This is by no means a complete listing of all of the movies relating to World War I. The movies that are included here are the ones where I had stills.
D.W. Griffith in France, 1917, filming Hearts of the World.
Dead soldiers march the streets in Abel Gance's 1919 J'accuse.
The famous dogfight scene from William Wellman's 1927 classic Wings.
Lew Ayres as Paul Baumer in Lewis Milestone's 1930 version of All Quiet on the Western Front.
Gary Cooper as Sergeant Alvin C. York in Howard Hawks' 1941 Sergeant York.


This list was contributed by Michael E. Hanlon, Research Editor of ø Relevance, the Quarterly Journal of ø The Great War Society.


ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT MILESTONE, LEWIS US, 1930 Focuses on a German soldier's experiences at the front and home on leave where he feels estranged. Powerful anti-war statementwhich won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1930.In the readers' poll this was still the top rated WW1 film of all time. Director Milestone served with Signal Corps during the War. THE BATTLE FOR VERDUN LAURENT, REMI FILMS FOR THE HUMANITIES, 1988 Originally produced in France, this documentary is now available with an English narration dubbed-over the French. The strengths of the film include letters from the parti- cipants (some optimistic, some flat depressing) and visual footage that shows the truth behind the letters. The stark images of Verdun's legendary sites like the Voie Sacree and Fort Vaux looking like it had been attacked by 100,000 sledgehammer wielding maniacs are haunting. THE BIG PARADE VIDOR, KING US, 1925 One of the greatest and most successful silent films.Story focuses on a doughboy who must return home after being wounded. BLACK AND WHITE IN COLOR ANNAUD, JEAN-JACQUES FRENCH, 1977 Fictional work using the Great War in Africa as a backdrop. Contrasts attitudes of primitive natives to those of 'ci- vilized' Europeans. Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. BLACKADDER GOES FORTH TELEVISION SERIES BBC BRITISH, 1989 The Blackadder Repertoire Company headed by Rowan Atkinson in the title role spent several episodes sending up the Great War, the British Empire, the high command and pro- heroic sentimentality. Relentlessly hilarious until its surprising conclusion. THE BLUE MAX GULLERMIN, JOHN US, 1966 Excellent depictions of combat aviation action.Do not pay much attention to the story. However, the acting of James Mason and Jeremy Kemp is commendable. Available in video. The book by the same title is more interesting and the characters are much better developed. DARK JOURNEY SAVILLE, VICTOR LONDON FILMS, 1937 Spy and love story set in Sweden during the Great War. Little historical value but a fair story and a look at young Vivian Leigh. Reportedly available in video, but I haven't found it. THE DAWN PATROL GOULDING, EDMUND US, 1938 One of very few remakes considered better than the original. This movie has inspired much interest in WW1 aviation. Erroll Flynn, David Niven and Basil Rathbone are all terri- fic. Singing tribute to the next man to die still feels powerful. The 1930 version is also pretty good, however. DR. ZHIVAGO LEAN, DAVID US/BRITISH, 1965 David Lean produced a trilogy on the days of the Great War. Ryan's Daughter depicted the troubles in Ireland and Lawrence of Arabia covered the Mideast.Dr. Zhivago depicts the war on the Eastern Front, the Revolution and the Civil War.The details of daily life and the impact of the political struggles are more interesting than the central character and his loves. One of the most visually pleasing films ever made. A FAREWELL TO ARMS GLAZER, BENJAMIN US, 1932 See this version rather than 1957 remake.Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes add their magic to Hemingway's story of love and the Great War on the Italian Front. THE FIGHTING 69TH KEIGHLY, WILLIAM US, 1940 Slightly silly and melodramatic film about the New York Irish regiment that fought in France as part of the 42nd Rainbow Division. Not history, but with all the movie stars it employees, it's still entertaining. GALLIPOLI WEIR, PETER AUSTRALIAN, 1981 Potent anti-war statement by Australian Director. Depicts the classic haunting WW1 nightmare image of an infantryman rising out of a trench only to be gunned down before he ever sees his adversary.Not considered fully accurate historically though. LA GRANDE ILLUSION RENOIR, JEAN FRENCH, 1937 Considered by some the greatest film ever made.Within the context of an exciting POW escape story, the viewer is treated to countless insights on the human condition.Can be seen over and over. THE GUNS OF AUGUST UNKNOWN SOURCE US, 1964 A feature length documentary that is somewhat based on Barbara Tuchman's history by the same title. It's broader in scope, but less detailed than the book. HEARTS OF THE WORLD D.W. GRIFFITH US, 1918 Pro-war (actually, pro-US intervention) silent film by early master of the medium that features reconstructed battle scenes. The most memorable segment involves the Beast of Berlin himself, the Kaiser. Features the Gish sisters, Lillian and Dorothy. HELL'S ANGELS HUGHES, HOWARD US, 1930 Earliest flying movie with sound.Undoubtedly has the feel of an aviation spectacular - long on action, short on plot credibility.This author's father was an extra in the fly- ing sequences which were filmed over San Francisco Bay. J'ACCUSE GANCE, ABEL FRENCH, 1919 Little known [in