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Old 12-12-2017, 01:34 AM   #31
Sailor Steve
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There's no favorite, but I want to mention Saving Private Ryan for the following reason.
That movie was a revolution.
I'm not arguing with you, just discussing different points of view. I didn't like the movie that much, because for me it started with one big cliché. The instant the soldier was saved by his helmet he took it off and stuck his finger in the hole. My immediate thought was "...wait for it...". When the medics were fighting to save the one soldier I guessed correctly that he was about to be hit in the head and killed. The whole D-Day sequence seemed that way to me, and from there it was all downhill.

My late friend Rocky loved the film, partly because his dad served on a couple of those extraction teams, and partly because his youngest uncle lied about his age and managed to join up at age 14, and one of those extraction teams tracked him down and brought him home.

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Compare this with the laughable shooting paratroopers of The Longest Day in the St. Mere-Eglise scene for example, it's almost a parody.
On the other hand, many years ago I showed The Longest Day to a young friend, one who had just seen Saving Private Ryan in the theatre, and after the scene with Pips Priller and wingman strafing soldiers on the beach his reaction was "Man, this is a bloody movie!" I had to point out that there was almost no blood in the movie. He said he hadn't noticed.
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...followed by Tora! Tora! Tora!, which is so incredible on so many levels.
My preferences tend toward movies that tell real events and leave out the bonus bogus crap. Which is why I love Tora! Tora! Tora! but hate Midway and especially Pearl Harbor and U-571.

On the other hand I would like to mention one of the most underrated war films of all time - Battleground (1949). It tells the story of the Battle of the Bulge, not from the commanders' viewpoint, but from that of a group of soldiers who are isolated by snow and fog and beset, not by marauding German troops, but by propaganda leaflets urging them to surrender and "American" soldiers they don't recognize and may or may not be the enemy, but they are never quite sure. It's an eye-opener for story-telling and surreal battle scenes, and one that no one should miss.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:53 AM   #32
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On the other hand I would like to mention one of the most underrated war films of all time - Battleground (1949).

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Old 12-18-2017, 09:47 AM   #33
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Only 2 war movies stood out for me, or are they anti war movies?

Unknown Soldier (Finland, both versions have their merits), despite me preferring the book it is still an honest look at what its like to be a guy in his 20's with little reason to admire his officers, and rather being more concerned about staying alive and keeping his sanity. The lack of a main character adds to the plausibility.

Das Boot. What's there to say? Just solid through and through.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:46 PM   #34
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Has anyone mentioned Lawrence Of Arabia, yet?...






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Old 12-18-2017, 06:30 PM   #35
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Oh man Lawrence of Arabia is my all time favorite. I can't count the number of times I've watched it and every time I still enjoy it.

I'm watching another oldie but goody on YouTube right now. 'Waterloo' (1970) with Rod Steiger, Orsen Wells, Christopher Plummer.

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Old 12-18-2017, 07:06 PM   #36
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When DVDs first came on the market, I looked forward to seeing LofA on DVD. There used to be a Tower Video store (part of Tower Records) on the Sunset Strip and there was a clerk there who was a big movie buff. After the first films on DVD started t arrive, I looked to see if LofA was among the releases. The clerk and I started a sort of routine: "LofA in yet?" "No, but Police Academy 3 (or some other low-scale film) just arrived..."; it seemed almost every other major and/or important film was being released, along with the dregs, except LofA...

I hope you got the chance to see it in a real theater on a real big screen. The first time I saw it was when it opened in 1962; the father of a classmate of mine was a projectionist at a major theater in downtown San Francisco and he invited me to tag along with his son to see the film; we watched the film form the projection booth (actually saw it twice that day) and I was hooked on the film ever since. The last time I saw it in a theater was a special showing at the Cinerama Dome theater in Hollywood a while back on a really big screen, 32 x 86 feet:





https://www.arclightcinemas.com/learn-more/dome-21


I've also viewed the film many, many times and it never gets old...







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Old 12-18-2017, 07:11 PM   #37
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^Yep a good one Waterloo.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:39 PM   #38
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Private Ryan was good, I think Band of Brothers was better: it lacked the pathos that Spielberg could not escape to throw in at the end, else was made with the same technical craftsmanship and is quite realistic, I assume, at least it is uncompromingly brutal. Also, their cast was a winner, very believably they borught their characters to life.

Completley different, more a meditation of the light and darkness in life, was The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick. That one really went through and into me like a bullet.

The old black and white German movie Die Brücke, bei Bernhard Wicki. Looks today as if it fell out of time, but still gets its message across.

I think one should at least differentiate between movies on war, which necessarily cannot be any comfortable, and (often adventure) movies whose plot takes place in times of a war. What an anti-war movie should be, I never really understood, although it took me some time to realise that lacking understanding of mine.

When I was young I saw sometimes quite good blakc and white Sovjet movies on the big war, in West Berin we had good receiving possibilties for GDR TV that boradcasted the originals, mostly in Russian sound with German subtitles. Some of them really were very good and poetic, not the propaganda broadside that ioen woudl expect when heareing "Sovjet movies". The Russians and Czechs made quite some good movies that I remember. My pity is I do not remember the titles. - Of course, like in Hollywood there also was a lot of shallow, stereotypical propaganda stuff produced in the USSR. I often switched off or changed the channel as well. But some Russian war movies really were good, fragile, humane. If only I would know those titles. Three or four movies on my mind. I fear they are lost in time to me.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:55 PM   #39
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Unfortunately I never was able to see Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen, I can only imagine how awe-inspiring some of those panoramic scenes of the desert must of been. I envy you, getting to see that movie where it was meant to be seen.

I think the first time I saw was in early '70's on AF(a)RTS when we were living in the Panama Canal Zone. I got the DVD years ago and still have it tucked away watching it at least once a year.

Waterloo was good, next up, ZULU!
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:59 PM   #40
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next up, ZULU!
Don't jump the gun, this one first..

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Old 12-18-2017, 08:08 PM   #41
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Unfortunately I never was able to see Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen, I can only imagine how awe-inspiring some of those panoramic scenes of the desert must of been. I envy you, getting to see that movie where it was meant to be seen.

I think the first time I saw was in early '70's on AF(a)RTS when we were living in the Panama Canal Zone. I got the DVD years ago and still have it tucked away watching it at least once a year.

Waterloo was good, next up, ZULU!
At the time LofA came out, it was one of the longest movies ever released and all those scenes of arid, vast deserts made the run on the concession stands during intermission a race to get to the drinks first. It was either Bob Hope or Johnny Carson who gave a succinct review of the film: "Four hours in a sand trap"...






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Old 12-19-2017, 02:48 AM   #42
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Default "Kings of the Sun" = 1963.

"A thousand years ago" eh? Seems like only yesterday.



Without giving too much of the plot away, Balaam battles 3 enemies.

Namely himself, his nemesis Huanac Kel, and everyone's favorite bald guy Yul Brynner.

Great battle scene, apparently a lot of guys were sadly hurt/killed during the filming.
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