WW II Movie Favorites

by keeker420 | created - 12 Apr 2014 | updated - 09 Jan 2015 | Public

My personal list of World War II movies. People might think I am nuts with my choices, but they are my own opinion. If you know of any other movies that are from WW II (preferably naval) leave a comment and I will see if I like them.

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1. Air Force (1943)

Approved | 124 min | Action, Drama, History

The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 2,700

Not totally historically accurate as it was made just after Pearl Harbor I believe. None the less, totally worth watching again and again.

2. Task Force (1949)

Approved | 116 min | Drama, War

As he is retiring, Jonathon Scott reminisces about his long Navy career and the development of the role of the aircraft carrier from the early 20s.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Gary Cooper, Jane Wyatt, Wayne Morris, Walter Brennan

Votes: 837

3. In Harm's Way (1965)

Approved | 165 min | Drama, War

A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon

Votes: 7,462 | Gross: $4.20M

John Wayne, The US Navy, Booo YEAH!

4. They Were Expendable (1945)

Approved | 135 min | Drama, War

The PT boat unit Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three defends the Philippines from Japanese invasion during World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jack Holt

Votes: 7,039

John Wayne, PT Boats, Heck Yeah!

5. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

75 Metascore

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 49,646 | Gross: $39.10M

All star cast makes movie good. Little bit of John Wayne even.

6. Operation Pacific (1951)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, War

During WWII, a submarine's second in command inherits the problem of torpedoes that don't explode. When on shore, he is eager to win back his ex-wife.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond, Scott Forbes

Votes: 2,938

7. Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan | Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon

Votes: 14,460 | Gross: $21.20M

8. PT 109 (1963)

Approved | 140 min | Biography, Drama, War

During WW2, Lieut. John F. Kennedy takes command of PT 109 to fight the Japanese in the Solomon Islands.

Director: Leslie H. Martinson | Stars: Cliff Robertson, Robert Culp, Ty Hardin, James Gregory

Votes: 2,092

Future President and his PT Boat, a heart warming story.

9. Up Periscope (1959)

Approved | 112 min | Action, Drama, Romance

In 1942, Navy Lieutenant Kenneth Braden from the underwater demolition team is sent to a Japanese island to photograph secret radio codes.

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Garner, Edmond O'Brien, Andra Martin, Alan Hale Jr.

Votes: 1,411

10. Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | 183 min | Action, Drama, History

44 Metascore

A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott

Votes: 295,957 | Gross: $198.54M

11. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

46 Metascore

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 29,643 | Gross: $29.55M

12. Black Sheep Squadron (1976–1978)

60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The dramatized World War II adventures of U.S. Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and his U.S. Marine Attack Squadron 214, (The Black Sheep Squadron).

Stars: Robert Conrad, Simon Oakland, Dana Elcar, Dirk Blocker

Votes: 2,039

13. The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)

Approved | 97 min | Action, War, Drama

During World War II, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer | Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan, Christopher Lee

Votes: 1,498

14. In Which We Serve (1942)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, War

This "story of a ship", the British destroyer H.M.S. Torrin, is told in flashbacks by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors: Noël Coward, David Lean | Stars: Noël Coward, John Mills, Bernard Miles, Celia Johnson

Votes: 4,708 | Gross: $0.45M

15. MacArthur (1977)

PG | 130 min | Biography, Drama, History

Biopic of General Douglas MacArthur covering his war exploits during WW2 and the Korean War.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Gregory Peck, Dan O'Herlihy, Ed Flanders, Ivan Bonar

Votes: 4,052

16. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 88,956 | Gross: $61.70M

17. Attack (1956)

Approved | 107 min | Action, Drama, War

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between Captain Cooney and Lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert, Robert Strauss

Votes: 4,327

18. Battleground (1949)

Approved | 118 min | Action, Drama, History

True tale about a squad of the 101st Airborne Division coping with being trapped by the Germans in the besieged city of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy

Votes: 6,160 | Gross: $10.29M

19. Battle of the Bulge (1965)

Not Rated | 167 min | Drama, History, War

A dramatization of Nazi Germany's final Western Front counterattack of World War II.

Director: Ken Annakin | Stars: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews

Votes: 13,609

20. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 309,885 | Gross: $5.51M

21. The Bunker (1981 TV Movie)

150 min | Drama, History, War

Dramatization depicting the events surrounding Adolf Hitler's (Sir Anthony Hopkins') last weeks in and around his underground bunker in Berlin before and during the battle for the city.

Director: George Schaefer | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Richard Jordan, Cliff Gorman, James Naughton

Votes: 1,669

22. Battle of Britain (1969)

G | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the U.K.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews, Curd Jürgens

Votes: 19,345

23. Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | 132 min | Drama, War

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell

Votes: 11,562

24. Dunkirk (1958)

Approved | 135 min | Action, Drama, History

A dramatization of the British Expeditionary Force's 1940 retreat to the beaches of France and the extraordinary seaborne evacuation that saved it from utter destruction by Nazi Germany.

Director: Leslie Norman | Stars: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee, Robert Urquhart

Votes: 2,375

25. Corvette K-225 (1943)

Approved | 98 min | Drama, War

The story of a Canadian WWII naval vessel, with a dramatic subplot concerning her first captain.

Directors: Richard Rosson, Howard Hawks | Stars: Randolph Scott, James Brown, Ella Raines, Barry Fitzgerald

Votes: 359

26. Convoy (1940)

78 min | Drama, War

A tale of the highs and lows of life protecting the vital convoys between America & England during WWII.

Director: Pen Tennyson | Stars: Clive Brook, John Clements, Edward Chapman, Judy Campbell

Votes: 169

27. Wake Island (1942)

Approved | 88 min | Action, Drama, War

December, 1941. With no hope of relief or re-supply, a small band of United States Marines tries to keep the Japanese Navy from capturing their island base.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Robert Preston, Macdonald Carey, William Bendix

Votes: 1,659

28. The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, History, War

The story of how the British attacked German dams in World War II by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Basil Sydney

Votes: 8,869

29. Midway (1976)

PG | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

48 Metascore

A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight | Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford

Votes: 16,143

30. The Bridge at Remagen (1969)

R | 115 min | Action, Drama, War

As the Allied armies close in, the Germans decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen?

Director: John Guillermin | Stars: George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara, Bradford Dillman

Votes: 7,918

31. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed | 138 min | Drama, History, War

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Tim Murdock

Votes: 4,993

32. The Fighting Seabees (1944)

Approved | 100 min | Drama, Romance, War

During WW2, the U.S. Navy implements a new idea of forming construction battalions that also are fighting units, in case of Japanese attack.

Director: Edward Ludwig | Stars: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, William Frawley

Votes: 3,051

33. To Hell and Back (1955)

Approved | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The true WWII story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. Based on the autobiography of Audie Murphy who stars as himself in the film.

Director: Jesse Hibbs | Stars: Audie Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Charles Drake, Jack Kelly

Votes: 4,516



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