World War II in film (and a bit of television)

This list covers the history of WWII, via films from key events. There were a lot of movies made about this period, both at the time and later; so, I'm sticking to important ones and personal favorites. There's a little tv thrown in here, as well.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Prelude to War (1942 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The official World War II US Government film statement defining the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought. (52 mins.)
“ The first of Frank Capra's legendary documentary/propaganda films, explaining the rationale behind fighting in the war and the events of the war. The first depicts the early acts of aggression by the Axis, including the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. The film won the Oscar for Best Documentary. ” - grendelkhan
 
2.
Inside the Third Reich (1982 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A dramatization of the life of Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler's young architect and onetime confidant... (300 mins.)
“ TV miniseries that chronicled the rise of the Nazis, as witnessed by Albert Speer (Rutger Hauer). Very well done, with Derek Jacobi as Hitler. It's perhaps too sympathetic to Speer; but, then again, it was based on his memoir. ” - grendelkhan
 
3.
The Nazis Strike (1943 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The official World War II US government account of Nazi international aggression leading up to the British and French declarations of war. (41 mins.)
“ The second in Frank Capra's Why We Fight series, it features the initial gains of the Nazis, in Austria, the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) and the Danzig corridor of Poland, without shots fired, ultimately leading to the invasion of Poland. ” - grendelkhan
 
4.
Holocaust (1978 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The saga of a Jewish family's struggle to survive the horror of Nazi Germany's systematic marginalization and extermination of their community. (475 mins.)
“ TV mini-series that follows the family Weiss through the war. The father (Fritz Weaver) is a prominent doctor and the mother (Rosemary Harris) teaches piano. The family finds itself uprooted after Kistalnacht and deported to Poland. Son Karl (James Woods)is arrested and sent to a concentration camp, separating him from his Christian wife (Meryl Streep). The daughter Anna is raped by Nazi thugs and suffers a mental breakdown, eventually gassed with other mentally disabled patients. Son Rudi escapes and eventually falls in with Jewish partisans in Eastern Europe. The series fllows events such as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Sobibor escape, the false camps used to allay suspicions of the Red Cross, and the horrors of Auschwitz. The series was criticized for its commercialization of the Holocaust, though the actual content is highly praised. it features excellent performances, including Michael Moriarty as a failed German lawyer who joins the SS and becomes an aide to Heydrich and chilling transforms into the perfect Nazi. ” - grendelkhan
 
5.
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
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. (195 mins.)
“ Based on the novel by Thomas Kenealy, this film tells the tale of Oskar Schindler, who helped Jews escape from the Nazis, while appearing to be a German patriot to the Nazis. Spielberg finally got that Oscar he had hungered for, with this film. ” - grendelkhan
 
6.
The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
    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. (180 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
“ Classic film, based on the journal of a young Jewish girl, whose family is hiding from the Nazis in an attic. The book is one of the first Holocaust accounts to reach a wide audience and the film was one of the first to dramatize Frank's experiences. ” - grendelkhan
 
7.
Night and Fog (1956 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside. (32 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
“ Alain Resnais' harrowing documentary about the Holocaust, using captured German film footage. The footage will turn even the hardest stomach and sicken you with the depths at which mankind can sink. It is an important piece of work in documenting the horrors of the Holocaust. ” - grendelkhan
 
8.
Divide and Conquer (1943 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The World War II US Government account of the European theatre of the war from after the English and French entry to the fall of France. (57 mins.)
“ The third of the Why We Fight series, which focuses on the German invasions of Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands; and, ultimately, the fall of France, cutting Europe off from the rest of the world. ” - grendelkhan
 
9.
Soldier of Orange (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
During WW2, Dutch students join the resistance movement against the German occupation of the Netherlands. (155 mins.)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
“ Paul Verhoeven's tale of a group of university students and their lives before, during, and at the end of the war. Excellent cast and probably Verhoeven's best film. It gives a glimpse at those who collaborated to survive, those who fought in the resistance, and those who enlisted with the German's to fight on the Russian Front. Verhoeven would later return to the subject, with Black Book, his best film in years. ” - grendelkhan
 
10.
Black Book (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance. (145 mins.)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
“ Paul Verhoeven's unofficial sequel to Soldier of Orange. Carice van Hooten stars as a Jewish woman who is hiding from the Germans, in Holland. After losing her hiding place to a crashing Allied plane, she is forced to find new help. She becomes involved with a resistance group who try to keep tabs on the Germans for the Allies, while running a soup kitchen for the Dutch people, as the Germans have taken much of their agricultural produce. The woman goes undercover to get close to a German officer, in charge of security. Her association would have repercussions for her after the war. The film was based on several accounts by women involved in the Ducth resistance. ” - grendelkhan
 
11.
The Battle of Britain (1943 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The official World War II US government account of Great Britain's stand against the Nazi war machine after the Dunkirk evacuation. (54 mins.)
“ The fourth in the Why We Fight series, showcasing the valiant efforts of the RAF to defeat the German Blitz. ” - grendelkhan
 
12.
Battle of Britain (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 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. (132 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
“ An all-star cast portray the men and women who made up the "few." The film starts with the retreat from France and the desperate race to shore up air defenses to face the German onslaught. Tragedy and triumph are equally portrayed, though the film is a bit of a disappointment, dramatically. ” - grendelkhan
 
