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"Top 5 Cold War Movies for Wargamers?" Topic

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Action Log

16 May 2009 12:13 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian02 Feb 2009 9:27 p.m. PST

Your favorite films that are set during the Cold War.

kyoteblue02 Feb 2009 9:31 p.m. PST


Capt Carl02 Feb 2009 9:33 p.m. PST

ice station zebra

IttyBitty02 Feb 2009 9:34 p.m. PST

I do not know of five (off the top of my head) but…

The Bedford Incident
Dr Stangelove

combat wombat02 Feb 2009 9:40 p.m. PST

RED DAWN!!! the only choice for number one!!

JRacel02 Feb 2009 9:48 p.m. PST

How can you guys leave out propaganda films like Top Gun and The Green Beret??? :)


DesertScrb02 Feb 2009 9:49 p.m. PST

Dr. Strangelove
Twilight's Last Gleaming
Fail Safe (2000 version w/Clooney et al.)
Whoops! Apocalypse
Miracle Mile

anleiher02 Feb 2009 9:59 p.m. PST

Ice Station Zebra
The Bedford Incident
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
From Russia With Love

RJ Andron02 Feb 2009 10:15 p.m. PST

Would Seven Days in May count?

nvdoyle02 Feb 2009 10:22 p.m. PST

Hunt for Red October.

Tom Bryant02 Feb 2009 11:32 p.m. PST

Not sure about "top five" but here are a few:

Dr. Strangelove
The Ipcress File
Funeral In Berlin
The Manchurian Candidate (Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey)

boggler02 Feb 2009 11:47 p.m. PST


Really, really bad film but with lots of Canadian Centurians, M113's etc. And a para drop.


Top Gun Ace03 Feb 2009 12:01 a.m. PST

The Bedford Incident
Dr Stangelove
Hunt for Red October

And, the one where the American commander on the front lines in Norway (I think), or thereabouts goes nuts (okay, more like a little over the top, gung-ho), and nearly starts a major war on the border with the Soviets, in the remote, snowcovered region.

Can't recall the name of the movie, or the title, but it was a fairly decent action flick, back in the mid-to late 1980's, I believe (could be early to mid-1990's too). The American commander was the sheriff in Jaws, if I am not mistaken.

Quite entertaining.

ezza12303 Feb 2009 12:50 a.m. PST

Top Gun Ace,

Is that the one where an American is taking cover in some pipework outside and due to the cold weather he gets partially frozen to the pipe.

A Russian passes by and sees him and the American, who is trying to struggle to get free of the ice so he can take a shot at the Russian but the Russian fires first.



Top Gun Ace03 Feb 2009 2:16 a.m. PST

I can't recall, but do remember a heavily wired, and mined no-man's land, and the Americans sneaking across into Russian territory, through the snow-covered woods, to cause havoc, and to make the Soviet commander look stupid.

Lots of good chase scenes through the snow, some at night, and action on both sides, which gets out of hand.

Basically a personal grudge between the leaders of both sides, which escalates considerably.

At the end, things get cooled down a bit, so it doesn't cause a full blown war, but there is still a lot of shooting, and stuff blowing up during much of the film.

Found it.

Roy Scheider in "The Fourth War" – 1990.


Gunslinger03 Feb 2009 3:02 a.m. PST

@ ezza123

You were thinking of World War III with David Soul. That one takes place in Alaska.

@ Top Gun Ace

I thought it was suppossed to be in the Fulda Gap, but it has been years since I saw that one.

BigLee03 Feb 2009 4:08 a.m. PST

For me there are only two choices…

Ice Station Zebra
Dr Strangelove

Classic films, iconic in stature and watchable time and time again.


Lowtardog03 Feb 2009 4:29 a.m. PST

9th Rota – lots of Soviet Kit
Red Dawn

Not big on spy films myself

Steve Hazuka03 Feb 2009 5:58 a.m. PST

Dr Strangelove
Ice Station Zebra
Charley Wilsons War

DontFearDareaper Fezian03 Feb 2009 6:15 a.m. PST

Seven Days in May
Fail Safe
Dr. Strangelove
The Hunt for Red October
The Caine Mutiny


galvinm03 Feb 2009 6:36 a.m. PST

Hunt for Red October
Red Dawn
Widowmaker K-19
Ice station Zebra
4th War

richarDISNEY03 Feb 2009 8:06 a.m. PST

The spy who loved me

From Russia with love

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2009 10:21 a.m. PST

best Cold War films, though originally serialized for TV, were Sir Alec Guinness as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and then Smiley's People.

