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The Telegraph's Top 29 War Film List


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This is a list likely to excite, delight, confound, amuse and perhaps appall just one person, let alone all who read it. It's chronological, with embedded links for reviews in many shown. While I have seen almost every film on the list, the inclusion of one, "Fury," didn't sit well with me. In my estimation, there are many better war films which didn't make the list( "White Tiger" isn't one!). Would further note the list of films, in terms of periods, goes back only to WW I.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/the-best-war-movies-ever-made/

Regards,

John Kettler

 

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On 25.4.2017 at 7:38 AM, John Kettler said:

This is a list likely to excite, delight, confound, amuse and perhaps appall just one person, let alone all who read it. It's chronological, with embedded links for reviews in many shown. While I have seen almost every film on the list, the inclusion of one, "Fury," didn't sit well with me. In my estimation, there are many better war films which didn't make the list( "White Tiger" isn't one!). Would further note the list of films, in terms of periods, goes back only to WW I.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/the-best-war-movies-ever-made/

Regards,

John Kettler

 

Hmmm, I found collection quite ok. Sure, I  would not agree to all of them, but in general: Nicely selected.

One correction to John's statement above: The list includes "Zulu" about the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879, which is pre-WW1. And that movie really is brilliant! 

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7 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

The list includes "Zulu" about the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879, which is pre-WW1. And that movie really is brilliant!

Or at least very good. And vastly better than Zulu Dawn, which for reasons I have never been able to fathom, seems to be very popular.

Michael

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I used to think that A Bridge Too Far was one of the greatest war movies I'd ever seen, but I watched it again a couple of weeks ago and was disappointed. The cast was fine, but the script just came across as a collection of war movie clichés. I guess somewhere along the line I raised the bar without realizing it.

Michael

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7 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Or at least very good. And vastly better than Zulu Dawn, which for reasons I have never been able to fathom, seems to be very popular.

Michael

Yep, I have Zulu Dawn on DVD and never really liked it. Quite boring and it does not give a very clear picture of the Isandhlwana battle. But extensively portrays the "Quartermaster Bloomfield story", which I find hard to believe.

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Goodmorning Vietnam, Schindler's List? War movies? What about actual war movies like Paths of Glory, We Were Soldiers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Patton, The Big Red One, The Hurt Locker and of course the great - Apocalypse Now?

Who makes these lists?

Anyway, here's a slightly more complete list...

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8 hours ago, nightops said:

Goodmorning Vietnam, Schindler's List? War movies? What about actual war movies like Paths of Glory, We Were Soldiers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Patton, The Big Red One, The Hurt Locker and of course the great - Apocalypse Now?

Who makes these lists?

Anyway, here's a slightly more complete list...

Yep, some titles were a little difficult to accept.

Plus the selection is of course a very personal thing anyway. One can't really say " the best", only "my favourites".

From your proposals, e.g., I loved "We were soldiers", but did not like the 2nd "Letters from Iwo Jima". I find "Apocalypse now - Redux" great, but did not like the original cinema version. Probably, I was too young for it back then.

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12 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

Yep, some titles were a little difficult to accept.

Plus the selection is of course a very personal thing anyway. One can't really say " the best", only "my favourites".

From your proposals, e.g., I loved "We were soldiers", but did not like the 2nd "Letters from Iwo Jima". I find "Apocalypse now - Redux" great, but did not like the original cinema version. Probably, I was too young for it back then.

 

I just watched Letters again recently and found it stood up very well. I was a lot less impressed with Eastwood's other effort American Sniper. As for Apocalypse, I love the movie but if I have to choose I prefer the original release since the redux just runs way too long and doesn't add that much to the story. Sometimes these things can depend on which you properly watched first the Redux or the original. In any shape or form it's an amazing movie and an amazing achievement, no CGI.

One movie that hasn't been mentioned but isn't bad and does have CGI is Enemy at the Gates...

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Certainly don't agree with all of them, but definitely some of my favorites on that list. One that was missing that would be on my list is "Sahara". Not too many "Joes" as cool as Humphrey Bogart's gritty Master Sgt. portrayal in that one., The character acting and story were both very good and memorable.

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2 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Really? I haven't seen it, but it got slammed awfully hard by the cognoscenti.

Michael

 

It's no masterpiece but it's not bad, delves into the sniper war with Vasily Zaytsev and the Germans.

Always makes me laugh when playing Battlefield running into guys calling themselves vasilyzaytsev1001 camping out at the edge of the map only to sneak up behind them and knife them.

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On 5/2/2017 at 3:14 AM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Enema at The Gates?  :o

It's a godawful film.....Total and utter pants, even the CGI is over the top and poorly done IMHO.

