The Consensus 100 Greatest War Movies

May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#31
74. Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal (Scipione L'Africano) (1937)

SYNOPSIS: "Scipio Africanus" is an epic that covers the last campaign of the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage. It covers the events leading up to and including the Battle of Zama. The main character is the famous Roman general who won that battle. Hannibal is his foe.

BACK-STORY: "Scipione L'Africano" was a propaganda extravaganza commissioned by Benito Mussolini to fire up Italians for the upcoming conquest of the new Roman Empire. It was produced by his twenty-one year old son Vittorio, but we can assume daddy was very hands-on. It was the most expensive Italian movie up to then as Benito spared no expense. It paid off as the movie won the Mussolini Cup at the Venice Film Festival. That must have been a shocker!

TRIVIA: Wikipedia, imdb, ihffilm.com

1. Mussolini "persuaded" the Italian army to donate a division of soldiers as extras. The division was subsequently sent to participate in the Spanish Civil War.
2. Up to 50 elephants were used in the production. Some of the elephants were killed in the shooting. One of them took a spear in the eye.
3. It had one of the earliest uses of zoom lenses.
4. It was the most expensive Italian film up till then.
5. If you look closely, you can see some of the legionaries wearing wristwatches.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey's = 4.0
Video Hound = N/A
War Movies = N/A
Military History = #56
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no


OPINION: "Scipio Africanus" is not well known and is hard to find. It's worth the trouble if you can find it. It is definitely a spectacle. For a silent movie, it holds up well. It is probably seeded properly at #74. I can assure you it is better than some movies ahead of it. The key strength is the historical accuracy. As a huge Scipio fan, I can attest to the movie getting the highlights of the Battle of Zama correct. I did not expect it to be worthy of the man, but I was wrong.
 
Likes: BuckBradley
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#32
73. Ministry of Fear

SYNOPSIS: The movie is set in Britain during the Blitz. A Brit (Ray Milland) straight out of an insane asylum (for the murder of his wife) gets caught up in intrigue in WWII England when he accidentally acquires an item of value to spies. Going from pursued to pursuer, he tracks down a Nazi spy ring and finds love in the process.

BACK-STORY: “Ministry of Fear” is a classic film noir by the acclaimed Fritz Lang. It was based on the novel of Graham Greene which is noirier than the screenplay. The movie was released in 1944 and is black and white. It is partly Lang’s reaction to Nazis dominance of Europe. Lang, a German, had been offered a job in the Ministry of Propaganda by Josef Goebbels and immediately fled from Germany.

TRIVIA: imdb

1. Lang was disappointed with film because he felt the script differed too much from Greene’s book (see #3), but he was not allowed to tamper with it. This was because the screenwriter was also the producer.
2. The McGuffin is a cake.
3. The main character in the book is much more tormented with guilt over his wife’s death and it is more clearly murder. The romance is also less idyllic. She is a spy and he is a murderer.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey’s = 4.0
Video Hound = N/A
War Movies = N/A
Military History = #53
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no

OPINION: Sadly, “Ministry of Fear” is nothing special. It is not a great war movie and it is not even great film noir. The acting is satisfactory, but not up to the great film noir classics. The plot has holes and bizarre aspects, but you expect that from film noir. It does not belong on this list.
 
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#33
72. Colonel Redl (1985)

SYNOPSIS: Col. Redl (Klaus Maria Brandauer) is a closet Jew and homosexual who rises through the Austrian army pre-WWI by ratting out any comrades who are less than enthusiastic with the monarchy and the army. He is appointed head of military intelligence where his ambitious ferreting can flower. Ironically, he gets ensnared in his own game.

BACK-STORY: “Colonel Redl” is a Hungarian film directed by Istvan Szabo. It was the second in a trilogy and came after the acclaimed “Mephisto”. It is based on a British play by John Osborne entitled “A Patriot For Me”. The movie won the Jury Prize at Cannes, was chosen Best Foreign Film at the BAFTAs, and was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. The movie was hardly shown in America and made just $2,357 in one week at one theater.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey’s = 4.0
Video Hound = N/A
War Movies = N/A
Military History = #50
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no

OPINION: “Colonel Redl” is overrated at #72. It is interesting, but not special. It is an interesting movie, but predictable. The themes that power corrupts and ambition is bad have been explored ad infinitum. There is little that is outstanding about the film. The strength of the movie is the acting. Brandauer is excellent as Redl. His portrayal of a tormented man is mesmerizing. His performance is the main reason to watch the movie.
 