Great drama without the explosions and automatic-weapon fire.

Dr Strangelove for black-comedy; and I believe that is "IpCress File"? with Michael Caine

Wizard Whateley03 Feb 2009 10:29 a.m. PST

"I was a Communist for the FBI"

DontFearDareaper Fezian03 Feb 2009 11:27 a.m. PST

heheheh ..for shear absurdity and/or silliness

Red Dawn
The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming,
Spies like Us
The Mouse that Roared
*Big Jim McClain

* find me another movie where an investigator for the House subcomittee for Unamerican Activities is the hero of the movie. evil grin


Keelhauled03 Feb 2009 11:37 a.m. PST

Here are my votes:

Twilights Last Gleaming
Red Dawn
The Third Man

The last one i am thinking of had George Kennedy as an admiral in charge of a US Antartic base & the world is dying because a virus was unleashed in Europe.

Top Gun Ace03 Feb 2009 11:58 a.m. PST

"I thought it was suppossed to be in the Fulda Gap (e.g. The Fourth War).

Could be, since almost two decades since I have seen it as well.

I don't recall seeing any background of a Soviet Invasion, but I guess it could have been the border between East and West Germany.

Major Mike03 Feb 2009 12:14 p.m. PST

"1,2,3" with James Cagney
"Fourth Protocal" with Pierce Brosnan
"Manchurian Candidate" with Frank Sinatra
"Strategic Air Command" with Jimmy Stewart (and B-36 Bombers!)
"Hell or High Water" with IRMC Steve McQueen

Huscarle03 Feb 2009 1:01 p.m. PST

Have to agree with rmcaras, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" wa superb, and "Smiley's People" was a good follow-up. I also enjoyed "Sleepers" with Warren Clarke and Nigel Havers.
However my 5 movies would probably include:-
"The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"
"Ipcress File"
"7 Days in May"
"Our Man in Havana"
"The Third Man"

gladue03 Feb 2009 1:23 p.m. PST

Ooh, I forgotten about "Fourth Protocol".

I'd toss in Gene Hackman's -- "The Package"

The IpCress File, Ice Station Zebra, and Fail Safe are excellent choices. The Third Man is good selection, but that's more in the post-war/pre-cold war period.

DontFearDareaper Fezian03 Feb 2009 11:25 p.m. PST

Oh, I completely forgot about one of my favorites I haven't seen in ages. Night People starring Gregory Peck and Buddy Ebson. Son of a prominent businessman serving in the Berlin Brigade gets kidnapped by commies who demand a member of the former german resistance in exchange for him. Broderick Crawford also appears as the obnoxious father throwing his weight around and generally getting in Pecks way as he tries to do his job and rescue the kid without giving the Reds the old resistance man.


troopwo Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2009 8:46 a.m. PST

Pork Chop Hill-Yellow fever at its' best

Invasion USA(1952)-nuclear torpedoes vs carriers, ruskie paratroopers all over Washington DC

HMS Amethyst-forget the name in the US, commie chinese trying to capture HM vessel.

The Glory Brigade-Victor Mature taking time off from Gladiator Movies to lead a redneck bulldozer and some odd greeks against communism.

Steel Helmet and Fix Bayonets, both made in cooperation with the US Army. Even includes psychological circumspection and chinese buglers.

Doctor Bedlam04 Feb 2009 9:39 a.m. PST

Invasion USA (The version where Chuck Norris personally kicks the &%$ of every Communist in the entire hemisphere)
Dr. Strangelove (What's not to love?)
Fail Safe
Twilight's Last Gleaming
Red Dawn (Only movie Lea Thompson ever made where she didn't look so hawt to die for)

Ambush Alley Games19 May 2009 4:45 p.m. PST

I'm surprised Missiles of October didn't make the list – I missed this thread (through no fault but my own) or I would have nominated it!

I'm surprised The Third Man isn't doing better than it is.

BF Mark20 May 2009 10:35 a.m. PST

Well, if we are talking about movies for wargamers (must be able to draw a scenario from it) may favorites would be:

Red Dawn
Tai Guk Gi
Bridges at Toko Ri
We Were Soldiers Once
The Green Berets


Windward21 May 2009 1:12 p.m. PST

Fail Safe 1964

ScoutJock21 May 2009 9:44 p.m. PST

I would add "The Beast of War" a lone soviet tank slugs it out with the mujihadeen after destroying an Afghan village. The tank gets separated from its mates while trying to mske it back to friendly lines. Good skirmish gaming potential.

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