A war movie is a genre of movie where a war or an armed conflict plays an important part in the movie. In most of the scenes, the actors, will play in a scenario, which is affected by war. War movies usually show modern wars; unlike other genres, which may show older conflicts. The first war movie was Sea Fighting in Greece, by Georges Meliès, of 1897. It is set in the Greco-Turkish War (1897). Documentaries about wars are not war movies.
War movies were often used to show how terrible war really is, and that peace is a better option. Therse are sometimes called anti-war-movies.
War movies have the following characteristics:
- The mix fictional and non-fictional elements (for example, a fictionnal story, in a real war). Even though everyone knows, that this story did not happen, a very similar one could have happened. Very often, the viewer knows what the parties in the war were, and how the war ended.
- The place where the movie takes place, and the kinds of weapons used have a big influence on the movie.
- There are two options: either there is one protagonist, who needs to go through some development, and prove himself; or there is a gorup of people, who need to find common traits and work together to be successful.
Usually, a part of the audience will idealize soldiers, and war. Very often, visual effects (stunts, explosions, etc) will be madde to look very realistic. This can make it difficult, keep a critical distance.
Successful war movies include:
- The Birth of A nation (David Griffith, 1915, American Civil War)
- All Quiet on the Western Front (Lewis Milestone, 1930, First World War)
- For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sam Wood, 1943, Spanish Civil War)
- Paths to Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957, First World War)
- Die Brücke (Bernhard Wicki, 1959, Second World War)
- The Longest Day (Ken Ananika / Adrew Marton /Bernhard Wicki/Erich Maria Remarque, 1962, Second World War)- last War movier shot in black and white
- MASH (RIbert Aktmanm 1970, Korean war)
- The Deer Hunter (Michael Camino, 1978, Vietnam War)
- Apocalypse Now(Francis Ford Copola, 1979, Vietnam war)
- Das Boot (Wolfgang Petersen, 1981, Second World War)
- Platoon(Oliver Stone, 1986, Vietnam War)
- Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987, Vietnam War)
- Born on the Fourth of July( Oliver Stone, 1989, Vietnam war)
- Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998, Second World War)
- No Man’s Land (Danis Tanović, 2001, Balkan conflict)
- Black Hawk Down( Ridley Scott, 2001, Battle for Mogadishu in the Somali Civil War)
- Brotherhood (Kang Je-gyu, 2004, Korean war)
- Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima (Clint EastWood, 206,Second World War)
- American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, 2014, Third Gulf War)
- Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, 2017, Battle and evacuation of Dunkirk, Second World War)
- They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson, 2018, First World War)
- 1917 (Sam Mendes, 2019, First World War)