Now, I expect arguments on this one, namely for "Saving Private Ryan." The reason I tend to dispel these are that had Oliver Stone had the special effects and the budget ($2 million was spent making "Platoon," $70,000,000 to make "SPR"), many, many more people would be singing a different tune. It's clear to be which was a more groundbreaking movie and a deeper look into the psyche during a time of war. Chris Taylor's solilioquies in the Vietnam film have yet to be matched - by any war film. Charlie Sheen's narration is flawless.
When "Platoon" was made, people were still desperately trying to put the war in Vietnam behind them. What it did was open the eyes to the American experience in that foreign country - the heat, the jungles, the utter senselessness of it. Add in the fantastic performance of Berenger as Barnes, and it totals the greatest war movie ever made. Oscar for Best Picture (1986).
2) Band of Brothers
Of course we all know this isn't a movie, but a ten-part series. I rate this just behind "Platoon" and ahead of "Saving Private Ryan" because of it's unflinching view of the war. We get to know each of the men; it feels like we're actually there. We actually become attached to them. The attention to detail is painstaking. You can tell real time and effort went in to making this the absolute best production it could be. And don't tell me the interviews with the real life guys at the beginning don't get to you.
3) Saving Private Ryan
No explanation needed. I've already explained why I put the first two above this.
"Somebody once wrote, 'Hell is the impossibility of reason.' That's what this place feels like: hell. I hate it already and it's only been a week. Some goddamn week, Grandma. The hardest thing I think I've ever done is go on point, three time this week. A gook could be standing three feet in front of me and I wouldn't know it. I'm so tired. We get up at 5 a.m., hump all day, camp around 4 or 5, dig a foxhole, eat, then send out an ambush or three man listening post in the jungle. It's scary because nobody tells me how to do anything, 'cause I'm new. Nobody cares about the new guys. They don't even want to know your name. The unwritten rule is a new guy's life isn't worth as much because he hasn't put his time in yet; and they say, if you're gonna get killed in the 'Nam, it's better to get it in the first few weeks. The logic being, you don't suffer that much. If you're lucky you get to stay in the perimeter at night, and then you pull a three-hour guard shift, so maybe you sleep three-four hours a night. But you don't really sleep.
I don't think I can keep this up for a year, Grandma. I think I made a big mistake coming here."
"Maybe I've finally found it, way down here in the mud. Maybe from down here I can start up again, be something I can be proud of, without having to fake it; be a fake human being. Maybe I can see something I don't yet see, or learn something I don't yet know."
"Of course Mom and Dad didn't want me to come here. They wanted me to be just like them; respectable, hardworking, a little house, a family. They drove me crazy with their goddamn world, Grandma. You know Mom. I guess I've always been sheltered and special; I just want to be anonymous, like everybody else; do my share for my country. Live up to what Grandpa did in the first war, and Dad did in the second.
Well, here I am, anonymous all right, with guys nobody really cares about. They come from the end of the line, most of 'em; small towns you never head of. Pulaski, Tennessee. Brandon, Mississippi. Pork Van, Utah. Wampum, Pennsylvania. Two years' high school's about it; maybe if they're lucky a job waiting for them back in a factory. But most of 'em got nothing. They're the poor, they're the unwanted, yet they're fighting for our society, and our freedom. It's weird, isn't it? They're the bottom of the barrel, and they know it. I guess that's why they call themselves grunts, because a grunt can take it, it can take anything. They're the best I've ever seen, Grandma. The heart and soul."
"Day by day, I struggle not only to maintain my strength, but my sanity. It's all a blur. I have no energy to write. I don't know what's right and what's wrong anymore. The morale of the men is low; a civil war in the platoon, half the men with Elias, half with Barnes. There's a lot of suspicion and hate. I can't believe we're fighting each other, when we should be fighting them. Counting days, and the six inches in front of my face, and not much else. Hope things are well, Grandma. Tell Mom and Dad, well...just tell them. Chris."
"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves; and the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, for the rest of my days, as I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called 'possession of my soul.' There are times since I have felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with the rest of our lives, to find a goodness and meaning to this life."
Gives me chills every time.
And that's not even including Barnes' bunker scene. "Y'all talkin' 'bout killin'?"
Last edited by johndeeregreen : 03-06-2007 at 02:53 AM.
Band of Brothers is probably the best overall depiction of war I've ever seen.
Platoon's a good mention, best Vietnam war movie ever made. Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, and The Dear Hunter are also great ones in that setting.
Letters From Iwo Jima is a major departure from most Hollywood war movies, and was the movie of the year. Real emotional resonance about the fate of a group of, mostly, normal men that few people give a thought to.
In foreign affairs Stalingrad and No Man's Land are both excellent, and way underappreciated.
Please don't patronize this thread by mentioning films like this.
No one is patronizing anyone in this thread you asked for peopleís opinion on war movies and I gave mine. I even said (Wars not suppose to be a funny topic but add Robin Williams and anything is funny) so if you think Iím making light of war you need to relax I was raised by a retired marine (my Dad) and have a brother who just got back from Iraq & Afghan. I have the utmost respect for the men and women in uniform. I just happen to think Robin Williams is hilarious and watching that movie with my father (who was in Vietnam) brings a smile to my face since he doesnít talk about the war much but watching that movie makes him laugh so hard I swear he going to keel over. Your really want to be patronized OK Star Wars was the best war movie ever. There that is being a total patronizing ass hole now.