4 WWII Films that Made an Impact On Me

This post recently came across my blog reader, and I immediately clicked to read it because my first viewing of A Town Like Alice left a pretty strong impression on me. I found it as a teen in my grandma’s collection one overnight visit, and I watched it with her and my aunt. 

I remember feeling like it was an eye-opening experience, but I can’t specifically remember why. Some of it may have stemmed from watching my grandma’s reaction to it, things like her giggle when the captive women received Lifebouy soap after days on the trail.

I grew up with a number of war movies, and a couple became viewing favorites, but the one I first heard about was The Flying Tigers. It’s important to my family because my grandfather was one of the P-40 pilots for the film! Beyond that, there’s a scene where John Wayne’s character comes back from a mission and steps down from his plane, and the back shot is none other than my grandpa.

The Great Escape was the one I watched the most. I kind of fell in love with Steve McQueen’s acting over this film, and I even built a short tunnel in the backyard at one point so my brother and I could play “Escape.”

Perhaps my favorite WWII movie is Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. Some people are irritated by the ending, but I personally like it. The first time I watched it I wasn’t sure how interesting two people surviving on an island could be, but I didn’t know the story at all and it proved quite riveting. This is one of the rare instances where I like the movie better than the book.

Other WWII movies that I like a great deal include The Miracle of the White Stallions, Father Goose, and Where Eagles Dare.

Lastly, since war movies are on the mind, I’ll mention my two favorite WWI movies: Sergeant York and The African Queen.

I must admit that I have seen very few of the modern depictions of WWII. I hear titles like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers and am torn (I have not seen either). I understand they’re a more realistic portrayal (which is attractive from a historical standpoint), but that’s also the problem for me. It’s easier for me to read about it than see it on-screen, so I generally avoid war movies once special effects come in.

What are your favorites?

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