Best war movies- for being realistic


May 27, 2004, 03:36 PM
There are some great heroic war movies with great idealism but they aren't
all that realistic as to how things happen in war time.
John Wayne movies aside I'll start this with one of my favorites-
"Bravo Two Zero"

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The Real Hawkeye
May 27, 2004, 03:51 PM
Blackhawk Down, Saving Private Ryan.

May 27, 2004, 03:53 PM
"84 Charlie Mopic" (VHS) - Came out in '89. I'm still surprised that it is not offered on DVD. A film about a "lessons learned" documentary. Many have mistaken this film for the real thing.

"Das Boot" Director's Cut (DVD) - My only complaint with this movie is that it is a little bit off in terms of timing as to when serving on a U-boat in WWII became essentially a death sentence.

These two come immediately to mind when I think of realistic war films.

I'm still waiting for a realistic film about WWII the Pacific showing how this was a truely brutal battle to the death.

Dave Markowitz
May 27, 2004, 04:00 PM
While I have not been to war, I'm given to understand that "Talvisota", AKA "The Winter War" is extremely realistic for a movie. It was made in Finland.

May 27, 2004, 04:22 PM
I'm still waiting for a realistic film about WWII the Pacific showing how this was a truely brutal battle to the death.

What about "The Thin Red Line"? Poetic moments aside it's pretty effective at getting across some of that feeling and the connected emotions.

May 27, 2004, 04:29 PM
Battle Of Britain
Das Boot

May 27, 2004, 04:36 PM
The German production of "Stalingrad" was very realistic--extremely grim.

"The Longest Day" may not have the most realistic (graphic) visuals, but given that it's all based on factual stories, it's hard to argue with.

Sean Smith
May 27, 2004, 04:45 PM
Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers both score pretty high on the realism scale IMO. Most Vietnam War films are dismal when it comes to being realistic; the are preoccupied with either their political agenda or being "arty."

May 27, 2004, 04:54 PM
I have to say that the films mentioned here are the ones that came to mind when I read the thread.

Ant Mod
May 27, 2004, 06:12 PM
It was a movie I saw about the ridiculous role the UN plays in war. It is a Serbian? foreign film about soldiers from opposite sides that fall into the same trench in no mans land during the Bosnian conflict. Its an absolute must see movie.

It was called No Mans Land

May 27, 2004, 06:19 PM
Having never been in a war I'm not qualified to judge, but here goes anyway:

We Were Soldiers, Saving Private Ryan, Blackhawk Down (already mentioned)

The Patriot (Except for the burning of the church)
Cold Mountain
Enemy at the Gates


May 27, 2004, 06:26 PM
Well, it wasn't a movie, per se, but I finally picked up the DVD set of Band of Brothers... wow!

May 27, 2004, 07:24 PM
The 317th Platoon was pretty good, too. It takes place in French Indochina in 1954 and was written/directed by a guy who fought (combat camera) and taken prisoner at Dien Bien Phu. It has a feel as though it was filmed during the period.

Ala Dan
May 27, 2004, 08:51 PM
Hamburger Hill

Full Metal Jacket

Gardens Of Stone

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

May 27, 2004, 09:11 PM
Was Glory or Gettysburg realistic? I wasn't around back then. :neener:

May 28, 2004, 02:04 AM
I thought Wind Talkers was good. Seemed realistic.
Same thing for We Were Soldiers.
"Gentlemen, prepare to defend yourselves."

May 28, 2004, 02:12 AM
Windtalkers seemed more like a kung-fu film than a war film.

The Thin Red Line was just awful. The best part was when Woody Harleson blew off his keister with his own grenade.

Savior starring Dennis Quaid was pretty good and disturbing.

May 28, 2004, 02:17 AM
And don't forget:

The Great Escape

Stalag 17

May 28, 2004, 02:23 AM

Any US Marine who sat through the first 45 minutes, without breaking into a cold sweat, didn't have a hard time in boot camp.

R Lee Ermey should have won an academy award for that performance. The most realistic acting job I have ever seen for a Drill Instructor.

