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The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time (part 2)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Director: William Wyler Writers: Robert E. Sherwood (screen play), MacKinlay Kantor (from a novel by) Stars: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy Fred, Al and Homer are three World War II veterans facing difficulties as they re-enter civilian life. Fred (Dana Andrews) is a war hero who, unable to compete with more highly skilled workers, has to return to his low-wage soda jerk job. Bank executive Al (Fredric March) gets into trouble for offering favorable loans to veterans. After losing both hands in the war, Homer (Harold Russell) returns to his loving fiancee, but must struggle to adjust.
Rome, Open City (1945) Director: Roberto Rossellini Writers: Sergio Amidei (screenplay), Federico Fellini (collaboration on screenplay) Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero Rome, 1944. Giorgio Manfredi, one of the leaders of the Resistance is tracked down by the Nazis. He goes to his friend Francesco's, and asks Pina, Francesco's fiance, for help. Pina must warn a priest, Don Pietro Pellegrini, that Giorgio needs to leave the town as soon as possible.
The Imitation Game (2014) Director: Morten Tyldum Writers: Graham Moore, Andrew Hodges (book) Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode In 1939, newly created British intelligence agency MI6 recruits Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Nazi codes, including Enigma -- which cryptanalysts had thought unbreakable. Turing's team, including Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), analyze Enigma messages while he builds a machine to decipher them. Turing and team finally succeed and become heroes, but in 1952, the quiet genius encounters disgrace when authorities reveal he is gay and send him to prison.
Patton (1970) Director: Franklin J. Schaffner Writers: Francis Ford Coppola (screen story and screenplay), Edmund H. North (screen story and screenplay) Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young Biography of controversial World War II hero General George S. Patton. The film covers his wartime activities and accomplishments, beginning with his entry into the North African campaign and ending with his removal from command after his outspoken criticism of US post-war military strategy.
Empire of the Sun (1987) Director: Steven Spielberg Writers: J.G. Ballard (novel), Tom Stoppard (screenplay Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson Jamie Graham (Christian Bale), a privileged English boy, is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners into prison camps. Jamie is captured with an American sailor named Basie (John Malkovich), who looks out for him while they are in the camp together. Even though he is separated from his parents and in a hostile environment, Jamie maintains his dignity and youthful spirits, providing a beacon of hope for the others held captive with him.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas(2008) Director: Mark Herman Writers: John Boyne (novel), Mark Herman (screenplay) Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend During World War II, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father (David Thewlis) has just become commandant. Unhappy and lonely, he wanders out behind his house one day and finds Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), a Jewish boy of his age. Though the barbed-wire fence of the camp separates them, the boys begin a forbidden friendship, oblivious to the real nature of their surroundings.
The Dirty Dozen (1967) Director: Robert Aldrich Writers: Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Lukas Heller (screenplay) Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson As D-Day approaches, Colonel Breed hands the roguish Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) an important assignment: He must train a team of soldiers to parachute across enemy lines and assassinate German personnel at a French chateau. The soldiers, recruited from murderers, rapists and criminals on death row, are promised commuted sentences. In spite of their history, the 12 men prove a spirited and courageous unit. Led by Major Reisman, they will exact revenge.
From Here to Eternity (1953) Director: Fred Zinnemann Writers: Daniel Taradash (screen play), James Jones (based upon the novel by) Stars: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr At an Army barracks in Hawaii in the days preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, lone-wolf soldier and boxing champion "Prew" Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) refuses to box, preferring to play the bugle instead. Hard-hearted Capt. Holmes (Philip Ober) subjects Prew to a grueling series of punishments while, unknown to Holmes, the gruff but fair Sgt. Warden (Burt Lancaster) engages in a clandestine affair with the captain's mistreated wife (Deborah Kerr).
The Longest Day (1962) Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton Writers: Cornelius Ryan (screenplay), Cornelius Ryan (book) Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton In 1944, the U.S. Army and Allied forces plan a huge invasion landing in Normandy, France. Despite bad weather, General Eisenhower gives the okay and the Allies land at Normandy. General Norma Cota (Robert Mitchum) travels with his men onto Omaha Beach. With much effort, and lost life, they get off the beach, traveling deep into French territory. The German military, due to arrogance, ignorance and a sleeping Adolf Hitler, delay their response to the Allied landing, with crippling results.
