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The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

Updated November 2, 2020 441.3k votes 28.8k voters 1.0m views214 items

List RulesMovies must take place during World War II

The best World War 2 movies remind us that perhaps no single event has had a greater impact on the future of filmmaking than World War II. It arrived at the dawn of a new era in glossy, professional mainstream filmmaking, and it affected literally every facet of daily life in North America, Europe, and Asia, where most of the world's films were being produced. World War 2 has remained a constant subject of fascination for filmmakers from the 1940s to the present day. A few of these WW2 films are even based on a true stories.

Though "WWII Films" could be classified as a separate genre from the general heading of "War Movies," they take on a lot of different styles, forms and tones. There are authentic WWII recreations, epic takes on the history of the entire period, personal stories about the soldiers, spies, revolutionaries and resistance fighters who fought the war and, naturally, sagas about the civilians of the time whose lives were forever changed by the conflict.

Many of the WW2 films on this list - from "Patton" to "Casablanca" to "Saving Private Ryan" - have secured their place among the most famous films of all time. Which of these good films are the best? Rerank your own list to nominate your favorites for this CrowdRanked collection of the best WWII films, and then be sure to vote on your favorites. Also check out this list of the best war movies ever and the best war movies on Netflix.

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  • 1
    Saving Private Ryan
    11,310
    3,066

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 2
    Band of Brothers
    12,020
    1,315

    Band of Brothers

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis

    Released2001

    Directed byMikael Salomon, Tony To, Richard Loncraine, David Frankel, David Leland

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  • 3
    Schindler's List
    8,108
    2,341

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 4
    The Longest Day
    6,909
    2,004

    The Longest Day

    Sean Connery, John Wayne

    Released1962

    Directed byDarryl F. Zanuck, Ken Annakin, Bernhard Wicki, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald

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  • 5
    Patton
    7,634
    2,351

    Patton

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden

    Released1970

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

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  • 6
    A Bridge Too Far
    5,846
    1,654

    A Bridge Too Far

    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1977

    Directed byRichard Attenborough

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  • 7
    The Great Escape
    6,949
    2,480

    The Great Escape

    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough

    Released1963

    Directed byJohn Sturges

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  • 8
    Das Boot
    5,769
    2,052

    Das Boot

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer

    Released1981

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 9
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    6,265
    2,335

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 10
    Tora! Tora! Tora!
    5,170
    1,911

    Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam

    Released1970

    Directed byRichard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku

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  • 11
    Midway
    4,948
    1,749

    Midway

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston

    Released1976

    Directed byJack Smight

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  • 12
    Twelve O'Clock High
    3,586
    1,243

    Twelve O'Clock High

    Gregory Peck, Dean Jagger

    Released1949

    Directed byHenry King

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  • 13
    The Pacific
    4,527
    1,423

    The Pacific

    James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello

    Released2010

    Directed byCarl Franklin, Jeremy Podeswa, Tim Van Patten

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  • 14
    Memphis Belle
    4,331
    1,633

    Memphis Belle

    John Lithgow, Sean Astin

    Released1990

    Directed byMichael Caton-Jones

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  • 15
    Run Silent, Run Deep
    3,431
    1,367

    Run Silent, Run Deep

    Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster

    Released1956

    Directed byRobert Wise

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  • 16
    Sands of Iwo Jima
    4,159
    1,726

    Sands of Iwo Jima

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker

    Released1949

    Directed byAllan Dwan

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  • 17
    In Harm's Way
    2,748
    1,064

    In Harm's Way

    John Wayne, Kirk Douglas

    Released1965

    Directed byOtto Preminger

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  • 18
    Battle of the Bulge
    4,047
    1,626

    Battle of the Bulge

    Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson

    Released1965

    Directed byKen Annakin

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  • 19
    Letters from Iwo Jima
    4,369
    1,783

    Letters from Iwo Jima

    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley

    Released2006

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • 20
    To Hell and Back
    3,168
    1,260

    To Hell and Back

    Audie Murphy, Denver Pyle

    Released1955

    Directed byJesse Hibbs

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  • 21
    Enemy at the Gates
    4,897
    2,129

    Enemy at the Gates

    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law

    Released2001

    Directed byJean-Jacques Annaud

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  • 22
    The Battle of Britain
    3,141
    1,249

    The Battle of Britain

    Walter Huston, Frieda Inescort

    Released1943

    Directed byAnthony Veiller, Frank Capra

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  • 23
    Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
    2,402
    1,053

    Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

    Robert Mitchum, Spencer Tracy

    Released1944

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy

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  • 24
    Casablanca
    4,206
    1,993

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

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  • 25
    The Dirty Dozen
    5,079
    2,499

    The Dirty Dozen

    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland

    Released1967

    Directed byRobert Aldrich

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