Bon Mot #56

(January 2018)

My friend Scott and I had just seen the movie “Darkest Hour” with an astounding good performance by Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. The movie is about the ascension of Churchill to Prime Minister of Great Britain at the beginning of World War II.

We started talking about World War II movies and how you could follow the course of the war with a series of feature films. For example, the “Darkest Hour” would naturally lead to “Dunkirk” 2017 (also in 1958). “Dunkirk” could lead to the “Battle of Britain” in 1969. You get the idea. So we came up with a list of World War II movies and you can roughly follow the progress of the war. My friend Scott did the heavy lifting in the preparation of this page.

This is the European theatre:

Battle of BritainThe Tin Drum (1979) & Foreign Correspondent (1940)
 - The rise of Nazism and the start of the war.

Closely Watched Trains (1966)
 - The invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Darkest Hour (2017) & Dunkirk (2017 and 1958)
 - England being drawn deeper into the war.

The Counterfeiters (2007)
 - The beginnings of the Nazi concentration camps.

Forbidden Games (1952) & Le silence de la mer (1949)
 - The invasion and occupation of France.

Battle of Britain (1969), Their Finest Hour (2016) & Mrs. Miniver (1942)
 - The Battle of Britain.

Das Boot (1981) & Lifeboat (1944)
 - The Atlantic sea war.

The Imitation Game (2014), The Longest Day (1962) & Saving Private Ryan (1998)
 - The D-Day invasion of Fortress Europe.

Army of Shadows (1969)
 - The French Resistance.

Enemy at the Gates (2001) & Stalingrad (1993)
 - The Battle of Stalingrad.

Catch-22 (1970) & Command Decision (1948)
 - The Allied bombing of Europe.

Paisan (1948) & The Big Red One (1980)
 - The drive to take Italy.

A Bridge Too Far (1977) & Soldier of Orange (1977)
 - The invasion and battle of the Netherlands.

Schindler's List (1993) & The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959)
 - The escalation of extermination in the concentration camps as Hitler starts losing the war.

Rome, Open City (1945)
 - The fall of Italy.

Patton (1970)
 - Beginning the drive towards Berlin.

The Pianist (2002)
 - The Soviets push to control Poland.

Son of Saul (2015)
 - The last ditch efforts of the Nazis to kill as many Jews as possible in Eastern Europe as they are being driven back to Germany.

The Bridge (1959)
 - The invasion of Germany.

Downfall (2004), A Woman in Berlin (2008) & Germany Year Zero (1948)
 - The fall of Berlin.

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
 - The end of the war in Europe and Nazi war-crime trials.

Since the start of CinemaToast the Toastmaster had written a bit about movies each month under the button "Bon Mots" (defined by Merriam-Webster as a clever remark) but somehow the "monthly" bon mots got left behind. So now instead of a dated monthly bon mot, we will be giving each one a number starting here with "Bon Bot #56". Naturally the next Bon Mot will be number 57.


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