World War One films I have seen

by Alberto-7 | created - 15 Oct 2017 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

Here are all the WWI films I have seen over the years.

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1. Passchendaele (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, History, Romance

The lives of a troubled veteran, his nurse girlfriend and a naive boy intersect first in Alberta and then in Belgium during the bloody World War I battle of Passchendaele.

Director: Paul Gross | Stars: Paul Gross, Michael Greyeyes, James Kot, Jesse Frechette

Votes: 7,780

The battle sequences are terrific as is the historical recreation of the era. Unfortunately, the love story is quite schmaltzy, which diminishes the story somewhat. Still Paul Gross manages to pull it off.

2. The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 191,534

The WWI scenes at the beginning of the film are very funny but what else would you expect from Charlie Chaplin. The funniest moment is when the Big Bertha cannon misfires. A masterpiece.

3. Paths of Glory (1957)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, War

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready

Votes: 166,630

A harrowing film about the stupidity of war and how the ones who run armies have no clue as to what is really going on. A sad film with a terrific performance by Kirk Douglas.

4. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 35,303 | Gross: $5.73M

One of the greatest war films ever made with beautiful cinematography and well fleshed out characters. The battle only takes place in the last 30 minutes of the film which gives us a lot of time to get the know the protagonists. A great film all around.

5. The African Queen (1951)

PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

91 Metascore

In WWI Africa, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull

Votes: 68,816 | Gross: $0.54M

Great film with terrific performances by Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Beautiful film.

6. The Blue Max (1966)

Approved | 156 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A young pilot in the German air force of 1918, disliked as lower-class and unchivalrous, tries ambitiously to earn the medal offered for 20 kills.

Director: John Guillermin | Stars: George Peppard, James Mason, Ursula Andress, Jeremy Kemp

Votes: 6,098

Not bad with some very good aerial sequences.

7. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

During WWI, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are eventually sent to a seemingly inescapable fortress.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 32,309 | Gross: $0.17M

Amazing film.

8. Shout at the Devil (1976)

PG | 150 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

During World War I, a British aristocrat, an American entrepreneur, and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battlecruiser, which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar.

Director: Peter R. Hunt | Stars: Lee Marvin, Roger Moore, Barbara Parkins, Ian Holm

Votes: 2,403

The first half is very funny and light, the second half dark and intense. The denouement is very exciting with a great deal of tension. Roger Moore is ok in this as is Lee Marvin but they are eclipsed by the spectacular scenery and intense last third of the film.

9. A Bear Named Winnie (2004 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Drama, War

The extraordinary veritable story of the black bear who would become the inspiration for the stories of A.A. Milne, and the heroic man who saved her life.

Director: John Kent Harrison | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Gil Bellows, David Suchet, Stephen Fry

Votes: 873

This was very cute and enjoyable.

10. Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983)

720 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A dramatization of the missions and adventures of the greatest spy in British history.

Stars: Sam Neill, Michael Bryant, Norman Rodway, Tom Bell

Votes: 1,270

Terrific mini-series with a great performance by Sam Neill. Not to be missed.

11. Secret Agent (1936)

Not Rated | 86 min | Mystery, Thriller

After three British Agents are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during World War I, two of them become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Young, Peter Lorre

Votes: 7,412

Great Hitchcock film that mixes together several of the Ashenden stories by Somerset Maugham. Very exciting.

12. Paris 1919: Un traité pour la paix (2009 TV Movie)

90 min | Documentary, Drama, History

A film about the Paris Peace Conference that negotiated the end of World War I with the Versailles Treaty.

Director: Paul Cowan | Stars: R.H. Thomson, David Lowe, Paul Bandey, Yan Brian

Votes: 119

Great documentary that incudes a great deal of fiction sequences with actors recreating the Paris peace talks of 1919. Very well made.

13. Von Richthofen and Brown (1971)

PG-13 | 97 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The story of Manfred von Richthofen, the German air ace during World War I and his struggle with the enemy aces and some jealous German officers.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: John Phillip Law, Don Stroud, Barry Primus, Corin Redgrave

Votes: 1,003 | Gross: $0.17M

Great aerial sequences compensate for a lacklustre, clichéd script. The acting is ok but nothing special. Thankfully there are a lot of flying sequences. Ok but could have been a lot better.

