Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Movie Meme - War, What Is It Good For?



This week's Monday Movie Meme from the Bumbles is all about the depiction of war on the silver screen. When I read the topic, I sat here for a few moments with my jaw hanging open. How on earth can I play this meme and still get the kids to school???? This is harder than the documentaries!!! Jeez. The Bumbles have done a wonderful job of not only compiling a great list, but also categorizing them by war. I will not even attempt such organization. Also, their list contains some movies that address the Holocaust (Schindler's List, Life is Beautiful) that I must not touch. That is almost a genre by itself! I will stick to movies that have battle scenes, blood, guns, the whole bit. I also won't touch on the two thousand war documentaries we've watched either! Otherwise I will be here all day...
  • Saving Private Ryan (WWII)
  • Platoon (Vietnam)
  • Gone With the Wind (Civil War)
  • Apocolypse Now (Vietnam)
  • Stalingrad (WWII)

OK, if I must, I will add a note about movies that don't necessarily have fighting in them, but are directly related to a war:

  • The Pianist - phenomenal movie...would make my list of top Holocaust films
  • Life is Beautiful - ditto the above. I cry just thinking about it.
  • Schindler's List - I think would fall into many of my top categories
  • The Deer Hunter - I don't remember battle scenes in this one (but maybe there was). It was a movie that I have only watched once, it disturbed me so much...and I'm not easily disturbed. Can't get the russian roulet thing out of my head.
  • The Counterfeiters - won best foreign film a year or two back
  • Sophie's Choice - my eyes are watering...
  • Downfall - remarkable depiction of Hitler's last days

17 comments:

Beth F said...

I didn't think I was war movie fan, but your list proves me wrong! Great movies and I've seen and enjoyed most of the ones listed here.

The Bumbles said...

We could have listed 50 movies easily - war is such a broad movie genre - those that depict the action, those showing the civilians left behind during the war, and those struggling with war's impact once it is over. Great list you have put together. (And glad to see you are enjoying reading Gone With The Wind - it has been a long time since I read it myself but your descriptions brought it all back).

caite said...

There are some very powerful movies on that list....

Literary Feline said...

I considered leaving out movies like Empire of the Sun and Schindler's List, maybe even separating them out since I think they deserve mention, but decided to just lump it all together since it was so late when I finished the post.

I could have gone on forever on this topic. You bring up some great ones--I'd forgotten about The Pianist and Life is Beautiful. Both wonderful films.

I need to watch Sophie's Choice on of these days. I watched bits and pieces of it as a child, and knew it was something I should like, but I've never sat through the entire film.

An Eerie Tapestry said...

A great pair of lists (I think overall I preferred the one with the non-fighting films). I hadn't realised there were so many good war movies.

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I really need to see Schindler's List!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Beth - I've read that some critics think there are too many war movies out there, but I disagree. Life wouldn't be the same without some of these movies!

Bumbles - I was so overwhelmed! Like you said, you could easily break down "war movies" into about a dozen sub-genres!

Caite - very powerful...most of them make me cry.

Wendy - I've only watched Sophie's Choice once, it was so disturbing to me (similar to The Deer Hunter). As a mother, it is your worst nightmare realized.

Eerie Tapestry - You could literally list dozens of them. I could come up with a couple dozen documentaries alone!

Melissa - Schindler's List is one of the best movies ever made, in my opinion. It is dark and terrifying, but touching also. Bring your tissues!

Carrie K. said...

I watched Sophie's Choice while pregnant with my first and it almost destroyed me. I don't think I could ever watch it again.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Band of Brothers (technically a mini-series, but so worh the time investment)
To End All Wars (a POW film)
Rescue Dawn (another POW film)
Glory (Civil War)


Oh, I could go on and on, but break time's over. Great question.

C. B. James said...

I'll just add two:

Hope and Glory which is about the home front in England during WWII which has the single most joyous ending I've ever seen in a film.

The Best Years of Our Lives which is about American soldiers returning home after World War Two and made me cry more than any movie I've ever seen. I defy you to keep your eyes dry during the opening cab ride sequence.

I may cry right now.

Sandy Nawrot said...

James, I always value your input on the movies. You always bring a few to the table that are unique. I will put both of your recommendations on my Q, because we just can't see enough war movies, sick as that may be. If I were ever an actor, and I needed to cry on cue, all I would have to do is think about Life is Beautiful. Similar to your reaction to The Best Years of Our Lives...

Erika said...

What a great list of movies. I still haven't seen Life is Beautiful, but I want to.

Iliana said...

These are some amazing films although I have to say I find it very hard to watch war movies. I guess everyone does but to me they usually just leave me feeling so unsettled for days. Having said that Life is Beautiful is really one of my most favorite films. I cried and cried when I saw that.

Daisy said...

Hi! I kinda had a hard time reading your blog coz the font is white. I'm not sure maybe its just my browser. Anyway, my fave from your list is Platoon, Schindler's List and The Pianist.

I posted some 5 faves as well. Hope you come by and visit.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Erika - you should put that movie at the top of your list. Of all the Holocaust movies I've seen, that one is just a bit different. Heartbreaking, laugh-out-loud funny at times, and impossible not to cry.

Iliana - I know, I think I am a sick and twisted soul for watching so many war movies. Even if you have an aversion to them, you are right, Life is Beautiful is impossible to deny!

Daisy - I am sorry for the font issue. I have struggled with it...in fact I even made the font bigger for it to be easier to read. If I weren't an html idiot, I woudld change the background color to solve the problem, but the more I mess, the more I screw it up! I'm off to visit your blog and read your list!

An Eerie Tapestry said...

Sandy, regarding Daisy's font problem, it's probably, as she suggested, her browser that's to blame (or the template or any tweaks made to it for not being cross-browser compatible).

While on Internet Explorer, I see the text as white on a brown background and it's all very readable, whereas when I've used Mozilla to look at your blog there's a pale yellow background instead (with just the brown round the outer border) so the white text is fairly hard to see against it (the only way I could read it was to highlight the text). I'm guessing this is what Daisy is seeing, though I could be wrong.

Danette Haworth said...

Have you seen Band of Brothers? Excellent!

Anna said...

I just recently saw Life Is Beautiful. What a great, very sad movie. Serena and I also saw The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Another tear-jerker. We'll be reviewing it on the war blog soon.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric