Classic Movies - Historical Epics and Hollywood at War
6 Classic World War I Movies
While there are more films about World War II, there are several great movies from the classic era that were made about the war to end all wars. Because World War I is often viewed today as tragic and unnecessary, more movies about it have taken on a decidedly antiwar tone, which is in sharp contrast to flag-waving pictures about its predecessor that came out in the 1940s and ‘50s. This sharper tone has resulted in some rather intense movies that showcase war in a more realistic light while seemingly presaging the dark, cynical mood following the Vietnam War. Though fewer movies about the war are made these days, World War I remains a period of fascination for filmmakers and moviegoers alike.
6 World War II Classics
More than another war, World War II has been the source of inspiration for a number great war movies. While there were numerous flag-waving films made during the war, it wasn’t until after the guns had settled that filmmakers began taking a more realistic look at the events of 1939-1945. Slowly but surely, Hollywood turned a jaundiced eye toward the good war and by the late 1970s, a public weary from another difficult war gravitated toward realistic movies that reflected their cynical mood. Whether patriotic or anti-war, there is a great movie about World War II for everyone.
8 Classic Historical Epics
Before the use of computer graphics to take audiences back to ancient worlds, Hollywood would build massive sets and employ a literal cast of thousands. Fearful of the new medium of television, studios staged these films in order to draw audiences to theaters. It worked for a time, but by the early 1960s these epics proved too costly to make....
Swiss Family Robinson
The timeless Disney classic adventure movie, the plucky Swiss family Robinson, shipwrecked on a desert island, builds a fabulous tree house, cavorts with exotic animals and battles pirates. A rollicking good time.
To Have and Have Not with Bogart and Bacall
The chemistry sizzles between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who met and fell in love on the set of 'To Have and Have Not.' A diverting wartime classic film by Howard Hawks, set on the French island fo Martinique in World War II.
'Stalag 17' - Suspicion in a POW Camp
A compelling study of human nature set in a WWII POW camp, 'Stalag 17' is also a sly dig at the red-baiting of the communist era. Billy Wilder directed William Holden to a Oscar for his cynical performance as the outsider in 'Stalag 17.'
'Gone With the Wind' - A Civil War Epic
A sweeping movie about the Old South, the Civil War and the adventures of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, 'Gone With the Wind' is the epitome of a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster based on a best-selling novel. A soap opera, a period piece, a costume drama and a Civil War epic all rolled into one of the most famous films of all time.
'Casablanca' - Bogart and Bergman in a Timeless Romance
'Casablanca' is the movie on just about every "top ten" list in the known galaxy. With Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a great romance, it's a thrilling wartime drama with an unforgettable ensemble cast. Play it again, Sam!
'The African Queen' - The Little Boat That Could
'The African Queen' is the only screen pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, a rip-roaring adventure movie and love story. Director John Huston's sweeping film pits English spinster Hepburn, scruffy Canadian expat Bogart and their plucky boat, the African Queen, against the Germans in WWI.
'Ben Hur' - Sweeping Historical Saga
One of the greatest sword-and-sandal epics ever filmed, 'Ben Hur' stars Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins and Stephen Boyd in a magnificent, thrilling story of the Roman Empire and the birth of Christ. 'Ben Hur' - they just don't make 'em like this anymore.
'Sergeant York' - A Classic Biopic
A sharp-shooting pacifist from the backwoods of Tennessee becomes an unlikely war hero in the true story of 'Sergeant York' and his courage in WWI. A great classic movie starring Gary Cooper wrestling with duty to God and country.
'Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb'
The funniest movie ever made about global nuclear destruction. Peter Sellers plays three roles, including the bizarre 'Dr. Strangelove,' in Stanley Kubrick's classic black comedy of Cold War military machismo and political blundering.
'The Searchers' - John Wayne's Finest Role
'The Searchers' is a classic American western, with John Wayne searching for a kidnapped niece in a bitter battle with a Comanche tribe across the wild scenery of Utah's Mounument Valley. Thought by many to be the first film to take on the racism underlying the culture clash between Indians and settlers on the frontier.