Top Five: WWII Films

After playing the Battlefield V Beta this week it got me in the mood to watch some war films. I decided to make a Top Five of my favourite World War Two era films, with the word ‘films’ being used loosely with my first pick!

Something they all have in common is the fantastic music soundtracks that help bring the emotion in the scenes to life, ever watched a film with no music? It’s astounding the difference it makes. I will link a score from each film so you’re able to feel the power of the score’s affect, even if you haven’t seen the films!

Band of Brothers

Technically dubbed a mini series but I had to include this masterpiece. Totalling 10 hours I have watched it in its entirety multiple times. It follows the personal stories from some of the soldiers of Easy Company, an Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne. We watch them parachute into France on D-day and then join them on the journey all the way to the Eagles Nest. With some incredible actors, the special effects and the grit makes it the closest to realism I think you could get in something recreated. Watching this series we feel the action, the pain, the sorrow and living with the effect war makes on their lives. The second mini series The Pacific in my words is just as powerful and well made, using the same immersive style that made Band of Brothers so effective.

Music Score: Main Theme by Michael Kamen & The London Metropolitan Orchestra

The Pianist

A true story following the journey of the Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman starting in Warsaw then spanning several years from the start of the war. Being forced into the Ghetto of Warsaw and trying everything possible to stay alive. It was very eye-opening to see an everyday man with his family suddenly having their lives shattered by the terrible atrocities committed by the evading force. Just one of the many sad accounts of a struggle to survive the war created into a masterpiece for all to see, feel and understand.

Music Score: Nocturne In C Sharp Minor by Frederic Chopin

Fury

This action packed film follows a fictional Sherman tank crew close to the end of the war. They have been making their way through Europe towards Germany fighting any enemy resistance that is still left. We start following their journey from when Norman, a young typist thrown into a tank crew, has to join this hardened veteran crew. Being new he has to earn their trust and respect. Many people seem to dislike the film because of some scenes being unrealistic. Certain scene are questionable like a Sherman tank winning a one of one against the superior German Tiger, but its a film and I enjoyed it.

Music Score: I’m Scared Too by Steven Price

Saving Private Ryan

The film brings us to Normandy on D-Day with very graphic scenes and a realistic environment of the beach landings, which shows in detail the horror war is. This film mixes some historic moments with a fictional story. On this day of days a mother loses three sons with only one remaining. A decision is made that her last surviving son should be brought back home. Captain Miller and a few select rangers are tasked with this job. After locating Private Ryan, he is told about his brother’s deaths and is reluctant to abandon his post. The Rangers then help defend a key location from the enemy to keep Ryan safe to fulfil the mission of bringing him home. This is another film that hits home about how so many families were broken by the war.

Music Score: Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams

Inglorious Basterds

This is more of a play on the war genre. You can tell Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed this film instantly by his distinctive style, from the way the film is shot right down to the music chosen. The fictional story follows a small group of American soldiers dropped into France solely to kill as many of the enemy as possible. With a final goal of taking out the man in charge. The film is well made with many intimate back and forth scenes which shows the strength of the cast. Especially Christoph Waltz who I cannot fault, he makes the perfect bad guy. This film isn’t for everyone but I enjoyed watching something done differently.

Music Score: The Green Leaves of Summer by Nick Perito

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