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Mike's
War Films of Note


Patton, 1970
Patton charts the tale of American hero General George S. Patton. Starting with Patton's appointment to take command in North Africa in 1943 and ending with his 'retirement' after Germany's surrender due to his refusal to tow the party line, George C Scott (who rejected an Oscar for the role, writing off the Academy Awards as a 'meat parade') is frighteningly believable as the General lusting for glory.

Lawrence Of Arabia, 1962
Patton charts the tale of American hero General George S. Patton. Starting with Patton's appointment to take command in North Africa in 1943 and ending with his 'retirement' after Germany's surrender due to his refusal to tow the party line, George C Scott (who rejected an Oscar for the role, writing off the Academy Awards as a 'meat parade') is frighteningly believable as the General lusting for glory.

Tora! Tora! Tora!, 1970
With a budget of $25 million (making it one of the most expensive films to date at the time), this epic war story recreates the events that led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Americans' subsequent entry into World War II. Directors Fleischer, Fukasaku and Masuda give a spectacular, documentary-like account, told from both sides, of how key American personnel ignored warnings of possible Japanese aggression.

Cross Of Iron, 1977
Coming at the Second World War from an unusual angle for an American movie, Sam Peckinpah's tale of Germans retreating from the Russian front is as intelligent as it is violent. Pekinpah concentrates his direction on the conflict between two German officers in a platoon making the dash for safety, but expands that to consider the importance of the individual against the necessity of everyone pulling together to survive. The cast (Max Schell, James Mason, James Coburn and David Warner) all play to the best of their ability - which is considerable - and it makes you wonder what Pekinpah could have achieved if he'd returned to warfare as a topic after this.

The Last Of The Mohicans, 1992
Daniel Day-Lewis strides heroically through 18th century war and politics as the adopted white son of a Mohican Indian in Michael Mann's adaptation of Jame's Fenimore Cooperer's novel. Day-Lewis plays Hawkeye, a white man with a Mohican father, Chingachgook (Indian activist and actor Means), and brother, Uncas (Schweig). Together they become involved with the war being waged over the colonies by the British and French. Mann stages astonishingly realised battles and even throws in a little romance for good measure between Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.

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