Christian Bale made his film debut as British schoolboy in a Japanese prison camp in World War II Shanghai in this superb war drama.
There is something very appealing in the gee-whiz earnestness and plucky patriotism of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), a red, white and blue superhero journey wrapped up in the nostalgia of the World War II era, where American pluck and moral certainty made the battle. As the title hints, it is something of a […]
Anthropoid (2016) isn’t the first film to dramatize the real-life operation to assassinate SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of the Final Solution and Hitler’s third in command in the Nazi hierarchy. That honor belongs to Fritz Lang, who made the highly fictionalized and highly charged Hangmen Also Die in 1943, barely a year after the […]
In This Corner of the World (Japan, 2016), adapted from the acclaimed manga by Fumiyo Kono, charts life in Japan from 1934 through 1946 as seen through the eyes of a young woman. Suzu is a teenage schoolgirl in Hiroshima when we meet her, a budding artist with a bullying older brother and a spritely […]
Saving Private Ryan (1998) was the first major World War II film made by Hollywood in decades and the timing was right. The 50th Anniversary of D-Day in 1994 brought the cultural conversation back to the sacrifice of American soldiers. After a generation of films revisiting Vietnam, Steven Spielberg steered Hollywood back to the pride […]
By all rights, the homecoming drama The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) should have been another well intentioned film left to the dated dustbins of history, but World War II vet William Wyler (working from an original Robert Sherwood script) put more soul into this picture than anything else in his career. Clocking in […]
In conjunction with the premiere of the original documentary Five Came Back, the story of how Hollywood’s great filmmakers went to war as filmmakers for the armed service in World War II, Netflix has made a number of the documentaries featured in the production available on Netflix. Here’s a guide to some of the highlights. […]