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Old 18th January 2014, 22:09   #1
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Default The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

Hi everybody.
There are quite a few buffs here who like WW II movies and books
This is a thread to contribute the name of the movie or book which you have found interesting and still remember after years.
Calling Shankar.balan(who suggested this thread),Guderian,AlphaKilo,Jeroen etc to contribute.

The first movie and the book I would recommend is The Longest Day (has who is who of Hollywood) and the book by the same name by Cornelious Ryan.
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Old 18th January 2014, 23:02   #2
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Thanks for starting this thread!

There was a Readers Digest Condensed Books Compilation called Secrets and Stories of the War.
Wonderful compilation in two volumes.

Amongst the many interesting stories in it was one called ' They kidnapped a general' - about the SAS/ Commandos actual kidnapping of a top German general in Crete. The original book was written by a famous man- Patrick Leigh-Fermor, a Famous Soldier and Explorer. I got the original book last year and it is every bit as interesting and detailed as I thought it would be!

There is a host of stuff like this which I will share by and by. I love this era and have a large collection of books and DVDs relating to it.
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Old 18th January 2014, 23:13   #3
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Default re: The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

There is this Japanese movie by the name Tora Tora Tora.

Gives the Japanese perspective of the Pearl Harbor raid, the planning that went into it, and how badly the Americans were caught off guard.

Last edited by GTO : 20th January 2014 at 14:59. Reason: Typo
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Old 19th January 2014, 00:03   #4
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Default re: The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

Thanks for starting the thread Nari Sir . Never knew you are military history buff too apart from being a avid traveler .

While Old military conflicts are well documented and everything available On Internet as multiple western govt's has declassified the secrets docs related to WW II, I typically feel more inclined towards india's own military history. There are plenty of Article's available and documented from all 3 forces at below Site. I am sure you are aware But any case .

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/

They have beautifully documented, All Indian military conflicts so far .

Also There is a New initiative in UK to document / Digitize WW II history by historian's . Will Dig out the Link and Post here. They claim that they will put than Army;s log books and other imp docs online for public study . I guess recent controversy related to OP Blue start come out of those de-classified docs only.

I am particularly interested in knowing about Netaji & Azad hind fauj but everything is classified as of now. Indian govt still continue to maintain secrecy around these files citing international relations. .
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Old 19th January 2014, 07:03   #5
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Default re: The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

My top pick has got to be Band of Brothers by Stephen E Ambrose. It tracks the story of one group of US soldiers through the war. The HBO mini series based on the book is also pretty good but as always, the book is more real than the reel. Next on the list is English patient by Michael Ondaatje. Simple and elegant mix of characters and the war.

Apart from the usual picks (like saving private ryan, schindlers list etc.), one movie that is based on WWII but not exactly about war is Flowers of War. Its based on the Japanese assault on Nanking and is probably one of the best performances by Christian Bale

Last edited by procrj : 19th January 2014 at 07:15.
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Old 19th January 2014, 12:23   #6
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Default re: The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

I'd recommend 2 TV series on WW II, which though dated are very informative:

--Battlefield - A 36 part series (each episode, almost 2 hour long), and an extremely exhaustive coverage of large number of events in WW II (This was a Discovery Channel effort)
--Generals at War -This is a 6 part series - And focuses on 6 battles, in a recreated manner on the strategies, and weapons etc (This was a Nat Geo effort)

Apart from these, many documentaries on aspects on WW II - Hitler, Submarine Warfare etc have also been covered in various documentary series, and are worth spending time on, IMHO...
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Old 19th January 2014, 21:39   #7
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Okay, here are some of the movies about WW-II that I've seen and enjoyed immensely ....
  1. Operation Daybreak
  2. 633 Squadron
  3. Battle of Midway
  4. Operation Tora Tora Tora
  5. The Longest Day (read the book / RD's condensed book first !)
  6. A Bridge Too Far (Read the book if you can - gripping and well written)
  7. The Bridge on the River Kwai.
  8. Empire of the Sun
  9. The Great Escape
  10. Where Eagles Dare
  11. Letters From Iwo Jima
  12. Thin Red Line
  13. Saving Private Ryan
  14. Band of Brothers ( not a movie per se, but very real and believable action, closest to reality and most credible depiction of war I've seen portrayed on celluloid)
  15. Schindler's List
  16. Battle of Britain
  17. The Dirty Dozen
  18. Escape from Sobibor (A history Channel Documentary about a real incident)
  19. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  20. The English Patient

There are some more whose names elude me. But all of them were well made and enjoyable.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did !