13.
Danger UXB (1979 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Brian Ash (Anthony Andrews) is a young lieutenant who is assigned to a UXB unit in the early days of World War II... (60 mins.)
“ British tv series, based on the exploits of the bomb disposal units. The series focuses on a young officer, played by Anthony Andrews, as he arrives at the unit, with no background in the area, and his slapdash training and baptism by fire. The series well documented wartime British life, from rationing to the dangers of the bombings, both during and after; as well as the rather rushed nature of many courtships. ” - grendelkhan
 
14.
Secret Army (1977 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
In this series, inspired by real events during World War II, the kind, intelligent and worrisome Albert Foiret runs both a café... (50 mins.)
“ British tv series about the French Maquis. It would later inspire the comedy spoof 'Allo, 'Allo. ” - grendelkhan
 
15.
Army of Shadows (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France. (145 mins.)
“ Jean-Pierre Melville's account of the French Maquis, based on his own experiences in the Resistance. It's a warts and all depiction, with Melville's typical engaging film style. ” - grendelkhan
 
16.
Backs to the Land (1977 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
(30 mins.)
“ British tv series about the Land Girls, the young women who worked on farms, to make up for the absent men, who were away fighting. It highlights the contributions of women on the homefront, a key element in the coming women's movement. ” - grendelkhan
 
17.
Dad's Army (1968 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During WW2, in a fictional British seaside town, a ragtag group of Home Guard local defense volunteers prepare for an imminent German invasion. (30 mins.)
“ Legendary British tv comedy series about the Home Guard units raised to potentially defend the country from a possible German invasion. The units were often made up of older men, hence the name. The series is played for laughs, with a harried leader of inept troops; but, it did much to highlight the work of these units. ” - grendelkhan
 
18.
The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel. (88 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
“ This film focuses on Rommel's career, from taking command in North Africa, to his suicide, after arrest for his part in the plot against Hitler. The film does much to show the human side of the legendary commander, though it probably portrays him a little too idealistically. ” - grendelkhan
 
19.
Sink the Bismarck! (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship. (97 mins.)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
“ The German's built a group of super-battleships, including the Tirpitz and the Bismark. They were then sent to raid British shipping, with devastating results. This film follows the attacks of the Bismark and the massive effort to destroy it, based on the novel by CS Forrester. Very tense film. ” - grendelkhan
 
20.
The Tuskegee Airmen (1995 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The true story of how a group of African American pilots overcame racist opposition to become one of the finest US fighter groups in World War II (106 mins.)
“ HBO-produced film about the birth, training, and accomplishments of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. This one has history squarely in mind, unlike the later George Lucas-produced Red Tails. Laurence Fishburne leads a young cast in this excellent biopic. ” - grendelkhan
 
21.
Victory at Sea (1952 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Twenty-six episode series about naval combat during World War Two. Famous for its music score, eloquent narration and combat footage. (30 mins.)
“ Legendary tv series which chronicled the naval engagements of WWII. As such, the Pacific theater carries the lion's share of the series. ” - grendelkhan
 
22.
Defiance (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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 1,000 Jewish non-combatants. (137 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
“ Dramatization of a group of Jewish Partisans in Belarus, who fought to protect a group of refugees from the Nazis. Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber are excellent in the film, as the Bielski brothers, who led the group. The film has been subjected to much criticism as to its authenticity and its depiction of the Bielskis, plus the various non-Jewish civilians. Director Ed Zwick did create battles that never happened to liven up the action. It's still a good film, and no worse, historically, than many other films about WWII. ” - grendelkhan
 
23.
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A dramatization of the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that allowed it to happen. (144 mins.)
“ Highly underated film about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, showcasing the Japanese planning and execution of the raid, as well as the initial US military malaise and response to the attack. Much better than the later film attempts. ” - grendelkhan
 
24.
From Here to Eternity (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In Hawaii in 1941, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second-in-command are falling in love. (118 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
“ Based on the novel, the film follows a soldier stationed in Hawaii, who faces brutal treatment for refusing to box for his unit and a love affair between a married woman and her husband's second-in-command, and the attack on Pearl Harbor. ” - grendelkhan
 
25.
Flying Tigers (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot. (102 mins.)
Director: David Miller
“ John Wayne stars in this wartime salute to the American Volunteer Group, aka the Flying Tigers. The film is played for Hollywood heroism and propaganda, rather than historical detail, but it's one of Wayne's notable war films. The Flying Tigers would inspire the comic book Blackhawks, which were the subject of a Columbia serial. The unit also included Gregory Boyington, who would later lead the Black Sheep Squadron in the South Pacific and become the USMC's top ace. ” - grendelkhan
 
26.
Wake Island (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
December, 1941. With no hope of relief or re-supply, a small band of United States Marines try to keep the Japanese Navy from capturing their island base. (87 mins.)
Director: John Farrow
“ Wartime film about the defense of Wake Island from the Japanese attacks, immediately after Pearl harbor. The film is pure patriotism and suggests the defenders fought to the last man, instead of their actual surrender. It was wartime. ” - grendelkhan
 
27.
The Sullivans (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The lives of a close-knit group of brothers growing up in Iowa during the days of the Great Depression... (112 mins.)
Director: Lloyd Bacon
“ Biopic of the five Sullivan brothers, from Waterloo, IA. The film follows them from childhood to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when they attempt to enlist in the Navy and serve on the same ship. They were eventually granted this request, to their ultimate doom. The film fictionalizes many things, such as ignoring the fact that one brother was or had already served in the Navy. ” - grendelkhan
 
