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"Best War Movie That is Also Accurate?" Topic

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07 Nov 2015 3:14 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian29 May 2015 5:42 p.m. PST

Wargamers like to complain that Hollywood never gets the history right in its movies. So… which war movie actually got it right? And was a good movie, too?

CeruLucifus29 May 2015 6:01 p.m. PST

Well when I was a kid my dad said one of his army instructors said "Pork Chop Hill" was the only movie that got it right, because everything went wrong.

Can't remember how good the movie is however.

Who asked this joker29 May 2015 6:09 p.m. PST

Memphis Belle was technically accurate according to my uncle Bill. He was a Radioman on a B-17. The story is a collage of stories of course but everything that happened from a technical stand point was good.

Dynaman878929 May 2015 6:11 p.m. PST

Pork Chop Hill is excellent.

Didn't we just have this discussion a couple weeks ago?

Black Hawk Down was one.
We Were Soldiers (exception for the last – Battle – scene though, pure Hollywood there)

Ron W DuBray29 May 2015 6:13 p.m. PST

My grand dad said that Objective, Burma! (1945)was as close as they could get without having 100% real war footage of how bad and nasty things were there,

Sundance29 May 2015 6:33 p.m. PST

Unquestionably Tora! Tora! Tora!

BW195929 May 2015 6:34 p.m. PST

Two of my favorites are: The Great Raid (2005) with Benjamin Bratt and James Franco.

And Glory (1989) with Denzel Washington, and Matthew Broderick

PiersBrand29 May 2015 6:35 p.m. PST

Theirs is the Glory.

Arnhem veterans refighting Arnhem, in Arnhem…

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 6:43 p.m. PST

+1 Piers – my first thought as well.

leidang Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 6:49 p.m. PST

Master and Commander
Black Hawk Down

Dennis29 May 2015 6:58 p.m. PST

How about "The Story of GI Joe," "Battleground," and "A Walk in the Sun."

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut29 May 2015 7:00 p.m. PST

Starship Troopers

rmaker29 May 2015 7:23 p.m. PST

12 O'clock High.

D6 Junkie29 May 2015 7:25 p.m. PST

Waterloo and Zulu

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 7:35 p.m. PST

Waterloo and Zulu Dawn

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 7:45 p.m. PST

An old coworker of mine, Marine Vietnam vet, said Full Metal Jacket got it right

Meiczyslaw29 May 2015 7:47 p.m. PST

At one point, 12 O'Clock High was used for leadership classes in the US military.

Battle of Algiers is supposed to be spot-on as well, though I can't vouch for how good it is, having never seen it.

Capt John Miller29 May 2015 7:50 p.m. PST


My Sarcast-O-Meter went off the scale on that one.

The Panzerlied song was sung apparently at a slower pace in real life as opposed to the movie version. Come on, Americans using PANZERSHRECKS against Patton tanks? How much more realistic can you get, right? Now hold on, the did use the Chaffee tank in the movie and it had Telly in it. You know the turret that "Blown off" (READ: cut off with the use of tools) and Telly survived that only to grab a functioning .30 caliber MG. Now that was heroic!

Militia Pete29 May 2015 7:57 p.m. PST


Das Boat

Can't beat it guys….
Zulu would come in third…

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 8:01 p.m. PST

"Das Boot",was the perfect general overview of being in the U-Boat service."The Light Horse"take out the love story,great job."The lost Battalion" w/ Ricky Schroeder. And last but not least "Breaker Morant"

The Ummer29 May 2015 8:12 p.m. PST

Cross of Iron

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 8:14 p.m. PST

Another vote for Cross of Iron.

Sudwind29 May 2015 8:32 p.m. PST

Tora, Tora, Tora….Blackhawk Down….Brdge Too Far

doc mcb29 May 2015 8:35 p.m. PST


Mako1129 May 2015 8:37 p.m. PST

I liked "A Bridge too Far".

Not sure how accurate it was, but at least you got the general gist of the situation and battles from the period.

Some of the others mentioned are pretty good too, e.g. Das Boot, 12 O'clock High, Pork Chop Hill, Memphis Bell, etc.

