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"TOP 10 Pulp movies for wargaming" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 3:02 p.m. PST

"As wargamers, we are constantly searching for new ideas. Not surprisingly, movies are a big inspiration for a lot of us. But watching them is not only fun, sometimes it seems that we can't get enough. Watching Indy is cool, but let's be honest, we want to be like him. Well at least on the tabletop we can!

So what can we as wargamers get out of movies? Well, obviously any movie has some kind of plot. This can offer some inspirations for our own games. Some ideas just had to be played on the tabletop. And some villains are so over the top, that they are perfect for our needs…"
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Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 3:24 p.m. PST

Raiders of the Lost ark
Tales of the Golden Monkey
Highroad to China

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 7:24 p.m. PST

If we're counting "Tales of the Gold Monkey"--very pulp, but a TV show--we ought to include the Ken Howard "Manhunter" and probably "The Untouchables." (Howard played an ex-Marine bounty hunter in the Depression Midwest.)
Oh. And the Gold Monkey's evil twin, Bruce Boxleitner in "Bring them Back Alive."

Strictly speaking, "Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion" is out of period--maybe--but I think I'd stretch a point. Never quite sure of the time period of "Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers."

How about the Richard Chamberlain "Alan Quartermain" movies?

Skrapwelder Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 7:14 a.m. PST

The Phantom is on there but no Doc Savage? Who are these people?

Cornelius08 Feb 2019 10:19 a.m. PST

I agree the Mummy is very good and I would allow it as the No. 1. I would have included Rocketeer too. I quite like The Shadow film from the 90s, or at least bits of it.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

Good movies!.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

Are there THE MOVIE for Pulp?….


dBerczerk08 Feb 2019 1:56 p.m. PST

"His Majesty O'Keefe (1954) with Burt Lancaster has some interesting scenes that could work well in PULP skirmish gaming.


The Shadow09 Feb 2019 8:21 a.m. PST

Surprisingly, there were no serials added to the list, while they offer many great scenarios. Here are a few great ones:

Spy Smasher
The Tiger Woman
King of the Texas Rangers
The Adventure of Smilin' Jack
Adventures of the Flying Cadets
The Fighting Devil Dogs
Perils of Nyoka
Drums of Fu Manchu
Jungle Girl

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 11:42 a.m. PST



Mithmee14 Feb 2019 5:52 p.m. PST

Here are a few more:

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Streets of Fire
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

This one while never made would be good as well

Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League

ragsthetiger14 Feb 2019 7:29 p.m. PST

Yeah, the serials are great, here are a few more for wargamers:
Secret Agent X-9 (either version)
SOS Coast Guard
Ace Drummond

Also, the list omitted many classic war movies from the 40's and 50's. Highly recommended:
Guadalcanal Diary
Manila Calling
Hitler's Children
The Desert Fox
Stalag 14

What about The Great Escape? Bridge on the River Kwai? Guns of Navarone? Where Eagles Dare? A Bridge Too Far? Lawrence of Arabia?

On the subject of pulp, do yourself a favor and look up Lloyd Nolan's great run as Brett Halliday's wisecracking private investigator Michael Shayne in these films, most of which are on DVD:
Michael Shayne, Private Detective
Sleepers West
Dressed to Kill
Blue, White and Perfect
The Man Who Wouldn't Die
Just Off Broadway
Time to Kill

And if you like Bogart, don't miss All Through the Night, a comedy/mystery/thriller with Bogie chasing Nazi spies Conrad Veidt and Peter Lorre in New York City. A little-known gem.


Twoball Cane17 Feb 2019 11:47 a.m. PST

Raiders of the lost arc as was mentioned.

pvi99th25 Feb 2019 6:42 p.m. PST

How about The Three Mesquiteers films? Westerns with modern elements. The ones I have seen are short, maybe an hour, and offer a lot of action. Some starred John Wayne. There were at least 51 of them, starring various people.

This group of films produced various imitators. One of which, The Range Busters, even fought Nazis out west.

Jungle Jim
Captain America The First Avenger
Terry and the Pirates serial

beingshort126 Feb 2019 9:46 a.m. PST

I know someone from the top already mentioned it. Again how can you forget about the Rocketeer!? It had your Nazis, gangsters,FBI,dashing hero, and a rocket pack! Looking forward to sequel.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2019 9:38 p.m. PST

Thanks also!!


The Shadow27 Feb 2019 6:07 p.m. PST


The 3 Mesquiteers is my favorite "B" western series. I especially enjoyed "Riders of the Whistling Skull". Also one of my favorite *titles* ever.

ragsthetiger01 Mar 2019 8:14 p.m. PST

I posted earlier, but it just occurred to me that there is a movie I saw a year or two ago on Netflix that just has to be on any list that combines "pulp" and "wargaming," and is already tailor-made for a tabletop skirmish scenario. It's a little European grind-house flick from 2013 called Frankenstein's Army, and the following capsule summary gives you the gist: "A squad of Russian soldiers must go to a remote East German village to locate their missing comrades in the waning days of Word War II. Unearthing a plot to resurrect fallen soldiers, the squad becomes the target of cobbled-together monsters." If you're into Weird War 2 stuff, do check it out.

joedog12 May 2019 6:23 p.m. PST

This one is not a movie, but it's certainly pulp-y.

Radio series – Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police


chironex16 May 2019 1:29 a.m. PST

The Adventures of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.
The Sky Pirates.
Various adaptations of The Lost World.
If we're counting Two-Fisted Tales as well as pulp, there's also The Goonies (racing bad guys through underground maze full of deathtraps guided by a scroll they found to find hidden ship full of the treasure of a notorious pirate? the only difference is the details).
Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile.
Flash Gordon (there was a 1930s serial as well as the later movie), Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century (no idea about a more modern movie, the 70s series doesn't quite suit stylistically, but there was a 1930s serial as well).
There was also one I cannot name, probably an 80s movie, featuring a girl with psionic abilities, and a race against bad guys to get to an ancient temple to secure a white crystal-shaped arcane weapon (the girl takes control of it and defeats the bad guys by demonstrating it to them).
The Librarian series.

chironex16 May 2019 1:41 a.m. PST

There's also the Tin Tin movie, but I haven't seen that so I couldn't really judge its suitability.

The Shadow27 Jun 2019 7:51 a.m. PST

Thinking about the top ten movies that offer good scenarios *for wargaming*, some were mentioned that were good flicks, but wouldn't offer any good scenarios. Here are ten that would:

Treasure Island (Beery)
Last of the Mohicans (Day-Lewis)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Wild Bunch
Gunga Din
Beau Geste
Adventures of Robin Hood (Flynn)
G-Men (Cagney)
Tarzan And His Mate
Passage to Marseilles (Bogart)

joedog11 Jul 2019 10:50 a.m. PST

TV series, and hard to find, but "QED" About American professor Quentin Everet Deveril (iirc) – played by Sam Waterhouse – taking on all sorts of early 20th century scientific contraptions and plots.

pvi99th11 Jul 2019 7:46 p.m. PST

QED was available on YouTube at one point. Not sure if it is still on there or not. Since there were only something like five or six episodes the entire series shows up.

The Shadow12 Jul 2019 6:58 a.m. PST


What sort of scenarios would you be able to create from that series.

joedog12 Jul 2019 9:29 a.m. PST

I haven't seen them for a long time (saw a few on TV as a child, watched some online – probably youtube a few years back), so am going from memory, but the shows (about a half a dozen) seemed to deal with some common "pulp" themes.

Usually some new technology that the bad guys were going to use for criminal purposes, and some action involved in keeping them from getting it, keeping them from using it, or recovering it from them.


YouTube link

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