In honor of Memorial Day, we thought we’d share some of our favorite war movies with you. Great war movies capture the struggle and suffering of combat and remind us of the sacrifices others have made so we can live free.
Widely considered one of George C. Scott’s best film performances, his opening monologue as General Patton with an enormous American flag behind him, remains an iconic and often quoted image in film. The film was a success, won 7 Oscars out of many other nominations, and has become an American classic.
Scott won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1971. He famously refused to accept it, citing a dislike of the voting and even the actual concept of acting competitions.He was the first actor to do so, but certainly not the last.
Made in 1986, Platoon is the story of the Vietnam War. The film was written by Oliver Stone and is based on his experience in the war. The film’s main character is Chris Taylor, a college drop-out who volunteered for duty in the Vietnam War and is forced to face the horrors and morality of war.
Full Metal Jacket was produced in 1987 and is also about a group of marines in the Vietnam War. The main character of the film is Private Joker. The first half of the film details the Marine’s experience in boot camp, and the second half follows the marines throughout their time in Vietnam.
The film’s opening has been called one of the most true-to-life war dramatizations ever made. Saving Private Ryan is the story of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, and their struggle to find and return Pvt. James Francis Ryan home safely, after his mother requested after she received word her other three sons had been killed in combat during WWII.
On October 3, 1993, 100 Army Rangers dropped down into the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia, on a mission to capture two top Somali warlord lieutenants. A gun fight between the rangers and Somalis erupted. Two Black Hawk Helicopters were shot down. Black Hawk Down tells the story of the Army Rangers who worked to save those stuck on board the helicopters.
The Thin Red Line focuses on the battle of Guadalcanal during WWII, and its effects on Japan’s advancement into the Pacific. The men start off fighting the war and end up simply fighting for survival.
U.S. Army Captain Willard is sent to find renegade Green Beret Walter Kurtz, who has taken up residence somewhere in the heart of Cambodia, and assassinate him.
This 1977 film is about a failed mission to gain control of bridges during WWII in the hope of ending the war.
The Dirty Dozen is about a Major with a serious attitude, charged with training death row prisoners for dangerous missions during the second World War.
All of the movies previewed here are available at Amazon. To purchase any of the movies above, click on the movie’s title.
Drivers, what are your favorite war movies?