Great Realistic Historical War Related Movies

Discussion in 'Books and Films' started by Meow, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Meow

    Meow New Member

    Name some of your favourites! Fiction films welcome, as long as they have some basis in real events and aren't a complete fantasy - there are some really interesting ones out there.

    Personally I'd like to give some credit out to Swing Kids (1993) a fictious story about, well, just that; the swing kids. It wasn't a perfect realization of Nazi Germany by any means, but I felt it kept to the times well and delivered a historical story that not many have heard in an accessible but strong way.

    As for the second, it isn't fiction, but Night and Fog (1955) the French New Wave documentary about the concentration camps was an incredibly powerful and moving documentary, as well as being the first to use some of the most disturbing war photography to really show how brutal the camps were. It's definitely something everyone should see at least once, in my humble opinion.
  2. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    A Bridge Too Far (1977) was a good movie about Operation Market Garden. The allies lost the battle due to paratroopers didn't have sufficient heavy weapons against German armors, and also the allies' armors did not arrive on time to counter the German tanks. The battle scenes were very realistic. It was awesome to see a nice beautiful little town on one side of the bridge were reduced to rubble. Well, it was actually awful lol.

    Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) was another good movie. It was about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I think for the most part it followed the history exactly. It not only included the actual bombing, it also included the events led to it.

    Midway (1976) was also a good historical movie. Although I believe some small details were not exactly the same in this film as in the real Battle of Midway.

    Today, we see way too many special effects. Many battle scenes were completely computer generated. These old films had very realistic looking tanks, planes, ships, how did they do it? Were those weapons real?
  3. CinnamonBear

    CinnamonBear New Member

    I go back to one of my all-time favorites--"The Best Years of Our Lives."

    The movie was an account of the lives of vets returning to the U.S., and the personal and professional problems they found waiting for them. The script is intensely realistic, dealing with jobs saved (and lost), personal relationships ruined, and even stigmas and discrimination against some of the returning soldiers.

    It also deals with the harrowing experience of coming home critically disabled, and how to learn to live the rest of your life with such a condition. Who can forget the performance of Harold Russell, who lost both of his hands in real life, and more or less portrayed himself and his plight onscreen? His performance was so compelling, he won an Academy Award that year.
  4. Steed

    Steed Member

    Starting with a classic that was made in black and white way back in 1955 was The Dambusters, the true story about the incredible RAF attack on 3 German dams which resulted in their destruction.
    Film buffs swear blind that the sequences of the Lancasters coming at 60 ft above the water of the dams, receiving thick German antiaircraft fire, was the inspiration for George Lucas when Luke Skywalker and company attack the Death Star in Star Wars.

    My favourite war movie has to be Waterloo, directed by Dino de Laurentis in 1971. Historically totally correct in every detail, it has some incredible sequences like the aerial shots of the charge of the French cavalry round the British squares.
  5. Steed

    Steed Member

    Zulu made in 1964 and starring Michael Caine and Stanley Baker is another classic movie of British military history.
    It shows the true story of how a company of 140 soldiers of the Warwickshire regiment held off 3 Zulu impis of approximately 3000 men, the day after one of Britain's biggest military disasters, the incompetence and subsequent annihilation at Isandlhwana.
    Just one erroneous detail irritates me : for some reason Pte. Alfred Hook, one of the many who received the VC that day for outstanding valour, is portrayed as something of a drunken hooligan turned angel at the last moment. In fact Hook was a very competent, law abiding teetotaller whose army record before and after the battle was absolutely impeccable. Just wanted to put the record straight.
  6. IsabelleChan

    IsabelleChan New Member

    I'd say Schindler's List (1993). I'm not sure if this is a REALISTIC movie since it has been critiqued as a generally feel-good movie for long, but it's definitely one of the most memorable historical war movies of all time. It shows how inhumane the Holocaust is and the degree of cruelty that humans are ultimately capable of. I also admire the symbols used in the movie to shed some light on humanity, and the little girl in Red stands out in a black and white movie. This movie is a certainly a classic. I watched it in a literature class and has never forgotten it ever since.
    RcNu likes this.
  7. Susime

    Susime New Member

    A brilliant film based on the Winter war fought between Russia & Finland. It has some great fighting sequences.

    One of the best films I've seen. Really good film & really hard hitting. Has a very very sad ending.

    This film is based on the career of Japanese pilot Saburo Sakai. It follows his career up until the battle of Guadalcanal where he is seriously wounded & manages to navigate his damaged plane back to Rabaul, despite being paralysed down the left side of his body & having a serious head injury.
  8. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    I recently watched a German movie of Battle of Stalingrad. You don't see that every day, do you? German made film about WWII.

    It was a disaster... I mean a literately a disaster for the German soldiers in the battle. I would say it was quite realistic.

    It started with advancing Germans were doing so well, and they were taking more and more of the city, although the casualty was high. They did show the bravery of Russians. Like one German opened a door and a huge Russian soldier tried to kill him with a digging tool, he shot him, but the Russian was still coming...