Cheers !

Last edited by Ironhide : 19th January 2014 at 21:46.
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Old 19th January 2014, 21:48   #8
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Default re: The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

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Originally Posted by Ironhide View Post
Letters From Iwo Jima
If you enjoyed Letters from Iwo Jima, you'll like Flags of our fathers too. It's a companion movie to the former, and depicts the same battle from an American viewpoint.

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 19th January 2014, 22:06   #9
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If you enjoyed Letters from Iwo Jima, you'll like Flags of our fathers too. It's a companion movie to the former, and depicts the same battle from an American viewpoint.

Cheers,
Vikram
Yup !
THAT was one of the movies that was eluding me ! It was good! Thanks for the input!
Cheers !
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Old 19th January 2014, 22:06   #10
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Default re: The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

Here're 2 recommendations from my side:

1. Flags of our Fathers - The movie depicts the 1945 battle of Iwo Jima from the American perspective.

IMDb rating - 7.1, Metascore - 79%, Rotten Tomatoes - 73%.

2. Letters from Iwo Jima - The movie is almost entirely in Japanese and depicts the same battle from the Japanese perspective.

IMDb rating - 8, Metascore - 89%, Rotten Tomatoes - 91%.

Both the movies were directed by Clint Eastwood and co-produced by him along with Spielberg. Both are a must watch IMO.
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Old 19th January 2014, 22:10   #11
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Originally Posted by Ironhide View Post
Okay, here are some of the movies about WW-II that I've seen and enjoyed immensely ....[*]Operation Daybreak[*]633 Squadron[*]Battle of Midway[*]Operation Tora Tora Tora[*]The Longest Day (read the book / RD's condensed book first !)[*]A Bridge Too Far (Read the book if you can - gripping and well written)[*]The Bridge on the River Kwai.[*]Empire of the Sun[*]The Great Escape[*]Where Eagles Dare[*]Letters From Iwo Jima[*]Thin Red Line[*]Saving Private Ryan[*]Band of Brothers ( not a movie per se, but very real and believable action, closest to reality and most credible depiction of war I've seen portrayed on celluloid)[*]Schindler's List[*]Battle of Britain[*]The Dirty Dozen[*]Escape from Sobibor (A history Channel Documentary about a real incident)[*]The Boy in the Striped Pajamas[*]The English Patient There are some more whose names elude me. But all of them were well made and enjoyable. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did ! Cheers !
An excellent list indeed.

Add a few more;
'The Man who never was', 'Hanover Street', 'Battle of the Bulge', 'The Eagle has landed', ' Dambusters', 'Guns of Navarone', 'Force 10 from Navarone' - I did not like this too much though. Then the Tom Cruise portrayal of Col. Stauffenberg in 'Valkyrie' etc.

There was a wonderful serial called 'Wings' made by the BBC, which was telecast in the UK in the 1970's. This deals with the lives and stories of pilots on the First World War. I bought it in the BBC shop in Liverpool some years ago. Very interesting for someone like me who grew up reading Biggles books.

Another set of movies I liked, The Blue Max, The Red Baron, Flyboys etc.
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Old 19th January 2014, 22:37   #12
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Default re: The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
An excellent list indeed.

Add a few more;
'The Man who never was', 'Hanover Street', 'Battle of the Bulge', 'The Eagle has landed', ' Dambusters', 'Guns of Navarone', 'Force 10 from Navarone' - I did not like this too much though. Then the Tom Cruise portrayal of Col. Stauffenberg in 'Valkyrie' etc.

There was a wonderful serial called 'Wings' made by the BBC, which was telecast in the UK in the 1970's. This deals with the lives and stories of pilots on the First World War. I bought it in the BBC shop in Liverpool some years ago. Very interesting for someone like me who grew up reading Biggles books.

