Thursday Movie Picks: World War 1

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies about World War 1. I bet all of us could name 10 movies we enjoy about WWII before we could name 3 about WWI, right? This is actually tough to think about. This one doesn't get dramatized as much. So this week, I'm sharing the three WWI movies that I know for sure I've seen. (I know, sad)

1) The White Ribbon

Of these three films, this is the most recent one I saw and also the one I actually want to rewatch. This movie was heavy, like really fucking heavy about a small German town right before WWI. I actually stopped it and picked it up the following day because I wasn't in the right mood for it. 

2) Joyeux Noel 

I saw this at the theater in the Mall of America when I ended up getting stranded in Minneapolis after a cancelled flight.  The film itself was a bit flimsy, but the acting was great. It's about various soldiers in WWI that call a truce on Christmas Eve. 

3) Flyboys

This movie was about fighter pilots in WWI, and honestly, I don't remember shit from it. I saw it because James Franco was in it. 2006 was a bad year for him by the way. Flyboys, Annapolis, Tristan + Isolde, saw them all. Still couldn't tell you a thing about them. 

22 comments:

  1. A nice variety. I've heard of but haven't seen The White Ribbon, it looked like something you'd have to be in the right mood for and I haven't been there yet.

    I enjoyed Joyeux Noel and agree the acting was excellent but you're right to have forgotten Flyboys. It had some nice aerial photography but the story was pap and the acting strictly uninspired.

    It was a tougher week. I thought of a bunch of thirties movies where WWI factored in the plot but just as a starting point not really revolving around it so I moved on. I did come up with three but one's a stretch since it debuted as a TV film.

    The Big Parade (1925)-A young gadabout from a wealthy family (John Gilbert) decides to enlist in WWI to experience what he thinks is the romance of war. Soon he is off to France where he befriends two other men and begins a liaison with a young mademoiselle but soon the sheen of new experiences is torn away when they discover the brutality of war first hand. One of the great silents and an essential film.

    My Boy Jack (2008)-17 year old Jack Kipling (Daniel Radcliffe), son of the famous poet Rudyard Kipling, wants to join the navy or perhaps the army to fight the Germans but his poor eyesight prevents his entry. Rudyard uses his influence to arrange his commission with the Irish Guards, a move Jack’s mother & sister (Kim Cattrall and Carey Mulligan) bitterly oppose because it could mean his deployment to the front lines. Jack persists and enters training, then on his 18th birthday he receives orders to lead his troops into what becomes the Battle of Loos where he goes missing. Heartbreaking illustration of the waste of war was originally a TV presentation but with that cast and level of production it could easily be a theatrical film.

    King and Country (1965)-During WWI an army private (Tom Courtenay) is accused of desertion during battle in Belgium. Captain Hargreaves (Dirk Bogarde) is assigned to defend him at his court-martial and though initially frustrated by the simple minded man over time he learns there is more to the case than he thought. Somber and grim but worth watching.

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    1. I remember when Radcliffe was filming My Boy Jack but I never got around to seeing it. I haven't heard of the other two. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. ooooooooooooooooh... The White Ribbon. Brilliant. Can't believe I didn't think of it!

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    1. I really need to watch it again, I remember liking it, but I'm struggling to remember much from it at all. lol

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  3. I've been meaning to watch Joyeux Noel. Maybe I'll finally watch it on Christmas time this year.

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  4. I would like to see White Ribbon and Joyeux Noel because they both sound really quite good especially since the Christmas gathering really did happen. I saw Flyboys and thought it was ok but read more about it and found out there was a lot of artistic licence which didn't impress me...the film didn't do much for me neither.

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    1. I don't remember a thing from that movie, but that wouldn't surprise me. I doubt it was very deep.

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  5. I recently discovered The White Ribbon and it sounds like it could be a good one since I love Haneke. I saw Flyboys back in high school and I don't remember anything except loving James Franco.

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    1. James Franco is hot, so at least there's that. lol

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  6. The White Ribbon is devastating. Love that pick. Hated Flyboys. As a matter of fact, I can tell you about all of Franco' 2006 movies because I also saw all three. They suck.

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    1. So did I, but I have the pleasure of not remembering them. 2003-2006, I watched nearly every movie that came out in theaters just because I was beginning to accept my inner cinephile.

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  7. The White Ribbon is definitely great as it's kind of a World War I film but it's really about that generation of kids who would lead the course for its aftermath and into the events that would become World War II. Flyboys I don't think I saw and I'm probably not interested in.

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    1. White Ribbon is definitely about the aftermath, but I was really stretching it this week. lol

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  8. I haven't seen any of these but I started to watch Joyeux Noel as its based the true story of the Christmas truce in 1914 and found this fascinating. But I think other people were in the room and they changed the channel. But I will go back to this.

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    1. It does have a good premise but I found it to be very shaky. Still worth the watch though.

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  9. I'm so lacking in WWI movies, it's sad. I REALLY want to see The White Ribbon. Had no idea that was set around WWI. I've seen docs and read about the Joyeux Noel thing, but I haven't seen the movie. Flyboys...no. Lol.

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    1. You're not missing a thing regarding Flyboys lol

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  10. I haven't seen the last two but The White Ribbon is a really great pick, and one of the few Haneke films I love. Very strange and unnerving. Also feels like a prequel to World War 2 itself.

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    1. That's an interesting way of thinking about it. I need to watch it again with that in mind.

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  11. I didn't hear much good things about Flyboys and Annapolis as well so skipped them. I did watch Tristan and Isolde, it wasn't bad, but James Franco was. His character was just emotionally sensitive and he had to like cry a lot and Franco was just awful at crying and just emotional scenes, it looked so fake.

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    1. That just wasn't a good year for Franco. I'm glad he's grown as an actor. lol

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