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#34
71. The Third Man

SYNOPSIS: "The Third Man" is set in post- WWII Vienna. An American novelist (Joseph Cotton) visits to see a childhood friend (Orson Welles). He finds out the friend is dead, but the circumstances are suspicious. He hooks up with his friend's girl. He finds out that his friend was a racketeer responsible for selling tainted penicillin on the black market. The authorities are still looking for the charismatic profiteer which culminates in a famous chase through the sewers.

BACK-STORY: “The Third Man” is a classic film noir released in 1949. It foreshadowed the boom in that genre in America in the 50s. It is a British film, however. It was directed by the acclaimed Carol Reed and is considered his greatest film. The screenplay is by Graham Greene. The British Film Institute in 1999 designated it the greatest British film of the 20th Century. It was awarded the top prize at Cannes and won an Academy Award for Cinematography (a no-brainer) and was nominated for Director and Editing. It was set and filmed in Vienna, including the scenes in its famous sewer system. The remarkable score is done with a musical instrument called a “zither”. The opening theme (“The Third Man Theme”) was an international hit. The movie was a hit with both critics and audiences. The rumors that Orson Welles actually directed are not true. He did have a lot of influence over the dialogue of his character, however.

TRIVIA: Wikipedia, imdb, TCM

1. Reed shot in Vienna for six weeks. Because of time constraints, he ran three camera crews – daytime, nighttime, and sewer. He worked twenty hour days, with the aid of Benezedrine.
2. Welles worked only one week on the film and his character has only five minutes of screen time. When he arrived in Vienna, he took one whiff of the sewer and declined to work in it. He eventually opened to the idea, but still much of his footage is of body doubles or was filmed on a sound stage in Britain. The final iconic image of his hands on the grate is actually Reed’s hands.
3. Reed got a Vienna fire brigade to water down the streets at night to get a proper glistening look.
4. Reed wanted James Stewart, but producer David O. Selznick had Joseph Cotten on contract. Robert Mitchum was considered until his arrest for marijuana possession. Selznick proposed Noel Coward for Lime, but common sense prevailed.
5. Greene based Lime on the infamous double agent Kim Philby. Philby had been Greene’s superior in British Intelligence.
6. Because of the popularity of the movie, Vienna created a tour of the sewer locations called “Der Dritte Man Tour”.
7. “The Adventures of Harry Lime” was a series of 52 half-hour radio episodes starring Orson Welles. He wrote some of the scripts.
8. Although it is clearly a British film, it was placed at #57 on AFIs original list of 100 Greatest Films. In 2008, it was ranked #5 in the mystery category. It was #75 in the list of 100 Thrills. Lime was #37 on the Greatest Villains list. In 1999, the British Film Institute named it the greatest British film.
9. Greene was inspired by a trip to Vienna where he was told about the special police unit that patrolled the sewer system. He wrote a novella which became the basis for the script. The main difference between the treatment and the final screenplay was the ending. In the novella, Martins and Anna hook up and live happily ever after. Reed insisted on the downbeat ending of the film and although Greene argued against it, he later admitted Reed was right.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey’s = N/A
Video Hound = 5.0
War Movies = N/A
Military History = #80
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no
Rotten Tomatoes = no

OPINION: I do not care what anyone says, this is not a war movie by any stretch of the definition. It is a movie set in post-war Vienna, true. I can accept movies set on the home front during the war, but not after the war. I make exceptions for movies like “The Best Years of Our Lives” because they deal with the after effects of a war on warriors. Neither Martins nor Lime appear to have fought in the war and even if they had, it is immaterial to the movie. The movie could be described as a Cold War movie, but then a ton of spy movies would have to be included as war movies. I cannot agree to that. With that said, this is undoubtedly one of the great movies of any genre. The score, the cinematography, the setting, the acting - all great. Do not watch this movie because it is a great war movie. Watch it because you love movies and want to be able to say you have seen one of the masterpieces of film history.
 
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#35
70. Battleground (1949)

SYNOPSIS: "Battleground" is the story of a squad of G.I.s from the 101st Airborne Division in the Battle of the Bulge. They participate in the defense of Bastogne during its famous siege. The movie is an ensemble piece that realistically (for a 1949 movie) portrays the hardships of the battle. It is a classic heterogeneous small unit movie.

