WWII Documentaries

by seanbarnespolo | created - 27 Mar 2018 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

World War 2 Documentaries, at least 6.0 (took the top 150 which is down to 7.0 that looked VERY WWII), with minimum 100 votes. As of March 27, 2018 when this list was created.

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1. The World at War (1973–1976)

TV-PG | 52 min | Documentary, History, War

A groundbreaking 26-part documentary series narrated by the actor Laurence Olivier about the deadliest conflict in history, World War II.

Stars: Laurence Olivier, Anthony Eden, Averell Harriman, Albert Speer

Votes: 18,913

2. Japan's War in Colour (2005 TV Movie)

95 min | Documentary, History, War

The history of Imperial Japan's involvement in World War II with full color footage.

Director: David Batty | Star: Brian Cox

Votes: 128

3. The Real Heroes of Telemark (2003 TV Movie)

Documentary, History, War

A group of both Norwegian and Britiish specially trained military team reenacts the WWII mission of the Grouse-Gunnerside commando which was crucial for the Allied Forces in the heavy water... See full summary »

Director: Martin Pailthorpe | Stars: Knut Haugland, Ray Mears, Jens A. Poulsson, Joachim Rønneberg

Votes: 126

4. Night Will Fall (2014)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary, History, War

85 Metascore

Researchers discover film footage from World War II that turns out to be a lost documentary shot by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein in 1945 about German concentration camps.

Director: André Singer | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Jasper Britton, Leonard Berney, George Leonard

Votes: 2,789

5. Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told (2013)

350 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Adolf Hitler, born in Braunau, one man who will change the history of the world forever. It follows his childhood to the death of his mother and his broken ambition to become an artist, ... See full summary »

Director: Dennis Wise | Stars: Eva Braun, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Adolf Galland

Votes: 4,820

6. Nazi Mega Weapons (2013– )

60 min | Documentary, History, War

An examination of Nazi Germany's various military engineering projects during World War II.

Stars: Julian Forsyth, Chris Wilson, Robert Meller, Oliver Fritz

Votes: 415

7. APOCALYPSE Stalin (2015– )

157 min | Documentary, History, War

The rise of Stalin, from his early beginning as a bankrobber to the cold-blooded leader of the Soviet Union.

Stars: Mathieu Kassovitz, Doug Rand

Votes: 566

8. Nazi Concentration and Prison Camps (1945)

Not Rated | 59 min | Documentary, History

Produced and presented as evidence at the Nuremberg war crimes trial of Hermann Göring and twenty other Nazi leaders.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, George S. Patton, Hayden Sears

Votes: 716

9. Battle of the Atlantic (2002– )

146 min | Documentary, History, War

The story of the World War II effort by Nazi Germany to disrupt Allied shipping with U-boat attacks and the Allied efforts to prevent it.

Stars: Chris Broyles, Bill Paterson

Votes: 115

10. Shooting War (2000 TV Movie)

88 min | Documentary

Produced by Steven Spielberg and presented by Tom Hanks this documentary tells how war photographers faced the horrors that looked both in Europe and in the Pacific during World War II .

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Tom Hanks, Stephen Ambrose, Russ Meyer, Walter Rosenblum

Votes: 409

11. World War Two: Behind Closed Doors (2008– )

300 min | Documentary, History, War

A story showing the 3 allied leader's, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin's actions and relationships behind the scenes during World War 2. It isn't as friendly as it seems. Shows how close ... See full summary »

Stars: Aleksey Petrenko, Bob Gunton, Paul Humpoletz, Samuel West

Votes: 446

12. The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

183 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary about the life and work of Leni Riefenstahl, a German film director most notorious for making the most effective propaganda films for the Nazis.

Director: Ray Müller | Stars: Leni Riefenstahl, Marlene Dietrich, Arnold Fanck, Walter Frentz

Votes: 1,423 | Gross: $0.45M

13. Infrarouge (2006– )
Episode: Einsatzgruppen, les commandos de la mort (2009)

Documentary

In June 1941, the German army invades the USSR. Following behind are the Einsatzgruppen, 3000 men grouped into four "intervention groups" each given a designated geographical region, sent to exterminate Jews and enemies of the Reich.

Director: Michaël Prazan | Stars: Michaël Prazan, Christopher Browning, Christian Ingrao

Votes: 134

14. Nicky's Family (2011)

96 min | Documentary, History

52 Metascore

This docudrama tells the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 102 years ... See full summary »

Director: Matej Minac | Stars: Ben Abeles, Denisa Augustinova, Martin Bandzak, Tom Berman

Votes: 468

15. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1968 TV Movie)

180 min | Documentary, History, War

"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" exposes the darkest chapter in history, from Adolf Hitler's rise to power as a Nazi demagogue to his ultimate fatal mistakes. Researchers spent ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Kaufman | Stars: Richard Basehart, Ernst Hanfstaengl, Erich Kempka, Hjalmar Schacht

Votes: 239

16. Paragraph 175 (2000)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary, History, Romance

85 Metascore

Historian Klaus Müller interviews survivors of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals because of the German Penal Code of 1871, Paragraph 175.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman | Stars: Rupert Everett, Klaus Müller, Karl Gorath, Pierre Seel

Votes: 1,758 | Gross: $0.07M

17. Hôtel Terminus (1988)

Unrated | 267 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary about Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyon, and his life after the war.

