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Films depicting or taking place during times of war

Notable Works

  • 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


Memorial Day Alternative, by Butler Shaffer, 16 May 2007
Short summaries of anti-war films with rankings (as a number of *'s [1-3]) in terms of importance
Memorial Day is one holiday on which I often hold an 'Anti-War Film Festival' ... Some of the films I find most effective ... 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
[T]he following 10 war films touch on modern warfare (from the First World War onward) and run the gamut of conflicts and human emotions and center on the core issues often at work in the nasty business of war. 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 (as a number of *'s [1-3]) in terms of importance, follow-up to "Memorial Day Alternative"
... a number of anti-war films to be watched over the Memorial Day weekend ... I regard each as a worthy criticism of the war system ... Why We Fight ... Children of Men ... Breaker Morant ... Three Kings ... Platoon ... Full Metal Jacket ... Lord of War ... A Very Long Engagement ... The Battle of Algiers ... Duck Soup ... Hearts and Minds ... Grand Illusion ... Das Boot ... Letters From Iwo Jima ... Buying the War ... SPIN: The Art of Selling War ...