VideoHound's War Movies: Classic Conflict on Film. If you are at all interested in war movies, then get this book. In over 600 pages it reviews 201 movies, every important film from the beginning of time through more recent films like Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line. It is organized by historical time periods and countries so you can find all the World War II films or all the Vietnam films in one place. Mostly American movies, with a few fine films from other countries included.
Indexed by movie type, cast members, title, writer etc. Complete details of the plot along with one or more stills from each movie, plus a lot of interesting supplemental material. Click cover image to order.
This page is an abbreviated list of some of the finest war movies of all time, classics that continue to entertain, teach and inspire. Each table entry below gives basic information about the recommended video. Click on the picture of the video to go to the page in Amazon.com for full details and ordering information for that video.
Note: the link is to the standard DVD version of the movie, if available. Amazon's listings include other formsts or use Amazon's Search to find the other versions if you are interested. Most of these are also available for streaming directly to your video viewing screen as an Amazon Instant Video rental.
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Recommended Military Videos
Apocalypse Now. Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando. Director: Francis Ford Coppola. Runtime: 153 minutes. Sweeping, surreal, still-controversial Vietnam war epic. Many hail it as a masterpiece of emotional storytelling; others call it too cerebral and overlong. Required for fans of offbeat, thought-provoking war dramas. (1979)
Battleground. Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak. Director: William Wellman. Runtime: 118 minutes. All-star cast fights Battle of the Bulge in this slick, Oscar-winning war drama. Essential for lovers of war films.(1949)
The Big Red One. Stars: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill. Director: Samuel Fuller. Runtime: 113 minutes. Sweeping, richly detailed biopic about WWII infantry squad and its daring sergeant. With its fast-paced action, gritty atmospherics, and abundant violence, this appeals to war/adventure film fans, history buffs. (1980)
The Bridge on the River Kwai. Stars: Alec Guinness, William Holden. Director: David Lean. Runtime: 164 minutes. Acclaimed WWII drama about British P.O.W.s forced to construct railway bridge in Asian jungle. This epic is regarded as one of the all-time great war films. Must-see for classics buffs. (1957)
A Bridge Too Far. Stars: Dirk Bogarde, James Caan. Director: Richard Attenborough. Runtime: 183 minutes. WWII suspense/action film about Allied troop drop behind German lines. Though lengthy, somewhat plodding, it appeals to classic war movie buffs, who'll appreciate all-star cast, high production values, epic sweep. (1962)
The Day The Earth Stood Still. Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal. Director: Robert Wise. Runtime: 88 minutes. Much-loved sci-fi and Cold War classic about alien warning against nuclear explosions. Has acclaimed performances, compelling character development, moody feel. Considered by critics a masterpiece, this genre-bender holds wide appeal. Includes great footage of US Army responding to the saucer invasion with vintage trucks, jeeps, armor and artillery. (1951)
Desert Fox. James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke Director: Henry Hathaway. Runtime: 88 minutes. Big-budget biopic about famed German general's defeat and disillusionment. Notable for Mason's bravura performance as the wily tank commander Erwin Rommel. Compelling viewing for WWII buffs, fans of powerhouse character portraits. (1951)
Everyman's War. Starring Cole Carson and Michael J. Prosser, directed by Thad Smith. Based on actual events of the 94th Infantry during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-45, the film explores the soldiers' lives before the war and their heroic action during the battle. (2010)
Fixed Bayonets. Cast: Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Craig Hill, Richard Hylton, Michael O'Shea and a bit part by unknown James Dean. Director: Samuel Fuller. Set in Korea, this 1951 film is Fuller's second on the Korean War (see Steel Helmet). There is no nonsense or wasted motion, its all about staying alive in combat and doing what has to be done to survive. This was the first film to show the rigors of war in the icy Korean mountains where casualties from frostbite were as bad as from enemy fire.
Full Metal Jacket. Stars: Matthew Modine, Arliss Howard .Director: Stanley Kubrick. Runtime: 116 minutes. Gritty Vietnam drama follows cynical Marine from brutal boot camp to the bloody Tet offensive. Critics praised this tough movie's rich characters. Appealing for war drama fans seeking gritty authenticity. (1987)
To Hell and Back. Stars: Audie Murphy, Marshall Thompson. Director: Jesse Hibbs. Runtime: 106 minutes. This film dramatizes the experiences of Audie Murphy, America's most decorated WWII soldier. Murphy travels across the globe and performs heroically everywhere he goes. (1955)
The Longest Day. Stars: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum. Director: Ken Annakin. Runtime: 179 minutes. Epic-length, Hollywood-style war/adventure film chronicling the Allied invasion of Normandy. Classic war movie lovers will be thrilled with this quintessential genre offering, featuring an all-star cast. (1962)
MacArthur. Stars: Gregory Peck, Ivan Bonar. Director: Joseph Sargent. Runtime: 130 minutes. The military life of General Douglas MacArthur from WWII through the Korean War. (1977)
Patton. Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden. Director: Franklin J. Schaffner. Runtime: 171 minutes. Sprawling, epic-length biographical war drama about charismatic WWII general. Well-received, acclaimed film features strong performances by lead stars, is a must-see. (1970)
Platoon. Stars: Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe. Director: Oliver Stone. Runtime: 113 minutes. Gritty, realistic portrait of war is considered by some the most important Vietnam movie. Must-see for war movie fans; drama lovers also enjoy for its strong character development, social commentary. (1986)
Sands of Iwo Jima. Stars: John Wayne, John Agar. Director: Alan Dwan. Runtime: 110 minutes. Tough Marine sergeant leads group of raw recruits on historic Iwo Jima invasion in this highly popular, influential WWII drama. This John Wayne vehicle is an entertaining must-see for war movie buffs. (1949)
Saving Private Ryan. Stars: Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore. Director: Steven Spielberg. (Two tape set). The most realistic depiction of battle ever to appear in a major studio film -- it leaves the audience stunned and with a new or renewed understanding of the sacrifices veterans made. An unparalleled view of war as hell, it puts all of us at Omaha Beach as troops are slaughtered by Germans, yet overcome the almost insurmountable odds. (1998)
Steel Helmet. Cast: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie, James Edwards. Director: Samuel Fuller. Set in Korea, this 1951 film shows the gritty reality of war based on Fuller's own experiences during WW II in North Africa and Europe. Made on a small budget and little known, Steel Helmet is one of the best war movies ever made. The story of a squad of misfits, it comes to grips with realities of war and of American society of the time. Its minimalist production and unshaven, slovenly GI characters make it more like a documentary than fiction. See also Fixed Bayonets.
If you don't find what you want in the Olive-Drab.com list of military videos you can search Amazon.com for any military book or video, new or used, or any other Amazon item. The total number of books in existence is about 65 million, and Amazon's amazing inventory includes a lot of them, along with thousands of movies. Amazon.com also now includes CDs with military manuals or other government publications plus their site links to third party sellers with used copies of out of print volumes. Give Amazon.com a try, no matter what you are looking for -- you will rarely be disappointed.