Another EXCELLENT move: ZULU. Starring Michael Caine. Excellent movie. Very realistic to what actually occured at Rourke's Drift.

:) :) :)

May 28, 2004, 03:32 AM
Black Hawk far...

I think I wore out my DVD:scrutiny:


May 28, 2004, 03:47 AM
It's an oldie but; The Red Badge Of Courage

May 28, 2004, 06:56 AM
Black Hawk Down
Saving Private Ryan

Lets not forget Band of Brothers!
Allright, allright, its a mini-series.. :p

May 28, 2004, 07:14 AM
The original -
"War of The Worlds" - the 1953(?) version.

No not for the actual content or story line, but for the movie itself and how the characters were portrayed. If you can bear the corny story line and all, be sure to watch for the little kid standing by the space ship crater during one of the early scenes.
Kids great. He's all about 6 or so, and all decked out with a cowboy hat and a pair of six-guns.
Very, very, very realistic in how a kid of that time would have been dressed for play.

Another one:

"On the Beach" - probably the most depressing moive I've ever seen. It's probably one of the most plausible outcomes of a total SHTF all out war though.

Cold war:
"The Bedford Incident"

Dave Markowitz
May 28, 2004, 08:03 AM
The Thin Red Line was just awful. The best part was when Woody Harleson blew off his keister with his own grenade.

I disagree. IMO, the best part about that movie was the end. Not the final speech by George Clooney. I mean when I got up and left the theater.

TTRL sucked . :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:

Ky Larry
May 28, 2004, 09:21 AM
Cross of Iron.

The original, uncut All Quiet on the Western Front. I was lucky enough to see the scene where the soldiers pulled the bodies out of the coffins during the artillery barrage. This scene was so grim and realistic it was cut from the movie before it was released.

Pork Chop Hill

Dain Bramage
May 28, 2004, 10:01 AM
R Lee Ermey should have won an academy award for that performance. The most realistic acting job I have ever

Of course, it may have helped that R. Lee actually WAS a Marine DI. :D

Ant Mod
May 28, 2004, 10:52 AM
Of course, it may have helped that R. Lee actually WAS a Marine DI.

And that most of those lines he made himself. They told him to treat the actors just like they were regular recruits and say the same things to them.

May 28, 2004, 11:00 AM
I loved Patton and The Battle of the Bulge. WWII classics!

Add to my list:

Breaker Morant
Sergeant York
All Quiet on the Western Front

May 28, 2004, 12:08 PM
R Lee Ermey was originally brought on to be an advisor to the movie. But when Kubrick had him do a run through for the actor that was going to play the DI, and he went 10 min. without using the same line twice, he fired the actor and hired Ermey. He also broke a rib during the shoot, early on and off camera. As for great war flicks. I really liked
Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Saving Private Ryan, Glory, Paths of Glory, A bridge too far and Kelly’s Heroes. Just to name the ones I can remember seeing in the past little while. And Band of Brothers is the best war movie/mini-series/ TV show ever.

Silent Bob
May 28, 2004, 01:14 PM
Rambo 2, Rambo 3, The Missing in Action trilogy, Starship Troopers, Stripes, Major Payne, and Pauly Shore's In the Army Now. The firefight at the Libyan missile base near the end of the movie was simply gripping.

Andrew P
May 28, 2004, 02:58 PM
The Big Red One with Lee Marvin, is a pretty darn good flick also.

Dain Bramage
May 28, 2004, 05:08 PM
THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE was my favorite cartoon as a kid! I especially like it when the GIs defeat the Germans in Spain.

June 3, 2004, 03:30 PM
My vote for the top three greatest war flicks ever:

-Full Metal Jacket

June 3, 2004, 03:47 PM
We've heard about many of the same movies we always bring up when we talk about this - Now for something completely different -

If you haven't seen THE BEAST ( you don't know what you're missing.

The story of a Soviet tank that gets lost during the Afghanistan War in the 80s. :cool:

Agree 84 Charlie MoPic is an excellent war flick that needs more exposure and a DVD treatment. Especially when the guy gets capped as the film ends. Very realistic.