28.
MacArthur (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Biopic of General Douglas MacArthur covering his war exploits during WW2 and the Korean War. (130 mins.)
Director: Joseph Sargent
“ Gregory Peck stars as the legendary general, covering his career from military governor of the Phillipines, through his eventual return to the islands and the eventual surrender of Japan. Peck does a masterful job of portraying the man, beloved and hated. He shows the political squabbles to get men and material, as well as Macarthur's own propensity for self-glorification. It isn't quite as accomplished as Patton, but does a pretty good job. ” - grendelkhan
 
29.
Back to Bataan (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In 1942, after the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese, U.S. Army Col. Joseph Madden stays behind to organize the local resistance against the Japanese invaders. (95 mins.)
Director: Edward Dmytryk
“ John Wayne stars in this account of the Filippino resistance to the Japanese, along with US soldiers who escaped the surrender of US forces. As with most John Wayne films, it's more about heroics than history. ” - grendelkhan
 
30.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. (161 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ The film, based on the novel by Pierre Boulle (who also wrote Planet of the Apes), follows a group of British prisoners, following the surrender of Singapore. They are tasked to provide labor for the building of a bridge. Alec Guinness won the Oscar for his portrayal of the colonel who forces the Japanese to respect the Geneva conventions, but becomes obsessed with building the bridge properly, to give pride and discipline to his men. He is blind to his failure until the very end. Outstanding film!. ” - grendelkhan
 
31.
Wish Me Luck (1987 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The second world war experiences of brave women recruited as undercover agents behind enemy lines. (60 mins.)
“ British tv series about women agents of the Special Operations Executive. The women infiltrated German-occupied territory and sent back radio messages, with intelligence data. The bravery of these agents cannot be overstated. ” - grendelkhan
 
32.
Female Agents (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
In 1944, in London, Lieutenant Pierre Desfontaines assigns his sister Louise Desfontaines to convince... (117 mins.)
“ French film about women who were recruited by the SOE and others to become agents in occupied territories. It's not available in the US, but I have read excellent reviews in UK film magazines. ” - grendelkhan
 
33.
Attack on the Iron Coast (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Lloyd Bridges plays a WWII commando leader who leads a group of soldiers on a suicide mission to destroy a Nazi naval stronghold on the French coast. (89 mins.)
Director: Paul Wendkos
“ Lesser-known film about the British commando raid on the harbor at Saint-Nazare. Lloyd Bridges is a Canadian officer who drills his men until they drop, to prevent the losses he experienced in previous raids. The film gets the main elements of the raid correct (a ship is packed with explosives and rammed into a drydock to destroy it, using delayed fuses) but diverts heavily from fact. The film is a bit uneven, but has many good moments. ” - grendelkhan
 
34.
Paratrooper (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
In 1940, an American claiming to be Canadian volunteers for the British Army's paratroop school. (88 mins.)
Director: Terence Young
“ Alan Ladd stars in this film, about an American in the British Paratroop Regiment, who takes part in a raid to seize German radar secrets, based on Operation Biting. The film was directed by Terence Young, who would go on to give life to James Bond. ” - grendelkhan
 
35.
The Desert Rats (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them. (88 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
“ Companion to the Desert Fox, which features Richard Burton as a young officer in charge of Australian troops, in North Africa. They experience a horrible defeat, which shatters morale. Burton tries to rebuild his men, via a series of commando raids against German supply points, culminating in a major raid on a German airfield. James Mason reprises his role as Rommel in a cameo. ” - grendelkhan
 
36.
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
    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. (138 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
“ Spencer Tracy stars as Col. James Doolittle, while Van Johnson portrays the captain of one of the key bombers. The daring raid featured the launch of B-25 bombers from the USS Hornet, who then attacked points in mainland Japan, eventually ditching their planes in China and Russia. The film follows the training for the carrier launch, the attack, and the evasion of the Japanese, with aid from Chinese villagers. ” - grendelkhan
 
37.
The Rat Patrol (1966 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The World War II North African missions of an Allied commando patrol squad of the Long Range Desert Group. (30 mins.)
“ TV series, which follows a group of raiders as they harass the German's in North Africa. Christopher George stars as the American leader, while Hans Gudegast (better known as Eric Braeden, of The Young and the Restless) stars as the German officer who hunts them. The series was loosely based upon the exploits of the Long Range Desert Group, the SAS, and Popski's Private Army, who carried out reconnaissance and harassment raids on Axis supply lines and airfields. ” - grendelkhan
 
38.
Midway (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. (132 mins.)
Director: Jack Smight
“ One of the last of the epic WWII films, featuring a notable cast. The film immediately follows the Battle of the Coral Sea, where a naval task force stymied Japanese adavances into the Indian Ocean. The USS Yorktown, badly damaged in the battle, limps home, to be repaired and immediately turned around. The film features the efforts of the codebreakers who discovered the plan to attack Midway, as well as the initial Japanese planning. It then follows the race to locate the Japanese fleet and engage it before it can launch its attack on Midway. There is a subplot about a young pilot who is engaged to be married to a Nissei woman, who has been interred. The subplot tends to pull you out of the events, though they get points for highlighting the Japanese internment. The film is rather long and tends to test your patience, before getting to the meat of the battle. The main roles are ably filled by Henry Fonda, Charlton Heston, Hal Holbrook, and Glen Ford, with cameo roles from future stars Tom Selleck and Erik Estrada, as well as many fine character actors. The tv version featured additional scenes revolving around Heston and his lover, played by Susan Sullivan. ” - grendelkhan
 
