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A Salute to Some Great War Movies

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Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010

Last week marked not only Veteran’s Day but also the 235th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps. In light of that, let’s take a look at some great “war movies”, some of which you might have never heard of before.


 

The Great Escape: based on real events, it features an all-star cast as officers who inventively bust out of a German POW camp for officers. The real message of the movie is about friendship, however, as the various men involved risk life and limb to help one another. Though the movie has many light-hearted moments, it is also quite a tear-jerker.



  
 

The Longest Day: A huge, impressive production in which various characters (many played by Hollywood heavyweights like John Wayne and Sean Connery) re-enact the events of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy.


 

We Were Soldiers: The battle scenes are typical, but what really sets this movie apart is its sideplots. Part of the movie is devoted to a journalist who fights to stay alive when left behind on assignment.  Meanwhile, in a plot device later used in TV series like Army Wives and The Unit, the men’s wives band together to deal with grief and everyday struggles.


 

Stalag 17: The ‘60s TV series Hogan’s Heroes was partly inspired by this Oscar-winning POW flick, which often takes a then-unconventional comedic tone. Look out for outstanding acting performances.


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Valiant: Can you name a kid-friendly World War II movie? Valiant is the computer-animated tale of an eager young pigeon who trains with the “Royal Homing Pigeon Service” in order to relay messages to the Allies. Partly inspired by real-life events, the film boasts an all-star voice cast. Bonus points go to Charles De Girl, a French Resistance mouse leader worthy of her own movie.


Feel free to mention your own favorite military and war-themed movies in the comment section below.

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