For a start Vasily Zaitsev actually looked like this:

zaitsev.jpg

Need I really go on?  :lol:

http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-russians/military/vasily-zaitsev/

 

"Enema" at the Gates would be a very different movie, which I can't say I've seen. Is it made by the same people that did Schindler's Fist perhaps? ;)

Seriously the movie wasn't that bad by other war movie standards and basing part of it on the fact that Vasily Grigoryevich Zaytsev doesn't look like Jude Law is pushing it given it would have made the ladies happy to watch a war movie with their male partners...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Muffed it about "Zulu," and after the fact, I can't believe I botched it--until I think about the hour I wrote the post! Have never seen "Zulu Dawn," but since it preceded the action in "Zulu," I really need to watch it at some point. There was an article regarding Islandlwana  sometime in the mid 80s in Infantry Journal. The article specifically mentioned two critical factors on the ammo side. They were: insistence on rigorous adherence to peacetime ammunition issuance procedures and the fact there were only two (2) screwdrivers to open the stout wooden cartridge boxes. Nor were these ordinary wood screws. I saw them on a TV program recently, and they are at least 3" long. Unfortunately, I don't recall how many screws were used to hold down the lid, but on general principles, I would expect at least four. The article was quite clear this ongoing lack of sufficient cartridges in a hot action against the Zulu impi was what cost the British the battle.

Loved "Sahara," Bogie (watched every movie I could with him in it), the guys and the Lee tank. Went nuts as a kid the first time I saw that tank appear, for I couldn't believe my eyes. Memory's dim, but I thought "Hamburger Hill" captured the essence of the Vietnam War's futility very nicely. For the handwriting on the wall of what was coming ref Vietnam, see "Go Tell the Spartans." Apocalypse Now" made no sense to me until I saw the director's cut. The theater release was a horribly cut down version of what Coppolla wanted to release, but the studio, having already had the film utterly blow both budget and schedule (minor stuff like a hurricane and having the helos snatched away to battle Huk insurgents), wanted to maximize the number of people who could see it and forced him not only to shorten the film, but to do it in a way he hated but the suits liked. Never saw "Enemy at the Gates." Am always wary of a war movie with a love interest in it. That said, I know of at least one, maybe two instances in the handful of books I have for Russian war memoirs from the Red Army in which the author did have a wartime romance and even wed the woman. See Penalty Strike. "April 9th" and "1944" were both quite good, but neither is well known in the US. 

Regards,

John Kettler

 

 

Edited by John Kettler
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On 17.5.2017 at 9:30 PM, John Kettler said:

Muffed it about "Zulu," and after the fact, I can't believe I botched it--until I think about the hour I wrote the post! Have never seen "Zulu Dawn," but since it preceded the action in "Zulu," I really need to watch it at some point. There was an article regarding Islandlwana  sometime in the mid 80s in Infantry Journal. The article specifically mentioned two critical factors on the ammo side. They were: insistence on rigorous adherence to peacetime ammunition issuance procedures and the fact there were only two (2) screwdrivers to open the stout wooden cartridge boxes. Nor were these ordinary wood screws. I saw them on a TV program recently, and they are at least 3" long. Unfortunately, I don't recall how many screws were used to hold down the lid, but on general principles, I would expect at least four. The article was quite clear this ongoing lack of sufficient cartridges in a hot action against the Zulu impi was what cost the British the battle.

Loved "Sahara," Bogie (watched every movie I could with him in it), the guys and the Lee tank. Went nuts as a kid the first time I saw that tank appear, for I couldn't believe my eyes. Memory's dim, but I thought "Hamburger Hill" captured the essence of the Vietnam War's futility very nicely. For the handwriting on the wall of what was coming ref Vietnam, see "Go Tell the Spartans." Apocalypse Now" made no sense to me until I saw the director's cut. The theater release was a horribly cut down version of what Coppolla wanted to release, but the studio, having already had the film utterly blow both budget and schedule (minor stuff like a hurricane and having the helos snatched away to battle Huk insurgents), wanted to maximize the number of people who could see it and forced him not only to shorten the film, but to do it in a way he hated but the suits liked. Never saw "Enemy at the Gates." Am always wary of a war movie with a love interest in it. That said, I know of at least one, maybe two instances in the handful of books I have for Russian war memoirs from the Red Army in which the author did have a wartime romance and even wed the woman. See Penalty Strike. "April 9th" and "1944" were both quite good, but neither is well known in the US. 

Regards,

John Kettler

 

 

Hi John

Don't believe the various "ammo myths" around Isandwhlana. If you care for excellent, ecpert accounts about Isandwhlana and Rorke's Drift, read Lt. Colonel Mike Snook's books "How can men die better" and "Like Wolfes on the fold".

Forget "Zulu Dawn", that one is not worth the time. But there's a pretty good documentation around. If you care, I can dig out the DVD title tomorrow.

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21 hours ago, John Kettler said:

StieliAlpha,

Haven't read either, but I must say I'm intrigued. Please do tell me what the title of the documentary to which you refer is. Thanks!

Regards,

John Kettler



 

Hi John

The documentary is "The Zulu Wars 1879". Covers both, Isandwhlana and Rorke's Drift. With scenes from Zulu and Zulu Dawn, as well as reenactments and gives a pretty good understanding of the campaign. Certainly more solid and understandable than Zulu Dawn, but still entertaining enough. 

If you are interested in Victorian times warfare, read Mike Snook. With his military and intelligence background, the guy really knows what he is writing about. Providing an incredible amount of detail. To be honest, often enough much more than I would need. A short while ago, I finished his "Beyond the reach of empire", about the failed campaign to rescue Gordon from Karthoum. Whow, that was heavy stuff...

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