Skip to comments.10 Best World War I Movies Ever Made
Posted on 07/30/2012 7:53:45 PM PDT by TurboZamboni
Without question, more movies have been made about World War II than any other, but before World War II there was World War I, and some of the best if not the best war films ever made were inspired by that conflict. Most movies about the Great War incorporate strong anti-war messages, and to be fair, I can think of few other conflicts (except perhaps the Crimean War or the Thirty Years War) in which this attitude is more appropriate.
Youll see this thread running through almost every one of my picks its just the way it is. With the exception of movies made as propaganda during WWI and WWII, a good hunk of the First World War films were turned out in the 1920s and 30s, when the nations of the world were licking their wounds and realizing what a grim, useless affair the whole mess really had been. World War I also proved to be an excellent analogy for Vietnam, so a number of First World War movies were also produced during that period. Anyway, without further ado, here are my particular favorites (and some runners-up) in chronological order.
(Excerpt) Read more at gunsandammo.com ...
For TV Series about WWI, I would suggest “Blackadder Goes Forth.” Generally a comedy, but one of the most poignant endings ever.
Best song about WWI, “1916” by Motorhead.
One of my favorites: “What Price Glory,” with James Cagney
and Dan Daily and a very young Robert Wagner. Good supporting cast. A remake of a 1920’s silent movie with the same name.
Paths Of Glory - based on a true story ...
Oh! what a lovely war. 1969
Paths of glory. 1950 something.
Hells Angels. 1930 something.
Paschendaele 2000 something.
The Lost Battalion hands down.
The best in my opinion.
Thanks for posting this. I’ve been reading WW1 books for years and have a keen interest in it ever since I got a book about it from my grandfather.
And for a ripping good tv series,how about “Wings” from about the mid seventies.Captain Triggers was my favourite.
Lawrence of Arabia.
I guess technically, you could include “Doctor Zhivago”, since a significant portion dealt with Russia’s role in WWI before the Bolsheviks took over.
“All quiet on the western front”....the final scene where the soldier reaches for the butterfly always stayed with me..
Blackadde Goes Forth is excellent 6 episodes with one of the best endings ever.
I would add The Dawn Patrol (1936) with Errol Flynn & David Niven. Also excellent is Anzacs, an Australian mini-series with Paul Hogan before he made it big with Crocadile Dundee.
I liked the original “All quiet on the Western Front.”
I think the list is spot on. Has the important ones in there
Lost Battalion is excellent and based on a true event.
African Queen :)
What you do not know is that Remarque, a man impoverished by the Great War, and his wife had triplets just 2 years after the war. Remarque fainted after the second baby was born, and the doctor commented after the third one was born: "That last Remarque was uncalled for."
Not what you expected, eh?
Sergeant York with Gary Cooper about a true American Hero.
Parts of War Horse were interesting. All in all, it was a long and hard movie to watch, but it had it’s moments.
When I was young and during my 20s I used to tell people and friends that when they got down and felt that life was getting to be too hard or demanding, to read about the front during WWI and that it would help get them back into the proper perspective, that is a very depressing war.
Sargent York then some others.
How about The Lighthorsemen - somewhat of a dark horse (pardon the pun) but an interesting study on tactical flexibility using cavalry durng WWI.
Your picks are just fine. My particular watch-them-mucho-times favorites are Sgt. York and Paths of Glory.
Salute to Sgt Wm Seed.
even now when some of us are having a bad day,we always say “no matter what,it’s better than being in a trench in Belgium”
Thank you......lol your tag...
Very true. I’ve even written a couple of songs (metal) about it. Finally Iron Maiden did Paschendale a few years ago.
I don’t think Lost Battalion is the best, but it’s definitely top ten. They go a little overboard on the NYC gangster motif, but the visuals are excellent and the portrayals are very well acted.
It is a 1987 Australian feature film about the men of a World War I light horse unit involved in the 1917 Battle of Beersheeba. The film is based on a true story and most of the characters in the film were based on real people.
There was a 1957 film starring Kirk Douglas about an unjust execution of three French poilus by a tyrannical general.
Then I saw on TCM an original 1918 French film about a young Frenchwoman who is raped by the Germans in 1914. Four years later she has a little girl whom her older husband wants to kill because the child is half German & the product of rape. The mother says, “I will teach her how to be French.” It wraps up with the husband being wounded & dying in hospital, and the young woman marrying a younger man who accepts both her and her daughter.
“Blue Max” is a classic. Especially those scenes with Ursula Andress.
The 1927 “Wings” with Clara Bow the “It” girl. Incredible footage using original aircraft that weren’t that old yet. Best line, “You didn’t kill him, Jack. War killed him.”
A 1931 film about an RAF pilot who goes crackers against war in general and then commits suicide. His wingman loads his corpse into a two seater plane, takes off, then shoots it up with its rear machine gun & blows the suicide’s head head off so he gets a hero’s funeral.
“Sergeant York” a classic. Eerily released just before Pearl Harbor. German soldiers depicted as human, not monsters, which makes them all the more dangerous.
So many WW1 films had an antiwar theme. Pick up a 1921 silver dollar with the eagle’s wings folded and you’ll see how strong that sentiment was, then.
That was quite depressing...
One thing I don’t get is that the remake of Dawn Patrol is not on the list. True it uses the flying sequences from the original, but the acting with Errol Flynn, David Niven, Basil Rathbone abnd Donald Crisp is far suoerior to the original, where you can scarcely notice a British accent.
Here it is on youtube, you wrote it?
Joyeux Noel (2005)
116 min - Drama | History | Music - 9 November 2005
On Christmas Eve during world War I, the Germans, French, and Scottish fraternize and get to know the men who live on the opposite side of a brutal war, in what became a true lesson of humanity.
The unofficial truce begins when the Scots begin to sing festive songs and songs from home, accompanied by bagpipes. Sprink and Sørensen arrive in the German front-line and Sprink sings for his comrades. As Sprink sings Silent Night he is accompanied by a piper in the Scottish front-line. Sprink responds to the piper and exits his trench with a small Christmas tree singing “Adeste Fideles”. Following Sprink’s lead the French, German, and Scottish officers meet in no-man’s-land and agree on a cease-fire for the evening. The various soldiers meet and wish each other “Joyeux Noël”,”Frohe Weihnachten”, and “Merry Christmas.” They exchange chocolate, champagne, and photographs of loved ones. Horstmayer gives Audebert back his wallet, with a photograph of his wife inside, lost in the attack a few days prior, and connect over pre-war memories. Palmer and the Scots celebrate a brief Mass for the soldiers (in Latin as was the practice in the Catholic Church at that time) and the soldiers retire deeply moved. However, Jonathan remains totally unmoved by the events around him, choosing to grieve for his brother.
Although it may not qualify, exactly, as a “World War I movie”, the 1926 film, ‘Tell it to the Marines’, starring Lon Chaney (in his only starring role where he didn’t wear sophisticated makeup), is truly a great movie. I got to watch it on TCM last summer and was floored.
By the way, Lon Chaney was a huge star a real long time ago but is, hands down, one of the greatest actors of all time. He pioneered the art of makeup and starred in many of the most enduring movies of the era (’The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, for example). He was a very private family man who once proclaimed, “Between movies, there is no Lon Chaney.” He built a cabin high in the Sierra Nevada wilderness as a retreat. A read of his Wiki bio is highly recommended if you are not familiar with the great Lon Chaney. He died young, in 1930, at age 47.
(Yes, Chaney’s son, Lon Chaney, Jr. later found fame as ‘The Wolfman’, Larry Talbot.)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.