World War I

[6.5] 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 …

[7.0] 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.

[9.0] The grand-daddy of ‘anti-war’ war movies is Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front, the first non-musical talkie to win the best picture Academy Award. The film is stylistically way ahead of its time, with sweeping camera movement, realistic (non-theatrical) acting, deep layers of action in the photography, and sophisticated action choreography — all of which you just don’t see in most other …