Revisiting favorite war movies – and their varying elements of bravery in battle, crises of conscience, cruelties of leadership, lone-wolf espionage, soldierly camaraderie, unexpected heroism, jeopardized romance and just plain survival – to commemorate Veterans Day is a long-standing tradition. One may find lists of the all-time greatest war films elsewhere, but for your consideration, here’s a Twilight Time squad of meritorious alternatives for hi-def Blu-ray viewing.
For struggles of revolutionary leaders and besieged common folk: Che! (1969, directed by Richard Fleischer, starring Omar Sharif as Che Guevara and Jack Palance as Fidel Castro); Drums Along the Mohawk (1939, directed by John Ford, starring Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda, http://screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/25712/DRUMS-ALONG-THE-MOHAWK-1939-FEATURING-BECOMING-JOHN-FORD-2007/); and Exodus (1960, directed by Otto Preminger, starring Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint).
To explore romantic dilemmas and dramatic turning points of soldiers and civilians ensnared in World War II flashpoints: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957, directed by John Huston, starring Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum, http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/27152/HEAVEN-KNOWS-MR-ALLISON-1957/); Kings Go Forth (1959, directed by Delmer Daves, starring Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood); and The Young Lions (1958, directed by Edward Dmytryk, starring Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin).
Seeking tales of heroic battle action and climactic frontier sieges? Look into: The Glory Guys (1965, directed by Arnold Laven from a Sam Peckinpah screenplay, starring Tom Tryon, Harve Presnell and Senta Berger); Khartoum (1966, directed by Basil Dearden, starring Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson and Ralph Richardson, http://www4.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/26553/KHARTOUM-1966/); Major Dundee (1965, directed by Sam Peckinpah, starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris and Jim Hutton, http://www4.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/24455/MAJOR-DUNDEE-1965/); and Zulu (1964, directed by Cy Endfield, starring Stanley Baker and Michael Caine, http://www4.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/26552/ZULU-1964/.
Fans of rogue males either escaping from or escaping toward Nazi malefactors could spy out Eye of the Needle (1981, directed by Richard Marquand, starring Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan); and Man Hunt (1941, starring Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett and George Sanders, http://www4.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/27569/MAN-HUNT-1941/).
To descend into the murky fog of offshore hotspots involving conflicted photojournalists, depraved commandants and cold-hearted mercenaries, seek out The Dogs of War (1980, directed by John Irvin, starring Christopher Walken, Tom Berenger and Colin Blakely, http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/27853/DOGS-OF-WAR-1980/); The Night of the Generals (1967, directed by Anatole Litvak, starring Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif and Tom Courtenay); Salvador (1986, directed by Oliver Stone, starring James Woods, Jim Belushi, Michael Savage and Michael Murphy, http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/27854/SALVADOR-1986/); and Under Fire (1983, directed by Roger Spottiswoode, starring Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman and Joanna Cassidy).