America] anti-war work by the innovative French director of "NAPOLEON".Famous for a scene of dead soldiers rising from their graves. Temporarily out of print, but video tapes are out there somewhere. JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN TRUMBO, DALTON WORLD ENTERTAINERS, 1971 Thoroughly dismal story of a thoroughly disabled veteran. Timothy Bottoms as the guest of honor. KING AND COUNTRY LOSEY, JOSEPH BRITISH, 1964 Underrated British film.A simple-minded soldier, played admirably by Tom Courtenay, runs afoul of the authorities and pays the ultimate price. THE LAST COMMAND VON STERNBERG, JOSEFPARAMOUNT, 1928 Outstanding silent work about former tsarist officer who comes to the land of opportunity and gets a role in the movies. Available in video. An Academy Award for Best Actor went to EmiL Jannings for his portrayal of the ex-officer. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA LEAN, DAVID US/BRITISH, 1988R Seeing the longer 1988 re-edit leaves the viewer with a better understanding of the Arab Revolt in the desert.But regardless of the history lesson, this is one of the most exciting movies ever made with a fantastic cast. Academy Award winner. LIFE AND NOTHING BUT TAVENIER, BERTRAND FRENCH, 1989 Moving French film that captures the dismal sense of post- World War 1 France as the battlefields were being cleaned-up and the families of missing in action searched for their relatives' corpses. Excellent depiction of the selection of the French Unknown Soldier at the Verdun Citadel. THE LIGHTHORSEMEN WINCER, SIMON AUSTRALIAN, 1988 Great action yarn about the Australian Light Horsemen who charged Beersheba. Like the chariot race in "BEN HUR" the charge is worth the price of admission itself. MEN OF BRONZE MILES, WILLIAM US, 1977 Excellent documentary about New York State's 369th all-black regiment that fought with distinction on the Western Front, usually under French command.This film was made when the veterans were still very articulate and were able to take a long look at their experiences. A favorite of this author. NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA SCHAFFNER, FRANKLIN J. US, 1971 Beautiful epic film of the last days of the Romanovs.The critics didn't like it because of its length, but if you are interested in the period the time flies. Available in video though not commonly seen in stores. OH, WHAT A LOVELY WAR ! ATTENBOROUGH, RICHARD BRITISH, 1969 The bad news is that this film of the play of the same title doesn't hold together. A seaside amusement pier set used for organizing the action on stage proves distracting in the film. On the other hand, there are many excellent scenes depicting life in the trenches, the 1914 Christmas Truce and some hilariously vicious satire. Great music too. Not yet available commerciallly, but can be caught on cable television. PATHS OF GLORY KUBRICK, STANLEY US, 1957 Powerful anti-war movie featuring Kirk Douglas and Adolph Menjou. An infantry officer, a lawyer in civilian life, must represent three men accused of cowardice. He must watch almost helplessly as they are railroaded to their deaths. REDS BEATTY, WARREN US, 1981 The story of American left-wing journalist John Reed, Louise Bryant and their adventures among Greenwich Village intel- lectuals and in the Russian Revolution.Succeeds in giving Hollywood glamourto one of the greatest catastrophes in human history.The highlight of the film is the series of revealing (often unintentionally) interviews with the Reed's surviving acquaintances. Won Beatty an Academy Award as Best Director. THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER BRIDGES, ALAN BRITISH, 1985 A soldier suffering shell shock presents an interesting dilemma to his doctors.Little known, but powerful film. Reportedly available in video. SERGEANT YORK HAWKS, HOWARD US, 1941 Nearly a pro-war propaganda piece, this film helped prepare the American psyche for the Second World War.Gary Cooper won an Academy Award for his depiction of the Tennessee Doughboy.The film focuses on York's maturing character rather than combat. UPSTAIRS / DOWNSTAIRSTELEVISION SERIES LONDON WEEKEND TELEVISION BRITISH, FIRST SHOWN IN US 1974 - 77 The four TV-season long epic story of how the Bellamy household, both the aristocratic types UPSTAIRS and the servants DOWNSTAIRS, weather the social changes of the early 20th Century as accelerated by the Great War.Major James Bellamy, his cousin and volunteer nurse Georgina, and family footman and trooper Edward are all radically affected by their struggles at the front. A great TV experience. WILSON KING, HENRY US, 1944 Generally very positive film treatment of the professor who became President. Kind of boring, though. WINGS WELLMAN, WILLIAM US, 1927 Features exciting aerial and combat re-creations made with unlimited surplus equipment, planes and extras. The story is a little ridiculous, but who cares. Stars Buddy Rogers and Clara Bow with an appearance by a young Gary Cooper. WORLD WAR 1 TELEVISION SERIES CBS NEWS US, 1965 Distinguished, comprehensive treatmentof the War.Rates high for writing, Robert Ryan's narration, film restoration and the wonderful musical episode. Can be ordered on as a set and is periodically reshown on cable television in the US. THE YANKS ARE COMING WOLPER, DAVID US, 1966 Excellent documentary film about the American involvement in the Great War. Seems to be making the rounds of cable TV networks.