Time Out Magazine Picks '50 Greatest WWII Movies'

12 Aug 2009

WW2 had some of the most tragic events in human history, and for better or for worse, some of these events make great entertainment on the big screen. The London edition of Time Out magazine selected their choices for the "50 Greatest WWII Movies", with guest commentary from industry veteran Quentin Tarantino. The list of 50 films are listed for a quick glance; for the full article, please see the Time Out website.

50. Escape to Victory (1981)
49. The Keep (1983)
48. Stalingrad (1993)
47. The Last Metro (1980)
46. Triumph of the Will (1935)
45. Empire of the Sun (1987)
44. The Dam Busters (1954)
43. Days of Glory (2006)
42. Hannibal Brooks (1969)
41. Mr Klein (1976)
40. The Inglorious Bastards (1978)
39. The Pianist (2002)
38. A Walk in the Sun (1945)
37. Europa (1991)
36. Where Eagles Dare (1968)
35. Germany, Pale Mother (1980)
34. Letters From Iwo Jima & Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
33. The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
32. Millions Like Us (1943)
31. Downfall (2004)
30. Ice Cold in Alex (1958)
29. The Great Escape (1963)
28. Mephisto (1981)
27. Casablanca (1942)
26. Soldier of Orange (1977) & Black Book (2006)
25. Night and Fog (1955)
24. Kelly's Heroes (1970)
23. Schindler’s List (1993)
22. Battle of Britain (1969)
21. Paratroop Command (1955)
20. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
19. Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
18. Army of Shadows (1969)
17. Attack (1956)
16. Listen to Britain (1942) & Fires Were Started (1943)
15. Shoah (1985)
14. Hangmen Also Die! (1943)
13. To Be or Not To Be (1942)
12. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
11. Hell In The Pacific (1968)
10. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
9. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
8. Rome, Open City (1945)
7. Cross of Iron (1977)
6. Kanal (1957) & Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
5. Went The Day Well? (1942)
4. The Big Red One (1980)
3. Das Boot (1981)
2. The Thin Red Line (1998)
1. Come and See (1985)

What are some of your personal favorite WW2 films? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
12 Aug 2009 10:55:45 PM

“In Harms Way” (1965)
I only know about half of these films but I see some fine films here. I also note some obvious omissions and I have to question some their rankings. “Casablanca” is probably one of the greatest films ever made (but I never considered it to be a war movie even though it happens to be set in WW2) and for it to be behind “Kelly’s Heroes” is absurd. “Das Boot” in the top three is also a little surprising, to say the least. Off the top of my head, I am surprised to see the list does not include:
“Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” (1944)
“The Man Who Never Was” (1956)
“The Enemy Below” (1957)
“Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958)
“Operation Petticoat” (1959) – (on the lighter side)
“Sink the Bismarck!” (1960)
“Tora! Tora! Tora!” (1970)
“Patton” (1970)
“Midway” (1976)
2. scristian says:
15 Aug 2009 07:12:13 AM

I really liked Stalingrad, Das Boot and Der Untergang
3. Anonymous says:
16 Aug 2009 12:17:23 PM

More missing:
The Longest Day (!)
Is Paris Burning?
A Bridge Too Far
IMO, Saving Private Ryan should be #1
4. Anonymous says:
16 Aug 2009 01:23:18 PM

Dark Blue World: Czechloslovakia. Using outs from "The Battle of Britain" a rented Spitfire, great models and modern digital technique the Director, Jan Sverak has created incredible flying sequences and a compelling story.
5. Kevin says:
21 Aug 2009 03:44:25 PM

The Story of GI Joe (1945)
They Were Expendable (1945)
6. bryan says:
22 Aug 2009 08:03:32 PM

no "To Hell and back"? Not a great movie, I know, but worthy of a 40-50 slot.
7. Mark says:
26 Aug 2009 08:24:41 AM

Kelly's Heroes makes it and The Longest Day doesn't?

The Enemy Below
Run Silent, Run Deep
Sink the Bismarck!
Tora! Tora! Tora!

One of my favs:
Saints and Soldiers (one of the best!)

Saving Private Ryan is a CLEAR #1

Bump it up to to 100 or have a vote!!!

8. Arcon says:
27 Aug 2009 09:42:33 AM

saving private Ryan should be #1
9. Bill says:
30 Aug 2009 07:44:46 PM

I agree with Kevin that "They Were Expendable" and "The Story of G. I. Joe" should be on the list--high on my list. Also, I'd add "Twelve O'Clock High."
10. Bill says:
31 Aug 2009 08:12:28 PM

Here are two more--for the Brits, both terrific, four stars out of four in my book:

"The Cruel Sea"
"In Which We Serve"
11. Barry says:
14 Sep 2009 01:01:25 PM

Band of Brothers isn't on the list, and yes, Saving Private Ryan should be #1.
12. Five Served, One Died! says:
21 Sep 2009 06:59:23 AM

My Dad and four of his brothers all flew combat during WWII, with Dad in a Navy Avenger and the others in AAF B-24 Liberators. My uncle Golden was the only one not to return, going down in the Pacific, posthumously winning several medals for heroism. So, I've always held these movies close to the heart, even more so after serving during Vietnam. Before Dad died a few years back, we talked about war movies, and we agreed on a number of the ones on the list, but a BIG oversight is "Hell is for Heroes," maybe because it used some levity, but it was also brutally honest and for the times, very graphic. Incredibly strong cast led by Steve McQueen, and it showed the horrors of war, the incredible creativity of the American soldiers, and the amazing bonding of men of all walks in the fight for freedom. God bless all the heroes from The Greatest Generations, and all who have served before and after!
13. Jay says:
21 Sep 2009 03:27:33 PM

My favorite has always been "Bataan". It was
made to install patiotic fervor yet everyone
Dies. Robert Taylor,Thomas Mitchell, Robert
Walker, Loyd Nolan,and I believe Desi Arnez.
A great film!
14. S. Parthasarathy says:
24 Sep 2009 12:59:42 PM

The best of all war movies till date is the "Battle of the Bulge" filmed in 1964. This really is one exceptional english movie in which the Germans were not shown in very poor state. The brilliant direction of Ken Annakin, coupled with the extraordinarily talented (late) Robert Shaw, as the imposing Panzer Expert Oberst Martin Hessler, the unforgettable lyrics and the fantastic colours of the Spanish country side, the tank battle sequences et al should undoubtedly make it the numeo uno of war movies.
15. roberta wallace says:
28 Sep 2009 06:32:38 AM

"Go For Broke" with Van Johnson addresses the role of Japanese Americans in the European theater of WW 2, especially the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Although it is a serious film about prejudice and war there is some comedy. 1951.
16. Anonymous says:
28 Sep 2009 12:17:22 PM

In the "Go for Broke" story, there were a number of Japanese Americans who had distinguished themselves heroicly. ONLY ONE was given the Medal of Honor. It was given after his death!
17. JW DUKE says:
30 Sep 2009 08:34:10 PM

18. Texmire says:
24 Oct 2009 07:13:23 PM

I'd pick Downfall as # 1.......

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