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10 War Movies That Appeal to the Brain
Star Tribune ^ | November 4, 2005 | Colin Covert

Posted on 11/03/2005 1:55:10 PM PST by wallcrawlr

In a pivotal scene in the new Gulf War film "Jarhead," an audience of young Marines watches the famous "Ride of the Valkyries" scene from "Apocalypse Now" before they leave for the combat zone. Cheering Robert Duvall and his helicopter gunships, they revel in the movie's visceral depiction of destructive power.

• The fact that the film was meant to be antiwar doesn't deter them. "Actually, Vietnam War films are all prowar no matter what the supposed message," Anthony Swofford writes in the grimly candid memoir on which "Jarhead" is based. Marines love them because "the magic brutality of the films celebrates the terrible and despicable beauty of their fighting skills."

• A great war film is one that carries a variety of meanings for different viewers. It must show the gung-ho thrill of battle heroism and the absurdity of squandered lives, the psychological costs of combat and the camaraderie between soldiers, idealism and disillusion, the dignity of the cause and the futility of war.

• Here is a collection of classics worthy of repeated viewing, and often-overlooked treasures.

• "Full Metal Jacket"

• "Saving Private Ryan"

• "Black Hawk Down"

• "Three Kings"

• "They Were Expendable"

• "Das Boot"

• "Apocalypse Now"

• "Zulu"

• "The Battle of Algiers"

• "Starship Troopers"

Why these 10?

"FULL METAL JACKET"

Stanley Kubrick presents his extraordinarily unformulaic war movie in two parts. The prologue shows the boot camp where a leather-lunged drill instructor (Marine Corps vet R. Lee Ermey) turns young American civilians into killing machines. The climax brings them to Vietnam, where their training is all but useless in the chaos of actual combat. A sardonic portrait of militarism from the director of "Paths of Glory,"Dr. Strangelove" and "Barry Lyndon." (1987)

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: History; Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
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See article for the rest of the movies. They give a breif commentary on each one.

A couple of my favorites that reflected the dignity of the cause...but not so much the "futility" as the article would hope these films protray.

We Were Soldiers

The Charge of the Light Brigade

1 posted on 11/03/2005 1:55:10 PM PST by wallcrawlr
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To: wallcrawlr

They missed the greatest war (anti war actually) film of all time, Paths of Glory. I't a Kubrik film and is far better than Full Metal Jacket. I guess the reason it's not in the top 10 is that it's old and even filmed in black and white.


2 posted on 11/03/2005 2:00:29 PM PST by saganite (The poster formerly known as Arkie 2)
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To: wallcrawlr

Add Gallipoli, and Paths of Glory.


3 posted on 11/03/2005 2:01:41 PM PST by giobruno
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To: wallcrawlr
In no particular order:

The Longest Day
Gettysburg
Saving Private Ryan
Bridge Over the River Kwai
Midway
Tora Tora Tora
The Patriot
All Quiet on the Western Front
Stalag 17
Patton

4 posted on 11/03/2005 2:02:18 PM PST by theDentist (The Dems have put all their eggs in one basket-case: Howard "Belltower" Dean.)
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To: saganite

Great film, much more important than FMJ. The anthill.


5 posted on 11/03/2005 2:02:25 PM PST by giobruno
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To: wallcrawlr

All Quiet on The Western Front


6 posted on 11/03/2005 2:04:22 PM PST by dakine
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To: giobruno; saganite

Paths of Glory.

never heard of it.

thanks for the tip


7 posted on 11/03/2005 2:06:35 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: wallcrawlr

It might be hard to find since it's old. You won't see it in blockbuster but you may find it at Amazon. If you like Kubrick and Kirk Douglas you'll like the movie. It's always on every list of the most important movies ever made that I've seen. It's Douglas' finest work in my opinion.


8 posted on 11/03/2005 2:11:45 PM PST by saganite (The poster formerly known as Arkie 2)
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To: saganite

wow...I'm not a war movie newbie....just never heard of it.

I'll look, thanks.


9 posted on 11/03/2005 2:12:53 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: wallcrawlr

A Bridge Too Far?

The Dirty Dozen?

Kelly's Heros?


10 posted on 11/03/2005 2:14:21 PM PST by Yo-Yo
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To: wallcrawlr
"Starship Troopers"

Startship Troopers was a comic book, and I'm pretty sure the director, Paul Verhoeven, (BASIC INSTINCT, TOTAL RECALL) intended it to be high camp. THEY WERE EXPENDABLE - great!

11 posted on 11/03/2005 2:16:50 PM PST by Rummyfan
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To: wallcrawlr

If you see it freepmail me and let me know what you think.

