Weird History The Greatest World War II Dramas  

Ranker Film
462 votes 112 voters 3.2k views 29 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite dramatic movies set during WWII.

Set during a time of global unrest, the best World War II movies deal with life-or-death scenarios at every turn. The top World War II dramas feature complex characters fighting for humanity and often falling in love during this turbulent era. This is a list of the greatest WWII drama movies including everything from The Bridge on the River Kwai to In Another Lifetime to The Pianist.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies set during World War II? The timeless classic Casablanca focuses on the relationship between Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund as they reconnect after many years apart. The only problem is Ilsa is now married to a Czech Resistance leader who is wanted by German forces. The English Patient is another good romantic movie set during the Second World War. The 2016 film Allied follows a pair of spies as they fall in love and play mental games with one another. Other good films featured on this list include Flags of Our Fathers, The Railway Man, and Sunshine.

Which World War 2 dramas are your favorites? Give the best films a thumbs up to move them to the number-one spot on the list, and please add any movies that are missing.

list ordered by

1
32 14
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

2
26 11
Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. The film stars ...more

3
17 4
The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner The Great Escape is a 1963 American WWII epic film based on an escape by British and Commonwealth POW from a German POW camp during WWII, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard ...more

4
11 1
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton The Longest Day is a 1962 film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during WWII. The film was produced by Darryl ...more

5
18 8
Fury is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman Fury is a 2014 American war film directed by David Ayer. A grizzled tank commander (Brad Pitt) makes tough decisions as he and his crew fight their way across Germany in April, 1945.

6
19 9
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

7
17 8
Flags of Our Fathers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe, Jamie Bell Flags of Our Fathers is a 2006 American film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood and written by William Broyles, Jr. and Paul Haggis. It is based on the book of the same name ...more

8
13 6
Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht Das Boot is a 1981 German epic film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus Wennemann. ...more

9
12 8
Valkyrie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Izzard Valkyrie is a 2008 American-German historical thriller film set in Nazi Germany during WWII. The film depicts the 20 July plot in 1944 by German army officers to take down Adolf Hitler and to ...more

10
15 12
The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic film written and directed by Terrence Malick. Based on the novel by James Jones, it tells a fictionalized version of the Battle of Mount ...more

11
13 10
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The ...more

12
10 7
Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The film's title is taken from William Craig's 1973 nonfiction book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, which ...more

13
13 11
Downfall is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Alexandra Lara, Bruno Ganz, Thomas Kretschmann Downfall is a 2004 German film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler's reign over Nazi Germany in 1945. The film is written and produced by Bernd ...more

14
6 4
Windtalkers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Nigel Fong added Nicolas Cage, Mark Ruffalo, Christian Slater Windtalkers is a 2002 American film directed and produced by John Woo, and starring Nicolas Cage and Adam Beach. The film was released in the United States on June 14, 2002.

15
5 4
Bent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ian McKellen Bent is a 1997 British/Japanese drama film directed by Sean Mathias, based on the 1979 play of the same name by Martin Sherman, who also wrote the screenplay. It revolves around the persecution ...more

16
16 16
The English Patient is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth The English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama directed by Anthony Minghella from his own script based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje and produced by Saul Zaentz. The film was ...more

17
6 6
In Darkness is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Weronika Rosati, Benno Fürmann, Maria Schrader Hidden is a 2011 film directed by Agnieszka Holland.

18
2 2
American Guerrilla in the Phil... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Jack Elam, Robert Barrat American Guerrilla in the Philippines is a 1950 war film starring Tyrone Power as a U.S. Navy ensign stranded by the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II. Based on the story of ...more

19
1 1
Crash Dive is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Harry Morgan Crash Dive is a World War II film in Technicolor released in 1943. It was directed by Archie Mayo, written by Jo Swerling and W.R. Burnett, and starred Tyrone Power, Dana Andrews and Anne ...more

20
2 3
The Dawns Here Are Quiet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Firebird added Olga Ostroumova, Viktor Avdyushko, Vladimir Ivashov The Dawns Here Are Quiet is a 1972 Soviet film directed by Stanislav Rostotsky based on Boris Vasilyev's novel of the same name. The film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language ...more

21
2 3
They Fought for Their Country is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Firebird added Sergei Bondarchuk, Vasily Shukshin, Yuri Nikulin They Fought for Their Country is a 1975 Soviet war film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk. It was entered into the 1975 Cannes Film Festival. The film is the story of a Soviet platoon fighting a ...more

22
0 1
Divided We Fall is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Bolek Polívka, Martin Huba, Jiří Kodet Divided We Fall is a 2000 Czech film directed by Jan Hřebejk. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

23
4 6
Allied is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Allied Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris

24
3 5
To End All Wars is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Strong, Robert Carlyle To End All Wars is a 2001 war film starring Robert Carlyle, Kiefer Sutherland and Sakae Kimura and directed by David L. Cunningham.

25
1 3
Winter in Wartime is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Jamie Campbell Bower, Tygo Gernandt, Yorick van Wageningen Winter in Wartime is a 2008 Dutch war film directed by Martin Koolhoven. The screenplay was written by Mieke de Jong, Paul Jan Nelissen and Martin Koolhoven and was based on the novel, Winter in ...more

26
1 3
The Railway Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård The Railway Man is a 2013 British–Australian-made war film directed by Jonathan Teplitzky. It is an adaptation of the bestselling autobiography of the same name by Eric Lomax, and stars Colin ...more

27
0 2
This Above All is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Joan Fontaine, Tyrone Power, Thomas Mitchell This Above All is a 1942 American romance film set in World War II adapted from the Eric Knight novel of the same name, directed by Anatole Litvak, and starring Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine as ...more

28
0 3
In Another Lifetime is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
In Another Lifetime Ursula Strauss, August Schmölzer, Johannes Krisch "In the chaotic final days of World War II, a group of Hungarian Jews is on a forced march towards the Mauthausen concentration camp. Reaching a sleepy Austrian village, the 19 starving and ...more

29
1 5
Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest World War II Dramas
Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Mark Strong Sunshine is a 1999 historical film written by Israel Horovitz and István Szabó, directed and produced by István Szabó. It follows three generations of a Jewish family ...more