FIVE: World War II movies
Surprisingly, Baz Luhrmann’s three-hour epic about Australia is actually about Australia just before it enters World War II. Yeah, I didn’t get that the first time I saw the film either.
A League of Their Own
Instead of focusing on the horrors of war, A League of Their Own focuses on the domestic changes wrought by World War II. When all the men go off to war, the women have to step into their shoes. But instead of looking at Rosie the Riveter-esque characters in factories, A League of Their Own is about Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell playing baseball. It’s better than it sounds, I swear.
In perhaps the greatest alternate universe World War II film, Tarantino blows Hitler up, and Brad Pitt puts on a Tennessee accent. Also, “The Bear Jew” has to be one of the greatest phrases in the English language.
Though The Producers put Nazi Germany to music first, Bob Fosse’s musical follows Sally Bowles through Berlin as the Nazi’s come to power. It’s more than just a fun romp through Weimar Berlin; it’s a biting social commentary on decadence and Nazism in Berlin.
Grave of the Fireflies
Showing World War II from the side of the Japanese is nothing groundbreaking in World War II cinema, but the Japanese animated Grave of the Fireflies will make you cry like you did the first time you watched Bambi. Didn’t think a cartoon could make you cry? Just try to watch the two child protagonists of the film struggle through a bomb-ravaged Japan without crying. I bet you can’t do it.