The 50 Most Moving Holocaust Films

by pklose | created - 04 Jan 2011 | updated - 04 Jan 2011 | Public
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1. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 979,271 | Gross: $96.07M

2. Sophie's Choice (1982)

R | 150 min | Drama, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
68 Metascore

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin

Votes: 33,032 | Gross: $30.04M

3. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 489,518 | Gross: $57.60M

4. Kapò (1960)

116 min | Drama, War

7.8
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A young Jewish girl leads an escape attempt from a concentration camp.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo | Stars: Susan Strasberg, Laurent Terzieff, Emmanuelle Riva, Didi Perego

Votes: 1,417

5. Holocaust (1978– )

475 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The saga of a Jewish family's struggle to survive the horror of Nazi Germany's systematic marginalization and extermination of their community.

Stars: Joseph Bottoms, Tovah Feldshuh, Rosemary Harris, Tony Haygarth

Votes: 3,734

6. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 572,601 | Gross: $32.57M

7. Train of Life (1998)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, War

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
62 Metascore

In 1941, the inhabitants of a small Jewish village in Central Europe organize a fake deportation train so that they can escape the Nazis and flee to Palestine.

Director: Radu Mihaileanu | Stars: Lionel Abelanski, Rufus, Clément Harari, Michel Muller

Votes: 7,829 | Gross: $0.15M

8. Fateless (2005)

R | 140 min | Drama, Romance, War

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
87 Metascore

Fourteen-year-old György's life is torn apart in World War II Hungary, as he is sent to a concentration camp, where he is forced to become a man, and learns to find happiness in the midst of hatred, and what it really means to be Jewish.

Director: Lajos Koltai | Stars: Marcell Nagy, Béla Dóra, Bálint Péntek, Áron Dimény

Votes: 5,993 | Gross: $0.20M

9. Playing for Time (1980 TV Movie)

150 min | Drama, Music

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Female prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp (Auschwitz) are spared from death in return for performing music for their captors.

Directors: Daniel Mann, Joseph Sargent | Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Alexander, Maud Adams, Christine Baranski

Votes: 1,242

10. The Grey Zone (2001)

R | 108 min | Drama, History, War

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
58 Metascore

A Nazi doctor, along with the Sonderkommando, Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews, find themselves in a moral grey zone.

Director: Tim Blake Nelson | Stars: David Arquette, Velizar Binev, David Chandler, Michael Stuhlbarg

Votes: 9,269 | Gross: $0.52M

11. Seven Beauties (1975)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The defense of honor, a strong value in Neapolitan society, and his effects on the life of everyman Pasquale Frafuso.

Director: Lina Wertmüller | Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, Shirley Stoler, Elena Fiore

Votes: 3,895 | Gross: $0.01M

12. Europa Europa (1990)

R | 112 min | Drama, History, War

7.6
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A boy in Nazi Germany, trying to conceal that he is Jewish, joins the Hitler Youth.

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Solomon Perel, Marco Hofschneider, René Hofschneider, Piotr Kozlowski

Votes: 12,867 | Gross: $5.58M

13. The Counterfeiters (2007)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, War

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
78 Metascore

The story of the Operation Bernhard, the largest counterfeiting operation in history, carried out by Germany during WWII.

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky | Stars: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow, Martin Brambach

Votes: 39,047 | Gross: $5.48M

14. Amen. (2002)

Unrated | 132 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
57 Metascore

During WWII SS officer Kurt Gerstein tries to inform Pope Pius XII about Jews being sent to extermination camps. Young Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana helps him in the difficult mission to inform the world.

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Ulrich Tukur, Mathieu Kassovitz, Ulrich Mühe, Michel Duchaussoy

Votes: 11,970 | Gross: $0.27M

15. Angry Harvest (1985)

101 min | Drama, Romance, War

7.3
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In the winter of 1942-43, a Jewish family leaps from a train going through Silesia. They are separated in the woods, and Leon, a local peasant who's now a farmer of some wealth, discovers ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Wojciech Pszoniak, Gerd Baltus

Votes: 639

16. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
55 Metascore

Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

Director: Mark Herman | Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Zac Mattoon O'Brien

Votes: 153,282 | Gross: $9.03M

17. Musíme si pomáhat (2000)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
69 Metascore

In Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, a childless couple agree to hide a Jewish friend at great personal risk of discovery and execution.

Director: Jan Hrebejk | Stars: Bolek Polívka, Csongor Kassai, Jaroslav Dusek, Anna Sisková

Votes: 4,424 | Gross: $1.32M

18. Conspiracy (2001 TV Movie)

R | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.8
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A dramatic recreation of the Wannsee Conference where the Nazi Final Solution phase of the Holocaust was devised.