BACK-STORY: “Battleground” was the first significant WWII movie to come out after the war and it proved there was still an audience for war films provided they were excellent and realistic. The film wisely avoided the flag-waving of pictures made during the war. Because of the timing and the grittiness, the studio was skeptical about its potential and it almost was not made. The suits proved wrong as the movie was a huge hit and is now considered a classic. It was released in 1949 and directed by William Wellman (“Wings”, “The Story of G.I. Joe”). Robert Pirosh based the script on his own experiences in the Battle of the Bulge. Twenty members of the 101st Airborne were used as extras. They were put through acting boot camp. The movie won Academy Awards for Cinematography and Screenplay (Pirosh). It was nominated for Picture, Director, Editing, and Supporting Actor (James Whitmore). Gen. Anthony McAuliffe vetted the script and joined Pres. Truman for a private showing.

TRIVIA: Wikipedia, imdb, TCM, Guts and Glory

1. It is considered the first significant post-WWII film about the war.
2. It was the pet project of producer Dore Schary. He wanted to make a movie that answered the question “was the war worth it?”Or as the chaplain in the film put it:“was the trip necessary?” He had a hard time getting studio support from RKO where he was production head and when Howard Hughes bought RKO he nixed the project.Schary left RKO because of this after Hughes let him buy the script for a cheap $20,000. Schary returned to production head of MGM, but Louis Mayer was also cold toward the making of a WWII picture.Mayer felt audiences were not interested in WWII movies. But Mayer did not stand in Schary’s way and was hoping he would fail.He called the movie “Schary’s folly”.
3. Director William Wellman had the cast put through training by twenty veterans who appeared as extras in the movie.
4. Robert Pirosh based his screenplay on his experiences in the Battle of the Bulge. Gen. McAuliffe acted as technical adviser for the script.
5. The movie was shot in twenty days less than the schedule and for $100,000 less.
6. President Truman was given a private showing before the premiere.
7. It won Academy Awards for Cinematography (Black and White) and Screenplay. It was nominated for Best Picture (losing to “All the King’s Men”), Director, Editing, and Supporting Actor (James Whitmore).
8. Whitmore was a Marine in the Pacific. He based his characters appearance and attitude partly on Bill Maudlin’s “Willie and Joe”.
9. Douglas Fowley (Kippton) had false teeth like his character because he lost his teeth to an explosion while serving on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.
10. James Arness (Garby) was the most decorated cast member.His medals included the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
11. Robert Taylor was supposed to star in it but decided he did not want to do an ensemble piece.He was replaced by Van Johnson.
12. The movie was a big success and finished second at the box office.Its timing and success is comparable to “The Big Parade” which was also predicted to be too late after the war
13. It was shot almost totally in a soundstage. Compare its realism to the exterior scenes from “The Battle of the Bulge”.
14. Denise Darcel was cast solely for her boobs. Check out the scene where she cuts a loaf of bread precariously close to her greatest assets.
15. Wellman preferred his “The Story of G.I. Joe”, finding it more realistic and more a tribute to American soldiers.

Belle and Blade = 1.5
Brassey’s = 4.0
Video Hound = 5.0
War Movies = 4.4
Military History = #36
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no
Rotten Tomatoes = no

CONCLUSION: “Battleground” is fondly remembered by many war movie lovers. Some have it in their top 10. Some go so far as to call it superior to “Saving Private Ryan”. When it came out in 1949, it certainly deserved the acclaim it received. It’s now sixty years later and I have to say it is a bit overrated. The action is lacking and is unrealistic. However, it has its charms and is a must-see. The movie is very entertaining. It achieves its objective of humanizing the soldiers. The soldier interaction and talk are the best thing about the movie. What they say and how they react are realistic given the restraints of 1940s movies. Pirosh, being a veteran, knew how soldiers talked. He obviously had to clean up the language, but he gets the complaining and humor down pat.
 
Nov 2018
183
Wales
#36
74. Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal (Scipione L'Africano) (1937)

SYNOPSIS: "Scipio Africanus" is an epic that covers the last campaign of the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage. It covers the events leading up to and including the Battle of Zama. The main character is the famous Roman general who won that battle. Hannibal is his foe.

