WWII revisited

by Antoinamera | created - 16 Feb 2016 | updated - 04 Oct 2017 | Public

A fine selection of the best WWII fictions ever made.

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1. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

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

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: 523,493 | Gross: $57.60M

2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

R | 153 min | Adventure, Drama, War

69 Metascore

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth | Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent

Votes: 1,068,968 | Gross: $120.54M

3. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 423,249 | Gross: $188.37M

4. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

87 Metascore

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 197,680 | Gross: $12.10M

5. La Grande Vadrouille (1966)

G | 132 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

Several ordinary Frenchmen, helping British pilots avoid Nazi captivity, goes on an epic voyage through the occupied country to the Swiss border.

Director: Gérard Oury | Stars: Bourvil, Louis de Funès, Claudio Brook, Andréa Parisy

Votes: 13,390

6. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 183,790

7. Went the Day Well? (1942)

Approved | 92 min | Thriller, War

An English village is occupied by disguised German paratroopers as an advance post for a planned invasion.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti | Stars: Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor, Marie Lohr

Votes: 2,752 | Gross: $0.02M

8. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Not Rated | 150 min | Action, Adventure, War

73 Metascore

During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes

Votes: 59,508 | Gross: $45.30M

9. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron

Votes: 16,209

10. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, War

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: 161,466 | Gross: $9.03M

11. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, War

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: 217,078 | Gross: $51.40M

12. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, War

Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark

Votes: 45,891

13. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

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.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 179,471 | Gross: $44.91M

14. Valkyrie (2008)

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

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: 207,746 | Gross: $83.08M

15. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 457,310 | Gross: $1.02M

16. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

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: 1,056,831 | Gross: $216.54M

17. To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, War

86 Metascore

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart

Votes: 22,335

18. Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Approved | 130 min | Adventure, Drama, War

During WW2 in North Africa, a medical field unit must cross the desert in their ambulance in order to reach the British lines in Alexandria.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms, Harry Andrews

Votes: 4,354

19. Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Approved | 134 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 3,849

20. The Big Red One (1980)

R | 113 min | Drama, War

77 Metascore

The story of a sergeant and the inner core members of his unit as they serve in and try to survive World War II.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco

Votes: 17,026

21. Hell in the Pacific (1968)

G | 103 min | Adventure, War

During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune

Votes: 6,839

22. U-571 (2000)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, War

62 Metascore

A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi

Votes: 70,949 | Gross: $77.09M

23. Fury (2014)

R | 134 min | Action, Drama, War

64 Metascore

A grizzled tank commander makes tough decisions as he and his crew fight their way across Germany in April, 1945.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña

Votes: 366,078 | Gross: $85.82M

24. Attack (1956)

Approved | 107 min | Action, Drama, War

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between Captain Cooney and Lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert, Robert Strauss

Votes: 4,037

25. Kelly's Heroes (1970)

GP | 144 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

A group of U.S. soldiers sneaks across enemy lines to get their hands on a secret stash of Nazi treasure.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor

Votes: 40,002

26. A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, War

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: 3,040

27. Quel maledetto treno blindato (1978)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, War

In 1944 France, a group of escaped American military prisoners en route to Switzerland volunteers to steal a Nazi V2 rocket warhead for the Allies.

Director: Enzo G. Castellari | Stars: Bo Svenson, Peter Hooten, Fred Williamson, Michael Pergolani

Votes: 8,086

28. The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, History, War

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.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Basil Sydney

Votes: 8,520

29. Mr. Klein (1976)

123 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Paris, 1942. Robert Klein cannot find any fault with the state of affairs in German-occupied France. He has a well-furnished flat, a mistress, and business is booming. Jews facing ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Francine Bergé, Juliet Berto

Votes: 4,433

30. Victory (1981)

PG | 116 min | Drama, Sport, War

57 Metascore

As allied POWs prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team's escape.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Pelé, Bobby Moore

Votes: 24,230 | Gross: $10.85M

31. Defiance (I) (2008)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 127,629 | Gross: $28.64M

32. The Keep (1983)

R | 96 min | Horror

34 Metascore

Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson, Jürgen Prochnow

Votes: 9,545 | Gross: $3.76M

33. Paratroop Command (1959)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, War

A squad member of the U.S. Paratroop unit in WWII accidently shoots one of his unit. Over the forthcoming months there is some anamosity against him as they battle their way across Italy.

Director: William Witney | Stars: Richard Bakalyan, Ken Lynch, Jack Hogan, Jimmy Murphy

Votes: 132



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