Director: Frank Pierson | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Clare Bullus, Stanley Tucci, Simon Markey

Votes: 14,816

19. Landscape After Battle (1970)

109 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.1
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Film opens with the mad rush of haphazard freedom as the concentration camps are liberated. Men are trying to grab food, change clothes, bury their tormentors they find alive. Then they are... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Daniel Olbrychski, Stanislawa Celinska, Aleksander Bardini, Tadeusz Janczar

Votes: 624

20. Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001– )

Not Rated | 180 min | Biography, Drama, War

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life of Anne Frank and her family from 1939 to 1945: pre-war fears, invasion of Netherlands by German troops, hiding in Amsterdam, deportation to the camps, return of Anne's father.

Stars: Ben Kingsley, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Tatjana Blacher, Brenda Blethyn

Votes: 4,302

21. Uprising (2001 TV Movie)

Unrated | 177 min | Drama, War

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jews rise up in the Warsaw Ghetto against the Nazis in 1943.

Director: Jon Avnet | Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight

Votes: 4,168

22. Escape from Sobibor (1987 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama, History, War

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During WWII, the death camp at Treblinka had an escape, causing the Commandant at a similar camp in Sobibor to vow that his camp would never experience the same thing. But those who were ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold | Stars: Alan Arkin, Joanna Pacula, Rutger Hauer, Hartmut Becker

Votes: 6,768

23. Das Boot ist voll (1981)

PG | 101 min | Drama, War

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During World War II, Switzerland severely limited refugees: "Our boat is full." A train from Germany halts briefly in an isolated corner of Switzerland. Six people jump off seeking asylum: ... See full summary »

Director: Markus Imhoof | Stars: Tina Engel, Hans Diehl, Martin Walz, Curt Bois

Votes: 424

24. God on Trial (2008 TV Movie)

86 min | Drama, War

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Awaiting their inevitable deaths at one of the worst concentration camps, a group of Jews make a rabbinical court to decide whether God has gone against the Holy Covenant and if He is the one guilty for their suffering.

Director: Andy De Emmony | Stars: Joseph Muir, Josef Altin, Ashley Artus, Alexi Kaye Campbell

Votes: 2,382

25. Defiance (I) (2008)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
58 Metascore

Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos

Votes: 124,724 | Gross: $28.64M

26. Jacob the Liar (1974)

100 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.3
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A Jewish ghetto in central Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Beyer | Stars: Vlastimil Brodský, Erwin Geschonneck, Henry Hübchen, Blanche Kommerell

Votes: 1,014

27. Der neunte Tag (2004)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Thriller, War

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
67 Metascore

A drama loosely based on Jean Bernard's Nazi-era prison diary.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: Ulrich Matthes, August Diehl, Hilmar Thate, Bibiana Beglau

Votes: 1,540 | Gross: $0.07M

28. Un amour à taire (2005 TV Movie)

103 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.2
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A young Jewish girl looking to escape the clutches of the Third Reich after seeing her parents and sister brutally slain while attempting to make their way to England is sheltered by an old... See full summary »

Director: Christian Faure | Stars: Jérémie Renier, Louise Monot, Bruno Todeschini, Nicolas Gob

Votes: 2,563

29. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Approved | 180 min | Biography, Drama, Family

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends, is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Millie Perkins, Shelley Winters, Joseph Schildkraut, Richard Beymer

Votes: 10,212 | Gross: $5.01M

30. The Wall (1982 TV Movie)

Unrated | 135 min | Action, War, Drama

7.1
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A dramatic re-enactment of the Warsaw Ghetto Jewish uprising in April 1943 were 650 armed members of the Jewish Fighting Organization of Poland held off a 3,000 strong Nazi force in which ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Markowitz | Stars: Tom Conti, Lisa Eichhorn, Gerald Hiken, Rachel Roberts

Votes: 140

31. Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story (1989 TV Movie)

160 min | Biography, Drama, War

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A biographical portrayal of Simon Wiesenthal, famous Nazi Hunter. From his imprisonment in a Nazi Concentration Camp, the film follows his liberation and his rise to become one of the ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Gibson | Stars: Ben Kingsley, Renée Soutendijk, Craig T. Nelson, Anton Lesser

Votes: 257

32. Triumph of the Spirit (1989)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »

Director: Robert M. Young | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Edward James Olmos, Robert Loggia, Wendy Gazelle

Votes: 1,869 | Gross: $0.41M

33. Bent (1997)

NC-17 | 105 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.3
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Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay, and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays).... See full summary »

Director: Sean Mathias | Stars: Lothaire Bluteau, Clive Owen, Mick Jagger, Brian Webber

Votes: 6,791 | Gross: $0.37M

34. The Island on Bird Street (1997)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, War

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Alex is an 11-year old boy who, during WWII, hides in the Jewish ghetto from Nazis after all the relatives have been sent to the concentration camp. The movie portrays the ghetto through ... See full summary »

Director: Søren Kragh-Jacobsen | Stars: Patrick Bergin, Jordan Kiziuk, Jack Warden, James Bolam

Votes: 1,194

35. Sunshine (1999)

R | 181 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
71 Metascore

The fate of a Hungarian Jewish family throughout the 20th century.

