World War I

[7] Fredric March and Cary Grant play American pilots fighting for Britain during the first World War. The two men frequently quarrel, each coming from a different wartime philosophy. March does his best to avoid killing anyone, while Grant is out to kill any German that crosses his path. The film encourages us to empathize with both men, whose destinies entangle after Grant’s bloodlust contributes …

[6.0] William Wellman’s (Wings, The Ox-Bow Incident) final film is also his most autobiographical, combining his experiences as an American volunteer in the French Legion during World War I with the experiences of a friend who fell in love with a French sex worker. Lafayette Escadrille stars Tab Hunter as the pilot in love, an unruly youth who deserts the Legion and then fights to …

[6.0] Cary Grant and Claude Rains star as British officers whose paths cross time and again on the Eastern front of World War I. The two become friends after Rains saves Grant from Kurdish raiders. Grant then goes on to help Rains move a village to safety and prevent a sneak attack on British troops. The friends part for much of the second act, during …

[8.0] Writer/director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns bring us back to the trenches of World War I with the harrowing journey of two British officers tasked with traversing enemy territory to deliver a message that will save 1,600 of their fellow soldiers from certain death — including one of the young men’s brothers. 1917 is compelling on two different levels, infusing …

[7] Helen Hayes and Gary Cooper co-star in director Frank Borzage’s adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Cooper plays an American ambulance driver who falls in love with Hayes’ British nurse in Italy during the first World War. They are secretly married and have to keep their relationship hidden from their superiors. Eventually, they are separated and their letters to each other are …

[8.0] To say this movie is an expose on the horrors of war is an understatement and an oversimplification. War is just a backdrop, and the indictment is a broader one of man’s inhumanity to man. What makes Paths of Glory different from other anti-war films is that the injustice comes not from the enemy, but from within. After French soliders refuse a suicide mission …

[7] Director Morten Tyldum makes this true story of Alan Turing and his team of mathematicians fighting the second world war from their college studies as thrilling and interesting as possible. Benedict Cumberbatch headlines as the socially awkward leader of the group, a closeted homosexual who has a ‘beard’¬†relationship with a fellow smarty-pants played by Keira Knightley. The drama comes mostly from within the group, …

[7.0] Richard Beymer (West Side Story) stars as Ernest Hemingway’s alter-ego, a young man who comes of age by traveling the country and serving in the military during the early 1900s. With beautiful scenery of rural Michigan and Franz Waxman’s wistful score, the film is unabashedly romantic and nostalgic — it transports you to a time and place you’re reluctant to leave. But as Beymer …

[4.0] The third-ever Academy Award for ‘Best Picture’ went to this somewhat clunky, melodramatic story spanning three decades in the lives of two British families — one upstairs aristocrats, the other downstairs servants. It may have been one of the most popular films of 1933, but it’s not one to which the passage of time has been particularly kind. Diana Wynyard and Clive Brook play …

[8.0] Errol Flynn and David Niven star as World War I pilots confronting the grimmest odds of survival in this exciting and moving remake of Howard Hawks’ 1930 original. With its wartime setting and nary a woman in the cast, The Dawn Patrol is another great bromance in the grand tradition of war stories — it’s all about camraderie, brotherhood and sacrifice.

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