BACK-STORY: "Scipione L'Africano" was a propaganda extravaganza commissioned by Benito Mussolini to fire up Italians for the upcoming conquest of the new Roman Empire. It was produced by his twenty-one year old son Vittorio, but we can assume daddy was very hands-on. It was the most expensive Italian movie up to then as Benito spared no expense. It paid off as the movie won the Mussolini Cup at the Venice Film Festival. That must have been a shocker!

TRIVIA: Wikipedia, imdb, ihffilm.com

1. Mussolini "persuaded" the Italian army to donate a division of soldiers as extras. The division was subsequently sent to participate in the Spanish Civil War.
2. Up to 50 elephants were used in the production. Some of the elephants were killed in the shooting. One of them took a spear in the eye.
3. It had one of the earliest uses of zoom lenses.
4. It was the most expensive Italian film up till then.
5. If you look closely, you can see some of the legionaries wearing wristwatches.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey's = 4.0
Video Hound = N/A
War Movies = N/A
Military History = #56
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no


OPINION: "Scipio Africanus" is not well known and is hard to find. It's worth the trouble if you can find it. It is definitely a spectacle. For a silent movie, it holds up well. It is probably seeded properly at #74. I can assure you it is better than some movies ahead of it. The key strength is the historical accuracy. As a huge Scipio fan, I can attest to the movie getting the highlights of the Battle of Zama correct. I did not expect it to be worthy of the man, but I was wrong.
Which version of Zama is used? Polybius, Appian, Livy, Cassius Dio or another, such as Punica?
 
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#37
69. Beau Geste (1939)

SYNOPSIS: Three brothers (Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston), one of whom has stolen a precious jewel, go off to join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. Two of them get caught in a desert fort that is surrounded by Berber tribesmen laying siege. The defenders are led by a tyrannical sergeant (Brian Donlevy). It's a last stand with a mystery thrown in.

BACK-STORY: This is the 1939 version of the oft-made action/adventure film. Obviously it is considered to be the best version. It is based on the novel by Percival Christopher Wren. The book was aimed at the teenage boy in all of us and the movie puts this to film. It was one of the first movies to link war and adventure. But in an entertaining twist, the book and film add a dash of mystery. It explores the themes of loyalty, duty, and honor. The movie was a big hit and helped launch the subgenre of the French Foreign Legion film. It is unique in that it features four actors that would subsequently win Oscars as Best Actors or Actresses (Cooper, Milland, Crawford, and Hayward). Interestingly, considering that line-up, the acting honors in “Beau Geste” go to Brian Donlevy as the sadistic Markoff. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

TRIVIA: imdb

1. It was filmed on the same sets and in the same Arizona locations as the 1926 version.
2. In 1990, it was one of several classic films from 1939 that were honored with $.25 stamps. The others were Stagecoach, Gone With the Wind, and Wizard of Oz.
3. Buttercup Valley was renamed Beau Geste Valley because the two movies were shot there.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey’s = 4.0
Video Hound = 4.4
War Movies = 3.8
Military History = #52
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no
Rotten Tomatoes = no


OPINION: “Beau Geste” is old school entertainment. Check your intellect at the door, it will get in the way of your enjoyment of the film. Don’t think too much about the details after viewing, it might wipe the smile off your face and replace it with a look of perplexion. The movie is very well acted. You would expect that from this cast. It especially works because the trio of Cooper, Preston, and Milland are adept at comedy. Their chemistry is apparent. It looks like the actors had fun making the movie. The key to making the movie a classic is the mystery that is integral to the plot. This makes it a rare war movie that doubles as a whodunit. The mystery is well done and the resolution will surprise most viewers. The structure of flash-backs and flash-forwards greatly enhances the mystery. However, it seems a bit overrated at #69. Relative to modern war movies, it is a bit quaint. But it is better than the 1966 version. Newer is not always better.
 
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#38
68. Three Kings (1999)

SYNOPSIS: In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, a quartet of bored American soldiers (George Clooney, Mark Wahlburg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze) find a map to a horde of Iraqi gold and decided to pull a heist behind enemy lines. In the process, they encounter Iraqi soldiers still loyal to Saddam Hussein and dissidents intent on his overthrow. The trek is fraught with escapades and ends with the newly altruistic Americans helping some refugees find haven.