39.
Ike: The War Years (1979 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Made-for-TV biography of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. (291 mins.)
“ Robert Duvall stars as Gen Dwight Eisenhower in this tv mini-series. The production follows Ike as he provides a report critical of Allied efforts and soon finds himself with the job of supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe. It then follows him through the landings in North Africa, the Italian campaign and the landings at Normandy, up to the German surrender. A major focus is upon his relationship with Kay Sommersby, his British driver and rumored lover. Excellent series that needs to be made available on DVD. ” - grendelkhan
 
40.
The Young Lions (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war... (167 mins.)
Director: Edward Dmytryk
“ This film juxtaposes the tale of three men, over the course of the war. the first is a German, played by Marlon Brando, who becomes an officer in the Wehrmacht, but finds that his sense of honor is at odds with is duties and loses his idealism. Montgomery Cliff is an American Jew who fights anti-Semitism in the army, as well as fighting the Germans. Dean Martin is a friend who comes to Cliff's aid. Excellent film that looks at the psychological side of the war, rather than heroics. ” - grendelkhan
 
41.
Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
This film reenacts the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built. (127 mins.)
Director: Roland Joffé
“ Fine film about the Manhattan Project, the development of the Atomic Bomb. The A-Team's Dwight Schultz played Robert Oppenheimer. ” - grendelkhan
 
42.
Das Boot (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror. (149 mins.)
“ Wolfgang Peterson's film (also a tv mini-series) about the crew of a U-Boat and their operations at sea. We get tense, claustrophobic scenes of life on a submarine at war, including potential death, watching as arrogance and youthful hubris are filed away against the grindstone of combat experience. The submarine model was later reused for Raiders of the Lost Ark. ” - grendelkhan
 
43.
Guadalcanal Diary (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of a large U.S. Marines invasion task force bound for Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942. (93 mins.)
Director: Lewis Seiler
“ Wartime film about the intense fighting on Guadacanal. Features Anthony Quinn in an early role. ” - grendelkhan
 
44.
First to Fight (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
In WW2, highly decorated Marine Sgt. Jack Connell comes home to the USA from the Pacific War and trains recruits for the army until his fighting spirit prods him to request a return to active duty on the front lines. (92 mins.)
Director: Christian Nyby
“ Chad Everett stars as a young Marine who wins the Congressional Medal of Honor in the fighting at Guadacanal. He spends his time on war bond drives, until being given a training command and eventual combat command. He struggles with a fear of dying in combat, now that he has a wife to come home to. Features Gene Hackman in an early and well essayed supporting role. Everett's character was based on Marine Gunnery Sgt John Basilone, who would also be depicted in HBO's The Pacific ” - grendelkhan
 
45.
The Thin Red Line (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Terrence Malick's adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War. (170 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ Terence Malick's remake of the cinematic account of the battle for Guadacanal (based on the novel of the same name). Sean Penn stars. ” - grendelkhan
 
46.
The Fighting Seabees (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work... (100 mins.)
Director: Edward Ludwig
“ John Wayne stars in this salute to the US Navy Construction Battalions, the SeaBees. These men were tasked with building airstrips and bases on newly captured islands, sometimes while the fighting was still going on. The film portrays them heroically, as only the Duke can. ” - grendelkhan
 
47.
Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
    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. (132 mins.)
Director: Henry King
“ Gregory Peck stars as a General who takes command of a B-17 group that is plagued with low morale and heavy losses. He builds up the leadership and confidence of his pilots and crews until even he buckles under the weight of command. The film was used as part of my leadership training in the US Navy, as it beautifully showcases the qualities of good leadership and the perils of command. ” - grendelkhan
 
48.
The Colditz Story (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German POW camp housed in a Medieval castle. (94 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
“ British film focusing on the attempts to escape from the "inescapable" German prison. The methods use were ingenious. ” - grendelkhan
 
49.
The Heroes of Telemark (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Norwegian resistance tries to stop German efforts to produce an atomic bomb component during World War II. (131 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
“ Film account of Norwegian resistance efforts to sabotage the German nuclear program, by destroying a heavy water production facility, along with Allied bombing missions. The film uses four key events: the insertion of SOE agents, the failed attempt to insert commandos to link with the agents and destroy the plant and a later more successful raid, and the sinking of a ferry with a shipment bound for Germany. Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris star in this tense and exciting film. ” - grendelkhan
 
50.
The Big Red One (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of a sergeant and the inner core members of his unit as they try to serve in and survive World War II. (113 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
“ Samuel Fuller directs this movie, based on his own experiences in WWII. Lee Marvin is the WWI veteran who is leading a platoon of young soldiers , starting with the Operation Torch landings in North Africa, through the liberation of a concentration camp and the armistace. Marvin is contrasted with a fanatical German sergeant, an ardant Nazi, whose paths cross from time to time, leading to the climax. The film is highly underrated and features some excellent performances. ” - grendelkhan
 