    They did show the crimes committed by the Germans. Such as gang rape of a captured female Russian soldier. The Russian soldier was tied to a bed and basically Germans were entering one after another...

    When the winter came, more and more Russian reinforcement came too. The battle of a German unit with only a single artillery held the line in the snow outside city against waves of Russian tanks with dozens Russian soldiers on each of them was quite awesome and realistic. The Germans were dug in the snow, but the Russian tanks would try to collapse the fox holes and bury the Germans. Many of the soldiers were shown to have basic human survival instinct. I can feel the horror of the war as a German soldier kept trying to dig deeper with horror on his face when he saw a Russian tank getting closer and closer straight for his fox hole.
    It was more of a fight for survival when crowds of German soldiers tried to get onto the last a few planes leaving the airfield... They were already completely surrounded, so they had no where to go if they don't get onto the planes.

    I highly recommend to see the film. See how Germans think of the war when they looked back.
  9. Steed

    Steed Member

    If you liked Stalingrad, Vashstampede, I recommend the movie "Cross of Iron" directed in 1977 by Sam Peckinpah.

    Like Stalingrad, it shows the Russian front from a German perspective, set in the context of the Nazi retreat from the Taman peninsula. It's got some good stars in it, like James Cobourn and James Mason.

    To be honest, I didn't like the film Stalingrad all that much, well the part that I saw on TV anyway. In the battle sequences I watched, it was always the Russians getting hit without inflicting any severe casualties on the Germans. Like when the Panzer grenadiers hid under the snow as a Soviet tank squadron passed over them, then calmly proceede to demolish absolutely all of the tanks with antitank grenades, miraculously suffering only one or two deaths in the total hail of fire from the Russians.
    I wanted more justice!
  10. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    I have not seen Schildner's List. I might go rent it tonight. I've seen movies like it, and I always wonder how the German's could treat people with such cruelty. I know there were stories of German soldiers helping people escape, but they were few and far between.
  11. RcNu

    RcNu Member

    Agreed. I don't think that any of these movies are really "realistic". They all sort of miss the brutality of War and lull people into thinking that its a fight controlled by emotion and politics. War is chaos.
  12. Steed

    Steed Member

    "Where Eagles Dare" with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood has you on the edge of your seat for the fighting and chase scenes, especially the fight on top of a moving cable car. How the stunt men did that is remarkable.

    I'm not sure if falls into the "absolutely realistic" category but at least it represents the incredible acts of heroism carried out by the SOE and other groups sent by the Allies to sabotage the German war effort in the heart of Germany and occupied Europe. "The Dirty Dozen" is also pretty good like that.

    I'd like to see a movie about the real killing of SS leader Heydrich in occupied Czechoslovakia by a similar commando squad.
  13. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    I saw that movie a couple of weeks ago for the first time. What an original story and plot. I really was on the edge of my seat. The twists and turns were completely unexpected.
  14. SabraO

    SabraO New Member

    I saw Swing Kids back in high school! My German teacher was not impressed with its accuracy at all; in fact she basically told us to look at it as entertainment and nothing more.

    Although I am not sure how accurate it is, I am quite fond of the submarine movie Das Boot. German, as the title would indicate. Knowing a bit more about submarines now than when I last saw it (also in high school), it mostly rings true.
  15. Vladimir

    Vladimir Siberian Tiger

    If anyone watch movies in languages other than English, then The 9th Company is a very good choice.

    It is based on the Battle for Hill 3234, which occurred during the end phase of Soviet war in Afghanistan.

  16. aghart

    aghart Former Tank Commander Moderator

    I too like a bridge too far. The only annoying part is the where the British armour after crossing the Nijmagen bridge stops to "make tea"! The truth of course is that the armour was waiting for it's infantry to finish assisting the americans in securing the town. If they had advanced without the infantry they would have been stopped well short of Arnhem. But the golden rule of Hollywood must be obeyed! "don't let the truth get in the way of a good story"
  17. Sokol Dema

    Sokol Dema New Member

    Saving Private Ryan(1998) - is probably one of my favorites , not to forget Pearl Harbor (2001)We were soldiers (2002)
  18. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Soldier of Orange, the Dutch version. I have seen both the Dutch (original) and American versions and must strongly advocate for the original, even if one must suffer subtitles. The Americanized version cut out so many scenes to allow theaters one more show per day that the film did not hold together.
  19. SPWhitlow

    SPWhitlow Member

    I think that Saving Private Ryan, and also Pearl Harbor are great historical movies. Pearl Harbor did have a lot of waffle and romantic parts in it, but the historical value was great as well. I think they portrayed being in the U.S. Army Air Corps very well.
  20. Lolman112

    Lolman112 New Member

    Can I add TV-series too?

    1. Band of Brothers
    2. Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter
    Everyone who is interested in WW2 should see those series. They are high quality (both terms of HD and storywise. Band of Brothers is the most expensive TV series ever and is filmed from a really special perspective, best to watch with big sound system's with a good bass.

    Unsere Mutter, unsere Vater also has a great story, I.M.O. even better then Band of Brothers. This however, is from the German perspective. I don't know however if there are English subtitles.

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