June 3, 2004, 04:52 PM
The Thin Red Line is _not_ a war movie.

It's a movie about war, and what it does to men. There is a difference.

That said, the sequence between Nolte, Travolta, and the following land action was incredible.

Apocalypse Now isn't a war movie either.

June 3, 2004, 06:59 PM
Battleground (1949) --- About the soldiers of the 101st Airborne in the Battle of the Bulge. Oscars went to script and photography. The first realistic WWII war movie made. Starring Van Johnson, James Whitmore, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy and John Hodiak. All solid actors. Made only four years after the actual battle. Not all the flag-waving and trite scenes of the John Wayne war movies (which, in my opnion, are lousy).

The Beast (1988) --- Russian tankers lost in Afghanistan, trying to get back to their base, while the Afghans stalk them. Some trite scenes, and they get out of impossible situations (shades of Alister McClean!) but interesting because you feel sympathy for the Russians. Starring Steven Bauer and George Dzunda. Good actors.

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) --- Burt Lancaster as a commander of a small group of Special Forces during the very early years of Vietnam. All the while, Lancaster has grave doubts about what the U.S. is doing there. "Ah, you should have been at Anzio, now there was a war!" he tells Craig Wasson, a young soldier. While watching it, you just get this sense of doom because you know things will only get deeper and worse.

Story of Ernie Pyle (about 1953) --- Kinda corny in parts, but tries to tel the story of the famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle, in World War II. Pyle played by Burgess Meredith, a remarkable actor. This one may be out of print but no matter, find "Brave Men" or "Here is Your War" and other books and read his dispatches from the front. Easy to find in any good used book store, at $5 or so. He was killed on Okinawa months before the war ended. He's buried in the National Cemetery in Hawaii. Amazing writer. I wish I could find the single paragraph he wrote, describing the strafing of U.S. troops by a German Messershmitt. The economy of words, and how he was able to make you see and feel it, are remarkable. One of the finest examples of writing I've ever encountered --- and only one paragraph!
Hollywood needs to make a more modern movie on Ernie Pyle. He deserves it.

The Lost Batallion (2002?) --- With Rick Schroeder as the major in charge during a horrendous World War I battle. I think it was a New York outfit that was surrounded by the Germans and endured shelling, snipers and flamethrowers but didn't give in. A good view at the Hell that was World War I.
Based on a true story. They took very heavy casualties, then retreated at the end when ordered. A few weeks later, the war ended. The actual major later apparently killed himself by jumping off a cruise ship years later. Folks said he bore tremendous guilt for following his orders, and that so many good men died for no apparent reason.

And others that have already been mentioned: Cross of Iron, Das Boot, 84 Charlie Mopic (virtually unknown but needs to be seen), Patton, All Quiet on the Western Front (original, silent version but the remake isn't bad), Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket, Big Red One (the author and director served in the 1st Infantry Division in WWII and based some of it on personal experience), Band of Brothers, On the Beach (give ya the willies for a day or two), and The Dirty Dozen (Lee Marvin, the actor, was a Marine in the Pacific and had two or three beach landings under his belt. Not realistic, but vastly entertaining).

Some of the worst: Any John Wayne war movie, anything by Pauly Shore, The Battle of the Bulge (my father, a BoB veteran, watched that and was thoroughly disgusted with its inaccuracies and corny story lines. And at the end, a big battle in MUD! Not the snow and ice that covered Belgium during the battle! Ack!), Apocalypse Now (oh puhleeeez), To Hell and Back (corny and unrealistic, but typical of a war movie of that era. I very much admire Audie Murphy, though), any Rambo movie, The Thin Red Line (couldn't decide whether it was a war, love or philosophy movie), and The Dirty Dozen II (made by Lee Marvin so he could get some fast bucks and pay off his palimony).

Bruce H
June 3, 2004, 09:44 PM
The Siege of Firebase Gloria needs a spot in here somewhere.

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