Director: Marcel Ophüls | Stars: Klaus Barbie, Claude Lanzmann, Marcel Ophüls, Johannes Schneider-Merck

Votes: 1,161 | Gross: $0.34M

18. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000)

PG | 122 min | Documentary, History, War

79 Metascore

The secret smuggling of 9,300 Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied Germany in the late 1930s.

Director: Mark Jonathan Harris | Stars: Judi Dench, Lory Cahn, Kurt Fuchel, Eva Hayman

Votes: 1,502 | Gross: $0.37M

19. The Rape of Europa (2006)

Unrated | 117 min | Documentary, History, War

77 Metascore

The story of Nazi Germany's plundering of Europe's great works of art during World War II and Allied efforts to minimize the damage.

Directors: Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, Nicole Newnham | Stars: Joan Allen, E. Randol Schoenberg, Maria Altmann, Wolfgang Fischer

Votes: 1,347

20. Hitler's Generals (1996– )

672 min | Documentary, Biography, War

Portraits of important people in Nazi-Germany.

Stars: Christian Brückner, David Ritchie, Robert Jackson, Traudl Junge

Votes: 214

21. Hitler in Colour (2005 TV Movie)

90 min | Documentary, History, War

Documentary using only original colour footage charts the 12 years from Adolf Hitler's rise to power to the fall of Berlin in 1945. Complemented by eyewitness material, tracks the dramatic ... See full summary »

Director: David Batty | Stars: Brian Cox, Lutz Liebelt

Votes: 177

22. The Tramp and the Dictator (2002)

56 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A look at the parallel lives of Charles Chaplin and Adolf Hitler and how they crossed with the creation of The Great Dictator (1940).

Directors: Kevin Brownlow, Michael Kloft | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Sydney Chaplin, Walter Bernstein, Ray Bradbury

Votes: 584

24. The Last Days (1998)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary, War

In late 1944, even as they faced imminent defeat, the Nazis expended enormous resources to kill or deport over 425,000 Jews during the "cleansing" of Hungary. This Oscar-winning documentary... See full summary »

Director: James Moll | Stars: Bill Basch, Martin Basch, Randolph Braham, Alice Lok Cahana

Votes: 1,779 | Gross: $0.42M

25. Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny (2010)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Biography

68 Metascore

Walking With Destiny highlights Churchill's years in the political wilderness, his early opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, and his support for Jews under threat by the Nazi regime. As ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Trank | Stars: Ben Kingsley, Bryan McArdle, Doron Avraham, Richard Ben Asher

Votes: 217

26. Marlene (1984)

Unrated | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

Retrospective on the career of enigmatic screen diva Marlene Dietrich.

Director: Maximilian Schell | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Annie Albers, Bernard Hall

Votes: 668 | Gross: $0.85M

27. The Ritchie Boys (2004)

90 min | Documentary, History, War

76 Metascore

During WWII, the U.S. formed an elite intelligence unit -- mostly German Jewish academics -- at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. Tasked with devising ways to break the morale of the SS, these men ... See full summary »

Director: Christian Bauer | Stars: Michael Hanrahan, Werner Angress, Victor Brombert, Marlene Dietrich

Votes: 218

28. Hitler: A career (1977)

Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, History

This meticulously assembled film dissects the Third Reich with an analytical blade, charting Hitler's improbable rise, his mastery of crowd psychology and his consummate skill in exploiting others' weaknesses.

Directors: Joachim Fest, Christian Herrendoerfer | Stars: Gert Westphal, Stephen Murray, Artur Axmann, General Bergeret

Votes: 1,271

29. Apocalypse: The Second World War (2009)

312 min | Documentary, History, War

Apocalypse: The Second World War(2009) is a six-part French documentary about the Second World War. The documentary is composed exclusively of actual footage of the war as filmed by war ... See full summary »

Stars: Mathieu Kassovitz, Martin Sheen

Votes: 7,112

30. WWII in HD (2009– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary, History, War

Follow the lives of soldiers who lived World War II, through previously unseen color footage.

Stars: Gary Sinise, Charles Scheffel, Justin Bartha, Ron Livingston

Votes: 1,750

31. The Nazis: A Warning from History (1997– )

292 min | Documentary, History, War

An examination of how a cultured people could have allowed Adolf Hitler's rise to power.

Stars: Samuel West, Adolf Buchner, Jutta Rüdiger, Günther Ruschin

Votes: 1,465

32. The Unknown War (1978– )

1,040 min | Documentary

Documentary film history of the Nazi-Soviet conflict in world War II.

