The Minivers, an English “middle-class” family experience life in the first months of World War II. While dodging bombs, the Minivers’ son courts Lady Beldon’s granddaughter. A rose is named after Mrs. Miniver and entered in the competition against Lady Beldon’s rose.
Hearts and Minds (1974) Peter Davis, Dwight D. Eisenhower, William Marshall, Georges Bidault, Documentary, War
This film recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Vietnam War using archival news footage as well as its own film and interviews. A key theme is how attitudes of American racism and self-righteous militarism helped create and prolong this bloody conflict. The film also endeavors to give voice to the Vietnamese people themselves as to how the war has affected them and their reasons why they fight the United States and other western powers while showing the basic humanity of the people that US propaganda tried to dismiss.
Richard III (1955) Laurence Olivier, Cedric Hardwicke, Nicholas Hannen, Biography, Drama, History, War
Richard’s military skills have helped to put his older brother Edward on the throne of England. But jealousy and resentment cause Richard to seek the crown for himself, and he conceives a lengthy and carefully calculated plan using deception, manipulation, and outright murder to achieve his goal. His plotting soon has tumultuous consequences, both for himself and for England.
Hitler’s Last Train / Train spécial pour SS (1977) Alain Payet, Monica Swinn, Christine Aurel, Sandra Mozarowsky, Drama, Thriller, War, Erotic
Krzyzacy / Black Cross (1960) Aleksander Ford, Urszula Modrzynska, Grazyna Staniszewska, Andrzej Szalawski, Adventure, Drama, History, Romance, War
Also known as Knights of the Teutonic Order, this historic epic is set in 15th-century Poland, during the time of the Teutonic invasion. Danusia (Grazyna Staniszewska), daughter of warrior Jurandt (Andrzej Szalawski), is in love with firebrand Zbyszko (Mieczylaw Kalenik). Zbyszko has sworn to avenge the death of Danusia’s mother at the hands of the invaders. When he is captured by the Teutonic hordes, it is Danusia who comes to his rescue. Shortly thereafter, Danusia and Jurandt are captured and tortured. Zbyszko embarks upon a long odyssey to rescue his beloved, but by the time he finds her, she has been driven insane. After three hours’ worth of Knights of the Black Cross (Polish title: Krzyzacy), the viewer might also feel a little touched in the head.
What Price Glory (1952) John Ford, James Cagney, Corinne Calvet, Dan Dailey, Comedy, Drama, Musical, War
In 1918 France, Captain Flagg commands a disreputable company of Marines; his new top sergeant is his old friendly enemy, Quirt. The two men become rivals for the favors of fair innkeeper’s daughter Charmaine, but the rivalry goes into reverse when Charmaine proves to be angling for a husband. When the company is ordered to the front, this comedy interlude gives way to the grim realities of war.
Cross of Iron (1977) Sam Peckinpah, James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, Action, Drama, War
With too much action to be lumped with “antiwar” films, and too little pro-war sentiment to satisfy the bloodthirsty, this highly individualistic treatment of a wartime situation by director Sam Peckinpah was initially given a cold shoulder by critics and is based on a novel by Willi Heinrich. The story concerns Steiner (James Coburn), an ordinary soldier in the German armies, fighting on the Russian front in 1943, who has won an Iron Cross for bravery. However, his main loyalty is to his fellow soldiers and his family – not Hitler, and certainly not the army, with its hierarchy of honors. Into his life appears a new company commander, Captain Stransky (Maximilian Schell), a true believer and army man, who would give almost anything for an Iron Cross. The captain’s obstacle in obtaining this badge of honor is that he is an abject coward. Stransky’s attempt to win Steiner to his side by promoting him to Sergeant is doomed to failure, and the conflict between them escalates from there.
Angels One Five (1952) George More O’Ferrall, Jack Hawkins, Michael Denison, Andrew Osborn, Drama, War
The summer of 1940, Pilot Officer T.B. Baird arrives straight out of flight school to join a front line RAF squadron at the height of the Battle of Britain. After an unfortunate start and a drumming down from his commanding officer, Baird (nicknamed ‘Septic’ due to his initials) must balance the struggle to impress his Group Captain, regain his pride, fit in with his fellow squadron mates, and survive one of the most intense air battles in history. This is the story of just one of “The Few” and how they managed to fight off the might of the Luftwaffe, despite overwhelming German air power.