Patriotism has always touched people’s heart since the immemorial time. War films have consistently captivated the audience, exhibiting inhumanity and its integrity. You will not merely find action scenes and movie stunts but also audacity, heroism, and affinity in all these iconic war movies.
So, here goes the list:
APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
It is an extraordinary war film produced, directed and co written by Francis Ford Coppola and John Milius. It stares Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Larry Fishburne, and Dennis Hopper. This screenplay is taken from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. This is set in the backdrop of Vietnam War where Captain Willard is sent to wilderness of Vietnam to kill Colonel Kurtz and thus starts his series of hurdles. This movie aptly describes the tensions and chaos of the Vietnam era. Though this got mixed reviews but it managed to get Oscar for sound and cinematography.
SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
This all time epic movie is directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg . It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film is based on true story of Oskar Schindler who saved 1200 Jews by outsmarting the Nazis during the World War II. He saved their lives by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Nesson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley. This movie is brilliantly acted, directed and written. This shows Spielberg’s achievement by capturing the Holocaust vividly that will bind to make you feel as if you are living in that era. This movie got seven Academy Awards.
THE PIANIST (2002)
The Pianist is coproduced and directed by Roman Polanski starring Adrien Brody. This movie is based on the true-life memoir of Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman who is taken to a ghetto and is separated from his family due to Operation Reinhard. He hides in various wrecked locations till the Polish Jews who were kept as prisoners are released from the Nazis. Though this is a slow paced movie without any dramatic tensions but there are many small effective parts in the movie that bring out the most unbearable and miserable human moments you will remember for the rest of your life. The Pianist won Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and the Best Actor and BAFTA Award for Best Film and Direction.
THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS (2008)
This is a British-American war film based on the same name novel by Irish writer, John Boyne. This is directed by Mark Herman and stars Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, Asa Butterfield, and Jack Scanlon. This movie explores the catastrophe of the World War II Nazi extermination camp, through the eyes of two eight year old boys: Bruno (Nazi commandant’s son) and Schmuel (a Jewish inmate). This movie will leave a powerful impact due its heartbreaking and unusual view of the Holocaust. This isn’t a deep film but rather a profound one.
GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (1988)
Grave of the Fireflies or Hotaru no haka is a Japanese animated war film based on the semi-autobiographical short story “Grave of the Fireflies” by Akiyuki Nosaka and directed and written by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. This movie tells the story of two children (Seita and his younger sister Setsuko) from the port city of Kobe, in Japan made homeless and orphan by the bombs. This powerful dramatic film will give you an emotional and heart wrenching experience. This film can be described in the best way through the words of the critic, Ernest Rister who says, “It is the most profoundly human animated film I’ve ever seen”. This simple story of survival is a masterpiece. The lack of visual realism in the movie unlike Hollywood will help you to imagine more freely and one can get easily connected to it.
There are many epic war movies other than these such as Saving Private Ryan, Paths of Glory, The Great Escape, The Imitation Game and the recently released Hacksaw Ridge but what makes the above mentioned movies stand out is that you can easily get connected to these beautifully constructed films and may enlighten you to a whole new perspective on war.