Some Gripping WW1 Films

The African Queen (1951)

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Christian Bale (The Fighter, The Dark Knight) and Oscar Issac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) star in the epic story of courage and resistance in THE PROMISE, which will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on 4th September. The Promise is based on actual events that took place during the Armenian Genocide at the onset of the First World War.

To tie in with this release, we have compiled a list looking at some of the greatest WW1 films of our time:

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Stars: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif

Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. With the aid of native Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif), Lawrence rebels against the orders of his superior officer and strikes out on a daring camel journey across the harsh desert to attack a well-guarded Turkish port.

The African Queen (1951)

Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn

After religious spinster’s (Katharine Hepburn) missionary brother is killed in WWI Africa, dissolute steamer captain (Humphrey Bogart) offers her safe passage. She’s not satisfied so she persuades him to destroy a German gunboat. The two spend most of their time fighting with each other rather than the Germans. Time alone on the river leads to love.

Beneath Hill 60 (2010)

Stars: Brendan Cowell, Harrison Gilbertson

Beneath Hill 60 tells the story of the 1st Australian tunneling company’s efforts in mining underneath Hill 60 in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. During the war, a series of mines filled with explosive charges were placed beneath German lines to aid the advance of British troops.  The screenplay is based on an account of the ordeal written by Captain Oliver Woodward, who is portrayed by Brendan Cowell in the film.

The Promise (2016)

Stars: Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale

Brilliant medical student Michael (Oscar Isaac) meets beautiful dance instructor Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) in late 1914. Their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend (Christian Bale), an American photojournalist who’s dedicated to exposing the truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn chaos, their conflicting passions must be deferred as they join forces to get themselves and their people to safety.

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Flyboys (2006)

Stars:  James Franco, Jean Reno, Tim Piggot-Smith

The film follows the enlistment, training, and combat experiences of a group of young Americans who volunteer to become fighter pilots in the Lafayette Escadrille, the 124th air squadron formed by the French in 1916. The squadron consisted of five French officers and 38 American volunteers who wanted to fly and fight in World War I before the United States’ entry into the war in 1917. The film ends with an epilogue that relates the fate of each American pilot to the real-life Lafayette Escadrille pilot upon whom his character was based.

The Trench (1999)

Stars: Daniel Craig, Paul Nicholls, Danny Dyer)

On the eve of a massive battle with the Germans, Sgt. Telford Winter (Daniel Craig) oversees a company of British soldiers too young and naive to be properly terrified of their coming mission. Prominent among the recruits is Billy Macfarlane (Paul Nicholls), a patriotic teenager who struggles to reconcile his homesickness with his sense of duty. Meanwhile, their commanding officer, Lt. Ellis Harte (Julian Rhind-Tutt), squirrels himself away in his tent sipping brandy and reading poetry.

Gallipoli (1981)

Stars Mel Gibson, Mark Lee



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Archy (Mark Lee) and Frank (Mel Gibson) are two young Australian sprinters who want to join the army to fulfill their sense of duty. Turned down because they are too young, the pair travel on a freight train to Perth, where they are allowed to join up. They board a troop ship headed to Cairo and, after training in the shadows of the Great Pyramids, the boys are finally sent to the front line, where their speed makes them candidates for messengers in one of the war’s bloodiest battles.

The Promise

The Promise

 

The Promise is available on Blu-ray and DVD from 4th September

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