WWII: The Home Front

by Ahdar | created - 27 Aug 2013 | updated - 04 Apr 2014 | Public

This list does not include Holocaust films and TV series or films and TV series about POWs, spies or interment camps

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1. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

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: 53,413 | Gross: $23.65M

Highlights the post-war adjustment period of several WWII veterans in the US. Technically the war is over, but it shows the effect of the war on the women that the soldiers left behind.

2. Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Romance, War

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, May Whitty

Votes: 14,276 | Gross: $13.50M

Drama about a British family's travails during the war. Includes the famous flower scene poached by Julian Fellowes for Downton Abey.

3. Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

71 Metascore

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.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Guest, Will Young

Votes: 14,611 | Gross: $11.03M

Based on a true story, Mrs. Henderson tells the tale of the plucky Laura Henderson (played magnificently by Judy Dench) who kept her burlesque theater open even in the midst of the Blitz.

4. The More the Merrier (1943)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Romance, War

During the World War II housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Richard Gaines

Votes: 5,303

Apartments are scarce in WWII-era Washington DC and Connie (Jean Arthur) finds herself living with two men in a comic and awkward situation. Naturally, she begins to fall in love with one of them.

5. Since You Went Away (1944)

Approved | 177 min | Drama, Romance, War

With her husband away to fight in World War II, a housewife struggles to care for their two daughters - and a pair of lodgers who have moved in - alone.

Directors: John Cromwell, Edward F. Cline, Tay Garnett, David O. Selznick | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Shirley Temple

Votes: 3,953

Claudette Colbert tries to hold together her family on the home front while her husband is off fighting in this melodrama from David Selznick.

6. The Clock (1945)

Passed | 90 min | Drama, Romance

In 1945, during a 48-hour leave, a soldier accidentally meets a girl at Pennsylvania Station and spends his leave with her, eventually falling in love with the lovely New Yorker.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 2,716 | Gross: $2.78M

A New York office girl (Judy Garland) and a soldier on leave (Robert Walker) spend a day together and fall in love.

7. Till the End of Time (1946)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, Romance, War

Drama about former WW2 soldiers readjusting to civilian life and dealing with their mental and physical traumas.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, Guy Madison, Bill Williams

Votes: 931

After the war ends, a group of US Marines must adjust to civilian life.

8. A League of Their Own (1992)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

67 Metascore

Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.

Director: Penny Marshall | Stars: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna

Votes: 84,374 | Gross: $107.53M

With all of the male baseball players at war, a group of very different women join a newly formed women's baseball league.

9. Atonement (2007)

R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

85 Metascore

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan

Votes: 228,635 | Gross: $50.93M

A young English girl works as a nurse in London while trying to reconcile herself to a horrible lie she told years earlier.

10. The Edge of Love (2008)

R | 110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

39 Metascore

Two feisty, free-spirited women are connected by the brilliant, charismatic poet who loves them both.

Director: John Maybury | Stars: Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Simon Armstrong

Votes: 15,425 | Gross: $0.03M

Poet Dylan Thomas lives in the country during the war with his wife and his lover.

11. Hope and Glory (1987)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War II. For a young boy, this time in history was ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards, Geraldine Muir

Votes: 11,493 | Gross: $10.02M

A little boy grows up in the midst of the Blitz.

12. Yanks (1979)

R | 138 min | Drama, War

During WWII, the United States set up army bases in Great Britain as part of the war effort. Against their proper sensibilities, many of the Brits don't much like the brash Yanks, ... See full summary »

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Richard Gere, Lisa Eichhorn, Vanessa Redgrave, William Devane

Votes: 2,907 | Gross: $3.93M

GIs stationed in Lancashire find romance with local girls in this 1979 drama.

13. The Human Comedy (1943)

Passed | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Teenager Homer Macauley stays at home in small-town Ithaca to support his family while his older brother Marcus prepares to go to war.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, James Craig, Marsha Hunt

Votes: 1,690

High school student Homer (Mickey Rooney) comes of age during the war in a small California town.

14. Tender Comrade (1943)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, Romance

Jo Jones, a young defense plant worker whose husband is in the military during World War II, shares a house with three other women in the same situation.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Robert Ryan, Ruth Hussey, Patricia Collinge

Votes: 706

A group of factory workers pool expenses and living arrangements while their husbands are at war.

15. Swing Shift (1984)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Romance, War

A woman finds romance when she takes a job at an aircraft plant to help make ends meet after her husband goes off to war.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Christine Lahti, Fred Ward

Votes: 3,864 | Gross: $6.65M

A factory worker (Goldie Hawn) falls for a musician (Kurt Russell) while her husband is off at war. The actors first fell in love on the set of Swing Shift and began their 30+ year relationship.

16. The Neon Bible (1995)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama

60 Metascore

While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies | Stars: Jacob Tierney, Drake Bell, Gena Rowlands, Diana Scarwid

Votes: 725 | Gross: $0.03M

A young boy struggles with life on the home front in rural Georgia.

17. Goodnight, Mister Tom (1998 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, War

A shy and quiet World War II evacuee is housed by a disgruntled old man, and they soon develop a close bond.

