War on Film


They Shall Not Grow Old

Taylor Downing reports on Peter Jackson’s new WWI centenary film. New Zealander Peter Jackson is known to cinema-goers for the lavish spectacles in which he specialises in breathtaking digital effects, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) and The Hobbit trilogy (2012-14), both adapted from the novels of J R R Tolkien. He has now just released a remarkable […]


FILM REVIEW: American Sniper

MHM reviews American Sniper, the 2014 release based on the memoirs of highly decorated Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who completed four tours of Iraq between 1999 and 2009.



Taylor Downing reviews the 2014 film ‘Fury’, and discovers an instant classic in this unrelenting WWII tank thriller.


WAR ON FILM – Oh! What a Lovely War

Richard Attenborough’s 1969 BAFTA award winning film Oh! What a Lovely War has many similarities to the Joan Littlewood Theatre Workshop musical of 1963. There is the powerful use of the popular satirical war songs, the sense of choreography, the use of documentary information to counterpoint the burlesque, and the passionate anti-war message. But there […]


WAR ON FILM – All Quiet on the Western Front

Taylor Downing revisits one of the most famous anti-war films ever made. All Quiet on the Western Front is a double Oscar-winning 1930s Hollywood film adaptation of the famous German novel by Erich Maria Remarque (Im Westen nichts Neues). It follows the story of a group of young German schoolboys who rush to enlist in […]


WAR ON FILM – The Longest Day

Taylor Downing takes a look at how 1960s Hollywood dealt with one of the most important days of the Second World War. ‘Hollywood meets D-Day’ is probably the best way to describe the all-star spectacular The Longest Day released in 1962. Most of the key players in early 1960s Hollywood competed to be in the […]


WAR ON FILM – Overlord

Taylor Downing remembers Stuart Cooper’s ground-breaking 1975 World War II film. Stuart Cooper’s film Overlord (1975) is the only feature film ever produced by the Imperial War Museum. While the museum has worked closely with many television companies on documentary productions over the decades, Overlord uses the museum’s resources in the production of a drama-documentary […]


WAR ON FILM – Dr Strangelove

Taylor Downing delves into the weird world of Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War black comedy.   After making his First World War epic Paths of Glory (see MHM 40), Stanley Kubrick directed two movies, Spartacus (1960) again with Kirk Douglas and Lolita with Peter Sellers (finished in 1961). Then, during the early 1960s, he became fascinated […]

THE CRUEL SEA Poster for 1953 Ealing Studios film with Jack Hawkins

WAR ON FILM – The Cruel Sea

Taylor Downing reviews a WWII naval epic based closely on Nicholas Monsarrat’s famous novel. In 1951 Nicholas Monsarrat published his fourth book on the naval war, The Cruel Sea. Monsarrat described it as the story ‘of one ocean, two ships, and about one hundred and fifty men.’ In a gritty, realistic style the book conveys […]


WAR ON FILM – School for Secrets

Taylor Downing reviews a film that made heroes of behind-the-scenes science boffins. The word ‘boffin’ became widely used during the Second World War as an affectionate term to describe the scientists who worked quietly in the background developing new military technologies. The origins of the word are not clear. There was a strange-looking character in […]

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