1. THE LONGEST DAY-1962
I like this version better than Saving Ryan's Privates. Sorry but I do, even though Saving Private Ryan is a good movie, I felt the rah rah American saving the day kind of got to me especially when one of the characters stated they were stuck because the soldiers at Caens were holding them back. The soldiers in Caens were Canadians and had advanced farther in that first day than the other beaches because we had learned from Dieppe. When our military suggested vehicles etc.. to the American Generals for D-Day, they were turned down! Those poor men on the beach would have had another Dieppe if not for us and the Brits! Sorry, but I had to say something and this does not mean any slight to the brave men who had to endure something horrendous on Omaha and Utah. I have a huge respect for any soldier because they had to deal with things I pray I never have to. Ok so this film has an all star cast and showcases the Americans, British, French and Germans in a step by step style to showcase what went into D Day from not only the beaches but from the air. Many of the actual soldiers and military were advisers on this film and I find it just as accurate as Saving Private Ryan.
2. BATTLE OF BRITAIN-1969
This film documents the battle in the sky that changed the course of the war preventing the German Luftwaffe from taking over Britain. This also has a major all star cast headed by Christopher Plummer that shows how fleeting the life of a pilot is. Again, you have the Germans speaking German and showing a step by step play on this battle. I love the aerial footage and that the director was able to find many word war 2 vintage planes although, in some scenes, he had to use American planes and made them look like the Spitfire.
3. TORA, TORA, TORA-1970
This docudrama is a step by step play, before, during and after, the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Again the players all speak their own language and never miss a beat how everything came about. It is interesting how some were not to be believed that all these Japanese planes were heading towards the harbour. When the Japanese Admiral Yamamoto says that he fears they woke up a sleeping Giant and filled him with a terrible resolve( which this general actually did say) you know that they did and the States would never be caught off guard again.
What films come to mind for you? Did your parents live through the war? What experience did they have?