Director: István Szabó | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rosemary Harris, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Ehle

Votes: 11,816 | Gross: $5.10M

36. The Shop on Main Street (1965)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama

8.1
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A carpenter in the Nazi-occupied Slovak State is appointed Aryan controller of a Jewish widow's store.

Directors: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos | Stars: Ida Kaminska, Jozef Kroner, Hana Slivková, Martin Hollý

Votes: 6,728

37. The Pawnbroker (1964)

Approved | 116 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Jewish pawnbroker, victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Jaime Sánchez

Votes: 6,707

38. The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009 TV Movie)

95 min | Biography, Drama, War

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Irena Sendler, a social worker who was part of the Polish underground during World War II and was arrested by the Nazis for saving the lives of nearly 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto.

Director: John Kent Harrison | Stars: Anna Paquin, Marcia Gay Harden, Goran Visnjic, Nathaniel Parker

Votes: 3,237

39. The Hiding Place (1975)

PG | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.6
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Corrie and Betsie ten Boom are middle-aged sisters working in their father's watchmaker shop in pre-WWII Holland. Their uneventful lives are disrupted with the coming of the Nazis. ... See full summary »

Director: James F. Collier | Stars: Julie Harris, Jeannette Clift, Arthur O'Connell, Robert Rietty

Votes: 1,482

40. Die Wannseekonferenz (1984 TV Movie)

87 min | Drama, History

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A precise, real-time (exactly 85 minutes - the length of the actual event) reenactment of the infamous Wannsee Conference, a meeting called in January, 1942 to map out the implementation of... See full summary »

Director: Heinz Schirk | Stars: Dietrich Mattausch, Gerd Böckmann, Friedrich G. Beckhaus, Robert Atzorn

Votes: 771

41. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Not Rated | 186 min | Drama, War

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich

Votes: 52,234

42. Rosenstrasse (2003)

PG-13 | 136 min | Drama, War

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
49 Metascore

After the death of her father, Hannah becomes concerned with the strange behavior of her mother. As her mother's troubled childhood is revealed, Hannah realizes how little she ever knew.

Director: Margarethe von Trotta | Stars: Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader, Svea Lohde, Jutta Lampe

Votes: 2,101 | Gross: $0.73M

43. Nackt unter Wölfen (1963)

100 min | Drama, War

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As rumors reach them that the Allied armies are advancing on their concentration camp at Buchenwald, Polish prisoners renew their feeble hope for survival and freedom. When a group of ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Beyer | Stars: Erwin Geschonneck, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Krystyn Wójcik, Fred Delmare

Votes: 605

44. Gebürtig (2002)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Music, Romance

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A holocaust survivor now living as a respected writer in Manhattan is the only person who can identify a suspected Nazi back in his native Austria. When a beautiful reporter eager for a ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Schindel, Lukas Stepanik | Stars: Peter Simonischek, Ruth Rieser, August Zirner, Katja Weitzenböck

Votes: 198

45. David (1979)

125 min | Drama, War

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Peter Lilienthal | Stars: Mario Fischel, Walter Taub, Irena Vrkljan, Eva Mattes

Votes: 109

46. Max and Helen (1990 TV Movie)

100 min | Drama, Romance, War

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on the fact-based novel by Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal based on his 1962 prosecution of the head of a German factory whom he learns was a murderous labor camp commandant. To be able ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Saville | Stars: Treat Williams, Alice Krige, Martin Landau, Jonny Phillips

Votes: 129

47. Murderers Among Us (1946)

85 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After returning from a concentration camp, Susanne finds an ex-soldier living in her apartment. Together the two try to move past their experiences during WWII.

Director: Wolfgang Staudte | Stars: Hildegard Knef, Elly Burgmer, Erna Sellmer, Hilde Adolphi

Votes: 1,639

48. Edges of the Lord (2001)

R | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A 12-year-old Jewish boy hides with a family of Catholic peasant farmers to escape the Nazis.

Director: Yurek Bogayevicz | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Willem Dafoe, Richard Banel, Liam Hess

Votes: 3,137

49. The Aryan Couple (2004)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, War

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
29 Metascore

A WWII Drama about a German/Jewish industrialist who, in order to ensure his family's safe passage out of Germany, is forced to hand over his business to the Nazis.

Director: John Daly | Stars: Martin Landau, Kenny Doughty, Caroline Carver, Judy Parfitt

Votes: 932

50. The Truce (1997)

R | 125 min | Drama, War

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on Primo Levi's autobiographical "The Reawakening".

Director: Francesco Rosi | Stars: John Turturro, Rade Serbedzija, Massimo Ghini, Stefano Dionisi

Votes: 1,397 | Gross: $0.07M

51. The Devil's Arithmetic (1999 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A 16-year-old American girl with an apathetic view towards her Jewish family history finds herself pulled through time into 1941 to a small Polish village where the Nazi have just began their genocidal propaganda.

Director: Donna Deitch | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy, Paul Freeman, Mimi Rogers

Votes: 3,254