Thursday Movie Picks: World War II

I love war movies! There are just so cruel, honest, heartbreaking and horrible, and I’m always surprised how emotinal they make me. So this week’s Thursday Movie Picks were easy, and I didn’t have to wreck my brain for these well-known movies at all.

1. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, 1998

This is always the first movie I think about, when I think about war, because it’s so great. It’s not only great in terms of character development, but also because it looks and feels like war. I mean, the beach sequence itself is worth every minute of your attention. But since it’s so well known, I doubt there’s anyone left who hasn’t seen this… I think.

2. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, 2009

This Quentin Tarantino WWII movie is different and interesting on its own. There is meaning and symbolism behind almost every element, and it’s definitely one of a kind war-movie. Though we get to see the more behind the scenes events, the lack of battles doesn’t make this war movie any less boring.

3. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, 2011

Does this one count? Yes, it counts because the whole first part of the movie is about Steve Rogers trying to get into the army, and then training for the army, because he wants to fight for his country. He is also my favorite superhero so, I could not mention this movie.

* BAND OF BROTHERS, 2001 & THE PACIFIC, 2010

I’m adding these two mini-series to the mix because these are important! Both of these series are heartbreaking, and I binge watched both of these and I might do that again! There is a lot of focus on brotherhood, and the bonds that soldiers create when they are at war, but it also demonstrates how stupid war is, through bravery and horrific scenes were soldiers literally run towards gun fire because they are ordered to.


This series is created by Wandering Through the Shelves.

 

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12 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: World War II”

  1. Love the inclusion of Captain America! Nice way to look for a different angle to the theme and I love that movie. At this point I’d probably say he’s my favorite of the endless chain of superhero movies being churned out as well because the filmmakers still have some FUN with him and his character, plus Chris Evans is perfectly suited to the role, most have become so dour.

    Saving Private Ryan is a great film, quite intense but beautifully acted and very moving. I saw it a few times in the theatre and the audience reaction was always the same, a sort of stunned silence when it ended and a quiet filing out.

    I’m not a Tarantino fan but of all his films that I’ve seen Inglorious Basterds is the best by far. I’ve seen some of Band of Brothers which was good but none of The Pacific.

    I stayed off the battlefield deciding to focus on films that looked at people on the periphery of the conflict, affected by it but not directly involved in the fighting.

    To Be or Not to Be (1942)/To Be or Not to Be (1983)-As Hitler rises to power annexing portions of Europe life continues as usual at the Warsaw theatre owned by bickering married couple of renown, Joseph Tura/Fredrick Bronski (Jack Benny/Mel Brooks) “World famous in Poland!” and Maria Tura/Anna Bronski (Carole Lombard/Anne Bancroft). When the wife becomes enamored of a young flyer Lt. Sobinski (Robert Stack/Tim Matheson) they rendezvous while her hambone of a husband takes forever to get through Shakespeare’s soliloquy of the title. Suddenly Poland is attacked and the couple and their troupe of performers find themselves involved in the serious business of espionage to aid the war effort. The films, very similar in layout and execution, provide an interesting contrast in the way comedy about a serious situation can be played, the subtle almost gallows humor of Lubitsch and the broader stroke of Brooks. Both are successful though Lubitsch’s viewpoint is probably the more trenchant and timely. This was Carole Lombard’s final film, she was killed in a plane crash returning from a war bond tour the day before the planned premiere. The opening was delayed and her line “What can happen in a plane!” was excised (though it has been restored to current prints).

    The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)-Filmization of the young Jewess’s journal of her time hiding away with her family and assorted friends from the Nazis in a small attic apartment. Wrenching and sad but also full of observation about the human condition and a young girl’s journey toward adulthood. Shelley Winters won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work as the high strung Mrs. Van Daan.

    Confirm or Deny (1941)-During the London Blitz American war correspondent “Mitch” Mitchell (Don Ameche) will use any scheme-coastal wire, war orphan Albert’s (a thirteen year old Roddy McDowell) carrier pigeons etc.-to expedite news to his Stateside editor before anyone else. Meeting teletype operator Jennifer (Joan Bennett) on the night an air raid destroys his office he convinces her to let him use the machine, hidden in a hotel cellar, to send reports. Despite falling for him Jennifer argues with Mitch that his ambition to be first from the front is compromising intelligence work against the Nazis. When tragedy strikes he’s forced to question his methods, all the while New York keeps sending the same message over and over again, “Confirm or deny?”

  2. Inglourious Basterds getting a lot of run today, as well it should. I actually love all three of the movies you picked. Sadly, I have not seen one minute of either series. The really pitiful part is Band of Brothers has been on my watchlist since it came out.

    1. Cool! It deserves it. And since you’ve seen all the movies, more reasons to watch the series recommendations because those are as good, if not better because they have more screen time and that just hits you even harder. Especially the clips of veterans talking about war in the beginning, those always got me!

  3. Nice picks! Inglorious Basterds might be my favorite Quentin Tarantino movie. It just seems like one of his most polished films, though I haven’t seen a lot of his earlier movies. I love seeing Captain America: The First Avenger. All three films of his trilogy are so great, but the first one has such a special place in my heart. ❤

    1. Again I think I like Pulp Fiction the most though. I don’t mind the fact that it’s messy, I think I like that about it. And yes, Civil War I think for me is the favorite so far, I just LOVE Bucky!

  4. I really want to see Band of Brothers, and The Pacific. So cool you listed them here. I too chose Saving Private Ryan…for all the reasons you stated. I love Inglourious Basterds as well. Great pick! I am not a huge fan of The First Avenger. But I’m not much for superhero movies, so I’m just not the audience for it.

    1. See them! They are great! And I think that First Avenger suits this list in a way that it has a different vibe to it. Others seem to be focused on the horrors, First Avenger more on the heroic aspects. That’s why I wanted to mention it. Also I lvoe superhero movies.

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