BACK-STORY: “Three Kings” is a black comedy directed by David O. Russell. It is his only war film. He made it for $48 million and it made over $100 million. He filmed in the deserts of Arizona, California, and Mexico. The movie used numerous Iraqi refugees as extras.

TRIVIA: Wikipedia, imdb, mental floss

1. The movie originated with John Ridley challenging himself to write and sell a script in a short time.He wrote “Spoils of War” in a week and sold it in eighteen days.Director David O. Russell was intrigue by the description “heist set in the Gulf War” and claimed he never actually read the script.Apparently he used just the concept and wrote the movie’s script from scratch.He did not consult with Ridley which created some bad blood.Ridley had to settle for a “story by” credit.

2. Russell wrote the Ving character with Spike Jonze in mind, even though Jonze had never acted in a movie.

3. The first thought for Gates was Clint Eastwood, but he was too old.Nicholas Cage was going to do it, but ended up doing “Bringing Out the Dead” instead.Clooney campaigned for the role so he could break out of “ER”.Russell was skeptical, but got worn down.

4. There was a lot of conflict between Russell and Clooney on the set.Russell tended to be hard on the crew and extras and Clooney took on the role of defender of the little guys.It got so bad that they got into a fist-fight towards the end.

5. The show-stopping shot of a bullet going through a body originated from a conversation Russell had with a doctor.Russell asked him what the worst wound he ever saw was.

6. Russell went a little loopy during an interview and told Newsweek that the shot used a real corpse.The studio got a complaint from a mortician’s organization.

7. Clooney loves to play pranks and one was catapulting an apple using a car antenna which hit Nora Dunn in the face.

8. Pres. Clinton requested and got a private screening at the White House.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey’s = N/A
Video Hound = N/A
War Movies = N/A
Military History = not on list
Channel 4 = #50
Film Site = no
101 War Movies = yes
Rotten Tomatoes = #37 (100 rating)


OPINION: The movie is very entertaining. It came out after “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Thin Red Line” and joined them in juicing up the war movie genre for modern audiences. It is different and more unorthodox than those other films. It is the MTV version of war. It’s a war movie for the new generation, "Three Kings" is the modern equivalent of "Kelly's Heroes". The movie is not just eye candy. The acting is stellar from the ensemble. Even the novice Jonze holds his own. Clooney’s charismatic performance conclusively proves that his decision to jump from TV was a wise one. Wahlberg cemented his status as a major star. More importantly, the screenplay is thought-provoking. It does not preach, but makes it clear that the period at the end of the Persian Gulf War was a messed up situation and the U.S. should not be proud of our role in the Iraqi Insurrection. In some ways it is a biting satire of the military and the media. Although the bigger picture is conveyed, the movie dwells at the human interest level. It depicts how government decisions affect civilians. I personally would rate it much higher.
 
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#39
67. Hell’s Angels (1930)

SYNOPSIS: "Hell's Angels" is a Howard Hughes' directed film set in WWI. It is the story of two brothers (Ben Lyon, James Hall) - a boring hero and a playboy coward. A loose woman (Jean Harlow) is thrown in to provide a love triangle. The brothers join the RAF and become fighter pilots. They volunteer for a suicide mission to bomb a German munitions plant. The movie is very famous for its dogfighting scene.

BACK-STORY: “Hell’s Angels” is a WWI aerial combat war movie released in 1930 and memorably directed by Howard Hughes in his debut. The production is legendary. The movie was intended to be Hughes’ answer to “Wings”, but the advent of “talkies” prompted him to convert it to sound at great additional cost. At around $4 million, it was the most expensive motion picture released to that date. The switch to sound also necessitated the dumping of the thickly accented Greta Nissan with Jean Harlow. Hughes insisted on going big so the famous dogfight scene used 70 pilots (many of them WWI vets) and many actual WWI biplanes. Three of the pilots died in filming and Hughes himself crashed and broke some bones filming a sequence none of the pilots would agree to attempt. The movie had one of the grandest openings ever at Grauman’s Theater and was a hit although it had difficulty recouping the cost.

TRIVIA: Wikipedia, imdb

1. The movie was originally to be a silent picture, but during production “The Jazz Singer” came out and producer Howard Hughes decided to convert it to a talkie. This supposedly meant reshooting half the film, but you can see in some scenes that they just synched the sound with the earlier footage. The change to sound meant that the original Helen, Greta Nissen, was out because of her Norwegian accent. Hughes brought on the unknown eighteen-year old Jean Harlow. Harlow brought a lot of charisma and sex appeal, but little acting ability. Even personal coaching by the director and Hughes only marginally improved her performance.Males in the audience did not care.