14. Black and White in Color (1976)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, War

French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors. Deciding that they must do their proper duty and fight the Germans, they ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Jean Carmet, Jacques Dufilho, Catherine Rouvel, Jacques Spiesser

Votes: 1,335

Hilarious farce that shows the stupidity of misplaced patriotism. One of the funniest films I have ever seen. The best sequence has the French shopkeepers setting up a picnic to watch the upcoming battle. A must see.

15. The Dawn Patrol (1938)

Not Rated | 103 min | War, Drama

British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, David Niven, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,604

Gritty, intense and harrowing with a great performance from Basil Rathbone and others. A fantastic look at the pressures of war.

16. Block-Heads (1938)

Approved | 57 min | Comedy, War

Stan, who has remained faithfully at his World War I post for twenty years, finally comes home where his best friend, Ollie, takes him in, thus allowing him to discover the many conveniences of the modern world.

Director: John G. Blystone | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Patricia Ellis, Minna Gombell

Votes: 3,276

Funny Laurel and Hardy feature with a great sequence taking place during the Great War.

17. Pack Up Your Troubles (1932)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy, War

Two war veterans help orphaned child to find her grandfather.

Directors: George Marshall, Ray McCarey, Harry Black, Lloyd French | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Don Dillaway, Jackie Lyn Dufton

Votes: 1,959

Another fun Laurel and Hardy film.

18. Sky Bandits (1986)

PG | 105 min | Action, Adventure, War

Through a series of circumstances, a pair of Old West gunfighters end up as fighter pilots in World War I.

Director: Zoran Perisic | Stars: Scott McGinnis, Jeff Osterhage, Ronald Lacey, Miles Anderson

Votes: 223 | Gross: $2.30M

Stupid action film that has cowboys become fighter pilots. Really, really bad.

19. Aces High (1976)

PG | 114 min | Action, Drama, War

In World War I, the high casualty rate amongst the rookie pilots of the Royal Flying Corps puts an enormous strain on the survivors.

Director: Jack Gold | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Plummer, Simon Ward, Peter Firth

Votes: 2,261

Sad and intense.

20. Ashenden (1991– )

220 min | Drama

Four-part drama about a writer recruited into espionage work by British intelligence during the First World War. Based on the writings of Somerset Maugham

Stars: Alex Jennings, Joss Ackland, Ian Bannen, Jason Isaacs

Votes: 36

Great mini-series based on the Somerset Maugham stories. Ian Bannen is great as R. Very well done overall,

21. Shoulder Arms (1918)

45 min | Comedy, War

Charlie is a boot camp private who has a dream of being a hero who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Edna Purviance, Charles Chaplin, Syd Chaplin, Loyal Underwood

Votes: 5,600

Charlie Chaplin in the trenches. Great film released just after the end of the war.

22. The Lost Patrol (1934)

Passed | 73 min | Adventure, War

A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during World War I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford, Reginald Denny

Votes: 2,857

Great war film with a tense script and good performances overall. Victor McLaglen and Reginald Denny are quite good but Boris Karloff overacts to the point of ridicule. Shot in Arizona and in the dunes of California, we get a real sense of the heat and uncomfortable conditions the soldiers are living. The tension comes from the fact that the enemy, that is picking them off one by one, remains unseen until the very end of the movie. Well worth seeing if you can get past Karloff's stilted overacting.

23. A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Unrated | 80 min | Drama, Romance, War

An American ambulance driver and an English nurse fall in love in Italy during World War I.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Philips

Votes: 4,760

Dry, starchy and overacted. This film did not age well. The acting is silly for the most part and the schmaltz in turned on big time. Avoid this.

24. 1917 (2019)

R | 119 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays, Colin Firth

Votes: 267,774 | Gross: $159.23M

Spectacular cinematography and a very good story with solid acting. Some of the situations strain credibility but overall, a magnificent film.

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