Well, we’ve done Romance. And we’ve done Sci-Fi. So hows about my top ten war films of all time?
Obviously, no laughing matter.
But neither are Sci-Fi films if you live in my head. (They’re all true, you know.)
Here are mine – I’d love to hear yours:
Stalingrad: As told from the Germans’ point of view. Soldiers on the edge of the abyss. Horrific. (And my grandad fought there too. On t’other side, mind.)
The Deer Hunter. War has a lasting impression. A deep, psychological impression. But the bond of kinship is stronger.
Who could forget, Colonel Kurtz? A fucked-up soldier in a fucked-up war. And Martin Sheen is on his case as the US assassin. “The horror.”
Okay, a bit of a Hollywood epic. Still a great movie for its grasp of the complete and utter failure of a mission. And a true story.
Hamburger Hill. Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination. But what I like about this film is the absolute futility of war. It was this or Kubrik’s Full Metal Jacket. (Or Paintlater’s Three Kings.)
Probably one of the best war stories ever told. How many should die to save one man? Could’ve done without the ‘book-ends’ in my book.
You didn’t think I’d forget Platoon, did you? As usual, the only people to get screwed are those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. A masterpiece in social microcosm.
It’s the Russian version of Hamburger Hill. A forlorn company tries to hold out against a horde of Afghan liberators. And when I say ‘horde’, we’re talking ‘Zulu’ territory.
Another one from Germany’s point of view. But this time made in Hollywood. James Coburn shows his commanding officer just what it takes to win the coveted Cross of Iron.
And … the Oscar goes to … my all-time favourite: The Thin Red Line.
An absolute masterpiece of poetry and war by Terence Malick. How nature, life, love and war de-harmonise in the Pacific.
Not exhaustive by any stretch. And I’m sure I’ve forgotten loads. I’m sure ‘All quiet on the western front’ might get a few votes.
Feel free to suggest your faves.