2. Hughes directed the aerial scenes from a plane above using radio control.

3. The main stunt pilot was Paul Mantz.He was a daredevil but he and all the others refused to do a dangerous stunt involving pulling out of a steep strafing dive.Hughes took on the stunt himself and proceeded to crash suffering a skull fracture and requiring several days in a hospital for facial surgery.But he showed them!

4. Three pilots and a mechanic were killed during the production.

5. Hughes sued “The Dawn Patrol” for plagiarism in an attempt to delay its release until after “Hell’s Angels” came out first.He failed as “The Dawn Patrol” rushed post-production and won the law suit.

6. It was nominated for Cinematography.

7. It was the most expensive film up to that time.It cost a whopping $2.8 million.

8. It was the top box office hit in 1930, but not enough to cover the cost.

9. Hughes used 72 pilots and 65 mechanics.

10. They shot 250 feet of film for every foot used in the movie.

11. 50,000 people showed up for the premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

12. The movie famously took advantage of the lack of enforcement of the movie code.The Hays Code did not kick in until 1934.In the movie, pilots say terrible things like “don’t be an ass” and “son of a bosch” and of course, there is Miss Harlow’s wardrobe.The infamous line “Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?” would not have been allowed in 1934.

Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey’s = 4.0
Video Hound = 4.4
War Movies = N/A
Military History = #43
Channel 4 = not on list
Film Site = yes
101 War Movies = no
Rotten Tomatoes = no

OPINION: “Hell’s Angels” is a special movie. It was revolutionary at the time and still stands out today. The Zeppelin scene and the dogfight are iconic. You have to admire Hughes for his commitment to making a great war movie. While the plot keeps it from being outstanding, it is certainly memorable. It was a grand effort by Hughes and the film belongs in the trio of significant WWI air combat movies with “Dawn Patrol” and “Wings”. As far as the ranking at #67, that seems overrated. Although entertaining in a hokey sort of way and marked by some remarkable scenes, it is not better than a lot of movies that did not make the list. I would not put it in the top 100.
 
May 2011
516
New Iberia, La.
#40
66. Hope and Glory (1987)

SYNOPSIS: “Hope and Glory” is a British dramedy about a British family in London during the Blitz. It focuses on ten year-old Billy (Sebastian Rice-Edwards) who finds having his world upside down to be fascinating. The family home ends up getting bombed and they have to go live in the countryside with their eccentric grandpa.

BACK-STORY: “Hope and Glory” is a war movie set in London during the Blitz of WWII. It was directed by John Boorman and was based on his own experiences as an eight year-old boy. It was a British-American endeavor that was released in 1987. It did not do well at the box office, but was critically acclaimed. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Cinematography, Original Screenplay (Boorman), Director, and Picture. It won the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy. It was nominated for 13 BAFTA awards including Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay. Susan Wooldridge won for Best Supporting Actor for her performance as Molly.

TRIVIA: Wikipedia, imdb

1. The title comes from a patriotic song entitled “Land of Hope and Glory”.
2. In 2014, Boorman wrote and directed a sequel called “Queen and Country” which has Billy as a soldier in Britain during the Korean War.
3. The newsreel footage is from the movie “Battle of Britain”.
4. A 650 foot street was constructed with 17 houses.


Belle and Blade = N/A
Brassey’s = 4.0
Video Hound = 5.0
War Movies = N/A
Military History = not on list
Channel 4 = #52
Film Site = no
101 War Movies = yes
Rotten Tomatoes = no

OPINION: “Hope and Glory” is one of the best movies depicting the effects of war on children. Everything Billy experiences feels real. The excitement, instead of fear, is apparent. The school and gang scenes are authentic. It also does an excellent job showing the variety of effects on different family members. The characters are vivid and human. The actors help make them so. Special kudos to Sarah Miles (the mother), Ian Bannen (grandpa), and Davis (Dawn, the loose daughter) . The child actors are strong. This is a wonderful little movie. The best word to describe the humor is it is “droll”. Not laugh out loud. More smile out loud. There is no better movie about the Blitz from a family point of view. There are few movies about the home front in any war better than “Hope and Glory”.
 

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