51.
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
“ Legendary film about a legendary leader. George C Scott won an Oscar for his portrayal of "Old Blood and Guts." Scott captures the playacting, the profanity, the mania, the daring, the bravado, the genius, and the spiritual side of America's most controversial general. Francis Ford Coppola wrote the script, which is filled with memorable lines. It follows Patton from North Africa, through Sicily, to France and into Germany. Karl Malden is equally impressive as Gen. Omar Bradley. ” - grendelkhan
 
52.
Stalingrad (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The story follows a group of German soldiers, from their Italian R&R in the summer of 1942 to the frozen steppes of Soviet Russia and ending with the battle for Stalingrad. (134 mins.)
“ Epic Russian film about the siege of Stalingrad. ” - grendelkhan
 
53.
The Battle of Russia (1943 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Documentary revealing the nature and process of the fight between the Soviet Union and Germany in the Second World War. (83 mins.)
“ The fifth in the Why We Fight series, which focuses on the Russian battle to turn the German invasion, focusing on the battles of Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad; shown in two parts. ” - grendelkhan
 
54.
Enemy at the Gates (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad. (131 mins.)
“ Based on the book, the film follows the exploits of a Russian sniper, during the siege of Stalingrad. Jude Law is the marksman who finds himself hunted by the Germans. Joseph Finnes is the propaganda officer who turns him into a hero, while Rachel Weisz is the love interest. Bob Hoskins has a smaller role as Nikita Kruschev and Ed Harris portrays the German sniper tasked to find and kill Law. ” - grendelkhan
 
55.
The Great Escape (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. (172 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
“ Dramatization of the massive POW escape. 76 men made it out, but 73 were recaptured. 50 were executed by the Gestapo, while 23 were sent back to prison. 3 made it to freedom. The film follows the attempts to dig a series of tunnels to get a large group out, to bog down German resources in hunting them. The cast is legendary, with Steve McQueen as The Cooler King, James Garner as The Scrounger, Donald Pleasance as The Forger, Charles Bronson as The Tunnel King, James Coburn as The Manufacturer, and Richard Attenborough as Big X, the brains of the operation. ” - grendelkhan
 
56.
Escape from Sobibor (1987 TV Movie)
    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... (143 mins.)
Director: Jack Gold
“ TV movie, based on the mass escape from Sobibor concentration camp. Alan Arkin is the leader of the Jews, while Rutger Hauer is a Russian soldier. Together, they concoct a plan to seize weapons and fight their way out of the camp. Thanks in large part to the participsation of Russian soldiers, the plan worked and a large number of prisoners were able to escape, demonstrating that there were still people willing to fight for their survival, even in the death camps. Approximately 50 made it to freedom and survived. ” - grendelkhan
 
57.
The Battle of China (1944 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The Official World War II US Government account of Chinese defense against Japanese aggression. (65 mins.)
“ The sixth installment of the Why We Fight series looks at the fighting in China, with emphasis on the Rape of Nanking, the building of the Burma Road, and the Battle of Changsha. ” - grendelkhan
 
58.
War Comes to America (1945 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Part VII of the "Why We Fight" series of wartime documentaries. This entry attempts to describe the factors leading up to America's entry into the Second World War. (70 mins.)
“ The final installment of the Why We Fight series looks at how Axis aggression turned public opinion away from isolationism, ultimately leading to the US' entry into the war, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. ” - grendelkhan
 
59.
The Dam Busters (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The story of how the British attacked German dams in WWII by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective. (124 mins.)
“ Rousing film about the British air raid on German manufacturing, via an attempt to destroy a dam and flood an industrial area. It follows the developments of the skipping bombs, the training of the flight crews, and the actual mission. Richard Todd (a veteran of the Paras and the Pegasus Bridge attack) portrays the leader of the mission and Michael Redgrave is Barnes-Wallis, the genius behind the bombs. You do have to forgive the naming of a black Labrador with a racial epithet, in uncut versions. It was historically accurate. ” - grendelkhan
 
60.
PT 109 (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
During WW2, Lieut. John F. Kennedy takes command of PT 109 to fight the Japanese in the Solomon Islands. (140 mins.)
“ Cliff Robertson stars as young naval officer John F Kennedy, skipper of the PT-109. Following a mission, the exhausted crew are rammed by a Japanese destroyer and fight to survive. Much political hay has been made about the circumstances of the accident and Kennedy's career prior to the incident; but, Kennedy exercised strong leadership in rescuing his crew and getting them to safety on a nearby island. His efforts eventually allowed for the crews location and rescue, at the cost of serious injury to Kennedy's back, an ailment that would plague him for the rest of his life. Robertson plays the legend, more than the man, but plays it well. ” - grendelkhan
 
61.
The Sea Wolves (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A true WW2 story: the British must attack a German ship but it's safe in neutral Goa. So they send civilians, ex-soldiers about 60 years old. (120 mins.)
“ Somewhat jazzed up account of the Calcutta Light Horse, a retired British regiment in India, that undertakes a covert raid on a German merchant ship that is transmitting shipping intelligence to U-Boats, in the Indian Ocean, from the Portugese island colony of Goa. Roger Moore, Gregory Peck, Patrick Macnee, and Trevor Howard star in the film. This was the third film from produced Euan Lloyd, featuring Roger Moore (along with the Wild Geese and ffolkes). ” - grendelkhan
 
