Thursday Movie Picks: World War II

Welcome to Thursday Movie Picks, a weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves where each Thursday you have to pick three films to match the week's topic.

And it's finally World War II week. I know it's creepy, but this is my favourite war. It was horrible and those things should have never happened, but it's not my fault if it's a fascinating period. But I'm not alone, filmmakers think that too. So while I struggled to pick three films for WWI because it isn't very interesting and there aren't a lot of films about it, I struggled this week as well because, guess what, too many good films and only three picks. I had a hard time choosing, but here's my picks.

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Jewish Italian Guido, his wife and his son are deported to the Auschwitz camp, and to help his son survive the horrors of the holocaust, Guido tells his son that it's just a game and the winner takes a tank. Simply a masterpiece about love, and optimism that delivers the message promised by the title, life is beautiful. I watch this film every year, and it keeps getting better and better. My mother who doesn't like war movies loves it too.

The Great Escape (1963)

A group of Allied prisoners plan one of the most ambitious escape attempt of World War II to escape from a Nazi prison camp. This film has everything, action, comedy, adventure, drama, and can be divided into two part, the planning of the escape and the actual escape. Some think the first part is too slow, long and tedious, but I think it's the best part of the film. The second has Steve McQueen's spectacular escape scene on a motorcycle though.

The White Rose (1982)

A group of students at Munich University begin to question the decisions and sanity of the Nazi government and for a resistance cell, die weisse Rose (the White Rose). I've seen this film ages ago and only recently I've remembered about it, but I do remember it was very well done film portraying some real heroes. I just had to pick it. 


  1. I haven't seen the last two but now I feel I should. I also chose Life is Beautiful. I know that film gets shit on a lot now but I really love it.

    Don't feel bad, I'm fascinated with WWII as well. I think a lot of people are. (clearly, by the amount of films made)

  2. I've heard about the white Rose (there was a band named after the movement) - sounds really good

  3. Life is Beautiful is an excellent film and worth all the accolades. I love The Great Escape and find it fascinating that this really happened although some things were changed. I watched the documentary about the real escape and that archaeologists found the actual tunnels! My favourite character is the Forger-Blythe. Donald Pleasance was in WW2 and was in a POW camp for real. I haven't seen the last film but am really interested since I found out, about 3 years ago, that my mom was part of the German resistance and planted dynamite under the bridges because she was the smallest and could get into the small areas

  4. Great suggestions! I haven't seen these movies before, but I'll definitely check them out.

  5. Watched The Great Escape for my Blind Spot last year and was so underwhelmed it's not even funny. Some great performances, but it should have been an 100-120 minute movie stretched unnecessarily to three hours. That's not to mention how Americanized it is. The real escape was made by mostly British soldiers.

    I liked Life is Beautiful, didn't love it. Man, I'm sounding like a real Negative Nancy today. At least I can't bash the other one since I haven't seen it.

  6. I'm glad you included The Great Escape. I agree with Wendell that it's ridiculously Americanized, and could be shorter, but I still consider it a terrific movie.

    I really want to see The White Rose.

  7. Thanks for reminding me to watch The Great Escape. I will quite soon. I'm about to dig into some films of that era.