Personal logo T Callahan Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 8:40 p.m. PST

The Cruel Sea
Tora, Tora, Tora

Korvessa29 May 2015 8:58 p.m. PST

Kelly's Heroes

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2015 9:17 p.m. PST


YouTube link

and Tora Tora Tora

surdu200529 May 2015 9:38 p.m. PST

There was a really good Australian movie about the SAS in Vietnam. I can't remember the name.

I think Objective Burma could be an infantry training film. From the standpoint of small unit operations, it is excellent.

doug redshirt29 May 2015 10:24 p.m. PST

Talvisota without a doubt. The ending scene still makes me cringe every time, just so hard to watch.

Mute Bystander30 May 2015 1:52 a.m. PST

I suspect that movies can hope, at best, to catch an approximation of the horrors, boredom, and stress of war.

Gennorm30 May 2015 2:19 a.m. PST

The Aussie SAS film was The Odd Angry Shot.

Gennorm30 May 2015 2:20 a.m. PST


nevinsrip30 May 2015 2:21 a.m. PST

The Patriot.

Got you!!

Hobhood430 May 2015 3:01 a.m. PST

Doesn't Waterloo fail to feature any non Red coated British allies? Dutch, Germans, etc?

tigrifsgt30 May 2015 3:26 a.m. PST

Run Silent, Run Deep

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2015 4:17 a.m. PST

Zulu Dawn, Zulu, Cross of Iron, Das Boot (but then I'm seriously moved by Zulu movies)

Major Mike30 May 2015 4:53 a.m. PST

Decision Before Dawn

freewargamesrules30 May 2015 5:06 a.m. PST

Hamburger Hill

Ssendam30 May 2015 6:58 a.m. PST

Has no one mentioned 'Braveheart' yet? HAHAHahaaaaaa :-)

LtJBSz Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2015 7:06 a.m. PST


ashauace6970 Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2015 7:41 a.m. PST

I second Hamberger Hill Also Paths of Glory and afew already mentioned

jedburgh30 May 2015 7:45 a.m. PST

Oh dear – Objective Burma really?


I believe it was removed from some British cinemas

RavenscraftCybernetics30 May 2015 8:06 a.m. PST

Barry Lyndon

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2015 9:06 a.m. PST

I just watched "our world war war " based on personal writings of World War I veterans including the last episode about a British tank crew, amazing scenes inside the tank. The three episodes were clearly the best war depictions I have ever seen.

I also just watched "stosstruppen, 1917" which rivals "Westfront, 1918" for world war one trench accuracy. Both better than all quiet on the Western front.

MH Dee30 May 2015 12:27 p.m. PST

Not a movie, but Generation Kill convinced me to get into Moderns. Well, that and Black Hawk Down.

(Needless to say, I've got Force on Force and supplements, but haven't painted anything yet)

14Bore30 May 2015 1:26 p.m. PST

All these are my not to miss when on.
Battleground realistic and the paratroopers pour cousins to boot.
Breaker Morant and Paths to Glory same vein but the sadder side of war in that being shot by your own side for crimes real or imagined.
Black Horse Down my favorite modern combat movie.
Some of the above mentioned are very good but do stretch reality at least a little bit just for example The Great escape another not to miss but the Americans helped dig but were all moved before the breakout.
Sorry if I'm being picky but do take my war movies seriously.

Jemima Fawr30 May 2015 4:53 p.m. PST

An Ungentlemanly Act

Jemima Fawr30 May 2015 4:54 p.m. PST


12 O'Clock High was also used for leadership training at RAF College Cranwell… I remember the start and the end… The middle bit was a welcome opportunity for some sleep. :)

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2015 7:30 p.m. PST

An old coworker of mine, Marine Vietnam vet, said Full Metal Jacket got it right

I do love that movie, especially the first half. As to accurately portraying Hue? *shrugs*

Back in 2000, I had the privilege of listening to retired USMC Brigadier General Steele speak about his experiences with urban combat in Hue. Someone in our group brought up Full Metal Jacket, and the General was quite clear in how inaccurate he felt it was. Yikes!

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