Warning: it's anti war and there are no heroes exept Colonel Dax, the Douglas character. It's definitely not a feel good movie.


12 posted on 11/03/2005 2:16:57 PM PST by saganite (The poster formerly known as Arkie 2)
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To: wallcrawlr

Does Braveheart count??


13 posted on 11/03/2005 2:17:51 PM PST by Millee (As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!)
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To: dakine
I'd add Red Badge of Courage to the list.

BTW Erich Remarque is a relation of mine - gramma claimed he was a real dandy.

14 posted on 11/03/2005 2:18:34 PM PST by skeeter
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To: wallcrawlr
I've always been fond of a little know Vietnam War film that came out in the late 1980s, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. It had some bad acting and dialogue (except, of course, the always superb R. Lee Ermey) but it had some great action sequences that were well directed by Brian Trenchard Smith (who later went on to semi-fame making "Leprechaun" horror films, IIRC).

Another pretty good war movie I've always liked was The Beast, an American production with American actors playing Russian tankers who get lost in an Afghanistan valley and are pursued by a band of Pashtuns bent on revenge.

15 posted on 11/03/2005 2:18:38 PM PST by Drew68
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To: wallcrawlr

I would ad "The Battle of the Bulge" (1965) to any "must see" list, for Robert Shaws' performance as Col. Martin Hessler, if nothing else.

IMO Excellent performances were also given by Robert Ryan and Telly Savalas.

The DVD has several restored scenes, which were removed from the TV & VHS releases of the film.


16 posted on 11/03/2005 2:23:21 PM PST by holymoly ("A lot" is TWO words.)
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: jbeachgrl5
I love the dirty dozen. It's been years. Do they show it on television at all?

Tuner Classic Movies seems to run it once or twice a year. I bought the DVD. It's nice being able to watch it whenever I want.

18 posted on 11/03/2005 2:26:09 PM PST by holymoly ("A lot" is TWO words.)
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To: wallcrawlr
Not necessarily in this order:

Saving Private Ryan

Breaker Morant

Bridge On The River Kwai

Das Boot

Patton

Full Metal Jacket

The Great Escape

19 posted on 11/03/2005 2:27:17 PM PST by Gay State Conservative
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To: Rummyfan

Starship Troopers was a fairly OK sci-fi book classic, but a horrible movie (IMHO). Can't believe it made the list but Patton and All Quiet on the Western Front didn't.


20 posted on 11/03/2005 2:29:08 PM PST by VictoryGal (Never give up, never surrender!)
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To: wallcrawlr

"Apocalypse Now" – 100% comedy.
"Starship Troopers" – 100% comedy.
"Full Metal Jacket" – not too bad
"Saving Private Ryan" – great!
"Zulu" – also great.

What happened to “We were Soldiers”? It should have been on the top of any list. It was one of the finest war movies ever made.


21 posted on 11/03/2005 2:29:34 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: wallcrawlr
No "Platoon" ?
No "Hamburger Hill" ?

"Paths of Glory" was a great flick..a great war anti-war flick..Take The Ant Hill !

Made for TV "Lost Battalion" was a heck of a flick.
22 posted on 11/03/2005 2:29:55 PM PST by stylin19a
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To: jbeachgrl5

I like the WWII movies too...but I especially like finding war movies that deal with WWI and earlier.


23 posted on 11/03/2005 2:31:45 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: wallcrawlr

Two that I would add to the list are the realistic Vietnam War film "Go Tell the Spartans," and the surrealistic WW II film "Castle Keep." One thing they have in common is the magnificent Burt Lancaster.


24 posted on 11/03/2005 2:32:44 PM PST by drjimmy
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To: stylin19a

Lost Battalion was good. I liked it too.


25 posted on 11/03/2005 2:32:55 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: wallcrawlr

12 O'Clock High. Suspense, tension, realistic and very little combat--best movie I've seen on the responsibilities and pressures of commanding men in combat.


26 posted on 11/03/2005 2:34:00 PM PST by mark502inf
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To: jbeachgrl5
I guess you could say I have a thing for WWII. Sigh, a different time.

I agree.I'm in full agreement with Brokaw when he speaks of "the greatest generation".

27 posted on 11/03/2005 2:35:02 PM PST by Gay State Conservative
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To: wallcrawlr

Band of Brothers.


28 posted on 11/03/2005 2:35:34 PM PST by Fierce Allegiance (Want to be on my Civil Engineers ping list? Just say so!)
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To: wallcrawlr

Black Hawk Down was crap, I thought the documentary on that event was way better than the movie.


