One of the most tired internet clichés is a list of war movies published over Memorial Day Weekend. It feels like it has been done over and over again … because it has. What you usually get in such a top 10 list are eight World War II movies and two irrelevant Sylvester Stallone massacres. That’s why we’re going to do something different.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, we’ll highlight war movies and miniseries you should watch from different time periods. Here are some can’t-miss World War I classics.
This 1981 Australian film was Mel Gibson’s first feature-length film. It is the story of soldiers from Australia’s Outback who enlist in the Australian Army and fight at Gallipoli, the futile attack where the Australian and New Zealand forces were first formed into battalions in WWI.
“Lawrence of Arabia”
The film is one of the top movies of all time. It centers on T.E. Lawrence’s exploits in the Arabian Peninsula during the First World War. Lawrence recruits an Arab army to fight the Turks.
The film is based on the true story of Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Alvin York. Set during WWI, it follows the story of York, a hillbilly from the rural Tennessee mountains. York tried to avoid service as a conscientious objector but was denied. He gallantly saves his company through his superior marksmanship. The 1941 movie was released prior to U.S. entry into WWII.
This 2011 movie by Steven Spielberg follows the course of World War I from the perspective of a horse born in England. The horse is drafted to serve with the British Army, is captured by Germans, and makes its way back to its original owner in England. The movie portrays the horrors of WWI trench warfare.
“Paths of Glory”
The movie is a war movie and an anti-war movie at the same time. Released in 1957, the film centers on a group of French soldiers who refuse to carry out an attack that is guaranteed to end in their deaths. Their commanding officer tries to defend them against a court-martial. It was directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.