Another set of movies I liked, The Blue Max, The Red Baron, Flyboys etc.
'The Eagle Has Landed' was indeed a good movie.
So was 'Enemy at The Gates'
There was one about Hitler that portrayed his last days (including Goebbels and his wife's alleged suicide) That one was also well made, its name however eludes me completely.
Didn't particularly like the Navarone series too much, though at one time I was a fan of Alistair Maclean novels.
'Flyboys' though a well made movie was not included in the list because IIRC it was about WW-I.

Cheers !
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Old 20th January 2014, 01:37   #13
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Hi everybody
Great to read the suggestions about books, serials and movies. Quite a bit totally new to me.
As I mentioned in a different thread that, I was passionate about this subject, specially the European theatre of war, between 1960 and 1967. Subsequently lost touch. Just memories now.
Shankar.balan
Yes I remember the RD books and the kidnapping of the general
Battle of the Bulge amazing acting by Robert Shaw with his clipped accent.
The Man who never was. Admiral Canaris'( arguably the best intelligence officer of his time) quote in the movie( as mentioned in IMDB)
"Admiral Canaris: The Führer, of course, has certain advantages over mere intelligence officers like you and me, Frederick. He has his intuition, whereas we have to rely on our brains. And he's sure God is on his side.
German Officer: But you are not?
Admiral Canaris: I do not believe that God is on my side to the extent of sending me the enemy's plans. "
Guns of Navarone,starring Peck, was the first one and the best of the lot.

Ironhide,Comfortably Numb, Sushilkumar, Gannu
Letters from Iwo Jima a touching movie.
Hitler's last 10 days starring Sir Alec Guiness released in 1973. But I have a niggling doubt that there was another movie before this. I got married in 1972 and couldn't have seen this movie with my wife. It would be of no interest to her.

Sushilkumar. AFAIR it was the 4th and the 5th Indian Divisions which played a role in Africa and Italy.After 45/50 years cant be sure and as far as possible I avoid googling.
The Indian army was mainly used against Japs. And as far as Netaji Bose is concerned he was sidelined by Gandhi and Nehru. And do remember that history is written by conquerors.
Regards
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Old 20th January 2014, 02:02   #14
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Interesting Thread! and one of my favorite topics


One of the all time best WWII movies: Das Boot (1981)

Nominated for 6 Oscars.

A German movie about U-boat (submarine) warfare. Incredibly realistic and authentic !


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082096/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_Boot

Quote:
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'
There was one about Hitler that portrayed his last days (including Goebbels and his wife's alleged suicide) That one was also well made, its name however eludes me completely.
Downfall is the name of the movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downfall_%282004_film%29

Last edited by Aditya : 22nd January 2014 at 12:39. Reason: Back to back posts
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Old 20th January 2014, 06:19   #15
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Interesting Thread! and one of my favorite topics One of the all time best WWII movies: Das Boot (1981) Nominated for 6 Oscars. A German movie about U-boat (submarine) warfare. Incredibly realistic and authentic ! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082096/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_Boot

Another lovely interesting story was 'Run Silent, Run Deep' about the U Boat war. If I remember correctly it was Cornelius Ryan who wrote this book. The movie was in black and White and really was very disconcerting on account of the claustrophobia causing conditions inside an U Boat.
I have seen a submarine and believe that I would be almost physically ill because of the claustrophobic conditions. The same feeling occurred when I was privileged to visit INS Virat, the Aircraft Carrier.

I loved the earlier Alistair MacLean books and the movies that were made from them, simply because those movies were almost totally true to the books themselves.
Scenes like the Alpenkorps, the elite German Ski Borne troops, the excellent true to life settings, the portrayal of the machinery of war etc are all so authentic indeed.

'A Bridge too far' was extremely sad as a film. Especially the end, where the German officer offers chocolate to the wounded Brit officer. Chocolate that the British planes had para dropped along with the rest of the supplies, but over the Germans. Ironic. One of the most poignant scenes was when the whole regiment of survivors start singing the sad and beautiful hymn, 'Abide with me' in the end and the camera slowly pans out and ends the film with the credits etc.

Ten years ago, I visited the Ardennes area in Belgium, where the tanks broke through in the 'Battle of the Bulge'. Going there in this century, one cannot imagine the carnage that may have been there during WW2.
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