29 posted on 11/03/2005 2:37:15 PM PST by stacytec
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To: jbeachgrl5

I have to agree, Band of Brothers is one of the miniseries I've ever seen.


30 posted on 11/03/2005 2:38:21 PM PST by stacytec
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To: wallcrawlr

Starship Troopers?? A movie about killing giant bugs? And it appeals to the brain?

I was doing fine with the list until this one upon which I said, "Huh?".


31 posted on 11/03/2005 2:40:04 PM PST by DaGman
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To: Drew68
I was thinking The Beast was Israeli?
32 posted on 11/03/2005 2:40:07 PM PST by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: stacytec; Fierce Allegiance

I think Band of Brothers is the best miniseries ever made, and might well be the best war film ever made. I don't know what would beat it.


33 posted on 11/03/2005 2:42:36 PM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: Petronski

Did you see "The Great Raid"? Though it was pretty much overlooked, I really liked it. It had a strong Catholic component to it (which was inescapable, since it took place in the Phillipines). It had a personal connection to me, since I never met my paternal grandmother because of that war (lack of proper medical attention), as well as my great uncle John, the first member of my maternal grandmother's family to be born in the United States (his family was from Poland, and he died in the Bataan Death March).


34 posted on 11/03/2005 2:47:01 PM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: jbeachgrl5

Other than two movies made back during WW2 (Bataan and Back to Bataan), I don't know of any.


36 posted on 11/03/2005 2:59:46 PM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: wallcrawlr
I always liked The Big Red One
37 posted on 11/03/2005 3:12:31 PM PST by conservativebabe (proud to be a vitriolic hyperconservative)
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To: conservativebabe
I also liked Glory
38 posted on 11/03/2005 3:14:27 PM PST by conservativebabe (proud to be a vitriolic hyperconservative)
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To: wallcrawlr

Starship Troopers, a top 10 war movie that appeals to the brain? I don't think so. However, Denise Richards is very appealing for other, less cerebral, reasons.


39 posted on 11/03/2005 3:15:35 PM PST by Mase
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To: mark502inf

I am glad I'm not the only one to have thought of 12 O'Clock High.

I am going to add another one in here:

Master and Commander (which was great for those of us who hadn't read the books first!)


40 posted on 11/03/2005 3:18:39 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: mark502inf

They show that movie at the Air Force Academy to illustrate the pressures of command.


41 posted on 11/03/2005 3:28:24 PM PST by saganite (The poster formerly known as Arkie 2)
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To: wallcrawlr

'Attack!' w/Jack Palance... 'Castle Keep' w/Burt Lancaster... 'Red Beach' w/Cornel Wilde... 'Battle Cry' w/Van Heflin...


42 posted on 11/03/2005 3:31:27 PM PST by johnny7 (“What now? Let me tell you what now.”)
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To: theDentist

Your list looks about right to me.

Tora Tora Tora
Patton
Stalag 17

Are three of my faves.


43 posted on 11/03/2005 3:39:17 PM PST by Dashing Dasher (... this situation absolutely requires a really futile & stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.)
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To: Pyro7480

I look forward to the dvd.


44 posted on 11/03/2005 3:43:53 PM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: investigateworld
I was thinking The Beast was Israeli?

It was filmed in Israel. Might have had some Israeli military advisors, etc. The director and principal actors were American. And the star of the film, the tank, was most certainly Russian.

45 posted on 11/03/2005 3:48:07 PM PST by Drew68
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To: Drew68

I always wondered about "drinking the brake fluid?"

It is a great movie.


46 posted on 11/03/2005 4:00:25 PM PST by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: jbeachgrl5

A few more:

U571
Sands of Iwo Jima
The Green Berets
Flying Leathernecks
The Great Escape
From Here to Eternity
Von Ryan's Express
Winds of War / War and Remembrance


47 posted on 11/03/2005 4:03:11 PM PST by Tuxedo (Tragically Hip)
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To: stylin19a
No "Platoon" ? No "Hamburger Hill" ?
I'm a 'Nam vet and I think both are outstanding. Hamburger Hill is a real gut wrencher.
48 posted on 11/03/2005 4:09:01 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: wallcrawlr
"Glory"
"Henry V"
"Last Of The Mohicans"
49 posted on 11/03/2005 4:20:45 PM PST by SoDak
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To: oh8eleven

many didn't like Platoon.
I was an 0811, - 05's, yet in-country was an 0311...go figure.

Semper Fi.


50 posted on 11/03/2005 5:14:01 PM PST by stylin19a
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