The 100th Anniversary: A World War I in Film

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One of the biggest problems with creating a list of World War I movies is deciding what to include and what to leave out. As with the literature on the war there are hundreds of movies so I’ve done a lot of picking and choosing. However if I’ve left something out that you think should really be in there please leave the title in the comments.

All Quiet on the Western Front: 1930 and 1979

I think I can pretty much assume that all of you knew I’d start with All Quiet. I mean it’s not only is Erich Remarque’s classic work of fiction read by high schoolers and college students alike the two movies based on the book are probably the best known films on World War I.

A Very Long Engagement (2003)

The story of a woman from Britteny’s search for the missing-in-action fiance on the western front.

Paths to Glory (1957)

Based on the Humphrey Cobb novel by the same name, this Stanly Kubrick film tells the story of a French unit that refuses to continue a suicidal attack.

Beneath Hill 60

The story of an Australian mine engineer and his unit of miners detailed to dig underneath the German trenches.

Lawrence of Arabia 1962)

The classic bio pic of T. E. Lawrence staring Peter O’Toole.

Passchendaele (2008)

This Canadian film staring Paul Gross is the story of Canadian soldier, Michael Dunne, at the Battle of Passchendaele. The film was inspired by Gross’s relationship with his grandfather a World War I veteran.

Gallipoli (1981)

The battle of Gallipoli as experienced by an Australian foot soldier played by Mel Gibson

My Boy Jack (2007)

Based on David Haig’s 1997 play by the same name about Jack Kipling son of Rudyard Kipling.

The Dawn Patrol (1930)

There are lots and lots of films about flyers (new and old) in World War I. I’ll admit I picked this one solely because it was a favorite of my grandfathers.

The Lost Battalion (2001)

The story of an American battalion cut off by the Germans in the Argonne Forest in 1918.

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