8 May 2015 — To celebrate Allied victory in Europe, I rank the movies that I've seen in which Nazis are the antagonists.
Today is the 70th anniversary of VE Day. In other words, the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany was announced 70 years ago, on the 8th of May, 1945. This anniversary has kind of sneaked by me. The passing of 70 years is not inherently more important than the passing of 69 years or 71 years, but we use a decimal number system, so anniversaries that are multiples of 10, 25, and 100 get more attention.
In any case, the gravity of this event and all of the events leading up to it deserve reflection, if only for a while. The Second World War era is a full lifetime ago, but seven decades is not a long period in human history. I don’t believe that humanity will ever see another war like this one, or another regime like the Nazis, or another man like Hitler. People are always going to hate each other and assemble into groups out of fear.
For most people, including me, the closest that I’ve ever been to experiencing the war, or war in general, is via Hollywood movies. Of course, movies aren’t the only or the first resource that I use to learn about the topic. Even though I don’t want to make light of these humanity-changing events, here are the best movies about the the European Theatre that I have seen.
- The Monuments Men (2014)
- Hart’s War (2002)
- Inglourious Bastards (2009)
- Valkyrie (2008)
- The Great Escape (1963)
- The Guns of Navarone (1961)
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- The Sound of Music (1965)
- The Pianist (2002)
- Schindler’s List (1993)
The only movie on this list that I think is sub-par is The Monuments Men. I do need to watch some of the classics like The Longest Day and The Big Red One.