Monday, December 7, 2009

Ten Favorite WORLD WAR II Movies

Below are ten of my top favorite movies about World War II. You will not find excellent movies like "SAVING PRIVATE RYAN" on this list. It is not about the best of World War II movies and miniseries. This is merely a list of my favorites:

My Ten Favorite WORLD WAR II Movies

1. "Band of Brothers" (2001) - This ten-part miniseries produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg is probably the best World War II production I have ever seen. This is one saga that will be hard to top.

2. "Kelly's Heroes" (1970) - Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland and Don Rickles starred in this great comedy adventure about a bank heist by a U.S. Army platoon in World War II France.

3. ""Valkyrie" (2008) - Bryan Singer directed this superb World War II thriller about the last conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Tom Cruise stars as the main conspirator, Claus von Stauffenberg. Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Kenneth Branaugh and Terence Stamp give excellent support.

4. "Inglourious Basterds" (2009) - Quentin Tarantino struck gold at the box office, last summer, in this fascinating and well written tale about two attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944 Nazi-occupied Paris. Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender and Mélanie Laurent co-starred.

5. "The Longest Day" (1962) - Darryl Zanuck produced this all-star extravaganza in 1962, about the Allied Normandy landings. Not even the sprawling production and cameo of stars could overwhelm this exciting tale filled with personal stories about the landing.

6. "Pearl Harbor" (2001) - Upon learning that Michael Bay would directing this movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor and Doolittle's Raid, I did not think it would amount to much. But despite some hokey acting by the supporting cast and the occasional MTV-style camera work, I found this movie surprisingly entertaining and a favorite of mine.

7. "Defiance" (2008) - Ed Zwick's World War II tale about three Jewish brothers from Poland leading a resistance against their Nazi conquerors. Filled with delicious moral ambiguity, the movie starred Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell.

8. "Hope and Glory" (1987) - I love this John Boorman comedy-drama about a British family struggling to survive the first two years of the war. This Oscar-nominated movie starred Sarah Miles.

9. "A Bridge Too Far" (1977) - Directed by Richard Attenborough, this 1977 movie told the story of the unsuccessful Operation Market Garden campaign in September 1944. Excellent movie with exceptional performances by Anthony Hopkins, Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal and Gene Hackman.

10. "Operation Petticoat" (1959) - Directed by Blake Edwards, this excellent 1959 comedy told the story about the crew of a Navy submarine during the month following the Pearl Harbor attack. Starred Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.

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