'Must See' World War II Movies

by johndrake99 | created - 09 Aug 2013 | updated - 11 Aug 2013 | Public
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1. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 188,494 | Gross: $11.49M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B0064NTZ6W

2. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

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

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 45,531 | Gross: $23.65M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B009L147EE

3. The Cruel Sea (1953)

Approved | 126 min | Drama, War

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

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend | Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 3,325

DVD:

http://amzn.com/B000H1RFQ4

4. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

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

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 46,422 | Gross: $39.10M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B00158K0RY

5. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

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

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,001,161 | Gross: $216.54M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B003LL3N1I

6. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

9.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 278,409

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B00129H7VS

7. The Pacific (2010)

TV-MA | 530 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

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

The Pacific Theatre of World War 2, as seen through the eyes of several young Marines.

Stars: James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello, Jon Seda, Ashton Holmes

Votes: 78,650

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B001VNB54A

8. Battle of Britain (1969)

G | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the UK.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews, Curd Jürgens

Votes: 17,628

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B000WC39RW

9. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 82,994 | Gross: $61.70M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B009A87ZKG

10. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Drama, History, War

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
89 Metascore

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Votes: 140,406 | Gross: $13.76M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B000O77RLE

11. Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | 132 min | Drama, War

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

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell

Votes: 10,825

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B004RE29RC

12. To Hell and Back (1955)

Approved | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama

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

The true WWII story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. Based on the autobiography of Audie Murphy who stars as himself in the film.

Director: Jesse Hibbs | Stars: Audie Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Charles Drake, Jack Kelly

Votes: 4,097

DVD:

http://amzn.com/B0001FVDH8

13. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

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

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preemptive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 27,268 | Gross: $29.55M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B007LNBRKQ

14. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 278,101 | Gross: $5.51M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B001BHTN90

15. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

PG | 175 min | Drama, History, War

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

Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

Votes: 43,938 | Gross: $50.80M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B000WC39SG

16. The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

Approved | 88 min | Biography, Drama, War

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy, Luther Adler

Votes: 4,745

DVD:

http://amzn.com/B003INBNX4

17. Valkyrie (2008)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, History, Thriller

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

A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 200,558 | Gross: $83.08M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B004TJ1H0A

18. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, War

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
53 Metascore

A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz

Votes: 209,259 | Gross: $51.40M

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B00AEFXV8O

19. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed | 138 min | Drama, History, War

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

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Tim Murdock

Votes: 4,536

DVD:

http://amzn.com/B000NTPG6Q

20. A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, War

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

During WWII, a platoon of American soldiers trudge through the Italian countryside in search of a bridge they have been ordered to blow up, encountering danger and destruction along the way.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, George Tyne, John Ireland

Votes: 2,927

DVD:

http://amzn.com/B005H6RF8M

21. Battle of the Bulge (1965)

Approved | 167 min | Drama, History, War

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dramatization of Nazi Germany's final Western Front counterattack of World War II.

Director: Ken Annakin | Stars: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews

Votes: 12,331

Blu-ray:

http://amzn.com/B000OCZD5Q