over three hours in length and featuring some of, if not, the best cinematography from the era, Lawrence of Arabia is the definition of an film epic. There is not much else that needs to be said, basically watch the film if you are either a classic film buff or enjoy historical epics.
At Number 3: The Great Escape
The Great Escape is based on a true story of WWII POWs escaping from German prison, although do not expect a dark and realistic take on the events but more of a entertaining Hollywood flick. Many of the characters are likable from the all-star cast particularly Steve McQueen gave as Captain Virgil Hilts "The Cooler King". Who can forget his iconic motorcycle chase through the German country side.
At Number 2: Kelly's Heroes
Out of all the films on this list, Kelly's Heroes has probably been seen by the fewest people. Kelly's Heroes is an unconventional war film because it is more of a comedy, but does have some fun action scenes throughout. Donald Sutherland's character Oddball is hilarious! He really steals the show and Clint Eastwood is awesome as always as Kelly. There is some great satire in the film of Clint Eastwood's westerns and war films in general.
At Number 1: Inglourious B------
Inglourious is an unconventional choice, albeit a popular one for Quentin Tarantino fans. It is not your typical war film, Inglourious has a style all its own and is packed with well written and suspense dialogue scenes. While it is somewhat for some, I found it to be fantastic, a truly great film with a perfectly twisted sense of humor. *Major Spoiler* Inglourious is not realistic by any means, they end up killing Hitler by the end of the film, but that is what makes it so great because it is so unique, unpredictable and over-the-top. *End Spoiler*
Honorable Mention: Caine Munity, Black Hawk Down,
What are your favorite war films? Please comment below and happy 4th of July!
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