All Women's Talk

7 Heart-Wrenching Movies about World War 1 Everyone Should See ...

By Neecey

I hope you consider watching movies about World War I on August 4th. This is the anniversary of the start of the so-called Great War - the war to end all wars. I think many of us are fairly ignorant about the First World War mainly because we have grown up with veterans of World War II, and there are many more movies about World War II than about World War I. Watching movies about World War I to commemorate the outbreak is an easy but worthy way to observe the occasion and remember those who made great sacrifice. 2016 is especially poignant as it is the centenary of the Battle of the Somme - the single bloodiest battle of the war.

1 War Horse (2011)

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Sometimes it takes a great contemporary figure to take us back to the past and make it relatable. With Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair, you always know you are in for an emotional roller coaster ride, and 2011’s big screen adaptation of the smash hit play War Horse is absolutely no exception. One of the most recent movies about World War I, the film tells the powerful and moving story of a young man named Albert and his horse Joey, who are separated by the war. Filled with joy, sorrow and overwhelming sentiment, War Horse is definitely one you need the tissues for!

2 Regeneration (1997)

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Based on the 1991 novel by Pat Barker, Regeneration is a film that gives us an insight into shell shock, one of the most tragic discoveries to come out of the living causalities of World War I. The plot centers on real life poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, and their time spent together at Craiglockhart War Hospital recovering from their ailments, both physical and psychological. A tough but important watch.


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3 Flyboys (2006)

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James Franco stars as the leader of a gang of new and fresh American flying recruits who volunteer for the French army just before the beginning of World War I. Full of bravado and Yankee swagger, the men become the country’s first fighter pilots and end up fighting a war that isn’t even theirs. Lots of impressive battle scenes and a sweeping score make you feel every single moment of emotion.

4 Gallipoli (1981)

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Mel Gibson and Mark Lee star in this heart-wrenching tale of two young Australians who seek danger and adventure and join the army to fight in World War I. The young men end up fighting in the battle of Gallipoli, one of the most devastating and horrifying campaigns of the entire war, and the film is one hell of an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end.

5 Paths of Glory (1957)

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Made in 1957, Paths of Glory is among one of the very best films about World War I ever made. Unafraid in its portrayal of the terror and injustices of war, Kirk Douglas leads the film with a strong performance as a Colonel who is court martialed for refusing to lead his men into a suicide mission. Decidedly anti-war, the film aims striking criticism at the men who made the big decisions but never set foot on the battlefield.

6 Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

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Directed by Richard Attenborough, Oh! What a Lovely War is a musical film that tells the story of World War I in many different metaphors, from fairground attractions to bawdy music halls. The songs take a satirical and critical look into the way that the war was sugar coated for young soldiers who had no idea what they were in for after they had joined up. A sad and powerful message to any who believe in the glory of combat.

7 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

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Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time of any genre, Lawrence of Arabia stars Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence and depicts his experiences on the Arabian Peninsula during World War I. It is interesting to see a film about the First World War that has scenery and locations different to the muddy trenches and French fields we are so used to, and the truly epic and sweeping feel of the film simply takes your breath away. An absolute classic.

Movies about the First World War are disturbing yet educational, emotional yet also an enjoyable (maybe edifying is a better word) viewing experience. Will you be marking the occasion by watching one?

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