Recommendation: The Greatest War Film You Have Never Seen

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Andy_S, Oct 14, 2009.

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  1. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Watched "Grave of the Fireflies" (1988) with my daughter the other day on DVD and was absolutely stunned. I watched it in Japanese (of which I don't speak a word) and will say this was the greatest war film I had never heard of - and is one of the greatest war films I have seen.

    Don't take my word for it. Noted film critic Roger Ebert writes:

    "Grave of the Fireflies" is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation. Since the earliest days, most animated films have been "cartoons" for children and families. Recent animated features such as "The Lion King," "Princess Mononoke" and "The Iron Giant" have touched on more serious themes, and the "Toy Story" movies and classics like "Bambi" have had moments that moved some audience members to tears. But these films exist within safe confines; they inspire tears, but not grief. "Grave of the Fireflies" is a powerful dramatic film that happens to be animated, and I know what the critic Ernest Rister means when he compares it to "Schindler's List" and says, "It is the most profoundly human animated film I've ever seen."

    Full review here:

    I wont say much about it other than DON'T read the Wiki page about it, which gives away the entire plot.

    A tragic and beautiful film. Be prepared for tears if you watch it with children, but keep some Kleenex in reserve for Mum and Dad, too.

    If the above is not clear enough: This is a strong recommendation.
  2. Lucretia

    Lucretia Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Oh seconded it is an amazing film. There will definitely be tears all round.
    Watch My Neighbour Totoro afterwards, just to cheer up.
  3. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Third that, wonderful film: can be easily viewed online aswell through Veoh and other sites
  4. Are we recommending War films in general here?

    "The Hill".... very random, very old! Usually on late at night on one of the "well-ard for men" type Sky channels. Won't bore you with the details, just google it. Full of top characters and depicts the Military justice system circa WWII.

    We should adopt a few of the practices shown now.... teach those Phase 2 scrotes not to walk diagonally across the parade square by God! 8O
  5. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Prince Caspian of Narnia is great too, nice to see the good guys win....
  6. for me It's one of those films that just gives you an overwhelming craving for lots of ice cold beer to the point of distracting you from the film itself
  7. Not quite SO old (1965) but I agree a wonderful war-time picture with a young and fit Sean Connery. Not often shown here on TV, but the Turner Classic Movie Channel did screen it in between the early Connery James Bonds films in September.
  8. "Waltz with Bashir"

    Brilliant animation - and it succeeds in capturing the strange memories and dreams we have of our war experiences. The best I've ever seen IMHO.
  9. You've got me started now haven't ya? Not exactly a little known war film but i just have to mention it as one of me all time faves....

    Where Eagles Dare! Jeez, if ever any war film inspired me to dig in to stage 6 in the back garden.... this was it. Burton looking shifty, Eastwood looking confused, and Anton Differing looking superior as the Aristocratic Wehrmacht Colonel complete with monocle. An absolute classic.

    Just thinking about it gets me all excited. It's no good.... i shall have to invade Germany immediately!
  10. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    It has probably been mentioned in one of the other war film threads but,
    'The Battle of Algiers' by Gillo Pontecorvo (1966).

    Great film, made in documentary style and I believe that the music was one of the first soundtracks by Ennio Morricone.

    An absolute must.
  11. Back to the OP, the film was made by Studio Ghibli, the first film I saw by them was

    Spirited Away which Won an Oscar

    Kikis delivery service was also very good

    I think they often pop up on Film4 etc
  12. Farm Boy is on the money. If you haven't seen 9th Company....go to it.

    Could be Kajaki ????? If you have been there, it's like the old house station on the western perimeter last stand....

    Synopsis from someone more qualified than me: The film is based on a real-life battle that took place at Hill 3234 in early 1988, during the last large-scale Soviet military operation Magistral. In the film, only one soldier from the company survives and the company is said to have been "forgotten" by the military command because of the Soviet withdrawal. But in reality, the story was different. The 9th Company, 345th Guards Airborne Regiment was pinned down under heavy fire on Hill 3234 between the 7th and 8th of January 1988. They managed to stop twelve attacks by an estimated 250−500 Mujahideen. The company lost six men. Another 28 out of the total 39 were wounded. Two of the killed soldiers were posthumously awarded the golden star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. The unit was in constant communication with headquarters and got everything the regimental commander, Colonel Valery Vostrotin, could provide in terms of ammunition, reinforcements, and helicopter evacuation of the wounded.[1]

  13. 9th Coy is an excellent film -I think one of the few Russian made films about Afghan too.
  14. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Surprised (and glad) to see that others have seen "Firefly." It was a total surprise to me; I had never even heard of it before watching it.

    "Eagles" is, IMHO, one of the three finest action films ever made - along with "Terminator 2" and "Enter the Dragon." And the score is up there with 007 and "Jaws" in terms of aural icons.

    "Company 9" - indeed, a very good film. There is also a Russian TV mini-series (lauded by none other than Putin himself) that dramatizes the almost total destruction of a Russian para co in Chechnya: Only (EDIT) five men survived. Series is called "The Storm Gates;" A snippet here:
    Oh, and a movie too, apparently:

    Which makes me muse that despite the constant trickle of casualties we face in Afghan, we are not walking through the kind of furnace the Russian Army has suffered in its recent campaigns.

    All that having been "Firefly."
  15. The Long Days's Dying.

    Only seen it once never had the chance again but amazing film found a review on a website.

    This is an unusual war film, about three british Paratroopers behind german lines in WW2. It is a long time since I have seen it, but it remains quite vivid as it wavered between an ultra realistic portrayal of the action and a strange telepathic connection between the characters. It has never been released on video, which is a pity, as it should have some recognition amongst cult film fans.