Films depicting or taking place during times of war

War film is a film genre concerned with warfare, typically about naval, air or land battles, with combat scenes central to the drama. It has been strongly associated with the 20th century. The fateful nature of battle scenes means that war films often end with them. Themes explored include combat, survival and escape, camaraderie between soldiers, sacrifice, the futility and inhumanity of battle, the effects of war on society and the moral and human issues raised by war. War films are often categorized by their milieu, such as the Korean War; the most popular subject is the Second World War. The stories told may be fiction, historical drama or biographical. Critics have noted similarities between the Western and the war film.

  • All Quiet on the Western Front - 1930 Oscar-winning movie about what was then called the Great War
  • Americanization of Emily, The - 1964 Oscar-nominated film written by Paddy Chayefsky
  • Breaker Morant - 1980 movie about the court martial of "Breaker" Morant and subordinates during the Second Boer War
  • Bridge on the River Kwai, The - 1957 Oscar-winning movie starring Alec Guiness and William Holden
  • Dr. Strangelove - 1964 Cold War satire film directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • Gallipoli - 1981 movie about two young Australians during World War I
  • Paths of Glory - 1957 Stanley Kubrick film starring Kirk Douglas, set in France during World War I
  • Quiet American, The - 2002 Philip Noyce movie about a British journalist witness to early CIA involvement in Vietnam
  • Sand Pebbles, The - 1966 film revolving about an American gunboat in China during 1926
  • Shenandoah - 1965 movie about life in the middle of the American War Between the States
  • Why We Fight - 2005 documentary, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival

Articles

Memorial Day Alternative, by Butler Shaffer, 16 May 2007
Short summaries of anti-war films with rankings in terms of importance
"Memorial Day is one holiday on which I often hold an 'Anti-War Film Festival,' ... Joyeux Noel ... The King of Hearts ... Paths of Glory ... Oh! What a Lovely War ... Johny Got His Gun ... The Mouse That Roared ... All Quiet on the Western Front ... The Deer Hunter ... Gallipoli ... Shenandoah ... Catch-22 ... Slaughterhouse-Five ... Dr. Strangelove ... Wag the Dog ... The Quiet American ... Aftermath: The Remnants of War ... The Americanization of Emily ..."
Memorializing the Horrors of War with 10 Must-See War Films, by John W. Whitehead, 27 May 2016
Comments on the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and on more recent wars, then suggests ten films that focus on "the nasty business of war"; ends by contrasting Obama's and Martin Luther King's Nobel Peace Prize speeches
"The Third Man (1949) ... Paths of Glory (1957) ... The Manchurian Candidate (1962) ... Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964) ... The Deer Hunter (1978) ... Apocalypse Now (1979) ... Platoon (1986) ... Full Metal Jacket (1987) ... Jacob’s Ladder (1990) ... Jarhead (2005)"
More Anti-War Films, by Butler Shaffer, 21 May 2007
More short summaries of anti-war films with rankings in terms of importance, follow-up to "Memorial Day Alternative"
"... a number of anti-war films to be watched over the Memorial Day weekend ... Why We Fight ... Children of Men ... Breaker Morant ... Platoon ... Full Metal Jacket ... A Very Long Engagement ... The Battle of Algiers ... Duck Soup ... Hearts and Minds ... Grand Illusion ... Das Boot ... Letters From Iwo Jima ..."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "War film" as of 13 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.