The Last Emperor (1987) Director: Bernardo Bertolucci Writers: Mark Peploe (screenplay), Bernardo Bertolucci (screenplay Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole This sweeping account of the life of Pu Yi (John Lone), the last emperor of China, follows the leader's tumultuous reign. After being captured by the Red Army as a war criminal in 1950, Pu Yi recalls his childhood from prison. He remembers his lavish youth in the Forbidden City, where he was afforded every luxury but unfortunately sheltered from the outside world and complex political situation surrounding him. As revolution sweeps through China, the world Pu Yi knew is dramatically upended.
Where Eagles Dare (1968) Director: Brian G. Hutton Writers: Alistair MacLean (story), Alistair MacLean (screenplay) Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure A crack team of Allied soldiers stages a daring rescue during World War II. A U.S. general is being held captive in an imposing castle fort, high in the Bavarian Alps. The audacious plan calls for Lt. Schaffer (Clint Eastwood), Maj. Smith (Richard Burton) and other operatives to parachute down wearing Nazi disguises. They'll penetrate the mountain outpost while undercover operatives assist them from within. But their mission changes when they discover that there's a traitor in their midst.
The Thin Red Line (1998) Director: Terrence Malick Writers: James Jones (novel), Terrence Malick (screenplay) Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte In 1942, Private Witt (Jim Caviezel) is a U.S. Army absconder living peacefully with the locals of a small South Pacific island. Discovered by his commanding officer, Sgt. Welsh (Sean Penn), Witt is forced to resume his active duty training for the Battle of Guadalcanal. As Witt and his unit land on the island, and the American troops mount an assault on entrenched Japanese positions, the story explores their various fates and attitudes towards life-or-death situations.
Enemy at the Gates (2001) Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud Writers: Jean-Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes Vassili (Jude Law) is a young Russian sharpshooter who becomes a legend when a savvy polical officer (Joseph Fiennes) makes him the hero of his propaganda campaign. Their friendship is threatened when both men fall in love with a beautiful female soldier (Rachel Weisz). As the battle for the city rages, Vassili faces the ultimate challenge when the Nazi command dispatches its most elite marksman (Ed Harris) to hunt down and kill the man who has become the hope of all Russia.
The Guns of Navarone (1961) Director: J. Lee Thompson Writers: Alistair MacLean (novel) (as Alistair Maclean) , Carl Foreman (written for the screen by) Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn In 1943, a small commando team is sent to destroy huge German guns on the Greek Island of Navarone in order to rescue Allied troops trapped on Kheros. Led by British Major Franklin (Anthony Quayle), the team includes American Mallory (Gregory Peck), Greek resistance fighter Stavros (Anthony Quinn) and reluctant explosives expert Miller. Facing impossible odds, the men battle stormy seas and daunting cliffs. When Franklin is injured, Mallory takes command, and personal enmities spill over.
Stalingrad (1993) Director: Joseph Vilsmaier Writers: Jurgen Buscher, Johannes Heide Stars: Dominique Horwitz, Thomas Kretschmann, Sebastian Rudolph Stalingrad is a 1993 war drama film directed by Joseph Vilsmaier. The movie follows a platoon of World War II German Army soldiers transferred to Russia, where they ultimately find themselves participants in the Battle of Stalingrad.
Valkyrie (2008) Director: Bryan Singer Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) serves Germany with loyalty and pride but fears that Hitler will destroy his country if allowed to run unchecked. With time running out for Germany and the rest of Europe, von Stauffenberg joins a group of like-minded, high-ranking men who want to overthrow the Nazi regime from within. With everything he holds dear in the balance, von Stauffenberg becomes the trigger man in a plot to assassinate the evil dictator.
Fury (2014) Director: David Ayer Writer: David Ayer Stars: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman In April 1945, the Allies are making their final push in the European theater. A battle-hardened Army sergeant named Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt), leading a Sherman tank and a five-man crew, undertakes a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Hopelessly outnumbered, outgunned and saddled with an inexperienced soldier (Logan Lerman) in their midst, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds as they move to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
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