Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re: Top 25 British War Films


Couldn't agree more.  I have been brushing up the cultural education of my ten-year-old with The Great Escape, A Bridge Too Far, The Italian Job etc.  
Next time we have a boys' night in it'll be Zulu I think.  Master and Commander will follow.
There's a list (in my head) that keeps getting added to and reshuffled.

On Sun Jan 22, Chrístõ wrote
>'We could argue all day about the definition of a British War Film and what the best means but for this entirely unscientific list, the definition of a British War Film is one that is largely British in character. They may have been directed by non-British directors, have non-British actors and may even have been made in Hollywood or elsewhere, but they retain that element of Britishness that we all understand. So no Das Boot, Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now or other such great films.

>The judging criteria do not include historical accuracy, whether the correct buttons and rank insignia were worn, or whether the film is a ‘visceral and worthy portrayal of the realities of war’ or some other such artsy bollocks, instead, it is simply enjoyability for a wet Sunday afternoon in. So, it is not a list for the film buff, historian or the yoghurt-weaving wheatgrass smoothy types for them to bemoan the inhumanity and pointlessness of war.

>Most of these have a back story that is as good as, if not better, than the film.

>In reverse order, the Top 25 British War Films:
> . . 20 – Master and Commander

> . . Russell Crowe is actually very good in this.

>Capt. Jack Aubrey: England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship *is* England.

>Watch it because…

>The Royal Navy giving the French a proper kicking.
>The lesser of two weevils
>Happy days.

> . . 1 – Zulu

>Zulu is a 1964 epic war film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War. It depicts 150 British soldiers, many of whom were sick and wounded patients in a field hospital, who successfully held off a force of 4,000 Zulu warriors.

>Probably no surprise this is Number 1

>Forget the outrageous slurs on the good character of Private Henry Hook (who was a model soldier and campaigning tee-totaller) andCommissaryy James Langley Dalton (who was the most experienced soldier at the mission station and widely credited with initiating the defence)


>Forget British War Films, this is the best War Film full stop, in fact, forget War Films, Zulu is without a shadow of a doubt, THE best film ever made

>The best bits are far too many to list.

>Colour Sergeant Bourne: It’s a miracle.

>Lieutenant John Chard: If it’s a miracle, Colour Sergeant, it’s a short chamber Boxer Henry point 45 caliber miracle.

>Colour Sergeant Bourne: And a bayonet, sir, with some guts behind.

>The final scene is, as the kids say, awesome:

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