vote on everything
Watchworthy
28.5k voters

The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

Updated October 1, 2020 434.3k votes 28.5k 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    11,120
    3,003

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    amazon buy button

    More Saving Private Ryan 

    12 Small - But Accurate - Details From 'Saving Private Ryan'#5 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 2
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    7,958
    2,294

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    amazon buy button
  • 3
    Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    11,833
    1,275

    Band of Brothers

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis

    Released2001

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

    amazon buy button

    More Band of Brothers 

    12 Behind The Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Band Of Brothers'#19 of 639 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch

  • 4
    The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    6,814
    1,981

    The Longest Day

    Sean Connery, John Wayne

    Released1962

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

    amazon buy button
  • 5
    Patton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    7,501
    2,330

    Patton

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden

    Released1970

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    amazon buy button
  • 6
    A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    5,738
    1,634

    A Bridge Too Far

    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1977

    Directed byRichard Attenborough

    amazon buy button

    More A Bridge Too Far 

    #8 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#1126 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 7
    The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    6,844
    2,460

    The Great Escape

    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough

    Released1963

    Directed byJohn Sturges

    amazon buy button
  • 8
    Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    5,667
    2,032

    Das Boot

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer

    Released1981

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    amazon buy button
  • 9
    The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    6,165
    2,311

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

    amazon buy button

    More The Bridge on the River Kwai 

    #18 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#5 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 10
    Midway is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    4,873
    1,713

    Midway

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston

    Released1976

    Directed byJack Smight

    amazon buy button
  • 11
    Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    5,085
    1,888

    Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam

    Released1970

    Directed byRichard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku

    amazon buy button
  • 12
    Twelve O'Clock High is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    3,532
    1,220

    Twelve O'Clock High

    Gregory Peck, Dean Jagger

    Released1949

    Directed byHenry King

    amazon buy button
  • 13
    The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    4,455
    1,398

    The Pacific

    James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello

    Released2010

    Directed byCarl Franklin, Jeremy Podeswa, Tim Van Patten

    amazon buy button
  • 14
    Memphis Belle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    4,278
    1,600

    Memphis Belle

    John Lithgow, Sean Astin

    Released1990

    Directed byMichael Caton-Jones

    amazon buy button
  • 15
    Sands of Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    4,108
    1,706

    Sands of Iwo Jima

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker

    Released1949

    Directed byAllan Dwan

    amazon buy button

    More Sands of Iwo Jima 

    #16 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time#166 of 481 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • 16
    Run Silent, Run Deep is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    3,386
    1,348

    Run Silent, Run Deep

    Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster

    Released1956

    Directed byRobert Wise

    amazon buy button

    More Run Silent, Run Deep 

    #3 of 46 The Best Submarine Movies Of All Time#28 of 101 The Best Novels About World War 2

  • 17
    In Harm's Way is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    2,711
    1,041

    In Harm's Way

    John Wayne, Kirk Douglas

    Released1965

    Directed byOtto Preminger

    amazon buy button

    More In Harm's Way 

    #44 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made#12 of 98 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

  • 18
    Battle of the Bulge is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    3,987
    1,604

    Battle of the Bulge

    Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson

    Released1965

    Directed byKen Annakin

    amazon buy button

    More Battle of the Bulge 

    #106 of 161 The Best Movies of the '60s#45 of 178 The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time

  • 19
    Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    4,308
    1,761

    Letters from Iwo Jima

    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley

    Released2006

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    amazon buy button
  • 20
    To Hell and Back is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    3,128
    1,239

    To Hell and Back

    Audie Murphy, Denver Pyle

    Released1955

    Directed byJesse Hibbs

    amazon buy button
  • 21
    Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    4,824
    2,096

    Enemy at the Gates

    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law

    Released2001

    Directed byJean-Jacques Annaud

    amazon buy button

    More Enemy at the Gates 

    #10 of 50 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In October 2020#10 of 12 The 12 Most Inaccurate War Movies Ever Made

  • 22
    Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    2,369
    1,030

    Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

    Robert Mitchum, Spencer Tracy

    Released1944

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy

    amazon buy button
  • 23
    The Battle of Britain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    3,098
    1,230

    The Battle of Britain

    Walter Huston, Frieda Inescort

    Released1943

    Directed byAnthony Veiller, Frank Capra

    amazon buy button
  • 24
    Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    4,138
    1,956

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    amazon buy button
  • 25
    The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
    5,009
    2,482

    The Dirty Dozen

    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland

    Released1967

    Directed byRobert Aldrich

    amazon buy button
FilmsFilmArmed ForcesHistoryEntertainmentWar MoviespollBest MoviesWorld HistoryHistorical Entertainment