Stars: Burt Lancaster, Averell Harriman

Votes: 226

33. The Last Tear (2015)

53 min | Documentary

Sexual violence against women has accompanied almost every large-scale conflict, yet most of its victims are silenced. One such sad episode is that of the "comfort women," or more ... See full summary »

Director: Christopher H.K. Lee | Stars: Kristine Brinini, Junghwa Lee, Sukyi Park

Votes: 140

34. Auschwitz: The Nazis & the 'Final Solution' (2005)

285 min | Documentary, History, War

The history of the Final Solution phase of the Nazi Holocaust, particularly with the most infamous of the death camps.

Stars: Samuel West, Horst-Günter Marx, Gert Heidenreich, Linda Hunt

Votes: 4,024

35. Night and Fog (1956)

Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 15,666

36. We Stand Alone Together (2001 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 78 min | Documentary

Compiled over two years, an 'on-camera oral history' of Easy Company, told by the veterans themselves. Accompanies the mini-series Band of Brothers.

Director: Mark Cowen | Stars: James Alley Jr., Roderick Bain, Lynn 'Buck' Compton, Antonio García de Pedro

Votes: 1,181

37. Battlefield (1995– )

Documentary, History, War

Major battles of World War II are recounted in depth.

Stars: Jonathan Booth, Tim Pigott-Smith

Votes: 398

38. Third Reich: The Rise & Fall (2010– )

180 min | Documentary, History, War

THIRD REICH: THE RISE & FALL tells the story of Hitler's Germany through rarely seen films of the people who were there. Immersive and evocative, it takes viewers inside the Germany of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Tony Call, Dan Bittner, Geoffrey Cantor, Eliza Foss

Votes: 904

39. World War 2: The Complete History (2000– )

50 min | Documentary, History, War

The greatest conflict of the Twentieth Century. "World War 2: The Complete History" offers a broad scoped, yet in-depth and neutral perspective of the Second World War. From its beginning ... See full summary »

Star: Peter Dickson

Votes: 176

40. Victory at Sea (1952–1953)

30 min | Documentary, Action, War

Twenty-six episode series about naval combat during World War Two. Famous for its music score, eloquent narration and combat footage.

Stars: Leonard Graves, Karl Dönitz, Winston Churchill, Andrew Cunningham

Votes: 521

41. Show-Business at War (1943)

17 min | Documentary, Short

A multi-studio effort to show the newsreel audience the progress of the Hollywood war effort.

Director: Louis De Rochemont | Stars: Carole Lombard, Walt Disney, John Ford, Darryl F. Zanuck

Votes: 229

42. Five Came Back (2017)

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Biography, History

The wartime contributions of five prominent Hollywood film directors during World War II are profiled.

Stars: Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, Lawrence Kasdan

Votes: 2,840

43. Shoah (1985)

Not Rated | 566 min | Documentary, History, War

99 Metascore

Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.

Director: Claude Lanzmann | Stars: Simon Srebnik, Michael Podchlebnik, Motke Zaïdl, Hanna Zaïdl

Votes: 7,642 | Gross: $0.02M

44. White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, History

Using extensive interviews with survivors and archival footage, an examination reveals the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Director: Steven Okazaki | Stars: Harold Agnew, Shuntaro Hida, Kiyoko Imori, Morris Jeppson

Votes: 1,597

45. The Himmler Project (2000)

182 min | Documentary

The speech of Heinrich Himmler, held on Oct. 4th, 1943 in front of 92 SS generals at the castle Posen, read by Manfred Zapatka.

Director: Romuald Karmakar | Star: Manfred Zapatka

Votes: 112

46. Frontline (1983– )
Episode: Memory of the Camps (1985)

TV-MA | 56 min | Documentary

In 1945, camera crews went with the American and British armies in the nazis death camps and filmed the horror they found there. A group of directors among whom was Alfred Hichcock ... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Bernstein, Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Trevor Howard, Sidney Bernstein, Alfred Hitchcock

Votes: 243

47. The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

PG | 251 min | Documentary, History, War

An in-depth exploration of the various reactions by the French people to the Vichy government's acceptance of Nazi invasion.

Director: Marcel Ophüls | Stars: Georges Bidault, Matthäus Bleibinger, Charles Braun, Maurice Buckmaster

Votes: 3,277

48. The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987)

Not Rated | 122 min | Documentary, War

A documentary following Kenzo Okuzaki, a 62-year-old WW2 veteran notorious for his protests against Emperor Hirohito, as he tries to expose the needless executions of two Japanese soldiers during the war.

Director: Kazuo Hara | Stars: Kenzo Okuzaki, Riichi Aikawa, Masaichi Hamaguchi, Toshio Hara

Votes: 1,272

49. Stalingrad (2003– )

165 min | Documentary, History, War

8.3