Director: Jack Gold | Stars: John Thaw, Nick Robinson, Annabelle Apsion, Thomas Orange

Votes: 3,344

A bitter old man becomes close with an abused little boy after he is evacuated to the country to avoid the Blitz.

18. The Men (1950)

Passed | 85 min | Drama

A paralyzed war vet tries to adjust to the world without the use of his limbs.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Marlon Brando, Teresa Wright, Everett Sloane, Jack Webb

Votes: 3,874 | Gross: $7.10M

A wounded lieutenant (Marlon Brando) tries to adjust to life after becoming a paraplegic.

19. Land Girls (2009–2011)

225 min | Drama

Follow the lives, loves and highs and lows of four members of the Women's Land Army who are working at the Hoxley Estate during World War II.

Stars: Becci Gemmell, Susan Cookson, Mark Benton, Mykola Allen

Votes: 2,100

A group of English girls work the land to replace their enlisted male counterparts in this BBC drama.

20. Demob (1993– )

Comedy, Drama

Ian and Dick are two soldiers returning to peacetime Britain from WW2. They struggle to fit back into society, and get involved in various shady schemes.

Stars: Griff Rhys Jones, Martin Clunes, Amanda Redman, Samantha Womack

Votes: 56

Family man Ian (Griff Rhys Jones) joins his careless friend and fellow soldier (Martin Clunes) in a comedy career after WWII.

21. The Camomile Lawn (1992)

258 min | Drama, Romance, War

In 1939, young Oliver, Calypso, Polly and Walter visit friends and family in Cornwall. Spanish Civil War is over and WW2 has begun, so they enjoy their love life while they can. Decades later, they gather again, this time for a funeral.

Stars: Felicity Kendal, Claire Bloom, Jennifer Ehle, Richard Johnson

Votes: 690

A family experiences a new kind of sexual freedom during the unrestrained days of the war.

22. Housewife, 49 (2006 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, War

In the late 1930s Nella Last, a housewife aged 49, living in Barrow-in-Furness on the North West English coast,agrees to send details of her routine to the Mass observation project,a ... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Millar | Stars: Victoria Wood, David Threlfall, Christopher Harper, Ben Crompton

Votes: 632

A repressed housewife blossoms despite experiencing heartache during the war.

23. Doctor Finlay (1993–1996)

Not Rated | 60 min | Drama

Following his service in World War II, Dr. Finlay returns to the practice at Arden House, at a time when the National Health Service is about to be instituted.

Stars: David Rintoul, Annette Crosbie, Ian Bannen, Gordon Reid

Votes: 182

A small-town doctor adjusts to post-war life.

24. The Wizard of Loneliness (1988)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama

After his mother dies and father goes to fight in World War II, a young boy moves in with his aunt and uncle who live in the countryside. Lonely and unhappy, he starts believing he has super powers. Then a "dead" man shows up.

Director: Jenny Bowen | Stars: Lukas Haas, Lea Thompson, Alan Wright, Steve Hendrickson

Votes: 216 | Gross: $0.14M

A lonely little boy escapes into his fantasies to avoid the harsh realities of war.

25. Island at War (2004)

540 min | Drama, War

During the Second World War, a quiet channel island community is thrown into turmoil by the invasion forces of Nazi Germany.

Stars: Saskia Reeves, Owen Teale, Julia Ford, Clare Holman

Votes: 1,091

The inhabitants of the Channel Islands have to deal with both life on the home front and with being occupied by German forces.

26. Small Island (2009)

180 min | Drama

A gentle Jamaican woman reunited with her husband in post-World War II London encounters both racism and homesickness as she adjusts to her new life.

Stars: Naomie Harris, Hugh Quarshie, David Oyelowo, Roger Sloman

Votes: 1,167

Two couples encounter racial prejudice and hardship during World War II.

27. Coming Home (1998– )

101 min | Drama, Romance, War

Drama series about the Dunbar and Carey-Lewis families, before during and after WW2.

Stars: Joanna Lumley, Peter O'Toole, Gruschenka Stevens, Paul Bettany

Votes: 617

Disappointed in love, a girl (Emily Mortimer) enlists in the Royal Navy to escape her problems.

28. The Winds of War (1983)

883 min | Drama, Romance, War

The trials of the Henry and Jastrow families in the early years of World War II.

Stars: Robert Mitchum, Ali MacGraw, Jan-Michael Vincent, John Houseman

Votes: 3,325

When their patriarch (Robert Mitchum) is stationed in Germany, an American family becomes entangled in the war.

29. Sword of Honour (2001 TV Movie)

208 min | Drama, War

Guy Crouchback, heir to a declining English Roman Catholic family, returns to England from Italy at the start of World War II, and joins the Royal Corps of Halberdiers along with various ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Anderson | Stars: Will Adamsdale, Nick Bartlett, Christopher Benjamin, Jane Bertish

Votes: 694

During the midst of the war, Guy Crouchback (Daniel Craig) tries to rekindle romance between himself and his estranged wife Virginia (Megan Dodds).

30. Millions Like Us (1943)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, War

Categorised as a British World War II propaganda film this less known example is a superb work of morale-boosting films from mid World War 2. Well written and directed the film has a simple... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder | Stars: Patricia Roc, Gordon Jackson, Anne Crawford, Moore Marriott

Votes: 772

A young British girl works in an airplane factory during World War II.

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