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Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday's Top 5... World War I Movies

#5: The African Queen

A great movie for which Bogart won a much deserved Best Actor Oscar and one of those rare WWI set films that ends on a note of triumph rather than desolation. The making of the film proved to be just as adventurous as its plot and inspired a book by Katherine Hepburn and Clint Eastwood's 1990 film White Hunter, Black Heart.

#4: Paths of Glory

A ferociously angry film about the casual willingness of military higher-ups to sacrifice enlisted men, both for glory and for the purpose of saving face. Kirk Douglas delivers a great performance and director Stanley Kubrick is at the top of his game.

#3: All Quiet On The Western Front

A moving film beautifully adapted from the classic novel by Erich Maria Remarque. It's set for a remake in 2012, but the original set the bar pretty damn high.

#2: Grand Illusion

Jean Renoir's film is not just about war, it is also about how the war would help usher in massive social changes (both good and bad), marking the end of one way of life and the beginning of another.

#1: Lawrence of Arabia

Few films have ever had the scope and sweep of David Lean's epic about soldier, writer and eccentric T.E. Lawrence. The grandeur of this film is still utterly staggering and it remains one of the greatest films ever made.

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