I own a disproportionate number of war movies. Furthermore, I watch them more than any other genre. I love war movies, and the more realistic and historically accurate they are, the more I like them. I guess my dad’s love of war movies played an important part in imparting this preference. When I was growing up, most Friday and Saturday nights, long after Carol Burnett or Monte Python, Dad would have a war movie on. Anzio, The Battle of the Bulge, Midway, Hell of for Heroes, The Green Berets, Stalag 17, They Were Expendable, In Harm’s Way, To Hell and Back, The Big Red One, The Bridge at Remagen, The Sands of Iwo Jima – and many others – whatever cheap, stereotyped, easy-to-produce actioners the TV stations in Lawton or Wichita Falls could afford, would prattle on while my dad fell asleep on the couch.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I could start to rent, and in turn appreciate, really good war films. The Longest Day, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare, Tora Tora Tora!, and others that spent more time and budget on history and realism than on John Wayne and Henry Fonda, came into my lexicon. More recently I have enjoyed Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, Das Boot, We Were Soldiers, Black Hawk Down, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Band of Brothers, Patton and scores more.
Arguably, my all-time favorite war film might be Apocalypse Now.