After the success of Saving Private Ryan it seemed that it was the ultimate production that set the standards that canâ€™t be made beaten. And that was true, many directors later tried to make their war movies similar to Saving Private Ryan, f.e. Assembly, Enemy at the Gates or Fury, but none of them reached the same level of realism, the atmosphere and storytelling. At least until Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg did not come up with one better - Band of Brothers TV mini-series.
The 1950s and 1960s were the golden era for independent productions in United States - anyone with some money could have been director, producer or both (letâ€™s not forget that greatest works of Ed Wood Jr were made in those times). Of course most of those productions were cheap scifi movies not really worth a second look, but war movies were a bit of a challenge for the amateur film makers - you actually need some sets and some models or war-era footage to show the action scenes.
In 1944 the war was in stalemate on the western front - the Allied offensive in Italy got stuck in the mountainous terrain, the strategic bombers were attacking the targets deep into enemy terrain, but for both sides it was obvious that the invasion on continental Europe is the next step. Germans built the Atlantic Wall from Norway to Spain, so there were plenty of spots where the attack could start. The most obviously was Calais, since it was the narrowest part of the English Channel, but British spent last year on different disinformation schemes.
The are not many settings more claustrophobic than interior of submarine - people stuck inside metal cigar with not privacy and no living space, where every inch of the space is dedicated to war purposes. In such settings it is not hard to build a dense atmosphere and that is how Below starts...
American Major Pike is one of the Overlords, high rank Allied officers with detailed knowledge of the upcoming landing operation in Normandy. While he is visiting Lisbon in 1944 German intelligence tries to kidnap him, but what they have planned for him is not senseless beating in the dark cellar.
In 1960s and 1970s Italian cinema was full of innovative and challenging creators, but on the other side of the scope there were productions like The War Devils - cheap, simple and cheap. The magic formula was simple - take script of another movie, simplify it, add scenes taken from another movies, throw in some meaningless dialogues and some action scenes and voila - the Italian pulp dish is ready to be served.
During late 1960s and early 1970s American war movies took a turn to new direction - Hollywood seemed to be more interested in adventure flicks (in style of Italian low-budget productions) rather than stories based on true events. Films like Too Late the Hero or The Dirty Dozen had more in common with westerns than classic war movies.
In December 1944 Hitler put the fate of his nation in last bold operation - all the offensive units Wehrmacht had available were put together to push towards Antwerp in Belgium in order to break the flood of Allied forces to the continent. Since the German fuel supplies were really stretched the spearhead of the offensive through Ardennes could not waste time or effort on dealing with prisoners, which lead to SS-handled massacres in Malmedy and other Belgian villages.
The war takes place at the front lines, in the occupied cities, but also in secluded places, where the soldiers captured by enemy are kept away until the conflict will end. There were several approaches to the theme of prisoners-of-war camp, f.e. Bridge on the River Kwai, Stalg 17, Rescue Dawn, The Password Is Courage, but Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is completely different from all of them.
Continuation of The Winds of War - after attack on Pearl Harbor pulled United States into conflict Pugh Henry and his family, spread all over the world, have to find a way to deal with the war and to find a way of rescuing Natalie.
War movies blog - the best war movies in history (or sometimes the worst). We search the war movies from around the world - not only classic American war movies or British war movies, but also those less known or just less interesting films from other countries. Each of them presents the different face of the war - some concetrate on soldiers and most important battles in history, but others present the suffering of the civilians and the trauma of the men involved in the fighting.
Wasteland - the final frontier... for logic
Post-apocalyptic survival for dummies