Thursday 13 - Favorite War Movies

Posted: Thursday, March 06, 2008 by Travis Cody in

In no particular order, these are my favorite war movies.

1. The Longest Day (1962) features an all star mega cast and tells the story of the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, from both the Allied and German points of view.

2. The Dirty Dozen (1967) features an all star cast led by Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, and John Cassavetes. It follows a US Major and his efforts to rehab and train a dozen US army murderers and criminals, and lead them on a suicide mission to assassinate German officers in the days leading up to the D-Day invasion in World War II.

3. The Great Escape (1963) features an all star cast led by Steve McQueen and Lord Richard Attenborough. It is based on the true story of several hundred Allied POW's in World War II as they plan a massive break out from a German POW camp.

4. A Bridge Too Far (1977) features an all star mega cast led by Sean Connery and tells the story of Operation Market Garden, the failed Allied attempt to capture bridges through Holland with airborne troops and the tanks of the British XXX Corps, thus securing a path to the Rhine and into the industrial heart of Germany.

5. Midway (1976) features an all star cast led by Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda. It tells the story of the US Navy's remarkable victory just six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor that became the turning point in the war in the Pacific.

6. Battleground (1949) stars Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, and James Whitmore as soldiers of the US Army's 101st Airborne in December 1944 as they defend Bastogne during the last major German offensive of World War II.

7. In Harm's Way (1965) stars John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and Patricia Neal as US Naval officers coming to terms with the defeat at Pearl Harbor and trying to turn the tide in the Pacific against the Japanese.

8. Battle of the Bulge (1965) features an all star cast led by Henry Fonda and Robert Shaw. It tells the story of the German press into the Ardennes in December 1944 from several fictional perspectives.

9. To Hell and Back (1955) starring Audie Murphy and Marshall Thompson. It is based on the true story of Lt Audie L. Murphy from his entry into the US Army at 18 through the acts of courage that ultimately made him the most decorated soldier in World War II.

10. The Devil's Brigade (1968) stars William Holden and Cliff Robertson. It tells the story of American and Canadian soldiers thrown together and trained to become the First Special Service Force in World War II.

11. The Guns of Navarone (1961) stars Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn as they lead a group of Allied commandos on a mission to destroy a massive German gun emplacement.

12. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) stars William Holden and Sir Alec Guinness. It tells the story of British prisoners of the Japanese in World War II Burma who are ordered to build a bridge on the route of the Burma-Siam railway.

13. Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) stars John Wayne, John Agar, and Forrest Tucker. It tells the story of a squad of Marines as they go through training and ultimately participate in the battle for Iwa Jima in World War II.


  1. Janna says:

    I haven't seen ANY of these.
    Might have something to do with the fact that I am a chick. :)

  1. Grandy says:

    Actually...this chick has seen several of these movies MANY times. Hubby is a big fan of these. Good selection.

  1. Matt-Man says:

    All good choices Trav. I love a good war movie. Patton and A Bridge Too Far are two of my faves. Cheers!!

  1. I have seen all of them many times, The Devil's Brigade ranks high up there with me, We Were Soldiers should be on the list.

  1. Great list! A second edition should come out soon... there are still a lot more excellent war movies to cover!

  1. DrillerAA says:

    Again, our tastes are way too much alike. I would add "Saving Private Ryan", and "Mr. Roberts" to the list. I know tha "Mr. Roberts" with Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon is a commedy, but it is still a great war movie.
    "We Were Soldiers" is definitely an honorable mention.

    Have a great T13.

  1. sarge likes war movies too... i just came for the cake! ha ha ha

    smiles, bee

  1. "Patton" is my favorite war movie. Love the speech by George C. Scott as Patton.

  1. I've seen everyone of these and I'm almost 100% positive that I have all of them too. Very well done Travis. Have a great TT. :)

  1. Akelamalu says:

    You listed some fantastic films there Trav. Bridge over the river kwai is one of my favourites and I've actually been there!

  1. Meribah says:

    Quite a few classics there, Trav! I'm not much into war movies, but I've seen some of these. Interesting post. :)

  1. Travis says:

    Janna: Some chicks dig war movies. But I understand if it's not your thing.

    Grandy: Wooooooooo!!

    Matt: I won't switch the channel if I come across Patton.

    Sarge: We Were Soldiers is a tough one for me to watch. I read the book and I do have a tremendous appreciate for what those soldiers went through in that valley.

    Kyra: There are a ton of outstanding war movies. Lots of my favorites are on the AFI top 100 list.

    Drilleraa: Are you sure we're not somehow related? LOL!

    Bee: You can always count on me for CAKE!

    Charles: That speech is the best part of the film for me.

    Sandee: There are a few that are missing from my DVD collection. I should fix that.

    Akelamalu: William Holden is one of my very favorite actors too.

    Meri: Some of them are outstanding movies regardless of genre.

  1. Bond says:

    Excellent collection...A Bridge Too Far is one of my all time favs...

  1. I've seen parts of most of these since That Man loves war and John Wayne. Happy TT!

  1. Jeff B says:

    I see you went for the classics here. '77 or younger.

    I remember watching war movies as a kid, then breaking out the green army men for a mock battle.

  1. it bad that I've not seen any of these?! Sorry, Trav.

    Happy TT.

  1. Roger says:

    All damn good movies Travis! My favorite is to Hell & Back, great book to!

  1. Sir John says:

    Good selections. I would agree with the poster who said "Saving Private Ryan"

  1. Sanni says:

    HA! A movie list - and I´ve watched all of them! My favorite is #12 - I´ve watced this one over and over with my dad!

  1. TopChamp says:

    not my thing really. Never actually gave any of them a go and with my recent rambo experience perhaps I should try watching at least one war film.

    Happy TT Travis.

  1. this a great selection I've seen nost ot tneh.Have youe the one called run silent run deep?

  1. Travis says:

    V: I might just have to watch that film this evening.

    Joely: I enjoy the Duke in war movies and westers.

    Jeff: You know, I didn't even realize that. Saving Private Ryan could have made the list too, but most of my favorites are the old classics.

    CWM: It's not bad because they just aren't your thing.

    Roger: Audie Murphy is a personal hero of mine.

    Sir John: I thought of that one as well. It's probably in my top 20.

    Sanni: It's definitely a great one.

  1. Julie says:

    I remember going to the theater to see Patton....I think it was the last movie we saw as a family. Patton was my dad's know WWII and all....what a George C. Scott performance!

  1. You and I think along the same lines.

    I'd add ``Battle of Britain'' to that lists - great cast too.

    And in 1994 I actually interviewed Aussie former PoWs who were part of the actual Great Escape.

    Must dig out that story and post it on my blog!

  1. Travis says:

    TC: War movies aren't for everyone.

    Mike: I don't have that one, but I've seen it and it could certainly make my top 50 list.

    Julie: George C Scott was outstanding in that role.

    David: So many good ones...Battle of Britain could definitely make the list. I'd be very interested to read that interview.

  1. Dana says:

    I'm a female - really, I am! - so I can't tell you if I've even seen any of those movies. But I have seen clips of Full Metal Jacket that were quite funny. Does that count?

  1. I JUST watched Bridge on the River Kwai last week on TMZ's Oscar month special. I love Alec Guiness. And by that I mean I love him outside of his Obi Wan years. SUCH an amazing movie.