62.
To Hell and Back (1955)
    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. (106 mins.)
Director: Jesse Hibbs
“ Audie Murphy stars as himself, in this account of his wartime experiences. Murphy was the most highly decorated American soldier of the war, but he also was a hero in peacetime, speaking out about the trauma he suffered as a result of combat, publically highlighting post-traumatic stress in an era when it was rarely discussed. ” - grendelkhan
 
63.
The Devil's Brigade (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An American colonel who has never been in combat is assigned to create a special forces unit from Canadian Army troops and a ragtag group of U.S. Army misfits. (130 mins.)
“ This film is loosely based on the exploits of the Fist Special Service Force, a joint Canadian-US unit. They were initially formed with an eye on operating in Norway, though that mission was cancelled. However, they were used in the Aleutian Island campaign and in Italy. The film covers the inception of the unit, its training, and their part in the fight to capture Mt. La Defensa. However, it portrays the Americans as the refuse of stockades, rather than the volunteers they were. It is pure Hollywood, with a little historical accuracy. Even so, it's a great film, with William Holden and Cliff Robertson. ” - grendelkhan
 
64.
Go for Broke! (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story of Japanese-American soldiers who fought in Europe during World War II. (92 mins.)
Director: Robert Pirosh
“ Van Johnson stars in this film, which showcases the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, aka the Nissei Division. The unit was made up of Nissei, 1st Generation Japanese-Americans, many of whose families were held in relocation camps. Johnson doesn't like being assigned to the unit; but, he quickly gains respect for the men and their determination to fight for the country that sees them as the enemy. Along the way, he finds that he has become an outcast from former comrades but he and his men earn the eternal respect of the soldiers who fight alongside them. The unit carried out an impossible mission to rescue a unit that is surrounded by the Germans, succeeding beyond anyone's imagination. This was one of the most decorated units of the war. ” - grendelkhan
 
65.
Anzio (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
One of WWII's bloodiest battles as the Allies smash through the German lines which have enclosed the Anzio beachhead. Four months and 30,000 casualties before the Allies finally march to Rome. (117 mins.)
“ The film depicts the Allied landings at Anzio and the intense fighting that surrounded it. Anzio was nearly a disaster and casualties were extremely high, showcasing the deadly nature of the Italian campaign. ” - grendelkhan
 
66.
13 Rue Madeleine (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
When spy chief Bob Sharkey finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy. (95 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
“ James Cagney stars as an OSS agent, who has to discover the identity of a traitor, while helping the French Maquis. One of the rare films to depict OSS operations, including the Jedburgh teams, which operated within occupied territory, coordinating resistance activities. These teams would be the foundation of the US Army Special Forces. ” - grendelkhan
 
67.
Black Sheep Squadron (1976 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The dramatized World War II adventures of US Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and his Marine Attack Squadron 214, AKA The Black Sheep Squadron. (60 mins.)
“ Robert Conrad stars in this fictionalized account of Maj. Greg Boyington and VMF-214, in the South Pacific. It's played for drama and plays heavily with the truth, but it was a great series. ” - grendelkhan
 
68.
Objective, Burma! (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A platoon of special ops are tasked to parachute into the remote Burmese jungle and destroy a strategic Japanese radar station, but getting out isn't as easy. (142 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
“ Errol Flynn stars in this film, based loosely on the exploits of Merrill's Marauders, in Burma. A combat team is sent deep into the Burmese jungle to destroy a Japanese radar installation, then must escape and evade the Japanese, while they try to reach their own lines. Starvation and lack of ammo take their toll on the unit, until a rousing conclusion. ” - grendelkhan
 
69.
Merrill's Marauders (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
During WW2, a 3000-strong American unit, known as Merrill's Marauders, battles the Japanese forces in Burma. (98 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
“ Later film that also dramatized the missions of Merrill's Marauders, in Burma, with Jeff Chandler starring and Sam Fuller directing. ” - grendelkhan
 
70.
Never So Few (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
During WW2, the American O.S.S. mounts covert operations against the Japanese army in the jungles of Burma. (125 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
“ Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen star in this film, based loosely on OSS Detachment 101. The unit, along with native Kachin tribesmen, harass the Japanese constantly, while operating deep within the jungle. They are eventually tasked to launch an attack on a Japanese airfield, then encounter evidence that Chinese troops slaughtered American soldiers. Sinatra is pretty good here, and McQueen steals the film as Ringer, the young fighter. Charles Bronson, George Takei, Dean Jones, and Brian Donlevy also appear. ” - grendelkhan
 
71.
The Pacific (2010 Mini-Series)
    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. (530 mins.)
“ HBO returned to WWII, with this account of the island hopping campaign in the Pacific, based on memoirs from several people, including Robert Leckie's A Helmet for a Pillow, Eugene Sledge's With the Old Breed, and the exploits of Medal of Honor winner John Basilone. ” - grendelkhan
 
72.
The Longest Day (1962)
    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. (178 mins.)
“ Epic film about D-Day, with just about every male actor of note in Hollywood (with a few exceptions). Based on the book by Cornelius Ryan, it follows the landings, from the assault on the Pegasus Bridge and the pathfinder airdrops, to the landings at Normandy. The US, Britain, and the Free French are well represented, but the Canadians are notably absent. Notable roles include Richard Todd as Major John Howard, leader of the Pegasus Bridge assault (Todd took part in that operation), Tommy Sand as a lost paratrooper, Red Buttons as a paratrooper who is hung up on the side of a church and must feign death to survive, Robert Mitchum as Brig. Gen. Norman Cota, a key commander at Omaha Beach; and Wolfgang Preiss as a German commander. ” - grendelkhan
 
