Best WW1 Film/Drama for a 14 Year Old

#1
Right chaps, I’d be grateful for your advice.

Mushroom Junior is 14 and off to France and Belgium soon on a school trip to visit the WW1 battlefields and memorials. As I’m a bit of a military historian on the side, he’s got a good general understanding of the period, has become genuinely interested, and is currently reading ‘Forgotten Voices of the Great War’.

However, I thought an appropriate film before his departure would also help him in understanding such an important period in our history. Therefore, what are your thoughts on the film or drama which best portrays WWI from the perspective of the average soldier on the Western Front? ‘The Trench’, ‘Passchendaele’ and possibly ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ (the 70s version) spring to mind. However, I’ve not seen ‘Beneath Hill 60’ and I'm sure there are others out there.

He’s quite mature for his age so a 15 certificate would be fine.

All suggestions would be gratefully received.

Regards,
MM

PS…he’s watched all the Blackadder Goes Forth episodes!
 
#2
I always thought the B&W version of All Quiet on the Western Front was a good film. Oh, and get him to read/read him a touch of Wilfred Owen - that'll cheer him up.
 
#3
I think My Boy Jack is very good and sums it all up.
 

walkyrie

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#4
We watched 'All Quiet on the Western Front' in History at school. It was considered to be more like a documentary than a film for our purposes (it was a proper educative experience rather than "last week of term so we'll watch a film").

I was pre O Level age so probably 13/14.
 
#5
I think most of the film portrayals of WW1 are so distorted to be not worth considering from a historical point of view.

Get the lad to have a read of "Mud, Blood & Poppycock" to get the other side of the story. We did actually win that war, and the level of technical innovation and organisation was astounding..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=blood+mud+and+poppycock&tag=armrumser-21

Most of the "oh what a lovely war" and "blackadder" stuff is bollox - Yes, the casualty rate was horrific, but was actually not unusual if you look at the various wars that had been fought in Europe in the period 1860 - 1910, when we had been off conquering the rest of the world..
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#6
Let him watch 'Birdsong' - its got tits in it
 
#7
We watched 'All Quiet on the Western Front' in History at school. It was considered to be more like a documentary than a film for our purposes (it was a proper educative experience rather than "last week of term so we'll watch a film").

I was pre O Level age so probably 13/14.
Yeah same with me. The old B&W film.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Get 'Anzacs' - but you'll probably have to play it on the computer as, chances are, it'll be in Aussie DVD format. There's a touch of 'Aussie forever' in it but it's a pretty fair telling of the story and the Brits occasionally get a fair shake. He'll get a good idea of what was going on at Gallipoli and on the Western Front from 1916. It does a good job of showing how tactics and attitudes evolved and avoids all the mawkish cliches that a British treatment would probably find irresistible. The cast is good - half of them ended up in Crocodile Dundee and it's easily the best thing Paul Hogan's ever been part of.

Here's a taste:

Anzac Miniseries Episode 4 (Part 1/10) - YouTube
 

walkyrie

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#9
Ah FF - Mini Series.

That reminds me. 'All the King's Men' with David Jason is a very good tale of the Pals Battalions. At least I remember it being good....
 
#12
"Paths of Glory", with Kirk Douglas, or if he doesn't mind musicals, "Oh What a Lovely War" tells the whole story of WW1, especially life in the trenches on the Western Front.
 
#13
With Flash,

Passchendaele, a good film. Seemingly the bayoneting through the head was based on the actors grandfathers memories.

There is Dawn Patrol, All Quiet on the Western Front, Gallipoli (though a different theatre), My Boy Jack, All the Kings Men (again not Western Front).
 
#14
defo "Beneath Hill 60" and apart from the romance bollocks Passchendale is good and you can get hooky sets of ANZACs over here my box set i got from fleabay the film "The Lighthorseman" about the ozzy mounted brigades charge at beersheba is a good one and the documentary "The Somme from defeat to victory" is good its one of them docudrama thingys where the re-enact what actually happened
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
As did with Master Fang, let him go on school trip, then take him on ARRSE tour for the real educational trip!
 
#16
#17
Oh What A Lovely War, sums up the War quite well. Even had Llech Jr reduced to tears at the end scene when he was 14.
 
#18
Paths of Glory mate. Gets the futility and waste of life over nicely.
The BBC drama The Monicled Mutineer was really good to: Based on a true story about a bloke called Percy Topliss who masqueraded as an officer deserted and got shot for it.
 
#20
"Beneath Hill 60"

Spot on accuracy over kit, attitudes, and history. The best I've seen of the period.

Old rat
Out
 

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