73.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
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. (169 mins.)
“ The film starts out well, with probably the most realistic depiction of the initial landings at Normandy, and what real combat was like. However, it quickly falls into cliché afterwards, when the unit undertakes the search for Ryan and in the climax. Most of the acclaim for the film came in regards the first act and in that part it's brilliant. ” - grendelkhan
 
74.
Valkyrie (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II. (121 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Not the best, but the better known film about Claus Von Staffenburg, a German officer who carried out an assassination attempt on Hitler, at Wolf's Lair. Hitler survived the attack, but it shook the morale of the German high command. ” - grendelkhan
 
75.
Is Paris Burning? (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The departure of the German army from Paris in 1944. (175 mins.)
Director: René Clément
“ An international cast carries this film, about the liberation of Paris. The Germans were under orders to burn the city to the ground, rather than let it fall to the Allied advance. Gert Frobe is the German commander who disobeys orders. Kirk Douglas has a cameo as Patton. Many noted French actors appeared in this. ” - grendelkhan
 
76.
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
    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. (175 mins.)
“ One of the last all-star war films, depicting the debacle of Operation Market Garden, Montgomery's plans to seize bridgeheads into Germany (based on Cornelius Ryan's book). The plan was bold, airdropping paratroops far in advance of ground troops to seize the bridges before they could be demolished and then hold until the ground forces arrived. The plan hit several major snags, with the destruction of a bridge in the American sector, and the isolation of the British paras at Arnhem. The British landing zones were overrun and airdrops of supplies fell into German hands. Transport wasn't plentiful enough and reinforcements had to come in waves. The Allies continued with the plan, despite reconnaissance photos and Dutch Underground reports of a German Panzer division near Arnhem. The plan ultimately failed, as the Arnhem troops were cut off, with few escaping death or capture. It would be months before the Allies would ener Germany. ” - grendelkhan
 
77.
Battle of the Bulge (1965)
    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. (167 mins.)
Director: Ken Annakin
“ Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, and James MacArthur star in this account of the German counter attack in the Ardennes. Shaw is essentially playing Joachim Peiper, leader of the German units. The film depicts the use of German troops in American uniforms and the initial chaos, as well as the massacre of prisoners at Malmady. ” - grendelkhan
 
78.
Battleground (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A squad of the 101st Airborne Division copes with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. (118 mins.)
“ Outstanding film about the 101st and the siege of Bastogne. Van Johnson, James Whitmore, and Ricardo Montalban are part of an excellent cast. ” - grendelkhan
 
79.
Band of Brothers (2001 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
The story of Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne division and their mission in WWII Europe from Operation Overlord through V-J Day. (594 mins.)
“ HBO min-series, based on the Stephen Ambrose book that follows the 101st from D-Day through the fighting in Germany, with key focus on the siege of Bastogne. Very well done, with a young cast. ” - grendelkhan
 
80.
Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima. (100 mins.)
Director: Allan Dwan
“ John Wayne stars in this heroically-charged account of the landings at Iwo Jima. It plays more of the legend than history, as is usual with the Duke. ” - grendelkhan
 
81.
Flags of our Fathers (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II. (135 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Clint Eastwood directs this more factual account of the landings at Iwo Jima, and the intense fighting. However, it would be upstaged by its companion piece. ” - grendelkhan
 
82.
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (141 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Iwo Jima, from the Japanese point of view, as told through a series of letters. Very well done, showcasing the futility of the Japanese defense, but the determination to hold off the Allied push towards Japan. We see fanatics and ordinary soldiers, great leaders and poor ones. Very enlightening alternate point of view. ” - grendelkhan
 
83.
The Bridge at Remagen (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
As the Allied armies close in, the Germans decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen? (115 mins.)
Director: John Guillermin
“ Mid-range film about the capture of the Remagen Bridge, which allowed the Allies to gain a foothold into Germany. The cast lacks star power, though it features many fine character performers, like George Segal and Ben Gazzara. It isn't Patton, but it's a decent little film. ” - grendelkhan
 
84.
Downfall (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (156 mins.)
“ Outstanding depiction of Hitler's last days, as Berlin is besieged by the Russians. Bruno Ganz plays all sides of Hitler, showcasing his charisma and madness, as he refuses to see that the end has come. Extremely well done. ” - grendelkhan
 
85.
Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb (1980 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Well-intentioned history lesson; the decision to drop the atom bomb, the secrecy surrounding the mission, and the men who flew it. (156 mins.)
“ TV movie about the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima. Patrick Duffy plays Paul Tibbets, while Billy Crystal is the man who will detonate the bomb. Very well done, with an attempt to be even-handed. ” - grendelkhan
 
86.
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
    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. (186 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
“ A look into the Nuremburg trials, with a focus on the trial of German judges, who were complicit in carrying out many of the more horrendous Nazi policies. Spencer Tracy is the American judge who must preside, while Richard Widmark is the prosecuting attorney. Maximillian Schell is the German defense lawyer who is tasked with the difficult job. Burt Lancaster is a key judge, who refuses to speak, until making a private statement to Tracy. Judy Garland has a small, but vital roll and William Shatner has a small part that demonstrates how good an actor he could be, before falling into his Captain Kirk patterns. ” - grendelkhan
 
87.
The World at War (1973 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
A series of documentaries about World War II. (52 mins.)
“ Groundbreaking tv series from Thames Television, which spent four years documenting the history of the war. It featured interviews from many major surviving participants, from generals to correspondents (Bill Mauldin) and even celebrity soldiers, like Jimmy Stewart. It's success would lead to many imitators and the creation of things like The History Channel. ” - grendelkhan
 
88.
The Winds of War (1983 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The trials of the Henry and Jastrow families in the early years of World War II. (883 mins.)
“ Mini-series adaptation of Herman Wouk's novel, chronicling the path to war, through the eyes of its characters. ” - grendelkhan
 
89.
War and Remembrance (1988 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The trials of the Henry and the Jastrow families amid the events after the USA's entry into World War II. (1620 mins.)
“ Sequel mini-series, again based on Herman Wouk's bestseller. ” - grendelkhan
 
90.
Mister Roberts (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Comedy-drama about life on a not particularly important ship of the US Navy during WW2. (123 mins.)
“ Film version of the Broadway play, documenting life aboard an auxiliary ship, away from the combat zone. Henry Fonda reprised his starring role as the beloved lieutenant, who fights a battle against a petty and vindictive captain. The film shines a light on those who served away from combat, and that not everyone who wears a uniform is a hero. It also illustrates the effect of the loss of one's comrades. ” - grendelkhan
 
91.
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When a U.S. Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny. (124 mins.)
Director: Edward Dmytryk
“ Thrilling adaptation of the Herman Wouk novel, about the mental deterioration of a destroyer skipper, which forces a mutiny by the officers. Humphrey Bogart is the skipper, while Van Johnson is the reluctant officer who finally takes command. Fred MacMurray has a turn as the cowardly instigator of the plot, while Jose Ferrer is the lawyer tasked to defend the man, which leads to a blow to his honor. The film depicts the high pressure nature of command and the toll it can take. ” - grendelkhan
 
92.
Farewell to Manzanar (1976 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Fact based drama about one of the internment camps used by the American military during World War II... (120 mins.)
Director: John Korty
“ Adaptation of the memoir of internment during WWII. The book and film highlighted the experiences of Japanese Americans as the were placed in what were essentially prison camps, within the US. Many Nissei would prove their patriotism by joining the army and fighting for the country that jailed their families, including the late senator Dan Inoue. ” - grendelkhan
 
93.
The War (2007 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
A seven-part series focusing on the many ways in which the Second World War impacted the lives of American families. (124 mins.)
“ Ken Burns documentary series for PBS, showcasing the war in both the military and on the homefront. ” - grendelkhan
 
94.
A Soldier's Story (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II. (101 mins.)
Director: Norman Jewison
“ Adaptation of the play, A Soldier's Play, about the murder of a black sergeant, in racially segregated Louisiana. Like the play, the film shows that there were plenty of suspects for the killing, from his own troops, to his superior officers, to the local KKK. The film showcases racial tensions during the war, revealing that the fight against evil happened at home, as well as abroad. ” - grendelkhan
 
95.
Foyle's War (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
As WW2 rages around the world, DCS Foyle fights his own war on the home-front as he investigates crimes on the south coast of England. Later series sees the retired detective working as an MI5 agent operating in the aftermath of the war. (90 mins.)
“ British mystery series about a police detective who plies his trade during the war. The series highlights many aspects of the war, from the losses of husbands and sons, the fascists within the UK, black marketeering, rationing, the changing roles of women, post-traumatic stress, debilitating wounds, and many other subjects. It also succeeds as a great mystery series. ” - grendelkhan
 
96.
Stalag 17 (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Film adaptation of the play, about life in a POW camp, including a German spy within the ranks. William Holden won an Oscar for his portrayal of the hustler who everyone hates, yet is able to figure out who the traitor is. ” - grendelkhan
 
97.
For the Boys (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
With the help of the singer and dancer Dixie Leonhard US-Entertainer Eddie Sparks wants to bring some fun to the soldiers during World War II... (138 mins.)
Director: Mark Rydell
“ James Caan and Bette Midler stars as USO entertainers who travel the war zones to entertain the troops. It is believed that the characters were based on Bob Hope and Martha Raye, though Raye lost a lawsuit that attempted to prove that. Caan was badly miscast as a comedian. It does a fine job, though, of highlighting the work of civilian (and even some military) performers in bringing some light into the horrible situations of the war. ” - grendelkhan
 
98.
Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Laura Henderson buys an old London theater and opens it up as the Windmill, a performance hall which goes down in history for, among other things, its all-nude revues. (103 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
“ British film about a notorious stage show in wartime London, which featured nude models in tableau, exploiting a loophole in the laws. The film is highly fictionalized, but does a fine job of depicting the era. ” - grendelkhan
 
99.
Empire of the Sun (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II. (153 mins.)
“ Film adaptation of the book, by JG Ballard, based on his experiences as a child. It details civilian life under Japanese occupation. ” - grendelkhan
 
100.
Tenko (1981 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
WWII drama follows a group of British, Dutch, and Australian women; from the bombing of Singapore to their years spent in prison camps and eventually to the end of the war where the survivors try to readjust to civilian life. (50 mins.)
“ TV series about the lives of women in a Japanese prison camp, after the fall of Singapore. The series featured excellent actors and a harrowing depiction of the suffering of these women, in an episode little documented in most histories of the war. ” - grendelkhan